LNP cabinet sworn in

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Malcolm Turnbull’s new government is being sworn in today, but there are a couple of aspects of his new ministry that has political commentators worried. Political scientist Sarah Maddison says the increased National presence in cabinet doesn’t match up with voter’s attitudes, and the lack of female-held portfolios is disappointing, but typical of the LNP.

Election leaves Turnbull a hollow man

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Whatever the final seat count, the 2016 election hasn’t been what Malcolm Turnbull planned. At best, Turnbull will be forming a government with only a narrow majority. In a much-less-desirable outcome, he’ll be negotiating with minor parties and independents to form a minority government in a hung parliament.

Associate Professor Sarah Maddison says the future isn’t looking great for Malcolm Turnbull. Continue reading Election leaves Turnbull a hollow man

New site simplifies political data

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As we approach the 2016 Australian Federal election, there hasn’t been a more important time to understand who is donating to our political parties. A new web site (politicaldonations.info) provides an easy way to visualise political donations over all years for which the AEC provides data. Continue reading New site simplifies political data

Early voting opens in Australia

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The polls are open! Voting starts Tuesday 14th June for anyone eligible to vote before election day on July 2 – which is a fair portion of the electorate. Early voting was first allowed for the 1984 election. Since then, the number of people casting a ballot before polling day has been rising steadily and it’s expected to keep growing. Melbourne University’s Nick Reece says the trend will mean a change in how politicians campaign in the lead up to the election.

Should vote counting code be public?

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A team of Australian researchers believe the code used to count votes in the federal election should be made public, after they found problems in the code of the 2012 NSW local government elections. Dr Vanessa Teague is a member of this team, and says it would be good for democracy, and good for the Electoral Commissions, to make election-related source code public before an election.

Suicide prevention key part of election policies

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Ahead of the Federal Election, major parties and political candidates are being urged to spell out their plan to tackle suicide and self-harm across Australia. It’s been described as a “national emergency”, with latest ABS figures showing the suicide rate has increased by nearly 20% in the past decade. Suicide Prevention Australia CEO Sue Murray says there are nearly 30 federal electorates where the problem has hit an alarming level. If you need help, or someone to talk to, you can call Lifeline on 13 11 14, or on their website.

Greens call for Labor’s LGBTI support

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The Australian Greens urge the Labor party to join them in committing to removing religious exemptions from the Sex Discrimination Act, following Rainbow Labor’s announcement to appoint an LGBTI discrimination commissioner. Greens sexuality spokesperson Senator Robert Simms  says Labor’s plan is a good one, but won’t end discrimination against LGBTI people under the law.