Category Archives: Politics – national

Upmarket Agitprop: Clive James on John Howard on Bob Menzies

An essay prompted by a friend recommending James’ essay I think largely for its defence of Menzies as worthy of more respect he’s been given by the left – which is a fair point. Cross posted from The Mandarin, which, to my surprise … Continue reading

Posted in Cultural Critique, Economics and public policy, History, Political theory, Politics - national | 14 Comments

The Snowy announcement shows why we need a better way

My latest column for The CEO Magazine looks at Malcolm Turnbull’s recent Snowy announcement and asks: isn’t there a better way to make infrastructure decisions? The particular process I’d like to see around the Snowy announcement is an independent and … Continue reading

Posted in Economics and public policy, Politics - national | 5 Comments

IS ScoMo a “bastard” for cutting the Territory’s GST funding?

The NT News’ front page on Saturday is a vintage piece of Murdoch tabloid journalism – aggressively funny but without any meaningful regard for fact or fairness. Of course portraying any politicians as “bastards” is bound to meet with general … Continue reading

Posted in Law, Politics - national, Politics - Northern Territory | 5 Comments

Australian politics and the Emperor’s New Clothes

Hans Christian Andersen’s famous story The Emperor’s New Clothes epitomises the phenomenon of the truth hiding in plain sight as a result of collective delusion or selective vision. There is just such a collective public delusion at the heart of … Continue reading

Posted in Political theory, Politics - national | 18 Comments

Standing up for cities

My latest column for The CEO Magazine extends my updated Troppo post on decentralisation. As I dug further into the issue for this column, I was startled by the extent to which governments have not just paid lip-service to decentralisation, … Continue reading

Posted in Economics and public policy, Innovation, Politics - national | 7 Comments

Against decentralising: why crowded is good

Note: This post was original published on 6 July 2015; I’ve updated and reposted it because the Victorian Liberal Party is now pushing a decentralisation agenda. Once again this week we’re hearing the argument that Australia would be a much better … Continue reading

Posted in Economics and public policy, Innovation, Politics - national | 45 Comments

Can we attract good political leaders? Hint – yes

Can a democracy attract competent leaders, while attaining broad representation? Economic models suggest that free-riding incentives and lower opportunity costs give the less competent a comparative advantage at entering political life. Moreover, if elites have more human capital, selecting on … Continue reading

Posted in Political theory, Politics - international, Politics - national | 5 Comments