• The shiny new toy
    Now that the election is over it is time for a bit of reflection.
    Logistics behind the operation of this site mean this article is
    not a who won what and why; rather we’ll be looking at why a
    number of the smaller parties seem to have punched above
    their weight, and some possible reasons for their ‘popularity’.
  • The cupboard was bare!
    It wasn’t easy getting into the nerve centre of the LNP – the
    secret place where talking points, election strategies and day
    to day tactics are brainstormed by the Coalition’s eggheads in
    the dead of night – but eventually, more by good luck than
    good management, I found myself in the inner sanctum.
  • He hit me first!
    We all have memories of a child bawling its eyes out after being
    clobbered by another kid. We also have memories of the offender’s
    customary excuse: ‘He hit me first!’. We tend to label such behaviour as
    ‘kids stuff’. But how many of you expected grown-up politicians to ape them?
  • Fear, deception and gravitas
    Enjoying the election coverage? Essentially it is the day to day analysis
    of the political leaders of this country racking up the kilometres to appear
    in ‘strategic’ locations, with nodding sycophants behind them answering the
    same or similar questions as they did yesterday to the same tired and bored journalists.
  • No, they won't learn
    I was motivated to write my last piece: 'Will they ever learn?' after viewing the first
    Question Time of the recent sitting of the House of Representatives. Some our most
    senior politicians, immediately after showing that they were capable of courtesy and
    decent discourse, went on to display offensively aggressive behaviour towards each
    other, all in the full glare of the cameras, knowing that the world would see them as they were.
  • Three Years Later
    In 2016, we published 36 Faceless men, comparing the ‘need’
    for Australian political parties to have an absolute majority when
    forming a government versus the preferred outcome in other countries
    where a coalition of political parties have to work together to form a government.

The Political Sword

Get the inside track on the media and government.

What do you think of Rupert Murdoch’s power and influence?

The newly developed Australian Blog Sites, created to give bloggers ‘a sense of unity’, lists contemporary political blog sites, at last count over fifty of them, that visitors to the site can access. This attempt to give those of us who operate in the Fifth Estate a feeling that we are ...

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The politics of simplistic populism

'Populism'. It's a word we've been hearing a lot about the place lately. Of course, it's uttered, generally, with a large side order of derision, as if it's the basest form of politics. However, is it really? Or is it just a condemnation uttered by the jealous, who wish they could be as popular and...

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Why are we here on The Political Sword?

What are we hoping to achieve by contributing here? Are we having any impact? Does our dialogue make any difference? As a group of political bloggers we feel we have something to say about the state of politics in this nation. The Political Sword, which has n o allegiance to any party or...

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Of Grassroots and AstroTurf

Professor Skeleton, here. Today I'd like to explain to you the concepts behind the practice of AstroTurfing. You'll find, if you just look hard enough around you these days, in the political and public sphere, that an awful lot of AstroTurf is springing up about the place. What is this 'AstroTurf' o...

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Does Labor fight too 'clean'?

Recall a bar fight in an old Western movie. The goodies walk into a bar for a drink and are confronted by a mob of sinister-looking baddies who resent the invasion of their space and soon make it clear they are up for a no-holds bare-knuckle brawl where anything goes. No Marquess of Queensberry rule...

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We don’t know the meaning of ‘Wrong’!

Indefatigable, relentless positivism and negativism and a strict adherence to the Murdoch corporate mantra, "We don't know the meaning of 'Wrong'!" That's what amazes me about the Coalition and Conservative politicians in general, both here and around the world, and conse...

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Grog, do come back – we need you

We at The Political Sword understand how affronted you must have felt when News Limited’s hit-man James Massola ‘outed’ you as Greg Jericho, a public servant working in the film area of the Office for the Arts of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet in Canberra. He knew...

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The NBN debate – a clutter of misinformation

Why is it that important debates around complex public policy are so contaminated by misinformation, so uninformed by accurate and complete information? At the charitable end of the spectrum it is because few if any have all the information, fewer understand it if they do, and even fewer are able ...

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The Political Theatre of the Absurd

  Theatre of the Absurd: A form of drama that emphasises the absurdity of human existence by employing disjointed, repetitious, and meaningless dialogue, purposeless and confusing situations, and plots that lack realistic or logical development. That was the bizarre impression tha...

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Are political labels useless?

Learned dissertations on politics use classical terminology to identify particular political positions. Terms like ‘conservative’, ‘liberal’, small ‘l’ liberal, ‘economic liberalism’, ‘economic conservatism’, ‘political liberalism&r...

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The Coalition bouncing like a dead cat

It's not something that anyone with a beating heart and a love of politics in the 21st century does voluntarily, but when it is forced upon you, boy is it instructive. What am I talking about? Being abruptly disconnected from the Internet, and being flung back into the 'old paradig...

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An open letter to the Leader of the Opposition

Mr Abbott, we expect that you have mixed feelings about the outcome of the election. To get as close as you did to winning is cause for elation and congratulation, emotions echoed in the media, where many considered you unelectable six months ago. Yet the countervailing emotion must be intense fru...

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An open letter to the Prime Minister

On behalf of most who comment on this blog site, congratulations Ms Gillard on the re-election of the Labor Government and of yourself as Prime Minister. Those who have supported Labor through its first term and who have admired the good work it has done, are relieved that it has another term to com...

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How has it come to this – a Gillard Government?

Finally we have a minority government led by Julia Gillard. The tortured process came to an end when two of the three Country Independents, Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott, backed her government, and Bob Katter backed the Coalition. How has it come to this? This is the last analysis in this series...

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The post mortem we have to have

Whilst it has been reported that the ALP has had the metaphorical Duct Tape placed over its mouth when it comes to comment and analysis of the election campaign and the fallout from it that may lead to a Minority ALP Government this term or maybe even a One-Term Labor Government, no such strictures ...

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Still more on: How has it come to this?

There are many factors that have interacted with each other to produce the result we now see. The first two pieces on this subject examined the Rudd factor, the Gillard factor, the Queensland factor and the Bligh factor. This final piece looks at some other factors that seem to be important in expla...

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More on: How has it come to this?

Although the Rudd factor is arguably the most compelling in attempting to explain how it has come to this, given that the political and social situation is a classic example of a complex adaptive system, there are many other interacting factors that need examination. Some of them receive attention...

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How has it come to this?

With the election outcome still in limbo, and likely to be so for some time, it might be a good time to reflect on how Labor has come so close to losing power. Many pundits are having a shot at this, but I suspect are approaching it from their own idiosyncratic viewpoint, one that does not take in...

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If you come to a fork in the road, take it

That is the sort of advice that cartoonists might offer to the independents that now seem to hold the future of the Federal parliament in their hands. The outlook for both major parties is uncertain, equally so. So what can we deduce one day after the election? This is the first in a series. Th...

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It should be a one horse race

Yes, it should be a one horse race. Based on performance, on the visions and plans for the next three years and beyond, and on the talent it has on its front bench, Labor should be a country mile ahead. Yet the pundits are predicting a very close result, possibly a ‘hung’ parliament and...

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