Is Parliament A ‘Non-Essential Service’? The emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia saw an unprecedented expansion of the authority of the executive at the expense of the Parliament. In my article in Australasian Parliamentary Review (vol 32, no 2) I review the executive’s use of emergency powers and the innovation of a national Cabinet to manage the crisis response, while Parliament was reduced to an unrepresentative “rump” and then adjourned for twenty weeks. I arg
How did Scott Morrison’s campaign managers pull off their miraculous win in the last Federal election? I’m one of 36 political scientists and analysts whose response to that question has just been published by ANU Press. My chapter looks at campaign communications, especially TV ads, and argues the Liberals were superior at both the strategic and tactical levels. Labor’s vaunted fieldwork (DVC) campaign also lacked impact. The whole book, and individual chapters, can be downloaded. Downl
Do they have a future in Australian election campaigns? Leaders debates have been a feature of every federal election campaign since 1990. But whether they will continue to occupy a privileged position in the Australian electoral landscape is unclear. With my colleague Professor Rodney Smith, I reviewed the Australian debate experience as part of an international study of the debate phenomenon, published by Routledge. We argue that, debates will only occur in the Australian context when, in eac
Scourge or boon? In many elections these days, it’s not uncommon for more than a third of voters to cast their votes before election day. But there’s a trade-off for this increased convenience: political parties and candidate struggle to get their message out. I was a co-researcher in a big study of early voting in Australia, published in late 2018 by the Electoral Regulations Research Network. Since then, with my colleague Martin Drum, we’ve published two updates of our findings in The C
'Parties and Campaigns' in Contemporary Australian Political Party Organisations “It seems clear that the 'professional' tag refers not to the political skills and popularity of the leaders, or to the relative efficacy of the parties’ policies or ideologies, but to the capabilities of the rival parties’ organisations, particularly in the context of elections. ‘Professional’ describes, with positive and negative connotations, both the Liberal Party and the ALP, in government and in op
The Baird Factor, the Abbott Factor and the Challenge for Labor My take on the Coalition's convincing victory in the NSW state election results, podcast via Inside Story. Access the interview at http://insidestory.org.au/the-baird-factor-the-abbott-factor-and-the-challenge-for-labor
Strategy, Money and the Rise of the Political Campaigner in Australia "The Professionals" tells the story of how Australian election campaigns and political parties have changed, from the pre-television era through to the social media/ micro-targeted campaigns of today. Who drives this change? The campaign professionals in the party head offices. The book, awarded the Henry Mayer Book Prize for Australian Politics 2015, was based on my PhD research and is available from Black Inc. For more d
Electoral Regulation Research Network / Democratic Audit Of Australia Joint Working Paper Series.
This working paper distils two presentations, one at the second Australia-New Zealand workshop on Campaign Management and Political Marketing, at the Graduate School of Government, University of Sydney on 18 July 2014, and the other to a seminar of the Electoral Regulation and Research Network, University of Melbourne.