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Election Interpreter 2013

Introducing Australia's new government: People and policies

 The centre-right Coalition parties have won the Australian election. Below, we introduce our readers to some of the key figures and policies of the incoming government, based on The Interpreter's 2013 election coverage. The people Early in the campaign Sam Roggeveen profiled Prime Minister-elect

The men who would minister war (II)

Part 1 of this profile of Labor's prospective new defence minister Mike Kelly MP and shadow Defence Minister Senator David Johnston appeared yesterday. For men who will have responsibility for administering war if their party is elected tomorrow, neither David Johnston nor Mike Kelly want to talk

The election, from overseas (part 4)

Marty Harris is an Assistant Digital Editor at the Lowy Institute. Prime Minister Rudd's defence of marriage equality on Q&A went viral: covered by TIME, BBC, The Independent, the UK Telegraph, The Washington Post, and many others. A YouTube clip of the Prime Minister's remarks has been viewed

Coalition releases its foreign policy

Yesterday afternoon, less than two days before Australia goes to the polls, the Liberal-National Coalition released its official foreign policy statement (the Labor Party is yet to release one). A few small observations about the document, followed by one big point: The statement has the clear

Bennelong, Australia and the world

Nicholas Stuart is right to say that there are no votes in foreign and defence policy, hence these two areas rarely get debated during election campaigns (he might have added foreign aid, too).  But these issues do creep into the national debate through proxies, as illustrated by the Sydney seat

Coalition announces cuts to foreign aid

The Liberal-National Coalition's decision to cut growth in foreign aid spending by $4.5 billion over the forward estimates has created a last-minute election debate about Australia's foreign aid commitments. Foreign Minister Bob Carr is yet to announce (at time of writing) the details of the Labor

The men who would minister war

Mike Kelly's got a plane to catch and a marginal seat to win, but offers some final advice for a defence minister: 'the first report you ever get in Defence on anything is invariably incomplete or wrong. Be very careful about rushing to judgement on anything'. It's good advice for the vastly

Washington adrift, needs Aussie PM with vision

Michael Green is Senior Vice President for Asia at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, a Professor at Georgetown University and a non-resident fellow at the Lowy Institute. It is always reassuring to see the protagonists in Australian federal elections stand united in

India missing from Abbott Asia priorities?

Danielle Rajendram is a Lowy Institute research associate. Her work focuses on Indian foreign and domestic policy, India-China relations and Asian security. In an attempt to bolster his Asia credentials, Tony Abbott has identified Indonesia, China, Japan and South Korea as his first overseas

For Rudd Mk 2, foreign policy an afterthought

Nicholas Stuart is a Canberra Times columnist and author of Kevin Rudd: An Unauthorised Political Biography, What Goes Up: Behind the 2007 Election and Rudd's Way: November 2007-June 2010. There's a simple reason foreign affairs and defence issues have only surfaced briefly during this election

Bob Carr, a tribal Labor/Democrat man

Andrew West is an ABC Radio National presenter, a former Sydney Morning Herald journalist, and author of Bob Carr: A Self-Made Man.  In part 1 of this essay, I said that Bob Carr always had a reflexive commitment to Australia's alliance with the US, but that if he saw himself as anything, it was

Change of government means change of diplomats

Daniel Flitton is senior correspondent for The Age covering foreign affairs and politics. Bags packed, removalists ready, Victoria's ex-premier Steve Bracks is making a final swing through Melbourne's boardrooms in this last week of the election campaign to gauge thinking in the business community

Election enters its OK Corral phase

At a different time, Tony Abbott's cowboys-and-Indians reductionism of the Syria crisis ('It's not goodies versus baddies, it's baddies versus baddies') might have played right into Labor's characterisation of the Opposition Leader as a man not ready to lead Australia into the world. But

Bob Carr, from base to apex

Andrew West is an ABC Radio National presenter, a former Sydney Morning Herald journalist, and author of Bob Carr: A Self-Made Man. In less than a week, Bob Carr is scheduled to join the leaders of the G20 nations in St Petersburg, Russia (unless Prime Minister Rudd makes a late decision to

Mike Kelly gets his history backward

It sounds as if neither party landed a knockout blow at the debate held in Canberra yesterday between Shadow Defence Minister Senator David Johnston and Minister for Defence Materiel Mike Kelly. The hosts, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, had the peculiar challenge of presenting an

The election, from overseas (part 3)

Marty Harris is an Assistant Digital Editor at the Lowy Institute.  Australian comedian Adam Hills cast his pre-poll vote in London recently. He laments that the UK's coverage of the election focuses on little besides gaffes and scandals. The BBC on the pros and cons of compulsory voting. Ha'

Keeping up with Rudd

After three-and-a-half weeks of campaigning in which foreign and national security policy barely got a look in, it's now getting hard to keep up with Prime Minister Rudd's announcements and pronouncements. Let's recap: On Tuesday at the Lowy Institute, the PM announced that the Navy's major east

Logic and politics in Rudd's navy base plan

Rear Admiral (ret'd) James Goldrick AO, CSC is a Visiting Fellow at the Lowy Institute. The Prime Minister's announcement at the Lowy Institute yesterday of a 'Future Navy' Task Force is a curious mixture of logic and opportunism. There is a clear need to look at the long-term set-up of ship

Kevin Rudd's aspirations not meeting reality

Nicholas Stuart is a Canberra Times columnist and author of Kevin Rudd: An Unauthorised Political Biography, What Goes Up: Behind the 2007 Election and Rudd's Way: November 2007-June 2010. Every now and then there's a moment when everything suddenly seems to spring into focus. Literary types

Alan Dupont on Rudd's foreign policy speech

Lowy Institute Senior Nonresident Fellow Alan Dupont attended Prime Minister Rudd's speech today, and in this short interview Alan echoes some of James Brown's concerns about the cost of Rudd's proposal to move the navy's main east coast base from Sydney to Brisbane. Dupont has also detected what he

Rudd foreign policy speech: First impressions

Prime Minister Rudd has just left the Lowy Institute after making the first major foreign and national security policy speech of this campaign by either party. We'll post a transcript as soon as we get it (UPDATE: audio now available), but meantime, you might have heard already of one major

Trade priorities in the 2013 election

Shadow Foreign Minister Julie Bishop's outline of the Coalition's international policies emphasised the importance of trade in general and free trade agreements (FTAs) in particular. She singled out for special mention those countries which have gained advantage by signing bilateral treaties ahead

Reader riposte: WikiLeaks Party responds

Alison Broinowski, a Senate candidate for the WikiLeaks Party, responds to Raoul Heinrichs' profile piece of last week: Raoul Heinrichs and I had a comradely discussion before he posted this piece. I am surprised by what he has written, though I should have realised that nothing I said would

How the world looks from Eden-Monaro

Douglas Fry is a Fairfax Media writer. Eden-Monaro is the federal bellwether seat with an impeccable 40-year streak of electing the party that wins the election. It's a geographically diverse electorate, stretching from the southern NSW coastline through the capital country highlands to the Snowy

The foreign policy debate, storified

Stephanie Do Carmo is a multimedia intern at the Lowy Institute. On Wednesday 7 August the Lowy Institute hosted a foreign policy debate between Minister for Foreign Affairs Senator Bob Carr and the Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop. Below is a recap of the debate as it unfolded

Coalition shuffles foreign-policy deck

The campaign has provided very little news fodder for defence and foreign policy wonks (and no, last week's announcement from Minister for Defence Science and Personnel Warren Snowden about improved health care for Defence families, while worthy, does not really count). This morning's news is a

The election, from overseas (part 2)

Marty Harris is an Assistant Digital Editor at the Lowy Institute. Part 1 in this series here. The New Zealand Herald's Canberra correspondent claims that the environment could be the sleeper issue in this election. How will uranium impact on post-election Australia-India relations? Geoff Hiscock

Tony Abbott and the US alliance

Hugh White's typically perceptive column on Tony Abbott argues that the old Howard slogan about Australia not having to choose between the US and China never really reflected Howard's diplomacy and has in any case been made redundant by the economic growth and growing assertiveness of China. Abbott

Julie Bishop: The WA connection

Andrew Pickford is a Perth-based security and energy analyst. Here's part 1 of his Julie Bishop profile. Western Australia's economic boom, arising from the sudden and massive expansion of China's economy and the export of iron-ore and natural gas to the Middle Kingdom, has seen WA adopt a

NZ wants a boring post-election Australia

Robert Ayson is a Visiting Fellow with the ANU's Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, on research leave from the Centre for Strategic Studies at Victoria University of Wellington. One of the delights of a sabbatical in Canberra as spring struggles to replace winter is the chance to watch a

Julie Bishop's lawyerly approach

Andrew Pickford is a Perth-based security and energy analyst. The former Mediterranean Restaurant in the leafy Perth suburb of Subiaco, a corporate deal-making hub during the 1980s, is now home to the electoral office of Julie Bishop and thus could soon become the Perth base of Australia's foreign

In 100 words: The most important issue of this campaign

Short posts from Lowy Institute experts on what they regard as the most important international policy issue of this campaign. See the Election Interpreter 2013 archive for the whole series. When it does emerge as a campaign issue, both parties compete to show who has more ownership of

The election, from overseas

Below, a collection of links to international coverage of the Australian elections. As you will see, most media outlets rely on news agencies like Reuters, AP and AFP to provide coverage, and the emphasis tends to be on scandals, gaffes and 'colour'. BBC Sydney correspondent Jon Donnison is

First leaders' debate

The world outside Australia did not intrude much on last evening's Leaders' Debate at the National Press Club. And for Richard Green, who posted his version of our 'In 100 Words' feature (what's the most important international policy issue of the campaign, in 100 words?) on Club Troppo last Friday

Medcalf-Hutcheon on Carr-Bishop

The ABC's Jane Hutcheon, a former foreign correspondent and now host of ABC News 24's One Plus One, asked some probing questions of Foreign Minister Bob Carr and his shadow Julie Bishop during Wednesday night's foreign policy debate. Here she is with the Lowy Institute's Rory Medcalf, who was also a

In 100 words: The most important issue of this campaign

Hugh Jorgensen is a Research Associate in the Lowy Institute's G20 Studies Centre. See every short post from our experts on the most important international policy issue of this campaign.  Australia's G20 presidency commences 1 December, meaning the election winner has a unique opportunity to

The Pacific in the foreign policy debate

It was great to see Australia's relations with Pacific Islands feature in last night's foreign policy debate and particularly pleasing to see this issue raised outside of the inevitable focus on the PNG asylum seeker deal. Overall, I thought Ms Bishop demonstrated greater commitment to enhancing