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Election Interpreter 2016

How the world sees Australia's election (part 4)

After eight weeks of campaigning, the Australian election is still not yet over. As the New York Times's Michelle Innis summarises: As of Monday, neither the Liberal National coalition, led by Mr. Turnbull, nor the Labor Party, led by Mr. Shorten, had won enough seats to form a government outright

Election 2016: The only chart that matters

And here it is, courtesy of the ABC: Australia's pundits may still treat the idea of hung parliaments and minority government as an aberration (I can't help noting Insiders host Barrie Cassidy's air of contempt on yesterday's program, when he said a circus tent would need to be erected on the

The Interpreter's election wrap

We started our election coverage eight weeks ago by considering what the international community would be thinking after Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced Australia was off to the ballot box. One word seemed to summarise the reaction: 'Again?' Yesterday's election was the country's third

US-China tensions set to test Australia's 45th parliament

In one important respect, at least, it seems very likely that Malcolm Turnbull's election gamble will fail. Turnbull not only wanted to win the 2 July election. He wanted to make it a victory that brought greater certainty and clarity to national politics by cleaning out the Senate. The painfully

How the world sees Australia's election (part 3)

Australia's federal election is this weekend and as the date has drawn closer, foreign media coverage has begun to ramp up. Coverage has spanned peculiarities of Australian elections (such as campaigners having to watch out for crocodiles in the seat of Durack in Western Australia), to how Brexit

Will the times suit Malcolm Turnbull?

The Brexit vote exposes two interlinked issues which determine Australia's place in the world, and which are both vulnerable to fluctuations in support: immigration and globalisation. Australians are ambiguous about both, yet Malcolm Turnbull knows each is central to Australia's prosperity in the

We need to talk about Manus before Australia votes

Almost three years after the 'stop the boats' election, there is a surprising lack of debate on irregular migration in Australia in this campaign. The bipartisan consensus on offshore processing appears to have removed the political incentive for any serious policy discussion. This week there were

Julie Bishop at the Lowy Institute

Yesterday the Lowy Institute hosted Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, whose speech focused largely on the Turnbull Government's economic diplomacy agenda. You can watch the full video below. The economic focus allowed Bishop to pivot into domestic debates from time to time, which is not surprising in

Plibersek's (and Labor's) journey to the centre

It is not so long ago that the idea of a left-wing Labor woman as the Foreign Minister of Australia would have caused deep consternation, if not panic, in the foreign policy establishment and in the halls of power of key allies. But if, against the odds, the Labor Party wins the 2 July Federal

How the world sees Australia's election (part 2)

A couple weeks have passed since my last update on how overseas media is covering the Australian election. No real big surprises so far, but bellow are some excellent reflections on how the election relates to Brexit, the US election, China's economic rise and analysis of some battleground seats.

Foreign policy fault lines

It’s trite but true to say that all politics is local. Foreign policy rarely gets a look in at election time in Australia. Moreover, the conventional view is that the divisions between the two major parties on foreign policy questions are narrow enough to make little difference at the ballot box

Leaders' debate: Why the world did not intrude

Admittedly, it is crashingly boring for policy analysts to complain that their pet issue gets too little attention from our political leaders. But last night's leaders' debate was notable for the fact that the outside world barely intruded into the discussion. Apart from a brief segue on border

Is Trump sparking an election debate about the alliance?

Fairfax's Daniel Flitton today identifies four important areas of foreign policy difference between Labor and the Coalition: the East Timor boundary dispute, nuclear abolition, freedom-of-navigation exercises in the South China Sea, and Israel-Palestine. I  wonder if we saw a fifth factor open

Greens call for foreign policy debate

The leader of the Australian Greens Senator Richard Di Natale argues it's time to review the Australian US alliance and believes climate change is the biggest threat to national security. As the second week of the Federal election campaign rolls on,  Di Natale sought to trigger debate on the merits

Why we won't hear much about trade in this campaign

In the United States, international trade is a hot-button political issue. Australia, on the other hand, is likely to get through the long election campaign with hardly a mention of tariffs and industry protection. Why the difference? Donald Trump’s policy positions may be a kaleidoscope of

How the world sees Australia's election (part 1)

Well, it seems the initial foreign media coverage of the Australian election has picked up on the country's general feeling: the campaign is going to be long, big on rhetoric and so far has contained nothing really new. First, The Wall Street Journal put the election announcement in the context of

Let's hope the next PM stays the distance

In the midst of this crowded political season, dominated naturally by the US presidential election and Brexit referendum in Britain, the international bandwidth left available for the Australian election will surely be taken up with one simple question: will this vote end the 'Here Today, Gone

In 100 words: The most important issue of this campaign

We kick off our election coverage with short contributions from Lowy Institute experts on what they regard as the most important international policy issue of this campaign. Lowy Institute Deputy Director Anthony Bubalo: Let me indulge a conceit and say that Australia’s policy in the Middle