OK, so the Australian election is not exactly capturing the world's imagination, but as Richard Green argued last week, 'Australia has done the most good in the world, and can continue to do so, simply by managing itself well, providing an example to learn from.'

Fareed Zakaria's latest column for the Washington Post, in which he highlights new research on social mobility around the world, reinforces the point:

For more than a decade, it has been documented that Northern European countries do better at moving poor people up the ladder than the United States does. Some have dismissed these findings, pointing out that the United States cannot be compared with places such as Denmark, an ethnically homogeneous country of 5.5 million people. But Miles Corak of the University of Ottawa points out in his contribution to the Journal of Economic Perspectives that Canada is a very useful point of comparison, being much like the United States. (The percentage of foreign-born Canadians is actually higher than the percentage of foreign-born Americans, for example.) And recent research finds that people in Canada and Australia have twice the economic mobility of Americans. (The British are about the same as Americans but much worse than Canadians and Australians.)