Ironically, in a week where little of substance happened politically, we’ve been treated to high quality pieces on bigger picture issues.
LaTingle talks education while Irvine and Mega give us our weekly dose of plain english economics. Probyn and Eltham explain the Roy Hill saga while Grog shows us the illusion that is the middle ground on IR. Carney, Kitney and Oakes consider the sustainability of Abbott’s negative campaign. And there’s a suite of links on parliament and the media that are best read together.
Finally, don’t let the 20th anniversary of Mabo pass on Sunday without reading the three excellent pieces offered here from Marcus Priest and Peter Lewis.
There was some colour and movement in the political media this week, but little of substance. The non-debate about a surplus continued. Our national leaders met with business and state/territory leaders to talk about the usual issues that plague a federalist entity (duplication and effectiveness of tiered regulation, allocation of finances, parochialism versus nationalism etc). Some writers broadened their commentary on the HSU saga to encompass the merits of past and present industrial relations systems. Oh, and there was the departure of Green stalwart Bob Brown.
Just a few gems glittered amongst the pebbles for me, and you will find them in the links below. There are two good pieces on the role that values play in the electorate’s choice of politician or party. George Megalogenis invites discussion on his blog about the culture wars being anathema to the Australian reforming tradition. John Black provides a fascinating perspective on the broader implications of the Katter party for the federal election outcome, while Peter Brent says Black is comparing apples with oranges. George Megalogenis deals smartly with criticisms of him by Henry Ergas. I’ve included “analysis” of Bob Brown’s departure, but in reality it is just to early to tell what it will mean for the Greens.