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The electoral pendulum performs no better than an alternative method, the cube law, in predicting the overall result of an election. In its common, alternative use as tool to predict individual seat changes, it is successful less than half of the time. Note: An earlier version of this report said that the electoral pendulum had
Last year, the Morrison Government spent $145.3 million on campaign advertising, a sum that exceeds the normal annual advertising spend of companies like Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Amazon, Pepsi and Qantas.
The 43rd Parliament of Australia, which was the first minority parliament since 1940, was a time of renewed interest in parliamentary reform to enhance our democratic accountability and processes. With the potential for the 2022 federal election to grow the crossbench or result in another hung parliament, what further reforms could be on the horizon?
The Australia Institute welcomes the opportunity to make a submission to the Justice and Community Safety Committee’s inquiry into the Electoral Amendment Bill 2021. The Australia Institute’s Democracy & Accountability Program was founded in 2021 to improve the quality of Australian governance and heighten public trust in politics and democracy. Although the program is new,
In the last parliamentary sitting weeks of 2021, the Morrison Government and Labor Opposition negotiated a deal to pass “political campaigner” legislation, although the legislation now refers to “significant third parties” instead. Charities, including the Australia Institute, have expressed serious concerns that the legislation is ill-considered, rushed and designed to quell legitimate charity advocacy ahead
This report examines the policies of the largest Australian superannuation funds, highlighting their investments in companies involved in nuclear weapons development, production and maintenance (nuclear weapons companies).
$3.9 billion has been spent by grants programs with ministerial discretion since 2013. $2.8 billion, or 71%, has been allocated to projects in Coalition seats. Funding has clearly favoured marginal seats at the expense of safe Labor seats and, in some cases, safe Coalition seats. In per capita terms, marginal Coalition seats have received $184
The Government’s proposed voter ID laws risk discouraging Australians from voting, in defiance of the country’s proud history of ensuring everyone can and does vote. There is no evidence that voter fraud is a problem or that voter ID would address it. The Government’s priority should be the 2.7 million Australians whose votes were not
The Australia Institute made a submission to the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee, regarding a bill that would ensure decisions for Australia to go to war go through parliament. It is clear that there is a growing tendency on the part of democracies that are aligned with Australia for their national Executives
The Commonwealth Government spends over $1 billion annually on consultancies. The advice and reports created by these consultancies should be made publicly available using a Senate order for the production of documents.
The Australia Institute made a submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Public Administration inquiry into the COAG Legislation Amendment Bill 2021. The Bill should not be passed. Instead of scrambling to maintain secrecy, the Australian Government should take this opportunity to reflect on National Cabinet: how it is structured, how it might
Freedom of expression is under threat in Australia. So far, parliament, the judiciary, the press and the public have failed to fully secure free speech.
Australia’s states and territories have taken the lead in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, supported by constitutional powers and popular mandates. With the states newly emboldened, further action on climate change, changes to federal-state financial arrangements, and reform of National Cabinet could all be on the agenda.
In April this year, Australians were warned by no less an expert than the former Minister for Defence, Christopher Pyne, that they may need to engage in a ‘kinetic’ war with China in the next five to ten years. This warning was followed up by a senior member of the national security bureaucracy advising Australians,
The ACT and the Northern Territory are proven democracies that should be free to decide voluntary assisted dying laws in their jurisdictions. Polling research shows that most Australians agree.
As Australia continues to experience the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and looks to economic recovery, the arts and entertainment sector should be a key target for economic support. The arts and entertainment sector employs an even mix of women and men, and employs many more people per million dollars of turnover than industries like
One of the most extensive studies of Australians’ knowledge of and attitudes to the Senate finds that the Senate is a unique, powerful legislative body, but Australians are confused about key details of its powers and operation. The Senate provides accountability, representation and diversity to a greater extent than the House of Representatives.
Rental properties are less likely to have solar PV installations than owner-occupied properties, resulting in higher electricity bills and greenhouse gas emissions. Government programs that coordinate and change the incentives faced by landlords, renters, property managers and solar installers can help address this imbalance.
The Australia Institute welcomes the opportunity to make a submission to the Select Committee on Foreign Interference through Social Media.
The regulatory framework surrounding political advertising on social media is almost non-existent, in contrast to the strict rules for election advertising on other media. Partly because social media ads can be “micro-targeted” to small audiences, it can be hard to identify what political parties and candidates claim in ads or who they have made that claim to. Existing “Internet ad libraries” on some platforms do not fully address this problem.
In Australia, trust in Parliament and government is low and generally declining, and dissatisfaction with government and democracy is rising – apart from a COVID-19 related boost in public trust in government over the last few months. Events over the past 12 months – including police raids on journalists and the secret prosecution of intelligence
Australia’s federal parliamentarians have never been so thinly spread. Whereas at Federation there were 51,000 Australians per House of Representatives MP, there are now 170,000 Australians per MP. That leaves MPs stretched and voters disengaged. It is bad enough that there are 170,000 Australians per MP, but it is even worse that rounding the NT’s
This background brief summarises Australia Institute research on the role of the sector and related polling. Key Details: The arts and entertainment sector contributes $14.7 billion per year in value added (GDP). Arts and entertainment employ 193,600 Australians. For every million dollars in turnover, arts and entertainment produce 9 jobs while the construction industry only produces around
The poker machine industry has been shut down in Tasmania since the 24th of March. The industry is set to re-open on Friday the 26th of June. Re-opening these venues will provide immediate employment to staff previously stood down. However, our research shows that, in broader terms, poker machines (“pokies”, “electronic gaming machines” or “EGMs”)
The Australia Institute’s International & Security Affairs Program surveyed nationally representative samples of people in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States, Italy and South Korea about the COVID-19 pandemic. The government and friends and family are the most trusted sources of advice about the COVID-19 pandemic, and the more trusted a government the higher
In the last week of March 2020, both the Tasmanian State Parliament and New Zealand’s Parliament voted to suspend sittings. New Zealand adjourned for about five weeks (till the 28th of April) and the Tasmanian parliament for about five months, until August. Before the Tasmanian Parliament adjourned, it granted extraordinary powers to the government through