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Articles by Charles Richardson

Victoria’s Nationals the mouse that roared

The Nationals’ position in Victoria is very different to that in other states, as the party polls at only 3% or 4%. Will the party keep its kingmaker status this state election?

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Movin’ to the country: Napthine’s rural strategy

Most pundits and pollies discount rural seats, but country Victoria could be the crucial difference Denis Napthine’s Coalition government needs to retain power.

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Why the Greens are eating the ALP’s lunch: a tale of two trivia nights

Labor is relying on direct mail-outs and TV spots, but the Greens’ grassroots approach could give the minor party a swag of inner-Melbourne seats.

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Why Fairfax vastly overestimates micro-parties’ chances in Victoria

Pundits are hyping the chances of micro-parties gaining seats in Victoria’s upper house at November’s election. Don’t listen to them.

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Memo to Daniel Andrews: voters care about transport after all

Ahead of the Victorian state election, Labor is spruiking some worthwhile policies on public transport. But does anyone believe Andrews will deliver?

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Don’t write off the Napthine government just yet

Yes, things are looking dire for Denis Napthine’s Coalition government in Victoria. But there are a few things that could give it hope.

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Scots stay put, but there are others in the queue

Despite a resounding win for the unionists in Scotland, other regions around the world seeking independence, like Catalonia and Kurdistan, remain hopeful.

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Le voila: Sarkozy’s legal troubles could be Hollande’s lucky break

Nicolas Sarkozy has denied any wrongdoing and says his arrest was politically motivated. But no matter the outcome of the charges, there is one clear winner: Francois Hollande.

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Why EU election results not as dire — or exciting — as you think

Relax, there is not a continent-wide shift towards fascism in the European Union. The recent EU elections are more about countrywide dissatisfaction than a terrifying move to the far Right.

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Look at the map, Ukraine’s separatism may have a life of its own

Russian President Vladimir Putin has lost control of the battle for hearts and minds in Ukraine. The situation in the divided nation is now even more complicated.

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Algeria, Egypt, Syria … the end of the Arab Spring?

Hope can only get you so far, as participants in the Arab Spring are beginning to realise.

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Reading the first votes from Indonesia: Jokowi still the favourite

Indonesia’s elections are notoriously difficult to read, but Joko Widodo seems the man to beat for president. A gathering of experts in Melbourne last night read the tea leaves.

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A win for the far-right in France’s municipalities race

France’s ruling centre-left party got a drubbing at this weekend’s municipal elections. That leaves a dilemma for France’s centre-right and left parties - how can they contain a resurgent National Front?

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WA Senate vote: minor parties eye preference deals — again

The minor parties will again play a key roll in the recall election in Western Australia. The wheeling and dealing could have a big impact on who ends up in the Senate come July.

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The battle for the Crimea: Ukraine v Russia in bloody tug-of-war

Ukraine is split, and the Russians are lurking. The history and political context of the Crimea is the source of much of the current conflict. Crikey explains the background.

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Matteo Renzi, Italy’s next leader, a young man in a hurry

Italy’s new prime minister, until two months ago the 38-year-old mayor of Florence, is ambitious and models himself on Tony Blair. But he’ll have huge challenges ahead of him as he tackles Italy’s economic and electoral woes, and no parliamentary majority to aid his rule.

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Constitutional crisis in Victoria? Shaw, Napthine and possible scenarios

The Victorian government is hanging by a thread as independent Geoff Shaw threatens to block supply. So how might this play out? And can Denis Napthine survive until the election?

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A Liberal by any other name: party titles and ballot trickery

Is it possible to prevent future election catastrophes like last year’s Senate vote? The Abbott government is working hard to make it so.

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Indigenous recognition more complicated constitutional change than you think

Tony Abbott is right to wait for the right time to put constitutional recognition of Aboriginal Australians to the people. It’s a more complicated process than most of the media is telling you.

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British freedoms v European controls — or is it vice versa?

The “free movement of people” is the latest sticking point between Britain and the EU — but who is the more restrictive?

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Three years on, has the Arab revolution really sprung?

Three years ago, Tunisia sparked a challenge to authoritarian government that reverberates still. But has the revolution it sparked across the Middle East delivered the democracy so many wanted?

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Compare and contrast: protests in Ukraine and Thailand

A study in revolutionary comparison: protests in Kiev and Bangkok share some remarkable similarities. But the cause of the uprisings across Thailand and in the Ukraine differ.

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Germany still doesn’t have a government — does that matter?

Charles Richardson highlights different expectations of government between European nations and Australia.

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Deutschland decided: (almost) everyone wins, Merkel for grand coalition

Angela Merkel doesn’t have a majority, but she will form government, most likely in coalition with the Social Democrats. The Social Democrats had offered an alternative to government — now they will govern.

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Deutschland Decides in austerity test for Angela Merkel

Germans are heading to the polls this weekend in what could be a very close contest. It’s about Merkel, austerity, and Europe.

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