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Articles by Charles Richardson

The top 10 elections of 2014

It was a big year in elections internationally, with six of the G20 members holding electoral contests during 2014. Herewith, the most exciting for the year.

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Nats down, Greens up — Victoria’s minors ride the pendulum

The Greens got almost twice the number of votes as the Nationals in the Victorian election — and yet they have at best three seats to the Nats’ seven.

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Could the Vic Liberals still swing it?

The betting markets seem convinced that Denis Napthine will wake up on Sunday as opposition leader, but do the numbers really stack up?

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Political ads don’t work — so why do our pollies still fork out for them?

There is a lot of research that shows doorknocking to be vastly more effective for political engagement than TV ads. So why do political campaigns still spend big on ineffective advertising?

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Labor and Greens should get together and feel all right

There are plenty of examples overseas of a Green party aligning itself with a Left-leaning party in order to focus on the real enemy: conservatives.

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A quarter-century after the Wall fell, Europe hunkers down along old battle lines

In the 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall marked the end of the Soviet empire in Eastern Europe, some countries have sunk back into old tyrannies.

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Catalonia’s vote for independence reduced to ‘glorified opinion poll’

With Catalonia set for an independence “consultation” on Sunday, it’s worth examining the legal war that has turned the campaign for independence into an anemic symbolic gesture.

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The philosophy of indecision — why Napthine still has a chance

Despite damning polls, undecided voters may still swing the Victorian state election in Napthine’s favour.

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Victorian Liberals face identity crisis as the working class turns blue

As ideology replaces class, the Liberal Party needs to figure out exactly just what it believes in.

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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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