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Keane’s year in review: the gap between reason and democracy, and how we fell in

There’s a gap between rational policy and what we get in a democracy. And this year the gap grew so wide we all fell in.

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Poll Bludger: it ain’t over yet for Abbott

Previous governments have recovered from polls as bad as Abbott’s.

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Credlin is not the problem, Abbott and his ministers are

Responsibility for the government’s woes rests not with the PM’s chief of staff but with ministers, from the PM down, who have failed to explain themselves to voters.

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Rundle: Warren Mundine’s individual treaty idea a confused farrago

Mundine wants to dissolve collective Aboriginal identity altogether and have Aboriginal people claim their second citizenship as that of a specific nation. This is a terrible idea.

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Crikey Blogs | FEDERAL|

A fairer way to increase co-payments

The government’s “optional” GP co-payment will hurt those who need it most, writes Dr Ruth Kearon, former adviser to Nicola Roxon and a current board member of Family Planning Tasmania.

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Abbott shifts toxic co-payment proposal onto doctors

The government has tried to extract itself from its GP co-payment mess by dumping responsibility for it onto doctors.

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Surprise! Fact-checking Abbott’s pre-election promises

Tony Abbott famously promised there would be “no surprises” in his new government. Freelance journalist Hari Raj goes back to the Coalition’s pre-election policy document and finds a couple of, well, surprises.

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Tony Abbott’s big MH370 problem: is the Malaysian government lying?

The question that has been increasingly heard as the months pass is: who or what is the Malaysia government protecting?

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Myanmar’s reform process is two steps forward, one back

Opposition Leader Aung San Suu Kyi may be out of house arrest, but change is still moving slowly in Myanmar.

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Poll Bludger: Obama-Xi deal spoilt Abbott’s hoped-for G20 bounce

The Abbott government’s woeful polling numbers might not rebound in any significant way for quite some time.

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Abbott’s ambitious China free trade agreement a decade in the making

If the Abbott government manages to secure a free trade agreement with China, it will be quite the diplomatic victory, writes The Mandarin journalist David Donaldson.

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Coalition on track to double Labor’s debt and deficit

Remember the “fiscally responsible” Liberal Party? Turns out it has been on something of a borrowing spree, due to double Labor’s debt by the end of 2015, writes freelance journalist Alan Austin.

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Pyne’s curriculum review should have learnt from history

Christopher Pyne’s education review was rushed, partisan and now seemingly doomed. Adjunct professor Tony Taylor at the University of Technology Sydney says it didn’t have to be this way.

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The battle for Beijing could destabilise Canberra

Next August the government will choose a new ambassador to China. But with numerous forces competing for what could be the first political appointment, Abbott might not be the prime minister to send the newbie to Beijing.

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So much for ‘no more debt and deficit’

The Coalition, long thought of as conservative guardians of the economy, have quietly amassed a staggering amount of debt. Freelance journalist Alan Austin reports.

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The London banker from the scandal-plagued firm to head Treasury

John Fraser — reportedly Australia’s next Treasury secretary — is an experienced economist both in the public and private sectors. But he almost quit his scandal-plagued bank.

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Gillard’s marriage stance

Crikey readers have their say about the ABC, Gillard’s views on marriage and Abbott’s attempts at dog-whistling.

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Poll Bludger: Coalition hopes we’ll keep mentioning the war

Voters are responding favourably to tough talk on Iraq and Australia’s foreign policy agenda. But sooner or later those pesky domestic issues will come back …

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Australian action on climate change? Fuhgeddaboudit

Many countries displayed real leadership at the UN climate summit in New York this week. Guess which First World nation was not among them … John Connor, CEO of the Climate Institute, reports from New York.

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iSentia index: everyone’s talking terror

Jacqui Lambie is punching well above her weight in media mentions, and the nation’s media talks terrorism.

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Poll Bludger: war is good business for the Greens

As Labor falls in line with the Coalition on Iraq, the Greens pick up support among doves.

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‘We are burning our trust’: Abbott’s climate denials winning Australia no friends

Just as nothing will persuade the Michael Smiths of the world that Julia Gillard is innocent, we are well past the point where more evidence will persuade climate sceptics or those vested interests opposing climate action to change their tune.

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Crikey Clarifier: what exactly is a high terror alert?

On Friday Prime Minister Tony Abbott raised the terror threat level to “high”, suggesting a terrorist attack is “likely”. Should we all be at panic stations? Crikey intern Toli Papadopoulos explains.

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Poll Bludger: Abbott’s dismal poll performance the worst since Whitlam

There has not been much of a honeymoon period for the Abbott government, with approval for the government and for Abbott dismally low.

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Poll Bludger: why the Coalition can afford to throw SA under the submarine

Will abandoning its promise to build new submarines in South Australia hurt the Coalition’s chances in that state? Probably — but does it need SA to win at the next election anyway?

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