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Part-time pollies: which is Australia’s laziest Parliament?

Australia’s parliaments will sit on average for fewer than 50 days this year. We name the laziest, and explain why our part-time parliaments are bad for democracy.

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Richard Farmer’s chunky bits

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten is showing some political nous in largely avoiding the debate about the role of global warming in the New South Wales bushfires.

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iSentia index: victorious Shorten knocks off Abbott, for now

Bill Shorten was the most-mentioned person in the media this week as Tony Abbott went to ground. But not everything went smoothly for Shorten …

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Our MPs are embracing Asia — but one country is missing out

We’re all supposed to be Asia-literate now. Freelance writer David Donaldson investigates where federal MPs are going on taxpayer-funded overseas study tours — and finds one key Asian country is off the radar.

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Crikey list: political nicknames

Crikey compiles a list of Australia’s political nicknames.

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Middle-aged men in lycra have questions about Lance

Crikey readers weigh in on the issues of the day.

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NY Times Business | AUSTRALIA|

The competent face of politics

A politician’s looks have far more power than previously thought, according to new US research. It’s not how attractive a political candidate is, it’s about how competent they look, explains Leonard Mlodinow.

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The everyday politics of perpetual electioneering

Must Australian politicians work “tirelessly” for their communities or face electoral oblivion? James Panichi of InsideStory looks for the middle ground.

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Why was Rattner granted immunity from prosecution?

Crikey readers have their say.

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Drag0nista: political private lives CAN be a public issue

Journalists traditionally have been less enthusiastic about exposing low standards in politicians’ personal behaviour, particularly those occasions involving the infidelity of politicians, writes Drag0nista.

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Wolff: politicians are babies, stepping over generations

Politicians are infantile. They want what they want when they want it. They lack all seriousness and meaning. It’s become a profession for the callow, jejune, and wet behind the ears, says Michael Wolff.

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The Sydney Morning Herald | FEDERAL|

So You Think You Can Be PM

Question time may be full of fireworks, but most politicians these days are a fizzle. We need to jazz up the political experience and attract politicians who are willing to try crazy, creative ideas, writes Oliver Marc Hartwich.

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The Australian | FEDERAL|

When will Beazley realise he isn’t a pollie now?

Why do we keep having Australian ambassadors as ex-politicians? asks Jim Molan. Kim Beazley in Washington shouldn’t be talking so candidly about the war in Afghanistan since it’s such a tense issue between the US and Australia.

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Cricinfo | SPORT|

Would the world be better if cricketers ran it?

Welcome to fantasy land for cricket nuts, where Shane Warne is finance minister of Australia — until he gambles the entire GDP away — and Sanath Jayasuriya is president of Sri Lanka.

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ABC | FEDERAL|

Berg: Politicians make crap managers

The government is the biggest business in Australia, but we’ve got politicians, not business people running it. Managing people and money is not the same as a desperate thirst to be PM, writes Chris Berg.

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Slate | JOURNALISM|

Why do journos become pollies?

From Malcolm Turnbull to Tony Abbott, Australia’s got a rich history of journalists flipping over to the dark side of politics. We’re not alone. Jack Shafer explores the US phenomena and the journo urge to run for office.

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Have we outsourced our politics?

The days of mass-membership political parties are over. Instead, it seems like we’ve decided to outsource politics to a new class: professional politicians.

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Larvartus Prodeo | FEDERAL|

What’s your favourite political childhood memory?

Whether it be your childhood crush on Bob Hawke, a poem penned in primary school for Gough Whitlam or a secret fondness for John Howard, join in the discussion at Larvartus Prodeo about your earliest political memory.

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Crikey Blogs | ASIA-PACIFIC|

Bartlett: The developing politics of tweeting

When it comes to politics and social media, the greater potential for improving genuine public engagement lies in developing countries and democracies using the technology, not just the Anglosphere, argues Andrew Bartlett.

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The Daily Telegraph | FEDERAL|

Pay pollies peanuts and you’ll get (even more) monkeys

Why the anger when Aussie politicians’ salaries — measly compared to the private sector — are given a slight raise? Pollies also have to deal with public and media scrutiny, so let’s pay them what they’re worth.

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The Punch | FEDERAL|

MPs Pimp Their Ride: Gas guzzling, go gas guzzling

Our MPs may love the climate change talk, but when it comes to cars there is very little green action, with the majority of MPs driving fuel guzzling, rev head six or eight cylinder cars. And they are HUGE Ford Territory fans…

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Herald Sun | FEDERAL|

Oakes: Money can’t buy power

The new salary for MP backbenchers? $131,000. The ridiculously low salary for our PM? $340,000. The knowledge that power is the only motivator for politicians? Priceless, writes Laurie Oakes.

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Disappearing politicians

Those holding civic office have had a distinct tendency to wander off into parts unknown. Does power drive a man (or woman) into the yonder? History writer Mike Stutchbery investigates.

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ABC | FEDERAL|

Pollies: please just answer the question

Politicians are experts at ignoring questions and spinning answers to their own agenda. It irritates journalists, and more importantly, frustrates voters, writes Leigh Sales.

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Political Fashion Semiotics 101: the implications of politicians’ clothes

This week, Russian president Dmitry Medvedev thrilled and horrified the blogosphere by wearing jeans and a designer blazer to a dinner with Barack Obama. Mel Campbell does some further political fashion analysis.

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