Author Archives: John Ford and Roger Scott
Queensland elections are always different from other states in that regional issues often take pride of place, and personalities often seem more important than policy differences between the parties.
Two by-elections and the state-wide local government elections went ahead last month with outcomes that returned most major party candidates but encouraged only the Greens and One Nation. The process was abysmally managed, with chaos and uncertainty on the day … Continue reading
There is so much else happening, Queenslanders and the media can be excused for being uninterested in two by-elections which are scheduled to be held alongside state-wide local government elections on March 28. But the future of both major party … Continue reading
There seems to have been a long period of quiescence in higher education, with the interests of the top end of the university sector (identified as the G8) coinciding with the desire of successive governments to shift costs away from … Continue reading
The podcast ‘Trust Me, I’m An Expert’ (10 September) is one of The Conversation’s rare forays into Queensland politics. It is a podcast from a much-valued series of gatherings held regularly at the Avid Reader bookshop in Brisbane’s West End.
Queensland has delivered a killer punch to the Australian body politic, not for the first time.
David Solomon and others have correctly identified the coming election as a simple moral choice about the role of government. Queensland voters face the same challenge, but the perspective varies as widely as the character of the state. My wife … Continue reading
Compared to Britain, Australia has been highly successful in its venture into international education over the past decade but a number of writers have raised concerns over the continuing viability of depending on this source of funding into the future.
The festive campaigning season is upon us and the federal Minister for Education wishes to bring gifts to those small tertiary institutions located in sensitive rural constituencies. Unfortunately for those who live in the greater (ie research-intensive) metropolitan institutions the … Continue reading
Events in Canberra over the past weeks call into question the quality of governance which Australians can reasonably expect from our politicians. By contrast the Queensland political system and its parliamentary processes can be seen to offer the Westminster model … Continue reading
Conservatives in Australia are up for a fight. They are determined to recapture their heartland, reclaim the political right from the progressive interlopers: they are marking out their territory and it is as much about identity as ideology.
There are two explanations for the withering of Australian Political Science: the increasing shift in domestic student preferences away from studying local issues and towards International Studies, and the impact of universities maximising the economic benefits to be derived from … Continue reading
The World Congress of the International Political Science Association (IPSA) was held jointly with the annual conference of the Australian Political Studies Association (AuPSA) in Brisbane in July 2018. The papers on Australia provided a snapshot of the breadth of … Continue reading
Fundamental questions are starting to be asked by governments everywhere about the value-for-money of tertiary education in general and about various components of the humanities and social sciences in particular. A world congress of political scientists meeting in Brisbane confronted … Continue reading
Many Brisbanites even mildly interested in national politics woke 0n Sunday morning with a sense of satisfaction that the PM had not been rewarded for his guttersnipe tactics. As Greg Jericho pointed out on Sunday, “he may not be as … Continue reading
The ANU has touched off a debate which has ramifications across the whole university system, or at least that section of it with prestige high enough to attract philanthropists with deep pockets.
Until this week, JANE PRENTICE was not on the roll of women prominent in Queensland politics, a short list which includes two ALP Premiers but also a number of women of alternative political persuasions, starting with Lady Flo and including … Continue reading
In March 2017, under a headline ‘Digital disruption lowers costs of pricy masters degrees’ the Australian Financial Review reported: A round of price-cutting has broken out in the market for high-priced masters degrees with four Australian universities offering students a … Continue reading
‘We’ve turned our unis into aimless, money-grubbing exploiters of students‘ [Ross Gittins, Canberra Times, 17 September 2017] Part 1 of my response to Gittins’ article dealt with the human side of the current university scene and noted pressures to conformity … Continue reading
‘Ross Gittins says We’ve turned our unis into aimless, money-grubbing exploiters of students (Canberra Times, 17 September 2017] What is there to say about Gittins’ comments, I was asked by John Menadue. How valid are his general contentions and how valid are … Continue reading
This is part 2 of my response to an invitation to share my memories linked to the release of Cabinet papers from 1987. Here I will focus on the tertiary education reforms instituted by federal Education Minister John Dawkins.
This is the season for personal nostalgia. In my case, personal perspectives inevitably shade into the political. On 1 January Queensland Cabinet papers from 1987 were released; and as a further reminder of that era, on 4 January a state … Continue reading
The last rites were a long time coming but can now be pronounced with confidence. On Monday night, the TJ Ryan Foundation held a post-election function advertised as ‘Who Won and Why’. Even then, over a fortnight after polling day, … Continue reading
The Scotts live in an affluent electorate where the longer-established residents have consistently manifested Liberal tendencies, occasionally tinged with green because of the presence of a university. A recent redistribution has expanded its boundaries, adding middle-class voters less enamoured of … Continue reading
If Week 2 of the Queensland election campaign was dominated by parochialism and regional development, Week 3 was about statewide preference deals and the price to be paid by the LNP as it seeks to bolster its sagging fortunes by … Continue reading
The Queensland election could be occurring on another planet, as far as the locals are concerned. Pauline Hanson’s One Nation may exercise a morbid fascination but the bigger current issue is the link between the infrastructure proposed for the Adani … Continue reading
Personalities are increasingly significant in political contests, particularly as voters in all countries are abandoning the dominant parties. Politics in most Australian states are firmly controlled by capital city interests. Queensland has been slightly different, in this as in so … Continue reading
Pauline Hanson has been a magnet for the media and for academic analysts since she burst on the scene in 1996 as the federal member for Oxley and her party won eleven seats and potentially the balance of power at … Continue reading