29 May 2019

During the 2015 federal election campaign, the Liberal Party under Justin Trudeau promised a new “nonpartisan, merit-based” appointments process for the Senate of Canada. This study investigates how the Senate’s functioning has evolved since 2015, with specific attention to the relationship between the government and...


29 Mar 2019

There are two broad types of appropriation mechanism: annual appropriations, which are the subject of the Appropriation Acts tabled on Budget night and special appropriations, which are found in other legislation. This guide explains further.


25 Jun 2018

In his first full national interview since taking his seat in the Senate, the low-key independent talks about Asia, the Uluru Statement and the unemployed — and why he still opposes the government’s company tax cuts.


30 May 2018

This first edition of the Australia Institute's Senate Projections series finds that, on current polling, future elections are likely to return a crossbench that is about as large and divided as the current one.


25 Jan 2018

This research paper outlines the recent history of Senate electoral reform in federal elections, including examining the reasons for the most recent changes to the Senate voting system.

Audio interview

14 Nov 2017

Senator Ryan was elected Senate President yesterday after quitting Cabinet.

Audio interview

8 Feb 2017

Cory Bernardi's decision to quit the Liberals to start a new conservative party has dominated the start of parliament.

'I fought within the Liberal Party tent to uphold the principles and visions and values that attracted me to the Liberal Party in the first...



13 May 2016

In a unanimous judgement, the High Court on Friday crushed Family First senator Bob Day’s High Court challenge to the recent Senate voting reforms.

The court regarded none of Day’s arguments as having any merit. It dismissed them as “untenable” or failing at their...



2 Aug 2015

Negotiations for a Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement have run aground on Washington’s attempt to restrict rather than free up medicines

Winston Churchill’s famous description of Russia as a “riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma” could equally well be applied to the Australian...


27 Nov 2014

Introduction: Senators and members receive an annual allowance by way of basic salary—$195,130 from 1 July 2014.1 This research paper explains the legislative basis, fixing and linking mechanisms for the allowance. Adjustments to the base salary since 1968 are provided in Table 1 and...

Audio interview

16 May 2014

Senate voting needs to be simpler and more transparent. Brian Costar talks to Peter Clarke about a plan to fix the system, and looks at the politics of the federal budget

The parliamentary inquiry into the 2013 election is under way, and its...


4 Feb 2004

Notwithstanding the differences, the Australian and American Senates are comparable in being among the very strongest upper houses in the world, and in demonstrating the value of bicameralism in democratic governance. US political scientist Stanley Bach analyses the major differences between the Australian and US...


9 Jul 2003

In a paper prepared for the PSP's Democratic Audit of Australia, Harry Evans, the Clerk of the Senate, comments on the Prime Minister's recent proposals to reform the Senate. He notes that the proposals aim at ensuring government legislation is passed and rejects claims that...



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