The Crisis in Samoa

Last month’s election in the small Pacific Island nation and the constitutional crisis that continues into this week has me asking: Was Samoa ever a democracy? By any intuitive account, yes. It has free elections for a parliament from which ministers are appointed and a head of state is elected, and the Samoan constitution grants several civil liberties, namely freedom of expression.

For some people, namely political scientists, these intuitive accounts are not enough. This post will take a more analytical approach, comparing a number of democracy indices, the background to the election campaign, analysis of the results, the myth of ‘dominant-party’ democracy, and remarking on the aftermath.

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Reflections on the campaign so far: Liberals and homophobia

The Liberal Party National Headquarters (RG Menzies House) with a pride flag superimposed over it. The faces of Alistair Coe and Zed Seselja floating in the background.

The Liberal-National coalition is the only major Australian party that seems to openly invite homophobes into their ranks. They do not nearly enough to openly condemn homophobia among their members and supporters and even have homophobes in public office.

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Why we can’t take Mina Zaki at her word on her dual citizenship

Mina Zaki, Liberal candidate for the federal seat of Canberra, may or may not be an Afghani dual citizen. We don’t know for sure because Zaki left a key piece of documentation off of her disclosure with the AEC. Here’s why she should, despite her objections, tell us more.

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Without realising, Turnbull made the best move of the election

No one realised at the time but Malcolm Turnbull forcing his detractors to sign the infamous letter against his leadership last August has proven to be one of the best tools of the election for those fighting from all directions but the right.


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Death and Pestilence: Three Days In The Life Of Malcolm Turnbull

To suggest that Malcolm Turnbull’s week has started badly would be an understatement. After arrogantly suggesting that the Super Saturday by-elections would be “close”, now he has to deal with a corruption scandal many months in the making and yet another thorn in the side of his Government’s offshore processing policy. And it’s only Tuesday.

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