Australia’s Labor government struck a deal with the opposition coalition to amend political party funding laws, agreeing to a new threshold for disclosure of donations to move long-stalled legislation through parliament.
Former Australian Prime Minister John Howard , who once described himself as a “cricket tragic,” today lost his bid to serve as president of the sport’s governing body from 2012 due to lack of support from its board.
Keith Darley, a 34-year-old electrician, hears from the government that Australia is the envy of the developed world. Yet the father of two, who employed 22 people a year ago, now works alone and says he’ll be voting against Prime Minister Julia Gillard in the Sept. 14 election.
Viewed from afar, even the bad news in Australia looks pretty good. Unemployment reached a three- year high last month and is now all of 5.6 percent. Leaders such as U.S. President Barack Obama and French President Francois Hollande would kill for such a number. Australia has avoided a recession for 21 years, boasts a budget remarkably close to surplus and continues to enjoy low inflation. On any economic report card, the country deserves a string of A’s.
Reappointing or extending Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens’s term may pose the easiest political option for the government, which is trailing in opinion polls six months ahead of the federal election.