Flagpost is a blog on current issues of interest to members of the Australian Parliament

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The impeachment process in the United States of America

On 12 July 2017 United States (US) congressman Brad Sherman, a Democrat from California, formally introduced articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump into the US House of Representatives. The measure was co-sponsored by Texas Democrat Al Green. The articles of impeachment accuse the President of obstruction of justice in relation to the investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), including ‘through threatening, and then terminating, [FBI Director] James Comey’. The impeachment measure is likely to meet with substantial opposition in the Republican-controlled House. Read more...

U.S. Presidential election results and the changing nature of political communication

Despite predictions of a down-to-the-wire election, the US presidential election on 6 November 2012 provided incumbent President Barack Obama (Dem) with a definitive win both in Electoral College votes and the National Popular Vote. When Associated Press called Florida, the last state to be finalised, for President Obama, it gave him the overwhelming lead of 332 Electoral College votes, well in advance of the 270 votes needed to win and of Governor Romney’s (Rep) 206 votes. A Democrat win was in contention in the lead-up to the election partly due to an electoral redistribution as a result of a national Census in 2010. This changed the Electoral College map, making Virginia, Iowa, Florida, ... Read more...

Disclosing the political dollars: US and Australia

On 1 February 2012, the Australian Electoral Commission released the 2010-11 annual financial disclosure returns from political parties, associated entities, donors and third parties who incur political expenditure. The combined receipts totalled almost $231 million. Not all of this came from donations. The annual returns from donors totalled around $25 million—but only donations above the threshold of $11 500 have to be declared.Clearly, modern party politics involves substantial sums of money. And as the recent Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters (JSCEM) report into the funding of political parties and election campaigns stated, transparency and accountability ‘must remain centra... Read more...

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