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The TJ Ryan Foundation is a progressive think tank focusing on Queensland public policy. The aims of the Foundation are to stimulate debate on issues in Queensland public administration and to review the policy directions of current and previous State governments on economic, social and cultural issues. This website focuses on evidence-based policy, providing access to our own freely available research and links to a range of online resources.


Roger Scott writes about the implications of Brexit for the two-party Westminster model: 'The Brexit referendum is the last nail but the construction of the coffin was already well underway with the emergence of political identities unrelated to the Conservate/Labour model.' ... 'The Australian federal constitution was never intended to establish a rigid two-party system.'

In the wake of Brexit shock, Ann Scott questions the claim that only the LNP can offer stabililty, examining the continuing turmoil in the US Republican Party caused by Donald Trump, and the UK Conservative Party and the appeal of Nigel Farage. Both parties were fractured from within. What about the recent history of the LNP?

Peter Bridgman writes: 'Brexit started out complex, but the injection of race, immigration and British nativism and false notions of independence made it worse. Both campaigns were built on lies and ambition: “Leave” on myths, emotion and hyperbole; “Remain” on weak pleas to reason and shouty politics. ... The regrets tell us a lot about the folly that people are somehow spontaneously wise and thoughtful. ... Brexit shows us that complex, emotional-laden questions are not suitable policy questions for plebiscites.'

TJRyan Foundation Executive Director, Roger Scott, writes: 'So far, this website has mainly provided commentaries focussed on the major parties engaged in the federal election. To underline its commitment to supporting other progressive political movements, we reproduce here the content of an email sent out yesterday, 29 June, by GetUp. This deals with the minor parties and the policies and personalities which are associated with them. Their role in the incoming Senate will be a significant component in future policy analysis.'

Lenore Taylor identifies 'zombie' policies from the 2014 budget we deserve to hear more detail about: child care, parental leave, superannuation, hospitals, climate change, uncapping university fees, Manus Island, and the big business tax cuts. Are they on or off the table?

The ABC's Dan Conifer writes that 'After Australia's longest election campaign in half a century, we're down to the final days. What are the key policies the major parties have pledged over the past seven weeks?'

The results of a survey of economists has given the 'thumbs down' to the LNP's proposed cuts to company tax. The 'trickle-down' argument hasn't convinced them.

"You do not imagine, I hope, that we pigs are doing this in a spirit of selfishness and privilege? Many of us actually dislike milk and apples. I dislike them myself. Our sole object in taking these things is to preserve our health. ... The whole management and organization of this farm depend on us. ... It is for YOUR sake that we drink that milk and eat those apples." (Squealer, in George Orwell, Animal Farm, 1945).

What do Margaret Thatcher, Al Gore, the Pope, Barack Obama, David Attenborough, and John Hewson have in common?  All have urged strong action on climate change.

Support for stronger action on climate change is at its highest level since 2008, with uncommitted voters showing the strongest support, according to Galaxy polling commissioned by the Climate Institute.

Eva Cox writes: 'I have been compiling a social-policy-on-offer tally with three categories. Firstly, fear-mongering, scapegoating and demonising: 15 negative items. Secondly, missing possible items of needed social policy changes: 38 items. And thirdly, included actual commitments in the social area which were evaluated on whether these contributed to or reduced social trust and well being.'

Hiding behind your opponents' colours? Ryan is a seat to watch. Assumed to be a safe LNP electorate, a combination of Labor and Greens support made it briefly an ALP seat in the past. It is highly likely that there will be a significant Greens vote there, or why else has the LNP coloured its candidate's flier green?

The ABC's Paul Donoughue and Tim Leslie have compiled a pictorial essay exploring voter sentiment among residents of the Sunshine Coast electorate of Fairfax, where anti-Clive Palmer feelings run high.

Sir Humphrey explains the EU to Jim Hacker.

TJ Ryan Foundation Research Reports

John McCollow provides an overview of the recent review that has resulted in some significant changes to the Queensland system, but suggests it is unlikely that these changes will put an end to the long-running debate about senior secondary assessment in Queensland.

Lyndon Megarrity examines the contribution to public policy of one Australian who 'embodied the sense of national urgency surrounding Northern Australia in the 1960s more than anyone else': the late Dr Rex Patterson. 

Roger Scott and Howard Guille provide an assessment of the first year in office of the Palaszczuk Government.

Howard Guille examines the relationship between unions, the ALP and government, a relationship not well understood 'and even deliberately misunderstood'.

Geoff Edwards discusses infrastructure planning and the poor economic value added by many 'hard' infrastructure projects in contrast to the value created by 'soft' forms of infrastructure such as scientific research, information management, and land repair.

Clive Moore remembers the 'invasion' debate raging 20 years ago, and provides a historical perspective on the current controversy.

An edited collection of TJRyan Foundation research papers and commentaries covering the Newman Government's years in office, and including 2015 post-election analyses. 

All TJRyan Research Reports can be found through this link.


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