The latest from Pat Campbell

5:48 PM   A selection of published work from The Canberra Times artist.

Latest commentary and opinion

Big Idea

Email habits can enhance or inhibit productivity.

Catherine Armitage 9:13 AM   Email is the new snail mail, if the predictions of its demise are any guide.

Shorten shortening, but does Labor deserve it?

Jack Waterford

Jack Waterford 11:56 PM   This might have been the week where Abbott made a Gillard of himself. This involves achieving that critical mass of active antipathy in the electorate where a majority of voters would vote for anyone who wasn't him.

The Shorten challenge

Message: People will elect Abbott again unless Shorten makes himself a credible and attractive option.

Daniel Flitton 12:15 AM   The government's predicament has put Bill Shorten in an extraordinary position. How tempting it must be for him to simply keep his head down.

Vulnerable: Abbott still standing, just

Peter Hartcher dinkus

Peter Hartcher 9:21 PM   The besieged leader of Australia's least popular government in 40 years has one unique advantage.

Comments 91

Letters to the Editor

Medicare changes are disincentives to becoming a GP

Canberra Times Letters thumbnail

9:19 PM   It is fantastic that the Abbott government has decided to consult doctors on the viability of Medicare in the future, however more needs to be done.

Constant change risks breeding timid leaders


The Canberra Times 8:09 PM   On Saturday Queenslanders will head to the polls, with many eyes watching the outcome closely as a barometer of the popularity of the conservative parties at the federal level.

Could this be a turning point for Melbourne?

For every architectural achievement, there were many pro forma failures of bland concrete towers.

Shane Green 12:15 AM   After four years of Coalition rule, the Andrews Labor cabinet has the opportunity to recast itself as a champion of the city and embrace developments that enhance rather than trash Melbourne's liveability.

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Hate speech should be shouted down

Julia Baird dinkus

Julia Baird 9:00 PM   A consistent trend is the spike in attacks on Jewish communal buildings – and people - when conflict breaks out in the Middle East, says Julia Baird.

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A perfect case study in the need for party reform

Sean Nicholls dinkus

Sean Nicholls 9:00 PM   When political allies fall out the outcome is rarely good for the party itself. Those of us on the outside, however, can be afforded a glimpse into how political parties sometimes work.

The Asian Cup has been a triumph

12:15 AM   The success of this tournament should spur hopes that Australia will eventually host a World Cup.

Penalty rates for the political workplace

A columnist writes: Whether you're scrubbing boilers or chipping barnacles from the hull of a perilously-listing national vessel, a risk is a risk.

Annabel Crabb 2:16 PM   Dear Productivity Commission: Let me raise some industrial questions prompted by the events of the past week.

Running the country like a private company isn't working

Richard Denniss

Richard Denniss 11:45 PM   Running a country is nothing like running a business. But if the “Open for Business” Abbott Government, who so often frames its policies in corporate language, was to be judged by corporate standards, they’d be facing a shareholder revolt.

Credlin in the gun, and on the run

John Birmingham.

John Birmingham 9:00 PM   They were coming for her. Agent Double O Credlin ran through the darkened corridors of Parliament House, the footsteps of her pursuers echoing madly around her until they seemed in the end to come from everywhere. She cursed as the barking of the attack dogs intensified.

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One of the tallest trees in our forest has fallen

Tom Uren: a man who grew past hate.

Martin Flanagan 12:15 AM   In 1985, in a lounge at Singapore airport, I overheard Weary Dunlop – then in his late 70s – reciting Tennyson's Ulysses to himself. The poem is about an old adventurer contemplating one last grand adventure. "There lies the port/the vessel puffs her sails." The companions of his past have gathered to sail with him. "Souls that have toil'd and wrought, and thought with me—."

Queensland's Labor party straps on crampons for final push

Queensland Premiere Campbell Newman .

Brian Costar 11:45 PM   The Liberal National Party forgot it was governing in the 21st century, and the results have been disastrous.

'LNP dangerous for democracy'

Former LNP MP Chris Davis.

Chris Davis   LNP defector tells why a vote for the LNP is a bad idea.

Comments 54

Why you're wrong about the death penalty

Bali 9

Sam de Brito   Whatever your moral take is on the subject, you can be sure there is an ancient, noble and well-reasoned case to prove your bitterly held opinion is immoral.

Comments 40

Abbott's choice: change or face the axe

Mark Kenny

Mark Kenny   The PM must learn how to run a cabinet and respect due process if he wants to stay in the game.

Comments 264

Penny-pinching puts university quality at risk

Jacqueline Maley dinkus

Jacqueline Maley 9:00 PM   Is Christopher Pyne a good education minister? An avalanche of criticism has fallen on the heads of his colleagues, most notably the Prime Minister, but the sylph-like Pyne has largely dodged it.

The PM's woes started earlier than you think

Waleed Aly dinkus. Dinkus

Waleed Aly   As a fierce opposition leader, Tony Abbott offered a template for gut-driven rage. That’s when all his problems really began.

Comments 379

Our obligations still apply despite High Court win


Jane McAdam   The High Court decision on the detention of Tamil asylum seekers at sea turned on a technical reading of statutory provisions, not an assessment of Australia's international refugee and human rights obligations.

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How Ronald Ryan's hanging changed me forever

Ronald Ryan being led into court.

Brian Morley   We censure terrorism, yet we remain disturbingly reticent over the death penalty.

Comments 64

Abbott's beknighted idiocy highlights flaws in our system

Crispin Hull

Crispin Hull 11:45 PM   Sometimes it takes an act of unadulterated idiocy to expose the weakness in a system. Thanks to Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Australians are looking again at our constitutional arrangements and the remnant ties to the British Crown.

In the Herald: January 30, 1842

A horse and cart delivering warm bread from the former Northern Bakeries (later Tip Top) site at Weston Street, Brunswick East.

Brian Yatman   How does one tighten the belt while keeping up appearances?

Advantages of mercy lacking in Indonesia's war on drugs

'No clemency' for Bali Nine, says Joko Widodo.

Joel Hodge   For the most part we are repulsed by punishment for revenge, or if it cuts off a criminal's chance of reform or rehabilitation.

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Why I won't be lighting a candle

Garry Linnell dinkus

Garry Linnell   If you want to stage a protest against capital punishment, those opposed to state-sanctioned killing should find a new set of poster boys for the cause.

Man, who's NOT piling on Tony Abbott this week?

Andrew P Street dinkus

Andrew P Street   And Christopher Pyne teaches Australia to laugh again. It's your news of the day, reduced to a snarky rant.

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Ride share revolution requires transport rethink


The Canberra Times   There's a technological change on the horizon for Canberra's transport system.

When Terrorism Changes Everything

Flowers and messages left outside the  Lindt Cafe in Sydney.

Derek Rielly   Just last week, my two boys, ages seven and 10, were instructed in the art of surviving a terrorist attack on their school.

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Reversing a car driving habit of lifetime


Danny Katz 12:15 AM   I am remarkably unremarkable at all the car-driving basics: I know how to go forward, I know how to go backwards, I know how to brake suddenly when it's impossible to go forward or backward any further.

Help at hand as political disease brings electorate to its knees

Frank O'Shea

Frank O'Shea   The Australian Medical Association has warned that the country is in the grip of political disease.

Letters to the Editor

Democracy in action

Canberra Times Letters thumbnail

The gravest error in our error-prone Prime Minister’s latest lapse was his dismissal of social media. In this he declares himself a man who never left the 20th century.

Still Alice shows us the challenging truth of early dementia

Rebekah Ahmed dinkus

Rebekah Ahmed 9:00 PM   Knowing the reality of dementia will help us create the future.

Rosie Batty's message on domestic violence

Rosie Batty has touched a cultural nerve to which Australians have responded.

Cathy Humphreys   The Australian of the Year award provides the momentum to make domestic violence an issue for all Australians and in particular for those who are continuing to perpetrate violence and abuse.

Comments 1

School lunches: forget the fruit necklaces, let them eat crap

Surely you have time to spend 30 minutes making sushi faces for your little darling's lunch box?

Julie Power 12:15 AM   Will you be judged by what you put into your children's school lunch box? Well probably yes, and if it's not the teachers who do it, your own children may demand better... or worse.

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Don’t listen to Putin’s apologists

Russian President Vladimir Putin enjoys the sympathy of a small legion of apologists in the West.

Robert Horvath   It is time for the West to recognise that the Putin regime is paranoid, irrational and dangerous. It cannot be appeased.

Madonna King: Google reveals Newman's double standards on unions


Madonna King   Government appointed CFMEU boss to plum board position.

Comments 29

Road to ruin paved with more roads

Elizabeth Farrelly dinkus

Elizabeth Farrelly   Wherever you look it seems the boofheads are back in charge. And I don't just mean Abbott's bizarre elevation of militarists and monarchs.

The curse of mediocrity in our public schools

A widespread acceptance of mediocrity in public schools must end.

Julie Szego   Weeding out low expectations in state schools will mean standing up to private school propaganda.

Comments 63

Let's not jump to conclusions about Matthew Gardiner's disappearance

Clive Williams

Clive Williams   Matthew Gardiner's disappearance seems to be largely based on media speculation.


Murdoch the last friend PM needs right now


The Canberra Times   With friends like Rupert Murdoch, Prime Minister Tony Abbott doesn't need enemies. 

In the Herald: January 29, 1873

In the Herald dinkus

Brian Yatman   Anniversary of the Colony; "A change more marvellous"; Miscellaneous notices - on this day in 1873.

Australia should use its defence investment where it can make the best return

James Brown dinkus

James Brown   There is a familiar pattern emerging from the sporadic surprise visits of Australian leaders to war-torn Afghanistan.

Abbott has much bigger problems than a rogue knight

Paul Sheehan dinkus

Paul Sheehan   Tony Abbott is unlikely to learn from this "knightmare", other than to become even more cautious and robotic. You cannot learn what you refuse to know.

Murdoch tweets Abbott with new instructions

"Oh no, my young Jedi. You will find that it is you who are mistaken - about a great many things."

Andrew P Street   And we're thinking of sticking around in Afghanistan, since it's going so well. Your news of the day, reduced to a snarky rant

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Canberra Times letters to the editor

Canberra Times editorial

Jack Waterford

The latest comment pieces from Canberra Times Editor-at-Large.

David Pope

The latest cartoons from The Canberra Times editorial artist.

Pat Campbell

The latest cartoons from The Canberra Times artist.