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Don't scoff at khaki elections (or those reds under the bed)

John Warhurst
By John Warhurst
Updated March 6 2022 - 10:15pm, first published March 2 2022 - 6:25pm
Richard Marles is hardly a 'Manchurian candidate'. Picture: Sitthixay Ditthavong

It is something of a truism that domestic policies are more important than foreign or defence policies when it comes to influencing Australian election campaigns. But national security campaigns, known as either "khaki elections" or "reds under the bed", driven by the government of the day, have such a long history in Australian federal elections that they disprove the conventional wisdom.


John Warhurst

John Warhurst

Canberra Times columnist

John Warhurst is an emeritus professor of political science at the Australian National University and a regular columnist for The Canberra Times.