Chris Wallace

is a professor at the University of Canberra’s faculty of business, government and law, and the author of Political Lives: Australian prime ministers and their biographers.

By this author

Comment August 12, 2023

Self-interest rates

“It wasn’t so much the exuberance of the Garma Festival of Traditional Cultures in Arnhem Land that set the tone of federal politics this week, as the troubling economic data on the evening news.”

podcast August 11, 2023

‘What about me?’: Why support for the Voice is slipping

Columnist for The Saturday Paper Chris Wallace on how economic pain is hurting the Voice campaign and what Labor will do if the referendum is lost.

Comment July 29, 2023

Why we need a Home Affairs royal commission

“The very low bar of not losing the Fadden byelection the previous week, and the evident polling success of the aggressive, colonial-tinged ‘No’ team in the Voice campaign, has buoyed Peter Dutton’s Coalition.”

podcast April 28, 2023

Why can the government spend money on weapons but not welfare?

Columnist for The Saturday Paper Chris Wallace on the question that is turning up the heat on Anthony Albanese ahead of the budget.

Comment April 29, 2023

Maybe Peter Dutton’s just not that smart

“In any other context, the Albanese government could have expected to be wedged between national security and social security this week – with a debate on spending priorities and its willingness to do so much in one area and so little in another.”

Culture March 25, 2023

Paul Keating and that Rolling Stone cover

Thirty years ago Paul Keating was photographed for an iconic cover of the Australian edition of Rolling Stone magazine. Photojournalist Lorrie Graham and others present recall the shoot.

podcast January 27, 2023

Alice Springs: The crisis that shouldn’t have happened

Columnist for The Saturday Paper Chris Wallace on how giving communities a voice could force politicians to face complex challenges.

Comment January 28, 2023

Looking for Labor’s grand plan

“The federal government response to crime rates in Alice Springs dominated federal politics this week. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese made a better-late-than-never visit. His sombre expression contemplating the conditions there was a reminder of just …”

Comment January 21, 2023

Summertime and the leading is easy

“If there’s one thing Australians want in January, it’s not to be bothered. The Albanese government is doing its best to oblige.”

podcast January 20, 2023

How Australian billionaires got richer during the pandemic

Columnist for The Saturday Paper, Chris Wallace on how Covid-19 made the wealthy richer and why we can’t be complacent about the virus.

Comment January 14, 2023

Albanese’s lesson in dirty politics

“As surely as Rio Tinto blew up Juukan Gorge, Opposition Leader Peter Dutton has blown up the Indigenous Voice to Parliament. Dutton rose from the political dead this week, challenging the Albanese government to detail its Voice proposal so Australians …”

Comment January 07, 2023

How Albanese can extend his honeymoon

“There are so many issues in the ‘big and hard’ basket that Labor can’t afford to spend political capital on unforced fumbles like this week’s decision on inbound Chinese travellers.”

News December 03, 2022

ABC in the Coalition’s crosshairs

Is the ABC biased or merely a pawn in the culture wars? This week’s senate estimates highlights the broadcaster’s dilemma as senior journalists came under fire from the Coalition.

Comment November 12, 2022

The might on the hill

“The big uptick in one metric in Australia was obvious this week. Political productivity in Canberra is booming. So many issues were substantively pursued by the Albanese government, on so many fronts, it was hard to keep up.”

podcast November 11, 2022

‘Air of possibility’: Surely not in Canberra?!

Columnist for The Saturday Paper Chris Wallace on a new season for politics.

Comment November 05, 2022

Budget reality checks bounce

“The Albanese government spent the past week coming to grips with theory versus reality in government. The vast gap between the budget handed down by Treasurer Jim Chalmers and the media’s reporting of it is still being processed by government MPs. Labor’s …”

podcast November 04, 2022

Wages and power prices: A wake up call for Albanese

A distressed global economy and rising electricity prices are leaving Labor open to Liberal accusations that they’ve broken an election promise to lower power prices.

News October 08, 2022

Albanese’s choice on Covid-19 and public health

Politics is once again dictating Covid-19 settings, as national cabinet dumps mandatory isolation and paid pandemic leave.

Comment September 17, 2022

How government can pass the Covid test

“National cabinet met virtually this week with the chief medical officer, Paul Kelly, in attendance. Kelly was absent from the previous meeting, on August 31, which cut mandated Covid-19 isolation from seven to five days – a decision not supported by …”

podcast August 18, 2022

Australia’s biggest tax bludgers REVEALED

Today, author and professor Chris Wallace on who the real burdens are on our economy.

News August 13, 2022

How ‘tax bludgers’ are ripping off their fellow Australians

The gender pay gap is alive and well and ‘tax bludgers’ are thriving in Australia, as the latest figures show scores of millionaires paid nothing on their income.

podcast July 08, 2022

What Anthony Albanese needs to do about Covid-19

Columnist for The Saturday Paper Chris Wallace on the end of Anthony Albanese’s honeymoon and the urgent work ahead for the new government.

Comment July 09, 2022

A letter from Camp Cooker

“It was the drum that alerted them to the political event unfolding on the grass between the old and new parliament buildings early on Saturday afternoon. A ‘freedom movement’ rally was under way. A hundred people gathered around a flatbed …”

podcast July 01, 2022

Can Albanese win over world leaders?

Chris Wallace on Albanese’s attempts at a reset.

Comment July 02, 2022

A world away from Morrison

“The de-ScoMofication of Australia on the world stage took a leap forward this week as the Albanese government consolidated its international relations edge over an enfeebled opposition in a series of high-level meetings in Europe.”

Comment January 15, 2022

The prime minister says: Let them eat Covid

“The savage, reckless, wantonly negligent public health policy of the federal government that is supposed to protect us – and above all, make sure people in places like Kooyong and Higgins never face the horror of queues and half-empty supermarket shelves …”

Comment January 08, 2022

Morrison and Perrottet’s laissez-faire pact

“If you think a day is a long time in politics, try a week. This one started with Scott Morrison showing off his massive barramundi. It finished with Australia’s uncontrolled Omicron outbreak likely finishing off his government’s chance of …”

Comment October 16, 2021

Can Labor win the election?

“This time next year Australia will be well into the Albanese government’s first term or the Morrison government’s third. If you had to bet your house on it now, which would you predict?”

podcast May 26, 2021

Why isn’t Labor cutting through?

As the major parties gear up for an impending federal election, which could be held this year, questions are being asked about whether Anthony Albanese is capable of securing Labor victory. Today, Chris Wallace on Labor’s election chances, and what they’ve learnt from the last two years.

Comment May 22, 2021

Labor’s election chances

“Against this alarming backdrop, one significant question is being asked about the Albanese opposition: Is it capable of winning the election that’s due some time in the next year? ”

News April 17, 2021

Updating the Sex Discrimination Act

For years Susan Ryan fought to get the Sex Discrimination Act passed. Three decades later, the battle continues with a push to bring politicians and judges under the law.

Comment July 20, 2019

Scott Morrison faces Trump test

“Remember this quiet week. It is the origin moment of the biggest test of national character Australia has faced in 50 years. Some may have sensed it, others deduced it. But before 2020 arrives, anyone with contemporary historical perspective will know, …”

Comment November 10, 2018

You’re neither on the bus nor off the bus

“This amount of ridicule this early in a prime ministership is unprecedented and probably irreversible. Even Billy McMahon fared better in his ill-fated 21-month-long prime ministership before falling to Labor’s Gough Whitlam. Has any prime minister …”

Comment June 16, 2018

Murdoch and Trump, sons of oligarchy

“Survey the score or more biographies of Murdoch and something becomes perceptible in his core that makes him at some elemental level weirdly like Trump’s psychological twin. This creeping realisation transforms one’s understanding of Murdoch’s Fox …”

Comment March 24, 2018

The case against Malcolm Turnbull

“There is a moral case for moving Malcolm Turnbull on. If principles of right and wrong mean anything, using one standard to unseat a rival and another to hold on to the job you stole from him while failing to meet that standard yourself is hypocrisy on …”

Comment January 28, 2017

Turnbull in the Trump era

It is 16 months since Turnbull became prime minister. In that time, he hasn’t achieved gravitas, has not built authority, and has so far failed to prosecute a substantial political or policy argument of any kind.

News May 14, 2016

Libs plan preference deals with Greens to wedge Labor

By masterminding a preference strategy favouring the Greens in five key seats, the Coalition aims to divide and rule the progressive side of politics.

Comment November 21, 2015

Turnbull’s honeymoon after the divorce

“Lucy standing at Turnbull’s side now is the biggest bull point for the likely success of a prime ministership that is, as are they all, hostage to the temperament of the protagonist.”

Comment September 12, 2015

Joe Hockey’s a dead treasurer walking

“The conclusion has become inescapable that Hockey is either too thick for the job or too arrogant to get any perspective on his poor performance and fix it.”

Comment July 25, 2015

Abbott’s military pretensions amid echoes of Howard’s prattlers

“Taxpayers are being set up to pay, literally, for Abbott’s lack of skill or sophistication to manage anything beyond government by diktat. ”

Comment February 14, 2015

The press gallery’s leadership thrills and spills

“It is not hard to identify those who cross the line from journalist to polemicist in exchange for being put, as Paul Keating used to call it, on the story “drip”.”

news January 31, 2015

Troubled waters for a failing captain

“Sovereign risk from poor national government is on the verge of becoming the greatest risk Australia faces today ... Who wants to back a country that can’t run itself properly?”

Comment January 24, 2015

Why the Liberals can’t kill Tony Abbott

“Honestly, does anyone see Loughnane bowling into the PMO and getting the staffer most accountable for the prime minister’s performance, namely his spouse, sacked?”

News August 23, 2014

Joe’s own goals

What led to the grim-faced stumbles of one of the government’s key leaders? An examination of the treasurer’s plunge in popularity.