3 Tips for Improving Your Physical Fitness, When You're Starting from a Pretty Bad Place

Fitness is one of the most important things in life for overall health and wellness – and maintaining a regular fitness routine has all sorts of potential benefits, ranging from better medical outco...

News Company - avatar News Company

Top 5 Events to Enjoy in the United Kingdom Every Year

The United Kingdom as any country holds numerous engaging festivals throughout the year. What makes the UK offer to stand out from the rest is their exciting travel landmarks and cities that nearly ...

Goran Kezić - avatar Goran Kezić

Friday essay: YouTube apologies and reality TV revelations - the rise of the public confession

A little over a year ago, former Australian cricket captain Steve Smith made a tearful confession and apology to the public, having been banned from cricket for 12 months for ball tampering. Smith&rsq...

Kate Douglas, Professor, Flinders University - avatar Kate Douglas, Professor, Flinders University

Population DNA testing for disease risk is coming. Here are five things to know

Screening millions of healthy people for their risk of disease can be cost-effective. But it raises ethical and regulatory concerns.from www.shutterstock.comDNA testing to predict disease risk has the...

Paul Lacaze, Head, Public Health Genomics Program, Monash University - avatar Paul Lacaze, Head, Public Health Genomics Program, Monash University

Why Sydney residents use 30% more water per day than Melburnians

Melbourne's water supplies are running low after years of drought.shutterstockThis week Melbourne’s water storage dropped below 50%, a sign of the prolonged and deepening drought gripping easter...

Ian Wright, Senior Lecturer in Environmental Science, Western Sydney University - avatar Ian Wright, Senior Lecturer in Environmental Science, Western Sydney University

From gun control to HIV: six ingredients of successful public policy

Australia’s national policy response to HIV/AIDS has been lauded as one of the best in the world.ShutterstockIn the lead up to the recent federal election, there was plenty of negative rhetoric ...

Joannah Luetjens, PhD Candidate, Utrecht University - avatar Joannah Luetjens, PhD Candidate, Utrecht University

How the dangerous evolution of Pakistan’s national security state threatens domestic stability

Protests followed the terrorist attack that killed more than 40 Indian military personnel in the disputed state of Jammu and Kashmir. AAP/Jaipal Singh, CC BY-NDIn February, a terrorist attack by Jaysh...

Robert G. Patman, Professor of International Relations, University of Otago - avatar Robert G. Patman, Professor of International Relations, University of Otago

Taming wild cities: the tall buildings of Australia show why we need strong design guidelines

Towering canyons of concrete and glass are an increasingly dominant feature of fast-growing cities like Melbourne.ymgerman/ShutterstockPrivate enterprise has shaped the skylines of Australia’s c...

Timothy Moore, PhD Candidate, Melbourne School of Design, Monash University - avatar Timothy Moore, PhD Candidate, Melbourne School of Design, Monash University

Let them play! Kids need freedom from play restrictions to develop

Playing in nature improves children's learning, social and emotional skills.MI PHAM/unsplashYou may have heard of play. It’s that thing children do – the diverse range of unstructured, spo...

Brendon Hyndman, Senior Lecturer and Course Director (Postgraduate Education courses), Charles Sturt University - avatar Brendon Hyndman, Senior Lecturer and Course Director (Postgraduate Education courses), Charles Sturt University

If you think less immigration will solve Australia's problems, you're wrong; but neither will more

More by luck than design, recent recent levels of immigration seem to be in a 'goldilocks zone' that balances economic, social and environmental objectives.www.shutterstock.comAre we letting too many ...

Cameron Allen, Researcher, UNSW - avatar Cameron Allen, Researcher, UNSW

Gamers use machine learning to navigate complex video games – but it's not free

Playing Dota 2? You can do better with a little help from machine learning.Shutterstock/hkhtt hj Some of the world’s most popular video games track your activity as you play – but they&rsq...

Ben Egliston, PhD candidate in Media and Communications, University of Sydney - avatar Ben Egliston, PhD candidate in Media and Communications, University of Sydney

Grattan on Friday: Shocked Labor moves on – but to what policy destination?

Bill Shorten has said he likes doing the family shopping, nevertheless Tuesday’s front page picture in The Australian did capture the savagery of changing political fortunes. There was Shorten, ...

Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra - avatar Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra

Narendra Modi has won the largest election in the world. What will this mean for India?

Narendra Modi's image was ubiquitous on the campaign trail – a sign of how much Indians have gravitated toward his cult of personality and nationalist rhetoric.Harish Tyagi/AAP The resounding vi...

Amitabh Mattoo, Honorary Professor of International Relations, University of Melbourne - avatar Amitabh Mattoo, Honorary Professor of International Relations, University of Melbourne

Inside the story: the ABC of screenwriting as demonstrated by ABC's The Heights

Roz Hammond as Claudia in The Heights.Bohdan Warchomij/ABCWhy do we tell stories, and how are they crafted? In this series, we unpick the work of the writer on both page and screen.The rule of three i...

Philippa Burne, Lecturer, BFA Screenwriting, Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne, University of Melbourne - avatar Philippa Burne, Lecturer, BFA Screenwriting, Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne, University of Melbourne

The political down time over summer can be something of a respite for an embattled government. But for Scott Morrison, it has just brought more setbacks. The weekend announcement by cabinet minister Kelly O'Dwyer that she will leave parliament at the election is the latest and most serious.

O'Dwyer says she wants to see more of her two young children, and would like to have a third, which involves medical challenges.

Her decision is understandable. The first woman to have a baby while a federal cabinet minister has been juggling an enormous load.

But with the general expectation that the Morrison government is headed for opposition, many people will think (rightly or wrongly) that O'Dwyer was also influenced by the likelihood she faced the grind of opposition, which is a lot less satisfying than the burden of office.

Bad timing for the minister for women

Her insistence at Saturday’s joint news conference with Morrison that he will win the election won’t convince anyone.

If the Liberals didn’t have their acute “woman problem”, O'Dwyer’s jumping ship wouldn’t be such a concern. She’s been a competent minister, not an outstanding performer. She was not in “future leader” lists.

But it’s altogether another matter to have your minister for women bailing out when there has been a huge argument about the dearth of females in Coalition ranks, damaging allegations of bullying within the Liberal party, and high profile Victorian backbencher Julia Banks deserting to the crossbench.

All in all, the Liberal party is presenting a very poor face to women voters. It was O'Dwyer herself who told colleagues last year that the Liberals were widely regarded as “homophobic, anti-women, climate-change deniers”.

Anti-women climate-change deniers?

An effort earlier this month to have assistant ministers Sarah Henderson and Linda Reynolds talk up the Liberals’ credentials on women looked like the gimmick it was.

O'Dwyer says she has “no doubt” her successor as the Higgins candidate will be a woman. Morrison also says he thinks there will be a female replacement.

But this just highlights how the Liberal party’s failure to bring enough women through the ranks now forces it into unfortunate corners.

The candidate will be chosen by a local preselection. As one journalist quipped at the news conference, is the situation that blokes needn’t apply?

And what if a man happened to win? Remember Morrison’s experience in the Wentworth byelection, where he wanted a woman and the preselectors gave him Dave Sharma?

Read more: Grattan on Friday: Wentworth preselectors' rebuff to Morrison caps week of mayhem

Sharma was generally considered a good candidate - and Morrison is happy for him to have his second try against independent Kerryn Phelps at the general election.

Assuming, however, that Higgins preselectors heed the gender call, it seems they will have some strong female contenders to choose from.

Paediatrician Katie Allen, who contested the state election, has flagged she will run; Victorian senator Jane Hume is considering a tilt.

There is inevitable speculation about whether former Abbott chief- of-staff Peta Credlin might chance her arm for preselection.

But her hard-edged political stance would be a risk in an electorate where the Greens have been strong – savvy Liberals point out a climate sceptic wouldn’t play well there. And it would be embarrassing for her if she ran for preselection and was defeated.

O'Dwyer rejects the suggestion she was swayed by the possibility she might lose Higgins. Some Liberals were pessimistic about the seat after the party’s drubbing in the Victorian election, and Labor was ahead in two-party terms in a poll it commissioned late last year.

Read more: Minister for Women Kelly O'Dwyer says Liberals were 'subject to threats' in leadership battle

But the government has a 10% margin in two-party terms against Labor, and despite the polling the ALP doesn’t expect to win the seat. (In 2016 the Greens finished second.)

O'Dwyer, who is also minister for jobs and industrial relations, remains in her positions and in cabinet until the election. Understandably Morrison would not want a reshuffle. But having a lame duck minister in the important IR portfolio is less than optimal.

Attention turns to Bishop

Inevitably O'Dwyer’s announcement has turned attention onto the future of former deputy Liberal leader Julie Bishop. Bishop has said she is contesting the election but there is continuing speculation she might withdraw.

While she has previously left open the possibility of running for the opposition leadership this makes no sense.

Now in her early 60s, her chances of ever becoming PM would be virtually nil if Labor won with a good majority and was set for two terms. That’s if she had the numbers to get the leadership in the first place.

It is assumed Bishop has said she’s staying so she stymies any replacement she doesn’t want (such as attorney-general Christian Porter whose own seat is at risk) and can secure a candidate she favours.

Even though she’s a backbencher now, it would be a another blow for the Liberals if Bishop does decide to retire at the election.

Read more: Julie Bishop goes to backbench, Marise Payne becomes new foreign minister

She was humiliated when she received only a handful of votes in the August leadership ballot. Her treatment left her deeply angry, especially because none of her Western Australian colleagues supported her.

But out in the community she is very popular and many voters still can’t understand why, when there was a change of prime minister, she was not the one chosen.

If Bishop were to walk away, she would be making a rational decision. But it would send another powerful negative vibe to voters about the Liberal party and women.

Authors: The Conversation

Read more http://theconversation.com/view-from-the-hill-odwyers-decision-turns-the-spotlight-onto-bishop-110159