6 May 2016

Each week on the Policy File we round-up some essential weekend policy reading from around the web. This week we look at the Australian budget and the upcoming election campaign, Donald Trump’s republican ‘victory’, and North Korea’s congress. 

We are excited to announce the launch of our brand new Australian Federal election series, hosted in conjunction with The Australian National University (ANU) and Crawford School of Public Policy. The series will kick off next week at Crawford School, ANU and continue every Tuesday evening in the lead up to the polls. The series starts this Tuesday, 10 May, with policy, politics and predictions.

This week’s panel includes Policy Forum’s Editor-in-Chief Quentin Grafton, Sue Regan and Bob Cotton. Register for free now. If you can’t make it to Canberra you might instead enjoy a podcast preview of the discussion Policy Forum Editor Martyn Pearce recorded with Bob, Sue and Quentin last week, or read Quentin’s piece on why Australia’s political leaders need to focus on ‘policy coherence.’

But even while the election campaign is getting into full swing, Australia is still getting to grips with the federal budget, which was handed down on Tuesday. Tim Leslie, Paul Donoughue and Simon Elvery at The Australian Broadcasting Corporation take a look at the winners and the losers in the budget, while Stephen Howes at DevPolicy Blog takes a look at the emerging trend of foreign aid cuts in recent Australian budgets.

After his win in Indiana this week which prompted Ted Cruz to drop out of the presidential race, Donald Trump is set to become the Republican party’s nominee. Yuriko Koike from The Japan Times looks at Trump as an “isolationist apprentice”, while David Goldman at the Asia Times looks at Trump’s recent foreign policy speech and considers his future relationships with key Asian powers. Emily Stewart on The Street, meanwhile, looks at what the US Economy might look like with Trump in power.

Nate Cohn at The New York Times says Donald Trump is facing an uphill battle against Hillary Clinton, while Policy Forum Pod discusses the issue of authenticity in leaders and says voters need to pay attention to both the message, and the messenger.

This week North Korea started welcoming delegates from around the country to its first ruling party congress in 36 years. But while North Korea prepares for this rare event, South Korea and the rest of the world continues to fear for further nuclear tests. Julie Makinen at The Los Angeles Times looks at Kim Jong Un’s leadership and what to expect from the Congress.

On Policy Forum John Carlson looks at North Korea’s nuclear threat and says the international community must do whatever it takes to stop it, while Joe Cirincione offers some insights on how to stop the bombs. At Global Research Caleb Maupin explores the history of Korea.

Japan’s foreign minister visited Thailand this week and pledged to enforce economic investment in the country after it plummeted 81 per cent last year. Jon Fernquest at The Bangkok Post looks at how Japan plans to use its foreign investment in Southeast Asia.

Hana Rudolph at The Diplomat looks at how the United States and Japan are cautiously rebuilding ties with Thailand, while Nicholas Farrelly on New Mandala looks at what Myanmar’s new government could learn from Thailand.

On Monday Saudi Arabia launched an ambitious 14-year strategy to reshape its economy amid plummeting global oil prices. The Strait Times looks at why the country’s post-oil journey matters, while Jesselyn Cook at The Huffington Post says overcoming its “oil addiction” may prove to be difficult for the world’s largest oil exporter. International oil economist Mamdouh Salameh, though, says that it will be a long time before the post-oil era begins in the Gulf States.

Don’t forget you can debate key public policy issues by joining the Asia and the Pacific Policy Society’s LinkedIn group – a closed group exclusive to Society members.  Be part of the conversation – we’ll see you there.

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Hayward, K. (2016). The Policy File - Policy Forum. [online] Policy Forum. Available at: http://www.policyforum.net/policy-file-6-may-2016/