New think tank to help swing ideas from right to left

April 6, 2007

6 April 2007

The progressive side of politics will launch a new weapon in the “ideas war” in Melbourne next Wednesday.

It is the Per Capita think tank, set up as a counter to right-leaning research and advocacy bodies such as the Institute of Public Affairs in Melbourne and the Centre for Independent Studies in Sydney.

Per Capita will have bases in both cities. Its executive director, David Hetherington, a policy analyst and management consultant, will be in Sydney and its policy director, Michael Cooney, in Melbourne.

Mr Cooney comes from the world of day-to-day politics. He worked for former Labor leader Mark Latham as policy director and then stayed on with Kim Beazley. But he stressed yesterday Per Capita would have its eyes firmly on the future.

“It will be doing long-term thinking and fighting the battle of ideas, rather than short-term electoral politics,” he said.

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