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‘Canberra bubble’ captures year of political infights and chaos

An expression coined almost two decades ago to describe the insular preoccupations of federal politics in the nation’s capital has been named Word of the Year by the Australian National Dictionary Centre.

“Canberra bubble”, a term that first appeared in 2001, refers to the idea that politicians, federal bureaucrats and the Canberra press gallery are more interested in political gossip and party faction fights than in the broader policy concerns that affect voters.

The phrase has been popularised recently by prime minister Scott Morrison, who used it in a promotional video posted on social media in October.

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