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- RANALD MACDONALD. ABC deal comes back to haunt Government.
- GRAHAM FREUDENBERG. Malcolm Turnbull’s response to the Korean crisis has been contemptible.
- PAUL COLLINS. An Open Letter to Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher
- MUNGO MACCALLUM. Time to take Bill Shorten seriously.
- GREG LOCKHART. What were we fighting for at Gallipoli, in Palestine and on the Western Front? Part 1 of 5 part series.
- MICHAEL LAMBERT. The shambles of Australia’s national electricity policy. 18 August 2017
- RANALD MACDONALD. ABC deal comes back to haunt the Government (Episode Two). 18 August 2017
- GEOFF MILLER. Korea: Missiles or exercises or both? 18 August 2017
- PAUL COLLINS. An Open Letter to Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher 18 August 2017
- JEAN-PIERRE LEHMANN. Why the West and Japan should stop preaching to a rising China 18 August 2017
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Category Archives: Democratic Renewal
JOHN MENADUE. Conservatives set the rules but they keep breaking them. (Repost from 7 February 2017)
Many people around the world are concluding that the system is rigged in favour of powerful insiders who bend the rules. The populists – Trump, Farage, Le Pen and Hanson are adept at tapping into that disempowerment and the sense … Continue reading
There is a structural contradiction at the heart of the new parliament. Two diametrically different political systems co-exist. Incentives and expectations are at cross purposes. Until this contradiction is addressed the prospects for major legislative change must be judged slight. … Continue reading
Article 44 of our Constitution defining who may or may not run for Parliament needs authoritative interpretation because it’s hopelessly out of touch with today’s Australia. This need not augur a grotesque Hansonite event reiterating that non-Christian barbarians are at … Continue reading
The National Party represents a declining demographic with values out of step with most Australians. In most democracies it would be sidelined as a fringe group. It holds disproportionate political influence only because we are not facing up to the … Continue reading
When we examine the violations of law when the British took possession of eastern Australia in 1788, it’s little wonder that a growing number of people are seeking a date other than January 26 to celebrate Australia Day.
With the environment a low political priority and few significant environmental initiatives in recent years, maybe Australia just isn’t up to being the world leader in conservation it once was. But an analysis of our past achievements shows that we … Continue reading
The ugly chickens of the neoliberal era in Australian public policy are relentlessly coming home to roost: stagnating wages, high unemployment (especially among young people), declining standards in public hospitals, schools, universities, and TAFE institutes, homelessness on the increase, more … Continue reading
Half a century ago in The Australian Ugliness Robin Boyd reminded us what happens when architectural planners embrace utilitarianism and abandon aesthetics. During the days of the Howard Coalition Government, examining the invasion of Iraq and policy on asylum seekers, … Continue reading
Lobbying is a necessary component of representative democracy, yet poses one of its greatest threats.
Coalition Governments have been trying to stop NGO advocacy for 20 years. Current attacks on the sector are a clash between a neoliberal old world order dominated by fossil fuels and a world view based on sustainability and equity. Unfortunately, … Continue reading
In the series “Fairness, Opportunity and Security” last year I drew attention to the pervasive loss of trust in institutions . Essential Research revealed that the six least trusted institutions were: the news media, state parliaments, trade unions, business groups, … Continue reading
On 2 June, the NSW Branch of the Labor Party hosted a dinner for Graham Freudenberg, former speechwriter for federal and state Labor leaders, including Arthur Calwell, Gough Whitlam, Bob Hawke, Neville Wran, Barrie Unsworth, Bob Carr and Simon Crean. … Continue reading
Madness in the Coalition’s ranks over the Finkel report and sleaziness in ALP ranks over clandestine foreign donations are just the latest evidence that the current pack of parliamentarians is incapable of governing in the interests of all Australians. What … Continue reading
Ian Marsh who passed away last week, was a highly original thinker with the genuine curiosity of a true intellectual. Ian liked to describe himself as one of the last ‘Deakinite Liberals’. This apt description reflected: Ian’s contributions to industrial … Continue reading
The OECD, in a recent report, has recognised that globalisation has many dimensions. Its enthusiasm for globalisation is undiminished, but it does acknowledge that the costs of globalisation “have been larger, more localised and more durable than previously thought, and … Continue reading
Britain’s election result was a shock, even in today’s volatile political climate. The outcome is potentially disastrous, but it is unclear whether Corbyn could have pursued his agenda even if he had actually won.
The UK election result is heartening, joining a series of demonstrations that people want positive change. But in Australia we seem to be paralysed, no-one willing to pick up the torch, many still unwilling to change their old allegiances despite … Continue reading
No amount of political pressure from the EU would force Britain to accept a package it doesn’t want, and vice versa. A closure without agreement because of the Article 50 deadline would be an ‘own goal’ for all parties. Yet … Continue reading
There are many local factors explaining the comparative fortunes of Theresa May’s Conservative Party and Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party in last week’s UK election. Issues around Brexit are unique to the UK, and May’s campaign was inept. But Corbyn’s comparative … Continue reading
Mrs. May called the election ostensibly to strengthen her mandate in the forthcoming Brexit negotiations. Although she failed to strengthen her majority, it is doubtful if the election result will have any impact on the Brexit negotiations.
How do we explain the phenomenon of a Bernie Sanders, who almost certainly would have won the US presidency if he’d been the Democrat candidate running against Trump? How do we account for the astounding failure of, first, David Cameron … Continue reading
The people who will suffer most from economic meltdown likely to follow from the UK election will be the country’s poorest and most vulnerable as funds dry up for public services, jobs disappear as firms move to the EU and … Continue reading
Senator Pauline Hanson denies any impropriety. We are told there is nothing to see in the Liberal Party siphoning cash from their MPs’ taxpayer-funded electoral allowances purportedly to fund the party’s voter analysis entity Parakeelia Pty. Ltd. ALP Senator Sam Dastyari’s … Continue reading
The not-for-profit sector performs a vital role delivering services that meet important social needs. It provides a voice for some of our most disadvantaged groups and individuals. Not-for-profit status also allows organisations of professionals to represent their members under a … Continue reading
It seems that Coalition governments have developed a habit of squeezing the citizenship “orange” for political advantage when there are some community concerns about migrants. Last week’s announcement by the Turnbull Coalition government, at a time of poor government performance … Continue reading
JOHN MENADUE. Alexey Navalny has roused a democratic Russia. Turnbull and Bishop are too busy sleeping to care.
In Australia we conjure Russia through the basest of filters: take your pick of Pauline Hanson expressing her admiration for Russia’s autocrat Vladimir Putin, or of the sometime boxer-sometime- Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s vows to ‘shirtfront’ said autocrat.
The argument about the terms of Sections 18C and 18D of the Commonwealth Racial Discrimination Act (RDA) began with the case brought against the journalist, Andrew Bolt, now some six years ago. The temperature of the debate has risen and … Continue reading
India continues to be robustly, even chaotically, democratic. But its freedom is under growing threat.
Global consumer capitalism, is reducing quality of life: stripping our lives of intrinsic worth and meaning; weakening communities; undermining health and wellbeing; creating grotesque inequities; destroying the natural environment; and undermining our faith in humanity’s future.