Author: Max Atkinson

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The Coalition and the mandate myth

    • Max Atkinson
    • 10 October 2013
    12 Comments

    Since the election there has been much discussion of the idea that, because democracy means respecting the will of the people, elected members have a duty to support the government's 'mandate'. Accordingly, they need not inform themselves and act on their own judgment because the people have spoken. Edmund Burke, the father of conservative political philosophy, would argue that this betrays, rather than serves, constituents.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Julie Bishop's pall of duty

    • Max Atkinson
    • 22 January 2013
    13 Comments

    On the question of whether Australia should support a higher UN status for Palestine, it appears Julie Bishop sees herself and fellow shadow ministers as obliged to accept Tony Abbott's opinions, regardless of the nation's interests, much less those of Israel and Palestine. This theory of duty must be rejected as profoundly irrational.

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  • MEDIA

    Justifying garden-variety torture

    • Max Atkinson
    • 11 July 2012
    6 Comments

    Any discussion of the morality of torture must distinguish two kinds of justification. The first is concerned with cases so exotic they have nothing to do with the ordinary affairs of mankind, such as the nuclear bomb ticking away in a New York basement. A real-life justification must provide a rationale for a wide range of common garden cases. 

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  • MEDIA

    'Fundamentalist' Albrechtsen's Malaysia misfire

    • Max Atkinson
    • 12 October 2011
    6 Comments

    In supporting her opposition to gay marriage, the best Janet Albrechtsen could say was that the opinion was her own, and was 'fundamental'. These remarks shed light on Albrechtsen's bizarre attack on the judges of the High Court over their decision on the Malaysia solution.

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