Search Results: Democracy

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Trump vs Clinton: Americans' unpalatable choice

    • Justin Glyn
    • 26 July 2016
    9 Comments

    As the US goes through its convention season, it is becoming increasingly clear that the choice is between someone spouting decidedly undemocratic and possibly fascist rhetoric and someone for whom democratic decision-making is, at best, something to be evaded with as little scrutiny as possible. Both parties are moneyed and both seek foreign scapegoats upon which to direct media attention. November is shaping up to provide a distinctly unpalatable choice.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Frank Brennan on John Molony's Don Luigi Sturzo: The Father of Social Democracy

    • Frank Brennan
    • 25 July 2016
    3 Comments

    John traces the political ascent and descent of Sturzo whose first public office was as mayor of his own town. The chapter headings mark each step up and down the Everest of Italy's experiment with democracy and fascism: the emergence of political Catholicism in Italy; the dream takes shape; democracy without direction; democracy in decline; the search for a leader; the stick and the carrot; the voice of the watchman; and enter the night. Sturzo goes into exile; Mussolini takes over; and the Vatican is well pleased because the Roman Question is finally resolved in 1929 with the Lateran Treaties negotiated by Mussolini and Pope Pius XI, each of whom got what they were looking for.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The changing face of the law across generations

    • Frank Brennan
    • 24 July 2016
    7 Comments

    Next year marks the 50th anniversary of the amendment to the Constitution which took out the adverse references to Aborigines. Following our recent election, we are assured at least six, and possibly seven, members of our national parliament who proudly claim an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander heritage. They are represented in all parties and none. How good it would be if our elected Aboriginal politicians could come together across party lines and propose an amendment to the Constitution which recognises them.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Worn and wasted by election day shambles

    • Ellena Savage
    • 07 July 2016
    3 Comments

    The OIC makes a dramatic speech about the integrity of live ballot papers, that there will be no repeat of the Western Australian kerfuffle, that we have our booklets that contain all the answers (and many typos, too). He seems nice. Maybe a little skittish. Not someone I'd imagine would be hired to run an office or manage a kitchen or even wait tables, but he must know what he's doing. This speech is the last demonstration of authority I witness on this day.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Environment groups face fight for their lives

    • Greg Foyster
    • 30 June 2016
    13 Comments

    By the time polls close Saturday, tens of thousands of voters in marginal seats will have received 'election scorecards' from environment groups. Almost all will rate the Liberal Party worse than Labor or the Greens on a range of issues, from protecting the Great Barrier Reef to encouraging investment in clean energy. Privately, some Liberal candidates will be seething - and, if the Coalition wins, they'll have the means for brutal revenge.

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  • RELIGION

    Theology of elections

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 29 June 2016
    8 Comments

    During the campaign neither of the major parties addressed seriously the major challenges facing Australia: climate change, inequality and the forced movement of peoples. That makes it inevitable that following this election, sovereignty, mandates and other weighty words will continue to dominate public conversation. They usually function as political knives to cut through the messiness of our democratic order. But they also carry a theological weight that may illuminate our present condition.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The bleak ballad of Wilson Parking

    • Ellena Savage
    • 09 June 2016
    13 Comments

    When my friend and I get to the payment station of the car park, it says we owe 70 bucks, which can't be right because we got the early bird special which was a quarter of that, so, nah. We call the parking lot people and they say look at the fine print, it clearly states that the early bird deal only applies if you leave the car park after 3pm. Wilson Parking is a subsidiary of a subcontractor of Transfield Services, which runs security at Nauru and Manus Island. I grow petulant and say I'll wait til 3pm.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The moral conundrum of casting a vote on 2 July

    • Frank Brennan
    • 09 June 2016
    46 Comments

    Sadly, the major political parties have forfeited any claim to govern in their own right because they have caused such disillusionment among so many voters about other policy issues with strong moral overtones. Any voter impressed with Pope Francis' encyclical Laudato Si' or inspired by his visits to asylum seekers on the islands of Lampedusa and Lesbos could not blithely vote for either of the major parties, without first determining how to place some continuing political and moral pressure on them.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    'Elitist' democracy not the answer to Trumpism

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 07 June 2016
    9 Comments

    Will Clinton defeat Trump? Perhaps - but the polls already show him doing far better than anyone expected. More importantly, an electoral loss might mean the end of Donald Trump but it won't destroy Trumpism. The constituency into which the Donald has tapped will almost certainly grow under the administration of a corporate Democrat like Clinton, even if it manifests in a different form. And what then? How much larger and heftier will the barriers against the popular will have to become?

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    SA Premier coopts democracy for nuclear nefariousness

    • Michele Madigan
    • 25 May 2016
    19 Comments

    Just how strictly controlled the process is becomes obvious when it emerges that the task of the 50 member Citizens' Jury will be to produce 'a short independent guide to help every South Australian understand the recommendations raised' by the report. ABC news has dubbed this whole process the Premier's 'public relations exercise', and surely they're not wrong. He is urging all South Australians to remain 'open' about the proposal. But are they, including the Citizens' Jury, allowed to be open to refusal?

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Good leaders need the confidence to listen

    • Esther Anatolitis
    • 23 May 2016
    13 Comments

    Universities and the CSIRO are attacked and funds cut while the government promotes an 'ideas boom'. Creative industries and the Australia Council are diminished and investment slashed while the government talks of an 'innovation agenda'. It takes confidence in your own skill as a decision-maker to recognise the expertise of others as something you don't share but can benefit from. Instead we see nervous leadership, too anxious to trust in those who can build that future.

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  • MEDIA

    Chilling and killing Duncan Storrar's free speech

    • Justin Glyn
    • 17 May 2016
    9 Comments

    To put it bluntly, this is the point at which the free speech argument, like the Ouroboros serpent of ancient myth, eats its own tail. While the newspapers claimed that they were exercising their rights to free speech in their daily articles against Storrar, the effect of their dragging his name and life through the mud was undoubtedly that any other member of the public who dared ask awkward questions of their rulers would think again.

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