Search Results: John Howard

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Politicians' Catholic background

    • Ray Cassin
    • 16 October 2013
    31 Comments

    It may be that the press gallery sees no significance in Shorten’s 'Catholic background' because he supports same-sex marriage and perhaps also some other things that bishops don’t like. Is the gallery’s view that his 'background' somehow didn’t 'take'? The truth is that these days even being a practising Catholic, rather than the nebulous 'of Catholic background', conveys nothing about the course a politician will choose on issues of conscience.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The Coalition and the mandate myth

    • Max Atkinson
    • 11 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

    The forgotten Nationals

    • John Warhurst
    • 08 October 2013

    After a successful federal election the Nationals are nestled in a comfortable governing relationship as the junior partner of the Liberals. They can laugh at all those critics who for so long have predicted their demise. But they are out of sight. They could make an important contribution to the diversity of the Australian party system, but although the surface picture looks rosy it is at the cost of greatly diminished independence.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Seven pointers for stopping the boats ethically

    • Frank Brennan
    • 01 October 2013
    35 Comments

    Last Tuesday, seven West Papuan asylum seekers reached Boigu Island in the Torres Strait. Without any determination of their refugee claims, they were removed to PNG. They were not engaged in secondary movement, they were in direct flight from persecution. The Abbott Government should recommit to our obligation under the Refugees Convention to grant asylum to refugees who have entered Australia in direct flight from persecution.

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  • EDUCATION

    Equipping students for moral argument

    • Frank Brennan
    • 30 September 2013

    Full text from Frank Brennan's lecture 'Law teachers as gatekeepers of law, public morality and human rights: Equipping our students for moral argument in a pluralistic legal environment' at the Australian Law Teachers Association Annual Conference 2013.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Abbott's night of the short knives

    • Tony Kevin
    • 20 September 2013
    6 Comments

    Under the US revolving door model, top public service jobs are held by staff who are openly politically affiliated. When government changes, they go back to their jobs as special interest Washington lobbyists. Australians have made clear we don't like that system. It is open to corruption, and when our governments flirt with it, they usually come to regret it.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Why we still need the Senate

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 11 September 2013
    6 Comments

    One of the neglected legacies of the Gillard Government was its ability to marshal views across the chamber and work with Independents on fundamental policies. It was to be a feature of so much during the tumultuous Gillard years: a political chamber of officials forced to negotiate their stances rather than bulldoze them through. That principle is under threat as the final votes in the Senate are counted.

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  • RELIGION

    Irrational fear of the Muslim Brotherhood

    • Irfan Yusuf
    • 21 August 2013
    9 Comments

    It’s a crude and misleading line of reasoning to declare that Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood can’t be committed to democracy because it is an Islamist organisation much like al-Qaida and Hezbollah. On what basis do we label individuals or groups 'Islamist'? Or 'fundamentalist'? Or 'extremist'? How can we have a monolith amongst a set of congregations making up almost one quarter of the world's human population? The history and politics of Islam is just as complex as that of Christianity.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Asylum seeker karaoke

    • Barry Gittins
    • 20 August 2013
    5 Comments

    Manus Island's hot, there's no protection for the weak. Though you think you're kind, it's true asylum that I seek. What's the point of difference between the church and state? Why do Salvos validate a policy of hate? History repeats, you Aussies did the same to Jews. Running from the Nazis, with their pleas for help refused.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The public, the Church, and asylum seekers

    • Frank Brennan
    • 13 August 2013
    1 Comment

    'Like many Australians, I had hoped that the dastardly plan announced on 19 July would stop the boats in the short term, as a stop-gap measure. It is dismaying to learn that appropriate consultations had not occurred with Indonesia with the result that the very people who were to receive the shock and awe message are yet to receive it. There’s only one thing worse than shock and awe; that’s shock and awe that doesn’t work because you haven’t done your homework.' 43rd Barry Marshall Memorial Lecture, Trinity College Theological School, 14 August 2013.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Which party really has the economic smarts?

    • David James
    • 13 August 2013
    3 Comments

    As the China boom fades Australia is experiencing a delayed version of the GFC, without the banking crisis. Until now we've been reasonably well served by both sides of politics, in terms of macro-economic strategy. Now we require a way of dealing with more mundane economic issues like productivity and efficiency. Neither side has many good ideas about how to achieve the required structural shifts.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Crying chairs' cold comfort for refugees

    • Lyn Bender
    • 24 July 2013
    5 Comments

    I watched the 'crying chairs' from my psychology clinic disappear into the truck. Many people over the years had nestled in one of those voluminous chairs and wept, whispered, or shouted their rage, sorrow and despair. Now it was time to leave my counselling office so I surrendered my sturdy armchairs for a greater good.

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