Author: Frank Brennan

There are more than 200 results, only the first 200 are displayed here.

  • AUSTRALIA

    The path to a successful referendum

    • Frank Brennan
    • 28 May 2015
    5 Comments

    We gather on the 48th anniversary of the 1967 referendum. All major political parties to an agreed referendum question when going into the next federal election, with the understanding that the new government and the new parliament would proceed to put a referendum to the people, perhaps on Saturday 27 May 2017, the fiftieth anniversary of the successful 1967 referendum.

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  • The spirit of Redfern's Ted Kennedy a decade on

    • Frank Brennan
    • 25 May 2015
    7 Comments

    There are many things different from Ted's day, but he would have spoken of them without fear or compromise. A pope from the South who asks 'Who am I to judge?'; a 62 per cent Irish people's vote in favour of expanding the definition of civil marriage;  the long awaited beatification of Oscar Romero whose identification with the poor did not win immediate Vatican approval; the call by civic leaders for an Australian cardinal to return home and answer questions posed by a royal commission; and the election of a black US president.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Slow progress in Constitutional recognition for Indigenous Australians

    • Frank Brennan
    • 19 May 2015
    7 Comments

    Our Constitution is premised on the outdated notions of terra nullius and assimilation. It is more than three years ago since the Gillard Government set up an Expert Panel, and the Abbott Government is waiting for consensus. Noel Pearson is right to insist that Aboriginal leaders need a place at the table.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Boston bomber sentence shows death penalty is always political

    • Frank Brennan
    • 19 May 2015
    11 Comments

    The lesson from the trials of Boston Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and the Bali nine is that the death penalty is always political and macabre. In the US, Justice Scalia was not at all minded to consider the merits of the argument about the effects of the drug Midazolam because he thought the case was all part of a long term political campaign to delegitimise the death penalty. 

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  • Anzac Day centenary homily at Harvard Memorial Church

    • Frank Brennan
    • 26 April 2015
    5 Comments

    This Memorial Church here at Harvard was dedicated on Armistice Day 1932 in memory of those who died in World War I. It is fitting that we, Australians, New Zealanders, Turks and Americans should gather in this place to mark the centenary of Anzac Day, the day on which Australians and New Zealanders landed in the stillness of the early dawn on the Turkish shoreline wanting to assist with the Allies’ advance on Constantinople, now Istanbul, the day on which the Turks commenced a successful, eight month campaign to defend their homeland against the assault.

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  • The death penalty is always political

    • Frank Brennan
    • 31 March 2015
    10 Comments

    Some of the Australian commentary on the Indonesian justice system has been understandably very critical.  But living here in the USA for a year, I have come to realise that the death penalty infects every justice system no matter how good and robust it is.  In the end, the death penalty is always political.  That’s why I am very grateful to Pope John Paul II who changed his position.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The enigma of Malcolm Fraser

    • Frank Brennan
    • 23 March 2015
    17 Comments

    Through the rough and tumble of politics, Fraser helped the country find true north on issues relating to race and human rights. His friendship with Gough Whitlam has been one of the great signs in Australian public life that human decency and shared commitment to noble ideals can transcend even the most entrenched political animosities cultivated across the despatch box. May he rest in peace.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Good race relations is not just an American thing, it's democracy

    • Frank Brennan
    • 10 March 2015
    17 Comments

    Saturday marked the 50th anniversary of the voting right marches across the bridge in Selma, Alabama. The movie Selma is a great though imperfect study in race relations, which is still a hot issue in the US following the spate of police killings of young African American men. Good race relations still has a long way to go, as it does in Australia.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    High Court fails high seas detainees

    • Frank Brennan
    • 02 February 2015
    20 Comments

    The Abbott Government had a thumping big win in the High Court on Tuesday. All seven High Court judges have made it clear that there is next to nothing that can be done in the courts to question the government's approach. It is lawful, acceptable to government, and hardly a matter of concern to the Australian community, that 157 asylum seekers, including children, can be kept in windowless detention on an Australian vessel for a month on the high seas in the Indian Ocean.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Another year bites the parliamentary dirt

    • Frank Brennan
    • 09 December 2014
    27 Comments

    What a dreadful year it has been for parliamentary democracy. Speaker Bronwyn Bishop has taken pride in the number of members she has ejected. Senator David Leyonhjelm has introduced his same sex marriage bill in an orderly fashion, but the decision will rest with the Abbott Government, which won't want to to hand the bouquet for breaking the logjam to Leyonhjelm. To get arrangements for the bearing and nurturing of children right, we need our parliament to be a more considered and dignified place than a battlefield.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The honourable and quirky Wayne Goss

    • Frank Brennan
    • 12 November 2014
    10 Comments

    Wayne was a no nonsense fellow with a real commitment to justice for Aboriginal Australians during the difficult Bjelke-Petersen days in Queensland. He put himself on the line, and would always come back to the office with a smile and a joke about the latest put down he suffered at the hands of the unforgiving magistrate not much given to pleas invoking past dispossession. He was irrepressible. He knew there had to be a better way.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Do we have a right to assisted suicide?

    • Frank Brennan
    • 05 November 2014
    38 Comments

    Physician assisted suicide and euthanasia are back, in the courts of Canada and the UK, and in the parliaments of the UK and Australia. The Australian Senate is considering the Greens' formulation of a broad and fuzzy law that goes further than UK proposals in that it would allow Dr Philip Nitschke to administer a fatal injection.

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