Search Results: international politics

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Political donations reform is not so easy

    • Jack Maxwell
    • 28 July 2015
    5 Comments

    Political donations give privileged access to powerful public officials to those who are wealthy. But public funding does little to reduce parties’ reliance on private money and radical control measures can fall foul of the Constitution. A 2013 High Court judgment finding that a ban on donations infringed the constitutional freedom of political communication.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Cold War blinkers threaten MH17 truth

    • Tony Kevin
    • 19 July 2015
    9 Comments

    A Russian investigative committee continues to claim that MH17 was most likely to have been downed by an air-to-air missile that was not Russian-made. For their part, Western commentators became increasingly impatient and scornful of Russian ‘conspiracy theories’ on who downed MH17. Whether the identity of who actually shot down MH17 becomes known in the fullness of time could depend upon the extent to which our political leaders can resist using MH17 to prosecute their Cold War enmities.

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  • Overcoming polarised attitudes to sexual orientation

    • Thomas O'Brien
    • 07 July 2015
    5 Comments

    Since the 1950s, the Western World has been experiencing an upheaval regarding the place of society's values in sexual relations. The response of many conservatives has been to act as if nothing has changed and that the social mores and social fabric of the 1950s remain.

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  • The challenge of education for social justice

    • Frank Brennan
    • 07 July 2015
    3 Comments

    I suspect Pope Francis had some of our Jesuit alumni in mind when he wrote in his encyclical Laudato Si: 'A politics concerned with immediate results, supported by consumerist sectors of the population, is driven to produce short-term growth... True statecraft is manifest when, in difficult times, we uphold high principles and think of the long-term common good. Political powers do not find it easy to assume this duty'.

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  • Maintaining the humanity of the public square

    • Greg O'Kelly
    • 30 June 2015
    3 Comments

    The phrase 'the public square' is peppered throughout Frank Brennan's work. The 1988 film Cinema Paradiso depicts the public square in a Sicilian village over 30 or so years, and its slow and subtle change from a place where human beings gather to laugh, play and discuss. Billboards and garish signs appear and it becomes a car park bereft of its humanity.

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  • Christian perspectives on war and peace

    • Frank Brennan
    • 23 June 2015
    1 Comment

    Given the ready access we have to international media and the world wide web, we can no longer plead ignorance of the trouble going on in our world. Those of us who are purist pacifists can presumably put a coherent case for eschewing violence in all cases, even were a madman to be imminently threatening the lives of our most vulnerable loved ones. 

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  • Demanding justice for the small, still voices

    • Shannon and Kateena
    • 11 June 2015
    1 Comment

    'In chapter 12 "Respecting Autonomy and Protecting the Vulnerability of the Dying", Frank quoted my grandmother ... "Well there is not much to say about euthanasia is there? Just don't kill people and look after them while they are dying. What more can you say?" Well Grandma, I am not certain that I share your view. Just as Pope Francis did not know all the answers at age 36 years, neither do I.' Frank Brennan's nieces Shannon and Kateena help launch his new book Amplifying That Still, Small Voice.

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  • Meddling priest's witness to the primacy of conscience

    • Paul Bongiorno
    • 08 June 2015
    9 Comments

    'In discussing Australia's asylum seeker policies Frank laments the government's deaf ear to calls from the churches, his own included, for a greater measure of compassion and a better way of dealing with the issue of boat people. Frank wryly comments: 'If only the Abbott Government with its disproportionate number of Jesuit alumni cabinet ministers could listen.' Paul Bongiorno launches Fr Frank Brennan SJ's book Amplifying That Still, Small Voice at the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, Canberra, 8 June 2015.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Could Immigration 'secrecy' act trump mandatory reporting of abuse?

    • Justin Glyn
    • 08 June 2015
    6 Comments

    All Australian states and territories have mandatory reporting legislation requiring compulsory disclosure of suspected child abuse by relevant professionals. The Australian Border Force Act requires the permission of the Secretary before any disclosure of criminal conduct is made to the relevant authorities. Should an Immigration professional who works with children fulfil their mandatory reporting obligations if this permission is not granted (and face two years in prison) or not?

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Australia wants to know nothing about asylum seekers' torture history

    • Justin Glyn
    • 02 June 2015
    16 Comments

    International law regards torture as a matter of ius cogens, something which can never be justified. If one were serious about finding out about genuine refugee claims, enquiring about any torture at the hands of the people an asylum seeker is fleeing would surely be near the top of the list of cogent questions. But Australia has ceased to ask asylum seekers about any history of torture.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Government chipping away at our liberties

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 28 May 2015
    13 Comments

    There have been no violent usurpations. No coup. No acts of massive violence. But data retention laws have been passed. National security legislation protecting ASIO from all operations short of murder while punishing the disclosure of material on secret intelligence operations has been enacted. The stripping of citizenship of dual nationals is on the books. And more.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Indonesia shows its ugly side with regressive executions

    • Pat Walsh
    • 28 April 2015
    16 Comments

    Indonesia is a country of great promise with a significant, maybe crucial, contribution to make to our troubled world. As a very large, pluralist, Muslim-majority democracy it offers a template for other societies in transition. President SBY was acutely aware of this opportunity and through his democracy forums and other initiatives did much to re-brand Indonesia in this positive light. All this good work is being undone by the anal, small-town thinking the executions represent.

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