Search Results: reform

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Justice for Aboriginals grows out of recognition

    • Frank Brennan
    • 18 October 2015
    7 Comments

    It is now more than three years (and three prime ministers) since the expert panel set up by the Gillard government reported on how the Constitution might be amended to provide recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. When I read the report, my heart sank. It had put forward a comprehensive, but unachievable and unworkable proposal for change. The lesson from 1967 is that a modest change carried overwhelmingly by the Australian people provides the impetus for change.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Contours and prospects for Indigenous recognition in the Australian constitution

    • Frank Brennan
    • 15 October 2015
    2 Comments

    I acknowledge those Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders who insist that they have never ceded their sovereignty to the rest of us. I join with those Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders who hope for better days when they are recognised in the Australian Constitution. As an advocate for modest constitutional recognition for Indigenous Australians, I respect those Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders who question the utility of such recognition. But I do take heart from President Obama's line in his Charleston eulogy for the late Reverend Clementa C. Pinckney: 'Justice grows out of recognition'.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Rehabilitating Abbott

    • Fatima Measham
    • 11 October 2015
    18 Comments

    Australia has a long line of prime ministers whose standing has been propped up over time. Edmund Barton was a racist; Alfred Deakin spoke against 'undesirable coloured aliens'. The passage of time tends to extract the essential parts of a prime minister's stint, which is how complex figures like Whitlam, Fraser, Keating and Howard end up being rehabilitated in collective memory. It's hard to tell whether there is enough complexity in Abbott and his time as prime minister to enable such restoration.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Australia's fatal attraction to America

    • Tony Kevin
    • 11 October 2015
    6 Comments

    'Other countries in response to one mass shooting have been able to craft laws that almost eliminate mass shootings,' said Barack Obama earlier this month. 'Friends of ours, allies of ours, Great Britain, Australia — countries like ours.' Thankfully, America is not like Australia. Though many Australians feel a natural envy for our confident, successful cousin, many disturbing developments — Tea Party style politics, anti-immigrant nativism, know-nothing anti-science — have roots traceable to the US.

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  • Francis, theological education and the public square

    • Jenny Te Paa
    • 08 October 2015
    16 Comments

    Thank you Francis, for although you have not spoken at any length about theological education per se — any more than you have spoken about the status of women per se — in spite of these somewhat startling omissions, this indigenous lay woman theological educator feels no less inspired, comforted, reassured, blessed, beyond imagining by your gentle, wise, insistent and prophetic urgings.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Growing old in Australia is a difficult business

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 06 October 2015
    9 Comments

    Well, I know the dehumanising rot began to set in a long time ago. I have a vision of George Orwell sitting on a cloud and wringing his hands in renewed horror, for now the business model and associated language appears to have taken over the world. In short, the changes in aged care could be counterproductive, as the aims of streamlined access and equity may result instead in the development of barriers and more inequity. Growing old clearly means more hard work, and more adjustment.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The roots of troll culture are closer than we think

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 24 September 2015
    6 Comments

    The common perception of internet trolls is that they are outsiders descending on a particular platform in order to wreck it. But there is a close relationship between trolls and the culture in which they operate. If you're a publisher seeking virality, you need to foster the strong emotions in which social media trades. Getting people to love your content is great, but outrage, incredulity and even hatred also work.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Bringing 'boogeyman' Iran in from the cold

    • William Gourlay
    • 21 September 2015
    4 Comments

    Canny politicians know it is impossible to please everyone all of the time. This must be clear to Obama in the wake of the nuclear deal reached with Iran. As he heralded the accord as a harbinger of a 'more hopeful world', Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called it a 'stunning historical mistake'. The deal is a result of 18 months of hard diplomatic negotiation, but for the naysayers it means Iran is off the leash.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The type of leadership Australians want

    • Paul Jensen
    • 20 September 2015
    5 Comments

    Malcolm Turnbull's main justification for challenging Tony Abbott was that the former PM was not capable of providing the economic leadership the nation needs. Abbott's leadership style emphasised strength rather than consultation, which is what he thought people wanted. What they actually wanted was revealed in a recent survey conducted by Swinburne University.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    How Abbott was defeated by his own pugnaciousness

    • Andrew Thackrah
    • 14 September 2015
    24 Comments

    After Malcolm Turnbull announced on Monday afternoon that he was challenging Tony Abbott for the LIberal leadership, commentators were unanimous in their speculation that Abbott would not give up the prime ministership without a fight. The pugnaciousness that characterised his political style was similarly part of the playbook of Canadian PM Stephen Harper, who was also seen to base his interaction with political adversaries on their 'standing' rather than debating policy. In Abbott's case this turned out to be a fatal flaw.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The emptiness of reform rhetoric in Australian politics

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 07 September 2015
    4 Comments

    The recent National Reform Summit was lauded as an attempt to 'rediscover the art of reform that in the past generation helped to drive high living standards and made Australia the envy among smart nations'. Yet the urgency with which Australian pundits demand 'reform' corresponds with a peculiar opacity about what the term actually means, with its past association with the socialist movement but more recent appropriation as a neoliberal mantra. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australian Border Force cuts through the fence of law and due process

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 02 September 2015
    6 Comments

    Last week the Reform Summit and the Australian Border Force's aborted Operation Fortitude were responses to the the perceived paralysis in Australian politics and public life. The Summit was a commendable initiative demonstrating that organisations with diverging agendas can talk together and reach consensus. It offered a chastening example to the political parties that currently emphasise their areas of disagreement and prefer to smash through — rather than think through — the obstacles to Australia’s prosperity.

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