Search Results: democracy

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  • AUSTRALIA

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

    • Frank Brennan
    • 09 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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  • Soul-destroying refugee policy shames Australia

    • Aloysious Mowe
    • 24 February 2015

    Just before Christmas last year, the United States Senate Select Intelligence Committee released its report on the CIA's Detention and Interrogation Program, and its use of torture on detainees between 2002 and 2006. Among the report's key findings was the fact that the brutality of the torture and the harshness of the detention regime went beyond what the CIA. had reported to policy-makers (in other words, the CIA deliberately misled its Senate overseers); that the CIA's claims for the effectiveness of torture to obtain information that was vital for national security were inaccurate and unfounded; that the torture regime had damaged the standing of the United States, and resulted in significant costs, monetary and otherwise; that personnel were rarely reprimanded or held accountable for violations, inappropriate activities, and systematic and individual management failures. Read more

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Britain's Bahrain bid triggers human rights alert

    • Daniel Read
    • 22 February 2015
    1 Comment

    Britain's recent drive to establish a naval base in Bahrain has only widened the rift between the UK's foreign policy and its respect for human rights. Bahrain will now potentially play host to a British military presence for the long-term, despite the Gulf state's brutal crackdown on pro-democracy protests over the past several years. This may be yet another instance of political expediency taking precedence over all else.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Ciggie butt brains indict Aussie middle class elitism

    • Ellena Savage
    • 19 February 2015
    8 Comments

    When Damo and Darren's 'Train Station' — Michael Cusack's animation of an obscene 'part derro, part yobbo, part bogan' duo fighting over a lighter — was published on YouTube, it clocked 2 million views in its first month, and made people very happy. I showed it to a friend who had grown up in England's north under Margaret Thatcher. He was not amused. 'Why are Australians laughing at poor people?' he asked.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Defending Gillian Triggs

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 17 February 2015
    22 Comments

    A group of 50 academics has pointed out that 'Independent public office holders are an important part of modern democratic societies.' The Australian Bar Association and the Law Council of Australia have similarly argued that the personal attacks on Triggs amounted to an undermining of justice and the protection of human rights. It is a point the Abbott Government neglects to its peril.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    'Strong' leadership misses the mark

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 11 February 2015
    19 Comments

    Tony Abbott and Campbell Newman prided themselves on strong leadership. They assumed voters would think the country was in good hands if it was ruled by a strong-willed leader who gives priority to pushing through programs rather than signalling, explaining and defending them. A more effective way forward in politics could be to forget slogans and will-power and instead give priority to communication and action that is based on reason.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Obama misfires on Russian 'threat'

    • Tony Kevin
    • 27 January 2015
    15 Comments

    In his State of the Union address last week, President Obama drew rare bipartisan applause with his anti-Russian rhetoric when he said the US was ‘upholding the principle that bigger nations can’t bully the small’. The Cold War ended 25 years ago, yet the desire to weaken Russia has never gone away. This is nonsense. Russia poses no threat to the west. It is just another country trying to make its own way in an unfriendly world.  

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Another year bites the parliamentary dirt

    • Frank Brennan
    • 08 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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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Seeking asylum in the Promised Land

    • Nikolas Feith Tan
    • 02 December 2014
    9 Comments

    Israel is one of the world's developed countries that is attempting to deter asylum seekers from accessing the protection that international refugee law entitles them to. Yet Israel is a state with refugeehood in its roots. Israeli refugee advocates have encouraged a change of policy on the basis of Jewish exile in Egypt as recorded in the Torah. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Jacqui Lambie and wildcard senators are not rogues

    • Tony Kevin
    • 24 November 2014
    22 Comments

    Jacqui Lambie has resigned from the Palmer United Party, apologising to the nation for weeks of acrimonious sniping and instability in parliament. We can understand the hostility of the major parties, and even the Greens, to independent and PUP senators who took office mid-year. But it is not in their self-interest to try to exploit differences and to weaken and destabilise the newbie senators.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Putting Putin's record into perspective

    • Justin Glyn
    • 16 November 2014
    17 Comments

    Amid talk of whether Vladimir Putin would leave the G20 early and numerous reports of frosty encounters between him and other summit leaders, Western media coverage has portrayed him as an erratic and dangerous dictator whose rule damages the once-great country he leads. But it would be foolish to pretend that the West did not take advantage of the weakness of the former Soviet states in the 1990s. Russia was looted of its assets, many of which found their way abroad.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Hun Sen's Cambodia a mirage on the Mekong

    • Tony Kevin
    • 13 November 2014
    1 Comment

    Phnom Penh is a lively, bustling, often happy city of energetic and industrious people, with amazing growth statistics. In 2004 half of Cambodians lived in poverty, and by 2011 the figure had dropped to 20%. But this belies the terrible state of public health, the corruption in education, the abuse of human rights, and much more.

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