Search Results: reform

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  • The politics of popular evil and untrendy truth

    • Frank Brennan
    • 31 August 2015
    1 Comment

    If you want to form government in Australia and if you want to lead the Australian people to be more generous, making more places available for refugees to resettle permanently in Australia, you first have to stop the boats. If you want to restore some equity to the means of choosing only some tens of thousands of refugees per annum for permanent residence in Australia from the tens of millions of people displaced in the world, you need to secure the borders. The untrendy truth is that not all asylum seekers have the right to enter Australia but that those who are in direct flight from persecution whether that be in Sri Lanka or Indonesia do, and that it is possible fairly readily (and even on the high seas) to draw a distinction between those in direct flight and those engaged in secondary movement understandably dissatisfied with the level of protection and the transparency of processing in transit countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia. The popular evil is that political

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  • RELIGION

    Religion in the state school curriculum

    • Kevin Donnelly
    • 30 August 2015
    23 Comments

    Various state based legislation argues that education in government schools should be secular in nature, but it does not rule out a place for religion in the general curriculum. To argue that religions should have a greater place in the school curriculum is not to proselytise. Rather it is to recognise that, while we are a secular society,  students need to encounter a more transcendent sense of life that incorporates a strong moral, spiritual and ethical dimension.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Nanny state Australia could learn from Europe

    • Cam Hassard
    • 20 August 2015
    17 Comments

    After almost two years living abroad in Germany, I have observed a stark difference in how European societies strike a balance between legislative oversight and individual freedom. More or less anything is tolerated here, as long as you respect the rights and freedoms of others. Tolerance and 'least intervention' thrive on personal responsibility and eschew knee-jerk intervention. 

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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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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Why Marvel was wrong to whitewash 'wifebeater' Ant-Man

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 22 July 2015
    1 Comment

    It is the most kid-orientated of the recent Marvel films — so maybe not the right forum for deconstructing the domestic violence sins of a key character's past. Still, considering the whole Black Widow/slut-shaming debacle that followed The Avengers: Age of Ultron (and that film's alleged gendered stereotyping of Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow), it is not a good look to note that Marvel president Kevin Feige last year literally laughed off the prospect of spousal abuse being touched on in Ant-Man.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Terrorist or criminal? Why it matters

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 16 July 2015
    7 Comments

    How we name someone makes a big difference. Criminals are subject to the criminal justice system. They can access legal aid and the prosecution must prove its case. Whereas terrorists can have their citizenship cancelled under the proposed changes to the Citizenship Act if they are a dual national, even without a conviction.

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  • RELIGION

    'The Australian' gangs up on Pope Francis

    • Bruce Duncan
    • 09 July 2015
    37 Comments

    In a series of articles, The Australian newspaper has strongly criticised the new encyclical Laudato Si', with editor-at-large Paul Kelly charging that the Pope has 'delegitimised as immoral' pro-market economic forces. This is wrong. Pope Francis is not opposed to the free market in principle, but insists that it be well regulated to ensure social justice for all involved.

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  • The reconciling power of our common experience of 'mother' land

    • Andrew McAlister
    • 09 July 2015
    1 Comment

    The past week's meeting at Kirribilli House between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders and politicians decided on the establishment of a Referendum Council. We should not overlook the power of the land itself to reconcile us. Theologian, archaeologist, and biblical scholar Eugene Stockton, along with artist Terence O'Donnell, has just produced a timely booklet titled This Land, Our Mother.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Two goats, a sheep and Grexit

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 30 June 2015
    4 Comments

    In the early hours of Saturday, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had announced a referendum for July 5. Whether the average Spiro and Soula has much idea of the macroeconomic issues seems doubtful. I certainly haven’t. And there is not much time for them or me to learn. Spiro and Soula and I are naturally concerned about the supply of ready cash.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Understanding Pope Francis' hard line against population control

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 24 June 2015
    23 Comments

    In his recent encyclical, Pope Francis demands that, in addressing the needs of the environment, wealthy nations must reform an economic system that perpetuates poverty in the underdeveloped world. In seeking a conversion of heart on the part of those who are wealthy, he sees imposing artificial population control on the world's poor as a thoroughly unfair and unconverted attitude. The real problem is the greed of the rich, not the inability of the poor to control their fertility.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Greeks suffer as leaders quarrel

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 22 June 2015
    6 Comments

    My youngest son, who lives in central Athens, is on the phone. ‘What do you think I should do with my money?’ he asks. The New York Times likens Europe and Greece to two prize-fighters, but I suspect that this is a male take on the matter. The women on the scene, Chancellor Angela Merkel and IMF chief Christine Lagarde, are more or less playing the part of the firm mother to naughty, quarrelling boys.  

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Speaking for others in the public square

    • Frank Brennan
    • 21 June 2015
    4 Comments

    Walking towards the courthouse, I heard a cry, 'Hey, Father Frank, over here! You've got to support us mob.' I was torn. I was chairing a national consultation at the request of the Commonwealth Government. I did not want to politicise our presence in town.   But then again, I did not want to abandon Ben and his colleagues in their hour of need. They all stood in front of an Aboriginal flag.  Some were crying out for justice for their deceased loved one.

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