Search Results: Ray Cassin

  • AUSTRALIA

    They call him backflipper, but Gonski's still sliding

    • Ray Cassin
    • 04 December 2013
    9 Comments

    The Education Minister Christopher Pyne has spun the latest developments on education funding reforms as having saved Gonski and achieved what Labor could not. But it is an achievement derived from surrendering oversight of how the money will be spent. If public schools continue to be the losers in the battle for funds, the reversals of the past fortnight will be remembered as the start of a slow burn for the Abbott Government.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    JFK and the myth of American innocence

    • Ray Cassin
    • 22 November 2013
    10 Comments

    The assassination of John F. Kennedy 50 years ago elicited a particular quality of grief. It was not only a matter of mourning the violent death of a world leader who, at the time, was much admired. The notion also stuck that something called innocence had been lost because of what had happened in Dallas. That sense has withered under reassessments of Kennedy's character and record in office but it has never been extinguished entirely.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Victoria's path to child sex abuse prosecution

    • Ray Cassin
    • 14 November 2013
    10 Comments

    If the Catholic Church is mentioned frequently in the report of the Victorian parliamentary inquiry into the sexual abuse of children, Catholics and their leaders can hardly complain. Among the churches scrutinised by the committee, only the Salvation Army has an even remotely comparable record of abuse. The Napthine Government should implement the inquiry's recommendations — with one exception.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Hockey's space cadet schemes

    • Ray Cassin
    • 30 October 2013
    17 Comments

    There is a bizarre and remorseless logic to some of Joe Hockey's proposals, such as the absorption of Centrelink by Australia Post and making Medibank Private responsible for delivering the services of the National Disability Insurance Scheme. ACTU president Ged Kearney described the Centrelink proposal as 'moving into space-cadet territory'. She's right: the space cadets are flying the ship now.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Mandate mantra is mumbo jumbo

    • Ray Cassin
    • 23 October 2013
    3 Comments

    While the Abbott Government brays about a mandate to end the carbon price, it is also shrugging off what, by its own theory, it has been 'mandated' to do in respect to the budget deficit and the imperative to 'stop the boats'. The notion that a mandate to govern confers the right to implement all the policies in an election platform is inherently implausible, and all politicians know that it is.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Politicians' Catholic background

    • Ray Cassin
    • 16 October 2013
    31 Comments

    It may be that the press gallery sees no significance in Shorten’s 'Catholic background' because he supports same-sex marriage and perhaps also some other things that bishops don’t like. Is the gallery’s view that his 'background' somehow didn’t 'take'? The truth is that these days even being a practising Catholic, rather than the nebulous 'of Catholic background', conveys nothing about the course a politician will choose on issues of conscience.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Representation in a blokey cabinet and wonky senate

    • Ray Cassin
    • 18 September 2013
    18 Comments

    The Abbott Government that will be sworn in this week is democratically legitimate in an obvious and fundamental sense: the Coalition won the election, and will have a comfortable majority in the new house. But if governments want to claim that they are broadly representative of the nation, then it is surely a problem that the cabinet of 20 includes only one woman.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia's political goldfish bowl from the outside

    • Ray Cassin
    • 09 September 2013
    20 Comments

    The Economist's leader writer and other international international observers including Joseph Stiglitz judged that, by most objective measures, Labor's achievements should be preferred to the Coalition's offerings. The big picture went unacknowledged in Australia's dismal, dispiriting election campaign.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Eureka Street readers shift towards Greens

    • Ray Cassin
    • 30 August 2013
    29 Comments

    Subscribers to Eureka Street are changing their political allegiance in this federal election campaign. A readers’ survey conducted last week revealed a shift away from the ALP, which the majority of poll respondents supported in the 2010 federal election. The Greens have been the chief beneficiary.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    A letter to my daughter, who will vote for the first time

    • Ray Cassin
    • 28 August 2013
    7 Comments

    You are excited at voting but dismayed at the choices you're going to find on the ballot papers. You are not alone in this - nearly one in five eligible voters aged between 18 and 24 have not bothered to enrol to vote. Why don't people trust democratic process to change the things they think should be changed? One reason is that the kind of politics we have is devoid of any great moral clash of ideas.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australian republicans demand satisfaction

    • Ray Cassin
    • 05 August 2013
    14 Comments

    It might be 70 years before the new prince becomes king. Take the long view and the absurdity of an independent nation retaining a foreign monarch as its head of state is instantly apparent. But it's absurd now, too, and for the same reasons. Yet until there are political leaders who are willing to treat the republic as a matter of urgency, it will remain in the too-hard basket.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia's shrinking moral and intellectual horizons

    • Ray Cassin
    • 05 August 2013
    5 Comments

    It is economically illiterate nonsense to equate the state of the budget with the state of the economy, yet Labor and the Coalition have acquiesced in the view that delivering a surplus is the sole indicator of responsible economic management. If this election campaign fails to inspire many voters and drives some to disengage, it will be in large part because of where the contending parties stand or, more importantly, refuse to stand. 

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