Search Results: Democracy

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  • MEDIA

    What to do about shareable lies

    • Fatima Measham
    • 08 November 2017
    4 Comments

    Last week, executives from Facebook, Google and Twitter had to answer questions about how their platforms were used to influence voters in the 2016 US elections. It is a significant moment. Other media like radio, newspapers and TV have never been grilled like this, though Fox News and The New York Times surely influence voters, too.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The empty platitudes of Australian human rights

    • Kate Galloway
    • 24 October 2017
    5 Comments

    Within the one week, the UN announced Australia would be joining the Human Rights Council, and the UN Human Rights Committee criticised Australia for 'chronic non-compliance'. The dissonance of these two stories calls into question Australia's commitment to human rights, even as it proclaims its global human rights leadership.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Different country, different culture (or how different legal systems view deal-making)

    • Frank Brennan
    • 11 October 2017

    In the 16th century it was the Dominican friars like Vitoria, Las Casas and Montesino in Salamanca who confronted the state and challenged public opinion about the rights of the indigenous peoples in Spain's newly colonised lands. Not even the most nostalgic and forgiving Jesuit would opine that the modern practitioners of Morality with a capital M challenging the powers of the market and the state would be found in a modern monastery.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What is identity politics really?

    • Ruby Hamad
    • 03 October 2017
    6 Comments

    The confusion around the term 'identity politics', and its frequent misuse across the political spectrum, sees it regarded with suspicion and contempt, as both conservatives and the traditional left use it as a slur to dismiss any discussions of racism and sexism.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The increasing relevance of our Asian Australian cohorts

    • Tseen Khoo and Jen Kwok
    • 01 October 2017
    5 Comments

    Our national population is more diverse than ever, particularly when it comes to those of Asian Australian heritage. Just how diverse is something we need to examine more closely if we are to develop a more inclusive, welcoming society.

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  • MEDIA

    'Both sides' journalism betrays the public interest

    • Ruby Hamad
    • 20 September 2017
    15 Comments

    In a liberal democracy, the media's most essential function is to serve the public interest. This includes providing information so that the public can make informed decisions. In order to do so, journalists must decide what is in the public interest and why. 'Balanced' coverage of, for example, damaging aspects of the marriage equality No campaign does not fit these criteria.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    What we think we know about the Syrian war

    • Justin Glyn
    • 18 September 2017
    8 Comments

    You could be forgiven for never having heard of Deir ez-Zor. There is virtually no mention of it in the Western press, except by British journalist Robert Fisk. Yet this ancient Syrian city of just over 200,000 people on the banks of the Euphrates is the site of what looks to be the final defeat of the dream of ISIS of creating an ethnically cleansed, sectarian caliphate in Syria and Iraq.

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  • RELIGION

    Church democracy and the 2020 Plenary Council

    • John Warhurst
    • 10 September 2017
    33 Comments

    There is a lot of big talk by Australian Catholic church leaders about the forthcoming 2020 Plenary Council, but remarkable vagueness about its likely shape. Now that the first of the consultation sessions about the council has occurred in Sydney, resolving the nature of the event becomes a matter of some urgency. Otherwise the council runs the risk of eventually becoming a huge disappointment.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The cost of living in the kingdom of fear

    • Justin Glyn
    • 07 September 2017
    17 Comments

    Franklin Delano Roosevelt famously said that 'The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.' From the roots of ISIS to Russiagate to North Korea to border control in Australia, current trends both international and at home bear this out.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Marriage equality postal vote further erodes democracy

    • Hayley Conway
    • 31 August 2017
    20 Comments

    The intended postal plebiscite is profoundly undemocratic. It will be conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in the hope that it will be considered a 'gathering of statistics', not an electoral matter requiring oversight by the Australian Electoral Commission and an appropriation of funds by the parliament. The federal government is circumventing the will of the parliament. This is part of a broader trend to attack, undermine, defund, and erode the democratic institutions we rely on.

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  • RELIGION

    Citizenship and the Common Good

    • Frank Brennan
    • 29 August 2017
    6 Comments

    'There was one controversy in which Lionel Bowen was involved that does provide good lessons for the contemporary Catholic considering the desirable law or social policy on a contested issue - lessons for the citizen weighing what is for the common good. Back in 1979 there was debate in the Parliament on a motion which was framed to stop Medicare funding of abortions. Bowen, a strict Catholic, was strongly opposed to the motion. He did not think the motion was about abortion. He thought it was about money.' Frank Brennan's 2017 Lionel Bowen Lecture

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    What writers festivals say about culture

    • Tseen Khoo
    • 07 August 2017
    6 Comments

    The Melbourne Writers Festival (MWF) starts on Friday 25 August. It’s a good time to consider what such a festival says about our local cultures, as well as being a perfect time to think about how you relate to that culture. 

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