Search Results: bigger australia

  • AUSTRALIA

    Probing the political culture of corruption in NSW

    • John Warhurst
    • 09 May 2014
    9 Comments

    The Independent Commission against Corruption in New South Wales continues to provide stunning insights into the compromised relationship between the major political parties and government in that state. It has moved on from Labor to the Liberal party and from political lobbying to political donations. But the essence of the story remains the same. Casual self-interest reigns, and the culture of political life at the top-end is corrupted.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Asylum seeker protest models 'habits of the heart'

    • Michael McVeigh
    • 15 April 2014
    22 Comments

    On Sunday, tens of thousands of people took to the streets to protest the Government's treatment of asylum seekers. This wasn't a group of radicals — it was Grandma and Grandpa, Mum and Dad and the kids, making a statement to a callous political elite. Rather than simply asking how we can become more decent towards asylum seekers, it's time to ask: What reserves do we, as a country, have to resist inhumane forces that besiege us?

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Palmer power! Lessons from the Senate by-election

    • Ray Cassin
    • 11 April 2014
    2 Comments

    The most insidious outcome of the WA Senate election is the bargaining power it has delivered to Clive Palmer, the Queensland mining magnate who dominates the party on which he has bestowed his name. He massively outspent all his rivals, raising yet again the question of whether limits should be placed on private financing of political campaigns. It is a question that, because of his newfound clout, will not be answered anytime soon.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Bullying artists and the art of conversation

    • Michael Mullins
    • 17 March 2014
    6 Comments

    Arts minister George Brandis has accused artists of 'bullying' corporate heavyweight Transfield. The artists' recent ultimatum to the board of the Sydney Biennale threatens to kill the event and possibly the entire model of arts sponsorship in Australia. Both sides of the dispute have lost sight of the opportunity that networking between artists and sponsors offers for civilised conversation that leads to a better world for all.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    In the half-light of insider politics

    • John Warhurst
    • 04 March 2014
    3 Comments

    The general lessons from the conflict of interest that claimed Alastair Furnival, chief of staff to Assistant Health Minister Senator Fiona Nash, are about the often-hidden world of political insiders. The numbers of Coalition aligned lobbyists has grown greatly, and include many former senior Howard Government ministers. But Labor supporters should not feel smug. There are plenty of examples on that side of politics, too.

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  • RELIGION

    Thinking Christians spurn hammy creationism

    • Chris Middleton
    • 18 February 2014
    33 Comments

    Australian-born creationist Ken Ham argues that every human is descended from Adam and Eve, that God created man and all land animals on the same day 6000 years ago, and that there were dinosaurs on Noah's Ark. The relationship between faith and reason goes to the credibility of being a Christian in the modern world. A minority view within Christianity should not be allowed to frame a false dichotomy between religion and science.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The empathy revolution

    • Barry Gittins and Jen Vuk
    • 14 February 2014
    3 Comments

    While realpolitik can drive us beyond a healthy scepticism to cynicism and indifference, British cultural thinker Roman Krzaric contends that when we look beyond the real — through imagination, creativity, vulnerability and networking — we can bring about the ideal of 'empathy on a mass scale to create social change' and even go about 'extending our empathy skills to embrace the natural world'. Without dreamers like Krzaric, we're stuffed.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The baleful life of Stalin's favourite actress

    • Brian Matthews
    • 31 January 2014
    7 Comments

    When her husband was arrested and imprisoned indefinitely as an outspoken opponent of Stalin, she became depressed and alcoholic. Film director Grigori Aleksandrov rescued her by choosing her to star in Moscow Laughs. She became his mistress, later his wife, a screen star and, perhaps most important of all, she attracted Stalin's benign attention.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    No Buddhist bullets in Thai turmoil

    • Paul Kay
    • 24 January 2014
    4 Comments

    It's often said in Thailand that the three pillars of Thai society are Buddhism, the monarchy and the nation, or political system. In recent months I've witnessed many noisy anti-government protests in Bangkok where political groups have been very visible. But amid the turmoil, Buddhism and the monarchy are notably absent. The low profile of the monarchy is easily explained. The absence of Buddhism is more puzzling.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Big and little crooks of politics

    • John Warhurst
    • 01 November 2013
    12 Comments

    Unethical misconduct by public figures, proven and alleged, is in the public eye almost daily. No one is above suspicion, including Prime Minister Tony Abbott and former Prime Minister Julia Gillard. Is it a case of a few bad apples or are there systemic problems? There are levels of seriousness in these cases and it is helpful to disaggregate them to keep a sense of perspective.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The forgotten Nationals

    • John Warhurst
    • 08 October 2013

    After a successful federal election the Nationals are nestled in a comfortable governing relationship as the junior partner of the Liberals. They can laugh at all those critics who for so long have predicted their demise. But they are out of sight. They could make an important contribution to the diversity of the Australian party system, but although the surface picture looks rosy it is at the cost of greatly diminished independence.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Abbott nails Jakarta

    • Tony Kevin
    • 02 October 2013
    15 Comments

    Tony Abbott did handsomely in Jakarta. He was able convincingly to pitch the message that the bilateral relationship is much bigger and more important than the people smuggling issue, which he implicitly admitted had been mishandled by Australia. The national interest will be well served by the PM's deft handling of a difficult situation. 

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