Search Results: Obama

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The Coalition and the mandate myth

    • Max Atkinson
    • 11 October 2013
    12 Comments

    Since the election there has been much discussion of the idea that, because democracy means respecting the will of the people, elected members have a duty to support the government's 'mandate'. Accordingly, they need not inform themselves and act on their own judgment because the people have spoken. Edmund Burke, the father of conservative political philosophy, would argue that this betrays, rather than serves, constituents.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Dollar bulletproofs US economy

    • David James
    • 04 October 2013
    1 Comment

    America is fond of claiming exceptionalism, which is usually little more than an indication of its attitude to moral accountability. But in one area America definitely is exceptional: the global currency markets. There is no risk of the market for American dollars drying up, which means that a default by the American government is, while significant, not especially relevant to what happens with the global trade in US dollars.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Blessed are the whistleblowers

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 02 October 2013
    12 Comments

    The International Day of Non-Violence on 2 October coincides with the birthday of Gandhi, who pioneered the concept of political non-violence and the notion of passive resistance, and paid the highest price for his moral choices. A great many people, like Gandhi, desire a non-violent world, in which whistleblowers and thoughtful, idealistic individuals are honoured rather than punished.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Dissecting Syria turbulence

    • John Langmore
    • 19 September 2013
    8 Comments

    This has been a turbulent two weeks. One's attitudes have oscillated through anger and despair to a glimpse of hope and ended with renewed confidence in Obama's values and intentions. What a time for Australia to be chairing the Security Council! My impression is that our diplomats are working with professional skill, commitment to the rule of law and to peaceful conflict resolution.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The distraction of red lines in Syria

    • Evan Ellis
    • 27 August 2013
    5 Comments

    In some ways the intense focus on chemical weapons and red lines is diversionary. Enough blood has been spilt to paint a thousand red lines. 100,000+ people have been killed already. Is it somehow easier on the International Community’s conscience to think of families being ripped apart by artillery shells than dying from chemical warfare? 

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  • MEDIA

    Election coverage you can trust

    • Michael McVeigh
    • 06 August 2013
    15 Comments

    One of the things we expect from our media is that they will ask the hard questions on an election trail. Today's editorial from the Daily Telegraph makes it clear that they believe only one party is worthy of your trust. If the mainstream media can no longer be trusted to ask the serious questions of both parties, perhaps it's time for the game to move elsewhere.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    George Zimmerman in the Bizzaro world of US gun laws

    • Jim McDermott
    • 19 July 2013
    10 Comments

    Fearful men should not be able to walk suburban streets carrying hidden revolvers. Yet that's the Bizarro universe the US finds itself in. Politicians in the US and Australia take note: if you spend your time creating a climate of anxiety, whipping up hysteria or building walls in order to score political points, the eventual result is going to be children lying dead in your streets or drowned off your shores.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The alchemy of Australia's personality politics

    • Fatima Measham
    • 15 July 2013
    9 Comments

    Voters find it difficult to buy ideas wholesale when they don't make sense in retail. Imagine a voter who would like to see the Labor Party build on reforms in education and health but cannot abide its policy on asylum seekers. This is where the focus on personalities actually matters. Much of the dissatisfaction with leaders ultimately rests on a public assessment of the way policies are prosecuted.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Kevin Rudd and Indonesia's Obama

    • Pat Walsh
    • 04 July 2013
    10 Comments

    Rudd's visit to Jakarta this week will be judged on the outcome of asylum seeker discussions. But he needs also to send a clear message about Australia's hopes for next year's presidential elections. Candidates include a former military commander with a dubious human rights record, and a civilian being described as Indonesia's Obama.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The rise of global surveillance anxiety

    • Ray Cassin
    • 21 June 2013
    7 Comments

    Unease about the Australian Federal Police obtaining phone and internet records without a warrant coincided with a greater, global anxiety about the more troublesome surveillance activities of the US National Security Agency. The Obama administration's defence of the NSA has been as lame as Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus's defence of the AFP.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Obama no 'wuss' but at what cost to Syria?

    • Evan Ellis
    • 18 June 2013
    4 Comments

    Alluding to his own military style intervention in Kosovo, Bill Clinton warned Obama not to look like a 'wuss' on Syria. Still, Obama's decision to start providing arms to Syrian rebels is an enormous risk. Australia's history of state interventions to tackle Indigenous disadvantage provide surprisingly apt criteria for evaluating the decision.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Labor lost in democracy's gaps

    • Fatima Measham
    • 21 May 2013
    10 Comments

    How do we make sense of the perception that the economy is being mishandled when Australia is performing far better than other western countries? Or the fact that Labor faces a grim fate despite massive support for its major policies? The incongruence between public and political interest reveals democracy as an unfinished project. 

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