Search Results: referendum

  • INTERNATIONAL

    Murky law in Crimea land grab

    • Justin Glyn
    • 21 March 2014
    6 Comments

    While pro-Russian and pro-Western media have been spinning the Crimea crisis as either a heroic exercise in righting a past wrong or a land grab by a new Hitler, the legal position is far from straightforward, and there is more than enough hypocrisy to go around. The Crimean issue is perhaps best analysed not through the prism of international law but rather that of age-old great power politics.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Beware conservative slogans for Indigenous inclusion

    • John Warhurst
    • 31 January 2014
    5 Comments

    The idea of a completed Constitution may be attractive, but it is also dangerous. To complete something is to end, conclude or finish it. Alternatively something which is complete is perfect, full or entire. Such language is inappropriate when discussing a constitution. Advocates for constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians should beware of it even if it improves the immediate chances of passing any particular constitutional change.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Best of 2013: Margaret Thatcher versus the Scots

    • Duncan MacLaren
    • 10 January 2014

    While any man's death diminishes me because I am involved in mankind', I must admit to pouring a glass of good malt at the news of Thatcher's passing. The Southern English may laud her as the greatest prime minister after Churchill but for us Scots she was a hate figure who in the last days of her premiership scarcely dared to cross the border for fear of being assassinated.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Stop the world, Scotland wants to get on

    • Duncan MacLaren
    • 18 December 2013
    17 Comments

    After six years in Australia, I am returning home to Scotland to work for the next year's referendum, which will ask if Scotland should become an independent country. It is essentially a contest between the present insular, Little Englander nightmare and a place in the world as a sovereign state. That's worth leaving Australia for!

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  • AUSTRALIA

    High Court leaves same sex marriage door ajar

    • Frank Brennan
    • 16 December 2013
    30 Comments

    Until now, there was some doubt whether the Parliament's constitutional power to make laws with respect to marriage would be broad enough to include laws with respect to same sex marriage. The High Court has put this matter beyond doubt with all six sitting judges affirming that 'marriage' for the purposes of defining the constitutional power of the Parliament could not be confined to marriage in the traditional Christian sense.

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  • RELIGION

    Christian social thinking for Australia

    • Frank Brennan
    • 08 November 2013
    1 Comment

    'Many Catholics wonder how we can maintain our Christian faith at this time in the wake of the sexual abuse crisis and the many judgmental utterances about sexuality and reproduction. The Church that has spoken longest and loudest about sex in all its modalities seems to be one of the social institutions most needing to get its own house in order.' Frank Brennan's address to the Yarra Institute for Religion and Social Policy, 8 November 2013. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Labor's light on the hill

    • Frank Brennan
    • 02 November 2013
    7 Comments

    'There have been innumerable post-mortems and words of advice as to how the party with new structures, election rules, and policies can pick itself up, dust off, and win the next election. Sadly some of those post-mortems have come with more coatings of spite and loathing. It is no part of my role in the public square as a Catholic priest to offer such advice.' Frank Brennan's address to the Bathurst Panthers Club, 2 November 2013.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    ACT makes a dog's breakfast of marriage equality

    • Frank Brennan
    • 29 October 2013
    47 Comments

    Marriage equality advocates are pursuing the issue at a state level in the hope of pressuring the Commonwealth. In the process they risk blowing apart the national coherence of marriage laws put in place in 1961. The marriage equality question is best resolved by the Australian Parliament exercising a conscience vote. Marriage is too precious a social institution to be put in the mix of a dog's breakfast.

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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

    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

    Spare a thought for luckless Gillard

    • Moira Rayner
    • 27 June 2013
    37 Comments

    Anyone who knows how it feels to lose a career in mid life will understand how Gillard is feeling today. Now that a most gracious acknowledgement of personal defeat has been given by the first woman to step up to the hardest political job anyone could be asked to do, we must find the time to consider and learn from what we have witnessed about how the country is run.

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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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