Search Results: Senate voting reforms

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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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  • AUSTRALIA

    On Aboriginal land: seeking a place at the table

    • Frank Brennan
    • 30 May 2017
    6 Comments

    Indigenous leaders this last week have called for the creation of two new legal entities. They want a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Constitution, and a Makarrata Commission set up by legislation. The Makarrata Commission would supervise agreement making between governments and First Nations and engage in truth telling about history. The envisaged destination is a national Makarrata (or treaty). So the immediate constitutional issue is the creation of the First Nations Voice. There is no point in proceeding with a referendum on a question which fails to win the approval of Indigenous Australia. Neither is there any point in proceeding with a referendum which is unlikely to win the approval of the voting public.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Greens' senate reform spin is sweetened nonsense

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 22 March 2016
    19 Comments

    The idea that these laws are, as Twomey writes, 'more conducive to representing the genuine choice of the people in electing their Senate' is untrue. It is a view expressed by Greens leader Senator Richard Di Natale, who suggested 'the Senate that's delivered after the next election is the one people vote for'. What these voting reforms actually serve to do is give the false impression of eliminating manipulation while diluting Australia's political base in favour of monochrome party politics.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Preselection esteems politics over merit

    • Fatima Measham
    • 13 March 2016
    10 Comments

    The debate over the Coalition's proposed senate voting reforms has highlighted the inter-party brokering that brings candidates into office. Yet if representative democracy were predicated on transparency, then another area deserves scrutiny: preselection. The mechanism for choosing party representatives clearly relies on powerful backers - politics - rather than merit. That is an obvious thing to say. But it carries repercussions for governance with which we have yet to grapple.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    No justice in rushing senate voting reforms

    • John Warhurst
    • 29 February 2016
    11 Comments

    The government, the Greens, and Senator Nick Xenophon want to keep the debate about electoral justice as narrow as possible because they are offering some technical improvements. But they shouldn't be allowed to rush their reforms, which must be separated from the idea of a double dissolution election driven by a determination to cut short the terms of sitting micro-party senators. The anti-major party feeling among a significant minority of voters cannot just be condemned as mere populism.

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  • RELIGION

    Christian social thinking for Australia

    • Frank Brennan
    • 07 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
    • 01 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

    Representation in a blokey cabinet and wonky senate

    • Ray Cassin
    • 17 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

    The dubious removal of Paraguay's former bishop president

    • Rodrigo Acuña
    • 02 July 2012
    6 Comments

    The recent ouster of Paraguay’s left-wing president Fernando Lugo probably broke some type of world record. Having had just two hours to prepare his defence, the leader who was once 'Bishop of the poor' described his impeachment as a 'parliamentary coup d’état'. He had a point.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Charting a course for the Philippines

    • Fatima Measham
    • 18 May 2007

    Fatima Measham investigates the declining credibility of Filipino President Gloria Arroyo.

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