keywords: Cross Bench

  • AUSTRALIA

    Watching the 'mixed bag' Senate cross bench at work

    • John Warhurst
    • 05 December 2016
    4 Comments

    To say the Senate cross bench is a mixed bag is an understatement. All that is really lacking is an extreme left senator unrestrained by Labor/Green discipline. Amid all the controversy I've grown comfortable with their place in the Senate and appreciative of their collective presence in an otherwise party dominated chamber. They each have their flaws, but they make a generally positive contribution to public discussion and to ultimate legislative outcomes. We are better off for their presence.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Lessons for Labor from across the Tasman

    • Cecily McNeill
    • 18 September 2013
    2 Comments

    As the Australian Labor Party embarked on its month-long process towards a grassroots election of a leader to replace Kevin Rudd, the New Zealand Labour Party was ending its long and sometimes brutal election of a new leader. The lesson from across the Tasman is that a grassroots election of a leader can broaden the base of those with a say in the party's destiny, and steer it back towards a more traditional social democratic stance.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    In praise of Aboriginal trailblazers

    • Michele Madigan
    • 01 October 2019
    9 Comments

    Narungga Elder Tauto Sansbury died 23 September after a lifetime of campaigning to make the criminal justice system just for Aboriginal people, among other matters. He and other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander trailblazers set a benchmark to which we can all aspire in the pursuit of positive change.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    The 'kettle logic' of climate denial cultists

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 19 September 2019
    13 Comments

    Like the flying saucer people documented in When Prophecy Fails, they don't change their minds based on new material. Rather, the discomfort fresh edvidence causes them results in a renewed proclamation of their denialism, as they double down on that identity. The rhetoric might change but the structure remains the same.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The Jacqui Lambie conundrum

    • John Warhurst
    • 17 September 2019
    6 Comments

    Serendipity is defined as the gift of finding valuable things in unexpected places by sheer luck. It is a good description of Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie in Australian politics. But there is a sting in the tail. A system which depends on serendipity potentially also has a big downside.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Labels can be useful for diversifying the arts

    • Sukhmani Khorana
    • 26 August 2019

    A recent report on the lack of culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) representation in arts leadership recognises the limitations of the label. In an era marked by media bubbles, it is more vital than ever that we use categories such as CALD to build bridges, while not losing sight of our differences and varying levels of disadvantage.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    A common good frame for economic stimulus

    • Joe Zabar
    • 26 August 2019
    3 Comments

    While the current economic climate is cause for concern, it is not the time to panic. A more sensible alternative to austerity is for governments, business, unions and charities to look for ways we can together soften the impact of any global downturn. This will require bipartisan agreement to sacrifice some or all of the budget surplus.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The radical implications of 'they are us'

    • Genevieve Lloyd
    • 04 June 2019
    8 Comments

    When Jacinda Ardern uttered the words 'They are Us' in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in Christchurch, a powerful vision hovered over the impending debates on the meaning of what had happened. Something hitherto invisible came into view and was repudiated: a conceptual structure underlying the operations of social power.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Youth justice blueprint is in front of our noses

    • Julie Edwards
    • 28 May 2019
    6 Comments

    Almost two years have passed since the youth justice royal commission prompted by the abuses at Darwin's Don Dale youth detention facility. Yet many of its recommendations remain unrealised, largely due to a lack of federal funding support. In the meantime, youth justice has remained at the crossroads in many parts of Australia.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    How Abbott still haunts climate policy

    • Greg Foyster
    • 24 April 2019
    10 Comments

    By setting the boundaries of what is considered politically acceptable, Tony Abbott has influenced the level of ambition in every party's climate policy, and has even caused environment groups to shift their positions. How has he manage to wield so much influence for so long? There are three reasons he cut through when Labor didn't.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Navigating the post-Medivac ugliness

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 15 February 2019
    16 Comments

    Having failed to prevent tinkering to the border protection regime, the Morrison government returned to the well Australian politicians have drawn upon when faced with electoral crisis. Mathias Cormann was no less crude in adopting a mode that speaks wonders to the desperation of a government awaiting its electoral deliverance.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Election year hope and hijinks

    • Eliza Berlage
    • 18 January 2019
    10 Comments

    Entering an election year is like coming home for the holiday season. It's full of hope and hijinks but also promises and pain. And like every family, each party has its quirks. Hopefully a post-election Parliament will green light some meaningful reform to improve people's lives rather than always culture warring. But don't hold your breath.

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