keywords: Referendum

  • 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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  • AUSTRALIA

    The best and worst of local government

    • Moira Rayner
    • 10 May 2013
    5 Comments

    At its best local government lifts the vision of its people from NIMBY-ism and road maintenance to a sense of community and attachment. But Australians are now so disengaged from politicians state and federal that the timing of Gillard's announcement of a referendum on local government could do more harm than good.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Good policy comes second to voter trust

    • Ray Cassin
    • 08 May 2013
    13 Comments

    Gillard's adroit manoeuvring of Abbott into supporting the NDIS will do little to help her come September. People typically vote for whoever they trust to govern, and the public's lack of trust in Labor derives not from policy or the legislative record but from the circumstances in which she became prime minister in the first place.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia in a sorry state as Gonski faces failure

    • Ray Cassin
    • 17 April 2013
    6 Comments

    If the states give Gillard's Gonski education proposals the thumbs-down, as is expected to happen at Friday's COAG meeting, it will not be the first time since Labor's return to office in 2007 that Australia's creaking constitutional arrangements have made fundamental reform impossible.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Margaret Thatcher versus the Scots

    • Duncan MacLaren
    • 10 April 2013
    72 Comments

    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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  • RELIGION

    Abbott's quest for constitutional inclusion

    • Frank Brennan
    • 25 March 2013
    9 Comments

    Given the opinion polls and divisions in Labor, it's no surprise Abbott is confidently preparing his team for government. Anything he says about constitutional change therefore carries weight. Advocates for constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians would be heartened then by two of his recent speeches. 

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  • RELIGION

    Recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People in the Constitution

    • Frank Brennan
    • 21 March 2013
    1 Comment

    Frank Brennan's address 'Recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People in the Constitution' presented at the 18th National Schools Constitutional Convention, The Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House, 21 March 2013.

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  • RELIGION

    How can the Catholic Church contribute to a better culture for life?

    • Frank Brennan
    • 18 March 2013
    3 Comments

    Change is upon the Church. Just recall the scene when the new pope emerged on the Vatican balcony. He appeared with none of the papal trimmings of office, and did not once did he refer to the papacy. Could something of this new papal style help Catholics engage more creatively with their fellow citizens? Text from Frank Brennan's lecture 'How Can the Catholic Church Contribute to a Better Culture for Life?'

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  • RELIGION

    Inspirational Abbott's Indigenous aspiration

    • Frank Brennan
    • 27 February 2013
    15 Comments

    Let's not underestimate the significance of John Howard's successor giving credit to Paul Keating for his Redfern speech, before invoking New Zealand's Treaty of Waitangi and calling for atonement. Still there is plenty of work to be done to attain proper constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Clarifying the anti-discrimination muddle

    • Frank Brennan
    • 19 February 2013
    34 Comments

    There has been some very confused debate about the Government's proposed consolidation of anti-discrimination laws. David Marr claimed leaders of 'conservative faiths' were free to 'kick poofters, lesbians, single mothers, people in de facto relationships'. He needs to take a cold shower while we clarify these issues. 

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  • RELIGION

    Keating’s Timor and Carr’s Papua

    • Frank Brennan
    • 30 November 2012
    17 Comments

    Paul Keating this month reflected on his determination as Prime Minister 'to establish a new and durable' relationship with Indonesia' and lamented the Australian media and his predecessors' preoccupation with human rights abuses in East Timor. It'd be churlish to question these reflections if the current Foreign Minister were not on the cusp of making a similar mistake regarding Papua.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Same sex marriage and the republic

    • John Warhurst
    • 04 October 2012
    20 Comments

    If same sex marriage continues to gain momentum around the Western world then the Australian debate will not go away. But should international interest fade then it probably will in Australia too. Whatever the future of the republic debate in Australia it is not of the same international character and therefore harder to sustain.

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