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Keywords: Democrats

  • Soul-destroying refugee policy shames Australia

    • Aloysious Mowe
    • 25 February 2015

    Just before Christmas last year, the United States Senate Select Intelligence Committee released its report on the CIA's Detention and Interrogation Program, and its use of torture on detainees between 2002 and 2006. Among the report's key findings was the fact that the brutality of the torture and the harshness of the detention regime went beyond what the CIA. had reported to policy-makers (in other words, the CIA deliberately misled its Senate overseers); that the CIA's claims for the effectiveness of torture to obtain information that was vital for national security were inaccurate and unfounded; that the torture regime had damaged the standing of the United States, and resulted in significant costs, monetary and otherwise; that personnel were rarely reprimanded or held accountable for violations, inappropriate activities, and systematic and individual management failures. Read more

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Hong Kong not in the mood for love

    • Antonio Castillo
    • 03 October 2014
    3 Comments

    Over the last 20 years, every time the people of Hong Kong have heard some 'menacing' messages from Beijing, they have responded and become politically active. The menacing message this time is the one I heard two years ago in the office of Leung Kwok-hung – better known as 'Long hair' – in the Legislative Council offices far from the epicentre of the protests: 'Beijing won’t honour its pledge’.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Clive Palmer's world of surprises

    • Michael Mullins
    • 14 July 2014
    9 Comments

    Clive Palmer is thwarting some of the inequities in the Coalition’s Budget and legislative program. He appears to stand for policy that is confused and inconsistent, and possibly self-interested. But in joining hands with Al Gore he has shown himself capable of forging alliances with business and other entrepreneurs, for the common good of humanity. Fellow mining magnate Twiggy Forrest got together with Pope Francis to promote the abolition of slavery. Perhaps the Pope is on Clive’s list.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Underdog PUP could bite Abbott

    • John Warhurst
    • 02 June 2014
    2 Comments

    The Budget will be the first test. The negotiations will set the scene for the remainder of this parliamentary term. Palmer, an enigma, has already survived longer than many of his critics thought he would. In fact he has grown in confidence and reputation rather than falling in a heap. What the Greens have to guard against are some of the traps that the Democrats fell into. They look pretty disciplined at the moment but that can't be guaranteed.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Wily Harradine delivered for Indigenous Australians

    • Frank Brennan
    • 16 April 2014
    18 Comments

    The great Tasmanian Catholic warrior Brian Harradine did wonderful work in the Senate, the chamber Paul Keating described as 'unrepresentative swill'. He successfully negotiated significant improvements to the lamentable Howard Aboriginal land rights package. Seven years after the Wik debate, Democrats deputy leader Andrew Bartlett said: 'The agreement he reached on the Wik legislation was one of the few cases I would point to where John Howard was bested in negotiations'.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Freedom of expression for the rest of us

    • Ruby Hamad
    • 04 April 2014
    6 Comments

    How ironic that, even as Attorney General Brandis ensures the rights of 'bigots', the rest of us find our own rights under threat. Liberal state governments continue to roll out laws that affect the more marginalised and less privileged among us. Victoria's new 'anti-protest' laws and Queensland's 'anti-bikie' laws threaten public protest and assembly, which for most of us is how we exercise our freedom of expression.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    In the half-light of insider politics

    • John Warhurst
    • 04 March 2014
    3 Comments

    The general lessons from the conflict of interest that claimed Alastair Furnival, chief of staff to Assistant Health Minister Senator Fiona Nash, are about the often-hidden world of political insiders. The numbers of Coalition aligned lobbyists has grown greatly, and include many former senior Howard Government ministers. But Labor supporters should not feel smug. There are plenty of examples on that side of politics, too.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Representation in a blokey cabinet and wonky senate

    • Ray Cassin
    • 18 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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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Egyptian democracy a long way off

    • Evan Ellis
    • 05 July 2013
    3 Comments

    President Mohamed Morsi did not govern particularly well. Egypt's rating on the Failed State Index has slipped from 45 to 34 since the fall of Mubarak. But the truth is that this crisis was not merely 12 months in the making, and Egypt's democracy was merely grafted on to a structure in which the military was the real power.

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  • RELIGION

    Church and ordained ministry in the 21st century

    • Frank Brennan
    • 23 May 2013
    2 Comments

    Fr Frank Brennan's keynote address at the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn Clergy Assembly, St Clement's, Gaylong, on 22 May 2013

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Downer and Costello's murky world of political lobbying

    • John Warhurst
    • 02 April 2013
    8 Comments

    In days past the 'consultancy' activity of former senior politicians was cloaked in respectability and not perceived as being at the hands-on end of lobbying. That pretence has now ended and Alexander Downer and Peter Costello are good examples. It is an unhealthy development with plenty of room for conflicts of interest.

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  • MEDIA

    Stifling media inquiries in Australia and the UK

    • Ray Cassin
    • 04 December 2012
    8 Comments

    Australian journalists' tendency to conflate the UK Leveson inquiry's recommendations with those of Australia's Finkelstein inquiry is ill-informed. This blurring in the minds of journalists, publishers and the wider public is a reminder of the anger that spawned the inquiries, and a broad hint about their likely consequences.

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