Keywords: Polarisation

  • INTERNATIONAL

    Common ground amid polarised China debate

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 03 December 2019
    5 Comments

    If China spies upon Australia, Australia spied on East Timor. If China detains Uighurs in harsh conditions, so has Australia detained people in brutal and demeaning conditions on Manus Island. If China lays out money to nations on our region to secure its national interests, so does Australia, most notably to Nauru and PNG.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Class and climate drive Melbourne Cup hostility

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 06 November 2019
    27 Comments

    I can't imagine how anyone could look at the Melbourne Cup and see a vision of the 'fair go'. On the contrary, much hostility to horse racing — this year's Cup attracted the smallest crowd since 1993 — stems from a perception that its rituals celebrate grotesque inequalities.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The day my phone turned on me

    • Michele Frankeni
    • 28 October 2019
    3 Comments

    Lately my phone has been leading me down some dark paths. The algorithms have become skewed and it has become a lot more conservative. I cannot pinpoint when the change occurred. Was it that time I clicked on the Australian? But how does that account for the links to sites that laud Steve Bannon and question the Pope?

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  • RELIGION

    Pope answers policies that suffocate hope

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 30 September 2019
    10 Comments

    The Pope's speech was newsworthy because in Australia sentences to a lifetime in prison without parole are becoming less contentious and more used. His approach to prisoners and their criminal behaviour is in such strong contrast to strands of Australian culture in which exclusion and the denial of hope are an instinctive response.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Can weather presenters be climate saviours?

    • Greg Foyster
    • 16 August 2019
    2 Comments

    The media often portrays climate change as a political issue. But politicians are the least trusted messengers for climate information. They really turn off the public. The most trusted are scientists, firefighters, farmers and weather presenters. Of these, only weather presenters have a large audience and are already skilled communicators.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Climate catastrophe and the irrational race

    • Megan Graham
    • 05 August 2019
    7 Comments

    The debate around climate change shows the danger in believing we humans are principally rational. History gives example after example of how our biases can make us do very irrational things. In the words of Dan Ariely, our species is 'predictably irrational'. It is helpful for us to know this, so that we can become better.

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  • RELIGION

    Wrestling with the sacking of Israel Folau

    • Chris Middleton
    • 07 May 2019
    31 Comments

    Folau is a lay minister in his church. There is no doubt that he, as an evangelical Christian with a literal understanding of the text, believes a whole lot of people will go to hell unless they repent. His sacking raises questions around important issues in a society that values diversity and that promotes inclusivity and tolerance.

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  • FAITH DOING JUSTICE

    Parsing the Catholic bishops' election advice

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 02 May 2019
    11 Comments

    The Australian bishops' statement on the federal election is significant as much for the fact it was made as for its argument. Given the polarisation of public debate, they might well have thought it wiser to remain silent. For them the greatest success of the statement may be that, when they spoke of public issues, the sky did not fall in.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What we can learn from the Covington incident

    • Chris Middleton
    • 04 February 2019

    Because this story is in the political arena, it seems vicious comments from celebrities, politicians, and countless others are made with impunity. And we wonder why young people can be so cruel online and why it is so hard to educate them that words matter; that words hurt. Then, as they say, the story got complicated.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The myth of polarisation in modern Australia

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 10 December 2018
    12 Comments

    Why do so many pundits decry the divisions in Canberra at a time when, objectively speaking, the parties have never been closer? The short answer is that they're responding to a genuine polarisation — not between Labor and Liberal but between both parties and the rest of society.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Why no compromise on Manus and Nauru?

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 03 October 2018
    10 Comments

    The link Manne makes between Australian treatment of people seeking protection and the abiding cultural demand to control outsiders is illuminating, and his description of the 'Canberra mindset' is persuasive. But the resistance from the sector to negotiation about Manus and Nauru has more complex roots than Manne allows.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Robots are not the real threat to work

    • Osmond Chiu
    • 25 May 2018
    1 Comment

    While the threat from automation is often overstated, there are big technological shifts occurring which are undermining job security. But the experience is that work is created as well as displaced by new technology. Change in social relationships, not technology, explains what is happening in labour markets today.

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