Keywords: Social Contract

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The ignorant courage of the anti-vaxxers

    • Jen Vuk
    • 27 April 2015
    22 Comments

    When my friend Lena told me she wouldn’t be vaccinating her newborn son Sammy, I admit I was fascinated but not surprised. Lena was always going to do motherhood her way. There are many like her who decided with a clear vision and level-head. But I can no longer accept these decisions. Since having my own precious boys, my world view has shifted and I am less ignorant.

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  • RELIGION

    Joe Hockey's prize orchid

    • Marcelle Mogg
    • 17 December 2014
    11 Comments

    In his Mid Year Financial Economic Outlook statements this week, Treasurer Joe Hockey construed 'The Economy' as a rare prized orchid, requiring careful nurturing. The orchid is to be admired, and the gardener more so for the skill, expertise and craft that gives rise to such a beautiful creation. The trouble with treating The Economy like a prized bloom is that we fail to recognise that the it exists to serve people. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Another year bites the parliamentary dirt

    • Frank Brennan
    • 09 December 2014
    27 Comments

    What a dreadful year it has been for parliamentary democracy. Speaker Bronwyn Bishop has taken pride in the number of members she has ejected. Senator David Leyonhjelm has introduced his same sex marriage bill in an orderly fashion, but the decision will rest with the Abbott Government, which won't want to to hand the bouquet for breaking the logjam to Leyonhjelm. To get arrangements for the bearing and nurturing of children right, we need our parliament to be a more considered and dignified place than a battlefield.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Who wants to be a capitalist?

    • Moira Rayner
    • 31 October 2014
    11 Comments

    Affordable housing ought to be a hot election issue. Sadly it’s not a government priority, with ordinary people being taught to be entitled to look to capital growth in bricks and mortar as the best path to financial security. That is producing a housing price bubble and public housing is being squeezed. As a result, an increasing number of Australians can’t afford to put a roof over their head.

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  • RELIGION

    Catholic press struggles to earn trust

    • Tim Wallace
    • 07 October 2014
    21 Comments

    The sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church has affected mass attendance and contributions to the collection plate. The credibility of its newspapers has also taken a hit, with coverage of the crisis generally following the official line. The publications must  appease both their clerical owners and their supporters, the readers, whose trust needs to be earned and maintained.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Hervey Bay boat arrival from Ireland

    • Frank Brennan
    • 22 September 2014
    5 Comments

    Considering my indebtedness to the two Aborigines who met [my family's ship arriving in Hervey Bay from Ireland] 151 years ago, I owe it to all my fellow Australians to agitate these issues of law, morality and politics here in Ireland so that back in Australia, the homeland which, in my religious tradition, was known as the Great South Land of the Holy Spirit.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Wombs for rent

    • Ellena Savage
    • 05 September 2014
    5 Comments

    When Bill Heffernan said that Julia Gillard was unfit for leadership because she was 'deliberately barren', he didn't really err. He just named our preoccupation with motherhood. But is the drive to procreate so powerful and important that it should override the integrity of women in developing countries? Should it continue to be the defining quality of women?

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The enemy is AIDS, not those who live with it

    • Michael Mullins
    • 28 July 2014
    23 Comments

    Rates of HIV infection are rising, while stigma is in decline. Some believe the only way to contain the virus is to maintain the stigma against those living with it. But the majority view is that those suffering should be empowered. If the law and the media support them, there is hope that the community will move rationally towards an end to the crisis. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Catholics face Good Samaritan dilemma on Christmas Island

    • Mike Bowden
    • 24 July 2014
    23 Comments

    The implications of the Good Samaritan story are clear on Christmas Island. The evil of child imprisonment is of the Government's own doing, and it must be shamed into remedying it. Is the Catholic Education Office in Western Australia right then to provide education to these children? Catholic agencies that alleviate the harm done to those imprisoned should also make clear their condemnation of the evil of that imprisonment.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Human relationships and efficiency don't mix

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 03 July 2014
    5 Comments

    The Victorian Government has started to recommission its community sector programs. To simplify administration of community mental health services, it has awarded tenders to large organisations and withdrawn funding from small specialised innovative programs that were effective because of the quality of the relationships they had built up. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Budget makes asylum seeker vilification official

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 22 May 2014
    26 Comments

    The Government's vilification of people arriving by boat has reached the level where the term 'illegal' features in the Budget documents. Immigration Minister Morrison has insisted on referring to people arriving by boat as 'illegals' for some years, despite the Migration Act using the less pejorative term 'unlawful non-citizen'. This is not just a lawyer's linguistic debate; if it were not important, the Government would not insist on the term.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Move over Lance Armstrong, the Budget is coming

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 08 May 2014
    13 Comments

    Heightened competitiveness does not foster interest in the common good but creates a narrow focus on the interests of the individual. The use of drugs in cycling illustrates the point. Doing what it takes meant taking competition out of the game by excluding competitors from the possibility of winning. In Australian politics the cult of competitiveness has led to a rigged competition in which the national interest will not be served.

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