keywords: A Lack Of Opposition

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Pro-choice paradigm lacks compassion on Zoe's Law

    • Zac Alstin
    • 17 September 2013
    66 Comments

    'Zoe's Law' was named in honour of the unborn child killed when her mother was hit by an allegedly drug-affected driver. We have the curious idea that 'pro-choice' is synonymous with compassion, respect, inclusivity and empowerment, yet opponents of Zoe's Law are philosophically unable to support a compassionate response to Zoe's mother, warning instead that 'We cannot accept a foetus being considered as a 'child' in NSW law.'

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The moral point of difference between Labor and the Coalition

    • Michael Mullins
    • 09 September 2013
    17 Comments

    There was cause for celebration on Saturday night for both the Coalition and Labor. The Coalition was able to claim a decisive victory in the Federal Election, and Labor defied expectations and remains viable. But not so for vulnerable people overseas who will lose their Australian foreign aid lifeline so that the Coalition can fund its election promises.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia's 20 years of asylum seeker dog whistling

    • Benedict Coleridge
    • 06 September 2013
    11 Comments

    Throughout the electoral fracas over boat arrivals, Tony Abbott has been keen to isolate Australia's border control challenges from any international context: in his terms they are 'Australia's problem'. He may deny it, but the Opposition Leader knows full well that the Australian discussion is part of an international debate about responses to people movement. A historical perspective helps to illuminate this.

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  • RELIGION

    Irrational fear of the Muslim Brotherhood

    • Irfan Yusuf
    • 21 August 2013
    9 Comments

    It’s a crude and misleading line of reasoning to declare that Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood can’t be committed to democracy because it is an Islamist organisation much like al-Qaida and Hezbollah. On what basis do we label individuals or groups 'Islamist'? Or 'fundamentalist'? Or 'extremist'? How can we have a monolith amongst a set of congregations making up almost one quarter of the world's human population? The history and politics of Islam is just as complex as that of Christianity.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australian democracy needs an intrusion of the excluded

    • John Falzon
    • 19 August 2013
    24 Comments

    Kevin Rudd says we need a 'new politics' or a 'new way'. Tony Abbott says we'll only get a new way by electing a new government. What is missing in both statements is the recognition that what we actually need is a new kind of economic democracy: a reconfiguration of our economic prioritising away from individualism towards the common good, and towards the participation of all rather than the exclusion of many.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The alchemy of Australia's personality politics

    • Fatima Measham
    • 15 July 2013
    9 Comments

    Voters find it difficult to buy ideas wholesale when they don't make sense in retail. Imagine a voter who would like to see the Labor Party build on reforms in education and health but cannot abide its policy on asylum seekers. This is where the focus on personalities actually matters. Much of the dissatisfaction with leaders ultimately rests on a public assessment of the way policies are prosecuted.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The small-l liberal tradition of brutal border control

    • Benedict Coleridge
    • 12 July 2013
    8 Comments

    Many on the left might shudder at the mention of Philip Ruddock or think that his views on migration control were extreme and 'illiberal'. But in fact his views rested on mainstream liberal ideas of limited freedom. In Australia the concepts offered by the liberal tradition have been employed by both sides of politics to give a 'reasonable' varnish to inhumane migration control policies.

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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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  • AUSTRALIA

    Humiliation at the heart of homelessness

    • John Falzon
    • 18 June 2013
    13 Comments

    Recent ABS data reveals NT has both the highest rate of people experiencing homelessness and the highest imprisonment rate of any Australian state. Former Spanish PM Zapatero said 'a decent society is one that does not humiliate its members'. Successive Australian governments have systematically humiliated citizens on the basis of cultural background or health or social status.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Nice guys of Victorian politics finish last

    • Moira Rayner
    • 13 March 2013
    6 Comments

    Geoff Shaw, who belittled the now-traditional 'welcome to country' and publicly equated gays with dangerous drivers, is currently the most powerful man in Victorian politics. His resignation helped ensure the downfall of the humane and likeable Ted Ballieu, whose achievements as Premier jarred with pre-election promises. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Julie Bishop's pall of duty

    • Max Atkinson
    • 23 January 2013
    13 Comments

    On the question of whether Australia should support a higher UN status for Palestine, it appears Julie Bishop sees herself and fellow shadow ministers as obliged to accept Tony Abbott's opinions, regardless of the nation's interests, much less those of Israel and Palestine. This theory of duty must be rejected as profoundly irrational.

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  • EDUCATION

    Best of 2012: Gonski's reductionist view of education

    • Chris Middleton
    • 07 January 2013
    2 Comments

    The report's argument that a base level of funding be established might lead to a lowest common denominator approach to determining what is an 'efficient' education, in both the state and private systems. Creativity, diversity and experimentation may be hindered in such a regime. Friday 24 February 

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