section: Australia

There are more than 200 results, only the first 200 are displayed here.

  • AUSTRALIA

    Boston bomber sentence shows death penalty is always political

    • Frank Brennan
    • 19 May 2015
    11 Comments

    The lesson from the trials of Boston Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and the Bali nine is that the death penalty is always political and macabre. In the US, Justice Scalia was not at all minded to consider the merits of the argument about the effects of the drug Midazolam because he thought the case was all part of a long term political campaign to delegitimise the death penalty. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Stopping the boats as a part of our national identity

    • John Warhurst
    • 18 May 2015
    17 Comments

    Recent polls reveal our pride in scientific, technological and sporting achievements. It is reassuring that many of us support the current and even increased immigration levels. But Australians overwhelmingly, 65 per cent in total, believe that stronger measures should be taken to 'exclude illegal immigrants'. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Joe Hockey's 'better bang' foreign aid cut delusion

    • Michael Mullins
    • 18 May 2015
    38 Comments

    As a nation, we have demonstrated to the world that we have no shame when it comes to the treatment of asylum seekers. Now it's as if the aid cuts are being worn as a badge of honour. Joe Hockey talks about the 'targeted outcomes' philosophy of the cuts, 'build[iing] the prosperity and assist[ing] with poverty alleviation in our region', in order to get 'better bang for our buck in foreign aid'. But leading aid economist Stephen Howse argues the opposite.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Is faith more than metaphor?

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 14 May 2015
    50 Comments

    Australian writer David Tacey argues that the Christian story, like all religious beliefs, should be seen as metaphor. He argues that in turning from a literal understanding, we recapture the original Christian message. But for me, adopting his reading would mean the loss of a personal God to whom I can pray, of a Christ who is a living presence among his followers, and of a community in living continuity with Jesus' disciples.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Federal Budget a lost opportunity

    • Marcelle Mogg
    • 13 May 2015
    8 Comments

    Is this the Budget you have when you're not having a Budget? The most remarkable thing about this Budget, in contrast with Prime Minister Abbott's promise of a fair Budget, is that so much of it relies on the re-election of a Coalition Government in 2016. Is it fair to make vulnerable Australians wait that long?

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Budget must move beyond political fetish

    • Fatima Measham
    • 12 May 2015
    3 Comments

    The practice of presenting the budget to parliament came out of a crisis. In 1733,  British Prime Minister Robert Walpole's announced plan to impose an excise tax on wine and tobacco was met with outrage. It reflects the reality that budget presentation did not start out as a neutral exercise in transparency but rather a mishandled piece of political communication.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Will new Greens leader Di Natale do a Pope Francis?

    • Michael Mullins
    • 11 May 2015
    9 Comments

    The Greens' leadership transition is seen as a switch from hard-line ideology to political pragmatism. Previous Greens leaders have been fond of judgmental rhetoric, somewhat foolishly referring to those in the high-level carbon emitting legacy industries as 'polluters'. Perhaps Richard Di Natale will give such counter-productive personal abuse a rest. Showing mercy to the polluters' may yield surprising turnarounds such as AGL's recent moves from coal to solar energy.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The exploitation of Anzac and other myths

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 07 May 2015
    13 Comments

    To describe events as mythical is always open to misunderstanding, because in common speech myth is opposed to reality. When mythical stories are seen as unreal, the deep significance they have for individuals and groups also comes into question. So a hostile response is to be expected.  

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  • AUSTRALIA

    An ignoble boycott calculated to hurt Russia

    • Tony Kevin
    • 07 May 2015
    11 Comments

    On Saturday, a Victory Parade will commemorate the 70th anniversary of the final defeat of Fascist Germany. It is a fitting tribute to the heroism of the Russian people for their huge sacrifices and sufferings in a common cause with the west. Many leaders including US President George W. Bush attended the 60th, but a specious rationale is dictating a boycott this time around.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The operational matter of sending Australians to their execution

    • Justin Glyn
    • 06 May 2015
    17 Comments

    While the AFP are clearly right to argue that they need to cooperate with Indonesia – it is, after all, Australia's biggest neighbour – the police's understanding of their role seems absolutely extraordinary in the light of the Extradition Treaty. The implication is that, although Australia is absolutely forbidden from extraditing a person to Indonesia to face the firing squad, the police are entitled - as an 'operational decision' and, if the police are to be believed, with no reference even to Cabinet guidelines - to hand someone over to be executed.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Increasing retirement age will cost the budget

    • Michele Gierck
    • 06 May 2015
    6 Comments

    Treasurer Joe Hockey is keen for us to work as long as possible. The government’s aim is to keep the hands of ageing workers and would be retirees out of its pension pot. There are many benefits associated with maintaining older people in the workforce, but it can be expensive to take, for example, the reality of dementia into account when designing jobs and workplaces.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia's low road to the Security State

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 30 April 2015
    33 Comments

    Only extremists regard Muslims as enemies. But if a populist and incompetent government were to scapegoat them and declare them to be enemies, as was done to asylum seekers, it would be a short step to build on the laws already introduced with further discriminatory legislation. That in turn would lessen the protections under the law that other groups would enjoy. Of course, this could never happen in Australia. But that is what they once said in Germany, Chile and South Africa.

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