Category Archives: Politics

WALEED ALY. Australia Isn’t Right-Wing. It’s Cautious. (New York Times 21.5.2019)

Ahead of Australia’s general election on Saturday, one party had campaigned on the idea that politics and the economy were rigged in favor of the elites. It attacked its opponent relentlessly for siding with the “top end of town.” It … Continue reading

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STEPHANIE DOWRICK. What should we do?

In the few days since Election 2019, each time I have walked down the main street of my Sydney suburb I have been stopped by people asking me, “What should we do?” I wish I could give one simple answer. … Continue reading

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KIM WINGEREI The Battle of the One Percent

This election proved to be no exception after all – politics is a battle over small margins, apathy reigns supreme among voters, the particracy rules and democracy is the loser every time.

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ROSS GITTINS. Morrison’s miracle election may turn out to be the easy bit. (SMH 19.5.2019)

The great risk from Scott Morrison’s miraculous victory is that it will lead politicians on both sides to draw conclusions that worsen our politics and our policies. Bill Shorten offered us a chance to change the government and change the … Continue reading

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ANTHONY PUN. Metamorphosis of the Immigration Department to a fatal progeny?

This article relies on the materials provided by two distinguished former Deputy Secretaries of the Immigration Department in  their building of the people’s immigration department and their disappointment  over the last two decades. As an active community advocate on immigration … Continue reading

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CLIVE KESSLER. A Malay game of thrones (East Asia Forum)

As in earlier constitutional struggles in 1983 and 1993, Malaysia’s federal government under Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad is confronting the royal power and claimed prerogatives of the traditional rulers of the federation’s nine sultanate states.

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MUNGO MacCALLUM. The bodgie.

Bob Hawke did not suffer from false modesty. He always knew he was the smartest person in the room – and, unlike many egoists, he was usually right, which is saying something, given the stellar ministry over which he presided … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. Labor must look in the mirror

In foreshadowing Donald Trump’s victory six months before the 2016 election, I had written: ‘Of all the candidates in both parties, Trump’s appeal seems to reach the broadest and deepest with respect to region, class, education and income… They are … Continue reading

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ABUL RIZVI: Morrison’s budget plan was far riskier than Shorten’s

Bill Shorten and the mainstream media failed to explain that Scott Morrison’s alternative tax and budget plan was the far higher risk option. It requires record levels of population growth over the next ten years – over 4.5 million more … Continue reading

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GREG BAILEY. Problematic Trends Emerging from the 2019 Federal Election.

Irrespective of who finally wins Saturday’s election-and it looks like the ultra-conservative forces–, certain deeply disturbing observations can be made about the state of the Australian polity and the electorate. These evoke cultural and regional fissures long existing in Australia … Continue reading

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DENNIS ARGALL. Lessons and thoughts for Labor’s future

There is a lot of emotion in the wake of disaster for Labor in the federal elections on 18 May 2019. There will be forensic examinations and recriminations. There is good prospect of a Labor Government after the next elections… … Continue reading

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Amid all the hand-wringing, wailing and gnashing of teeth in the aftermath of the election, it might be wise to reflect on some possibly painful little truths pertaining to the process and indeed legitimacy of the entire electoral system.

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JOHN MENADUE. Negativity and a policy vacuum win the day.

On Saturday, the quiet Australians that Scott Morrison spoke of so fondly voted for self-interest and in fear of change. All the democracies are suffering from a disgruntled working class that wants to blame outsiders and has thrown in its … Continue reading

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MUNGO MacCALLUM. Scott Morrison, the opportunist.

History, declared Henry Ford, is bunk. And last Saturday, the Australian electorate agreed. Rather than punishing the coalition punishment for nearly six years of civil war, policy inertia, dysfunction and backstabbing, the voters rewarded them. 

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MICHAEL KEATING. The Morrison Government’s Economic Policy

The Morrison Government has been returned – and it is the Morrison Government – which has been returned without the semblance of an economic policy. And this lack of a credible economic policy did not stop Morrison winning an election … Continue reading

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MARGARET REYNOLDS. Where do we go now?

It’s a sad day for Australian Politics when  national  reform is rejected and  voter priority is reduced to individual benefit . But why should we be surprised ? 

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PETER SAINSBURY. The election confirms my environmental pessimism

Saturday’s election result suggests four questions to me: What does the result tell us about democracy in Australia? I mean no implied criticism of any individual or group or of any part of our democratic process. It is a genuine … Continue reading

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IAN MCAULEY.  Dutton knew what he was doing when he booted out Turnbull

Australia’s Trump/Brexit moment came on Saturday night, when Antony Green called the election for Morrison.

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PAUL COLLINS. Parochialism Reigns Supreme

The Coalition, like many of those who voted for it, seem incapable of grasping the big-picture evidence required to deal with global warming. Morrison says he always believed in miracles, but unfortunately that’s not going to work for climate change.

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SUSAN RYAN. Older Australians, winners or losers?

In this election , there was an extra 300,000 voters aged over 65 compared with the 2016 election. The parallel increase for young voters was 135,000 , less than half the older voter increase. Did older voters exercise this voting … Continue reading

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ROGER SCOTT. Writing from the ‘Blue Ribbon’ north.

Queensland has delivered a killer punch to the Australian body politic, not for the first time.   

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PATRICIA and DON EDGAR Family Views the Election Results

  Last Saturday evening we sat as a family to view the election results. There were four grandchildren present, aged 18 to 24 who had voted that day and taken their decisions seriously. They were waiting to see how the … Continue reading

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 19 May 2019

The shocking loss of biodiversity and the threat it poses for human welfare have been highlighted recently with reports on the global crisis and New Zealand’s parlous record. Threatened by climate change, Torres Strait Islanders have challenged the Australian government … Continue reading

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A regular collection of links to writings and broadcasts in other media

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JOHN MENADUE. Bob Hawke’s open letter to Australians

On Wednesday Bob Hawke sent an open letter to Australians — a short message reminding us that Bill Shorten is ready to lead a united Labor team to contribute to a prosperous, fair and environmentally sustainable Australia. Here is the full … Continue reading

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ANTHONY PUN: Chinese Australian Community Tribute to the late Hon Bob Hawke, AC.

On 16 May 2019, the nation mourns the loss of a great Prime Minister the Hon Bob Hawk, AC. The Chinese Australian community also felt the sad loss of a great humanitarian benefactor who almost single handedly, made a decision … Continue reading

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JACK WATERFORD. Bob Hawke: A larrikin, chairman and nation builder (Canberra Times 17.5.2019)

Bob Hawke’s lasting monument is the Australian society of today. A modern open economy, which he skippered out of sheltered waters, for good or ill, mostly good, into the open sea. Reformed national institutions, some now, sadly, in poor shape … Continue reading

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CAVAN HOGUE. President or Prime Minister? 

The current political cult of personality obscures the fact that Australian prime ministers are not American presidents. The Prime Minister told voters that they had a clear choice between him and Bill Shorten. No they don’t Scomo! They have a … Continue reading

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ERIC HODGENS: A Possible Australian Church Contribution.

The Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (RC) is one of the most thorough investigations of its kind worldwide. The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) and Catholic Religious Australia (CRA) have made a combined response accepting … Continue reading

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TANYA PLIBERSEK. Education in an election year

As we approach the election, I’m thinking carefully about how a Shorten Labor Government will be remembered for our reform of education. It feels like every week, I meet someone in their 60s or 70s who reminds me about how … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Politics | 2 Comments