Democracy

‘Unrelentingly partisan’: Did the Murdoch press sway the election?

The day after the election, a fuming Kevin Rudd took to Twitter. “In all the election commentary last night, not a single word on the elephant in the room,” the former prime minister wrote. Bianca Hall The Sydney Morning Herald “Murdoch, with 70 per cent control of Australia’s print media, ran the single most biased campaign in Australian political history. Reason for the silence? People are in fear of Murdoch’s power.” Rupert Murdoch’s papers, which actually account for about 60 per ... Read More »

Watch: Theresa May Admits Failure, Announces Resignation in Emotional Address

Theresa May announced the end of her turbulent three-year reign as U.K. prime minister, saying she would resign as leader of the Conservative Party on June 7. Brendan Cole Newsweek In a tearful speech on the steps of 10 Downing Street, May said she had done her best to honor the result of the 2016 EU referendum. She described her tenure as the U.K.’s second female premier as being “the honor of my life.” With her voice audibly cracking, she ... Read More »

Boris Johnson Is the EU’s Worst Nightmare

Europe’s top civil servant once described his potential leadership as a ‘horror scenario.’ Ian Wishart Bloomberg For European leaders watching Theresa May’s political death throes, a sense of inevitability has been replaced by one of fear. Rather than break the deadlock over Brexit, the departure of the British prime minister raises the prospect of what they’ve long considered their worst nightmare: a U.K. run by Boris Johnson, the… If May was predictable and her strategy clear, albeit flawed, many EU ... Read More »

‘Vote in your own country’: EU citizens tell of UK poll chaos

Admin errors mean people are being denied right to vote at European election polling booths Emma Graham-Harrison The Guardian EU citizens in the UK are being denied their democratic right to vote in the European elections because of administrative errors by local councils. EU nationals across the country have been reporting that they arrived at polling booths only to find their names crossed out with officials confirming they were not eligible to vote. Astrid Hampe-Nathaniel, a German and Italian citizen, who has lived in ... Read More »

Thai dissidents living in exile fear for their lives after a string of disappearances and murders

A string of mysterious murders and deportations across South-East Asia has Thai dissidents fearing for their lives and members of a controversial folk band say they may be targeted next. Liam Cochrane ABC The band Faiyen, which means “cold fire” in Thai, fled the country after the 2014 coup and has written songs criticising the military government and the monarchy. Late last week, the band posted a chilling message on Facebook. “We … fear for our lives. Many trusted people ... Read More »

Moïse Katumbi’s Return Portends Shifting Alliances in Congolese Politics

On 20 May prominent opposition leader and businessman Moïse Katumbi returned to the Democratic Republic of Congo from exile. Nelleke van de Walle ICG In this Q&A, Crisis Group’s Deputy Project Director for Central Africa Nelleke van de Walle discusses the possible impact on Congolese politics, five months after Felix Tshisekedi’s controversial election as president. Who is Moïse Katumbi, and why has he returned? Moïse Katumbi is one of the richest persons in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) – ... Read More »

Stopping the War for Tripoli

Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar’s march on Tripoli has ground to a halt in a war of attrition with the internationally recognised government’s forces on the city’s outskirts. ICG The parties should conclude a ceasefire including Haftar’s partial withdrawal as a prelude to renewed UN peace talks. What’s new? Almost two months have passed since war erupted between forces loyal to Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar and groups aligned with the Tripoli government in Libya. Fighting has raged on the capital’s outskirts, ... Read More »

Modi promises inclusive India after stunning election win

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised to unite the country on May 23 after a huge election win, with his party on course to increase its majority on a mandate of pursuing business-friendly policies and… NEW DELHI/KOLKATA- Reuters Hurriyet Official data from India‘s Election Commission showed Modi‘s Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ahead in 298 of the 542 seats available, up from the 282 it won in 2014 and more than the… That would give it the first back-to-back majority for a single ... Read More »

Chagos Islands: UN officially demands Britain and US withdraw from Indian Ocean archipelago

Former Mauritian territory houses Diego Garcia US military base Samuel Osborne Independent The UN General Assembly has overwhelmingly voted for a resolution demanding Britain withdraw its administration of the Chagos Islands. While the resolution is not legally-binding, it carries significant political weight. The Indian Ocean archipelago is home to the Diego Garcia US military base. In February, the International Court of Justice ruled the UK’s decolonisation of the Indian Ocean islands was unlawful. The World Court said the UK acted illegally ... Read More »

Is there such thing as a ‘European identity’?

The outcome of the UK’s 2016 referendum on EU membership has sent shockwaves across Europe. Nikolaos Papadogiannis The Conversation Among other impacts, it has prompted debates around the issues whether a “European culture” or a “European identity” actually exist or whether national identities still dominate. It would be wrong, in my opinion, to write off the identification of various people with “Europe”. This identification has been the outcome of a long process, particularly in the second half of the 20th ... Read More »

Corruption and Populism Are the West’s Weaknesses, Not Moscow’s Invention

It is important to remember that no one tied Austria’s far-right politician Strache to a chair and forced him to listen to the Russian’s pitch. Mark Galeotti The Moscow Times Austria faces snap elections after a mysterious video was released showing vice chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache of the far-right Freedom Party promising government contracts to an… Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has dissolved his right-wing coalition with the Freedom Party, and while much is unclear about the case, it has once again raised ... Read More »

Election 2019: This is where it all went wrong for Labor and Bill Shorten

In the end, it was probably a blessing that Bob Hawke wasn’t alive to see it. Samantha Maiden The New Daily Scott Morrison has emerged as a modern-day Liberal Party hero, defying the predictions of the polls, his critics, his predecessors and even Liberal frontbenchers who voted with their feet to… The Labor Party was trounced on Saturday night, and it is a result that will ensure the ALP doesn’t pick a fight with retirees on tax reform again any ... Read More »

Be principled, but not so much that you scare voters

“The art of democratic statesmanship,” said the politician, “is of presenting your principles, presenting your convictions, in ways which sufficiently impress the public such that you are seen as a man or woman of principle, but which don’t so worry the public that they think you would be a risk if you found yourself in a… Jacqueline Maley The Canberra Times SMH/The Age The sentiment was pure pragmatism. The politician expressing it was Tony Abbott, talking in 2008 to a ... Read More »

India’s acrimonious election comes to an end

Voting in one of India‘s most acrimonious elections in decades entered its final day on May 19 as Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi scrambled to hang on to his overall majority. VARANSI, India – Agence France Presse Hurriyet Polls close at 6:00 pm (1230 GMT) in the seventh and final round of voting, ending the world’s biggest election with 900 million eligible voters from Goa’s beaches to Mumbai’s slums and… Long queues formed outside polling stations in eight northern states electing the final ... Read More »

HEMP’s grassroots campaign hot on heels of Palmer’s $60 million ad barrage

Clive Palmer and his staggering $60 million spend on United Australia Party’s election campaignhas only managed to secure 20,000 more Senate votes nationally than a minor party forced to “scratch around” just to… Hamish Hastie WAtoday As of Sunday afternoon the Help End Marijuana Prohibition party had secured 141,500 first preference Senate votes or 1.9 per cent of the national vote, just behind UAP’s 161,000. It’s the party’s best result since being registered in 2010 and is a huge jump in ... Read More »

Austrian government collapses over Russia scandal

Kurz calls for snap election after video shows far-right leaders offering contracts for cash. Matthew Karnitschnig Politico Turns out Russian collusion isn’t a “witch hunt hoax” after all. At least not in Austria. The country’s government collapsed on Saturday after Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said he was pulling the plug on his ruling coalition after just 17 months in office. The move came barely 24 hours after the release of a bombshell video showing Heinz-Christian Strache, the far-right leader of his junior coalition partner, ... Read More »