Democracy

So Much Like Home: From Palestine To Central Australia

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In December 2016, New Matilda editor Chris Graham travelled to the Middle East, his first visit to Palestine. What he found shocked him, but not so much for the depth of poverty and oppression, but rather for how much it reminded him of the… Chris Graham New Matilda In his 2013 documentary Utopia, Australian journalist John Pilger looks at the state of Aboriginal Australia following the Northern Territory intervention, a cynical government policy launched in the lead up to the… The ... Read More »

Andrew Coyne: MPs wouldn’t need to cross the floor if a party leader wasn’t all powerful

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The more that candidates ran, and voted on, their personal views, the less it would matter whether they sat with one party or another. Andrew Coyne National Post What are members of Parliament? Are they mere standard-bearers for their party, obliged to vote the party line at all times? Or are they representatives in their own right, entitled to apply their own judgment to the issues of the day? On which understanding do voters elect them: party affiliation or individual ... Read More »

Is democracy dead? Please Explain: the new podcast

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Is Democracy Dead? – Please Explain – Episode 1: Today we’re launching Please Explain, the latest podcast from The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. And for starters – is democracy dead? Tom McKendrick WAtoday National editor Tory Maguire, chief political correspondent David Crowe and Nine’s political editor, Chris Uhlmann, get to the heart of the matter. Plus, we hear from former News Corp editor David Penberthy on the relationship between Rupert Murdoch and his editors. You can listen to the… Is democracy dead? Please… Read More »

Behind the breakdown of political consensus

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Across Western democracies, the social cohesion that once sustained political consensus has severely eroded. Nathan Gardels The Washington Post A new segregation is emerging as a combined result of the collapse of socializing institutions and the rise of polarizing practices. Mandatory military or civic service is gone in most liberal societies. Universal public education, in which all classes, races and ethnicities mingled, has been relegated to less well-off communities while those who can afford it receive a private education from ... Read More »

A mogul and a PM’s fall

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It took several days for Malcolm Turnbull and Rupert Murdoch to set up a phone call in the middle of the week that gave Australia a new prime minister. David Crowe The Age The News Corp executive chairman had been in the country since Friday, August 10, when he flew into Sydney on the company’s Gulfstream jet, diverted from Canberra by the morning fog in the capital. This put Turnbull and his government on alert to watch for any shift ... Read More »

Jeremy Corbyn: Labour could grant second independence referendum

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Jeremy Corbyn has refused to rule out granting permission for a second Scottish independence referendum if he became Prime Minister. Paris Gourtsoyiannis The Scotsman The Labour leader said he would “decide at the time” whether to allow a new independence vote to take place if a request was made by the Scottish Government. Mr Corbyn said he is against a second referendum, and was “very clear on why we don’t think it’s a good idea”. Before the last Holyrood election, ... Read More »

Turkey’s Erdogan to open Cologne mosque in controversial state visit

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The Turkish president’s hopes of addressing the German-Turkish community are closer to becoming reality. His upcoming state visit was described as a “betrayal” by journalist Deniz Yücel, who was imprisoned in Turkey. DW Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will officially open a new central mosque in the western German city of Cologne, the Turkish-Islamic organization DITIB confirmed on Tuesday evening. Erdogan will open the mosque at a ceremony at the end of his state visit to Germany, which is set ... Read More »

A federal Icac won’t safeguard democracy unless it includes gifts and lobbying

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Australian politicians now seem to broadly accept the need for anti-corruption action, but it must close loopholes George Rennie The Guardian Having long resisted, federal politicians now appear to broadly accept what Australian citizens have been screaming at them: that there is profound concern about the potential for bad lobbying to corrupt our democracy, and great desire for its proper policing. As a result, a plurality of the political parties appear willing to do what states and other countries did ... Read More »

Liberalism needs to be rebuilt – just not by the Lib Dems

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Insurgent forces of the far left and right have resulted in a hollowing-out of centre politics. But Vince Cable’s tribe is not up to filling the void. Rafael Behr The Guardian If it is true that failure makes a great teacher, the Liberal Democrats must know a lot about British politics. Currently they are learning about Brexit by failing to capitalise on the… In 2016 support for EU membership was 48%, yet the Lib Dems struggle to reach double digits in opinion ... Read More »

Why Can’t I Criticize My Religion?

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When I received a letter from a Shiite religious preacher from the United Kingdom, it did not surprise me. Majid Rafizadeh Gatestone Institute I receive many similar letters from extremist Muslims all over the world, as well as Western liberals, socialists, and others. Each time, opening these letters, I prepare for criticism of my careful scrutiny of my religion. As expected, the letter began with a familiar suggestion: “Stop criticizing your own religion.” The letter went on to support this ... Read More »

A Warning From Europe: The Worst Is Yet to Come

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Polarization. Conspiracy theories. Attacks on the free press. An obsession with loyalty. Recent events in the United States follow a pattern Europeans know all too well. Anne Applebaum The Atlantic On December 31, 1999, we threw a party. It was the end of one millennium and the start of a new one; people very much wanted to celebrate, preferably somewhere exotic. Our party fulfilled that criterion. We held it at Chobielin, the manor house in northwest Poland that my husband ... Read More »

Is Democracy Dying?

This drawing shows American voters cast their ballots in a polling place in the election of 1860 at an unknown location.  Abraham Lincoln was elected the 16th president.  (AP Photo)

The Atlantic Democracy Reader For 161 years, magazine contributors have written about the gravest dangers and darkest hours for America’s political institutions. Annika Neklason The Atlantic “Democracy in America … is suffering from unforeseen evils, as well as enjoying unforeseen blessings. It will probably be worse before it is better,” wrote The Nation’s founder E. L. Godkin in a July 1896 article for The Atlantic, expressing a sentiment that resonates across eras in the magazine’s pages. “Democracy in the United States is at greater ... Read More »

Podcast: The necessity of Indigenous constitutional recognition

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On this episode of The Lawyers Weekly Show, Jerome Doraisamy is joined by Sydney-based barristers Simeon Beckett and Susan Phillips. In this episode, Mr Beckett and Ms Phillips explain why it is so important for the Australian constitution to acknowledge the First Nations peoples and what change will emerge as a result, why the Bar Associations are so supportive of such a change, and the role of member associations across our national legal profession on sociocultural or… Podcast: The necessity… Read More »

Why Rahul Gandhi is wrong on the issue of lynching

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According to a recent survey, Indian National Congress (INC) President Rahul Gandhi is the favorite alternative candidate to take on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, way ahead of other opposition stalwarts like Sharad Pawar, Mamata Banerjee and… Sagarneel Sinha Asia Times But despite this, his poor logic continues to hurt his image. His recent comment in Germany that incidents of lynchings are attributable to demonetization, unemployment and the GST (Goods and Service Tax) is surely not something that is expected from ... Read More »

Dangerous Democracy: The Problem With ‘The Will Of The People’

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Westerners don’t really live in democracies, at least not ones where the true majority prevails, writes Stuart Rees. New Matilda Characters in Australia who advocate government by plebiscite think that such a voter mechanism would represent the will of the people and would therefore be truly democratic. A quick look at the political impasse in the ol’ mother country shows the absurdity of such thinking. To justify exiting Europe, Britain’s Brexit politicians keep repeating that they are following ‘the will ... Read More »

Jailing of Reuters journalists ‘nothing to do with freedom of expression’, says Aung San Suu Kyi

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Myanmar’s State Counsellor, Aung San Suu Kyi, says two jailed Reuters journalists can appeal their seven-year sentence, and that their jailing had nothing to do with freedom of expression. ABC Asked how she felt about jailing journalists as a democratic leader, Suu Kyi said: “They were not jailed because they were journalists, they were jailed because … the court has decided that they have broken the… She made her comments at the World Economic Forum on ASEAN in Hanoi on ... Read More »