Democracy

You’ve Heard of the Russian Revolution — Now Look What’s Happening in Zimbabwe!

People all over the world are still fascinated by events in Russia in 1917 Seth Ferris Even a cursory glance at this period shows they were momentous times to live in, with history unfolding in front of people seemingly under its own power. ΝΕΟ It must have been quite something to directly experience the collapse of the old order, the two revolutions and all the hopes, dreams and despair of different sectors of the population. As they happened in an ... Read More »

Libya commander Khalifa Haftar signals start of race for power

Head of Libyan National Army declares UN political solution a failure and says his forces will answer to no one but Libyan people Associated Press and Agence France-Presse The National Libyan military commander Khalifa Haftar on Sunday declared that the mandate of the UN-backed unity government had expired and hinted at his willingness to stand for president as the country entered a “dangerous” period. A UN-brokered agreement signed in Morocco on December 17, 2015 established Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) ... Read More »

Pope Francis: fake and sensationalised news ‘a very serious sin’

Pontiff calls on journalists to report precise, complete and correct information, not one-sided reports or ‘old news that has been dealt with’ Associated Press The Guardian Pope Francis has criticised journalists who dredge up old scandals and sensationalise the news, saying it’s a “very serious sin” that hurts all involved. Francis, who plans to dedicate his upcoming annual communications message to “fake news”, told Catholic media on Saturday that journalists perform a mission that is among the most “fundamental” to democratic… ... Read More »

Don’t Just Thank Black Women. Follow Us.

When I joined the 470,000 other women who walked down Constitution Avenue toward the National Mall on Jan. 21, the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration, I carried a sign saying, “Don’t Forget, White Women Voted for Trump.” Angela Peoples The New York Times My message stood in stark contrast to the theme of togetherness that dominated the Women’s March — the pink “pussy hats” and “girl power” placards, and chants about how women would lead the resistance. This was exactly ... Read More »

EDITORIAL: Liberals unethical pick for new ethics commissioner

Talk about a bogus appointment process The Liberals have known for ages that ethics commissioner Mary Dawson was due to leave her post in early January Toronto Sun Postmedia News They were, after all, the ones who extended her appointment more than once by six month increments. So why then did they use such rushed, last-minute tactics to appoint Dawson’s successor? The whole process that unfolded this past week on Parliament Hill has opposition MPs and expert observers crying… On ... Read More »

After Dastyari’s downfall we must question the hold of big money on any political party

Irrespective of a donor’s nationality, what are the effects of politicians hobnobbing with billionaires on the democratic process? Jeff Sparrow The Guardian We need to be very careful about the political narrative emerging to explain Sam Dastyari’s downfall. In Fairfax, Mark Kenny argues that, by resigning over his connections with billionaire Huang Xiangmo, Dastyari “reinforced to Beijing, and to its wealthy business and political surrogates here, that Australia will safeguard its sovereignty as jealously as does… That’s all very well. But surely ... Read More »

The Sultan and the Sultan

Faced with a vast, decaying empire, the Ottoman Sultan Abdülhamid II ruled with an iron fist, curtailing press freedom, promoting Islam and severing ties with the West. William Armstrong Miscellanies History Today His similarities with Turkey’s current president have not gone unnoticed. Turkey’s relationship with the West is in the middle of a slow-motion car crash. After years of tension, the country’s rift with its western allies has widened since an attempted military coup against the government of the country’s ... Read More »

Most Australians support a federal anti-corruption commission: research

Most Australians want the government to create a federal anti-corruption commission, make its national agencies more independent and set four-year parliamentary terms, according to a new report led by one of the nation’s most respected former public… Doug Dingwall The Canberra Times The findings come as Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull for the first time suggested he was prepared to consider creating a federal anti-corruption watchdog, but said he was not yet persuaded the case had been made for such a… While the discussion paper released ... Read More »

Democracy in meltdown as East Timorese PM denounces ‘coup’

The prime minister of East Timor is refusing to allow parliament to reconvene because he will face a vote of no confidence. What next? Professor Damien Kingsbury. Crikey international affairs commentator As East Timor went to elections this year, the country was the most peaceful and united it had been in its short history. The CNRT-Fretilin government of national inclusion had functioned well, it appeared that the ‘Generation of ‘75’ exemplified by Xanana Gusmao, was stepping back from politics and, with the ... Read More »

Three reasons Australians should be concerned that NGOs’ voices are not being heard

A healthy democracy is built on the premise that public debate should allow for many and diverse voices to be heard as part of the contest for ideas that informs policymaking. Andrea Carson Sarah Maddison If Australians want this to be the case, the current state of play offers three reasons for concern. The Conversation NGOs are self-silencing The first is the finding in our research, released today, that Australian NGOs are self-silencing. Our data show that many not-for-profit organisations, ... Read More »

Jeremy Corbyn and Noam Chomsky win peace prize amid media silence

UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has been awarded the Sean MacBride Peace Prize along with Noam Chomsky and Japanese anti-military base activists, yet the award received scant coverage in the British media. RT The International Peace Bureau presents the Sean MacBride Peace Prize to individuals, organizations or movements for their work in the areas of peace, disarmament and human rights. Corbyn, along with renowned scholar Noam Chomsky and the All Okinawa Council Against Henoko New Base, were deemed this year’s ... Read More »

Australia Seeks New Gag Laws That Could See Journalists And Whistleblowers Jailed for 20 Years

Organisations such as WikiLeaks and disclosures from whistleblowers like Edward Snowden appear to be the target Paul Farrell BuzzFeed  Australian government and intelligence whistleblowers – and potentially even journalists – may face up to 20 years in jail for disclosing classified information, under the most sweeping changes to the country’s secrecy laws since they were introduced. The Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced a broad package of reforms aimed at curbing foreign interference from countries including China and Russia. ... Read More »

Netanyahu: Palestinians must face reality over Jerusalem

Israel’s prime minister has said Palestinians must “get to grips with” the reality that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital in order to move towards peace. BBC Benjamin Netanyahu said Jerusalem had been the capital of Israel for 3,000 years and had “never been the capital of any other people”. He spoke amid ongoing protests in the Muslim and Arab world at a US decision recognising Jerusalem as the capital. Violence flared near the US embassy in Lebanon and elsewhere on Sunday. ... Read More »

Greens single out 13 companies that paid no tax yet donated to major parties

Richard Di Natale says Australian democracy ‘broken’ and system being propped up by Labor and Liberal parties Paul Karp The Guardian Thirteen companies that paid no tax in 2015-16 made $1.7m in political donations to the Liberal and Labor parties in that year, the Greens have complained. On Thursday the Australian tax office released fresh tax data that showed 36% of the 2,043 largest public companies and multinational entities in Australia paid no tax in 2015-16. An analysis by the Greens cross-referencing the ... Read More »

Political funding rules should not curb civil society bodies

Law incorrectly classifies certain bodies as ‘third parties’ to election campaigns Deirdre Garvey The Irish Times As anyone paying attention to current affairs will be aware, there are very good reasons why we should all be concerned about the issue of outside parties seeking to influence the democratic election processes that we hold dear. However, it is increasingly clear to us in The Wheel that there is now a real risk that existing laws, designed to prevent such abuse in ... Read More »

Poland’s Macron? Morawiecki takes the helm

Poland’s soon-to-be Prime Minister Morawiecki has two years until the next elections to show if he will go down as another Jaroslaw Kaczynski puppet or a modernizing force. Jo Harper The ex-banker has his work cut out for him. DW The ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party – led by founder and head Jaroslaw Kaczynski – on Thursday picked Mateusz Morawiecki, currently finance minister, to replace incumbent Prime Minister Beata Szydlo. Two years after coordinating the election campaign that saw ... Read More »