Leadership

Influence in Australian politics needs an urgent overhaul – here’s how to do it

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Public policy should be made for all Australians – not just those with the resources or connections to lobby and influence politicians. And mostly it is. Authors: The Conversation But sometimes bad policy is made or good policy is dropped because powerful groups have more say and sway than they should. Australia’s political institutions are generally robust, but many of the “risk factors” for policy capture by special interests are present in our system. Political parties are heavily reliant on ... Read More »

Washington’s Farcical “Certifications” Enable the War Crimes of Allies

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And violate U.S. law. Ted Galen Carpenter The National Interest Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s certification that the Saudi-led military coalition in the Yemen war was taking adequate steps to avoid inflicting civilian casualties may have achieved a new low in U.S. foreign-policy ethics. There is abundant evidence of multiple atrocities that Riyadh and its United Arab Emirates (UAE) junior partner have committed and continue to commit. The coalition’s war strategy has created a famine as well as a cholera ... Read More »

60 Minutes: ‘A catastrophic loss of faith in democracy’

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“Why do so many Prime Ministers get replaced?” The question posed by a primary school student from Sydney’s western suburbs on a visit to Parliament House tested his local MP. Chris Uhlmann 9news And since Malcolm Turnbull was deposed at Australia’s 29th Prime Minister, just a month ago, there has been no answer to why the fourth leader in a decade has been cut down by his own party. But here’s something we do know. There has been a catastrophic ... Read More »

Mexico’s president-elect grounded for hours on commercial flight after he refuses to use luxury jet

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‘I would be ashamed to have a luxury plane in a country with so much poverty,’ says left-wing leader Adam Forrest Independent Mexico’s president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has vowed to uphold a promise to sell a luxury presidential jet, despite getting grounded on a commercial flight. Bad weather in Mexico City shut down the capital’s airport, forcing the recently-elected politician to wait on the tarmac with hundreds of other passengers for three hours. The left-wing populist has pledged to turn his presidential palace into a cultural ... Read More »

Corbyn faces clash with Labour members over second EU referendum

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As the party gathers in Liverpool, is Corbyn’s promise to empower members coming back to haunt him? The Observer The Guardian Minutes after trouncing Owen Smith and winning his second Labour leadership contest in September 2016, Jeremy Corbyn promised to reward the mass membership that had backed him by giving them more power inside the party. “The participation is even higher, and my majority is bigger, and the mandate is very strong. So let’s use it to reach out,” he said. “With ... Read More »

Seven children, university boss: the work-life balance of Michael Spence

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Back in 2013, Michael Spence wrote an awkward letter. A young, artistic Anglican minister had caught his eye, but she was also a PhD student at the university where the widowed father of five was vice-chancellor. Jordan Baker The Sydney Morning Herald A clandestine relationship would be scandalous. So before he could declare his intentions to Jenny Ihn, Spence found himself declaring them to the… “We are not at all romantically involved, [but] we do spend quite a lot of ... Read More »

Going Ballistic: A Key Missile Treaty Between Russia and America Is Dying a Slow Death

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The INF treaty has nonetheless saved the United States and Russia millions of dollars of military spending in the last three decades on developing redundant nuclear-apocalypse generating weapons. Sebastien Roblin The National Interest Though the treaty is obviously endangered by a rising tide of violations and loophole exploiting, one should hope its total collapse can be avoided so to spare everybody yet another expensive form of nuclear-arms… One of the arms-control treaties that is little understood is the Intermediate-Range Nuclear ... 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 »

Far-right French leader Marine Le Pen refuses court-ordered mental health test after tweeting pictures of Isis executions

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‘I’d like to see how the judge would try and force me do it’, says former presidential candidate Chris Baynes The Independent French far-right leader Marine Le Pen has refused to undergo psychiatric examination that was ordered by a court after she tweeted graphic pictures of Isis violence. The National Rally leader told a judge to “try and force” her to undergo mental health evaluation, requested as part of an investigation into the dissemination of violent images. Ms Le Pen posted three graphic images ... 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 »

Should all Nobel Prizes be canceled for a year?

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If you ever meet someone who claims to have nearly won the Nobel Prize in mathematics, walk away: You’re dealing with a deeply delusional individual. Brian Keating The Conversation While there isn’t, and has never been, a Nobel in mathematics, the desire to claim Nobel-worthiness is sensible, for no matter the field, it is the world’s most prestigious accolade. The annual prizes are Sweden’s most sacred holiday, bringing out royalty in the arts and sciences and a worldwide audience of ... Read More »

Scott Morrison rejects AMA plea to bring children from Nauru to Australia

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Prime minister rebuffs letter as no confidence motion against Peter Dutton fails by one vote Scott Morrison has rebuffed a plea from the Australian Medical Association to change policy on Nauru, and bring families and children to Australia, saying he will not “put at risk any element of… Katharine Murphy The Guardian The prime minister told reporters on Thursday the government was already in the process of “getting families off Nauru” and had pursued a refugee resettlement deal with the… ... 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 »

Getting the U.S. in Step with the Koreas’ Diplomatic Dance

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A new round of inter-Korean diplomacy commenced 18 September as the North and South Korean leaders met for a three-day summit. Christopher Green International Crisis Group Meanwhile, U.S.-North Korean relations are reverting to previous bad form. Washington should welcome Seoul’s help in restarting productive contacts with Pyongyang. President Moon Jae-in of South Korea arrived in Pyongyang early on Tuesday for a three-day visit. The outcomes of this summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will set the tempo for the remainder ... 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 »