Political donations: Australia’s disclosure regime needs serious reform

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It was not until the early 1980s that Australia’s political parties finally were bound under federal and state laws to declare who was financing their election campaigns and political advertisements. Concerns about unions, media magnates, business lobbyists or multinationals trying to wangle undue influence with decision-makers finally led to a disclosure regime. The Age – Editorial Since then, there have been ... Read More »

Talking Point: A spear through our nation’s heart

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GROWING up in Melbourne’s working-class suburb of Carlton in the 1940s and 1950s, my father copped more than his fair share of verbal abuse. The Mercury – Simon Bevilacqua He was the youngest son in a migrant Italian family. His mum and dad spoke only Italian at home; an old and bucolic Sammarchesi dialect now extinct in their homeland but ... Read More »

How can I get my head and heart around Labor’s policy on boat turnbacks?

Orange boat 2b West LLLL

There can be a middle road between a cruel and inhumane approach to asylum policy and open borders. Labor must find a compassionate, regional response The Guardian - Kristina Keneally Instinctively I dislike the option of boat turnbacks. Towing people away from Australia when they are attempting a perilous journey in order to seek asylum smacks of cruelty. Such action ... Read More »

Political donations: why voters are tuning out

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The demand is real for the resolve to reform electoral funding and lobbying. The Age - John Hewson * On the pub test, many are concerned that we have “the best government money can buy”. Whether it’s the Independent Commission Against Corruption hearings in New South Wales, individual politicians caught with their hands out, dubious council planning decisions, “corrupted” infrastructure projects, big miners being ... Read More »

Bishop must resign over incompetence, not bias

Bronwyn Bishop 1a LLLLLL vlosiri

ABC – Bronwyn Bishop’s offence is not so much that she is tribal or biased – for most speakers are. Her crime is that she is just not up to the job. And for this reason she must go, writes Paula Matthewson . It’s easy to get caught up in the chase when a political villain stumbles and their opponents ... Read More »

Why the ALP should recognise Palestine

Palestinian girl & Palestinian flag 1a in AUstralia LLLLL

It’s time for Labor to show moral fortitude and display political foresight by recognising the Palestinian state. The Age – Maria Vamvakinou * In a few days, the ALP’s national conference will debate whether to recognise the state of Palestine. As a member of the federal Labor caucus and co-convener of the Australian Parliamentary Friends of Palestine, I urge my ... Read More »

Eternal Greece

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Matt O’Brien directs us to a Heritage Foundation economist presenting what is portrayed as a startling idea: America could become Greece! The New York Times – Paul Krugman And it’s true — there probably haven’t been more than a few thousand articles issuing the same warning in the five (5) years since Alan Greenspan published “US Debt and the Greek ... Read More »

Suffering For Cyprus

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This photograph of a sorrowful young refugee holding his missing parents’ wedding photograph has haunted me ever since I first saw it, at the age of five. When in my youthful imagination I could barely just conceive of the idea of being abandoned or losing one’s parents, I would become overwhelmed with fear and cry. Agora Dialogue - Dean Kalimniou ... Read More »