Opinion

It’s no wonder we no longer trust our institutions

I’ve been thinking about institutions a lot lately. About how if there is anything that characterises our current political moment of disillusionment, anger and a rampant, destructive cynicism, it is that we no longer… Waleed Aly The Canberra Times Try to name one; it’s more difficult than you’d think. Our trust in politics – even in democracy itself – is at an all time low. Whatever belief we once had in the idea that business, for all its self-interest, was ... Read More »

Hunger, violence and constant stress: The brutal truth of life as a child refugee

As a former child refugee, I feel very strongly for the children on Nauru. I know the sense of uncertainty and hopelessness that comes from being stuck in limbo — not knowing if or when you might get to live freely in a… Sayed Rabbani ABC I was just 9 years old when my family fled Afghanistan for the third time in 2001, when the war in retaliation for the 9/11 attacks on America began. I remember the first airstrike ... Read More »

Australians’ trust in politicians and democracy hits an all-time low: new research

Over the past four years, we have conducted a range of attitudinal surveys with the Social Research Institute at Ipsos on the relationship between trust in the political system and attitudes towards democracy in… Authors: The Conversation Our latest research, conducted in July 2018 (prior to the Liberal Party’s leadership spill), includes a quantitative survey of a representative sample of 20 focus groups and 1,021 Australians from a wide range of… We understood political trust in this survey as “keeping ... Read More »

Narcissists less likely to support democracy

New research suggests that people with a narcissistic self-view are more likely to demonstrate lower support for democracy. University of Kent EurekAlert! They are also more likely to feel that democracies are not good in maintaining order, or that it would be better if countries were run by strong leaders or the military. The research, which was co-led by psychologists at the University of Kent, suggests this is probably because narcissists tend to feel entitled and superior to others, which ... Read More »

The Agora Forum 2018 – The Future of Democracy

The Agora Forum 2018, organized by Agora Dialogue in cooperation with the Athens Development and Governance Institute (ADGI- INERPOST), was held on 1–3 December 2018. It brought together twenty participants from the government, private and educational sectors to discuss the very serious challenges faced by numerous democratic countries across the world and in particular in Europe. Adopting a process of moderated round-table dialogue, participants discussed a number of foundational texts, including extracts from Plato’s Republic, Rousseau’s The Social Contract and ... Read More »

Mariliza Xenogiannakopoulou: The need for change in Europe

Basic points of the speech given by Minister of Administrative Reconstruction Mariliza Xenogiannakopoulou at a conference, in Cyprus, themed ‘The future of Democracy.’ -I feel particularly moved every time I come to Cyprus because I belong to a generation that was aware of and grew up during the regime change and through the Cyprus tragedy. In every position I have served in during the course of my professional career, at European institutions and in politics, I contributed, I always tried ... Read More »

Agora Forum 2018 – The Future of Democracy: a summary of day one

Agora Dialogue is guided by the belief that everyone can exercise practical reason and acquire practical wisdom through communication with others. Dr Manolis Melissaris, Legal and Political Philosopher Agora Dialogue It therefore aspires to facilitate free discourse by providing an environment of co-operation. The colloquium brings together people from various backgrounds – academics, businesspeople, policy-makers, artists – who reflect together on the big questions that pertain to the social world. It cannot be emphasised enough that the colloquium is not ... Read More »

Our politicians are bickering on the edge of the Brexit abyss

Let the chronicles of this turbulent time record how the prime minister and the leader of the opposition agreed that Britain should leave the European Union, so they argued instead about which channel should host an argument between them. Rafael Behr The Guardian Theresa May wants to defend her Brexit deal on the BBC; Jeremy Corbyn prefers to attack it on ITV. It is the perfect culmination of British politics since the referendum: a confected row over a piece of theatre to ... Read More »

Protest is a school for democracy

Children are citizens, not mere citizens-to-be. They have political views that deserve an audience. Kei Nishiyama Brisbane Times “What we want is more learning in schools and less activism in schools,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison told Parliament last week. His pronouncement was a reaction to a school students’ strike against government inaction on climate change all over the country. The young protestors had said: “We are school kids temporarily sacrificing our education in order to save our futures from dangerous ... Read More »

Why I’m spending $100 million on ‘the pursuit of truth’

If I had any doubt that my investment in an institute to support “evidence-based journalism and the pursuit of truth” was a worthy ambition it has been swept away by the overwhelming positive response to the announcement. Judith Neilson Brisbane Times I expected journalists, and the media industry generally, to welcome the initiative. But more heartening has been the reaction of the wider community. People from around Australia, and the world, have inundated my office with messages of thanks and ... Read More »

The Pentagon Doesn’t Know Where Its Money Goes

The military finally submits to an audit, and the results are poor. The Editorial Board The New York Times After decades of ducking the legal requirement that it undergo a thorough financial audit, the Pentagon finally opened up its books to 1,200 outside accountants and analysts. The report was recentlycompleted, and here’s the good news: The Army Corps of Engineers (most of it, anyway) and the Military Retirement Fund passed the audit. The bad news: The Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines and most other ... Read More »

As Italy’s first black minister, I suffered vile racist abuse. But this poison damages us all

Respect for human rights is at the heart of the EU’s ethos. Together, we need to fight all forms of discrimination Cécile Kyenge The Guardian Racial discrimination is now “commonplace” across 12 European countries, and one in three people of African descent has experienced harassment in the past five years, a report this weekfound. This doesn’t surprise me. Since my election to the Italian Chamber of Deputies in 2013, I have constantly faced racist abuse. When I became Italy’s minister for ... Read More »

Yes, Prime Minister, I’m striking from school: consider it a climate lesson

I am Veronica, 15 years old, from Scott Morrison’s electorate. Despite our Prime Minister’s calls for students not to strike from school on Friday, we’re choosing to no longer be powerless. Veronica Hester * The Age We will be striking with thousands of other students, to show we will not stand for our government’s inaction on climate change. Mr Morrison has condemned the strike, saying he does not support our schools being turned into parliaments. “More learning and less activism,” ... Read More »

Spending cuts breach UK’s human rights obligations, says report

Study finds poorest lost out most from policies on tax, benefits and public services Cuts to public services and benefits that disproportionately affect the least well-off, single parents and disabled people put the government in breach of its human rights obligations, a study for the… Patrick Butler The Guardian Echoing the recent findings of the UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty, Philip Alston, the study concluded the scale of the cuts and their lopsided impact on the most disadvantaged were a… “There ... Read More »

Liberals need to give up on the merit myth

Julia Banks announced her decision to quit the Australian Liberal Party yesterday. While unfortunate, it is hardly surprising. Shivani Gopal The Canberra Times It’s the result of what happens when parliament and politicians fail to represent the people they serve and cling to the myth of meritocracy. Banks is not buying it anymore and neither should the Australian people. Only a few months ago Banks announced that she would not recontest her Melbourne seat at the next election, citing a ... Read More »

Report of the Independent Commission for Sustainable Equality | 2019-2024

Report Join our visionary call to action for a radically different Europe, detailed across over 100 policy proposals to be pursued by progressive forces during the next term from 2019 to 2024, and embedded in a radically different approach to European governance built on a new Sustainable Development Pact! Annexes Topics Equitable society Ecological Transformation as a Social Lever Transforming Governance Sustainable Financing for Transformation ..Progressive Society… Read More »