Macron’s opening European gambit

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French president’s race to reform the EU starts with Pieyre-Alexandre Anglade By MAÏA DE LA BAUME Politico Emmanuel Macron’s point man in his campaign to conquer Brussels is a former European parliamentary assistant who looks like he’s barely out of high school. Pieyre-Alexandre Anglade has been tasked with laying the groundwork for the French president’s next big political test: The European Union’s 2019 changing of the political guard — which starts with the election for European Parliament and culminates with ... Read More »

Paul Murray: The political power of a good story

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One of the clear areas of ascendency for the Labor Party over its rivals in recent decades has been the ability to create what is known as the political narrative. Paul Murray | The West Australian Modern politics has been reduced by technology and the media to not much more than a marketing exercise, and Labor was quicker to realise it, smarter in adapting and more skilful in using it. Kevin Rudd’s 2007 election campaign was a case in point. ... Read More »

The truth about political donations: there is so much we don’t know

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The big story about the Australian Electoral Commission’s annual release of political donations disclosures is how little they really tell us Lindy Edwards The Conversation Over the last decade, the major parties have routinely only transparently disclosed 10-20% of their incomes as donations. There is another 20-35% of party incomes that falls into a grey area, where accounting enables them to conceal the source of the money. Then there is another 50-70% of party incomes the public knows absolutely nothing ... Read More »

Inquiry into the Electoral Legislation Amendment (Electoral Funding and Disclosure Reform) Bill 2017

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A submission was made to this inquiry by the councils for civil liberties across Australia (New South Wales Council for Civil Liberties, Liberty Victoria, Queensland Council for Civil Liberties, South Australia Council for Civil Liberties and the Australian Council for Civil Liberties). Liberty Victoria Author: Joint Councils for Civil Liberties Submitted To: Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters This Bill is part of a major package of proposed legislation relating to national security and foreign intervention Foreign interference in democratic and ... Read More »

Kenya: Averting an Avoidable Crisis

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Kenya’s ongoing electoral standoff could be compounded further if opposition leader Raila Odinga proceeds with a “swearing-in” ceremony that might elicit a tough response from President Kenyatta. ICG To avert the risk of further protests, destruction and bloodshed, all actors should redouble efforts to broker a last-minute deal. Kenya’s political crisis could come to a head on Tuesday 30 January 2018. Opposition leader Raila Odinga is expected to stage a swearing-in ceremony as the “people’s president” after two contentious elections in ... Read More »

Kennedy’s low profile to change with rebuttal to Trump state of the union address

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Boston: Joseph Kennedy III, an American politician with a very well-known name but relatively little prominence outside of his home state of Massachusetts, will deliver next week’s Democratic rebuttal to US President Donald Trump’s state of the union address. Scott Malone Brisbane Times Reuters The speech will be the highest profile appearance of the 37-year-old Kennedy’s political career, following his 2016 talk at the Democratic National Convention, where he introduced Senator Elizabeth Warren. He has been a member of the House ... Read More »

Martin Luther King’s Call to ‘Give Us the Ballot’ Is As Relevant Today as It Was in 1957

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And that’s a mark of how endangered voting rights are right now Martin Luther King Jr.’s first speech at the Lincoln Memorial was not his celebrated 1963 address at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. By Barbara Arnwine and John Nichols The Nation Six years earlier, when he was still a relative newcomer on the national scene, Dr. King addressed 25,000 civil-rights activists who had gathered at the memorial for the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom on May 17, ... Read More »

‘Just like show business’: why celebrities are taking over politics

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Whatever one thinks about Donald Trump, it’s hard to deny that his presidency – or what purports to be a presidency – is entertaining in the extreme. Norman Abjorensen Brisbane Times In fact, so pervasively entertaining is the 24-hour non-stop Trump show – a heady mix of feeble script, hilarious ad lib and the utterly gobsmacking tweet – that you have to wonder when he gets the time to govern (if he does it at all). Suddenly, reality TV, where ... Read More »

Malaysia’s Mahathir named opposition PM candidate

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Malaysia’s veteran ex-leader Mahathir Mohamad was named as the opposition’s prime ministerial candidate Sunday as a bruising election battle looms against scandal-plagued premier Najib Razak and his long-ruling coalition. SHAH ALAM, Malaysia – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet The decision means the 92-year-old, a hugely divisive figure criticized for ruling with an iron fist during his long reign, could return as premier 15 years after stepping down. But he also agreed to make way for jailed opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim — his ... Read More »

Donald Trump’s Biggest Fear: A Romney 2020 Primary Challenge

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The retirement of Sen. Orrin Hatch sets up a bigger political play. With Sen. Orrin Hatch’s announcement that he will not run again in 2018, Mitt Romney is on the verge of gaining his revenge against President Donald Trump. Jacob Heilbrunn The National Interest Until now, the Republican establishment has lacked a figurehead behind which it could mobilize against Trump. If Romney runs for Hatch’s position, he will be poised to challenge Trump in the 2020 Republican primary and to ... Read More »

Italy’s ‘minister of fear’

TOPSHOT - A migrant tries to board a boat of the German NGO Sea-Watch in the Mediterranean Sea on November 6, 2017.
During a shipwreck, five people died, including a newborn child. According to the German NGO Sea-Watch, which has saved 58 migrants, the violent behavior of the Libyan coast guard caused the death of five persons.

 / AFP PHOTO / Alessio Paduano        (Photo credit should read ALESSIO PADUANO/AFP/Getty Images)

Interior Minister Marco Minniti credits his ‘desert diplomacy’ with stopping the flow of migrants to Italy. By GIULIA PARAVICINI Politico To his admirers, Marco Minniti, Italy’s powerful interior minister, is the mastermind who solved Europe’s migration problem. To his critics, he’s the unscrupulous architect of a secret deal with North African militias and thus responsible for severe human rights violations of refugees trapped in Libyan detention centers. Since he took office in December 2016, the 61-year-old former communist from Calabria, ... Read More »

Diaspora should be represented in Dáil, says Ciarán Cannon

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Minister of State says ‘absolutely crucial’ referendum on emigrant vote passes Simon Carswell The Irish Times Irish citizens abroad should be represented with their own elected official in Dáil Éireann, Minister of State for the Diaspora Ciarán Cannon has said. The Government has already made a commitment to hold a referendum in June 2019 to decide whether to extend voting rights in presidential elections to Irish emigrants from 2025. Mr Cannon said in an… Diaspora should be… Read More »

The Catalonian Election Is The Future Of Democracy In All The Worst Ways Possible

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Nationalist trolls, fake news, police brutality, Russian bots — welcome to the Catalonian election. Ryan Broderick BuzzFeed  BARCELONA — On Tuesday night, a Google Hangout video feed on a large screen came to life above a crowd of several hundred people in Sant Vicenç dels Horts, Spain. The supporters of the left-wing Catalan political party, Esquerra Republicana (ERC), who decided to brave the dry December cold to attend the party’s last campaign rally, were greeted by ERC’s minister of health, ... Read More »

Tony Blair says stopping Brexit more important than Labour winning next election

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‘I think this principle’s too important … I would put it above everything else right now for the country’ Chris Baynes The Independent Labour should prioritise stopping Brexit ahead of winning the next election, Tony Blair has said. The former Prime Minister said the party would “be saying what’s right” if it came out in opposition to the UK leaving the EU, and suggested the stance would also expose divisions within Conservative ranks. He added he believed that “stopping Brexit is the route to win ... Read More »

Don’t Just Thank Black Women. Follow Us.

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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 »

Democracy in meltdown as East Timorese PM denounces ‘coup’

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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 »