Democracy

Fraser Anning staffer and alleged Nazi enthusiast employed by Home Affairs

The political staffer accused of writing Fraser Anning’s infamous “final solution” speech and holding an obsession with Nazi Germany is employed by the federal government agency managing Australia’s immigration program, it… Nicole Hasham The Age The staffer, Richard Howard, is on unpaid leave from the Department of Home Affairs and has left the door open to returning should Senator Anning fail to be re-elected in May. However Home Affairs secretary Michael Pezzullo on Friday said if any staff member was ... Read More »

Sanders, Harris, Biden… can anyone beat Donald Trump to become the next US president?

No sooner had the US midterm elections for Congress concluded than jockeying began for the presidential elections in 2020. Dennis Altman The Conversation Barring either impeachment, which seems unlikely, or a health crisis, Donald Trump will seek re-election. Although the last sitting president not to be re-elected was George Bush Sr in 1992, polls suggest Trump is consistently disliked by a majority of Americans. Democrats see a remarkable opportunity to regain the White House. It’s all about the Electoral College ... Read More »

Brexit: Tusk statement raises fears UK could crash out of EU with no deal next week

May will address British public tonight to explain delay of Brexit until June 30th A short Brexit extension is possible but only if the UK approves the withdrawal agreement next week, according to Donald Tusk, president of the European Council. The Irish Times In a move which puts pressure back on British prime minister Theresa May, Mr Tusk’s brief statement ahead of Thursday’s EU Council meeting explicitly ties an extension of the Article 50 process to the passage through the House of Commons ... Read More »

Vestager faces brutal obstacle course to succeed Juncker

The EU’s high-profile antitrust chief will struggle to secure Denmark’s nomination to remain in the commission. By CHARLIE DUXBURY AND MAÏA DE LA BAUME Politico Margrethe Vestager’s quest to succeed Jean-Claude Juncker as European Commission president kicks off on Thursday, but the EU’s high-profile competition chief risks falling at the first hurdle. While Vestager’s battles against U.S. tech giants such as Google and Apple have won her wide support in Brussels — and make her the female superstar candidate in Europe’s liberal camp — ... Read More »

The Guardian view on the Brexit crisis: take back control by giving it up

The prime minister will only a get a grip on the Brexit crisis by learning to loosen hers on the terms of departure from the EU Editorial The Guardian Almost two years after Theresa May triggered article 50 it is still unclear when, in what form and how Brexit will occur – even to the prime minister. Any country invoking the Lisbon treaty’s clause of departure leaves the European Union after two years. It is a mark of failure that Mrs May ... Read More »

Nazarbayev Is Giving Up Presidency, Not Power, in Kazakhstan

The long-time autocrat’s shock resignation kicks off an opaque succession process. By Reid Standish FP ASTANA, Kazakhstan—Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kazakhstan’s first and only president, resigned on Tuesday, ending his nearly 30-year reign and setting the stage for an opaque succession process in the oil-rich Central Asian country of 18 million people.   In a lengthy speech that Nazarbayev delivered in a prerecorded televised address to the country that reflected on his lengthy tenure in office, the 78-year-old president said that the ... Read More »

Third time lucky for Theresa May’s Brexit vote?

(CNN) – UK Prime Minister Theresa May will be hoping the third time’s the charm when she tries to get the House of Commons to back her Brexit deal this week after two previous defeats — but she’ll need more than just luck to get lawmakers to change their minds. By Jane Merrick, for CNN The question being posed in Downing Street this week is: What will it take for more than 70 lawmakers to back her and get her deal ... Read More »

No Choice and No Exit for the UK

The outcome of the simple binary choice given to UK voters in the June 2016 Brexit referendum has proved almost impossible to implement. Robert Skidelsky Project Syndicate The main obstacle is not the complications of negotiating new treaties, but rather the judgment by those in charge of Britain’s political life that the costs of an emphatic withdrawal are too great. LONDON – The United Kingdom’s protracted attempt to leave the European Union has upended the two illusions by which the ... Read More »

Political forces unite to reject far right and deny One Nation preferences

A series of powerful political campaigns will seek to defeat far-right candidates at the federal election as major parties and activist groups warn against the… David Crowe The Sydney Morning Herald Australians will be urged to reject Pauline Hanson’s One Nation and controversial Queensland senator Fraser Anning amid accusations they have inflamed… The fortunes of the far-right have depended in the past on preference deals with the major parties, but similar arrangements are now off the agenda ahead of the… ... Read More »

Why Emmanuel Macron’s plan for a European agency to fend off fake news makes sense

When French president Emmanuel Macron sent an open letter to the people of Europe, he said their first freedom is democratic – “the freedom to choose our leaders as foreign powers seek to influence our vote at each election”. Alexi Drew The Conversation He went on to propose establishing a European agency to protect this right. The idea would be to provide European states with experts to help them fend off cyberattacks and other kinds of threats to their elections. ... Read More »

Ardern is a leader for our times, and we should follow her example

This nation needs more leadership, across all levels, in all parties, like that provided by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in the wake of Christchurch’s mosque massacres. Peter FitzSimons The Sydney Morning Herald With steely calm, with inclusive language, seeking to unite rather than divide, she told the world, “To the people who did this: you may have chosen us, but we UTTERLY reject and condemn you.” Ms Ardern is one out of the box, a leader for her ... Read More »

Anti-corruption candidate wins first round of Slovakia’s presidential election

Zuzana Čaputová will face Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič in final vote. By ANCA GURZU AND LAURA GREENHALGH Politico Lawyer Zuzana Čaputová won the largest share of votes in Slovakia’s presidential ballot Saturday, making her the frontrunner ahead of a second round later this month. Čaputová, a newcomer to politics who has run a campaign focused on tackling corruption, won 40.6 percent of the vote, ahead of government candidate and European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič on 18.7 percent, according to the… The two will face off in ... Read More »

Serbia protests: President Vucic the target of Belgrade rally

Serbian police have used tear gas to clear thousands of protesters trying to blockade the residence of President Aleksandar Vucic in Belgrade. BBC The protesters – who are demanding greater media freedom and free elections – shouted “Resign!” But Mr Vucic refused to bow to the pressure, saying: “I am not afraid.” The opposition has been staging largely peaceful rallies for weeks. But tensions escalated on Saturday when crowds stormed the state TV station. Mr Vucic is a reformed extreme ... Read More »

From Aramoana to Christchurch: A Shorthand of New Zealand’s Relationship With Guns

Nearly 30 years ago, a mass shooting in a small town reshaped how New Zealand regulates gun ownership. The attack in Christchurch could have a similar effect. Chris Fitch The Atlantic On a Tuesday in November 1990, the sleepy town of Aramoana was burned into New Zealand’s collective consciousness. The 13 residents killed in a gun rampage that shocked the nation were, until Friday’s attacks in Christchurch, victims of the country’s worst-ever mass shooting, one that opened a widespread reevaluation of New ... Read More »

What Jesse taught Bernie about running for president

The significance of Sanders’ endorsement of Jackson in 1988 is not that he supported a black candidate but what it taught him about the power of working inside the Democratic Party. Michael Kruse Politico The night of April 19, 1988, in the tense, people-packed auditorium at Burlington High School in Burlington, Vermont, Bernie Sanders strode stern-faced into enemy territory. The city’s crotchety, socialist, obstinately independent mayor planted himself at the center of the stage at the Democratic Party’s caucus, an ... Read More »

Bosnian Branch Of ‘Putin’s Angels’ Enjoys Political Backing – Analysis

Like the original Night Wolves in Russia, a Bosnian Serb branch of the motorcycle gang enjoys close ties to the political elite. Semir Mujkic Eurasia Review A roughly 1.5-million-euro tender for construction of a mini hydropower plant in Bosnia’s Republika Srpska has been awarded to a company with no previous experience in the field, co-owned by the… Goran Tadic, co-owner of New Energy Company and vice-president of the Night Wolves of Republika Srpska, said his ties with the head of ... Read More »