Democracy

‘Vote in your own country’: EU citizens tell of UK poll chaos

Admin errors mean people are being denied right to vote at European election polling booths Emma Graham-Harrison The Guardian EU citizens in the UK are being denied their democratic right to vote in the European elections because of administrative errors by local councils. EU nationals across the country have been reporting that they arrived at polling booths only to find their names crossed out with officials confirming they were not eligible to vote. Astrid Hampe-Nathaniel, a German and Italian citizen, who has lived in ... Read More »

Modi promises inclusive India after stunning election win

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised to unite the country on May 23 after a huge election win, with his party on course to increase its majority on a mandate of pursuing business-friendly policies and… NEW DELHI/KOLKATA- Reuters Hurriyet Official data from India‘s Election Commission showed Modi‘s Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ahead in 298 of the 542 seats available, up from the 282 it won in 2014 and more than the… That would give it the first back-to-back majority for a single ... Read More »

Thai dissidents living in exile fear for their lives after a string of disappearances and murders

A string of mysterious murders and deportations across South-East Asia has Thai dissidents fearing for their lives and members of a controversial folk band say they may be targeted next. Liam Cochrane ABC The band Faiyen, which means “cold fire” in Thai, fled the country after the 2014 coup and has written songs criticising the military government and the monarchy. Late last week, the band posted a chilling message on Facebook. “We … fear for our lives. Many trusted people ... Read More »

Chagos Islands: UN officially demands Britain and US withdraw from Indian Ocean archipelago

Former Mauritian territory houses Diego Garcia US military base Samuel Osborne Independent The UN General Assembly has overwhelmingly voted for a resolution demanding Britain withdraw its administration of the Chagos Islands. While the resolution is not legally-binding, it carries significant political weight. The Indian Ocean archipelago is home to the Diego Garcia US military base. In February, the International Court of Justice ruled the UK’s decolonisation of the Indian Ocean islands was unlawful. The World Court said the UK acted illegally ... Read More »

Is there such thing as a ‘European identity’?

The outcome of the UK’s 2016 referendum on EU membership has sent shockwaves across Europe. Nikolaos Papadogiannis The Conversation Among other impacts, it has prompted debates around the issues whether a “European culture” or a “European identity” actually exist or whether national identities still dominate. It would be wrong, in my opinion, to write off the identification of various people with “Europe”. This identification has been the outcome of a long process, particularly in the second half of the 20th ... Read More »

Corruption and Populism Are the West’s Weaknesses, Not Moscow’s Invention

It is important to remember that no one tied Austria’s far-right politician Strache to a chair and forced him to listen to the Russian’s pitch. Mark Galeotti The Moscow Times Austria faces snap elections after a mysterious video was released showing vice chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache of the far-right Freedom Party promising government contracts to an… Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has dissolved his right-wing coalition with the Freedom Party, and while much is unclear about the case, it has once again raised ... Read More »

Election 2019: This is where it all went wrong for Labor and Bill Shorten

In the end, it was probably a blessing that Bob Hawke wasn’t alive to see it. Samantha Maiden The New Daily Scott Morrison has emerged as a modern-day Liberal Party hero, defying the predictions of the polls, his critics, his predecessors and even Liberal frontbenchers who voted with their feet to… The Labor Party was trounced on Saturday night, and it is a result that will ensure the ALP doesn’t pick a fight with retirees on tax reform again any ... Read More »

Be principled, but not so much that you scare voters

“The art of democratic statesmanship,” said the politician, “is of presenting your principles, presenting your convictions, in ways which sufficiently impress the public such that you are seen as a man or woman of principle, but which don’t so worry the public that they think you would be a risk if you found yourself in a… Jacqueline Maley The Canberra Times SMH/The Age The sentiment was pure pragmatism. The politician expressing it was Tony Abbott, talking in 2008 to a ... Read More »

India’s acrimonious election comes to an end

Voting in one of India‘s most acrimonious elections in decades entered its final day on May 19 as Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi scrambled to hang on to his overall majority. VARANSI, India – Agence France Presse Hurriyet Polls close at 6:00 pm (1230 GMT) in the seventh and final round of voting, ending the world’s biggest election with 900 million eligible voters from Goa’s beaches to Mumbai’s slums and… Long queues formed outside polling stations in eight northern states electing the final ... Read More »

HEMP’s grassroots campaign hot on heels of Palmer’s $60 million ad barrage

Clive Palmer and his staggering $60 million spend on United Australia Party’s election campaignhas only managed to secure 20,000 more Senate votes nationally than a minor party forced to “scratch around” just to… Hamish Hastie WAtoday As of Sunday afternoon the Help End Marijuana Prohibition party had secured 141,500 first preference Senate votes or 1.9 per cent of the national vote, just behind UAP’s 161,000. It’s the party’s best result since being registered in 2010 and is a huge jump in ... Read More »

Austrian government collapses over Russia scandal

Kurz calls for snap election after video shows far-right leaders offering contracts for cash. Matthew Karnitschnig Politico Turns out Russian collusion isn’t a “witch hunt hoax” after all. At least not in Austria. The country’s government collapsed on Saturday after Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said he was pulling the plug on his ruling coalition after just 17 months in office. The move came barely 24 hours after the release of a bombshell video showing Heinz-Christian Strache, the far-right leader of his junior coalition partner, ... Read More »

Picturing Sri Lanka’s Undead War

Ten years after the end of Sri Lanka’s civil war, Crisis Group’s Sri Lanka Project Director Alan Keenan and Photographer Julie David de Lossy travelled 1,500km through ex-combat zones. ICG They found a population finding ways to cope with their traumatic experiences and an extraordinary array of monuments to the war. Ten years have passed since Sri Lanka’s 26-year war came to an end on 18 May 2009. A decisive victory over the Tamil Tigers placed the Sinhalese-majority government firmly ... Read More »

Open letter to UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

The following Lobby for Cyprus open letter was sent to the UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs regarding Turkey’s illegal operations in the EEZ of Cyprus and the recent statement in Parliament by the UK Minister for Europe. Τhe Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Foreign and Commonwealth Office King Charles Street London SW1A 2AH 17 May 2019 Dear Minister I am writing to you regarding the reply given by ... Read More »

Taiwan becomes first in Asia to legalise same-sex marriage

Supporters celebrate as legislation is passed giving gay couples right to marry Lily Kuo The Guardian Taiwan has legalised same-sex marriage, the first of any Asian state, with the passage of legislation giving gay couples the right to marry. Lawmakers on Friday comfortably passed part of a bill that would allow gay couples to enter into “exclusive permanent unions” and apply for marriage registration with government agencies. Taiwan’s president, Tsai Ing-wen, who campaigned on a platform of marriage equality, tweeted after the ... Read More »

Mineral wealth, Clive Palmer, and the corruption of Australian politics

Clive Palmer is reportedly spending A$70 million of his own money on his party’s campaign. Warwick Smith The Conversation How is it possible for one individual to command so much wealth and where did it come from? The sad and strange reality is that Australian governments gave him most of it by letting him dig up and sell natural resources that, by rights, belong to us not him. We’ve a history of handing vast wealth to resource and mining magnates ... Read More »

Austrian parliament adopts controversial headscarf ban in elementary schools

Austrian lawmakers have approved controversial plans to ban girls in elementary schools from wearing headscarves, a move that would add to existing restrictions on veils. Daily Sabah Compliled From Wire Services The Austria Press Agency reported that lawmakers from the governing coalition of Chancellor Sebastian Kurz’s conservative People’s Party (ÖVP) and the anti-migration Freedom Party (FPÖ) supported the… Kurz’s party conceded that the new headscarf ban is likely to face challenges at Austria’s Constitutional Court, either on grounds of religious ... Read More »