Democracy

George III Lost America. Theresa May Could Lose the United Kingdom Over Brexit.

Brexit has shown the world a British parliament and a political class that resembles a ship of fools without a captain. Clive Irving The Daily Beast Britain is locked in the most serious peacetime crisis in its modern history, the increasingly desperate attempt to secure the nation’s orderly departure from the European Union. Brexit has shown the world a British parliament and a political class that resembles a ship of fools without a captain. One veteran of Margaret Thatcher’s cabinet ... Read More »

House punts on full transparency

The Massachusetts House this week overwhelmingly declined to adopt a full ban on the use of nondisclosure agreements by its members in sexual harassment cases — again. Editorial Boston Globe In stark contrast, the state Senate voted to eliminate their use altogether. In rejecting a sensible, basic measure, the House further entrenched a culture of secrecy that has no place in government. House rules currently allow the use of so-called NDAs only if victims of sexual harassment request them. Typically ... Read More »

‘This is about saving capitalism’: the Dutch historian who savaged Davos elite

Rutger Bregman never intended to take billionaires to task over tax at World Economic Forum Larry Elliott The Guardian Rutger Bregman had not really intended to stick it to the global elite. He never meant to have a pop at the idea that inequality could be solved by philanthropy or inviting Bono to Davos. But when the Dutch historian decided to go off-piste at the World Economic Forum and tell the assembled billionaires they should stop avoiding paying tax, he became an ... Read More »

Mexico’s New Neutrality in the Venezuela Crisis

Bucking the U.S. and several large and influential Latin American states, Mexico has not recognised Juan Guaidó’s claim on Venezuela’s presidency, and has instead argued for negotiations to end the country’s crisis. As Crisis Group’s Senior Mexico Analyst Falko Ernst explains, this position is rooted in a new Mexican foreign policy doctrine. What is Mexico’s position on the fast-developing events in Venezuela? Mexico has declined to recognise Juan Guaidó as interim president of Venezuela, and has adopted a… Mexico’s New ... Read More »

UN Rejects Guaido, Favors Discourse With President Maduro

Guterres reiterated his concern about the impact of the current Venezuelan crisis on the people. UN News, by teleSUR/ jf-GB The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres recognized, Friday, the representation of the Venezuelan Government – led by its Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza – while rejecting the interests of deputy of the National Assembly (AN), Juan Guaido, who… Stephane Dujarric, the spokesman for the U.N. secretary-general, confirmed that Guterres responded to a letter, which was sent by Juan Guaido asking the agency to send humanitarian aid to… UN Rejects Guaido… Read More »

Australian politics a billion-dollar business, say latest donation records

Newly-released donation and financial records show Australian politics is now a billion-dollar business. SBS Australian politics is now a billion-dollar business, the latest donation records reveal. The major parties raked in more than $154 million in political donations, returns on investments and asset sales in 2017/18. As well, their associated entities have lodged $926 million, according to Australian Electoral Commission figures released on Friday. West Australian Greens convener Chilla Bulbeck was the largest individual political donor last year, gifting almost ... Read More »

When should judges and courts be subject to scrutiny and criticism?

Speaking earlier this week, Supreme Court of NSW Chief Justice Tom Bathurst said it is entirely appropriate for the judiciary to be criticised for its performance by the media and, by extension, the… Jerome Doraisamy The Lawyers Weekly Addressing the Opening of Law Term Dinner in NSW, Chief Justice Bathurst said that to facilitate appropriate scrutiny and ensure that any criticism is informed, courts must operate as transparently as… “In that way, they become accountable to the other arms of ... Read More »

Brexit: Capital takes flight from UK amid crisis – leader comment

EU will not compromise its fundamental values so British MPs need to stop opposing everything and make a choice between May’s deal and a second referendum. The Scotsman An answer to the Irish border question posed by Brexit could risk the Good Friday Agreement and the integrity of the European Union’s single market. So when MPs decided to send Theresa May back to Brussels to renegotiate not the answer itself, but the ‘backstop’ arrangement in the event that one cannot ... Read More »

‘Tip of the iceberg’: Video shows Rabbi abused in anti-Semitic road rage incident

The Anti-Defamation Commission chairman has called on state and federal governments to make countering anti-Semitism a priority after video surfaced of a Rabbi being abused in Melbourne. Maani Truu SBS The leader of a Jewish community group has said the recent road rage abuse of a Rabbi in Melbourne is just the “tip of the iceberg” when it comes to anti-Semitism in Australia and suggested that governments establish a… “It may be an uncomfortable truth for some, but anti-Semitism is ... Read More »

Not another online petition! But here’s why you should think before deleting it

Online petitions are often seen as a form of “slacktivism” – small acts that don’t require much commitment and are more about helping us feel good than effective activism. Sky Croeser The Conversation But the impacts of online petitions can stretch beyond immediate results. Whether they work to create legislative change, or just raise awareness of an issue, there’s some merit to signing them. Even if nothing happens immediately, petitions are one of many ways we can help build long-term ... Read More »

How to Protect Liberal Democracy

U.S. interests neither totally agree nor totally conflict with those of other states. Paul R. Pillar The National Interest The acquisition of power, through the ballot box, in a democracy by political forces that undermine that very democracy—by surreptitiously channeling the influence of a foreign state or by using authoritarian tactics to retain power—is the stuff of thriller fiction. It is grist for stories like The Manchurian Candidate . In a democracy such as the United States, such scenarios present political quandaries ... Read More »

Angola decriminalises homosexuality

Angola’s parliament has also voted to ban discrimination against sexual orientation with offenders facing up to two years in prison. AFP-SBS Angola’s parliament has decriminalised homosexuality, removing a notorious “vices against nature” provision in its penal code and banning discrimination against sexual orientation, in a reform hailed by rights watchdogs. On Wednesday, 155 parliamentarians voted for Angola’s first overhaul of the criminal statute books since independence, while seven abstained and one voted against. “Angola has finally shed the… Angola decriminalises… Read More »

New Year, Same Old Turkey

Democratic anomaly became the new Turkish normal several years ago. Burak Bekdil Gatestone Institute The anomaly, sometimes, offers entertaining moments, too. Take, for instance, Parliament Speaker Binali Yıldırım, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s most important political confidant (and former prime minister), who became the joke of the day when he declared: “Animals, too, are living beings”. Someone teased him on social media: “He is right. And I am adding: Plants, too, are living beings.” A few days later Yıldırım, under fire ... Read More »

‘Shock and dismay’: Thai pop idol condemned for Nazi swastika T-shirt

A member of Thailand’s most popular all-girl band wore a shirt portraying Nazi Germany’s state flag with a swastika emblazoned across it during a televised rehearsal. AFP – SBS A member of Thailand’s most popular all-girl band has apologised for wearing a shirt with a Nazi flag featuring a swastika, after her TV appearance Friday drew “shock and dismay” from the Israeli embassy. Images of Hitler, swastikas and other Nazi regalia are fairly commonplace on T-shirts and memorabilia in Thailand, ... Read More »

Nigerian chief justice’s suspension raises international concerns

International observers have expressed concern about the suspension of Nigeria’s chief justice – just three weeks before a general election. BBC Judge Walter Onnoghen was suspended by President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday. He is facing charges for allegedly failing to declare his personal assets before taking office in 2017. But the EU, UK and US have taken serious issue with his removal, suggesting it could “cast a pall over the electoral process”. Mr Buhari’s decision has been called “an act ... Read More »

Fight for Europe – or the wreckers will destroy it

The continent faces its biggest challenge since the 1930s. We urge European patriots to resist the nationalist onslaught Bernard-Henri Lévy, Milan Kundera, Salman Rushdie, Elfriede Jelinek, Orhan Pamuk and 25 others Europe ‘coming apart before our eyes’, say 30 top intellectuals The Guardian The idea of Europe is in peril. From all sides there are criticisms, insults and desertions from the cause. “Enough of ‘building Europe’!” is the cry. Let’s reconnect instead with our “national soul”! Let’s rediscover our “lost identity”! This is the agenda shared ... Read More »