Democracy

Alex Kane: Unionists need to be ready for eventuality of Border poll

Referendum is inevitable and they should participate in preparing the ground for it Alex Kane The Irish Times In 2017 unionists, for the first time ever, lost their overall majority in a Northern Ireland parliament; in local council elections three weeks ago they lost their overall majority of councillors; and… Surely, some argue, those losses, along with other shifts in opinion and electoral support, suggest that it is not unreasonable to conclude that a victory for unity in a border ... Read More »

What to Make of the European Elections

Right-wing populism is still growing—and has already established itself as a fixture on the political stage. Yascha Mounk The Atlantic The sheer scale of the European elections, coupled with the huge differences among the parties that were on the ballot from Sweden to Greece, makes it possible to find evidence for just about any story about the results. Perhaps because the rise of far-right populism has, three years after the surprise victory of Brexit and the shock election of Donald ... Read More »

UK government ‘risks another Windrush’ over EU citizens, MPs say

The government runs the risk of another Windrush scandal if “serious concerns” about its EU settlement scheme are not addressed, MPs have said. BBC The Commons Home Affairs Committee said technical issues had “blighted” the scheme, with some struggling to navigate the online application system. It said people who have lived for years in the UK could face uncertainty over their rights and eligibility to remain. But the Home Office said the scheme was “performing well”. It had “taken… UK ... Read More »

New Zealand ‘wellbeing’ budget promises billions to care for most vulnerable

Widespread praise for ‘world-first’ budget tackling mental illness, family violence and child poverty Eleanor Ainge Roy The Guardian After more than a year of curiosity and speculation, New Zealand’s Labour coalition government has unveiled its “world-first” wellbeing budget, to widespread praise from social agencies charged with looking after the… The finance minister, Grant Robertson, unveiled billions for mental health services and child poverty as well as record investment in measures to tackle family violence. “Success is making New Zealand both a ... Read More »

Which Euroskeptic parties have the most momentum?

League and Brexit Party surge, but there was mixed news for France’s National Rally. By RYAN HEATH, CORNELIUS HIRSCH AND FRANCESCO PICCINELLI Politico Coverage of the European Parliament election often focuses on the 2019 results. But in this graphic we have added the context of 2014 results, to more accurately represent whether a national party has positive momentum. Overall, Euroskeptic parties are on an upward trend, but the picture varies from country to country, and sometimes within a country. In the Czech Republic ... Read More »

Ken Wyatt sworn in as minister for Indigenous Australians in historic first

In a historic first, an Aboriginal man has been sworn in as minister for Indigenous Australians. Source : AAP – SBS Noongar man Ken Wyatt has made history by being the first Aboriginal person to be sworn in as minister for Indigenous Australians. Mr Wyatt, the member for the West Australian seat of Hasluck, received a rapturous applause as he was sworn in on Wednesday as the first Aboriginal person to take on the Indigenous Affairs portfolio in cabinet. “Can ... Read More »

‘A lot of wrongs to repair’: Justice Michael Kirby calls for national bill of rights

As a high court judge for more than 30 years Michael Kirby knows the law – and he’s using his expertise to call for a national bill of rights. Gloria Kalache SBS A former high court judge has called for Australia to adopt a national bill of human rights. Michael Kirby argues the country has a less than perfect record in protecting the rights of minorities and believes a national bill of rights could make the difference. “We’ve had a lot ... Read More »

Boris Johnson could go on trial for ‘lying and misleading’ in Brexit campaign, judge orders

Judge summonses MP to court after throwing out arguments that allegations are ‘vexatious’ attempt to undermine Brexit Lizzie Dearden Independent Boris Johnson faces trial for allegedly “lying and misleading the British public” about the consequences of Brexit. A judge summonsed the Conservative MP to appear in court after a member of the public launched a private prosecution over claims EU membership was costing the UK £350m a week. District Judge Margot Coleman threw out arguments by Mr Johnson’s lawyers that the case was a… Boris Johnson ... Read More »

WA police stations to fly Aboriginal flag permanently

Aboriginal flags will be raised at all WA police stations and remain there permanently to symbolise the force’s commitment to reconciliation, Chris Dawson says. AAP – SBS Aboriginal flags will be flown permanently at all West Australian police stations as part the force’s Reconciliation Action Plan to improve relations with indigenous people. Commissioner Chris Dawson said it was an important symbolic move to show “we mean what we say”. “I want them to see respect, I want them to know ... Read More »

Why an Indigenous Voice would not be ‘third chamber’ of Parliament

At Uluru in 2017, Indigenous Australians made clear that the kind of constitutional recognition they wanted was a living and continuing recognition, rather than mere words on a page of a… Anne Twomey The Sydney Morning Herald They called for recognition through an ongoing voice to Parliament about the laws and policies that affect them. In rejecting this proposal, one claim by the government was that this would be discriminatory and contrary to principles of equality because it would give ... Read More »

‘I’m not Tony Abbott’: Albanese offers to work with Morrison on climate, Uluru Statement

Anthony Albanese has offered to work with the Coalition government on the constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians and a bipartisan approach to climate change in his first major outing as incoming federal Labor leader. Michael Koziol Brisbane Times The offer came as Mr Albanese’s incoming deputy, Richard Marles, made a mea culpa over his role in tarnishing Labor’s brand in coal-rich Queensland through “tone deaf” remarks welcoming the demise of the coal industry. Mr Albanese vowed to hold the re-elected Coalition ... Read More »

In graphics: How Europe voted

Explore the EU election through 5 graphs and charts. The European election resulted in a fragmented European Parliament where the traditional big two groups, the center-right European People’s Party (EPP) and the center-left Socialists & Democrats (S&D), lost ground and Euroskeptics made gains. By HANNA PAWELEC AND FRANCESCO PICCINELLI Politico Here are the latest results and estimates. Click on the graphic to explore more. Results The European Parliament election is also 28 national elections. Drill down into each national vote with the ... Read More »

Voice will end cycle of instability

The process that led to the Uluru Statement From the Heart and the proposal to amend the Australian constitution to enshrine a First Nations Voice to Parliament was a watershed moment in Australian history. Megan Davis The Sydney Morning Herald For the first time in our living memory, a representative group of Australia’s First Nations people met in the heart of Australia at Uluru on May 26, 2017, and agreed to endorse a sequence of reforms aimed at doing what ... Read More »

Are milkshakes the new politics of resistance?

‘The flinging of milkshakes represents a frustration with traditional media’s failure to hold the far right to account’ Stewart Lee The Guardian Wouldn’t it be wonderful to hear what would be said at our own funeral? When Michael Gove attends next month’s An Evening With Michael Gove, at Westminster’s Emmanuel Centre, the… An enterprising promoter should reboot the night as Michael Gove – This Is Your Life, the vengeful foundling wearing a little girl’s party dress, and crying hot tears ... Read More »

Assange’s new indictment: Espionage and the First Amendment

Julian Assange, the co-founder of WikiLeaks, has been charged by the U.S. Department of Justice with a slew of Espionage Act violations that could keep him in prison for… Ofer Raban The Conversation The new indictment expands an earlier one charging Assange with conspiring with Chelsea Manning, the former soldier convicted of leaking classified documents to… Assange is responsible for the dissemination of troves of classified American documents, including hundreds of thousands of military reports, hundreds of thousands of diplomatic ... Read More »

‘Unrelentingly partisan’: Did the Murdoch press sway the election?

The day after the election, a fuming Kevin Rudd took to Twitter. “In all the election commentary last night, not a single word on the elephant in the room,” the former prime minister wrote. Bianca Hall The Sydney Morning Herald “Murdoch, with 70 per cent control of Australia’s print media, ran the single most biased campaign in Australian political history. Reason for the silence? People are in fear of Murdoch’s power.” Rupert Murdoch’s papers, which actually account for about 60 per ... Read More »