Democracy

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 »

EU Elections: Populists Hope to Do Well in Suburbs

London – The winners and losers in European Parliament elections next week are likely to be determined in the suburbs of the continent’s cities, which are turning into three-way electoral battlegrounds. Jamie Dettmer VoA The elections are being seen as a moment of truth for an array of anti-migrant nationalist populist parties, which hope to reverse European integration. Establishment Conservatives are hoping they can shore up their support in the suburbs in the face of strong challenges from left-wing progressives ... Read More »

The Centrality of the Rule of Law for the EU

European leaders should do more to preserve the rule of law, which is both a domestic and a foreign policy matter—and the cornerstone of the EU’s outlook and goals. Marc Pierini Carnegie Europe The year 2019 is one of transition for the European Union: European Parliament elections take place in May, the top executive positions in the EU’s institutions are up for renewal in November or… Amid these changes, and with the foreign policy domain crowded with emergencies, it would ... Read More »

Britain divides but doesn’t rule

Westminster is too busy fighting itself to exploit Franco-German Brexit rift. Paul Taylor Politico PARIS — Britain has finally managed to split France and Germany over Brexit after nearly three years in which the two continental powers marched in lockstep. The trouble for the U.K. is that it is too busy fighting itself over the future it wants with the European Union to take advantage of the rift. Cracks between French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel appeared last month, after British Prime Minister ... Read More »

Russia will target the European elections – this radical idea could turn a threat into opportunity

Over the past three years, Russia has been repeatedly accused of infiltrating democratic elections in the West. Nicholas Ross Smith The Conversation It is suspected of supporting anti-establishment movements on both the left and right through a mixture of financial support, intelligence sharing, and, perhaps, even through the use of cyber weapons. Russia has undergone a staggering transformation in this time. It was once something of an afterthought in international affairs with seemingly no credible public diplomacy capabilities. Now, it ... Read More »

Jeremy Corbyn warned ‘learn IndyRef lessons or face Labour wipeout in EU elections’

Ian Murray MSP says the party leader risks being ‘washed away’ in a repeat of the party’s 2015 election disaster in Scotland. Torcuil Crichton Daily Record Jeremy Corbyn was warned last night to learn the lessons of the Scottish independence referendum or face being “washed away” in next week’s European elections. During a furious encounter, Corbyn was told by Ian Murray that he risked a repeat of the party’s 2015 election wipeout in Scotland, which left the Edinburgh South MP as Labour’s only Westminster representative ... Read More »

Turkish Democracy Can’t Die, Because It Never Lived

The country’s political system doesn’t deserve the laments it’s recently received. Steven A. Cook FP Last week, Turkey’s Supreme Election Council annulled Istanbul’s recent mayoral election, triggering many analysts and journalists to declare the end of Turkish democracy. But these pronouncements fail to reckon with a basic historical question: How could something end that never was? Over the years, it has become an accepted fact that the founding of Turkey’s Democratic Party in 1946 not only ushered in … Turkish ... Read More »

Greens within striking distance in Josh Frydenberg’s seat of Kooyong, poll finds

Exclusive: treasurer is just in front of Greens’ star candidate Julian Burnside 52% to 48% on a two-party preferred basis Katharine Murphy The Guardian A new poll in the Victorian seat of Kooyong puts the Liberals ahead, but the Greens within striking distance of taking the blue-ribbon seat from the treasurer and deputy Liberal leader… A poll of 1,741 respondents taken for the Greens by Environmental Research+Counsel this month has Frydenberg on a primary vote of 41%, the Greens candidate, ... Read More »

Mounting evidence the tide is turning on News Corp, and its owner

There is mounting evidence that Australia is sick of Rupert Murdoch and the political propaganda machine he runs in the guise of a news organisation. Denis Muller The Conversation In January, Bill Shorten rebuffed an open-ended offer to meet Murdoch whenever the opposition leader was in the United States. According to the ABC’s 7.30 political editor, Laura Tingle, Shorten replied that any dealings he had with News Corp would be conducted with the company’s representatives in Australia. This was a ... Read More »

Sunday Mail backs Scottish Green Party in European elections

The Sunday Mail today takes the historic step of backing the Scottish Green Party in the European elections. Daily Record The Euro poll in 11 days has been turned into a proxy referendum on Brexit – the issue which has crippled our politics for almost three years and counting. Meanwhile, we are faced with a genuine emergency which is, in relative terms, being ignored. Climate change is the biggest issue confronting our country and our planet. According to the Royal Society of ... Read More »