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Australian Society

Submitted by Fiona Reynolds on December 11, 2007 - 8:24pm.
Wish list
At this time - the end of the year, a time of feasting and thanksgiving - what do Webdiarists want? You may have three wishes: one for the world, one for your loved ones, and one for you.
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Submitted by Not Happy John 2007 on December 8, 2007 - 9:51am.
Still Not Happy, John!
Please feel free to comment on or review the book, correct any errors I've made, and let others know what's happening where you live.
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Submitted by Evan Hadkins on December 8, 2007 - 9:34am.
Thinking about the future may be revolutionary
Every child that enters kindergarten embarks on a process that is meant to prepare them for active participation in our culture. Education is an embodied vision of the future. Thinking about the future really could lead to an “Education Revolution”.
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Submitted by Marilyn Shepherd on December 8, 2007 - 9:00am.
Rudd's Eulogy for Bernie Banton
Bernie was an ordinary bloke who decided to become something extraordinary and through that became an extraordinary hero in our age, an age where we feared we would no longer have heroes anymore. (Kevin Rudd)
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Submitted by Lionel Orford on December 7, 2007 - 9:09am.
An open letter to the Prime Minister
You have come to power at a time of a looming worldwide economic crisis; a time when we desperately need new leadership to deal with the immense problems ahead of us and an end to the deception, denial and neglect that characterised the Howard era. The news is in and it is very bad news indeed.
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Submitted by Margo Kingston on December 7, 2007 - 7:47am.
Post election thoughts from Carlos, and a speech by Bernie Banton
"As for Rudd I hope he is no dud, indeed! The only highlight of his speech was the mention of Bernie Banton and indirectly through him the role of the unions and the importance of a fair go as a key value for Australians. Unfortunately no mention of the YR@W campaign, or the importance of Greens preferences." Carlos
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Submitted by Fiona Reynolds on December 6, 2007 - 6:16pm.
A rebirth of accountability, independence, and transparency?
One of the many things that distressed me about the Howard government was its politicising of the Commonwealth public service, and its subversion of the spoils of office to its own party-political ends. So when Mr Rudd said "I'm very much wedded to the restoration of Westminster and that means the restoration of a continuing independent public service" I was pleased - but how serious was he?
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Submitted by PF Journey on December 6, 2007 - 5:31pm.
Two Wongs do make it right: A new Asian Odyssey for Australia
To the average punters in Asia, the perception of Australia has been coloured, if you excuse the pun, by the White Australian Policy (THE WAP) and its remnants. The contemporary Australia might have a hot economical engagement with the Asian region, but politically and socially, there are still nagging questions being asked about Australia. First, has Australia completely jettisoned the WAP? or it is still lurking just beneath the surface. Second, is Australia an Asian country? or a Western country? or an Eurasian country? or none of the above? Sometimes, I think we don’t know the answer to this question ourselves.
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Submitted by Guest Contributor on December 3, 2007 - 7:49pm.
The Bali Communiqué
The business leaders of 150 global companies have today published a communiqué to world leaders calling for a comprehensive, legally binding United Nations framework to tackle climate change. The initiative represents an unprecedented coming together of the international business community and includes some of the biggest companies and brands from around the world. The leaders hope that the initiative is likely to have a significant impact on the UN climate negotiations starting next week in Bali, Indonesia.
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Submitted by Margo Kingston on November 26, 2007 - 5:33pm.
John Valder's 2007 Election comment
John Valder's 2007 election result comment
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Submitted by Margo Kingston on November 26, 2007 - 11:27am.
My State, our future
Hello. Queensland swung hardest. My State. A long time ago I lived in Dawson, next door to the National Party MP, Mr Ray Braithwaite. I rode my horse on journeys with Ray's son. It's gone Labor. Queenslanders believe in a fair go. Yep, my much maligned state said no to Howard, and yes to something fairer.
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Submitted by David Roffey on November 26, 2007 - 7:25am.
How big a problem is the Senate?
The question resolves down to this: can Labor peel off one or two Liberal or National Senators to vote with them on each significant issue? That nice Mr Joyce is an obvious candidate, at least on WorkChoices, and on each issue there are others who can be identified as having sympathetic views.
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Submitted by Democratic Audit on November 24, 2007 - 2:22pm.
Democratic Audit Update November 2007
Election update from the ANU's Democratic Audit of Australia
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Submitted by Margo Kingston on November 21, 2007 - 3:51pm.
Turn, turn, turn

"This is not a Tasmania I any longer recognise, this is Bjelke Petersens Queensland, and it is time we took our Tasmania back—back from the lies, from the intimidation, from the threats, from the character assassinations and blacklisting. Because its our Tasmania, not one company’s fiefdom. We have suffered for too many years them turning Tasmanian against Tasmanian, seeking to make us forget that what joins us is always greater than what divides us, that forest worker and conservationist, union man and greenie woman, southerner and northerner, Liberal and Labor and Green all share a great love for our island and for our people." Richard Flanagan, author
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Submitted by peter hindrup on November 20, 2007 - 8:58am.
Both parties promise obsolete renewable energy policies
Simply put both major political parties are years behind where the technology already is. Their ‘policies’ are already obsolete.If the plant being built in California was duplicated here it would move the debate on renewable energy sources forward by ten years and it would set the benchmark by which all future electricitygeneration projects would be measured, and render the argument over nuclear power plants irrelevant.
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Submitted by Ian McPherson on November 17, 2007 - 2:24pm.
Musings from a not-too-distant future
"People have written short fiction stories about how the future might be in a dramatically altered world. Perhaps I should write one for Webdiary? What do you think? Could it stand a bit of fiction?" - Ian McPherson. Now read on...
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Submitted by David Roffey on November 17, 2007 - 7:23am.
Your Personal How-to-vote from GetUp
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Submitted by Margo Kingston on November 16, 2007 - 10:10am.
Michael Kirby on religious freedom and the law
"The right to freedom of religion necessarily includes the ability to change one’s religion or, as Lionel Murphy often reminded me, the right to throw off religion – freedom from religion.  The international community has thus recognised that religious freedom is a universal feature of human existence that inheres in the inquisitive, reflective, essentially moral character of every human being, everywhere." High Court Justice Michael Kirby
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Submitted by Margo Kingston on November 14, 2007 - 3:50pm.
PM elect Rudd strips John naked
"Monday’s feeding frenzy of expenditure would actually make inflationary pressures worse. Mr Howard spent nearly $10 billion on Monday.  Trying to buy his way out of political trouble.  And he did so little more than an hour after the Reserve Bank of Australia issued its monetary policy statement warning of rising inflationary pressures. Today I am saying loud and clear that this sort of reckless spending must stop. The commitments I announce today will cost less than one quarter of those Mr Howard announced on Monday. Furthermore, the commitments I am making today are exclusively directed at tackling the skills shortage, tackling infrastructure bottlenecks and acting on Australia’s environmental and economic challenges." Kevin Rudd, PM elect
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Submitted by Evan Hadkins on November 11, 2007 - 7:41pm.
Evan's Walk against Warming
Sydney: According to the media 28,000.  A surprisingly good turn out because it seemed to be poorly publicised this year.  I heard about it through Facebook.
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Submitted by Peter Ellis on November 11, 2007 - 6:14am.
The Election Scorecard Scorecard
Peter Ellis finds that the groups that produce election scorecards, so far, endorse the Greens and Democrats on environment, climate change, overseas aid, rural health, and women’s issues.
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Submitted by Margo Kingston on November 10, 2007 - 8:04am.
Hail the zeitgeist: Jonathan gets active in Wentworth
"Why do some posters and print and distribute them with our own money? Because I am angry." Jonathan Nolan on citizen campaigning in Wentworth
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Submitted by Margo Kingston on November 9, 2007 - 9:26pm.
The John Howard caption competition
Here's the aftermath of that incident ... An obvious subject for a CAPTION COMPETITION
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Submitted by Stuart McCarthy on November 9, 2007 - 7:49am.
Who's connecting the dots on climate change policy? Not the big two, that's for sure
During discussions about peak oil with the uninitiated I am often asked why there is no political will to tackle the issue proactively. Most seem to be disappointed with replies that don’t include Iraq War conspiracy theories or appalling tales of political and corporate corruption. The reality is less sinister but more insidious – ignorance, stupidity and bumbling bureaucratic ineptitude.
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Submitted by Chris Saliba on November 6, 2007 - 7:30am.
In Search of Kevin Rudd
With only weeks to go until the election, I thought I'd better pull my finger out and try to learn something about Kevin Rudd. I must admit, Rudd’s winning the Labor leadership for me was a bit of a bummer. His fastidious personality and love of detail seemed perfect for some high brow portfolio, but I couldn’t imagine the public flocking to him as leader. (Boy was I wrong.)
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Submitted by Malcolm B Duncan on November 5, 2007 - 8:43am.
The Yorick Despatches: Part VI
Both of you readers will have to forgive me for being so long about getting back to the cornucopia of Dr Yorick’s chest but I have been occupied with other things of late and, after all, history is just another hobby (although don’t tell Geoffrey Blainey – well it wouldn’t matter really – you can’t tell him anything).   Now that I am at leisure again, I can return to that lascivious cleric, spymaster, and patron of seamstresses (if not their Saint), Jonathon Yorick DD.  
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Submitted by PF Journey on November 4, 2007 - 12:23pm.
PF Journey's tap dancing with Kevin
There is nothing to beat a morning walk in a beautiful and exotic place. I have seen John Howard walking, very often, by the beautiful Sydney Harbour from Kirribilli to Luna Park and to Lavendar Bay. I have seen him by sidewalk in front of the White House, the great Wall of China, the Forbidden City in Beijing, and get ambushed by the Chaser Boys by the Yarra River or the Howard Ladies who offerred him the Erection (sorry the Election) viagra. Yes, I wish I could walk a mile in his shoes. I still enjoy my walks very much but I have also discovered another way of keeping fit that is just as enjoyable, if not more enjoyable...
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Submitted by Margo Kingston on October 31, 2007 - 10:46am.
The Bali Nine horror: silence from Labor
Isn't it weird. Amrozi is about to be shot dead as the Indonesian courts decide they can't even look at the nation's Constitutional protection of human rights re the Bali Nine plea not to be shot dead - because they're foreigners. I, for one, will never forgive this government for handing over our bloody stupid, off the rails young people for arrest, knowing Indonesia had the death penalty for such offences. Yet there is silence from Labor. Where is Labor's promise to never ever let this happen again?
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Submitted by David Roffey on October 31, 2007 - 9:45am.
'Vote the Bastards Out'
The Spooky Men's Chorale supported the Not Happy John launches in 2004 and 2007, and for the 2004 campaign wrote their extended treatise on the politics of Australia and how to fix its problems, Vote the Bastards Out. Their performance at Gleebooks was one of the few good moments in the election campaign so far. Now they're launching their new release, Stop Scratching It - a treatise on how to run the War on Terror ...
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Submitted by Stephen Smith on October 30, 2007 - 4:53pm.
The Dismissal - Union bashing and the silence on Human Rights
We are now entering a long political drought. For in this election climate, we are complicit in a new and frightening dismissal in Australian politics. It is the dismissal of Human Rights.
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