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Federal politics

Submitted by Tony Phillips on September 2, 2006 - 7:02am.
Taking a dump on the public: the Telstra Fiasco

"Currently good telecommunications policy would be about things such as: maintaining and intensifying competition where possible; extending and improving the range of services available as quickly as possible and; balancing the demands of international competitiveness with concerns of equity and level playing fields within Australia. It once would also have been about projecting Australia as an international frontrunner in this new and booming industry; however that prospect died with the competition and privatisation policies Howard introduced." Tony Phillips

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Submitted by Gus Leonisky on August 27, 2006 - 3:01pm.
Telstra, from the old porkie provider
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Submitted by Stephen Smith on August 14, 2006 - 12:58pm.
The migration bill – edge of the human rights precipice

"The migration bill before Parliament presents us with a litmus test; it gauges our commitment to what we discuss here as the human rights of ‘the other’ that is inseparable from the rights of the child." Stephen Smith
[UPDATE: The withdrawal of the bill doesn't reduce the importance of Stephen's arguments of principle ...]

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Submitted by Solomon Wakeling on August 12, 2006 - 7:00am.
The longest decade: a review

"2006 brings us the political commentary that we deserve – The longest decade by George Megalogenis. It must be read by anyone who wants to be literate in contemporary politics, not, I suppose, because it brings anything new to the table but because these little excursions in to the recent past are necessary once in a while to quell our appetite for politics as entertainment." Solomon Wakeling

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Submitted by Guest Contributor on August 9, 2006 - 7:24pm.
Georgiou and Moylan on offshore processing

"The Migration Amendment (Designated Unauthorised Arrivals) Bill is the most profoundly disturbing piece of legislation I have encountered since becoming a member of parliament.": Petro Georgiou
"Mr Speaker this legislation ... is not a matter between conscience and patriotism. For surely each one is worthless without the other and ethical principles should inform them both.": Judy Moylan

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Submitted by Tony Phillips on August 9, 2006 - 9:28am.
Is Telstra right this time?

"The debates I heard yesterday around Telstra’s decision not to spend $4 billion providing fibre to the node infrastructure see-sawed around Telstra as the big baddie with big prices on the one hand versus Telstra as home to Mum and Dad shareholders on the other. Shareholders who shouldn’t be forced, through imposed price regulation, to donate their capital to the profits of the overseas multinationals that are Telstra’s competitors. On the whole I find myself more or less in agreement with the Telstra position.": Tony Phillips

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Submitted by Richard Tonkin on July 14, 2006 - 9:35am.
Scott Parkin and Halliburton - Update

"The banner reading Mission Accomplished across the top of the Halliburton Watch site might almost be enough to help Scott forgive the Australian Government's aggressive stance in protecting the company that the Pentagon has now rejected. His case, however, is expected to resume in the Federal Court within several weeks." Richard Tonkin

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Submitted by Guest Contributor on July 11, 2006 - 1:28pm.
Should Australia Think Big or Small in Foreign Policy?

This is Alexander Downer's speech last night to the Centre for Independent Studies. Worth a debate?

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Submitted by Guest Contributor on June 23, 2006 - 12:30pm.
National ID card debate

The MetaCapitalism Research Programme within the University of Wollongong is hosting Professor Ian Angell from the LSE to speak on his experience in the UK National ID Cards debate at a lecture, titled "Can Technology Manage Identity?", on the 17th of July in Wollongong, at 7pm, repeated in Sydney on the 18th at 12 noon.

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Submitted by justin tutty on June 18, 2006 - 10:33am.
Nuclear Review: Right People? Right Questions?

"Unfortunately, it appears that, among other presumptions, the PM has already decided that ecological impacts and community concern aren’t relevant issues to the proposal for a major expansion of the nuclear industry in Australia.": Justin Tutty
... brought back to the front page because the questions are still the same / unanswered by the report ...

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Submitted by max wilkinson on June 13, 2006 - 9:12pm.
The Republican Debate & the case for Option 'C'

"Over the last decade there has been increasing acceptance that the Republican debate has delivered to this country the classic rock and a hard place proposition. Which is to say; "we'll be damned if do and we'll be damned if we don't!" Option 'C' is therefore a concept that is set to provide a bridge over these troubled waters.": Max Wilkinson

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Submitted by Craig Rowley on May 30, 2006 - 11:21am.
WorkChoices under the spotlight: employment generation or exploitation?

"We've chosen WorkChoices as a title because there will be far greater choice under this system," said John Howard last year. Now that his system has been in place for a couple of months let's put the choices made by employers under the spotlight and see what choices workers have (if any). Craig Rowley

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Submitted by Richard Tonkin on May 16, 2006 - 9:44am.
Another Alexander Downer fraud

"Before thinking about the charade that is about to be played out before us, it's worth beginning with an overview of the nuclear situation between India and and the US. We'll begin when President Bush visited India in March. He and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh signed an agreement that seeks to provide India access to American and other international assistance in developing its civil nuclear power program." Richard Tonkin

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Submitted by Guest Contributor on May 11, 2006 - 11:50pm.
Kim Beazley's budget reply speech

"This budget fails middle Australia and mortgages our kids' future. That's why tonight I want to speak to the families of Australia about our shared hopes and aspirations for the future." The Honourable Kim Beazley, MP

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Submitted by Gus Leonisky on May 11, 2006 - 1:23pm.
Howard vs the Reserve Bank
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Submitted by Gus Leonisky on May 10, 2006 - 8:19pm.
giving lollies to a diabetic
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Submitted by Guest Contributor on May 9, 2006 - 8:35pm.
Budget Speech 2006-7

"Australia has weathered some economic storms over the last decade — storms every bit as deadly as the cyclones that lashed the north of our continent in the early part of this year. We have weathered the Asian financial crisis, a global downturn, a one in a hundred year drought. We have had threats to our international tourism from new diseases such as SARS. We have had terrorist attacks and the security response has brought huge additional costs and challenges. Our military forces are in theatres of war." The Honourable Peter Costello MP

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Submitted by Gus Leonisky on April 12, 2006 - 7:30am.
oh so popular
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Submitted by Guest Contributor on March 24, 2006 - 7:12pm.
Kim Beazley: Leader with courage?

"Mine is a different approach. I want to lead a prosperous nation that stands on its own two feet. Confident, independent and secure. Built on the vast potential of this country and our people. This is what has guided my 25 years in Parliament. It's what drives me today. And it will drive my every waking moment until the election I will win in 2007." Kim Beazley

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Submitted by Craig Rowley on March 4, 2006 - 8:07am.
Ten years of Accountable Government?

"We live in an age of accountability. We are more accountable than we have ever been in the past." - John Howard on the occasion of his tenth anniversary as Prime Minister of Australia. Do we really live in an age of accountability? Do you trust Honest John's account of his track record on government accountability? Craig Rowley

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Submitted by Craig Rowley on January 10, 2006 - 9:29pm.
Just say no to drugs they say; tell that to the pollies and their minders ok

"Any 'diarists fancy doing an analysis of which former Howard staffers are now working for Big Pharma? Or any former staffers of other pollies for that matter? How many former pollies and political staffers have gone on to drugs after politics?" Craig Rowley

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Submitted by Craig Rowley on December 2, 2005 - 1:49am.
Sedition laws - subtle silencing

"Over time, Australians will get used to the sedition laws - it will become a part of our language. It will shape the way we think. We will know it's a bad thing, but we will silently acknowledge how powerful is this thing which has changed us. And part of the subtle persuasive power of these laws is that, because we will know they are powerful, we will gain a sense of comfort from that power.Just like the wife who stays with the husband who in private threatens her, these laws have the power to keep a population wedded to the government. That might sound extreme, but that is the exact same force and result we stand to have working upon us, quietly, in the background of our minds, every day." Craig Rowley and Robert Bosler

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Submitted by Craig Rowley on October 7, 2005 - 11:19pm.
The greatest regional program ever?

"The Senate inquiry into the administration of the Regional Partnerships Program (RPP) and Sustainable Regions Program (SRP) has concluded and now it is time for the spin." Craig Rowley

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Submitted by Craig Rowley on July 6, 2005 - 9:48am.
Delving into 'Democracy Denied' because it matters to all of us
"The Sydney Morning Herald's Gerard Ryle and Lisa Pryor have provided a series of reports in recent weeks detailing the Howard Government's deafening silence to calls from anyone outside the Party Room to do anything about many things that matter to many ordinary Australians. Ryle and Pryor's investigation into democracy denied was published just prior to the end of the old balance of power. They found that the Federal Government had not replied on time to a single public inquiry out of the 62 it has ordered in the House of Representatives since December 1998. It has given no reply at all to almost half of them." Craig Rowley
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Submitted by Craig Rowley on June 15, 2005 - 3:58am.
Desperate slaves: a pork-barrel regional rorts update
"Typically, a pork-barrel involves funding for government programs where the economic or service benefits are concentrated on the patronised constituency but the costs are spread among all taxpayers. When a government rolls out the pork barrel it is funding something that benefits a particular district, whose legislator thereby wins favour with local voters. Hence the great importance placed by political leaders on 'getting credit'." Craig Rowley
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Submitted by Craig Rowley on May 5, 2005 - 11:33am.
The sun is never the worse for shining on a dunghill
"If you’ve ever had much to do with contracts you’ve probably heard of a sunset clause. If you’ve ever negotiated hard for a contract you may have burnt the candle from sundown to sunrise. Upon a successful outcome, you may have basked in the sun and scored the bonus that will pay for some time on the beach. Of course, in all likelihood the contract will never be so exposed to the clear light of day. Commercial-in-confidence. These three words are such an effective shield; they’re as good as sunscreen. Governments these days use these three words often. Too often we are treated like mushrooms rather than citizens, and it stinks." Craig Rowley
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Submitted by Craig Rowley on February 28, 2005 - 6:38am.
WE are at a tilting point
"Unlike corruption under other forms of government, from totalitarian state to illiberal democracy, our political officials act in our name with our express consent. Quite honestly, they are our representatives. Ultimately their ethics are our ethics as well. If they are corrupt, and we allow them to be, then we are corrupt, too." Craig Rowley
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Submitted by Craig Rowley on February 7, 2005 - 10:00pm.
Our last chance to know: Act 2 of regional rorts cover-up
"Take a mental note for next week: The Committee would like to hear answers to some of these questions from the horse’s mouth. Will they ask Mr Maguire to appear before them? If they do, and he seems like a brave and true fellow, will he appear?" Webdiary's regional rorts reporter Craig Rowley
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Submitted by Craig Rowley on February 5, 2005 - 10:48pm.
'Bigger than all of us': our last chance to lift the regional rorts veil
"I think that the inquiry into Regional Partnerships will shape up into a big and important story that should now be getting a higher profile and sparking much conversation on Webdiary. I have written an article reporting on the first day of the inquiry, setting the scene for a series of pieces by looking more closely at the first day." Craig Rowley, Webdiary's regional rorts reporter
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