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Federal politics

Submitted by Paul Walter on May 24, 2010 - 10:30pm.
Tony Abbot's Strange Week
Scales fell away, as to the latter, after his performance earlier in the week, on Q & A. Reminds the writer of one of these dead fish you keep seeing washed up on teev news from the gulf oil spill.
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Submitted by Richard Tonkin on May 11, 2010 - 6:55pm.
What's up?
Promising there'll be no sweatheart deals, and with the most public-painful cash-grab already fading from non-smokers' memories, Treasurer Swan intends to portray his team as sober, conservative leaders that can continue guiding us through the ongoing crisis.
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Submitted by Hamish Alcorn on April 12, 2010 - 11:58am.
Dear Graham Perrett
I write this in response to the survey your office distributed recently entitled, "Your Views, Your Vote." I appreciate your attempt to obtain some information about the views of constituents, but felt the survey was inadequate and I could not complete it with any integrity. However I will attempt to address your twelve points, as well as make some remarks about things I feel are of critical importance but which the survey did not include.
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Submitted by Hamish Alcorn on March 10, 2010 - 11:51am.
"Go Tony! That's Good Policy"
But what do we know about the impact of this policy? It seems to me that when a government or opposition puts forth policy they should be obliged to produce an impact statement with the costs and benefits, social, environmental and financial. This process itself should be consistent, transparent, and in a standardised format. That is it should be... um... professional.
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Submitted by Richard Tonkin on December 4, 2009 - 10:03am.
Pressies for Pollies
Peter Garrett: A copy of that episode of Futurama where therobots solve Climate Change by farting Earth into a new orbit.  Heneeds new ideas to amuse his disillusioned supporters.
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Submitted by Richard Tonkin on November 26, 2009 - 8:26pm.
Who's The Boss? The Liberal Schism
Now their Senate Leader, one of the last bastions of appropriatepolitical conduct, has walked away from the shadow portfolio indisgust, and bovver-boy Abbott and so many other front-benchers withhim, the Federal Liberal party appears unlikely to have any politicalclout for the next decade.
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Submitted by Chris Saliba on November 12, 2009 - 7:48pm.
Chris Saliba reviews Crude World: The Violent Twilight of Oil, by Peter Maass
While we in the West can hold our nose when we read about these terrible troubles in the rest of the world, the reality is that our oil dependence means we help contribute to this ugly reality. Our leaders cheerfully extol the virtues of globalisation, but don't like to talk about the money that Saudi Arabia funnels into supporting fundamentalist causes.
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Submitted by Paul Walter on November 12, 2009 - 7:32pm.
Traveston – Village of the Dammed
Which brings us to a separate issue, yet one with tentative connections to the one mentioned above – the spectacular dumping of the contentious Traveston mega-dam in south east Queensland, which represents a belated day in the sun for the long-maligned Peter Garrett and more eclipse for Labor's cover-girl of such a short time ago, Anna Bligh.
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Submitted by Phil Moffat on November 5, 2009 - 12:05am.
An open letter to the Prime Minister
Go on Kev mate, show us your inner (real) man (you know, like Malcolm Fraser); be courageous (nope, don't drop your daks) and speak the truth to Australians. You do have the numbers to support the fact that overwhelmingly these poor refugees are just that – poor pathetic souls who have sacrificed everything and risked their lives for a safe and secure future for their children.
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Submitted by Chris Saliba on September 1, 2009 - 10:59am.
Chris Saliba reviews Michael Cathcart's "The Water Dreamers"
"The Water Dreamers" is a haunting and thought provoking history of a dry land that refuses to yield to the fevered imagination of its colonisers. With our current water crisis do we continue to dream on, or do we submit to the land and live within it?
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Submitted by Paul Walter on August 22, 2009 - 12:23pm.
Going cheap – only $450 million ….
It's about time the convenient yes minister-type arrangements for the Murray-Darling catchment allowing state government interference based on cronyism against genuine reform of resources management, were ended, and a governing body capable of making the changes necessary for that protection were incorporated, as promised in 2007.
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Submitted by Democratic Audit on August 20, 2009 - 11:30am.
Democratic Audit Update August 2009
The latest update from the Democratic Audit program at Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, on how our democracy is working.
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Submitted by Guest Contributor on July 30, 2009 - 3:15pm.
Australia's dirty little secret
Australia’s grim record on health care for Indigenous people is by far the worst of any developed nation. Developed? How can a country be “developed” when it leaves so many of its children behind? Australia has not provided its citizens with an equal opportunity for primary health care, education, housing, employment, let alone recognition and a life of dignity.
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Submitted by Democratic Audit on July 30, 2009 - 1:10pm.
Democratic Audit Update July 2009
The latest update from the Democratic Audit program at Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, on how our democracy is working.
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Submitted by Fiona Reynolds on July 23, 2009 - 5:32pm.
The Coalition’s Ghosts of Un(civil) Dead
Notice something about many of Malcolm Turnbull’s critics? Ron Boswell? Wilson Tuckey? Bronwyn Bishop? They’re relics from the 1980s. Turnbull’s Herculean labour of making the Coalition relevant in the post-Howard era is made all the more difficult by the stain-like persistence of a number of backbenchers who not merely occupy seats that could be used to launch the careers of the next generation of party talent, but actively undermine their leader. (Bernard Keane)
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Submitted by Alan Thornhill on July 9, 2009 - 10:03pm.
Recovery: Rudd spells it out
Mr Rudd is not reluctant to teach others the lessons that the global economic crisis has taught him. He says the G20 must be given the job of coordinating measures to end the crisis. He fears that the world’s richest and most powerful nations, represented by the G8, cannot do it alone.
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Submitted by Guest Contributor on July 8, 2009 - 4:24pm.
Which bank? The people's bank?
We are still in the midst of understanding the consequences of the global financial crisis and the actions of governments (including Australia's) in response to it. Importantly, it remains uncertain to what degree Australia's comparatively successful performance in navigating through this catastrophe has been due to regulatory foresight or just good luck. We would do well not to discount the possibility that a "good roll of the dice" left us without more significant system failures such as those seen in Britain. In future crises, we may not be so lucky.
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Submitted by Fiona Reynolds on July 5, 2009 - 2:26pm.
Missing inaction
Joe Hockey, the shadow treasurer, told a business lunch today that the Rudd Government had a case for reneging on its promised tax cuts and it should have considered doing so to rein in the budget deficit. Mr Hockey also gave a candid assessment of the Howard government's economic record. (Mark Colvin)
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Submitted by Norman Abjorensen on June 29, 2009 - 4:25pm.
Dog Days for the Liberal Party of Australia
What should have been the Coalition’s great asset – and only a complete curmudgeon would deny that Turnbull has that elusive X-factor, alone on his side of politics – is now a cumbersome liability. The messiah on the white charger has suddenly morphed into Richard Nixon and Mark Latham combined ...
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Submitted by Fiona Reynolds on June 26, 2009 - 8:38pm.
"We have an obligation to our own and to future generations to support this bill"
The charging of people who arrive on our shores seeking protection the costs of their detention is part of the way in which we have demonised them and presented them as being worse than criminals. And this image, I believe, underpins the abuses which have been discovered by inquiries into our mistreatment of people in detention. (Petro Georgiou)
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Submitted by Democratic Audit on June 22, 2009 - 6:09pm.
Democratic Audit Update June 2009
The latest update from the Democratic Audit program at Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, on how our democracy is working.
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Submitted by Norman Abjorensen on June 22, 2009 - 6:52am.
Time's up
When Howard posed as the loyal and faithful servant of the Liberal Party by vowing to serve as long as the party wanted him, this was pure confected humility that served only to throw sand in Costello’s face and demonstrate to the party how powerless he really was. What Howard was boasting in this oft-repeated mantra was that he had the numbers, and his rival did not. (Norman Abjorensen)
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Submitted by Jay Somasundaram on June 1, 2009 - 12:07am.
It's Treasury that must press ahead
Dear Dr Henry, I read, with some bemusement of your call to the Rudd government to press ahead with reform. With respect, you yourself have the power, within your sphere of influence as Secretary of the Treasury and adviser on tax reform, to press ahead with the four most important reforms that Australia should undertake.
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Submitted by Fiona Reynolds on May 29, 2009 - 3:28pm.
Stop at Nothing: The Life and Adventures of Malcolm Turnbull
"How would Australia be different if he were prime minister? What are his most closely held policy convictions? I asked dozens of Malcolm Turnbull's political colleagues this question, asking them to name three. Many of them had to pause before responding. (Annabel Crabb)
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Submitted by Alan Thornhill on May 28, 2009 - 3:04pm.
Crackdown on share tax breaks in doubt
The Federal government has stepped back from its budget crackdown on the tax breaks that come with employee share schemes. That happened when the Assistant Treasurer, Chris Bowen, admitted that the government’s initial response had been clumsy. He said it could - and would - be “better calibrated.”
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Submitted by Marilyn Shepherd on May 20, 2009 - 6:37pm.
Refugees and the use of the word "illegal" and the meaning of "unlawful"
This editorial was in response to Media Watch, the Press Council, myself and several others whom the Australian's editor chose to attack because his paper refused to stop using the word “illegal” in response to refugees arriving to seek asylum. The court citations are of course the genuine interpretations of our own parliament’s laws and are not “reems [sic] of drivel”, as they would have known if they bothered to accede to my request to read the truth.
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Submitted by Trevor Maddock on May 16, 2009 - 12:54pm.
Imperialism and the commodification of education
It is precisely this idea [describing education as a product] which bedevils the current debate on education, I would argue, for this kind of conception is an essential part of the current pursuit of economic uniformity. Education is seen in this context not just as a product but as a product produced for exchange. In other words, education is reduced to a commodity.
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Submitted by Democratic Audit on May 16, 2009 - 12:34pm.
Democratic Audit Update May 2009
The state of Australian democracy, the probe into Brimbank City Council, whistleblower protection, climate change and corporate colonisation, and criticisms of the electoral roll are among the topics covered in this month’s update.
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Submitted by Paul Walter on May 14, 2009 - 8:28pm.
The Budget: The song remains the same
This budget reflects the government's definitive move away from its ambit of 2007. It does this under cover of the real issue of  the global recession, induced by international financiers in the wake of neolib deregulation, comfortable in the knowledge that this once it can't be blamed personally.
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Submitted by Chris Zajko on May 9, 2009 - 9:00am.
Community broadcasters keep fingers crossed during lead up to Federal Budget
Is there even a market for the huge number of community broadcasters in Australia’ Well, in a word, yes. There is definitely a market. According to mid-2008 Community Radio National Listener Survey conducted by McNair Ingenuity Research, the number of Australians (aged 15+) listening to community radio in an average month has risen from 45% in 2004 to 57% (9,562,000 people) in 2008.
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