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Federal politics

Submitted by Guest Contributor on January 11, 2009 - 11:04pm.
But the greatest of these is love
There is nothing like the prospect of a radical life change to concentrate the mind on things that really mater. So I want to identify, if I can, the most important thing that we discover in life. At least, it is the most important thing that I have discovered. I will share it with you, like a precious jewel, fit for this occasion. I refer to love. Love for one another. Love for our community. Love for others everywhere in the world. Love transcends even scholarship, cleverness and university degrees. It is greater than pride and wealth. It endures when worldly vanities fade.
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Submitted by Ernest William ... on January 11, 2009 - 11:01pm.
The Senate
Do most Australian voters ignore the importance of their vote in the Senate? Webdiarist Ernest William Graham is concerned that they do, and warns in this contribution that this tendency allows the Senate to be used to negate the will of the majority.
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Submitted by Democratic Audit on December 18, 2008 - 1:17pm.
Democratic Audit Update December 2008
The latest update from the Democratic Audit program at Swinburne on how our democracy is working.
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Submitted by Marilyn Shepherd on December 18, 2008 - 12:48pm.
What happened to Akram al Masri
One of the favourite statements made by the [former] Minister is that “people in detention can go home anytime they choose to co-operate with Australian authorities”. But the cases of Akram al Masri and three other Palestinians gave us an excellent opportunity to claim release on a writ of habeas corpus due to the inability of the Minister to have other countries co-operate with his plans.
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Submitted by Guest Contributor on December 15, 2008 - 6:37pm.
Lack of action on climate change
Not only is today's announcement deeply flawed and short-sighted policy, one that all but ignores the science and economics of what is at stake, but it is also – and you must know this – a deliberate betrayal of the democratic process by the ALP and you personally.
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Submitted by Richard Tonkin on December 11, 2008 - 11:09pm.
Kevin's bedtime story
This crash is beginning to hit the fan at levels that many have expected since its commencement, and meanwhile the PM's delivering a show that should be on air between Teletubbies and Sesame Street.
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Submitted by Guest Contributor on December 10, 2008 - 12:55pm.
The chance of a lifetime
Today, as we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the UN Declaration of Human Rights, we've been given a once in a lifetime opportunity to ensure that human rights are finally protected in Australia. (GetUp)
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Submitted by Hamish Alcorn on November 26, 2008 - 11:01pm.
Ecological Keynesianism
Forests pump salt back down into the ground. They retain water to minimise flooding and feed the water into the water-table over a much longer period of time, as well as through condensation contributing further to precipitation, thus pushing back desertification. They stop erosion and rebuild soil. They lock up millions of tons of carbon, provide habitat and corridors for creatures of foot and wing, deal with all manner of toxins in highly creative ways, and produce oxygen. They keep rivers alive.
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Submitted by Malcolm B Duncan on November 24, 2008 - 12:14pm.
The Howard Drears: Episode One
Let’s take it from the top. Fran Kelly put this project together and she is well respected by other journalists (an interesting enough tale in itself). In my view she hasn’t done a very good job but when all you have to do is sit back and watch a bunch of self-important dimwits who’ve never done a decent day’s work in their lives commit hara kiri in front of you, I guess you lose the incentive to try any harder.
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Submitted by Malcolm B Duncan on November 24, 2008 - 11:35am.
Well it’s a job and somebody just has to do it
It’s a bit like passing a pub on a very hot Australian afternoon – there are times when you just can’t resist. The two things that took my eye today in the job ads were this. What does one have to do to be a real professor in Wagga? And this that I must just reproduce in full because it offers such a fun opportunity for a jape in tough times ...
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Submitted by Guest Contributor on November 21, 2008 - 6:33pm.
Parched: The politics of water
The answer to the question of who owns water is that no-one owns water. Water belongs to the earth, it belongs to all species, it belongs to future generations. It's a common, and it's a public trust, and it's a human right. And ... no-one has the right to appropriate it for personal profit while other people are dying. (Maude Barlow)
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Submitted by Guest Contributor on November 21, 2008 - 11:03am.
The commodification of child care: ABC Learning
Child care in Australia is in desperate need of an overhaul. The crisis that we are seeing with ABC Learning Centres is simply the tip of the iceberg. For years and years, we have seen the child-care sector in Australia being taken over by profiteers and being seen as an industry. Child care should be seen as an essential service. (Senator Hanson-Young)
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Submitted by Mark Sergeant on November 17, 2008 - 11:34pm.
Predicting the Haneef inquiry
I want to get my predictions on the record before the event. A little bit of ego, but mostly as a test of how well I have understood the events, the submissions, and the workings of the Inquiry. Others may want to make their own test.
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Submitted by Richard Tonkin on November 16, 2008 - 9:43pm.
Leaking Rudd, lying Tampa and ships that pass in the night
While this smokescreen runs across the media, defence bosses are coming out ahead of the ABC doco on Howard's government and saying that Tampa was a lie.  Oh, and by way we shouldn't have gone to Iraq.  And the reaction?  Stuff-all. The yin-yang of the Liberal-Labor stories is turning into the two snakes eating each other's tail.  The quiet castigation of the Howard government's two thronged attack on the people of the  Middle East is sneaking past us in the smog.
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Submitted by Jay Somasundaram on November 16, 2008 - 11:49am.
May we live in interesting times
To achieve change we need to break down existing mental models. We do this by continually challenging existing models, at every opportunity and avenue. The financial crisis provides an opportunity, as people are more amenable to change in an environment of uncertainty. Let’s use it wisely.
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Submitted by Guest Contributor on November 15, 2008 - 1:50pm.
Towards a tax and transfer system of human scale
I'm acutely aware of the extraordinary complexity in our system, especially when tax is combined with transfer payments. I can probably take responsibility for some of that complexity. Even so, on reading the Treasury paper, it was a revelation to me that Australia's system now has no fewer than 125 taxes. It turns out that there are more taxes in Australia than there are northern hairy nosed wombats. (Ken Henry)
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Submitted by David Tank on November 14, 2008 - 6:55pm.
A republic for Remembrance Day
If Australia is to stay a living nation we need to provide ourselves with continuing moments of definition, great moments in our history that reflect both our changing nature and yet reinforce the principles by which we govern ourselves. For our generation of Australians such a moment of definition will be the establishment of our republic.
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Submitted by Malcolm B Duncan on November 9, 2008 - 11:38am.
Is this just an accident or has someone been reading the Constitution?
Governor-General Quentin Bryce joined hundreds of Australians in the town of Le Hamel in Northern France, at a moving ceremony to rededicate a memorial to honour Australians who fought a decisive World War I battle. (ABC Online, Just In)
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Submitted by Guest Contributor on November 3, 2008 - 6:14pm.
The 2008 Boyer Lectures: Lecture 1 - Aussie rules: bring back the pioneer
While Australia generally does well in international rankings, those rankings can blind us to a larger truth: Australia will not succeed in the future if it aims to be just a bit better than average. I believe that we need to revive the sense of Australia as a frontier country, and to cultivate Australia as a great centre of excellence. ... Today the frontier that needs sorting is the wider world, and complacency is our chief enemy. (Rupert Murdoch)
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Submitted by Guest Contributor on November 1, 2008 - 2:22pm.
Keating on Rudd on Gallipoli
I suggest he could do the country a greater service by taking the long view of history, from now just on a hundred years ago... Whether Kevin Rudd decides to give young Australians the appropriate lead or otherwise, they will work it out. But what they will most appreciate is some direction for their thinking based on substance and truth and mature reflection which, in this case, a century of hindsight provides. (Paul Keating)
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Submitted by Lisa Knox on October 31, 2008 - 3:19pm.
Performance or politics?
This election the candidates are becoming the celebrities themselves. With appearances on popular television shows, such as Saturday Night Live, the David Letterman Show and the Oprah Winfrey Show, Presidential candidates need not to be worried if their political careers fall through because they now have acting as a back-up profession.
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Submitted by Democratic Audit on October 30, 2008 - 11:20am.
Democratic Audit Update October 2008
In this month's update: how public servants have become part of the 'permanent campaign', putting at risk the distinction between marketing and explaining government policy and between genuine and politically tailored data; a comparison of political donations in the US and Australia; and a history of voting in the US.
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Submitted by Malcolm B Duncan on October 24, 2008 - 12:15pm.
The Great Australian Novel - Chapter 3: ‘Twas Brillig and the mome raths outgrabe
Would this bloody breakfast never end? Then again, what ends are there? Howard’s End [available in all good bookshops, published by Penguin]? Will there be a Malcolm’s End and when might it be and for which one of us?
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Submitted by Guest Contributor on October 24, 2008 - 12:10pm.
The world's poor stand to lose the most
It is too soon yet to predict exactly how badly the poorest countries will fare in the financial crisis and resultant economic downturn. But it is clear that reduced demands for exports to developed countries and lower foreign investment will mean less growth and government revenue for already-fragile social protection and services. For millions of the world’s poorest citizens, it is literally a matter of life and death.
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Submitted by F Kendall on October 23, 2008 - 8:46pm.
The monstrous regiment of women
Julia Bishop, we x chromosomes seem to agree, is like the Head Girl who is selected by the Headmistress, not by the student body. Julia Gillard's breasts are too small, hips too large, seems a popular verdict. Sarah Palin has the ready popular appeal that Pauline Hanson had for a moment or two. Is she the future?
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Submitted by Malcolm B Duncan on October 22, 2008 - 12:49pm.
Chronicles of Nadir 3: The Voyage of the Born Trader Chapter I
Damn if I didn’t have it here somewhere. A large, thank you James. Damn, not under the chair is it, m’dear? Last few Chapters of Prince Crispian. Damn. Oh here it is inside today’s Tele. Oh, that’s not it. Same typeface. What’s this then? Oh things do change so when you’re dead...
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Submitted by Guest Contributor on October 17, 2008 - 4:13pm.
Who will be the next Prime Minister of Australia? A woman, and it will be sooner than you think!
This week’s Rudd Government stimulus package is a good start, but more is needed now. It is imperative for the Federal and State Governments to stimulate business with tax cuts otherwise both unemployed and "underemployed" will jump ... . In addition the Reserve Bank must cut interest rates another 1% at each of its next two or three monthly meetings. (Gary Morgan)
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Submitted by Chris Saliba on October 16, 2008 - 5:02pm.
Chris Saliba reviews The Costello Memoirs
What’s the take away? For Costello, he has learnt that the Liberal party has a cult of the leader. Too many in his party saw Howard as a virtual god. For the reader, we have discovered not to trust the promises of a hungry politician, for they'll step on anyone's neck to get to their desired destination. Voter beware!
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Submitted by Guest Contributor on October 15, 2008 - 4:34pm.
Senate blocks inquiry into asylum seeker tragedy
A motion calling for a judicial inquiry into the Commonwealth Government's People Smuggling Strike Team's actions, including those concerning the boat known as SIEV X and its tragic loss of life, has been voted down by the Senate.
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Submitted by Guest Contributor on October 15, 2008 - 2:44pm.
The limits of tolerance – diversity, identity and cohesion
In Australia, there are three key arenas in which the limits of racial, cultural, ethnic and religious diversity are tested. The first is in the relationship between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians. The second is at our borders as defined by our immigration policies. The third is in the policies directed at managing cultural and ethnic diversity in Australia. (Petro Georgiou MP)
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