October 2022

September 2022

Uncle Jack Charles & the King

by Ebony Bennett in Canberra Times

The spectacle that has accompanied the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second is something to behold. But the pomp and pageantry do little to conceal the faintly ridiculous aspects of being a constitutional monarchy, where leadership is conferred not by merit or means of election, but by divine right and accident of birth.

July 2022

June 2022

May 2022

Anthony Albanese’s government must learn from Labor’s last breakup with electoral power

by Peter Lewis

For all the tabloids’ orchestrated pompom waving throughout the election campaign, to their credit Anthony Albanese’s marriage breakup was one place they refused to go. Albanese’s standing as a divorced man in a relatively new relationship is a first for an Australian prime minister, but could also serve as a metaphor for his incoming government

Australia’s democracy isn’t perfect, but many of you just changed the country

by Ebony Bennett in The Canberra Times

The democracy sausage has become the symbol of Australians’ trust and enthusiasm for our free and fair elections, but we have much more to celebrate than sausage sizzles (which, I will point out, are needed to help P&Cs fundraise for our underfunded public school system). Think about the thousands of people across the country who

This article is more than 2 months old ‘Second miracle’ or historic win from opposition? No one knows how this election journey will end

by Peter Lewis in The Guardian

On the final manic drive to the ballot box, we approach the national crossroads with justified trepidation: are we heading towards the light or is that another runaway train coming to plough us down? We pollsters and pundits (and we progressives in general) are all experiencing our own form of PTSD after the car crash

Scott Morrison’s attacks on ICAC have gone too far

by Ebony Bennett in The Canberra Times

“Intolerance of corruption is essential to the survival of our representative democracy and way of life,” said the late David Ipp QC, former commissioner of the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption. Australian voters certainly appear to agree. New Australia Institute research shows that three-quarters of Australians (76 per cent) say integrity issues are more or

April 2022

It is time to talk about truth in political advertising

by Ben Oquist in The Canberra Times

Before a vote has been cast, one election verdict has already been delivered. The campaign has been too light on policy and too heavy on misleading scare tactics. Our democracy is suffering for it. In just the first weeks of the election campaign, we have seen heated accusations of misleading claims from all sides. Waleed

Canberra is increasingly outsourcing its national role. That needs to stop

by Ben Oquist in The Canberra Times

In the final days before the federal election was called, the new South Australian Premier Peter Malinauskas came to Canberra to deliver a blistering National Press Club address. One seasoned journalist described the speech as Obama-esque. While Scott Morrison and Anthony Albanese criss-crossed the country visiting the states to make local announcements in the then

January 2022

December 2021

Pork-barrelling and the undermining of public institutions is bad for democracy’s health

by Ebony Bennett in The Canberra Times

“Democracy doesn’t happen by accident, we have to renew it with each generation”, announced President Joe Biden, opening his global Summit for Democracy. There is certainly an urgent need to renew the health of Australia’s democracy as we head to the next federal election. Pork barrelling has somehow become business as usual, whistleblowers are being prosecuted

November 2021

Audacity of hype: Scott Morrison is betting voters will settle for plans over performance

by Richard Denniss in The Guardian

Scott Morrison thrives in the empty space between three-year terms and 30-year plans. Whether it is climate change, nuclear submarines or budget repair – it is no accident the prime minister with the shortest planning horizon in living memory is our greatest announcer of long-run plans. While the vacuousness of Morrison’s net-zero “plan” and his

I’d appreciate it if ministers lost their appetite for decapitation

by Allan Behm in The Canberra Times

NSW’s Independent Commission Against Corruption has revealed extraordinary amorality and cynicism in how the Berejiklian government, and its predecessors, approached both public policy and the use of public money. The ICAC has also revealed Berejiklian’s vicious approach to imposing compliance, complicity and ultimately connivance on the public servants who advise government. In an extraordinary few

October 2021

September 2021

Morrison and Berejiklian are attempting to shift the blame for Covid on to us

by Richard Denniss in The Guardian

In an amazing feat, both leaders shift attention away from their past performances and on to future freedoms to be granted, based on decisions made by the public In the ultimate expression of neoliberal language, prime minister Scott Morrison and New South Wales premier Gladys Berejiklian are gradually shifting their messaging away from the dangers

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