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Articles Archive for January 2018

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[22 Jan 2018 | No Comment | 108 views ]

It’s an iron law of politics that disunity is death. If you can’t keep your own team together, you never win elections. The NSW Liberal Party is about to make decisions that should seal its fate at the next state and the next federal election.
On February 10, the Liberal Party’s state council will decide whether its rank-and-file members count or whether it will remain, in John Howard’s words, a “closed shop” where factional insiders make the key decisions. If the party doesn’t change, its members will continue to desert, …

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[16 Jan 2018 | No Comment | 112 views ]

Australia took some important but long delayed steps in 2017.
We recognised same sex marriage nationally, allowed Voluntary Assisted Dying and approved a trial of a Medically Supervised Injecting Centre in Victoria and approved – in principle – a trial of pill testing at a youth music event in the ACT.
These decisions all involved increasing personal autonomy and were supported by a majority of the community.
Some critics argued correctly that improving national economic policy could potentially benefit more people.
But for some members of …

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[16 Jan 2018 | No Comment | 130 views ]

As we well know, last November the Australian Bureau of Statistics announced that almost 80 per cent of Australian voters had taken part in a national survey regarding marriage equality, with almost 62 per cent indicating support. This paved the way for federal parliament to pass the historic same-sex marriage bill last month.
Last October, in an important advance for drug reform, Labor Premier Daniel Andrews announced the Victorian government had approved a trial of a medically supervised injecting centre in inner-city Richmond. This follows the successful establishment in …

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[8 Jan 2018 | No Comment | 179 views ]

Chifley, Labor and the Gink’s Revenge
A young and ardent Labor supporter, Wolfgang Stargardt set out to produce a volume of Ben Chifley’s speeches. He succeeded in that endeavour, but not before coming to understand the luminosity of that “light on the hill” which supposedly inspired the ALP was not all it was cracked up to be.
Mythologising in politics rarely survives intact when confronted with the results of sober historical research. A case in point, with strong political resonance, concerns Australian Labor Party leader Ben Chifley and his …

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[5 Jan 2018 | One Comment | 251 views ]

If one believes the punditry, Malcolm Turnbull had a strong finish to 2017 and goes into this year with the momentum needed to restore his government and even to beat Bill Shorten. The same insiders say Shorten’s missteps are starting to catch up with him and someone more popular could replace him.
To predict that such fundamental changes will occur in 2018 makes a good story, but political punditry is rarely how things turn out. It’s possible Turnbull may finally discover how to unite his party and to keep power …