Tag Archive: Democracy

Feb 17 2014

New legislation tries to criminalize protest

In the Australian state of Victoria, the Napthine Liberal government is pushing draconian legislation to restrict citizens’ right to protest. The Summary Offences and Sentencing Amendment Bill would expand police powers to order people to “move on” from a public place. It introduces new circumstances in which move-on orders can be issued, including some which …

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Jan 26 2014

We need to rethink national interests

On this blog I talk a lot about how Australian and other governments have allowed the fossil fuel lobby to systematically sabotage their climate policies, and give voters a highly misleading impression as to what those policies will achieve. The blame for the lack of action ultimately lies with the fossil fuel industry. But this …

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Nov 08 2013

Tony Abbott cuts out Australia’s brain

Australia’s new Liberal/National Coalition Government, led by Prime Minister Tony Abbott, today announced an immediate freeze on recruitment and contract renewal across almost all areas of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), the nation’s main scientific research agency. Because CSIRO has a large proportion of “non-ongoing” staff, the freeze threatens to cut 1,400 …

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Oct 31 2013

Continuing trade talks secrecy threatens sovereignty

In what is ironically Global Transparency Week, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has uninvited a journalist from a briefing on the ongoing Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade negotiations. The agreement is expected to be signed before the end of the year and could mean a radical transfer of power from governments to …

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Oct 26 2013

Anti-politics 6: Delegitimizing the Abbott government

This is the final part of a series about the Australian “anti-politics” attitude and how the green left should respond to it. Part 1 lays out evidence for the attitude and speculates on its causes. Part 2 argues the green left needs to distance itself from political elites. Part 3 discusses how we should communicate …

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Oct 23 2013

Anti-politics 4: Discrediting neoliberalism

This is the fourth part of a series about the Australian “anti-politics” attitude and how the green left should respond to it. Part 1 lays out evidence for the attitude and speculates on its causes. Part 2 argues the green left needs to distance itself from political elites. Part 3 discusses how we should communicate …

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Oct 21 2013

Anti-politics 2: We need a green populism

This is the second part of a series about the Australian “anti-politics” attitude and how the green left should respond to it. Part 1 lays out evidence for the attitude and speculates on its causes. This part argues the green left needs to distance itself from political elites. In Part 1, I concluded that Australians …

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Oct 15 2013

Climate change a laughing matter to coal industry

In public, the coal industry proclaims that it accepts the mountain of scientific evidence that humans’ burning of fossil fuels are warming the planet. But a secretly recorded conversation at an American coal industry conference between Arch Coal executive Matt Ferguson and lobbyist Lauri Hennessey revealed that in private, they believe climate change is not …

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Oct 11 2013

Australian election reveals anti-politics attitude

Last month’s Australian federal election results (summarized here) displayed a disturbing trend toward widespread disengagement from politics. Both major parties were disappointed: Labor received its lowest vote since the Great Depression, and despite winning the election the Liberal/National Coalition saw its lowest Senate vote since World War 2. Clearly an increasing number of voters are …

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Sep 25 2013

Roundup of petitions to Abbott government

Australia’s new Liberal/National Coalition government, led by Tony Abbott, is claiming a mandate for its promises to tear down the Australian climate policy regime. If you don’t support this program of demolition, then tell him about it! Consider signing the following petitions: Tell Australia not to scrap carbon tax. Tony Abbott and the Coalition: Reconsider …

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