The divisions surrounding the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament had as much to do with referendum process as anything else. The Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters missed a golden opportunity earlier this year when, in proposing a Bill to reform the referendum process, it ignored the advice of several prominent political scientists...Continue reading
By Luca Belgiorno-Nettis, in The Mandarin 3/8/2023 The way we do politics is all wrong, and the Voice highlights how bone-headed our system is. As the political scientist and my former co-director, Ian Marsh, said: ‘Firstly, political incentives undercut bipartisanship. Secondly, since the primary channel for the leaders is the media, there is no systemic ability to...Continue reading
Peter Hartcher, Sydney Morning Herald – June 10, 2023 Australia is an entire continent that is failing to build enough homes for the population of a mere city, but the federal government’s plan to fix the crisis has hit a brick wall. That wall is political intransigence. Specifically, it’s the Coalition and the Greens. They’ve combined...Continue reading
Citizens’ juries can help fix democracy Western polities are ailing — deliberative assemblies would revivify them By Martin Wolf “Brexit has failed.” This is now the view of Nigel Farage, the man who arguably bears more responsibility for the UK’s decision to leave the EU than anybody else. He is right, not because the Tories...Continue reading
Quarterly Essay 83 Lone Wolf Correspondence Luca Belgiorno-Nettis The subtitle of Katharine Murphy’s Lone Wolf – “Albanese and the new politics” – is a tease. “New” works every time: new toothpaste, new art, new idea. There was little that was particularly new in the political campaigning of 2022 – except what catapulted six freshly minted...
Robert French, the former chief justice of the High Court, says ‘The Voice is a big idea, but not a complicated one.’ That may be true, but how do we really know? Currently, the parliament is considering a bill to improve the process of informing the Australian public about referenda questions. The bill contemplates suspending...Continue reading
Art O’Leary was minding his own business and enjoying his role as a senior civil servant in Ireland’s parliament when the prime minister phoned to offer him a unique job. The self-described middle-aged man with a suit and a comb-over couldn’t have known that he was about to become a social revolutionary. The newly elected...Continue reading
Saxon Connor is a Christchurch surgeon. The views expressed in this column are personal and do not represent those of his employers. OPINION: There is now widespread disruption to the provision of hospital-based healthcare across Aotearoa. The underlying cause is not simply the increased demand from the COVID-19 and influenza. As a nation we have accepted...Continue reading
As far as referenda go, I think there’s general agreement on this: to ask Australians to consider, at the same referendum, two questions — one on Indigenous voice, and the other on a republic — is too big an ask. Nevertheless, we could do what the Irish did in 2012. Ireland held a Citizens’ Constitutional...
U.S. President Joe Biden is set to host a virtual summit this week for leaders from government, civil society, and the private sector to discuss the renewal of democracy. We can expect to see plenty of worthy yet predictable issues discussed: the threat of foreign agents interfering in elections, online disinformation, political polarization, and the...Continue reading