• Feature Article

    Beyond the myth of the rational voter

    5 Comments
    Fatima Measham |  When the democratic exercise is no longer the aggregate of informed, reasoned choices, but a matter of mood, then the business of persuasion - politics - becomes far less about ideas and more about momentary catharsis. This shifts the function of politicians and government, from leading and dispensing equity to masturbatory aid. Even so, there are questions worth asking. But at whose expense are public moods assuaged? After catharsis, what happens next?
  • Feature Article

    Environment groups face fight for their lives

    6 Comments
    Greg Foyster |  By the time polls close Saturday, tens of thousands of voters in marginal seats will have received 'election scorecards' from environment groups. Almost all will rate the Liberal Party worse than Labor or the Greens on a range of issues, from protecting the Great Barrier Reef to encouraging investment in clean energy. Privately, some Liberal candidates will be seething - and, if the Coalition wins, they'll have the means for brutal revenge.
  • Feature Article

    The quiet torture of unspeakable grief

    1 Comment
    Tim Kroenert |  This strange and engrossing Italian film proffers an unsettling rumination upon the rituals of mourning, and upon a mode of grief which itself is a kind of death. It opens with a sweeping close-up of an imposing crucifix, and the fine musculature of a graven Christ. A mass of mourners is then revealed, and before them a woman, immobile and weeping silently. The camera angle cuts to calf level, to reveal a trail of urine more copious than her tears, running down her leg to her shoes.
  • Feature Article

    Operation Proactive Citizen: Tales of a first-time voter

    14 Comments
    Neve Mahoney |  Honestly, I could talk all day about how growing up with Rudd/Gillard/Rudd followed by Abbott/Turnbull turned a generation away from politics. I could talk even longer about how seeing (mostly) white, (mostly) male politicians is its own form of alienation. But if I'm going to be the possible swing vote, the homogenous 'youth vote', I'm going to make it count. I know that I can't afford to disconnect; if for nothing else, I need to vote for the people who can't.
  • Beyond the myth of the rational voter

    5 Comments
    Fatima Measham | 01 July 2016

    Ballot box in front of Australian flagWhen the democratic exercise is no longer the aggregate of informed, reasoned choices, but a matter of mood, then the business of persuasion - politics - becomes far less about ideas and more about momentary catharsis. This shifts the function of politicians and government, from leading and dispensing equity to masturbatory aid. Even so, there are questions worth asking. But at whose expense are public moods assuaged? After catharsis, what happens next?

  • Environment groups face fight for their lives

    6 Comments
    Greg Foyster | 01 July 2016

    Advocate bound by green tape. Cartoon by Greg FoysterBy the time polls close Saturday, tens of thousands of voters in marginal seats will have received 'election scorecards' from environment groups. Almost all will rate the Liberal Party worse than Labor or the Greens on a range of issues, from protecting the Great Barrier Reef to encouraging investment in clean energy. Privately, some Liberal candidates will be seething - and, if the Coalition wins, they'll have the means for brutal revenge.

  • Where's Australia's Trump and Sanders?

    7 Comments
    Jeff Sparrow | 30 June 2016

    Sam NewmanLast week Sam Newman said he'd been approached to run for mayor in Melbourne on a 'Donald Trump-like anti-political correctness platform'. The announcement raised an interesting question: where's the Trump, or Sanders for that matter, in the Australian election? Richard Di Natale has articulated a vision of the Greens as 'the natural home of progressive mainstream Australian voters', yet we might equally say that he embraced politics-as-usual just as politics-as-unusual began to manifest everywhere.

  • The quiet torture of unspeakable grief

    1 Comment
    Tim Kroenert | 30 June 2016

    This strange and engrossing Italian film proffers an unsettling rumination upon the rituals of mourning, and upon a mode of grief which itself is a kind of death. It opens with a sweeping close-up of an imposing crucifix, and the fine musculature of a graven Christ. A mass of mourners is then revealed, and before them a woman, immobile and weeping silently. The camera angle cuts to calf level, to reveal a trail of urine more copious than her tears, running down her leg to her shoes.

  • Theology of elections

    7 Comments
    Andrew Hamilton | 30 June 2016

    Parliament HouseDuring the campaign neither of the major parties addressed seriously the major challenges facing Australia: climate change, inequality and the forced movement of peoples. That makes it inevitable that following this election, sovereignty, mandates and other weighty words will continue to dominate public conversation. They usually function as political knives to cut through the messiness of our democratic order. But they also carry a theological weight that may illuminate our present condition.

  • Operation Proactive Citizen: Tales of a first-time voter

    14 Comments
    Neve Mahoney | 29 June 2016

    Young votersHonestly, I could talk all day about how growing up with Rudd/Gillard/Rudd followed by Abbott/Turnbull turned a generation away from politics. I could talk even longer about how seeing (mostly) white, (mostly) male politicians is its own form of alienation. But if I'm going to be the possible swing vote, the homogenous 'youth vote', I'm going to make it count. I know that I can't afford to disconnect; if for nothing else, I need to vote for the people who can't.

  • Youth are speaking, we're just not listening

    4 Comments
    Katie Miller and Caitlin Meyer | 29 June 2016

    Former YMCA Victoria Youth Parliament participants'I'm doing it for my kids.' This is how some supporters of Brexit explained their position before the referendum. Yet 75 per cent of voters aged 18 to 24 voted to Remain. It seems the message from 'the kids' to older voters was 'thanks, but no thanks'. The same can be seen in domestic politics here in Australia. We often hear politicians and voters talk about the effects of a policy on future generations. Yet the issues of concern to young people themselves simply don't get much attention.

  • Happy hour reverie

    1 Comment
    Dougal Hurley | 28 June 2016

    Beer pintsAmber brethren unified over glazed tables, cracked leather chairs groaning under the burden of another weary apprentice. Here's to the blackened crust on a Parma special and to being pricked by an unofficial entry tithe ... Douse me in the balm of mellifluous chatter. Let me move amorously down through this molten journey until I am left suckling at the dregs in my comfortably reduced environ, tending towards something that approaches what some might call contentedness.

  • Beyond Brexit doomsday myths

    12 Comments
    David James | 28 June 2016

    British poundHad Greece decided to exit the EU last year the consequences would have been far greater than Brexit, because Greece uses the euro, whereas Britain has the pound. British interest rates are not set in Brussels, they are set by the Bank of England. And it has an independent fiscal and budgetary system, to the extent that it is possible. The British government has been imposing 'austerity' measures because it subscribes to neoliberal orthodoxy, not because it is being told to do so by Brussels or Germany.

  • No 'one size fits all' solutions to youth unemployment

    9 Comments
    Julie Edwards | 27 June 2016

    Map of Sydney shows areas of disadvantageBoth major parties offer 'one size fits all' approaches to youth unemployment. This ignores the huge difference in experiences - and employability - between different categories of young person. Not all have completed high school and live at home in a supportive environment. For young people at risk of homelessness, those experiencing mental illness or substance abuse problems, or those who have had contact with the criminal justice system, the initiatives of both parties simply won't be effective.

  • 'War on business' rhetoric echoes '07 union bashing

    14 Comments
    Brendan Byrne | 27 June 2016

    Still from the fake tradie adWhether or not the person in the now notorious 'fake tradie' ad is or isn't a 'real' tradie is irrelevant. What is relevant is that it is a primary example of the co-option of the language of class struggle and economic justice that has so thoroughly poisoned economic debate in the industrialised West. Implicit within it is a patronising view of the working class that dismisses them as gullible dupes who can be made to entrench the privilege of the few in return for the paltry crumbs of consumer hedonism.


Featured Writers

  • Catherine Marshall

    Catherine Marshall headshot

    "Turnbull can put the lollies back in his goody bag. Much as I love my son, I won't be selling my soul at the ballot box."
     read more

     

  • David James

    David James headshot

    "Calls for the EU to 'reform' are almost certainly fanciful. It is run for the banks and powerful corporations."
     read more

     

  • Ellena Savage

    Ellena Savage headshot

    "The corporation doesn't choose between petty modes of individual consumption. It drives the insistence that endless earning & endless purchasing is necessary."
     read more

     

  • Fatima Measham

    Fatima Measham headshot

    "The rational voter has always been a figment, the myth upon which democracies are built."
     read more

     

  • Justin Glyn

    Justin Glyn

    "Healthy democracies do not stay that way unless they are properly maintained. At some point it is everyone's responsibility to sniff the rot."
     read more

     

  • 'Australian Muslim' is not an oxymoron

    16 Comments
    Somayra Ismailjee | 15 June 2015

    Australian Muslim girlsThere is a particular anatomy to the process of othering. In any context, the formula consists of propaganda, hatred, division, suppression and control. I'm from Perth. Some people would dispute this due to my brown skin and non-Anglo name. But I was born here, and have lived here for my entire life. Still, people like me are too often considered Australian only by law, and not by sociocultural connotation.

  • War-room of a child's mind

    4 Comments
    Belinda Rule | 21 June 2016

    child's hand holding mother'sI saw a younger girl, blonde hair in pink clips, spiral glitter sneaker laces - baubles of a treasured child that no-one ever bought for me. A girl in a parlour painting, and I the hairy spider hulking in the corner. In the war-room of the mind, I pierced my map with pins. How simple to trick her to some dirty culvert, hold her down, mar her white arms ... Civilisation was a hair draped on the head of a pin, each one of us poised, rigid, clutching our own pin still - I could see I would cramp with the effort all my life.

  • The bleak ballad of Wilson Parking

    11 Comments
    Ellena Savage | 10 June 2016

    Parking garageWhen my friend and I get to the payment station of the car park, it says we owe 70 bucks, which can't be right because we got the early bird special which was a quarter of that, so, nah. We call the parking lot people and they say look at the fine print, it clearly states that the early bird deal only applies if you leave the car park after 3pm. Wilson Parking is a subsidiary of a subcontractor of Transfield Services, which runs security at Nauru and Manus Island. I grow petulant and say I'll wait til 3pm.

  • Losing and finding Dad in dementia

    13 Comments
    Julie Guirgis | 16 June 2016

    Elderly man, head down in shadowsToday I walked past the bathroom and noticed a pale yellow puddle with an odour worse than an unflushed toilet. I cringed at the stench, with the realisation that I had to wash urine off the floor ... Dad's illness sometimes causes ambiguous loss. It is unclear, has no resolution or closure. He is like someone I don't know anymore; he is gone-but-still-there. This leads to complicated grief. I can't look at him without seeing a fading picture of who he used to be, and speak of him in the past tense.

  • One child held my left pinky

    11 Comments
    Brian Doyle | 06 June 2016

    child holding pinkyOne child held onto my left pinky everywhere we went. Never any other finger and never the right pinky but only the left pinky and never my whole hand. To this day sometimes in the morning I stare at my left pinky and suddenly I am in the playground or on the beach or in a thrumming crowd, and there is a person weighing 40 pounds holding onto my left pinky so tightly I am tacking slightly to port. My finger misses her hand this morning. It has been many years since she held my finger.


WEEK IN POLITICS



The shaky showman

Fiona Katauskas

Malcolm Turnbull balances precariously on top of a pile symbolising the monarchy, andi SSM, stop the boats and others. A passerby says that he is saying 'vote for stability'. Cartoon by Fiona Katauskas


This week's offering from Eureka Street's award winning political cartoonist.


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