Fatima Measham | 01 July 2016
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?
Greg Foyster | 01 July 2016
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.
Jeff Sparrow | 30 June 2016
Last 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.
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.
Andrew Hamilton | 30 June 2016
During 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.
Neve Mahoney | 29 June 2016
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.
Katie Miller and Caitlin Meyer | 29 June 2016
'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.
Dougal Hurley | 28 June 2016
Amber 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.
David James | 28 June 2016
Had 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.
Julie Edwards | 27 June 2016
Both 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.
Brendan Byrne | 27 June 2016
Whether 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.