Author: John Warhurst

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  • RELIGION

    Accountability a virtue in churches and banks

    • John Warhurst
    • 21 May 2018
    25 Comments

    General apologies don't go far enough. Compensation is necessary, but also not enough. The reputation of the church would now be higher if there were more obvious signals of accountability by those in charge. The offer of resignation made as a group to Pope Francis by the entire Chilean hierarchy is a breath of fresh air.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Imperfect score for Gold Coast's 'equality' games

    • John Warhurst
    • 23 April 2018
    3 Comments

    The number of medals available to men and women was equal. In this respect the games were better than the cultural norms of some of the competing countries. Integration of disabled athletes was also significant. Against this generally positive background the media persisted in an approach which was needlessly one-eyed.

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  • RELIGION

    Mud-wrestling the Catholic elephant

    • John Warhurst
    • 31 March 2018
    26 Comments

    The size and complexity of the church has bedevilled the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Church reformers face the same dilemma. The church is big and slippery, with numerous opportunities to engage but equally numerous veto points and dead-ends when it comes to getting action.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Demystifying the Coalition

    • John Warhurst
    • 01 March 2018
    12 Comments

    The downfall of Barnaby Joyce and his replacement by Michael McCormack as Nationals leader shows once again that maintaining the Liberal-National coalition has a considerable impact on the nation, and thus it deserves greater attention and transparency. Instead it is clouded in secrecy and often taken for granted.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Turnbull's unfinished business for 2018

    • John Warhurst
    • 01 February 2018
    7 Comments

    There are opportunities for both sides of politics, government and opposition, in the leftovers from 2017. The balance looked to have shifted somewhat back towards the government in the final weeks of last year. The task of Malcolm Turnbull will be to begin the new year as he ended the last.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Turnbull friendly fire is mostly undeserved

    • John Warhurst
    • 04 December 2017
    8 Comments

    As Barnaby Joyce, standing beside the Prime Minister last Saturday night after his by-election win, proclaimed: 'Running a country is a little harder than running sheep through a gate.' Similarly, Turnbull must find running a party, much less a Coalition of parties, like herding cats.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The Coalition's special disrespect for unions

    • John Warhurst
    • 05 November 2017
    13 Comments

    The raid on the offices of the Australian Workers Union by the Australian Federal Police demonstrates a disrespect for trade unions contrary to the Catholic tradition. The political theatre indulged in by the Employment Minister Michaelia Cash and the Registered Organisations Commission is especially worrying for the deeper attitudes it reveals.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Nick Xenophon's tantalising gambit

    • John Warhurst
    • 08 October 2017
    4 Comments

    The decision by Nick Xenophon to leave the leadership of his Senate team to return to South Australian politics has rattled the political elites in his state and stirred the pot nationally. Xenophon's gamble raises two immediate implications and suggests one bigger and more tantalising question for Australian politics.

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  • RELIGION

    Church democracy and the 2020 Plenary Council

    • John Warhurst
    • 10 September 2017
    33 Comments

    There is a lot of big talk by Australian Catholic church leaders about the forthcoming 2020 Plenary Council, but remarkable vagueness about its likely shape. Now that the first of the consultation sessions about the council has occurred in Sydney, resolving the nature of the event becomes a matter of some urgency. Otherwise the council runs the risk of eventually becoming a huge disappointment.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The high political stakes of same sex marriage

    • John Warhurst
    • 15 August 2017
    40 Comments

    The same sex marriage postal plebiscite will be as intense as most referendum and election campaigns. Indeed, the special characteristics of this subject, advanced by the government as the reason for going beyond parliamentary means to resolve the issue, mean that the campaign may be more intense than most referendums have been.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Senator Ludlam's crime and punishment

    • John Warhurst
    • 17 July 2017
    11 Comments

    Ludlam's departure means that the Senate has now had three senators, including Bob Day, the Family First leader, from South Australia, and Rod Culleton of the One Nation Party, who was also from Western Australia, declared ineligible to sit in the Parliament in the 12 months since the last election. One is an accident but three is an epidemic. This is a disturbing turn of events.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Political donations reform ignores insider politics big picture

    • John Warhurst
    • 19 June 2017
    5 Comments

    The revelations that several billionaires of Chinese origin have sought to influence Australian politics through large political donations have rekindled bipartisan concern to ban such donations. That it took investigative journalism by ABC and Fairfax media to generate such a rush to reform is a reflection on the Australian political class. While it is likely that reform legislation will be introduced and passed before the end of the year that will be only a very partial response to a bigger problem.

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