Monthly Archive: August 2010

24 Aug

4 Comments

What’s democracy got to do with it?

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Saturday’s result can be viewed as a great exercise in democracy — or a poor second-best outcome. The independents now crucial to who forms Australia’s government would tell you it’s the former. Commonsense leans to the latter interpretation.  —Michelle Grattan, 24 August 2010 As one might expect, the lack of a clear winner in Saturday’s […]

Filed under: capitalism, democracy, Greens, state

22 Aug

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Welcome to another edition of Thunderdome?

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When we started this blog in July, we addressed the “democratic deficit” in Australian society. Yesterday’s result, of a likely hung parliament, is a reflection of the inability of the main parties to even create the illusion they have won a mandate to govern. The election was a disaster for the ALP. Having killed the […]

15 Aug

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Greens economics (2): The problem with the problem with growth

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Among progressive environmental thinkers it has become de rigueur to attack economic growth as the main problem leading to ecological destruction and runaway climate change. The argument is put with certain variations, but the central theme is always the same: economic growth is infinite while the planet is finite, and so we cannot afford to […]

14 Aug

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Worse than the cure? The hollowness of Australia’s preventative health agenda

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For too long the system has focused on treating people after they become unwell, and this has resulted in vast social and economic costs associated with chronic disease. —Commonwealth Government response to the Report of the National Preventative Health Taskforce, May 2010 “Prevention” has become the health reform buzzword du jour, accepted at all points […]

12 Aug

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Greens economics (1): Venturing inside the black box of capitalism

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In recent weeks many political commentators have argued that what is missing in the current, dispiriting campaign is a serious debate on economic policy. But it is hard to see what real debate can be had given that both major parties share a near-identical obeisance to neoliberal orthodoxy: low taxes, balanced Budgets with an aversion […]

10 Aug

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Terrorist go home

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Guest post by ClaireA. This morning on our way to the city my husband told me how his cousin’s car had been smashed up and he’d been left a note — “go back to your own country terrorist”. Welcome to Australia, 2010. H lives and works in a remote mining town in Western Australia. He […]

Filed under: Islamophobia, terrorism

05 Aug

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Flirting with families

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Soon after becoming leader, Mr Abbott stated in parliament “I have even been accused from time to time of flirting with the deputy Prime Minister”. And in rising to congratulate him, Ms Gillard reciprocated the banter with “obviously I know Tony well, we spent a lot of time chasing each other round…we were for a […]

Filed under: class, feminism, Tony Abbott

03 Aug

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Welcome to the desert of the real: early requiem for our postmodern election

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If postmodernism represents the philosophical and aesthetic logic of late capitalism, then we have certainly scored ourselves the ultimate postmodern election. Fragmentary policy announcements, a lingusitic turn on the messaging front and, of course, such self-reflexive narratives that it’s hard to tell what is “real” anymore. Actually, hold that thought, because there is nothing real, just […]