Australia will become the latest country to legalise same-sex marriage after the country voted overwhelmingly in a non-binding postal vote to back the move. The turnout was a remarkable 79.5% and found that, of these around 12.7 million people, 61.6% backed equal marriage and only 38.4% voting against. Although the plebiscite won’t change the law in and of itself, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said that he wants to change the law by Christmas but as others have pointed out Turnbull has previously been less clear on the timeline for legalisation. Although there should be time for celebrating a big step forward, we must not take our eyes off the ball as full equality is still a long way off.
The current debate around citizenship that is lingering in the Australian political discourse stems from a section of the constitution that should have been removed years ago. The question about citizenship is essentially a masked point about loyalty to the people of Australia. Not only is this unjustifiable mistrust of the perceived ‘Other’ harmful to the fabric of society, the examples of recent weeks illustrate how this section of the constitution has been disruptive to Australian public life in a way that is highly ironic given one of the purposes of such a provision.
I consume a lot of media, indeed it could be said that I am expose to too much. I spend hours every day reading news articles online, watching videos on current affairs, reading newspapers etc. It is this very passion for news and current affairs that fuels my desire to write. As I went to my local newsagents to pick up my daily copy of the paper I spotted a new broadsheet along the bottom row entitled The New European. It looked incredibly professionally done, unlike the short lived New Day, and caught my eye with it’s tagline: “the new pop-up paper for the 48%”. Of course anyone who is remotely politically savvy could see that this was a reference to the recent EU referendum debate, and so this was clearly an attempt to bring together the pro-EU 48% behind a common newspaper. On numerous occasions I have explained why I voted to leave the EU however unlike the many millions of people who voted in the same way as myself, I do not have a philosophical opposition to cosmopolitanism, which seemed to be the ideological starting point of this paper. Indeed I do see myself as quite cosmopolitan and so I picked up the paper to see what was what.
After days of counts and recounts, the results of the Australian general election are just about in. In the limited coverage I given to this election, although I believed that Bill Shorten’s brand of leftism was not radical enough, I argued that in the two horse race between soft-leftism and hard-right conservatism, my preference is obvious. Unfortunately the result was not as we on the Left would have wanted. Whilst there are a couple of results still yet to be decided, the Coalition have won the required 76 seats to form a majority government.
In political science the study of democracy is prominent, especially given the number of nation states that adhere to democratic ideals. The relatively recent rise of more authoritarian systems of government in the forms of one-party states and dictatorships have continued the debate as to whether democracy should be the dominant method of governmental rule.
When most people think of democratic countries they tend to think of social democracies like those of Scandinavia or liberal democracies like Germany and Britain. There are other forms of democracy that are often not as well known and I believe that the Conservative Party are trying to turn Britain into one of these lesser known forms of government.
People on the Right that are often correctly derided as paranoid or ‘on the fringe’ claim that there is a grand conspiracy where people on the Left are fighting a ‘culture war’. Indeed it wouldn’t be the Christmas season in America without Bill O’Reilly claiming that atheist crypto-Marxists were waging a “War on Christmas”. Although there isn’t a coordinated plan to change America into a less socially conservative nation, there is a culture war going on between the Left and Right, and we are winning it. Continue reading →