Tag Archives: Australian politics

Dorothy Dix is Dead

THE days of endless question time haranguing may be over following a landmark edict by Speaker Harry Jenkins ruling disparaging partisan remarks out of order in the federal parliament. Mr Jenkins slapped down ministers today, ruling out formulaic “Dorothy Dix” questions which set the stage for gratuitous attacks on the opposition. The change came after […]

Malaysian Solution Post Mark II

[This is (I hope) a more polished take on the High Court’s Malaysian Solution case, with the benefit of further reflection. It also attempts to explain just why the Federal Government thought they had such a strong case.] Also cross-posted at Online Opinion. All of Australia is buzzing with the news that the High Court […]

Breaking News: High Court declares Malaysian “Solution” illegal

Just handed down at 2:15pm today: the High Court has declared the Malaysian “Solution” to be illegal in Plaintiff M70/2011 v Minister for Immigration and Citizenship [2011] HCA 32. I shall shamelessly reproduce the High Court’s summary of reasons available on their site — more detailed commentary (I hope) to follow [on which, see UPDATE […]

Malaysian refugee “solution” on hold after legal action

In May this year, our government proposed a “solution” to the increasing arrival of refugees: deport 800 asylum seekers who arrive by boat and swap them with 4000 refugees from Malaysian camps over four years. The first 15 or 16 asylum seekers were to be flown out this morning (8 August 2011), but yesterday Hayne […]

Putting your money where your mouth is

For those who live overseas, the Australian Prime Minister has recently unveiled a plan to introduce a carbon tax, after brokering an acceptable deal with independent and Green MPs. In this post, I want to look at a possibly interesting shift in opinion about the need for direct action on climate change, upon which the […]

Tribes and Tribulations

If I were an indigenous person trying to make life better for my people, I’d prefer that my cause not be “adopted” by one particular side of politics. Once you get adopted by one side, the other side won’t look at your legitimate claims and grievances, regardless of how much merit they have. Just look at the recent furore involving […]

Mercy for Seena

I was distressed to read today about Seena, a 9-year-old asylum seeker from Iran who was orphaned after the boat in which he was travelling sank in December last year. Seena has been in immigration detention on Christmas Island since that time, but was allowed to the mainland the other day for the funerals of […]

The Victorian election result

Or: Why Distance Doesn’t Make the Heart Grow Fonder In my home State of Victoria, we have just voted for a new government. The incumbent Labor premier, John Brumby, conceded defeat the other afternoon. Many eastern outer suburban electorates which had previously voted Labor in the last few elections swung massively to the Liberals. To […]

Never the twain shall meet?

Democracy and the toleration of dissent This last week or so, I have been contemplating the tribalism of politics, and the way in which even people with similar political values may have vastly different opinions on social policy because they rank those political values differently. Anyone who has been following the blog over the last […]