The Monopoly of Australia’s Major Parties and Political Disenfranchisement

This essay was written for one of my political science units at UQ. It is a response to the question of whether Australia’s major parties enhance or damage our political system. While (hopefully) sticking to the criteria and constraints of the assessment, I have argued the latter. A full reference list is at the end. Enjoy.

Australia’s political system has been dominated by two major contenders dating back to 1909, between the Australian Labor Party (ALP) and what is now the Coalition parties (the Liberal Party of Australia (LPA), the National Party, and, in Queensland, the Liberal National Party (LNP)). While the latter has gone through several iterations and name changes, these two blocs have maintained power between themselves with only tentative challenge from minor parties and Independents in recent years. (Kefford et al 2018). It is the purpose of this article to explore some of the key issues such a restrained system has and the damage it has had on Australian politics and policy.

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Conflicts Within Australia’s Liberal Democracy: Press Freedom and the Right to Privacy

01/09/2021

The following piece is an essay I have written for a university assessment. I seriously hope it makes sense, otherwise there is only disappointment ahead. For a TL;DR, the purpose was to discuss conflicts between two integral parts of the Australian system – liberalism and democracy. This essay essentially puts forward the argument that Australia’s liberal democracy suffers due to assaults on a free press by both the government and corporate power and influences, as well as the invasive domestic surveillance carried out by the government (the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) in particular). The result is a clash between the liberal concepts of the state and private enterprise with the more democratic ideals of the right to information and accountability from the government (in this case through the lens of a genuinely free press), and the right to privacy.

The reference list is also at the end, which happily contains books I have read (and written about) previously. Enjoy, I suppose.

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The Management of Meaning in Australian Journalism

20/03/2021

The art of communication has become highly coveted in today’s global and highly connected societies and economies. Whether it’s PR spinning a positive image for a corporation, a creative team selling a hit advertising campaign, or journalists telling the news, professional communicators reach into every aspect of our lives. Some can, and do, have immense power over our perceptions of reality, particularly in the political realm. But while these communicators have the power to disperse meaning, they aren’t always the ones making it.

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That Was A Weird Thing to Say in A “Vibrant Liberal Democracy”, Morrison

17/03/2021

Thousands of people across the country, mostly women, marched yesterday in the March For Justice. All journalists on the scene, from what I have viewed, were women, which was a smart call from the media. But the Minister for Women did not meet to sign the petition presented on the day in person – they requested it be emailed – and Scott Morrison refused to meet with them too, instead offering to meet the organisers away from the public, organisers that correctly refused. Morrison then made a rather bizarre comment in Parliament, basically, how good is it you weren’t shot today, ladies?

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The Cheese Is Capitalist

08/08/2020

I am once more late to the party of outrage and debate on this topic, but recently there was social upheaval over the name of a cheese brand. With or without prior context, you can probably guess who took which side and what arguments were used for or against the pending change. But I just want to make a quick point, mostly to call out a frequently recurring criticism about the motives of corporations to instead smack them back down with an entirely separate criticism. Sorry to upset some people, but Coon cheese – the cheese of contention – is capitalist.

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Labor Has Mixed Approach to Unions

26/11/2019

The Labor party has, historically, been the party of the working class and the Union movement. This year, however, following their “surprise” election loss, they’ve opted for a more distanced approach from one of their greatest backers. Both on a State and a Federal level, there has been cause for praise and alarm, regarding policies that Labor has supported, from the Unions.

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Private Property: Housing

25/11/2019

One of the few things I’m currently in uncertain disagreement with regarding anarchism is the idea of private property. In many cases, it is quite simple, but in others, like housing, and data, there are some discrepancies that it would be wrong to not address. Seeing as I have probably written more about anarchism in the past few days than I have since I started the site, now seems to be a good time to discuss them.

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Coalition Still Campaigning

22/11/2019

Despite winning the election in May, the Coalition seems to still be stuck in a lot of their campaigning habits. The reason, in my opinion, is a relatively simple one, but it’s mind-boggling to think that a government can be so awful that, only six months into a third term, all they can think to do is self-promoting PR.

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Ok Boomer: A Class Struggle

10/11/2019

The phrase “ok Boomer” has taken the internet, and specifically social media, by storm. It has sparked a litany of sarcastic responses, offense, memes, and even a comeback to a heckle in New Zealand’s government. While I have enjoyed the jokes quite a bit, as jokes, and while there are obviously many Boomers to which it can be applied, it is worth noting that many of the assumptions and accusations made through the phrase are not definitive of, nor exclusive to, a single generation. Many of them are a class issue, or, dare I say, an intellectual one.

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Capitalism Hasn’t Changed

09/11/2019

I’ve recently started reading The ABC of Anarchism (originally Now and After and What Is Communist Anarchism) by Alexander Berkman, and while a lot of the references made do show the age of the book, published in 1929, there are still many relevant observations and similarities to the modern age. The main one, with its many facets, is that capitalism hasn’t really changed much over the years, other than finding more efficient methods of concentrating even more wealth into fewer hands.

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