Blog highlights, week three

It’s a long weekend of Easter isolation coming up, so I thought we’d better get in early with your weekly blog highlights. Once again, a selection from the last seven and a half years, providing reading on a broad range of topics.

The perils of insular thinking (January 2013). Melbourne’s public transport ticketing fiasco reflects the same sort of insularity that gave us compulsory voting and a broken school funding system, among other things.

Anti-gay forces not giving up (March 2013). In France and America same-sex marriage is facing last-ditch resistance. But perhaps gay people are just collateral damage in a war against women.

Let’s talk about party funding (May 2013). Politicians across the world are sincerely convinced that they are worthy recipients of public money. The public disagrees, but only rarely is it able to get its voice heard.

Electoral “reform” in Israel (August 2013). Israel plans an electoral change that, like many such proposals, seems superficially fair but in context has a clearly discriminatory intent.

Britain vs Europe, drugs edition (January 2014). In a preview of some of the issues in the Brexit debate, an EU move for more rational drug policy is disapproved by the British government, casting further doubt on the link between euroscepticism and libertarianism.

Nationalism trumps ideology, again (May 2014). Communist neighbors China and Vietnam are at loggerheads over a long-standing territorial dispute that for practical purposes was settled 40 years earlier.

Family, fascism and respectability (May 2015). France is spellbound as the far-right National Front’s drive for modernisation is embodied in conflict within its first family.

Please to remember 11 November (November 2015). Marking the anniversary of Australia’s 1975 constitutional crisis, and looking at how easy it is to misunderstand the role of the House of Representatives.

High Court loses its patience (May 2016). The Australian High Court expends little energy in disposing of the constitutional argument against Senate voting reform.

What Bernardi means and reprise (February 2017 & November 2019). The story of Cory Bernardi, an anomaly among Australian conservatives. Yet the Australian right has been remade, if not exactly in his image, at least in something uncomfortably like it.

OK, let’s talk about gun control (October 2017). Why people should stop worrying about the Second Amendment, and worry about the culture that treats violence as acceptable and makes guns seem like a good thing.

Mr Putin and his asset (July 2018). Donald Trump doesn’t really look like a blackmail victim, but there’s still something unusual going on in his relationship with Vladimir Putin.

Do the Liberals have a history? (October 2018). Former minister David Kemp undertakes an ambitious history of Australian liberalism. Can it tell us something about today’s Liberal Party?

From Brisbane to Kashmir (August 2019). Peaceful protests get ignored, but the world may yet pay a dreadful price for having failed to address the issue of Kashmir when it might have been resolved peacefully.

Brexit: the judges take a hand (September 2019). Boris Johnson loses big at the supreme court. It’s a radical decision, but one with a solid grounding in the peculiarities of British constitutional law.


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