Blog highlights, week eight

We’ll run out of blog highlights eventually, but not yet. Here’s another selection for your reading pleasure, covering a variety of themes and locations.

Two steps forward, one back, for same-sex marriage (February 2013). Same-sex marriage wins a breakthrough vote in France, but David Cameron has trouble with his party over the same change in Britain.

Reform in the Vatican: Pell to the rescue (April 2013). Australia’s own George Pell (remember him?) is appointed to a committee of cardinals to advise the pope on reform in the Vatican: a unique and difficult task.

Rudd, reaction and refugees (July 2013). The reborn Kevin Rudd turns out, unsurprisingly, to be a “conservative” on refugees as well. But leaving aside the morality of his promised toughness, why does anyone think it makes political sense for Labor?

Australia and the history wars, Armenian edition (November 2013). Turkey, as always, resents any official reference to the Armenian genocide. This time it’s Australia in the firing line.

How not to address political corruption (July 2014). Thirty years on, public funding of Australian election campaigns has recorded a striking lack of success at stopping corruption. As should have been expected all along.

Here we go again – Brandis and bigotry (November 2015). George Brandis launches an attack on religious bigotry – by which he apparently means criticism of any religious-based public policy that he agrees with.

Happy birthday, Miranda! (June 2016). For fifty years, police in America have had to observe procedural safeguards that protect suspects’ rights, and the sky has still not fallen in. But some haven’t learned the lesson.

Cartographical fun in North Carolina (May 2017). The US Supreme Court strikes a blow against gerrymandering but also exposes the depth of its own partisan divisions.

The Bolshevik putsch, 100 years on (November 2017). Lenin and the Bolsheviks took power in Russia a century ago. Much blood has flowed under the bridge since then.

Italy: populists and populism (March 2018). Post-election manoeuvres in Italy: will its rival populists get together? Or does that idea rest on a misunderstanding?

Megalogenis and the curse of parallelism (October 2018). A look at how commentators can go wrong in thinking about the Liberal Party and leadership instability.

Realignment – or not (April 2019). Peter Costello suggests that the Liberal Party should concentrate on issues that unite it. The problem is that such issues are hard to find.

Who counts for representation? – part I and part II (July 2019). Donald Trump’s attempt to politicise the census has failed for now, but it raises interesting issues about how representation is supposed to work. Australia and the US both apportion seats on the basis of population, but use different approaches to drawing boundaries.

Who lost Brexit? (December 2019). Labour’s loss in the British election is widely blamed on Brexit. But what exactly could it have done differently?

Germany’s problem is our problem (February 2020) A resolution of sorts to the crisis in Thuringia, but still no clear answer to the centre-right’s dilemma, which is common to much of the democratic world.

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