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Australiafilter: Back to the (18)50s, or a new comedic golden age

Since winning government in September 2013 (previously) Australia's conservative Coalition Government has been causing controversy, recently leading to nationwide protests (previously). Undaunted, this week the Coalition voiced support for the rights of bigots (more on that issue here), and reintroduced Knights and Dames. So, where's a depressed politics junkie to turn? To comedy, of course! After a successful crowdfunding campaign, satirical political comedy collective A Rational Fear are producing a 10 week season of Australian political comedy. [more inside]
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts on Mar 25, 2014 - 43 comments

 

"Let's have a bloke's question"

When Australian prime minister Tony Abbott paused on the lawn of Parliament House to engage a group of high school students in conversation, he may have been hoping to impress some future voters. However, the questions fired at him by the 14-year-olds - about asylum seekers, gay marriage and why he has appointed himself Minister for Women - seemed to take him aback (warning: camera is level with Abbott's crotch.) The students involved later participated in the March in March – a series of protests against current government policies which took place in 29 locations across Australia over three days. Despite over 100,000 turning out, the protests was little coverage by mainstream media – leading to criticism even from within the media’s own ranks.
posted by andraste on Mar 18, 2014 - 32 comments

He says he wants a revolution, well, you know

Hard right Conservative South Australian Senator Cory Bernardi, who in 2012 year was removed as parliamentary secretary and opposition whip to Tony Abbott as a result of arguing that same-sex marriages would lead to legalised polygamy and bestiality, is no stranger to controversy. A noted climate change sceptic, and critic of both Islam and publicly-funded broadcasting, Bernardi has just published his manifesto -- The Conservative Revolution -- calling for "a reversal back to sanity and reason". Reviews on Amazon have been less than favourable, but his book has put contentious issues such as abortion, the structure of the modern family and WorkChoices firmly at centrestage as the unpopular conservative government seeks to reconnect with voters who so comprehensively removed the Labor Party from Government in September 2013. Some argue that the danger in Bernardi's comments is that they shift the goalposts on what is considered outrageous, and re-ignite the culture wars. Or is it too late? The Prime Minister has again been forced to distance himself from Bernardi's views, and Warren Entch has criticised him for his "gay obsession". In 2012 the Global Mail called him Australia's Sarah Palin, but he also shares the Six Fs philosophy of Rick Santorum: Faith, Family, Flag, Free enterprise, Federation and Freedom.
posted by Mezentian on Jan 7, 2014 - 112 comments

The Meltdown

Peter Hartcher, political editor of the Sydney Morning Herald, tells the story of the self-immolation of the Australian Labor party and the political destruction of two prime ministers, in a five part series: Meltdown. [more inside]
posted by kithrater on Nov 20, 2013 - 11 comments

Australia Decides: Old Moon-faced McPsychopath vs Sleazy McNoPlans

Australia goes to the polls tomorrow. Want the skinny on three word slogans? Want to know about the fabled voters of 'middle Australia'? Are you confused about preferential voting? Aussie comedian Dan Ilic has you covered with #C@%TASTROPHE 2013: Guide to the Election. [more inside]
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts on Sep 6, 2013 - 280 comments

You can't "waste your vote"!

Australian Federal Election time is heading into high gear now that the official list of candidates has been finalised—and it is a long one! With a record number of candidates in the 2013 election, it can be awfully tempting to just vote above the line for the Senate, especially as many believe that voting below the line means wasting your vote. Thankfully, Dennis the Election Koala is here to explain why you can't waste your vote. (It also makes a good intro to preferential voting for those still mystified by it.) [more inside]
posted by Athanassiel on Aug 21, 2013 - 61 comments

A cleaner era

The Guardian's three-word slogan generator lets you create your own political catchphrase
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants on Aug 6, 2013 - 121 comments

Julia Gillard, Australia's first female Prime Minister, is done.

Former Labor leader and Prime Minister Kevin Rudd defeated her in a Labor Party leadership spill, 57-45, on Wednesday. The result has triggered a wave of cabinet resignations, including that of the erstwhile Midnight Oiler and Minister for School Education, Minister for Early Childhood and Youth, Peter Garrett. Previously.
posted by rhombus on Jun 26, 2013 - 152 comments

A vast, sunny intellectual gulag

Why Australia hates thinkers, an essay on anti-intellectualism in today's Australia and the populist hostility to “intellectual elites”, by Alecia Simmonds.
posted by acb on May 17, 2013 - 60 comments

The only poll that matters...

Antony Green's Election Calculator Compare your own predictions with Antony Green’s. Handy list of recent past polls to see just what sort of caning the Gillard government might be in for. Probably more fun for coalition voters than Labor voters.
posted by mattoxic on Mar 18, 2013 - 133 comments

The Resurrection of Kevin Rudd

The plot is thickening in the lead-up to the Australian national elections. "'I said a week or so ago everyone should take a long cold shower,' Mr Rudd told Channel Seven on Friday morning. 'What I'd say to Malcolm and you Joe (Hockey) is it's time to jump in the ice bath'." [more inside]
posted by rhombus on Feb 16, 2013 - 56 comments

So I voted for an axe-murderer

A new MP, Gloria De Piero was taken aback by how many people despised her because of her new profession. So she took to the streets to find out why. [more inside]
posted by smoke on Jan 2, 2013 - 20 comments

The Prime Minister of Australia stands up for the women of her country

"I will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man, I will not. And the Government will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man. Not now, not ever. The Leader of the Opposition says that people who hold sexist views and who are misogynists are not appropriate for high office. Well, I hope the Leader of the Opposition has got a piece of paper and he is writing out his resignation." - The Prime Minister of Australia, Julia Gillard, takes the Leader of the Opposition to task over his sexist views (link includes extracts and video of full fifteen minute speech) [more inside]
posted by crossoverman on Oct 9, 2012 - 207 comments

Her Rights at Work

The Political Persecution of Australia’s First Female Prime Minister "Can it really be the case that a tax – a carbon tax – could spur so many people to such levels of hatred? I find that impossible to believe, so I have to conclude that the persecution of Julia Gillard has to be about something else." Warning - some text and imagery may be NSFW or offensive - a "Vanilla" version is available
posted by mattoxic on Sep 6, 2012 - 149 comments

If I could turn back the boats I'd give them all to you

A Government-convened expert group has suggested that Australia return to the so-called Pacific Solution to deal with its asylum-seeker conundrum, and break a political impasse. [more inside]
posted by Mezentian on Aug 13, 2012 - 39 comments

carbon pricing for Australia

Yesterday Australia joined many developed nations in putting a price on carbon pollution (fixed at $23/tonne CO2e for three years) (prev). Despite extensive compensation, this moderate economic reform has proved enormously unpopular ("based on a lie") and is expected to be repealed if/when the Federal Opposition are returned to government.
posted by wilful on Jul 1, 2012 - 106 comments

Fictional characters, real voters.

Being a charismatic young leader himself, gifted in bringing together animals from all walks of life (some had even called him the first zebra king), Mufasa related to Clinton’s first term. Like the Clintons, Mufasa was also a passionate advocate for universal healthcare since witnessing the positive impact of Rafiki’s healing powers for the animal kingdom.
How Would They Vote is a US/Australia focused blog tracing the political awakenings and inclinations of characters from popular culture. Find out about Optimus Prime's anti-environmentalism, which of The Breakfast Club voted Dukakis, and what the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles really think of Herman Cain.
posted by rollick on Dec 11, 2011 - 10 comments

Australian Exceptionalism

Australian Exceptionalism "Let that phrase roll off your tongue... now stop laughing if you can." [more inside]
posted by modernnomad on Dec 8, 2011 - 61 comments

Fingers crossed

Australian Labor Party's 46th National Conference starts today in Sydney. Key agenda items - Gay marriage, refugees, and Uranium sale to India. Follow it live.
posted by vidur on Dec 1, 2011 - 39 comments

His name is Paul

A progressive Australian political advocacy group have produced a 2-minute advertisement showing their support of Marriage Equality Down Under. Warning: May pull heartstrings. [more inside]
posted by schmod on Nov 25, 2011 - 49 comments

Kerr's cur

"But there is a broader disquiet in the community which is surely correlated with the current impasse in our politics and media. It is, I believe, a real sense of a loss of legitimacy, a loss of belief in the validity of the institutions that control our nation and over which ordinary citizens have little influence and zero control."
A naughty boy's weakening grip on power could spark a constitutional crisis in Australian federal politics. Here's a good time line. There are many Australian's who can remember the scandalous constitutional crisis of 1975 when Queen Elizabeth's representative sacked the Prime Minister – which unbelievably included a comedian interviewing all the major players on the steps of Parliament House as the drama unfolded. It later turned out that the CIA masterminded the whole thing.
posted by uncanny hengeman on Aug 27, 2011 - 62 comments

Meet Australia's and possibly soon the world's richest woman.

You probably haven't heard of Gina Rinehart. However, she's Australia's richest person and will quite possibly be the world's richest person in a few short years. Her currently limited political activity appears primarily directed at maintaining profitability, avoiding taxes and stopping a price on carbon pollution.
posted by wilful on Jun 22, 2011 - 40 comments

We can say f--- on TV

"Despite promises that the 43rd Parliament would be kindlier and gentler, it has been characterised by vitriol in question time, a Prime Minister labelled a liar - and outside Parliament, a bitch - and an Opposition Leader called an extremist. Both sides complain the other is mean." [So much for kinder, gentler politics]
posted by vidur on Apr 17, 2011 - 35 comments

A nation of fickle fools

We care about climate change, but we hate the idea of having to do anything about it. Professor of Public Ethics at CAPPE, Clive Hamilton (also author of Requiem for a Species and Affluenza), tells it like it is on climate change policy in Australia.
posted by bystander on Apr 12, 2011 - 125 comments

Mr Controversial

Mr Controversial (video, transcript): an in-depth report by Dateline (SBS One, Australia) on Geert Wilders, and the most comprehensive English-language profile of him I have seen to date.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Aug 29, 2010 - 35 comments

Australian election non-result

The people have spoken mumbled a bit. The Australian Federal election held last Saturday has produced an extraordinary result. A minority government with the support of 1 Green and (maybe) 4 very independent independents will should result, but which way will it fall, left or right? Every Westminster-style government, claimed to produce strong stable majorities, now has a hung parliament. Even though results may not be known for several days yet, we can acknowledge the outstanding work of the Australian Electoral Commission. (Previously).
posted by wilful on Aug 24, 2010 - 132 comments

Australia has its first female Prime Minister

Julia Gillard has become Australia's first female Prime Minister in stunning fashion, after toppling Kevin Rudd as leader of the ruling Labor Party. [more inside]
posted by puffl on Jun 23, 2010 - 151 comments

Ruddrolled

As reported a few hours ago in The Australian, the right wing faction of the Australian Labor Party rolls on Rudd and a caucus meeting is scheduled for 9 tomorrow morning, where it's predicted that he'll lose the ballot. One senior party source said: "This crypto-facist made no effort to build a base within the party and now his only faction - Newspoll - has deserted him. He is gone."
posted by unliteral on Jun 23, 2010 - 59 comments

Climate change FAIL

Australia's emissions trading scheme, the "Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme", is being debated in the Senate today. [more inside]
posted by wilful on Nov 26, 2009 - 124 comments

Former PM keating talks GFC

Former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating provides some observations on the GFC, including suggestions that the USA could become a defaulter, and identifying a need for a new international settlement to replace Bretton Woods. [more inside]
posted by wilful on Feb 3, 2009 - 30 comments

The Howard Years

Former Australian Prime Minister John Howard was booted out in the 2007 elections. He had been Prime Minister for 11 years and in that time he had taken the country to war and divided the country on issues like Aboriginal reconciliation and workplace reforms. The Howard Years, a four part documentary originally screened on the ABC, is now online and available to view for free and takes a detailed look at the legacy of his Prime Ministership. The four part series explores in greater detail than ever before Howard's fractured relationship with his deputy and heir apparent, Peter Costello, and also contains some startling revelations from Howard Government ministers that many candidly admit they would never have told you while they were still in Government.
posted by Effigy2000 on Dec 8, 2008 - 32 comments

Tenth Anniversary of the Patrick Stevedores Dispute

Australian dock workers will stop work for a minute today to remember the Patrick stevedores dispute, an industrial dispute that involved the stevedoring corporation Patricks, the Howard government and the Maritime Union of Australia. A landmark event in Australian political and legal history, the dispute saw dock workers stand "in the first line against the Howard government and the Patrick corporation that was seeking to remove their legal rights, their right to go to work [and] the right to collective bargaining." In its wake, the event generated debate about the role of unions in Australia, an alleged conspiracy between Patricks and the former Howard Government and even spawned a controversial TV mini-series, Bastard Boys. For more history and analysis of the dispute, you can read about it from the view of the MUA or this account but for the definitive analysis see here.
posted by Effigy2000 on Apr 6, 2008 - 12 comments

The Lesser Of Two Weevils

Australia Votes. Polls have been predicting a Labor win for the past few weeks, and it's beginning to look like it just might happen. But that's not the real sport. [more inside]
posted by Neale on Nov 24, 2007 - 78 comments

Senator On-Line

Senator On-Line (‘SOL’) is a truly democratic party which will allow everyone on the Australian Electoral roll who has access to the internet to vote on every Bill put to Parliament and have its Senators vote in accordance with a clear majority view. They will be running candidates for the upcoming federal Upper House (Senate) elections.
posted by finite on Nov 15, 2007 - 28 comments

The Soapbox.

The Soapbox is a collection of photographs, texts of speeches, transcripts of debates and political ads from Australian election campaigns (both State and Federal) from 1901 to the present day. More materials will be added when they become available.
posted by Effigy2000 on Oct 25, 2007 - 3 comments

Australian Federal Election 2007 on November 24

And we're off! Prime Minister John Howard has set the date for the Australian Federal election as November 24th, meaning we're up for a long six-week campaign. With Kevin Rudd leading the PM by between 16 to 18 points (depending on who you read) in recent opinion polls, this election seems the most likely to provide a change of Government since Howard was first elected 11 years ago. Antony Green's usual excellent election guide is up and running here, along with an excellent calculator which shows which seats are up for grabs dependent on a 2 party preferred swing. You might also want to check out the Vote-O-Matic, a fun but entirely disposable quiz which aims to help you decide who you'll vote for. [more inside]
posted by Effigy2000 on Oct 13, 2007 - 603 comments

Googling the Australian Federal Election

Google launches a site dedicated to the upcoming Australian Federal Election with Youtube channels from each party, electoral boundaries integrated into Google Maps, a search engine to allow you to view what each candidate has said on a range of issues, from immigration to interest rates, news from your electorate, and graphs of media activity on candidates and issues. Australians have been lacking a comprehensive political resource like the UK's The Work For You, and Google has brought it one step closer. Unfortunately, many of the resources are in the form of gadgets you add to your iGoogle homepage, rather than standalone applications.
posted by Jimbob on Sep 16, 2007 - 29 comments

Poo Bum Dicky Wee Wee!

People vandalising Wikipedia is hardly a new thing but now even the office of the Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, is getting into the act. Website Wiki-Scanner (previously) has traced several edits to Wikipedia articles by the Prime Ministers staff, according to Australian newspaper The Courier Mail. And they aren't confined solely to the Wikipedia entry on the PM himself; there was even an act of vandalism on a martial-arts related entry, in which one of Howard's ministerial staffers wrote, “Poo bum dicky wee wee” on the page. Not good news on the eve of a federal election that the PM is largely expected to lose. Meanwhile, 'new media' is being put to good use at Opposition leader Kevin Rudd's website, Kevin07, where a recent blog entry compiles Youtube's 'best' political videos. Hours of fun for the whole family!
posted by Effigy2000 on Aug 23, 2007 - 17 comments

John Howard in 'Cabinet: The Movie.'

Cabinet: The Movie. Starring Australian PM John Howard and a bunch of chickens. [more inside]
posted by Effigy2000 on Jul 18, 2007 - 13 comments

Backpedal fast, Johnny!

PM John Howard denies Iraq-oil link
posted by andihazelwood on Jul 5, 2007 - 37 comments

McLeod's Pollsters

As the countdown to the Australian federal election continues ever onward, the key issue looks set to be industrial relations. The incumbent Howard Government's WorkChoices laws (now re-branded due to their increasing unpopularity) have seen the poll figures for challenger Kevin Rudd go up and up and up. But even as the Government prepares to unleash a major advertisement spree in an attempt to sell the alleged benefits of Work Choices, the new laws have come under attack from the most unlikely of places; popular prime time TV soap McLeod's Daughters, which last night aired this thinly veiled assault (youtube) on the central element of WorkChoices, AWAs.
posted by Effigy2000 on May 17, 2007 - 36 comments

Gooday mate....

Australia: the new 51st state John Howard's servility to the US is even greater than Tony Blair's. "John Pilger," wrote Harold Pinter, "unearths, with steely attention facts, the filthy truth. I salute him." via New Statesman.
posted by adamvasco on Mar 5, 2007 - 40 comments

WorkChoices: Fair or not, they're here to stay.

Australiafilter: The Australian High Court handed down its ruling today on the constitutionality of the Howard Government's new Industrial Relations laws, called 'Workchoices', deeming them constitutional by a vote of 5 to 2 (full text of the decision here). Two dissenters, Justices Michael Kirby and Ian Callinan, argued that upholding the laws changes the very nature of the Australian federal system and is "in contradiction of, what was intended and expressed in the constitution by the founders." Whilst bloggers and academics debate the nature of the laws and how fair or unfair they are, the simple fact now is that the laws are here to stay unless there is a change of Government at the 2007 federal election. Find out what it means for you as an employee from both the Howard Government's view and the Union's point of view so you can know your rights at work and decide for yourself.
posted by Effigy2000 on Nov 13, 2006 - 24 comments

Imperator Howard's Tenth Year.

Today marks Australian Prime Minister John Howard's tenth year in the top job. The event has sparked the usual calls of when, if ever, he will step down to make way for his annointed successor, Peter Costello, and has also opened the flood gates on a range of editorial criticisms and praise from the usual suspects. But even with a new poll released today claiming that he is the most popular PM in Australia's modern political history, will the continuing AWB scandal (previously discussed in one of my own FPP posts here) and an unhappy Coalition partner finally end his seemingly endless run of political good fortune?
posted by Effigy2000 on Mar 1, 2006 - 28 comments

Kicking Back.

It seems increasingly more likely that Saddam Hussein's regime was getting kickbacks from the Australian Wheat Board and, worse still, the Australian Government may have known about it. This major scandal is causing big headaches for the Australian Government and is emerging as a diplomatic sore point between the US and one of its strongest Iraq War allies. The Australian Opposition is calling for the official inquiry into the matter, the Cole Inquiry, to be widened, whilst in the US, several US senators including Norm Coleman and Patty Murray are demanding answers whilst simultaneously calling for a ban on Australian wheat. [more inside]
posted by Effigy2000 on Feb 1, 2006 - 31 comments

Owzat!

You say bodyline, I say leg theory. Either way, the origins of one of sport's most enduring rivalries (leading to a near diplomatic crisis) make for a fascinating read to the budding cricket enthusiast. No wonder people turned out in their thousands to queue in the early hours for the final day of another nail-biting test. It's turning into a hell of an ashes series.
posted by nthdegx on Aug 15, 2005 - 44 comments

Sink, or swim?

Happy Harold Holt Day! On this day in 1967, Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt disappeared whilst swimming at Cheviot Beach near Melbourne. Conspiracy theories abound. Today, his memory is honoured by a memorial swimming pool.
posted by Pinback on Dec 17, 2004 - 7 comments

Fair-Weather Friends

Coalition of the willing (if they know what's good for them). A decent little collection of articles about one of the most shameful events in Australian political history: the Whitlam dismissal. From an article that begins with a quote from former CIA agent Victor Marchetti: "Australia is going to be increasingly important to the United States, and so long as Australians keep electing the right people then there'll be a stable relationship between the two countries." to an interview with Christopher Boyce, whose experiences and actions were recounted in the book The Falcon and the Snowman and in the later John Schlesinger film of the same name. Attach some platitude about the virtues of friendship.
posted by chrisgregory on Jun 18, 2003 - 2 comments

"I think I'm big enough to play the game"

"I think I'm big enough to play the game" says Australian Parliament member Barry Haase, referring to his "purchase" for a day by brothel owner Mary-Anne Kenworthy (heh heh, she said 'member'). Auctioned to the highest bidder (he fetched $1000Australian) at the local Rotary Club charity auction, Haase will perform such duties as cleaning the brothel in a "frilly apron" and conducting a tour of the premises. Wonder if he'll wear anything besides what the proprietress' called her "tour hat"...
posted by runthegamut on Aug 28, 2002 - 7 comments

Australia and Europe incensed over U.S. lies on free trade

Australia and Europe incensed over U.S. lies on free trade Bush: "The final provisions of the farm Bill are also consistent with America's international trade obligations, which will strengthen our ability to open foreign markets for American farm products". In other words, free trade good when we sell to you, bad when you sell to us.
posted by magullo on May 3, 2002 - 10 comments

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