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Articles Archive for July 2009

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[28 Jul 2009 | Comments Off on The Revolutionary Priest | 1,472 views ]

Father Peter Kennedy had hundreds of followers and his church, St Mary’s at South Brisbane, was a beacon of enlightened thinking. What business would close down such a successful franchise?
Yet Fr Kennedy’s licence to exercise the rights of priestly office has been revoked and his followers face the possibility of excommunication. Kennedy has been banned from conducting services as a Roman Catholic priest anywhere in the world, while his sidekick, Terry Fitzpatrick, has been banned from being active as a priest in the Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane.
Despite this, almost all …

Columns »

[28 Jul 2009 | One Comment | 1,076 views ]

A NATION in which alcohol was once the local currency was bound to have problems with the consumption and culture of booze.
We’ve come a lot further than rum and the rebellion it provoked, but the debate over the alcopop tax shows that we are a nation in denial. It skirted the central issues and primarily focused on the effectiveness of taxes, ignoring the elephant in the room.
In a fundamental cultural shift, cigarette smokers are now pariahs, but binge and out-of-control drinkers are often tolerated, to the disadvantage of countless …

Columns »

[25 Jul 2009 | Comments Off on There are some changes you can’t believe in. | 795 views ]

PETER Garrett must be the most conflicted man in federal parliament. The former Midnight Oil frontman, a protest singer in his day, once opposed the US defence alliance but now finds himself forced to support it. The politician who once hated everything nuclear now approves new uranium mines.
Presumably Garrett thought entering parliament would finally give him the chance to put his principles into practice. Instead he has discovered that the ALP was much more interested in profiting from his popularity than it was in embracing his values.
Garrett’s most successful day …

Columns »

[16 Jul 2009 | Comments Off on Habitual non-voters are harder to woo than ever | 772 views ]

Voting should be a meaningful activity. Like a good crossword or a Meyers-Briggs test, it should challenge people to engage in a quick but stimulating mental process and then give them a result that clearly registers their input.
It doesn’t necessarily matter if their party or candidate doesn’t win. What matters is that their vote is actually counted. And when the figures go up in the tally room on a Saturday night, they can see that of the total number of votes that a local candidate received, theirs was one …

Columns »

[7 Jul 2009 | Comments Off on The end is Bligh | 858 views ]

JUST more than three months ago Anna Bligh led the Labor Party in Queensland to a comfortable victory, winning 51 of the one-house parliament’s 89 seats.
It was far from a landslide victory but it was a relatively good performance nevertheless, especially bearing in mind she was campaigning for Labor’s fifth term. In winning that election, Bligh made history in becoming the first elected female Premier in Australia and she temporarily silenced those critics who had thought the Liberal National Party could win the election.
There was much ALP rejoicing at the …

Columns »

[2 Jul 2009 | Comments Off on As Turnbull struggles, Abbott’s moment arrives | 825 views ]

Peter Costello’s imminent retirement from federal parliament changed the political dynamic inside the Coalition. It seemed to make Malcolm Turnbull’s position more secure.
Because he will no longer have to suffer the inevitable comparisons with Costello, or look over his shoulder every time some MP is annoyed, it also seemed to improve Turnbull’s chances of becoming prime minister.
Yet even before his Utegate allegations turned round to bite him, Turnbull was still well under even money to win next year’s federal election. And there’s not much likelihood of him hanging …