How the next Australian government can balance security and compassion for asylum seekers

Crossbenchers Kerryn Phelps, Julia Banks and Rebekah Sharkie celebrate the passing of the “Medivac” law through the House of Representatives. AAP/Lukas Coch With a rapidly changing climate and increased instability in the world order, patterns of people movement are likely to change dramatically...

National security is too important to be abandoned to the politics of fear

Scott Morrison’s claim that Operation Sovereign Borders is the country’s great national security achievement overlooks all that has been achieved in a complex area. AAP/Lukas Coch No-one wants to feel insecure. The foundational element of the social contract between people and government is security. National...

View from The Hill: Fleeing ministers fray hayband round embattled government

Linda Reynolds was today sworn in as defence industry minister and promoted into cabinet. AAP/Lukas Coch The government likes to issue the list of Labor MPs retiring at the election, to argue that Coalition senior people jumping ship is nothing out of the ordinary. That, of course,...

How an appeal could uphold or overturn George Pell’s conviction

George Pell’s lawyer, Robert Richter, said he will appeal the guilty verdict. DAVID CROSLING/AAP Image How an appeal could uphold or overturn George Pell’s conviction criminal trial often helps to provide finality for the accused, and closure for victims and society. But following this week’s...

Chasing the denuclearisation fantasy: The US-North Korea summit ends abruptly in Hanoi

As the US-North Korea summit comes to an abrupt end, denuclearisation is a fantasy that is leaving Washington as the odd man out on the Korean Peninsula. AAP/KCNA Korea-watchers around the world are scrambling to tease out the meaning of the abruptly concluded US-DPRK summit in Hanoi....

A Shorten government could shift the country on important issues and show a little spunk

If Bill Shorten becomes the next Australian prime minister, he will have much on his side but will need to be wary of low voter trust in politicians. Dean Lewins/AAP What will a Shorten government be like? It’s hazardous to predict how an opposition party will...

Australia’s populist moment has arrived

Good economic times have allowed us to become complacent, meaning conditions are ripe. Shutterstock Populism is driven by the view that everyday people are suffering economic hardship as the corporate and political elites prosper. A sense of rising inequality and injustice is the...

The end of uncertainty? How the 2019 federal election might bring stability at last to Australian politics

With the Coalition and Labor presenting several policy differences, this can be seen as a very ideological election.AAP/Lukas Coch For the second federal election out of three, a change of government is in prospect a long time out from voting day. Labor has been consistently...

#MeToo catches up with spiritual healers: the case of Brazil’s John of God

Hundreds of women have accused John of God of   sexual assault. 60 minutes screenshot We’ve seen countless spiritual leaders and religious institutions embroiled in sexual abuse scandals around the globe. Most people are familiar with the scandals in the Catholic Church and other mainstream...

Grattan on Friday: Bishop’s boots were made for walking

Though anticipated, Bishop’s departure is another blow for the woman-poor Liberal party. Sam Mooy/AAP As a parliament that will be unmourned winds down to the election, this fortnight has been the season for goodbyes from those departing (voluntarily). The most dramatic was Thursday’s announcement by Julie...