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POLITICALLY/SOCIALLY SPEAKING

Politically and Socially Speaking

Explainer: what is Pentecostalism, and how might it influence Scott Morrison’s politics?

The deeply religious Scott Morrison is Australia’s first Pentecostal prime minister. Mick Tsikas/AAP Since Scott Morrison became prime minister last month, much has been made about his religious beliefs and the impact they are likely to have on his leadership. Understanding Morrison’s faith and how it influences his worldview requires some basic knowledge about Pentecostalism and how it differs from...

Why a separate holiday for Indigenous Australians misses the point

Invasion Day protests have been growing in size and number across the country in recent years. Glenn Hunt/AAP Prime Minister Scott Morrison has floated the idea of a new national holiday to recognise the achievements of Indigenous Australians. The proposal is a pre-emptive strike against what he called the “indulgent self-loathing” of those who want to shift Australia Day from...

Grattan on Friday: ABC’s challenge is to ‘keep calm and carry on’

It has been a turbulent week for the ABC, with questions still to be answered, particularly by the board. Shutterstock The spectacular implosion of the top reaches of the ABC has left a battlefield littered with casualties, and one of Australia’s most important and respected institutions damaged and in shock. Coincidentally, an Essential poll published this week, asking about trust in...

If privacy is increasing for My Health Record data, it should apply to all medical records

Everyone was up in arms about a lack of privacy with My Health Records, but the privacy is the same for other types of patient data. from www.shutterstock.com In response to the public outcry against the potential for My Health Record data to be shared with police and other government agencies, Health Minister Greg Hunt...

Planned trade deal with Europe could keep medicine prices too high

Extending pharmaceutical monopolies would substantially increase costs for taxpayers. Shutterstock The United States’ withdrawal from the Trans Pacific Partnership and the recent US-China tariff wars have flamed concerns that international trade is becoming unstable. Trade talks between Australia and the European Union – Australia’s second-largest trading partner – launched in June this year to much...

Grattan on Friday: Morrison aims to make agility his prime ministerial trademark

Morrison’s brush strokes on his own portrait are designed to create the image of a leader tuned to the voters’ concerns, rather than the “Canberra bubble”. Lukas Coch/AAP Strawberries and hay have provided unlikely lenses for an insight into how Scott Morrison will conduct his prime ministership from now to the election.

After a long struggle, the Uniting Church becomes the first to offer same-sex marriage

For some, this recent decision is a source of celebration and perhaps even symbolic, finally, of full equality in the church for gay and lesbian members. Wes Mountain From Friday, September 21, the Uniting Church (UCA) will be the first of the three major Australian Christian denominations to endorse same-sex marriage, and thus the first to offer gay and lesbian Christians the...

Outrage over schoolgirl refusing to stand for anthem shows rise of aggressive nationalism

The brouhaha over a nine-year-old girl refusing to stand for the national anthem appears to confirm that tolerance is on the wane and nationalist sentiment on the rise in Australia. Shutterstock Last week, nine-year-old Queensland school girl, Harper Nielsen, was threatened with suspension by her school for refusing to sing the Australian national anthem. The heated and at time preposterous reaction to the...

Grattan on Friday: Wentworth preselectors’ rebuff to Morrison caps week of mayhem

Dave Sharma - not the PM’s pick. AAPONE/Brendan Esposito In the early hours of Friday morning, the Liberal preselectors of Wentworth delivered their new prime minister a humiliating public slapdown. In selecting Dave Sharma, 42, former Australian ambassador to Israel and now a partner in an accountancy firm, as the candidate for the October 20 byelection, the preselectors have on all...

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it: Australia should stay away from electronic voting

Russia was behind an enormous effort to influence politics in the US and the UK, but was Australia targeted too? The civic experience of interacting with analogue voting interfaces is as Australian as the democracy sausage. Voters are confronted with tiny pencils, plus physical security measures that involve huddling in a cardboard booth and origami-scale folding. The use of paper ballots –...

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