Articles on Democracy

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Treasurer Joe Hockey and his Coalition colleagues continue to demand that their opponents ‘respect the mandate of the new government and the will of the people and vote with the government’. AAP/Gary Schafer

The ‘will of the people’? It’s the bastardisation of democracy

The Abbott government, when faced with opposition over the past year, has commonly resorted to two lifeline statements. The first is that it’s carrying out the “will of the people”. And the second is that…
School is the place where questioning the status quo should take place - but not in a high-stakes test. AAP

Testing democracy: NAPLAN produces culture of compliance

There has been widespread and well-justified critique of the NAPLAN tests in Australian schools. Concerns have focused on the ways the testing severely narrows the school curriculum, compounds disadvantage…
Leading the way. Tolga Bozoglu/EPA

Erdoğan wins presidential vote after dominating Turkish media

Turkey’s prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has swept to a landslide victory in the country’s first direct presidential election. His win follows three terms as the country’s prime minister and he has…
Erdoğan, İhsanoğlu and Demirtaş contend for the Turkish presidency. How Hwee Young/EPA, EPA/STR, EPA/Sedat Suna

What you need to know about Turkey’s presidential elections

Turkey awaits a fateful election on August 10. The electorate will be heading back to the polls to elect, for the first time in the country’s Republican history, the president by popular vote. If no candidate…
Referring long-term issues to ‘depoliticised’ processes such as commissions of audit does not solve the challenges of political management for governments. AAP/Lukas Coch

To revive long-term democratic thinking we have to innovate

The 2014 federal budget was informed by the need to think long term and was accompanied by austerity rhetoric. Regardless of where you stand on the merit of austerity policy in affecting economic recovery…
Football’s growth, while based on the game’s intrinsic nature, is also indebted to the World Cup. EPA/Abedin Taherkenareh

In a globalised world, the football World Cup is a force for good

FIFA, world football’s governing body, is not a perfect multinational corporation. It would be quite naïve to envisage that the World Cup should have the capacity to bring world peace, fix global inequality…
Students who are marginalised from formal politics use what is left to them, their bodies, to protest against decisions that have direct impacts on their lives. AAP/Julian Smith

Slackers or delinquents? No, just politically engaged youth

Political participation is about more than voting. But when young people engage in politics their actions are deemed illegitimate. This is the supposedly apathetic generation that never gets off the couch…
Chinese artist Chen Guang, a former soldier who served during the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, has painted a series of works based on his experience. Chen Guang/Internet Exhibition

Tiananmen 25 years on: CCP now fears the masses gathering online

June 4, 2014, marks the 25th anniversary of the bloody military crackdown to end student protests in Tiananmen Square. For weeks, global media coverage had highlighted the protesters’ concerns and greatly…
Higher-income Americans are much more likely to vote than the poor, which reduces political parties’ incentive to tackle inequality. EPA/Michael Reynolds

Failing union of capitalism and democracy fuels rise in inequality

Recent weeks have been all about elections and broken promises: from early April to mid-May, half-a-billion Indians went to the polls in what many described an astonishing display of democratic prowess…
Human rights monitoring can now be done by anyone. Allyson Neville-Morgan

Big data brings new power to open-source intelligence

In November 2013, the New Yorker published a profile of Eliot Higgins – or Brown Moses as he is known to almost 17,000 Twitter followers. An unemployed finance and admin worker at the time, Higgins was…

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