Articles on Democracy Futures

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Foxconn was nominated for the 2011 Public Eye Award, which produced this image as part of its campaign to end labour exploitation. Greenpeace Switzerland/flickr

A bloody decade of the iPhone

The first ten years of the iPhone has been a bloody decade of labour abuse, especially in Chinese factories such as those run by Foxconn, the world’s largest electronics manufacturer.
So large are the nation’s daily greenhouse gas emissions that if yours is a typical Australian lifestyle you’re contributing disproportionately to climate change. Carbon Visuals/flickr

How I came to know that I am a closet climate denier

It would take a lifestyle upheaval to drop most Australians' household emissions to a sustainable level. Even many of us who urge equitable action on climate change act as if this doesn't apply to us.
Wayne Swan has drawn a parallel between the the ALP’s ‘Laborism’ and New Labour’s ‘Third Way’ in the UK. Number 10/flickr

Was embracing the market a necessary evil for Labour and Labor?

While both parties may have set out to modernise and renew their ideologies, the ALP's and Labour’s attempts to marry the old and new instead precipitated two separate identity crises.
Voters might be quite rational in refusing to give the green light to those who wield power and benefit from the status quo. Mats Edenius/flickr

We frown on voters’ ambivalence about democracy, but they might just save it

Ambivalence among voters is reason to think about how democracy is working for us as a community. To keep democracy alive we need to be sceptical about the exercise of power and keep it in check.
The Netherlands is where nearly $1 billion from Australia was sunk into two companies liquidated three years later. Alex de Haas/flickr

Bottom of the canal: Pfizer’s billion-dollar tax ploy

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has engaged in a series of paper transactions to create a A$936 million loss in Australia – effectively a billion-dollar exercise in avoiding tax.
Children play in the DDT fog left by the ‘fog truck’ in a New Jersey neighbourhood. George Silk/LIFE 1948

On the origins of environmental bullshit

The undermining of environmental science, and the creation of lies and bribes to distort public policymaking, is as old as industries that know their products do harm, but lie to keep them in use.
New Zealand shows up Australia as badly in the field of pharmaceuticals as it does on the rugby field. Dave Hunt/AAP

New Zealand steamrolls Australia on the pharmaceutical paddock too

Drug prices in Australia are three times higher than in New Zealand. A key reason is the lack of transparency about taxpayer subsidies for Big Pharma and the companies' own finances.
Austin/WallpaperMade

Mexico: The Cactus Democracy

This research note on Mexican politics and society was inspired by a recent visit to Mexico City, Puebla and Oaxaca, as a guest of the country’s Instituto Nacional Electoral (INE). Visitors to Mexico are…
Despite global outrage at the cost of its Hepatitis C cure, Gilead reaps huge profits – aided by Australian taxpayer subsidies. Nick St Charles/flickr

Gilead and the billion-dollar odyssey

How much can a multinational take before its social licence to operate in this country expires? How much corporate welfare is too much?
Critics fear the merger of agricultural giants Bayer and Monsanto will drive an increase in use of pesticides. AgriLife Today/flickr

Growing food in the post-truth era

The global food system has been operating in post-truth mode for decades.
The Senate Inquiry into Corporate Tax Avoidance has helped expose just how much work remains to be done on the multinational tax front. Julian Smith/AAP

Rumours of the death of multinational tax avoidance are greatly exaggerated

The Australian government took out ads this month boasting of victory in the fight against multinational tax avoidance. It is no small irony that taxpayers forked out for this bald-faced lie.
Do you know who has the rights to access your digital data? And who might be interested in acquiring that information? West Point-US Military Academy/Flickr

Act now to protect your digital rights, Big Brother and his Little Sisters may be watching

Sooner or later, China will recognise the value of digital assets. This adds to the urgency of citizens ensuring they control the data trails that tell the world what they think and do.

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