Bill Shorten’s support – and that of his party – is almost entirely a function of public perceptions of Tony Abbott’s performance.
Bill Shorten has neither built the profile nor provided the performance that renders him prime minister-in-waiting rather than fragile whinger-in-chief.
Karen Nettleton, whose daughter and grandchildren are currently in Syria, has a made a public plea for her family to be allowed to return to Australia.
Whatever we think of the family of foreign fighter Khaled Sharrouf or their circumstances, they enjoy the right to return on the same footing as every other Australian citizen.
No society is immune from the rise of ‘us and them’ intolerance expressed through anger and a desire for brutal revenge.
Islamic State is symptomatic of a disturbed and troubled social order. The vast crisis of dislocated people and communities is being expressed in anger, intolerance and perverted notions of honour.
Libertarians, such as David Leyonhjelm, refuse to see anything but individual liberty as having decisive moral weight.
David Leyonhjelm is a conviction politician whose positions are governed by principle, not populism. But he is exposing the disturbing moral thinness of the libertarian principles he espouses.
Persecution based on a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex variation is recognised as a legitimate ground for seeking refugee status.
It is estimated that there are 175 million LGBTI persons living in persecutory environments worldwide. Only around 2500 asylum claims founded on sexual orientation or gender identity are successful annually.
Our individual happiness, the quality of our relationships and community well-being are closely interconnected.
We now know that we cannot spend our way to happiness nor pursue it as an individual goal. It turns out that happiness is built on the foundations of good relationships and broad well-being.
Zaky Mallah argued that the government’s policies play into the hands of ‘recruitment propaganda’ designed to appeal to alienated young Muslims.
It is important that we do not entirely dismiss Zaky Mallah's comments on Q&A. He sheds light on a seductive mechanism for young Muslims that is real.
Hands up in the 15M movement in Madrid.
Candidates from Spain's '15M' movement – born of mass protests in 2011 – have responded in various ways to the dilemma that being elected creates for those wishing to overturn the 'old politics'.
If a way ahead on constitutional recognition is to be forged, it must be through political leadership and genuine public consultation.
The parliamentary committee's report highlights the deep division between those who want to advance Indigenous recognition through minimal constitutional change and those who seek more substantive reform.
University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor Stephen Parker and Michelle Grattan discuss the week in politics.
Life is naturally sunny for the ‘happy mother’ of social mythology, which makes it doubly difficult for mums when they are miserable.
Women are supposed to be happy about motherhood – if they're not their parenting is open to question. We have seen a 'Parenting Hate' backlash against this, but what's needed most is better social support.
At its core, Islamic State’s runaway success is not down to its military capability. Rather, it is due to Iraq’s political circumstances.
There are three key reasons why success for the West hasn’t followed. Together, these reasons point towards an urgent need to shift strategy to avoid a stalemate.
Bill Shorten is facing a challenging winter recess.
The parliamentary budget session has ended with Tony Abbott having reason to feel a good deal more confident than Bill Shorten.
The government’s bill introduces three means for revoking a dual national’s Australian citizenship under amendments to the Australian Citizenship Act.
Should the bill be enacted in its current form, Australian citizenship will be able to be stripped from dual nationals by bureaucratic determination for conduct that is defined with reference to the criminal law.
The conservative attitude stems from a childlike fear of not being able to change things around them.
Without compassion for others and the courage to do something about it, our community is more likely to be mean-spirited and miserable than happy and generous.
In Tony Abbott’s worldview, it seems, a person’s freedom of speech depends whose side they are on.
In all the politicking and government attacks on the ABC for giving a platform to former terror suspect Zaky Mallah, the free speech debate has become confused.
The determined avoidance of reference to human rights is a tactic, by both sides of politics, to avoid accountability.
No-one is inclined to refer to human rights in public debate in Australia when its leaders either avoid the idea or attack it, and the news media are silent on it.
Bush tucker is part of the connectedness with the land and each other that nourishes body and soul in Indigenous communities.
In Indigenous communities beset by tragedy and social problems, the connection to each other and to the land remains a powerful source of shared contentment and happiness.
Kevin Rudd was portrayed as interfering, micro-managing and bullying in his first stint as prime minister – but some painted a different picture.
Whose "truth" best explains the implosion of the Rudd-Gillard Labor governments? Multiple "truths" are presented in the ABC's The Killing Season as we continue to pick over that era's debris.
He is in a wheelchair, she has multiple sclerosis, but their neighbours know Grzegorz and Magda as a loving couple.
Flickr/Dominik Golenia/In sickness and in health
Our notions of what makes a person a desirable 'love interest' are often superficial and involve an element of deception. For someone with a severe disability, finding love is even more complicated
If their deaths fighting for Islamic State in Iraq are confirmed, Khaled Sharrouf and Mohamed Elomar would be far from the first foreign fighters to be killed in the history of combat.
Foreign fighters have always posed a dual challenge: how to stop them going and what to do if they return. History offers lessons on managing these problems, including that it's hard to stop them leaving.
Seeking constant distractions and identifying with brands and status symbols, we struggle to escape the superficial self.
Shutterstock/Sean De Burca
In the first of our series, On Happiness, the question is whether unsustainable consumption and debt can ever bring us happiness. The global financial question was a chance to take stock, yet did we learn anything?
Would reporter Bob Woodward have been able to protect Deep Throat’s identity from today’s surveillance tools?
Four decades on, in a digital era of surveillance and data storage, Watergate remains a useful yardstick for assessing the value of source confidentiality.
Australia has been reluctant to treat Islamic State as a sovereign entity under international law.
In its rush to deny overseas fighters their Australian citizenship, the government must ensure it doesn't end up endorsing the very thing it wants to repudiate.
Blogger and media critic Anita Sarkeesian in a Feminist Frequency video.
Cyberhate would deny women their full democratic rights as citizens, yet this is trivialised and dismissed – just as sexual violence, discrimination and workplace harassment have been for decades.