Opinion

It’s global warming, stupid

We’re less than two weeks into 2013 and four of Australia’s ten hottest days in history have happened this year. On Monday, Australia’s average high temperature reached a scorching 40.33°C – our hottest day on record. Unreported in Australia, The Bureau of Meteorology said: “There’s little doubt that this is a very, very extreme heatwave event,”…

In defence of compulsory voting

Here’s an article I’ve written on compulsory voting which was published at New Matilda. For a dissenting view, see Peter Brent from Mumble. [hr] In defence of compulsory voting You wouldn’t know from its current premier, but Queensland was the first state in Australia to introduce compulsory voting. They did so in 1915 and nine…

Why 2013 will be a bad year

If the broad “left” in Australia bemoaned the horrible year that was 2012, progressives should brace themselves for an ever worse one in 2013. While I hope I am wrong, here’s the top reasons why I hold little hope for 2013. Few bright spots for policy The hung parliament, although angst-ridden for the political commentary…

The lessons for unions from Obama’s 2012 campaign

I had the great fortune to work for the Obama for America campaign for two and a half months in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. I believe there are many elements of his campaign that unions could learn from. Of course, the organising model that Obama adopted was based on Marshall Ganz and Saul Alinsky. Nevertheless,…

Retention is key

Working as I currently do at a non-profit organisation as a development and marketing manager (and being on the boards of community organisations), I am struck by the strong parallels between the challenges faced by the NGO sector and by unions. One of my responsibilities is fundraising, achieved principally through philanthropic grants and individual donors….

Asylum seeker debate in 2012

At my first meeting with Department officials as Minister for Immigration, I asked who was detained at the immigration detention centre on Nauru and at what stage were their claims for asylum. I was told there were eight Burmese and 81 Sri Lankans there. Virtually all of this group had already been assessed as refugees…