Posts tagged politics and democracy
Achieving equality for Australian women will take bold action: Tanya Plibersek on Labor's commitments

The Australian Labor Party recently released a National Gender Equality Strategy, including a record $660 million commitment to end violence against women. As part of our special federal election series Labor’s Shadow Minister for Women, Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Shadow Minister for Education and Training and Member for Sydney Tanya Plibersek (@tanya_plibersek) provides an overview of Labor’s policy commitments. We extended an invitation to all of the major parties; you can read the Greens platform here.

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Equality for all women – at work, at home and in the community: The Greens' Larissa Waters on gender equality

The Greens recently released a women’s equality policy and a policy for closing the gender wage gap, including a commitment to bring back the Women’s Budget Impact Statement. As part of our special federal election series Greens spokesperson for women, Co-Deputy Leader and Senator for Queensland Larissa Waters (@larissawaters) provides an overview of key commitments across six policy domains.

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Using cognitive science research to redesign policy decision making systems

Climate change is back on the political agenda and public support for action on climate change is at its highest level since 2007. But can we expect our political institutions to be able to respond in the time and scale needed given their past failures? Rather than merely policy reform do we need to reform the system of government itself? In today’s post Celia Green and Andrew Joyce discuss how cognitive science research could be used in the redesign of our political institutions to enable better decision making processes.

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Do Parliamentary quotas influence legislation? Lessons from France

With the Coalition’s ‘woman problem’, representation of women in Australia’s Parliament has been at the forefront. While Labor has a self-imposed gender quota (see page 6) that means women are at near-parity in Parliamentary representation at 46.3 per cent, the Liberals are at 22.9 per cent (percentages calculated in January 2019). With an overall female representation in Parliament of 33.2 per cent, here’s the question: does representation matter? One way to answer this is to look to countries which have a quota system, to identify any changes to policymaking. In today's analysis, Quentin Lippmann of the Paris School of Economics provides evidence from France. This summary draws on Quentin’s presentation at the Australian Gender Economics Workshop in February of this year; his full presentation notes can be found here.   

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Indigenous treaties are meaningless without addressing the issue of sovereignty

Since Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s rejection of the 2017 Statement from the Heart, demands for a treaty process across the country have accelerated state-based moves, including in Victoria and the Northern Territory. In this piece Gaynor MacDonald argues the enthusiasm for treaties at the state and territory level is misplaced and that while local treaty action may be a symbol of goodwill, it is the very foundation of the Australian Constitution that must be changed.

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Meaningful citizen engagement - to be embraced, not feared

Local governments everywhere are being challenged by the move towards better, more meaningful citizen engagement. The new Local Government Bill before the Victorian Parliament will require Councils to have a policy with specific community engagement principles, aiming to, among other things, "enable meaningful and informed engagement." Chris Eddy reflects on his experience as CEO at a local council in Melbourne's inner west.

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Who’s in and who’s out: Politics, policy and group identity theory

With the rise in authoritarianism comes very real concerns about effective governance. In today’s post, policy whisperer Susan Maury ( @SusanMaury ) of Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand explores how the psychology of group identification is used by government to vilify specific groups of people, thereby limiting public accountability for ensuring robust policy.

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The focus on better communicating certain ‘truths’ is misplaced: academics must improve their emotional literacy

How can researchers have impact in a political landscape in which public opinion is shaped more by emotion and personal belief than evidence? Following the selection of ‘post-truth’ as the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2016, Ruth Dixon takes inspiration from artist Grayson Perry’s plea that academics should cultivate greater emotional understanding of those with whom they disagree. It’s time for political scientists to question, with some humility, their own ‘deficit model’ of the public understanding of politics. This post originally appeared on the author's personal blog and was reposted on the LSE Impact BlogIt appears here with the author's permission.

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Words matter: deconstructing ‘welfare dependency’ in the UK

When our politicians frame the discussion around welfare users by using such language as "dole bludgers" it is a deliberate tactic to validate punishing them - as we have seen with the Centrelink debt debacle and the accusations by staff that a faulty system was deliberately implemented. In today's post, Paul Michael Garrett explains how language use frames public opinion in the U.K. in unhelpful ways.  Have ideologically underpinned debates, portraying those on welfare as being lazy and having an easy life, become part of collective public perceptions? With 2016 marking the 40th anniversary of the publication of Raymond Williams’ Keywords, an interrogation of the taken-for-grantedness of specific words used to support a neoliberal agenda is timely.  Here, he looks at ‘welfare dependency’.  This blog originally appeared on the London School of Economics' British Politics and Policy blog; the original can be viewed here

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Detoxing Democracy: bringing citizen deliberation into government administration

DETOXING DEMOCRACY: Citizen deliberation is a powerful tool for legitimisation, but can it become institutionalised? Just as Yarra Valley Water consulted its community in a way that encouraged their close deliberation on the issues, agencies could cultivate councils of people reflective of community makeup for ongoing capacity to reflect community deliberation.

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What does the Trudeau era mean for the social inequalities that spawn health inequalities? With appreciation to the insights of The Who

One year into the election win by Justin Trudeau and the Liberals in Canada, Prof Dennis Raphael of York University Canada (@DennisRaphael01) assesses progress on the social issues that underpin health. With promises to act on climate change, income inequality, and the inequities experienced by indigenous Canadians, is this government a harbinger of change or a party that "campaigns from the left yet governs from the right"? 

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Critical policies for women

In this post, Dr Anu Mundkur, Dr Bina Fernandez and Ms Kara Beavis analyse the policies of the three major political parties in three key areas that impact women’s social, economic and political status – women’s unpaid care work, violence against women, and women’s representation in decision-making.  Scoring the parties on a scale of 0–4 (where 0 = very low confidence and 4 = very high confidence), their overall scorecard has the ALP ahead in addressing women’s unpaid care work, the Greens ahead in addressing violence against women and women’s representation in decision-making, and the Coalition lagging in all three areas.

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Health and healthcare policies in the 2016 election

A focus on national health and wellbeing as well as on healthcare services is an investment in equity, productivity and prosperity, argues Dr Lesley Russell (University of Sydney). Healthcare policies need to go well beyond the current over-medicalised focus on hospitals, doctors and prescriptions – how do the major parties measure up?

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Words matter: deconstructing 'welfare dependency' in the UK

As we head towards the next Federal Budget and Federal Election, this post below from the London School of Economics and Political Science blog (@LSEpoliticsblog) provides a timely challenge to the term 'welfare dependency'. Paul Michael Garrett's post is focused on the United Kingdom but has much to offer the Australian context amid comments like 'the poor don't drive cars' from the former Treasurer Joe Hockey.

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Coming to grips with evidence- based policy making: what do we need to know?

In many ways, 'evidence-based policymaking' is the bureaucrat's new black. But what, really, does it mean? Where does it fit in the broader policymaking process? And how 'realistic' do we need to be to use it in practice? Below, Paul Cairney explores these issues in the UK context. This post originally appeared on his personal blog and is accompanied by a longer lecture on the subject (listen) Paul is a Professor of Politics and Public Policy at the University of Stirling, you can follow him on twitter at @Cairneypaul.

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