Hugh McDermott for Prospect


Pages tagged "social democratic theory"

Extreme Desperation: Why Oslo Killer Targeted Young Labor Leaders

Last Friday, Anders Behring Breivik allegedly detonated a car bomb in Oslo’s government quarter before disguising himself as a policeman and carrying out a deadly shooting spree on the island of Utøya. The mass shooting claimed 68 additional lives, an act of violence apparently motivated by the shooter’s hatred of immigration and multiculturalism. Witnesses describe him as methodical, relishing his short-lived power as he shot teenagers who averaged16 years of age.

Breivik’s decision to target a conference for progressive youth, not the immigrants he hated, was no mistake. And if there is a silver lining to the tragedy, it is that it was an act of desperation.

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Media Alert: Norway, Australia and far-Right Christian jihad

A Charles Sturt University (CSU) academic says that the extremist terrorist attacks in Norway on the weekend targeted people with moderate, mainstream political beliefs, and this should be a focus for both security agencies and public debate in Australia.
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How Is British Austerity Working Out?

by Dave Johnson

The conservative government in England is trying austerity. They are using the shock-doctrine tactic of drumming up public hysteria over bad news - in this case the financial collapse and resulting downturn - and using the panic as cover to quickly impose radical anti-democracy changes before the public has time to react. How is that working out?

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The Tragedy in Norway

Here follows a comment by John McTernan, Adelaide Thinker in Residence and a former advisor to Tony Blair on the tragedy in Norway:

Travelling the world for the British govermment and the Labour Party I have met a lot of impressive fellow activists - and among them all I have liked none more than the Norwegians. Thoughtful, modest, moral - just what you hoped for, and so much more. The best of what politics has to offer anywhere. I was in Oslo in May for the Progressive Government Summit and was impressed once again by how positive and progressive the country was. So well run. So calm and sensible. This experience was in my mind when the news of the bomb attack in Oslo came through. I immediately thought how incongruous terrorism on the streets of that beautiful city was. How un-Norwegian.

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The Australian Democrats are no template for the Australian Greens

by Patrick Baume

With the ascension of the Greens to nine seats in the Senate and holding the balance of power alone in that house, many pundits have already been keen to write them off as a potential flash in the pan like the Australian Democrats. A Party that is filling the vacuum for people unhappy, for whatever reason, with the two major players that will eventually disappear after it is faced with the cold hard pragmatics of having a real say on policy.

The Democrats did reach the same level of power in the Senate as the Greens have now in 1990 with nine seats, but the similarities end there.

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Building Progressive Alliances

by Asbjørn Wahl

The social conflict in Europe has intensified strongly over the past couple of years, in the wake of the financial crisis. The labour and trade union movement has been on the defensive ever since the neoliberal offensive started around 1980. The balance of power in our societies has thus shifted enormously over the past 30 years – from labour to capital, from democracy to market forces. Time is ripe, therefore, to fight back, to build broad social alliances and to reassess our strategies and tactics.

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Progressive Entrepreneurship: A Work in Progress

by William A. Galston

A few years ago, the noted economist Benjamin Friedman laid out the moral case for a progressive commitment to robust economic growth. Growth, he argued, increases opportunity and mobility, makes fairness more likely, and strengthens support for tolerance and democracy. At the same time, he offered two caveats. First, to achieve these results, growth must be widely shared. If those at the top commandeer its fruits, opportunity and mobility will stagnate, and social tensions will rise. Second, if the right kind of growth is valuable in part because it provides public goods, then a basic tenet of public-choice theory holds that the market by itself will undersupply those goods. The right kind of collective action can improve on pure market outcomes.

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A dose of reality please! 6 Green Senators do not make a government!

by Hugh McDermott

This afternoon the newly elected Senators from the 2010 Federal Election took their place at the Commonwealth Parliament.  Amid howls of ridiculous comments from the far left that the Greens would soon replace the Labor Party as the main left party in Australia to Conservative and  right wing commentators declaring that Bob Brown was the new Prime Minister.......what a load of crap from a bunch of clowns!

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Social Democratic Parties need to be a Mirror of Society

By Thorben Albrecht

In most European countries there is a majority of people who could be reached by social democratic values and politics. Nevertheless social democratic parties have not been able to convince this majority over recent years.

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Social Democratic Parties need a constant Dialogue with Citizens

By Bjorn Sundin

When the votes were counted after the re-election in the northeastern constituency of Örebro, the Social Democrats increased their votes in all electoral districts in the area, with a total of 47.2% of the votes. In no part of the constituency the result was less than 30.6% (which is what the Social Democrats received nationally in the general election in fall 2010).

To understand why 47.2% is such a remarkable success, you need to know the background.

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