Timor-Leste returns to the polls on 12 May, almost ten months after last July’s election failed to produce a sustainable government. Fretilin won the largest number of seats at that election, twenty-three, but managed to recruit only one other party, the Democratic Party, or PD, to a governing alliance. Together, they could muster just thirty seats in the sixty-five-seat parliament.
Articles from Inside Story
In Brisbane in the early 1970s a six-year-old Egyptian-born migrant girl offered up the following theory to her mother: “Mama, I’ve been thinking. I think we are asleep. The real us — we are all asleep and we are dreaming and this is the world — it’s us dreaming. Because we are not real. We are just dreams.”
With smart phones to hand, the line between the audience and the media is in a constant state of flux. And in a world saturated with digital images, it’s the grisly, disturbing and explicit that often get the most clicks.
In the early 2000s, when Martin Buzacott and I were writing about the songs of Van Morrison, we set about our task as fans, anxious to explore his words and music. But the longer we listened and wrote about what we heard, the plainer it became that Morrison’s greatness lies not so much in his lyrics, melodies and chords as in his voice and what he does with it. And his voice is most powerful when he departs from the basic tunes and abandons words for a sort of guttural keening.
In 1788 a young gentlewoman raised in an English vicarage married a handsome, haughty and penniless army officer. In any Jane Austen novel, that would be the end of the story, but for the woman who would play an integral part in establishing Australia’s wool industry, it was just the beginning.
Several Peter Dutton provocations ago — in between claiming Melbournians are hiding indoors to escape black gangs and offering to fast-track white South Africans to Australia to escape black gangs — the home affairs minister spoke out on how we should choose our judges.
Bob Carr was the longest continuous serving premier of New South Wales, holding the top job from 1995 to 2005. His 1999 and 2003 re-elections were huge, approaching the Wranslides of his mentor four decades ago. Utterly dominant in the parliament bearpit, master of the media, Carr was seen by some as, in the words of his biographer Andrew West, “the nation’s wiliest politician.”
Of the many ways to commit political suicide, fashioning a noose, placing it around your own neck and inviting your enemies to seize the other end is somewhat novel in the annals of political exits — but that’s just what Malcolm Turnbull has done.
Remember robo-debt, the computer-generated letters that resulted in thousands of people being hounded to repay social security debts they hadn’t incurred? Thanks to some improvements to the system by the Turnbull government, the controversy died down and the media caravan moved on. But that doesn’t mean the problems all went away.
Our society is obsessed with metrics. From measuring our children’s learning with standardised tests to holding employees to their key performance indicators, we are awash with data on human attainment. But while metrics undoubtedly can be useful, might we be putting too much faith in the numbers?