40 minutes with Mary

This morning, I met Mary. Mary’s the same age as my Mum, but I would never have guessed it. She looks so much older. She has one child, a son, who is the same age as me. Mary has had medical problems her whole life. Despite that, she sold her home of 30 years and left […]

Not just a broken promise, a bad one

Since the proposed “debt reduction levy” was first reported earlier this week, commentators and the opposition have made much of Abbott’s decision to break his promise that there will be no tax increases in he led. Recent polls suggest his government’s popularity is suffering the consequences too. But the mistake Abbott made was not breaking […]

Cut out the middle man

Democracy is predicated on the idea that all votes are equal. Unfortunately, in Australia, that isn’t true. The problem is that we’ve built a system that ensures a small number of voters have a disproportionate sway over our politics, pushing both major parties in their direction. This Saturday, in the lower house, your vote will […]

When there are no better options…

Today, I cast a donkey vote for the first time in my life. This is not something I do lightly. I take voting and my duty as a citizen very seriously, even though, for the most part, I live in an area where my vote doesn’t matter much as it’s a fairly safe seat. For […]

The carbon tax made me a Liberal… and the Liberal party made me a cynic

About eighteen months ago, fired up in a fury of righteous indignation about the way the Labor party snuck some pretty significant income redistribution- especially toward fairly wealthy retirees- into the Carbon Tax bill, I did what any occasionally-aspiring political pundit would do, and took to Twitter. I declared my allegiances fixed, then and there, […]

Message to Souris: Sydney's Small Bars are NOT the problem

In the seven years I’ve lived in Sydney, I’ve spent a fair bit of time, and money, in drinking establishments. I’ve seen fights- I even got literally stuck in the middle of one after a guy standing behind me mouthed off to the guy standing in front of me. I’ve seen girls doing racks of coke in the bathroom. I’ve had my arse slapped. I’ve seen people passed out on sofas. I’ve seen girls have screaming matches on the street.

And you know what? Not one of those occasions has been at a small bar.

The kinds of equality

But seriously, there’s nothing wrong with the social choice to have more leisure and fewer material goods. The problem with leisure, however, is that you can’t tax it to pay off accumulated debt or to finance pensions for your senior citizens. Matthew Yglesias hits on something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, though in a […]

The case for marriage equality in ten easy points

1). At the moment, marriage is both a civil and religious institution. It serves multiple functions. 2). At the moment, in Australia, marriage is discriminatory. 3).  Marriage as a religious institution, as it is inherently private, ought to be allowed to discriminate. 4).  Marriage as a civil institution ought to treat citizens equally. 5).  Therefore, […]

There be trolls

On Monday evening, I got home from work and wrote a short piece about my disgust at the fact the Labor party was coupling fairly significant changes to the nature of redistribution in the Australian tax code to their attempt to price carbon.  I thought I was pretty clear: while I absolutely believe in progressive […]

A new Australian political party?

I voted today, in the NSW election. I’m going to be in Melbourne on election day and, to be honest, I just really wanted to vote.  I numbered all the way to 311 on my upper house ballot. It was fun. But in perusing all the different party groupings on the upper house ticket, I’m […]