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Take part in Options' discussions about political, social  and economic ideas and issues

The need for politics? An Australian Options forum

Posted by on September 3, 2014 in Forum | 0 comments

The need for politics? An Australian Options forum Right-wing libertarians have no need for politics, as they believe that the invisible hand of the market ensures the best outcomes. Political deliberations and collective activities interfere with the magic of the market. Hence, they condemn unions, denigrate politics and demand the removal of regulatory institutions and deliberative decision-making. They portray mass democracy as the enemy of economic efficiency. The recent book The Fourth Revolution by Economist editors John Micklethwait...

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The contempt for democratic politics

Posted by on September 3, 2014 in Forum | 0 comments

The contempt for democratic politics Geoff Dow Currently social transfer expenditures (welfare benefits, in-kind support and tax concessions) in OECD countries amount to 22 per cent of GDP; in 1974 the figure was 17.5 per cent. So, almost a quarter of all income now accrues to citizens as the result of political decisions, unrelated to individual contributions or work effort. The level has increased since the beginning of the twentieth century.  Labour and social democratic movements have always sought such a ‘decommodification’ of...

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People in Power: Democratic ways to combat Climate Change

Posted by on September 3, 2014 in Forum | 0 comments

People in Power: Democratic ways to combat Climate Change Kathryn Ridge Fifteen years ago, Bob Carr introduced the world's first emissions reduction scheme. Since, then Australians have endured 15 years of virtual inaction on climate change. Political leaders who supported serious action to combat climate change exited the stage. Renewable energy targets, cap and trade markets and voluntary models whirl around in a confusing chaos of claim and counter claim. There is clear evidence that a majority of Australians want action on climate change....

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Regaining Democracy

Posted by on September 3, 2014 in Forum | 0 comments

Regaining Democracy Howard Guille The level of trust in political processes and politicians is falling and this eases the way for those who want to 'roll back government'. At the same time, initiatives to extend democracy have slowed if not gone into reverse.  Progressives need to combat this by renewing their thinking about and advocacy of democracy. We need to be speaking up for more representative and accountable political institutions including executive government, parliament and local councils, the law and judiciary and the swathe of...

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Can Democracy in Europe Still be Salvaged

Posted by on September 3, 2014 in Forum | 0 comments

Can Democracy in Europe Still be Salvaged; Gaps in Trade Union Strategy Looking at Germany we are struck by the low level of importance that the trade union milieu has given to the crisis-dominated European developments. The European crisis and the far-reaching economic, social, and political dislocations that neoliberal austerity policy has unleashed appears from those employed in Germany as problems occurring far away. It is seen as the crisis of the indebted southern countries and appears to be occurring far away from the working and living...

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Europe Has a Different Future

Posted by on September 3, 2014 in Forum | 0 comments

Europe Has a Different Future A Europe of solidarity can only be constructed from below, with the movements and citizens' initiatives, trade unions, social associations, and left parties coordinating their work. Local resistance is important; we have to set more in motion. In this, internationalism and transnational solidarity must be a given for left parties, trade unions, and all progressive forces and be translated into concepts and practical politics. Left parties can become bearers of Europe-wide campaigns whose goal is to struggle...

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