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Commentary

Government by algorithm

Automated welfare didn’t end with the robo-debt controversy. Here and overseas, governments are turning vital decisions over to computers.
Commentary

Dirty deeds, done for considerable amounts of money

The week’s two big political campaigning scandals — Cambridge Analytica’s data-harvesting and Labor’s funding scam in Victoria — highlight the temptations facing parties desperate to win government. For Labor, an Ombudsman’s report on the affair places valuable information in the hands of the Victorian Opposition.
Commentary

Small world

Peter Brent asks would a stronger prime minister pull Peter Dutton into line?
Commentary

Hear that ticking?

Finance’s share of the Australian economy is higher than ever, leaving us vulnerable to a growing global liquidity bubble, writes Michael Gill.
Commentary

Seeking an alternative to life in limbo

ON 30 SEPTEMBER last year the Australian Navy intercepted a boat off the coast of Western Australia and took the twelve Middle-Eastern asylum seekers on board to Christmas Island. These individuals who had made their way from Indonesia were the first unauthorised boat arrivals of...
Commentary

The benefits of incumbency

THIS WAS THE WEEK the federal Labor Party lost its swagger. As the tragedy on the boat now known as SIEV 36 played out, a nasty déjà vu returned, along with a haunting question: is the party fatally estranged from middle Australia on these questions...
Commentary

Collision course

THERE are three great recurring themes in Australian defence policy. One is the fear of a threat from Asia. Another is a fear of change. The third is expressed in the belief that “it’s better to fight them up there than down here.” All three...
Commentary

Not so super

Increasing the Superannuation Guarantee will help the rich, at the expense of the poor.
Commentary

How to reverse Australia's remand explosion

Burgeoning numbers of untried prisoners are fuelling an unsustainable rise in Australia’s prison population. Only a shift in resources will bring the figure down, writes Rick Sarre.
Commentary

In Vanuatu, it's he says, Xi says

Is there any basis to all this base talk? On the Australian side, everyone from the prime minister down expresses “great concern” about a Chinese military installation in Vanuatu.