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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

Australians more alarmed about state of politics than impact of migration and minorities, survey finds

The 2016 Scanlon Foundation survey provides grounds for caution in applying overseas comparisons to shifts in Australian public opinion.
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.
Commentary

New electoral law could still hobble charities

The Electoral Funding and Disclosure Reform bill seeks to ban foreign donations to political parties and their “associated entities”. But it also seeks to capture organisations, including charities, that undertake public advocacy on policy issues.
Commentary

Right war, wrong weapons

America’s opioid crisis won’t be solved by the Mexican wall and capital punishment. Meanwhile, deaths keep rising, and Australia isn’t immune, writes Lesley Russell.
Commentary

Has Gonski stepped outside the square?

The second Gonski report has been presented to the federal government, and will soon to be made public. Will it back innovative ideas to improve schools — and if it does, will it get the support it needs?
Commentary

Election FactCheck: is crime getting worse in Australia?

Former federal MP, Pauline Hanson, is back on the campaign trail for a Senate seat in Queensland. In a recent interview she said a lot of people she had talked to did not believe they were safe and that with regular stories on crime in...