Showing posts from February, 2016

What would Hillary do?

A strange thing about the 2016 Democratic primary is that Hillary Clinton is having to make a case. It's been observed pretty much everywhere that nobody was expecting Clinton to face much of a fight. But more than that, whatever fight she did face - from Jim Webb, or Martin O'Malley, or Andrew Cuomo - would basically amount to a series of debates in which she didn't make a fool of herself, stood firm on important issues, and let her mountain of experience, endorsements and donations carry her through.

Instead, there's a serious fight afoot, and the Clinton campaign is being forced to make a positive argument for voting for her. In some ways that's a silly thing to say: there are a stack of reasons to vote for Hillary - she has a vast amount of experience as a senator and Secretary of State, she has a long history of fighting for liberal causes, and has a suite of progressive policies. But these are only reasons in the abstract, reasons to vote for her over any Rep…

Why are we doing this again?

Last week, the High Court authorised the government to send 267 asylum seekers who are currently in Australia to the offshore processing centre on Nauru. 91 of them are children, including thirty-seven babies born in Australia. Keeping children in detention is horrific and incredibly damaging to their mental health. In the aftermath of the High Court decision there has been a surge of political pressure on the government to keep these refugees, and especially the children, in Australia rather than deporting them.

The most significant development is that Daniel Andrews, the Premier of Victoria, has written to the Prime Minister offering to settle the refugees in Victoria and accept all the costs of their healthcare, education, and so on. The Chief Minister of the ACT has made a similar offer, and the premiers of Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and Tasmania have also made somewhat more limited offers to help with the settlement of refugees. So you might think that, for Malc…