In the wake of bitter ALP factional preselection fights Australia needs “new processes by which parliamentary candidates are
chosen,” says Peter Lynch in The Age.
“It is time to move preselections out of the present narrow,
fragile and potentially corruptible party constraints and allow a
broader electorate of voters to preselect party candidates for
potentially important public office.” Having the preselection process
– for both major parties – run through the Australian Electoral
Commission would be a good start. This way those with fresh ideas and
a proven record of community service would stand a far better chance
at making it past preselection, and maybe eventually into parliament.

It’s no secret that non-factional members of the ALP have been “leaving the party in droves for years,” says Peter Botsman in The Courier-Mail
to the point where today’s party
membership or branch officialdom is often “simply occupied by large
blocs of votes presided over by a numbers man or woman.” But today, the
Labor party “is in such a state that it is arguably the least
democratic
social democratic party institution in the Western world. Much change
is needed.”

“Insecurity is on the rise throughout
Darfur; humanitarian reach is contracting; and violent attacks continue
to displace civilians,” and the US and Europe continue to sit on their hands, says Eric Reeves in The New Republic. “The choice before the United States and Europe is whether to allow a
regime of genocidaries to determine the nature and timing of any
peacemaking force that deploys to Darfur”, says Reeves. “If this force has inadequate resources or
a compromised mandate, or arrives too late, the consequences will be
measured in lives lost.”

On
climate change, the US President muzzles his own scientists, hampers
the global effort to tackle emission and conducts endless research
until he gets the answer he wants – in fact, the Bush administration’s
current policy is actually “worse than doing nothing,” says David Ignatius in The Washington Post. “Usually, America’s political antics are forgivable, but not on this
issue,” says Ignatius. “As evidence grows that human activity is accelerating dangerous
changes in the world’s climate, the Bush administration’s excuses for
inaction are running out.”

Worth reading Highly recommended

Peter Fray

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