Author: Sandi Keane

John Menadue: Parliamentary reform and democratic renewal

Most Australians have little trust in our parliament and in our members of parliament. Parliament has not responded to changes in community attitudes and aspirations. With the end of the two-party dominance it is inevitable that the parliament will be permanently in gridlock with no government controlling the Senate. John Menadue argues we need an independent enquiry to consider parliamentary reform and ways to breath life again into our democratic institutions. That reform would be good politics as well as good policy for the leader who would recognize the problem, listen and embrace the need for change. POLITICS IS about the...

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David Cay Johnston: Trump’s U$A – ways to fix a dishonest system

Video and Podcast – US journalist David Cay Johnston. A Sydney Ideas and Sydney Democracy Network event. The United States, like Australia and other countries with modern economies, gets played by multinational corporations who earn profits in their country, but siphon profits out as tax-deductible expenses – expenses companies pay to themselves. It is as if individuals could get a tax break by moving money from their right pocket to their left. These tax breaks are not based on real expenses, or economic reality, but on shams and faux calculations. They rest on nothing more substantial than moving symbols around on...

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Is populism democracy’s deadly cure?

This article by  Simon Tormey, University of Sydney is part of the Democracy Futures project, a joint global initiative between The Conversation and Sydney Democracy Network. The project aims to stimulate fresh thinking about the many challenges facing democracies in the 21st century. This piece is part of a series, After Populism, about the challenges populism poses for democracy. It comes from a talk at the Populism: What’s Next for Democracy? symposium hosted by the Institute for Governance & Policy Analysis at the University of Canberra in collaboration with Sydney Democracy Network. It is impossible to follow the news without catching reference to the rise of populism. A once little-used term that...

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Bonfire of the Big Four: accounting firms a risk to world economy

Have the Big Four accounting firms – Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC – grown so big, so pervasive and been cut so much slack by world governments, that they now pose a risk to the world economy? One of their foremost critics – and a tax lawyer formerly of EY, PwC and Arthur Anderson – George Rozvany, unpacks the factors that could lead to another economic cataclysm. He talks solutions too … break them up and demand more transparency and accountability. Summarising the critical factors: Lack of transparency and self-discipline This poses a serious threat to the stability of the global...

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Bruce Mountain: Our power bills fund useless investment

The preliminary report on energy prices released last week by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) suggests that the consumer watchdog is concerned about almost every aspect of Australia’s electricity industry. It quotes customer groups who say electricity is the biggest issue in their surveys, and cites several case studies of outrageous price increases experienced by various customers. Bruce Mountain investigates what has been a lucrative little earner for the energy industry — useless infrastructure. THE REPORT is long on sympathy about the plight of Australia’s electricity users. But the true picture is even worse — in reality, the ACCC’s assessment of...

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New Michael West Podcast

Created by PodcastOne, this 3 part series looks into how Australia has gone from one of the cheapest countries in the world for energy to one of the most expensive, and reveals just what has happened with our gas and electricity supply and why we are on the verge of an energy crisis.

Listen to THE ENERGY TRUTH on the PodcastOne website

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