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The good burghers of Griffith

Perhaps it’s because I’m running as a candidate myself, but I find the media focus on who is leaking what and why gets very tiresome very quickly. That’s not to say that voters aren’t interested at all in such things, but it does run a poor second to those issues that directly affect people’s lives […]

Have we all been pulling our punches in the refugee debate?

It is very dispiriting to see yet another asylum seeker debate being driven by the same disregard for the human cost and the same disinterest in connecting the ‘debate’ to facts or reality. A recent example is the bizarre assertion by the Prime Minister that the public or political debate on asylum seekers is somehow […]

Happy Refugee Week

This Sunday 20 June marks World Refugee Day, and the start of Refugee Week which seeks to highlight and celebrate the many positive contributions refugees continue to make to Australian society. Given the pending election, it might be tougher than usual for this message to get through amongst the din of fear-mongering about asylum seekers. In […]

Being in Politics - some parts are good, some parts not so much

From the very first day after I’d finished my term in the Senate in July 2008 – in fact for many weeks before I’d even formally finished – there would be no question I have been asked more frequently that the one about whether I miss being in politics and whether I’m enjoying being out […]

Some history in SA Upper House results

The fascination with the still unresolved post-election situation in Tasmania has drawn some attention away from the somewhat more run of the mill situation in South Australia. With the Rann Labor government gaining a clear, albeit slightly unexpected, victory in the South Australian election, and the Liberals in that state quickly reverting to type and […]

Hull follows Turnbull - Nats face a contest

The announcement by Malcolm Turnbull that he will retire from Parliament at the next election has understandably gained a lot of attention.  With a margin of under 4% – and the only seat in the country that swung to the Liberals at the last federal election – no doubt there will be some speculation that […]

The more things change .....

In June 2008, Nick Minchin gave a speech to the Senate as a valedictory to the Australian Democrats, as it was the week that party lost representation in the federal Parliament after a presence of over 30 years. To boost the mood of the Democrats there that night, Senator Minchin kindly outlined “one of the […]

Qld Parl gets a conscience vote - but not on abortion

I noted around six months ago that the Queensland Premier was refusing to allow a conscience vote on legislation to reform Queensland’s abortion laws and address the situation faced by a young couple in Cairns who were currently facing criminal charges.  The Premier justified this by suggesting that it couldn’t be guaranteed that the Parliament wouldn’t […]

A new SA law forces internet bloggers and commenters to publish their real name and postcode when commenting on the SA election.

Blogs (and commenters) in the crosshairs in SA?

A new SA law forces internet bloggers and commenters to publish their real name and postcode when commenting on the SA election.

Public housing prejudices live on

Paul Syvret is one of the regular writers for the Courier-Mail. When he’s not writing pieces about politics and the economy – usually in a manner which tries to make economic news intelligible – he writes general opinion pieces. Maybe it’s the opportunity to sound off about something other than economics and politics, but from […]