• Review - Institute of Public Affairs

Publisher:
Institute of Public Affairs
Publication date:
2009-06-04
ISBN:
1030-4177
First document:
Vol. 56 Nbr. 2, June 2004
Last document:
Vol. 63 Nbr. 2, June 2011
Copyright:
COPYRIGHT TV Trade Media, Inc.<br/>COPYRIGHT GALE, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Latest documents

  • The Greens and Labor: It's Time for a Divorce

    When Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced her carbon tax plan at the end of February, Greens leader Bob Brown and his deputy Christine Mime not only got to join her at the press conference. They also had the pleasure of seeing the Prime Minister formally adopt a policy proposal that they had put forward 12 months before. The public response was swift and severe. Less than a fortnight after Gillard broke her election promise not to put a price on carbon, the first Newspoll for March found Labor's primary vote was at an all-time low. Labor figures were debating that very matter even before the damning Newspoll. The Prime Minister's adoption of the Greens' carbon tax proposal -- despite her election time denials -- has infuriated more.

  • Should Parallel Import Restrictions Be Removed?

    For Tim Wilson, director of the IP and Free Trade Unit and Sinclair Davidson, senior fellow at the Institute of Public Affairs, Parallel Import Restrictions are an unjustified government intervention into the market for books. In a highly competitive market publishers can only sell high by offering a quality product, or by monopolizing the market by restricting supply to raise prices. But government action to remove parallel import restrictions would undermine private property rights, argues Alan Moran, director of the Deregulation Unit at the Institute of Public Affairs. For practical purposes, normally a product is sold to everyone at the same price despite some people valuing it more than others. The owner, not the government, should decide when it is worth taking action to charge pe...

  • Tim Flannery: Climate Prophet

    Appointed by Climate Change Minister Greg Combet to his $3,000 per week, part-time job in February, Climate Change commissioner Tim Flannery is tasked with turning around the climate change debate for the minority Labor administration. His comments, made in a 2004 interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, are just one indicator of the depth of Flannery's quasi-religious fervor for climate change, not to mention his exaggerated sense of self-importance. Many commentators have noted the extensive use of quasi-religious language by climate activists. Followers of the hypothesis that man is responsible for so-called dangerous climate change are referred to as 'believers' whilst doubters are often labeled 'deniers', 'skeptics' and even 'heretics.' There's no doubt that Flannery is an effecti...

  • Is Modern Art a One Trick Pony?

    Clear visual evidence of genius exists for all to see -- albeit at rather an inconvenient distance from Australia's shores. What then, should one make of contemporary artistic figures such as Damien Hirst, for whom claims of genius have certainly been made by some at least, including -- somewhat regrettably -- by the artist himself. Just as artists can be divided between avid self-promoters and more retiring types, so in art criticism a similar division could be said to exist between writers characterize as gushers -- largely on account of their breathless enthusiasm for novelty -- and those of a more sober and historically-based turn of mind. Clearly artists making relatively conventional works -- whatever their levels of skill -- cannot possibly compete for headline-grabbing potential...

  • Full of Hope or Just Hopeless?

    Here on Earth: An Argument for Hope, by Tim Flannery, is reviewed.

  • It's the Pollies Fault, Too

    Sideshow: Dumbing Down Democracy, by Lindsay Tanner, is reviewed.

  • Identity Crisis

    These are dark days for the Australian Labor Party. Its consistently bad opinion polls-the party's primary vote hovers in the early 1930s -- is but one of the symptoms of its seemingly incurable malaise. Just under a year ago, Labor thought that changing its leader would improve its standing with the electorate. The result was that Labor was the first government in 70 years to lose majority power. Nothing exemplifies more perfectly the confusion and dislocation that are ravaging Australia's oldest political party than climate change. Meanwhile, prospects for a global deal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions remained virtually zero. China, India and Brazil were chugging along the smoky path to prosperity. The US Senate was failing to debate, much less pass, the most loophole-ridden versio...

  • Where Are You Superman?

    Waiting for Superman, directed by Davis Guggenheim, is reviewed.

  • Free Speech in the Climate Debate

    You'd think that climate sceptics deserve free speech as much as everybody else. That, however, isn't the view of the ABC's media criticism program, Media Watch. In an episode this March, Media Watch host Jonathan Holmes called for the government to use a practically defunct regulation to restrict the free speech of climate sceptics because he disagreed with the content of that speech. Media Watch is one of the ABC's flagship programs -- a self-appointed press watchdog, dedicated to exposing media perfidy, ethics breaches and bias. The program opened with an extended discussion about the number of climate change sceptics hosting AM radio shows, their take on climate science, and the fact that they interview more sceptical scientists than non-sceptical ones. Considering how central the c...

  • We're All Devils

    All the Devils Are Here: The Hidden History of the Financial Crisis, by Bethany McLean and Joe Nocera, is reviewed.

Featured documents

  • Class and Casinos

    Since its release, the Productivity Commission's 1999 report, Australia's Gambling Industries, has been used as the basis for numerous attacks on the gaming industry, all designed to deny citizens the right to enjoy gaming as a leisure activity. Denying citizens the right to gamble is a time-honoure...

  • Tim Flannery: Climate Prophet

    Appointed by Climate Change Minister Greg Combet to his $3,000 per week, part-time job in February, Climate Change commissioner Tim Flannery is tasked with turning around the climate change debate for the minority Labor administration. His comments, made in a 2004 interview with the Sydney Morning...

  • Is Modern Art a One Trick Pony?

    Clear visual evidence of genius exists for all to see -- albeit at rather an inconvenient distance from Australia's shores. What then, should one make of contemporary artistic figures such as Damien Hirst, for whom claims of genius have certainly been made by some at least, including -- somewhat...

  • People, Pundits and Prime Ministers: What Biographies Reveal About Australia's Political Culture

    At the time of the 2004 Federal Election, John Howard had been the subject of one biograhy. He faced an opponent, Mark Latham, who was the subject of several. It has become something of a cliche to note a greater propensity for books to be written about Labor, rather than Liberal, political figures....

  • Identity Crisis

    These are dark days for the Australian Labor Party. Its consistently bad opinion polls-the party's primary vote hovers in the early 1930s -- is but one of the symptoms of its seemingly incurable malaise. Just under a year ago, Labor thought that changing its leader would improve its standing with...

  • Why Keating Makes Kevin Look Bad

    The Labor Party of Kevin Rudd does its best these days to ignore its former leader -- and Mr Rudd's ambivalent attitude towards the Paul Keating dream of a Republic is emblematic of this. One gets a sense that where Kevin Rudd, Wayne Swan and their cohorts think that practicing politics is about...

  • Free Speech in the Climate Debate

    You'd think that climate sceptics deserve free speech as much as everybody else. That, however, isn't the view of the ABC's media criticism program, Media Watch. In an episode this March, Media Watch host Jonathan Holmes called for the government to use a practically defunct regulation to restrict...

  • Showdown in Wisconsin

    The Midwestern US state of Wisconsin, home to long winters, strange delicacies such as fish boils, and sporting teams such as the Green Bay Packers, seems a strange epicenter for one of the great public policy battles of today: how to rein in rampant public sector unions. Essentially, the...

  • Taxi Mess an Old, Stubborn Failure of Government

    In Melbourne, train performance was seen as a key factor in the defeat of the Labor Government in last November's Victorian Election, yet surveys conducted by Victoria's Department of Transport have consistently shown a greater degree of customer dissatisfaction with taxis than with the much...

  • The Biggest Loser Is the Nanny-State

    The recently concluded reality television show, The Biggest Loser, contains some surprising lessons for public policy. Of all the reality television shows bombarding people, The Biggest Loser best combines entertainment with the spectacle of social stratification. And The Biggest Loser contestants...