Australian Lefty on Politics, Governance, Science and Info Management

Archive for July 22nd, 2007

Paid paternal leave might fix gender wage inequity

Posted by Dave Bath on 2007-07-22

Another cracking VoxEU post that advocates more paternal (not just parental) leave as a means of redressing gender-based wage inequality.  "Gender roles and technological progress" (by Albanesi and Olivetti) argues that while medical advances and legal reform should have fixed issues with workforce participation and career advancement back in 1970, it didn’t happen because of the perception that females do more of the household work, they’ll be less devoted to work, and are less attractive to employers, so wages and career prospects suffer.

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Posted in Civil rights, Economics and Business, Politics, Society | 1 Comment »

GG torpor?

Posted by Dave Bath on 2007-07-22

The Governor General, our Head of State, still has sweeping reserve powers, and as the Queen’s representative (I may be drawing a long bow here) is presumably still bound by the Magna Carta, the constraints of the Charles II resoration, and the necessity of habeas corpus and constraints on the executive.

We should also consider the long-standing right of defendants to have available to them the evidence against them, to allow a fair trial.

It may not be improper for the GG to at least call in our own "Bad King John" and cabinet and give them an official caution about their actions which seem to contravene the freedoms of citizens inherited from English Law (still usable as precedent in Australian Law in some situations).

With unprecented use of executive power against long-standing tradition, without a properly declared state of war, we face a much greater constitutional crisis than when Kerr withdrew Gough’s commisison.

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Posted in Australia, Civil rights, Governance, Law, Politics | 2 Comments »

DIAC Damned

Posted by Dave Bath on 2007-07-22

I’ve going through the Commonwealth Ombudman’s report "Report into referred immigration cases: Data problems—08|2007" as someone with a long background in Information Management, including time concentrating on policies and standards.  This report deals with 45 cases in which a data recording error occurred at some stage during the detention of a person under the Migration Act 1958, during the period 2002 to 2005.

DIAC, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (possibly rebadged to "orphan" discovery of previous criticism using Google searches) cops a lot of criticism, and the response by Andrew Metcalfe (DIAC Secretary) includes promises to investigate individual case officers rather than those who allowed those officers to work without adequate training or supervision, and effectively promoted the culture which resulting in actions that are close to criminal.

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Posted in Australia, Civil rights, Governance, Information Management, Politics | 1 Comment »

Rule of Law and expectations of new citizens

Posted by Dave Bath on 2007-07-22

It’s ironic that just after proposing a Citizenship Test stressing the Rule of Law that the Howard regime treats the Rule of Law with utter contempt.

Remember too that there has also been recent public discussion where the regime supported the introduction of a civics course into schools.

If knowledge or care about things like the Rule of Law and the doctrine of Separation of Powers was widespread in the Australian citizenry, would John Howard (or any of those prepared to stay in his cabinet) be judged worthy of election to office, or would they be judged as traitors to our country and the values of our servicemen dead or damaged in World War Two?

In defence of our tradition freedoms, our servicemen lay down they lives, while the entire ALP opposition and state governments haven’t even raised up their voices.  Should ALP politicians be regarded as traitors too?

Whoever is PM after the election, unless a Democrat or Green, he or she won’t be a fitting person to give the next ANZAC Day address.

As an aside, should promotion of the Rule of Law as central to Australian values in citizenship testing or ceremonies be viewed as false advertising?

Posted in Australia, Civil rights, Governance, Politics | Leave a Comment »

Mayne misses main lesson on infrastructure ownership

Posted by Dave Bath on 2007-07-22

Stephen Mayne, misses the most important lesson from the facts he marshalls in The Sunday Age 2007-07-22 opinion piece "Eaten by Singapore".  Worrying about Singapore’s ownership of Australian infrastructure assets is fine, but the real message is that governments can run infrastructure very successfully, so we shouldn’t have privatized our infrastructure assets in the first place.

But then, as spin-doctor for privatization in the Kennett government, he wouldn’t want to accept any of the blame, would he?

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Posted in Australia, Economics and Business, Governance, International, Politics | Leave a Comment »

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