News from 07/2013

31 July 2013

When is Prime Minister: Kevin Rudd going to announce the date of the next General Election?

One of the privileges’ of the prime minister is to name the election date. The prime minister is required to provide 33 days’ notice. But beyond that, there is no legal requirement to let the public know. However, the latest possible date for a federal election is Saturday, November 30, 2013

Section 28 of the Constitution states that "Every House of Representatives shall continue for three years from the first meeting of the House, and no longer, but may be sooner dissolved by the Governor‑General."

(Melissa Clarke, on ABC News) 

http://www.abc…Read

27 July 2013

The election to the 18th German Bundestag will be held on 22 September 2013

The German election is just eight weeks away.

Most observers assume that Chancellor Angela Merkel (centre-right coalition) will be re-elected when Germans go to the polls on September 22, 2013. She is extremely popular, and her party is far ahead in the polls. A victory for the center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) would confirm Ms. Merkel's transformation from a once-shaky campaigner to one of the most popular leaders in the democratic world and shows how successful the 58-year-old former physicist has become in Europe's biggest economy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6OraioMWYU<…Read

25 July 2013

Thomas Hobbes, Political Philosopher

Thomas Hobbes was concerned with the problem of how to arrange society in such a way that the individual self-interest of its members was allowed maximum freedom to operate without encroaching on the rights of others.  The original condition of man was that of a creature living in a State-of-Nature in which he was in constant conflict with his neighbours.  He lived in a perpetual state of fear.There was no law, property, justice or "rights," apart from Might.

NOEL MALCOLM discusses why Thomas Hobbes has faced accusations of totalitarianism and argues that Britain'…Read

22 July 2013

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling coalition has won a majority of seats in the upper house election

The election will have a strong impact on the future of Japan’s defense policies. Mr. Abe’s administration has already been more aggressive in dealing with regional security issues, exemplified recently by the decision to raise Japan’s defense budget for the first time in 11 years. The next major step in the prime minister’s agenda is to push for a bigger military, to be achieved by revising its role as defined in the constitution. Mr. Abe also wants to change various parts of the post-World War II document like the status of…Read

21 July 2013

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe - A Man with a Plan

Nationalism is on the rise in Japan with opinion polls predicting a landslide election victory for the Liberal Democrat Party.

“We are fighting to bring back a Japan that can grow again, a Japan that will rebuild, and a Japan that is prepared to protect its territory,” Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe said on Friday at a rally in Mie, in central Japan. However a nationalistic policy, rather than international policy, translates into a stronger military and would likely increase tense relations with Japan’s neighbours: China and South Korea.

http://www.asianews…Read

8 July 2013

How things ought to be

Philosophy attempts to provide the answers to life in terms of how things ought to be based on the circumstances of the situation.  We have seen how Thomas Hobbs advocated a form of government to protect us from the state of nature and the ‘war of all against all.’  The philosophers ‘stand back’ and provide us with meaningful alternatives to the prevailing situation.  Tamar Gendler from the philosophy department at Yale University presents the political theories of 3 philosophers: Thomas Hobbes, Robert Nozic and John Rawls and shows how their ideas differ…Read

7 July 2013

Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679)

Thomas Hobbs is best known today for his work on political philosophy

The English philosopher Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) is best known for his political thought, and deservedly so. His vision of the world is strikingly original and still relevant to contemporary politics. His main concern is the problem of social and political order: how human beings can live together in peace and avoid the danger and fear of civil conflict. He poses stark alternatives: we should give our obedience to an unaccountable sovereign (a person or group empowered to decide every social and political issue). Otherwise what…Read

The State of Nature

The state of nature is a term in political philosophy used in social contract theories to describe the hypothetical condition that preceded governments. A state of nature could also exist wherever law and order cease to exist as described in the novel: Blindness by Jose Saramago.

There must have been a time before government, and so the question is how legitimate government could emerge from such a starting position,and what are the hypothetical reasons for entering a state of society by establishing a government.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oE1eU…Read

4 July 2013

Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes

Leviathan — is a book written by Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679) and published in 1651. The work concerns the structure of society and legitimate government, and is regarded as one of the earliest and most influential examples of social contract theory.  Dr Pete Woodcock from Huddersfield University provides us with 3 good reasons: • Obligation • The State • Sovereignty why Leviathan is still relevant today.

Quotations:

“In the state of nature profit is the nature of right”  

"The source of every crime is some defect of the understanding; or some error…Read

2 July 2013

The Sovereign

The social contract theory of origin of state belongs to the liberal school of thought which treats the state as a creation of man with a definite purpose to serve certain social needs. This theory holds that men created the state as a result of mutual agreement or contract among themselves. Thus, the state is a product of the will of society and is intended to serve the interests of all its members i.e. society. Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau are the three main thinkers associated with the social contract theory. The theory explains two life-patterns; one…Read