Barry Jones

is a former Labor minister for science and a professorial fellow at the University of Melbourne.

By this author

Comment July 29, 2023

The constitution v the Voice

“The official ‘Yes’ case for the referendum on the Voice to Parliament, published by the Australian Electoral Commission, means well. It tries to avoid offence, is understated and ultra cautious. It will not offend anyone.”

Comment December 10, 2022

The monarchy and the constitution

“The Australian Constitution dates from 1900 and although the product of referenda in the colonies and states, and beginning with the words ‘Whereas the people ... have agreed’ is in form an act of the British Parliament, a gracious gift to a distant …”

Comment April 04, 2020

We need more democracy, not less

“The coronavirus pandemic has shown that profound social change is possible. It has caused a dramatic transformation in the way major problems are addressed, not only by government, but also in the ways we live, work, travel, purchase, entertain ourselves …”

Comment March 30, 2019

The death of political debate

“We now have a sharply reduced political agenda. There is a widespread refusal to analyse and explain complex ‘wicked’ problems. On major issues – taxation, national security – we see policy convergence, largely out of fear, while on trivial issues, …”

Comment November 10, 2018

Saving Planet Earth

“It could be argued, depressingly, that there is an inverse relationship between the growth of universities and the level of community engagement in politics. In fact, the level of political discourse was far more sophisticated in 1860s America than it …”

Comment February 11, 2017

The need for a new political party

Fraser hypothesised that a new political force could emerge out of the ashes of the two major parties ... Its policies would be evidence-based and it would emphasise finding solutions to “wicked problems”.

Comment May 09, 2015

The dearth penalty

The leader of the 1961-75 campaign against capital punishment on how America stymies action on its abolition.