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  • The 'nanny state' and freedom of choice

    Posted 16/06/2011 by Luke Buckmaster
    Nurse and Child, c.1896/97 Artist: Mary Stevenson CassattIn recent times, a number of Australian Government policy initiatives have been criticised as ‘nanny state’ or ‘paternalist’ policies. Describing policies in this way resonates with concerns held by many that there should be limits to the extent to which governments should protect people from the consequences of their choices. But are there circumstances in which some help from ‘nanny’ can be justified? This week the tobacco industry launched a nation-wide media campaign in an attempt to stop th... Read more...

    TAGS: paternalism, public health, social policy

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  • Gambling on the pokies - recommendations for government policy

    Posted 6/05/2011 by Matthew Thomas
    The Parliamentary Joint Select Committee on Gambling Reform has just released a report into the design and implementation of a mandatory pre-commitment system for electronic gaming (poker) machines.The introduction of mandatory pre-commitment technology for poker machines was one of Independent MP, Andrew Wilkie’s key demands in return for support of the minority Gillard government after the last federal election.Under the agreement, Labor agreed to begin implementing pre-commitment technology b... Read more...

    TAGS: gambling, paternalism, poker machines

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  • When is government paternalism justifiable?

    Posted 16/12/2010 by Luke Buckmaster
    Man smoking next to a non smoking signA core assumption of liberal societies is that individuals are the best judge of their own interests and therefore are best placed to make choices about how to live their lives. But what if a choice—say, to take adictive drugs or to smoke—is likely to be detrimental to the person involved? Can governments be justified in interfering with individual choices in the interests of the person concerned? This question is examined in the new Parliamentary Library Research Paper, Paternalism in social po... Read more...

    TAGS: paternalism, social policy

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