There's an election on. Actually there's three elections on.
- Federal election.
- State election.
- Linux Users of Victoria Committee election.
But this post is about the first one.
Four issues in the federal election mean I'll be voting for The Greens this time. It's not the first time I've voted for the Greens, but it's the first time I've been so 100% sure about it, and so deeply disappointed with the Australian Labor Party.
When Ms Gillard was crowned queen of the parliamentary labor party I was euphoric. I'd wanted her to lead the party back when they chose Latham. But my euphoria slammed into a brick wall of revolting reality.
The science is clear on climate change. The impact in the environment is now evident, not in computer models, but in real events in the real world. Rising sea levels, melting glaciers, crashing ice sheets, increased severe weather events... and so on. Consensus Julia? Stop listening to the vested interests and start listening to the rest of us. We've passed peak oil now, the time to act on renewable energy, a price on carbon, reducing energy wastage, promoting walking and cycling, and local food production is here now. Can we just get on with it please?
I've got friends in long term relationships who'd like to participate in that ritual called Marriage. They can't. For them, in Australia it's illegal, unsupported and unrecognised. Gillard's govt has decided to retain a Howard govt practice of even refusing to allow gay couples to get a certificate which proves they are of marriageable age, and single, so that they may marry overseas in a nation that takes equality and human rights seriously. The Netherlands, bless their cotton socks, have introduced special legislation for Australians and Zimbabweans waiving their requirement to have this certificate.
There is NO justification for continuing this discriminatory policy. None. Do you have a reason? Know someone who has a reason? I'd be keen to hear it. What people do in their bedrooms is none of my business, it's none of the governments business, it's none of your business. But they have as much of a right to celebrate their relationship, and enter into a partnership recognised by the state as I do.
The Internet reflects humanity. It was created by human beings, for human beings, and it has empowered those who can access it to participate in the richest flow and exchange of ideas humanity has ever seen. Those who can access it freely, with speed, and with a constant electricity supply have a huge advantage over those who can not. It is through the exchange of ideas that we learn from each other, that we learn from our history, and that we create new things. Can we ignore for a moment the nature of the content to be filtered? I think that's a massive red herring. It's the act of censoring it at all which is abhorrent to me. A blacklist with no accountability can all too easily be abused. Once we give a government that power, it will be abused. That's the nature of power.
My grandparents were refugees. They came to Australia on a boat. They were fleeing Nazi Germany. So yeah, I guess I'm biased on this one.
Can we please stop demonising these people? Stop the politics. Get the facts. We have a tiny tiny number of people arriving on boats and requesting asylum. More come on aeroplanes on tourist visas... and the numbers who come are so small compared with those in other countries it's laughable. If you have 'concerns' and 'anxiety' about boat people, have you stopped to ask yourself why? Why are you afraid? How are you threatened?
There was a gorgeous advertisement produced by the UN High commission for refugees in 2001. It had famous US refugee success stories dancing to Aretha Franklin's R.E.S.P.E.C.T. And thanks to YouTube being the library of our collective memory, I can share it here.
Direct link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tssFEUQd7IY