About Me

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Australian philosopher, literary critic, legal scholar, and professional writer. Based in Newcastle, NSW. My latest books are THE TYRANNY OF OPINION: CONFORMITY AND THE FUTURE OF LIBERALISM (2019); AT THE DAWN OF A GREAT TRANSITION: THE QUESTION OF RADICAL ENHANCEMENT (2021); and HOW WE BECAME POST-LIBERAL: THE RISE AND FALL OF TOLERATION (2024).

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Aussies, what would it take for Julia Gillard to clinch your vote?

Roll up here and tell us. Unfortunately, there are signs that she is going to be rather cautious about moving away from existing Labor positions. That's understandable, I suppose. In her shoes, I would be cautious too. With the election about two months away (I'd guess), this is not a time to start looking crazy-brave. She's a realistic politician, and I respect that. Still, it's disappointing to see her expressing conservative views on topics such as gay marriage.

In my case, the real vote clincher would be some suitably strong signal that she's going to back away from additional censorship of the Internet. The Conroy-Rudd approach is dangerous at so many levels, and this is a symbolic move that she could make with little backlash. Numerous people out here in the electorate would be applauding like crazy.

How about it, Prime Minister?


jon said...

Dropping the stupid net filter would do it for me, it's the only Labor policy I have a huge problem with. Failing that I'll be voting Green this year for the first time ever (and I'm in Melbourne too, so there's a good chance my vote will actually count for something!)

Margaret said...

I'll be voting Green (as usual) and giving preferences to Labor (as usual). There is nothing that Gillard has said that would change that. My only delight is that she's far more likely to win government for Labor than Rudd.

I'd love to hear her make strong statements on the environment, on climate change, on ameliorating the horror that is the plight of refugees to Australia, to kill that idiotic bill on Net censorship, etc, etc. But she won't and even so, she'll be an infinitely better Prime Minister leading an infinitely better government than would that miscreant Abbott.

Ergun Coruh said...

Indeed dropping the Internet filter would be great. I can understand though mining tax issue must be the top priority item in her agenda as she can't afford to stuff that up. I also think she wouldn't want to upset conservative Rudd and family first marginals, as this might turn balances quickly against Labor. Just remember loosing to Abbott would be a disaster for all of us.

Chrys Stevenson said...

Internet censorship is the clincher for me. I am devastated that Julia says she does not support gay marriage, but can appreciate that she can't completely alienate the Christian vote. If the internet filter stays a part of Labor policy, I'll be voting Greens.

Nathan said...

I'm not a economist, or a social scientist. I can't tell you how to run a country. But I do know basing decisions on what you think the magical sky fairy is telling you is guaranteed to lead to disaster.

A week ago I had no choice, but now, I have a valid option. I'm sure Gillard will do her best for the Australian people, and by starting from facts instead of dogma she has a running chance of her best being good enough.

Brian said...

Let's see:

1. Develop a serious carbon tax that actually rewards energy companies that move away or aren't involved in dirty energy,

2. Honour our international commitments viz asylum seekers and not prejudge them as illegal immigrants,

3. Get serious about human rights and gay marriage,

4. Get rid of that stupid and authoritarian internet filter policy, bonus points for rolling back the encroachment on our rights since September 11.

If she came out unequivocally for any 1 of those I'd be tempted to vote Labour (can't vote for her as I'm not in her constituency). If she unequivocally came out in support of 2 of the above then I love rangas. All 4 and I'd know I was nought more than a brain in vat and the butt of a few mad scientists practical jokes.

I'll probably vote Green and give preferences to Labor.

From the other commenters who've said they'll vote Green can I presume this is a bleeding-heart, commo blog?

Brian said...

Oh, 5. Stop the secretive monitoring of all internet access forced upon all ISPs.

KarenJ said...

Dumping the internet filter will have me cheering. Same goes for the outrageous plan to keep records of our surfing habits.

As a Greens voter I'd only vote for Labor if they moved to the left and adopted a lot of the Greens policies. So a quick wish list:

1. A decent carbon tax and serious investment in renewable energy
2. No government support for private schools
3. Dumping the school chaplaincy scheme
4. Legislating for gay marriage and adoption rights
5. Removing of tax-free status for religions (and put that money into MRI machines)
6. Protecting more of our native forests from logging.
7. Better treatment of asylum seekers
8. Abolishing our ridiculous censorship laws and making classification voluntary
9. New laws allowing for voluntary euthanasia

I could go on...

Brian said...

Wish list. This'll never happen sadly.
6.1. Land (not just a square foot, but proper environmental space) for endangered Southern (and Northern) Hairy nosed Wombat.
6.2. Stop poisoning wildlife in Tasmania which in turn poisons the now endangered Tassie Devil.
6.3. Land for Eastern (Spotted) Quoll here in Victoria and other states.
6.4. Land and cessation of development in the areas where there are still Cassowaries in Queensland. There's not many left.
6.5. Planting more forests for Koalas which are dying out quicker than quick.
6.6. Sensible development, which in Victoria would mean that Kangaroos and Wombats aren't treated as potholes just because they're not quite endangered.
6.7. All the other aussie critters and plants that are being wiped out need land and that that we know about.

Just the above would make me vote for her. It's sad that animals would never compete with humans even though there's no danger of humans becoming extinct in the short term.

Neil said...

I dunno, something substantial on climate change would make me think about it, otherwise I'd probably just vote for the Greens in a send a message kind of way.

I can't see the filter being an issue much in play at the election. Tony Abbott certainly won't be promising to drop it.

Robert said...

As she is the only leader to live in the 21th Century she already has my vote.
I doesn't have an invisable friend, so thats fine with me.

Abbott is such as disaster, I don't even have words to explain it, but I don't want to return to the 50s..1950s or 1850s.

Rupert said...

I will be voting labor, in support of Julia. But I always do vote labor anyway as I have always had socialist tendencies (despite being a small businessperson).

The internet filter is a dud and should disappear.

I'm disappointed in her remarks on gay marriage and was hoping she would change on this once the election is out the way.

Unfortunately though, it would appear that there are a significant number of believers (not PK's) in the party. I was astounded by the comments of a labor pollie on Q&A a few weeks back (I think it may have been Tony Burke).

The current treatment of asylum seekers is still reprehensible.

I really just don't think a satisfactory plan for dealing with global warming has yet been proposed. Those on offer do too little and/or cost too much.

And of course, all tax incentives for religions must be abolished, unless they are demonstrably non-faith based charitable works.

An Abbott coalition government is too scary to contemplate.

Robert N Stephenson said...

She's already got my vote -- I'm happy she is in the seat now

Alex said...

Can someone find DM and take away his net connection? I think he is in a post office box in London somewhere.

as for the post; gay marriage, no net filter, decent carbon tax and i would consider voting labour.
But i would probably still vote green/sex party and give labour preferences.

Russell Blackford said...

DM, can you please write a shorter standard death threat/rant?

DM said...

time to face consequences, russell...

Brian said...

DM, can you please write a shorter standard death threat/rant?

No Russell, haven't you seen the James Bond movies where the villain rambles on and on about how's he's gonna take over the world and gives away the details of his plan? It's a standard formula. You can't expect your resident villain in training wheels to not follow the formula. He needs to ramble on and develop his schtick before he comes into his own as an evil mastermind.

Punkmumma said...

I think many people have forgotten Julia is a politician. It is the Labor policy's that matter.

I wont be voting for Julia Gillard and I wont be voting for Bob Brown I will be voting for the party I want to lead this country.

The mining tax was a issue, focusing mainly on Christians and not all of Australians was a issue.Health reforms are a massive issue, long term planning on environmental issues a issue I am against a sole tax but for workable programme.

The fact Julia is a female and non religious means not much. As it is the party who decide what is going to happen and go on.

I am with Margaret on the plight of the refugees, I wish a realistic view was told to the Australian people instead of a racist propaganda one.

I do feel like we have been jibbed as a nation two major parties who really dont have the way forward for Australia as a nation.

I am surprised the net filter will even go ahead due to other countries response's to it.

Reinstating the 1975 Racial Discrimination act in the NT would be a good start as Rudd kept it in and kept it up.

I have no idea what to even expect under a Liberal government they are a racist misogynist nationalistic lot.

I do see a positive in the secular side of things that the ALP appear to be focusing on. Means the party is not going to be influenced significantly by a right wing Christian lobby. Australia is for all, no them and us.
A progressive party who is prepared to stop the drama and the propaganda and view all people as equal that is what i would like cant see any of the parties doing that and having good economic management at the same time.

Maybe the Australian sex party and the Greens can get together form a coalition LOL

Warren said...

In the current climate I think coming out as an atheist significantly dealt with an issue important to most that frequent this blog — religion in politics. It's a strong statement to religious lobby groups who have been getting their way a little bit too often of late. This is almost enough on it's own to get me to vote for her. It's important enough to override many of the disagreements I had with the disappointments over her role in the Rudd government. However I agree with a previous comment, coalition of greens and sex party would be awesome — especially if the secular party had the balance of power. Now THAT would be a government!

Robert N Stephenson said...

Politicians make decisions based on the strength of lobbyists - politics is about numbers not ideals.

At this time it is a Christian lobby group that is working with the gay rights group to get the Gay Marriage idea back up where it belongs. Secular people are also against the rights issue here -- politics is about numbers and I am hoping to do work in changing those for the better in this regard.

It was also a strong Christian lobby movement that kept RU486 available for women against Tony Abbots Cathloic's own morality stance. I listened to the debate on this item and the secular argument to ban the drug was just as maddening as Abbotts -- more so, as they were throwing weird scientific facts about like they were the latest boiled lollies.

Australia is fortunate that it is, on the main, a secularly run government system - it has to be, given the wide range of beliefs in out multicultural society.

In some major moral issues in the country at the moment it isn't the fundamentalist Christians that are swaying ideas in an unacceptable way - the gay position of free rights is strongly opposed by a secular force.

The social justice operations of thousand of Christian churches at the moment have their work cut out. Julia Gillard has just about stated her opposition to gay marriage - so much for maybe getting a little leg in there

I hope to have a dissertation in support of gay rights and gay marriage done in a few weeks, but how far it will go is any ones business at the moment.

If Abbott gets in things will go backwards in so many areas -- I can hope though

Shawn said...

If Labor paid off all the debt they've run up and Gillard and every minister in her government quit and were replaced by people with some intellect and ability I might vote Labor (you don't vote for a PM unless they happen to be in your electorate).

DM said...
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DM said...
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DM said...
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DM said...

Let me show you how ATHEISTS were partially responsible for 911




Sean Wright said...

There is nothing she will do in the short term, that will get my vote. I will be voting green.