One of the big problems we are finding in many Western nations which basically run on two-party systems is that more and more often, the so-called conservative parties are nothing of the sort. Too often they end up being pale imitations of the leftist parties.
Instead of proudly standing on their conservative credentials, they move ever leftward, thinking that this will prove to be more politically viable. But all they are doing is signing their own death warrants. If they simply want to mimic the left, then they should stop pretending they are conservatives, and in fact jump ship and join the lefties.
Indeed, when we get Republicans in the US for example telling us we need to move more to the left, and start embracing things like homosexual marriage, then you know the party is in bad shape. And when they keep offering moderates to run for President, they just keep shooting themselves in the foot – and keep losing.
Things are just as bad in Australia, certainly at the state level. In one state after another where the Liberals have gotten into power, they end up talking, thinking and acting just like the former Labor leaders. When Liberal leaders in Australia do all the idiotic stuff that Labor leaders do, then we really are in bad shape.
We see this especially in Victoria under Baillieu and in NSW under O’Farrell. One of the first things the latter did when winning office was to say, ‘Sure, we will be more than happy to keep funding the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras’. He has been more or less in this ‘I like the left’ mode ever since.
Consider this latest outrage: “The controversial commentators Alan Jones and Andrew Bolt are due to be called before an inquiry that will consider strengthening anti-discrimination laws to make it easier to convict people for serious racial vilification. The inquiry was ordered by the Premier, Barry O’Farrell, who is concerned there have been no successful criminal prosecutions in the history of the NSW laws and that they have fallen out of step with community expectations. The move is likely to inflame the debate over freedom of speech, amid warnings that broadening the laws could be dangerous and unacceptable.”
What? More anti-freedom of speech laws? By a conservative government? Just what is wrong with this guy? Is he a closet Labor member or a Greens pollie? The article continues: “The vilification laws have been in place in NSW since 1989. According to figures supplied by the NSW Anti-Discrimination Board, 27 complaints have been referred by the board for criminal prosecution since 1998 the period for which records are available. But none were prosecuted as the Director of Public Prosecutions did not feel the burden of proof required by the legislation would have been achieved.”
Duh! Maybe that simply means there is not very much vilification going on. Maybe that is just proof that we live in a pretty decent society after all, and we do not need more Big Brother tyranny depriving us of our freedoms of speech, conscience and religion.
We have these lousy laws in Victoria and all they did was tie up two Christian pastors for five years and cost them over a half million dollars, before an appeals case finally threw out the whole ridiculous case. See here for more on this: billmuehlenberg.com/2006/12/14/the-two-dannys-casethe-best-possible-outcome/
Yet this sham conservative leader wants to actually strengthen these bogus laws. As a conservative leader he should be doing only one thing: seeking to get rid of them! Fortunately not everyone is supporting this madness by O’Farrell. Sydney commentator Paul Sheehan has today penned an excellent piece on all this, the final half of which I present here:
“One hopes the parliamentary inquiry ordered by the Premier, which will consider diluting the section of the Anti-Discrimination Act that requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt of serious racial vilification, will be alert to the way in which anti-discrimination and anti-vilification laws are abused.
“Vexatious or zealous litigants, such as religious fundamentalists, have only marginal interest in the outcome of their complaint. It is the threat of formal complaint, and the complaint process itself, with the burdens of compliance, which is used as a weapon against opponents.
“As if to confirm every warning made before the previous Victorian Labor government introduced laws on anti-vilification, the first major test of the law came when Muslim fundamentalists sought to use it as a weapon against Christian fundamentalists.
“This proposal by O’Farrell is part of the latest push by the political class, of which he is a fully paid-up member, to increase the power and reach of the political class. In Canberra, the Attorney-General, Nicola Roxon, has released a draft Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill 2012, which seeks to introduce an expanded never-never of nebulous categories of discrimination offences. It includes speech that ‘offends’ or ‘insults’. It extends the categories of potential discrimination to ‘political opinion’ and ‘social origin’.
“Every aspect of the draft law is biased towards expanding the possibilities of complaint. It will make it easier for complaints to be lodged. Shockingly, the draft bill reverses the onus of proof. A person accused of discrimination will be deemed guilty until the claim has been dismissed. The bill then even requires defendants who have been found not guilty to pay their own legal costs.
“Complaints will be heard by the Australian Human Rights Commission, which is desperate to increase its relevance, and the Federal Magistrates Court, which already has more than enough of a caseload. The draft federal bill has been submitted to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee, which is due to report on February 18. In NSW, the parliamentary inquiry ordered by the Premier will conduct public hearings in April. Both these proposed changes to the law are being treated as paradisaical by the human rights industry.
“This alone should send an alarm to the rest of the community. It should also alarm the parliamentary inquiry but it never seems to occur to the members of the political class – politicians, staffers, lobbyists, bureaucrats and lawyers – that the extension of the government power via micro-management, regulation and compulsion has been cumulatively unceasing for more than a century to the point of social, legal and moral sclerosis.”
Exactly right; it is good to see some common sense being offered here. Now if we could only get some of our lame conservative leaders to get some common sense. A big ask, I realise, but there is always hope.