Greens shut down population debate

By Leith van Onselen

One of the reasons why an increasing number of Australians voted for Pauline Hanson’s One Nation at the recent Federal Election is because they felt their concerns were not being represented by the mainstream parties.

One example of this is Australia’s immigration-driven population growth, which for a decade has lead the world and is on track to nearly double the nation’s population by 2050 to more than 40 million people.

The massive rise in immigration began in the mid-2000s when former Prime Minister, John Howard, performed a ‘bait-and-switch’ on the Australian people whereby he slammed the door shut on the relatively small number of refugees arriving into Australia by boat all the while stealthily shoving open the door to economic migrants arriving here by plane.

John Howard never articulated to the Australian people that the Government was going to dramatically expand the nation’s immigration intake. Why? Because he knew the electorate would be against it. Instead, Howard scapegoated refugees to give the impression that he was stemming the migrant inflow while proceeding in secret with his ‘Big Australia’ plan.

Rather than being honest with the electorate, the Rudd/Gillard Governments and the Abbott/Turnbull Governments continued the subterfuge. There has never been any community consultation, any national discussion, nor any mandate to proceed with such high levels of immigration.

An Essential Research opinion poll conducted in May showed that the overwhelming majority of Australians do not support the high levels of immigration experienced over the past decade:

ScreenHunter_13128 May. 26 08.47

As shown above, 59% of Australians surveyed believed that “the level of immigration into Australia over the last ten years has been too high”,  more than double the 28% of Australians that disagreed with the statement.

And yet, all major parties at the recent Federal Election agreed not to debate immigration policy, effectively shutting down discussion and rational debate, and in effect giving voice to divisive figures like Pauline Hanson.

I have been most surprised at The Greens’ refusal to debate publicly Australia’s excessive population growth, despite population size having a direct impact on the environment. Like the major parties, the Greens seem to have wrongly conflated the issue of immigration with boat people and asylum seekers, despite the overwhelming majority of new arrivals being economic migrants arriving here by plane.

Indeed, in the lead-up to the Federal Election, Sustainable Population Australia sent a questionnaire to six political parties asking for their positions regarding population issues, including:

  • Their views on the optimum population for Australia and the basis for their figure;
  • Whether they recognise that there are environmental constraints to population growth and which constraints are the most significant;
  • Skilled migrant intake versus training local workers; and
  • Failure of infrastructure to keep pace with population growth and whether they would consider limiting population growth as a means of containing infrastructure cost.

The questionnaire was sent out on 17th and 18th May, with a request for answers by 10th June – a reasonably generous three-and-a-half week turnaround. Only the Labor Party, the Nick Xenophon Team and Sustainable Australia submitted responses. Numerous attempts were made to ensure responses from The Greens, but they failed to reply.

Earlier this month, we got another example of The Greens’ failure on this issue when party member Geoff Dowsett was harassed and threatened to have his membership revoked by candidate Tamara Ryan for daring to question population growth’s detrimental impact on the living environment. Here is Dowsett’s question to Ryan via We Can Do Better:

GEOFF DOWSETT: “As a candidate for John Kaye’s Upper House seat how about a strong statement and policy improvement suggestion from you to address the desperate need to stabilise Australia`s population growth? The current “economic”—middle class so called skilled (non refugee) immigration rate of 500,000 per year including 457 Visa (a world record high intake) is not sustainable. Sydney’s population is growing by 83,000 net pa under the Liberal Govt’s Immigration scam. It is causing excessive impact on inadequate infrastructure-impact on natural eco-systems through urban growth and consumer demand. Increased traffic congestion in our major cities – sky rocketing housing prices. Of course the immigration rate is just what big business wants particularly the housing industry while our quality of life, natural environment and urban environment goes down the gurgler. The immigration rate is also closely linked with the insane growth economy which is addicted to continuing growth in consumption. It is HYPOCRISY of the Greens to have a policy of sustainable economy without a policy for a substantial reduction in immigration. Priority should be humanitarian i.e. for political and environmental refugees NOT wealthy middle class business migrants. When will the Greens members such as yourself bite the bullet on population ? I won’t vote for you unless you make a statement indicating a clear commitment to reducing Turnbull’s excessive Immigration and 457 Visa intake.”(Geoff Dowsett. Member. Hornsby Kuringai Greens. Population/Sustainability Working Group Member. Statement above does not represent the views of all of the working group.)

These are all legitimate questions raised by Dowsett. Sydney and Melbourne, in particular, are straining under the weight of continual high population growth, experiencing widespread infrastructure bottlenecks, rising congestion, and record low housing affordability.

And Australia’s turbo-charged immigration intake does impact many facets of life, including:

  • whether you can afford a decent home a reasonable commute from work;
  • how long you spend stuck in traffic;
  • whether you can find a seat on a train, bus or tram;
  • whether there is a bed for you in hospital or a spot for your child at the local school;
  • environmental sustainability and amenity;
  • etc

Dowsett also could have highlight that for a major commodity exporter like Australia, which pays its way in the world by selling-off its fixed endowment of resources, ongoing high immigration can be self-defeating from an economic standpoint. That is, continually adding more people to the population year after year means less resources per capita. It also means that Australia must sell-off its fixed assets quicker just to maintain a constant standard of living (other things equal).

But instead of getting a considered response addressing these concerns, the Greens candidate instead labeled Dowsett “sexist” and “racist”, threatened to revoke his party membership, and stated that The Greens support “open borders”:

TAMARA RYAN: “Geoff. I understand your membership is being collectively reconsidered for your frequent racist and sexist comments like these Jeff. Your views on climate action via controlling immigration have no place in this party or represent the Environment.

I don’t care about your vote, but I do care fiercely about advocating for women’s autonomy over their bodies, rejecting racism and opening borders. Capitalist structures that promote continuous growth and waste by corporations and governments are responsible for stifling efforts on climate change, not people seeking a place and way to live”.

Instead of playing the ‘race card’ and shutting down debate, The Greens and the other major parties need to openly and maturely discuss the whole immigration and population growth issue.

Again, there has so far been no proper debate within the community about the appropriate level of immigration and no political mandate for pursuing a “Big Australia”. And as long as Australians’ concerns are ignored, some will continue to defect to extremist elements like Pauline Hanson’s One Nation in protest. We have seen this already with Brexit, and we are seeing it again with the rise of Donald Trump.

Population policy is far too important an issue to be segregated into pro-and anti-immigration corners based upon views about race and cultural supremacy.

Australia desperately needs a frank and honest national conversation about population policy, which focuses on whether or not large-scale immigration is benefiting the living standards of the existing population. Not the current ‘smoke and mirrors’ approach that conflates immigration with refugees, or the divisive “Hansonites vs progressives”.

[email protected]

Unconventional Economist

Comments

  1. Grand Moff Tarkin

    Australia has the most fragile ecosystem on earth, we are world leaders on species depletion, genetic depletion, eco-system destruction and all of it is due to population pressure and growth. Vast swathes of the country are under threat due to salinity, water scarcity, deforestation and above all – population pressure.

    We do not have endless land to occupy – we simply don’t. Most of it is far too extreme to occupy, obviously, far too little water, environmentally sensitive, disaster prone, etc. People simply do not realise this – apparently the greens being the least informed on this issue.

    I’ve been voting Green in the upper house since they were formed – and have voted several times in the lower house as well.

    I know a large number of them, many of have spoken at family events.

    They are – without an absolute skerrick of doubt, the most arrogant people I have ever, ever come across. I have had RAGING arguments about the most basic science regarding how global warming works – specifically carbons role in the atmosphere with all of them displaying highly aggressive, HIGHLY AGGRESSIVE tendencies over issues which they were wrong about.

    (for example the effects of carbon are impacting the environment fully as soon as they are emitted and there is no delay, ignoring the fact that their impact is only really felt in the upper atmostphere which takes at minimum a decade for it to reach. On presentation of this evidence from respected scientists they simply attacked the scientists…….NOT EVEN KIDDING, the irony of them attacking scientists was lost on them).

    There really is a hands in the ears, I am right you are all WRONG, talk to the hand attitude – and its terrifying to think that our most progressive are so profoundly illiterate on such issues.

    They have as limited faith in science and process as the Hansens and Bernardis do.

  2. Thank you for the considered piece on what is often an inflammatory topic.

    Is there any chance that the Democrats can be revived to lead the much needed discussion on this topic?

    • Terror Australis

      The Democrats have been deregistered by the AEC and dissolved as a party.
      So I would say – no.

    • The party that has taken up the cudgels on this issue is Sustainable Australia. In my experience, members have been attracted from all other parties. People tend to see this issue as a critical underpinning of modern society and well beyond the old left-right paradigm.

    • The Greens have no real stated policy on the issue. It would appear they are split internally on immigration.

      • They have some stuff here and here.

        It could certainly do with greater clarification, and it’s obvious there are competing voices within the party. But to present the views of a single individual as representative of the whole party when they are *clearly* not is grossly disingenuous.

        I’m not expecting a worthwhile discussion, however. Greens Derangement Syndrome will take over.

      • How easy do you think it is to have a conversation about immigration without it being immediately turn into a conversation about refugees (from either the “THATS WACIST” or “GREENZ OPEN BOARDERS TERRORISM ISLAM” crowds) ?

        Go looking for what MPs have said about immigration and you will find that pretty much the only ones speaking in sensible, moderate terms are from the Greens, or SAP, and they say basically the same thing.

      • ‘Go looking for what MPs have said about immigration…’
        No *you* go looking and provide evidence for your claims.

      • No policy? Not so!

        http://greens.org.au/policies/population

        The Australian Greens believe that:

        The current level of population, population growth and the way we produce and consume are outstripping environmental capacity. Australia must contribute to achieving a globally sustainable population and encourage and support other nations to do the same.
        Our environmental impact and ecological footprint is not determined by population numbers alone, but by a range of factors including per capita consumption patterns and levels, distribution of resources, agricultural practices for domestic consumption and export, levels and types of industrial activity and production, urban design and transport options.
        Australia’s population policy should be determined by its commitment to:
        ecological sustainability;
        global and domestic social justice and equity, including women’s rights;
        intergenerational equity;
        multiculturalism;
        international human rights obligations; and
        decent wages and conditions for all workers.
        Population policy should not be primarily driven by economic goals or to counter the effects of an ageing population.
        Population policy should consider the geographical distribution of human settlements in addition to population size at the national level.
        Australia has an obligation to accept humanitarian migration, including that resulting from climate change.
        The continuing rapid increase in the human population is drastically affecting national and international outcomes in environmental sustainability, human health and welfare, and other areas. Current rates of resource use are not sustainable and are compounded by inequitable distribution of wealth and power.

      • @Unconventional Economist Thanks however I was talking to drsmithy asking him for evidence of his claims.

      • Go looking for what MPs have said about immigration

        Uh isn’t that the whole point of this article? The Greens candidate calls the questioner a racist and sexist for bringing up the question of immigration?

      • The Greens candidate calls the questioner a racist and sexist for bringing up the question of immigration?

        UE’s point is apparently that random Greens candidate nobody’s every heard of makes statement that – despite probably being in conflict with stated Greens policy – presented as what the Greens Party thinkgs.

        My point is that long-time Greens MP Adam Bandt says something a little more sane and aligned with published Greens policy.

      • the everything issue

        @Dennis, the Greens neglect to mention numbers in their population ‘policy’. Therefore it is not a genuine policy. Would you accept a climate change policy without mentioning emissions targets? How do you measure success? Epic fail.

    • I gather you have a selection of quotes from Green MPs that agree with the position contained in Dowsett’s question?

      Whatever the Green’s policy might be with regard to the rate of immigration and population growth generally I don’t recall any of their MPs speaking frankly about.

      1. The difference between a humanitarian intake and immigration generally.

      2. That they support a large or larger humanitarian intake but a significantly limited immigration intake.

      3. A total cap that covers humanitarian and general immigration. I.e. if you want more of one you take less of the other.

      70,000 in total seems about right as that was the approximate number before Howard went full population ponzi, as to the mix – 50% humanitarian might be a good objective though whether our support services can handle 35,000 refugees is another question as it is a big jump from 15,000.

      Doing a good job settling refugees is critical to maintain general community support.

      • I gather you have a selection of quotes from Green MPs that agree with the position contained in Dowsett’s question?

        Of course not. But I’m sure I can Google some up as easily as you can if you want.

        Whatever the Green’s policy might be with regard to the rate of immigration and population growth generally I don’t recall any of their MPs speaking frankly about.

        Some have. At least Bandt and Ludlam from memory (*far* more significant figures than “Tamara Ryan”). They have definitely drawn a distinction between humanitarian and skilled intake, as do the policies themselves, per your first and second points.

        They do not give a number for an overall cap, which I agree is problematic and frustrating. Not because I think there’s any serious belief at a policy level that there shouldn’t be a cap, but because it means there’s no way to easily shut down the “TEH GREENZ WANT OPEN BOARDERZ” fuckwits.

        I have never tried to say the Greens have perfect policies around immigration and population. I will argue they are the best of the majors, and the most likely to produce sane and sustainable policies going forward.

        The question is, do you write them off because they are not perfect, or do you try and influence them into something better ? As above, I would argue they are the party you are most likely to get a good result from pursuing the latter.

      • Gen Y Home Buyer

        I’ve spoken face-to-face in public (with witnesses) with both Anthony Albanese (Labor) and Jim Casey (Greens) about immigration.
        Albo tried to argue that we needed immigration otherwise in 30 years we will have no one of working age.
        He chose his words very carefully and refused to even say “big Australia” instead saying he’s “not a fan of this small Australia stuff”.

        Jim Casey disagreed that high levels of immigration were the real cause of things like high house prices. He was adamant that reducing immigration intake wouldn’t help that at all, or would only be a short-term fix. He was also very clear that he thinks Sydney can take many more residents than it currently does. I showed him figures around the shortage of classrooms, congestion, etc. but instead of offering any solution to these problems he simply argued that reducing immigration wasn’t a solution.

        So there you have it, straight for the horses mouths.

  3. What a pathetic response, every time I think maybe the Greens?? You get a stark reminder of the type of people that reside within their ranks.

    Guys, remove this from the pay wall so it can be shared.

  4. Nothing will destroy Australia’s natural habitats and freshwater supplies faster than the inexorable march to 50 milllion. Yet here we are: the supposed party for the environment, which is trying to steal votes from the party of the working poor, is for the population ponzi. The same thing that by definition screws over both.

    I wonder how many IPs they own?

    • Terror Australis

      “party of the working poor”
      Who would that be?
      Obviously you can’t mean Labor.

    • I wonder how many IPs they own?

      The fewest of any politicians on average, from memory. It was reported here on MB in the last year or so.

    • Green parliamentarians personally don’t own a lot.

      But the demographics of green voters are the highest IP owners, typically public servants too.

      Don’t be fooled in thinking that because the public image of green parliamentarians and green voters being sponge headed sandal wearers, that the green voting base is that.

    • Good comment, Tony, although it is a stretch to call Labor the party of the working poor. The Australian Conservation Foundation back in 2010 nominated human population growth as a Key Threatening Process under the Environmental Protection Act.

      http://www.environment.gov.au/…/nomination-human-population-growth.doc

      The issue isn’t just the direct impact of the extra people, but the greater volume of very environmentally damaging exports that are required to pay for the imports needed by the larger population.

      Any “environmental” party that won’t address population growth is not to be taken seriously. It is hard to bring down consumption, and if there are enough people, it doesn’t matter if per capita consumption is low. China is now the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, and it would still be the biggest even if production for export is excluded.

    • Good comments by Tony and Rusty Penny, although it is a stretch to call Labor the party of the working poor.

      In 2010, the Australian Conservation Foundation nominated human population growth in Australia as a Key Threatening Process under the Environmental Protection Act.

      http://www.environment.gov.au/system/files/pages/87ef6ac7-da62-4a45-90ec-0d473863f3e6/files/nomination-human-population-growth.pdf

      It is not just a question of the direct impact of the extra people, but also the very environmentally damaging exports that are needed to pay for the imports required by the bigger population. Any environmental party that refuses to address population growth is completely phony. Far more would be done for the environment by Pauline Hanson’s zero net immigration policy, despite One Nation’s climate change denial, than anything proposed by the Greens.

  5. There are some very obvious limitations in the ideological position of the Greens.

    On the one hand they posit an appropriate response to the environment and incorporating environmental impacts into mainstream processes they were excluded from a generation ago.  On the other they posit a logical position on incorporate environmental impacts (including climate change) into the decisionmaking processes of the future.

    I  did, in fact vote for them some time ago myself, and did go to some meetings to see if I thought they could become a viable third force in Australian politics.  I came away disillusioned with their obvious limitations when you look at them closely (as opposed to just voting green for the sake of the environment).

    These limitations include their positions on:-

    Housing – This is a party which on the one hand wants to limit urban sprawl, and on the other wants to prevent urban infill.  It will generally be against infrastructure in the outer suburbs and pro metro lines in the centre of the urbs.  Unstated or not the Greeens are all about driving house prices higher, particularly in the inner suburbs.

    Immigration – this is a party which does not believe in asking any questions at all about the levels of immigration.  It instantly assumes that any attempt to ask a question about the level of immigration is racist in origin (and therefore warrants an exceptionally aggressive response to anyone raising the question).

    The economy – The greens have styled themselves to be a shadow of the mainstream LNP/ALP mindset, without asking questions about the limitations of this.  Their stated policies are largely still about promoting debt and population ponzi for growth, fuelling house prices, and avoiding engagement with the global economy, they have dubious positions on tax avoidance, superannuation, trade agreements, and economic development in general.  They naturally lean towards higher technology (which is good) think about how to leverage that at a whole of economy level apart from an underlying assumption that a high technology world would follow if more people did science maths and engineering degrees.

    Strangely, I found that in amidst a load of well educated people there were very few who i thought were economically literate.

    In the end i walked away from them purely on the basis that when one tried (and I did) to get some consideration of these issues, one was ushered to the margins pretty quickly.  They have similarities with ALP and LNP in that their higher levels tend to be populated with private school type mindsets (think the ski lodge or the eco lodge mindset) who are in one way or another entitled (even if they dont know it, cant acknowledge it).

    • Years ago I was an activist in the Democratic Socialist Party and rubbed shoulders with environmental activists. My impression was that the “political” activists, the Marxists et al, had a good grasp of the effect of economic forces on society and an appreciation of their environmental consequences whilst the environmentalist activists had almost none. Additionally they had no detailed knowledge of many environmental issues concerning food production which overlaps with economics. They regarded types like me with undisguised suspicion. Most greens are more accurately about “identity politics”, they identify themselves as environmentalists and regard themselves as just smarter capitalists than self identified conservatives or right wingers. Their conflicted attitude to Lee Rhiannon and Palestine is indicative of not being very leftwing at all and your comments about “private school attitude” are spot on

    • Sums it up for me.

      Whether its here or Europe, Greens often seem to be hipster, urban types who promote endless urbanisation but with increasingly hair-shirt tendencies. Sprawl is to be avoided at all costs as it is somehow bad for the environment. But its never explained why or how greater density is more environmentally friendly. This is quite frankly a nonsensical position in Australia and is basically asking people to accept a worse standard of living for no reason. Especially with the house-price disease Aus has. They should really be promoting decentralisation taking advantage of the available space to establish centres of innovation and research, but there’s zero sign of this.

      Likewise with immigration, I appreciate the humanistic aspect of their position, but at the same time they need to explain what they want to happen and why and how immigration can be absorbed.

      Long long way to go.

  6. Terror Australis

    I’ve never heard of Tamara Ryan and frankly the NSW branch of the Greens are borderline dysfunctional as a political unit.
    But putting that aside, official Greens population policy states:

    Environmental impact is not determined by population numbers alone, but by the way that people live.

    So the party policy recognizes that sheer numbers DO have some impact on environmental outcomes.

    I should point out too, that up until the 1998 Australian Greens party conference, the Greens officially held a zero net immigration policy.
    However, with the emergence of the Hanson Party that year, all conversation about immigration turned toxic and the party adopted a more “mainstream” and nuanced policy.
    Reasonable people can argue about whether that was the right decision or not.

    http://greens.org.au/policies/population

    https://www.greenleft.org.au/node/16793

    • Again, where have you ever heard the Greens speak publicly about this issue? Answer: almost never. Like the two major parties, they have buried their heads in the sand. Their silence is astonishing.

      • Terror Australis

        Fair comment.
        But isn’t it obvious that the Hanson factor has poisoned the well on this debate?

        You can imagine the media linch mob reaction if Richard Di Natale called for a return to the party’s zero net immigration stance. We’d get the Daily Terrorgraph:

        “GREENS DO DEAL WITH ONE NATION!”
        “Di Natale gets in bed with Hanson!”

        The shallow nature of mainstream media in this country ensures that anyone who steps outside population orthodoxy will get crucified.

      • bolstroodMEMBER

        Speaking as an ex Greens memeber , I can say the reason you do not hear the Greens speaking on immigration numbers is that they cannot agree amongst themselves. Being a grass roots democratic party all decisions must be made by achieving consensus.

        Jo S’s comments above are accurate . A great pity .

  7. Nothing in what Geoff Dowsett said could be construed as sexist but notice how Tamara Ryan has to through the sexism in there before deflecting and changing the subject. Typical of the type of toxicity flowing through the Greens.

  8. The only time anyone has articulated a clear picture on immigration was when Kevin Rudd said “I believe in a big Australia” on (I think) the 7:30 report.

    While it’s impossible to untangle competing factors, becaust this was the same time the whole carbon ETS disaster was unfolding, it was around this point that Rudd’s poll numbers started to drop.

    Then Gillard campaigned on that meaningless “sustainable Australia” rubbish. And since then it’s fallen off the radar.

  9. Here we go, the totalitarian streak of the greens is coming to the fore.

    Three parliaments in a row where they’ve wielded considerable power, and what are essentially modern day Jacobins, our very own commissars of the 21st century, are here to tell the rest of us how to live to there enlightened standards….

    Enlightened by late 18th century France standards?

    Enlightened by early 20th century standards?

    It doesn’t really matter, it’s about the wielding of power to make others toe the line.

    They made is clear they rejected the plebiscite on gay marriage…. an issue that has been rammed down the throats of the public, because ‘polling says it’s widely accepted’, that it’s “something the community supports”.

    Well a plebiscite is _THE_ poll, the ultimate test of community support…..

    “No Democracy for you!!”.

    And here they go again, no one else is entitled to have a say about future of this country, only the enlightened Jacobins… erhh Commissars.. .erhh Greens… have the wherewithal to understand what we all need.

    “Greens: It’s for your own good”

    Maybe we should call it Greensplaining.

    • Regardless of what the Greens say, if i was born gay, what should i have to rely on fellow bogans’ popular vote to say i’m allowed to marry?
      Where was the popular vote to abolish the white australia policy?
      Where was the popular vote to add “man and woman” to the marriage act by Howard?
      I might be gay, but i never thought of bothering much about the “marriage” word and would just accept the “civil union” term.
      However, it turns out there’s a lot of workplace discrimination if one is not “married”, but in a “civil union”.
      Eg, if one has to take time off to care for a sick partner, there’s often comments from bosses like “back to work, you’ve had enough time off, especially as you’re not even married”.
      And anyway, why should getting married affect anyone elses marriage?

      Also, i totally hate the Greens for pushing the immigration ponzi and locking up the bush in national parks. Doze the fuckers over with a bullbar next time you’re out prospecting.

      I vote Hanson for senate, and Labor for lower house only because of their stand on cutting negative gearing and capital gains tax concessions.

    • “Regardless of what the Greens say, if i was born gay, what should i have to rely on fellow bogans’ popular vote to say i’m allowed to marry?”

      Because a change involves consensus, a plebiscite is the most democratic means, and it was promised prior to the election.

      “Where was the popular vote to abolish the white australia policy?”

      Idiomatically, probably tied up with the 1967 referendum.

      “Where was the popular vote to add “man and woman” to the marriage act by Howard?”

      It completed the prior standard.

      “I might be gay, but i never thought of bothering much about the “marriage” word and would just accept the “civil union” term.
      However, it turns out there’s a lot of workplace discrimination if one is not “married”, but in a “civil union”.

      Do tell me what it is…

      “Eg, if one has to take time off to care for a sick partner, there’s often comments from bosses like “back to work, you’ve had enough time off, especially as you’re not even married”.

      hahah, is that it?

      married men working in sales roles put up with more discrimination than that when taking leave.

      “And anyway, why should getting married affect anyone elses marriage?”

      Because we’re discerning. We set standards.

      The government should have no role in marriage.

      They be be administers over births, deaths and civil unions.

      Marriage is a religious institute, that also happens to overlays civil unions. It is where the government has over-reached namely due to a more antiquated world, such as providing for widows.

      It is now time to remove this dinosaur relic of government involvement in the church. if we want to separate church from state, the reverse should apply too.

      Gays can have civil unions, and all the concomitant estate benefits so they no longer have to endure a struggle of having to tick a box.

      Leave marriage to the religious bodies. where it belongs

      “Also, i totally hate the Greens for pushing the immigration ponzi and locking up the bush in national parks. Doze the fuckers over with a bullbar next time you’re out prospecting.”

      Go ahead.

      “I vote Hanson for senate, and Labor for lower house only because of their stand on cutting negative gearing and capital gains tax concessions.”

      I’ll vote for shooters and fishers. I can think of a more effective way to make politicians behave.

      • “If “marriage” is a religious institute, which religion do you mean?”

        If you can’t figure that out, you’ve got greater issue with society than a random poster on MB.

        “My “religion” does not specify “man and woman”.
        http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/marriage
        If the government should have no role in marriage, then they should have not changed the marriage act to include “man and woman”.”

        Well one can easily assume that marriage, as a millenia old institute had already implied man and woman, and this was to meet that implication.

        You can expand your research beyond pluralistic, post modern Australia is you like, and observe the rest of the world’s traditional view on marriage.

        You might even find that many of immigrants in Australia, such as Chinese and Indian… who often have traditional views, and are also conspicuously absent from polling that determines “Australians favour gay marriage”.

        Here’s their chance to participate in the ultimate poll.

      • Ah, yes, the “traditional” view on marriage where women are chattel used for trading property between families.

      • “Ah, yes, the “traditional” view on marriage where women are chattel used for trading property between families.”

        No one endorses that, stop projecting.

      • You’re the one arguing in favour of “millennia” old “traditional marriage”.

        I’m sure we could dig up a few more unsavoury aspects of “traditional marriage” as well, especially amongst “the rest of the world”.

        Seems if you’re allowed to cherry-pick your version of marriage, anyone else should be, too.

      • “You’re the one arguing in favour of “millennia” old “traditional marriage”

        That I am.

        Marriage, around the world has elements of uniformity.

        That common aspect has been very valuable to civilisation.

        “I’m sure we could dig up a few more unsavoury aspects of “traditional marriage” as well, especially amongst “the rest of the world”.

        And still, all the varying cultural baggage, they will all have a common element, which is pretty much the crux what makes marriage unique, compared to a civil union.

        “Seems if you’re allowed to cherry-pick your version of marriage, anyone else should be, too.”

        No, it doesn’t seem that way at all.

        A plebiscite can determine it, beyond the scope of arbitrary decisions of the regressive left.

      • “Marriage is a religious institute, that also happens to overlays civil unions.”

        Yes, I’ve often heard that argument from religious nutters who insist that their religious beliefs overrule basic human rights. The same type of people who believed in the White Australia Policy, and were in favour of segregation, because marriage between people of different races and religions was wrong.

        Of course, the statement is patently false. If marriage in Australia was a religious institute then nobody would be able to be married except in a church service. And of course marriage predates Christianity (and I believe most other surviving religions).

        Not to mention that if your statement was true, then we would have a conflict between the law and the separation of powers.

        If a plebiscite was the only way to implement marriage equality in this country then fine, go with it. But it is not. In Australia, marriage is a matter of law, and one can be married regardless of their religious beliefs, or absence of them. Therefore, the definition of marriage can be changed by changing the law. And that is the role of our elected representatives. Not to mention that the plebiscite route (which is non-binding on the government, unlike a referendum) is patently a political device designed to delay or defer action – and it is clearly very successful.

      • “Yes, I’ve often heard that argument from religious nutters who insist that their religious beliefs overrule basic human rights. ”

        Where are the material rights of homosexual civil unions being denied?

        “The same type of people who believed in the White Australia Policy, and were in favour of segregation, because marriage between people of different races and religions was wrong.”

        White Australia policy was an ALP construct to resist labour exploitation, so put that it the “I don’t know what I’m talking about” basket.

        “Of course, the statement is patently false. If marriage in Australia was a religious institute then nobody would be able to be married except in a church service.”

        I didn’t say it was, I said its legacy came from there. The state intervened in Church matters. Time to give it back.

        I can live with marriage being an institute of religious bodies, and government can manage the affairs of civil unions.

        “And of course marriage predates Christianity (and I believe most other surviving religions).”

        When did I limit this to christianity?

        This is at the crux of a minority view trying to push gay marriage down the majority’s throat.

        Marriage as an insitute for Buddhists, or Hindu’s or Muslims is also something important to them.

        The regressive left however ALWAYS treats non-whites as pets. Cute things to pay lip service for rights, but completely ignore their views on social matters, because “they don’t know any better”.

        Let them participate in a plebiscite, let their views be known, they certainly won’t answered the phone to a hipster at 7:30 pm conducting polling.

        “Not to mention that if your statement was true, then we would have a conflict between the law and the separation of powers.”

        Why would we?

        “If a plebiscite was the only way to implement marriage equality in this country then fine, go with it. But it is not.”

        I didn’t say it was the only way, I said it was a preferred way. Forming consensus rfom the voting public, compared to a parliament is preferable in every decision.

        “In Australia, marriage is a matter of law, and one can be married regardless of their religious beliefs, or absence of them.”

        Time to give it back.

        “Therefore, the definition of marriage can be changed by changing the law. And that is the role of our elected representatives.”

        It’s also the role of referendums, and the consensus of a nation is driven by plebiscites. Parliament is inferior to both of these.

        “Not to mention that the plebiscite route (which is non-binding on the government, unlike a referendum) is patently a political device designed to delay or defer action – and it is clearly very successful.”

        OK… that’s a feature, not a bug.

        If the public want it delayed, or deferred, then so be it.

      • Marriage, around the world has elements of uniformity.

        That common aspect has been very valuable to civilisation.

        Indeed. Most of which revolve around dealing with property rights, with women being considered part of that property.

        A plebiscite can determine it, beyond the scope of arbitrary decisions of the regressive left.

        A decision to remove gender discrimination from one of the few laws remaining with it is not “arbitrary”.

        Where are the material rights of homosexual civil unions being denied?

        The bait-and-switch is predictable, but irrelevant. They do not have equal marriage rights.

        I didn’t say it was, I said its legacy came from there. The state intervened in Church matters. Time to give it back.

        I can live with marriage being an institute of religious bodies, and government can manage the affairs of civil unions.

        Nobody is trying to change the Church’s institution of marriage.

        This is at the crux of a minority view trying to push gay marriage down the majority’s throat.

        This statement is nonsensical. Two people getting married is of no consequence to anybody else except them.

    • Astounding how it’s essential that “the people” get a say about trivial issues of legal equality but thousands of other decisions far more important and significant are just fine to leave with MPs and “no democracy for you”.

      Even within the domain of marriage, the no-fault divorce was a far, far greater change to the “institution”, yet was settled within parliament.

      • “Astounding how it’s essential that “the people” get a say about trivial issues of legal equality but thousands of other decisions far more important and significant are just fine to leave with MPs and “no democracy for you”.

        Nothing astounding about it at all sparky.

        In an ideal world, everything is a plebiscite.

        Parliamentary representation is a measure to expedite things, however this structure to expedite such things is, and will, become increasingly irrelevant with quicker and cheaper methods of citizens participating in direct democracy.

        In this area, the public was offered a chance for a direct democratic means to make a determination…. regardless of the subject matter…. it’s just our collective SJW Ober-Fuhrers think the outcome won’t advance their team… so democracy is bad.

        “Even within the domain of marriage, the no-fault divorce was a far, far greater change to the “institution”, yet was settled within parliament.”

        Yep, maybe we can revisit that parliamentary excess in the future, and have a direct democratic view determine consensus.

        You’re for democracy right?

      • A plebiscite is not democracy because it is not binding.

        Like I said, it’s astounding that same sex marriage is such a critical issue facing the country that the people must have a say, but things like the TPP, immigration or welfare are not.

        Except, of course, it’s obvious “democracy” has nothing to do with it at all.

      • “A plebiscite is not democracy because it is not binding.”

        ahaha, picking a winner with that one sparky.

        A plebiscite is the ultimate poll, more so that a run around the ABC office cubicles in Ultimo.

        “Like I said, it’s astounding that same sex marriage is such a critical issue facing the country that the people must have a say, but things like the TPP, immigration or welfare are not.”

        Like I said sparky, you’re blinded by the bullshit your betters feed you. I would assert that TPP, immigration also deserves a plebiscite, or more so, a referendum.

        Direct, democracy… but we do not have that, nor have we been offered it for those areas.

        We were offered it for gay marriage, only for it to be retracted because of the potential for the ‘wrong answer’.

        “Except, of course, it’s obvious “democracy” has nothing to do with it at all.”

        Democracy has everything to do with it, it’s why your kind oppose it so much, tolerance for the opinion of others have never been the regressive left’s strong suit.

      • Like I said sparky, you’re blinded by the bullshit your betters feed you. I would assert that TPP, immigration also deserves a plebiscite, or more so, a referendum.

        Yet apparently not as much as gay marriage.

        Direct, democracy… but we do not have that, nor have we been offered it for those areas.

        We haven’t been offered “direct democracy” anywhere. As you point out, a plebiscite is nothing more than a couple-of-hundred-million-dollar opinion poll, and as people like Abetz have made clear, will carry no more weight than a website survey.

        We were offered it for gay marriage, only for it to be retracted because of the potential for the ‘wrong answer’.

        Who said they would support a pelbiscite before the election but no longer does ?

        Democracy has everything to do with it, it’s why your kind oppose it so much, tolerance for the opinion of others have never been the regressive left’s strong suit.

        The guy who wants to prevent other people from doing something relevant only to them is throwing around accusations of intolerance. And authoritarianism.

        Comedy gold.

      • “Yet apparently not as much as gay marriage.”

        Where does that conclusion come from sparky?

        All this concludes is the regressive left mind is defective.

        I would assert TPP deserves a referendum moreso than gay marriage, but I accept it hasn’t been offered. I have not, once, voiced anything contrary to that, nor have I voiced anything that supports your conclusion.

        You’re so ensconced in your own bullshit, your conclusions are delusional.

        A plebiscite has been offered for gay marriage, only for momentum to now rescind it.

        “We haven’t been offered “direct democracy” anywhere. As you point out, a plebiscite is nothing more than a couple-of-hundred-million-dollar opinion poll, and as people like Abetz have made clear, will carry no more weight than a website survey.”

        If this poll is decisive, then we know. yes or no… one way or another.

        I don’t fear the outcome, the regressive left does.

        “Who said they would support a pelbiscite before the election but no longer does ?”

        I’m saying a motion for a plebiscite was made clear, the public and no real resistance was raised.

        In a post-election world, where it looks like becoming reality, the regressive left now fears consensus.

        “The guy who wants to prevent other people from doing something relevant only to them is throwing around accusations of intolerance. And authoritarianism.

        Comedy gold.”

        I don’t not want to prevent homosexuals forming civil unions and being entitled to estate rights what so ever.

      • Where does that conclusion come from sparky?

        That would be from the spittle-flecked outrage about the mere suggestion a same-sex marriage plebiscite is unnecessary (not to mention wasteful and destructuve) compared to crickets and tumbleweeds about a wide array of vastly more important issues from those same groups who think telling other people whether or not they can get married is critical to the future of the country.

        A plebiscite has been offered for gay marriage, only for momentum to now rescind it.

        This is simply false.

        The plebiscite is not being “rescinded”. The people who were opposed to it, remain opposed to it, and it seems there are enough of them to prevent it from happening.

        I’m saying a motion for a plebiscite was made clear, the public and no real resistance was raised.

        LOL. “No resistance”. You mean other than all the people who don’t support it, which is seemingly enough to prevent it from passing through the political system ?

        I don’t not want to prevent homosexuals forming civil unions and being entitled to estate rights what so ever.

        Heh. And you have a go at me for being “ensconced in bullshit”.

      • “That would be from the spittle-flecked outrage about the mere suggestion a same-sex marriage plebiscite is unnecessary (not to mention wasteful and destructuve) compared to crickets and tumbleweeds about a wide array of vastly more important issues from those same groups who think telling other people whether or not they can get married is critical to the future of the country.”

        And where has that occured? Where have I, or others, voiced anything that remotely resembles that?

        Other than you prejudicing 90% of that, no one says that.

        What you may observe is lack of militancy in demanding a referendum re: TPP, but that’s it.

        “This is simply false.

        The plebiscite is not being “rescinded”. The people who were opposed to it, remain opposed to it, and there are enough of them to prevent it from happening.”

        OK, a plebiscite was offered, for parliamentary motions to attempt to rescind it, is that better?

        And if we take the second step, the opposition is in no place to demand the government make it a parliamentary decision when the government made their intentions clear.

        “LOL. “No resistance”. You mean other than all the people who don’t support it, which is seemingly enough to prevent it from passing through the political system ?”

        There’s in inference of ‘prior to the election’ there sparky.

        “Heh. And you have a go at me for being “ensconced in bullshit”.”

        Yes.

        A civil union comprising all estate rights currently residing with heterosexuals removes all material rights typically associated with pair bonding. A government department renamed “Births, Deaths and Civil Unions” could not do anything but that.

      • And where has that occured? Where have I, or others, voiced anything that remotely resembles that?

        Well, the outrage is fairly apparent above from the childish name-calling directed not only at me but also anyone else who thinks a plebiscite is an unecessary waste of time and money.

        The prioritisation of same-sex marriage as something in need of direct public evaluation via a plebiscite over myriad other far more important decisions facing the country is also self-evident to anyone who has picked up a newspaper in the last five years.

        OK, a plebiscite was offered, for parliamentary motions to attempt to rescind it, is that better?

        A plebiscite was proposed by people who seem to lack the ability to actually make it happen.

        That’s not “rescinded” in any form of the word I’m familiar with. That’s “we wanted it to happen but we don’t have the numbers so we can’t”.

        If the Liberal Party, et al, change their tune and no longer back a plebiscite, then you could say it was “rescinded”.

        And if we take the second step, the opposition is in no place to demand the government make it a parliamentary decision when the government made their intentions clear.

        Of course they are. They are representing the will of all the people who voted for them.

        This is hilarious.

        You baselessly accuse others of “opposing democracy” while insisting that everyone must submit without complaint or resistance to the will of people who in all likelihood will be unable to progress their policy through the democratic system.

        You argue generally that direct democracy is an ideal vision yet insist on this case electoral dictatorship is preferable.

        Hypocrite.

        There’s in inference of ‘prior to the election’ there sparky.

        Can’t parse that.

        A civil union comprising all estate rights currently residing with heterosexuals removes all material rights typically associated with pair bonding. A government department renamed “Births, Deaths and Civil Unions” could not do anything but that.

        Irrelevant. The law we have today is called marriage. The plebiscite is not asking whether or not to abolish marriage, it is asking whether or not the law that is marriage should continue discriminating based on gender. A plebiscite is not necessary to resolve this question, neither legally nor morally.

      • “Well, the outrage is fairly apparent above from the childish name-calling directed not only at me but also anyone else who thinks a plebiscite is an unecessary waste of time and money.”

        No, even with the childish name-calling , there is no evidence that the same people do not feel a more direct democratic participation in things like the TPP are unnecessary. That’s a flight of fancy you’ve made up.

        Thank you.

        “The prioritisation of same-sex marriage as something in need of direct public evaluation via a plebiscite over myriad other far more important decisions facing the country is also self-evident to anyone who has picked up a newspaper in the last five years.”

        The regressive left put gay marriage as a prime agenda in the public sphere, not the sane.

        But now that it’s here, and the government proposed the people have a say about it, then let’s put it to a poll.

        “A plebiscite was proposed by people who seem to lack the ability to actually make it happen.”

        In a hung senate, everyone lacks the ability to make it happen, however the government made their platform clear, and there should be no reason for them to propose an alternative.

        I can live with that.

        /thread

        “That’s not “rescinded” in any form of the word I’m familiar with. That’s “we wanted it to happen but we don’t have the numbers so we can’t”.

        Ok, I can live with that conclusion, we’ll wait three years.

        “If the Liberal Party, et al, change their tune and no longer back a plebiscite, then you could say it was “rescinded”.”

        Yep. I’ll accept that.

        “Of course they are. They are representing the will of all the people who voted for them.”

        No, the will of the people is a plebiscite, in every meaning.

        “You baselessly accuse others of “opposing democracy” while insisting that everyone must submit without complaint or resistance to the will of people who in all likelihood will be unable to progress their policy through the democratic system.”

        yes, I do accuse your kind.

        An opportunity has arisen for the most democratic means possible, bar a referendum. It is the a vehicle your kind will not accept, fearing an undesirable outcome.

        “You argue generally that direct democracy is an ideal vision yet insist on this case electoral dictatorship is preferable.”

        You must have some mental impairment to come up with all the spurious conclusions. I desire popular consensus for every choice where possible.

        I understand that is not our system, but will gleefully accept the sparing times it is proposed.

        For this subject it has been proposed, with a parliamentary opposition instilling anti-democratic blockages.

        I would like it for this, any virtually every topic of governance. I can’t have that, but we can and should have this seeing as it was raised prior to an election by the government, who retained government.

        “Hypocrite.”

        That word doesn’t mean what you think it means.

        “Can’t parse that.”

        I am Rusty’s s total lack of surprise.

        “Irrelevant. The law we have today is called marriage.”

        Completely relevant. The change to the law revolves around a dubious measure of “equality”

        “The plebiscite is not asking whether or not to abolish marriage, it is asking whether or not the law that is marriage should continue discriminating based on gender.”

        Yep, consensus whether the institute of marriage should be discerning. I’m all for letting the people participate in the ultimate poll, to have their voice heard.

        “A plebiscite is not necessary to resolve this question, neither legally nor morally.”

        I know, dictatorial means can “resolve any question”, but we should all be wary when your kind assert dictatorial leanings to offering “legally or morally” benefits.

        I’d rather let consensus resolve it.

      • No, even with the childish name-calling , there is no evidence that the same people do not feel a more direct democratic participation in things like the TPP are unnecessary. That’s a flight of fancy you’ve made up.

        I never suggested people thought it was unnecessary. That’s a flight of fancy you’ve made up.

        I said it doesn’t have higher priority in their minds despite being far, far more important to the nation’s future.

        The regressive left put gay marriage as a prime agenda in the public sphere, not the sane.

        No, far right religious conservatives put gay marriage as a prime agenda in the public sphere.

        The sane would have had it dealt with by a judge (before Howard changed the marriage act to pander to religious zealots), or through legislation in parliament (after Howard).

        But now that it’s here, and the government proposed the people have a say about it, then let’s put it to a poll.

        If they can get it through the legislative process, then so be it. But not just because they want to, no.

        That’s how our democracy works. Stuff doesn’t just happen because “the Government” wants it to.

        In a hung senate, everyone lacks the ability to make it happen, however the government made their platform clear, and there should be no reason for them to propose an alternative.

        No reason other than being unable to get it through the legislative process, you mean ? So, a pretty big reason ?

        Or the Liberal Party could act like grown-ups, tell the religious right to get fucked and do its job passing minor changes to legislation.

        An opportunity has arisen for the most democratic means possible, bar a referendum. It is the a vehicle your kind will not accept, fearing an undesirable outcome.

        I don’t think anyone seriously doubts what the outcome would be.

        I don’t consider it necessary because it’s a phenomenal waste of money, it’s pointless and unecessary (on multiple levels) and it will provide a platform for bigots to stand on their bully pulpits abusing people for no reason other than hate and fear.

        You must have some mental impairment to come up with all the spurious conclusions. I desire popular consensus for every choice where possible.

        You just spent several paragraphs justifying why everyone who thinks a plebiscite shouldn’t go ahead, should submit without complaint to those who do. So, bullshit.

        For this subject it has been proposed, with a parliamentary opposition instilling anti-democratic blockages.

        They are not “anti-democratic blockages”. “Anti-democratic blockages” would be put on by people operating outside of our democratic process (let’s say, a military coup). Who are these people operating outside our democratic system causing this “blockage” ?

        That word doesn’t mean what you think it means.

        LOL.

        Completely relevant. The change to the law revolves around a dubious measure of “equality”

        No it does not. It revolves around a commonly accepted measure of “equality”, which is that the law should not discriminate based on gender.

        I know, dictatorial means can “resolve any question”, but we should all be wary when your kind assert dictatorial leanings to offering “legally or morally” benefits.

        Dictatorial. That word doesn’t mean what you think it means.

      • “I said it doesn’t have higher priority in their minds despite being far, far more important to the nation’s future.”

        That’s your assertion which is a flight of fancy.

        Cite where anyone thinks gay marriage is a more crucial issue to this country?

        “No, far right religious conservatives put gay marriage as a prime agenda in the public sphere.”

        No they didn’t. They want the status quo. The regressive left insisted they knew public sentiment, and the moderate centrists such as myself are more than happy the let public opinion be heard. Now the regressive left doesnt want public consensus to be voiced.

        “The sane would have had it dealt with by a judge (before Howard changed the marriage act to pander to religious zealots), or through legislation in parliament (after Howard).”

        Why would the sane let parliament decide anything if they have an alternative?

        “If they can get it through the legislative process, then so be it. But not just because they want to, no.”

        That’s how our democracy works. Stuff doesn’t just happen because “the Government” wants it to.”

        OK. I’m happy to make no changes for 3 years, that’s also how government works.

        “No reason other than being unable to get it through the legislative process, you mean ? So, a pretty big reason ?”

        Nope, the alternative is do nothing.

        I can live with that.

        “Or the Liberal Party could act like grown-ups, tell the religious right to get fucked and do its job passing minor changes to legislation.”

        What about the rest of the population who don’t want it passed?

        “I don’t think anyone seriously doubts what the outcome would be.”

        Well there is only one way top find out.

        “I don’t consider it necessary because it’s a phenomenal waste of money, it’s pointless and unecessary (on multiple levels) and it will provide a platform for bigots to stand on their bully pulpits abusing people for no reason other than hate and fear.”

        So the morally superior excluding the morally inferior hey? Sounds very Jacobin of you.

        “You just spent several paragraphs justifying why everyone who thinks a plebiscite shouldn’t go ahead, should submit without complaint to those who do. So, bullshit.”

        Yep. In every instance, the broadest consensus is a desirable feature, optimal even, of democracy.

        I have standards, I will declare without qualification that the broadest democracy is better. I don’t seek to deny it.

        “They are not “anti-democratic blockages”. “Anti-democratic blockages” would be put on by people operating outside of our democratic process (let’s say, a military coup). Who are these people operating outside our democratic system causing this “blockage” ?”

        The current parliamentary opposition, who seek to deny a democratic voice.

        True believers of democracy would embrace every plebiscite, regardless of the topic.

        “No it does not. It revolves around a commonly accepted measure of “equality”, which is that the law should not discriminate based on gender.”

        Rights to estates can be accomodated by the government, without discrimination. The rest, is dubious.

        “Dictatorial. That word doesn’t mean what you think it means.”

        I most definitely do, dictatorial governments usually arise out of your kind asserting that some have better judgemental faculties.

      • That’s your assertion which is a flight of fancy.

        Cite where anyone thinks gay marriage is a more crucial issue to this country?

        Based on their actions, the entire Liberal Party.

        No they didn’t.

        Yes they did.

        They want the status quo.

        No, they want the changes to the Marriage Act put in by John Howard to appease religious fundies and buy some votes.

        The regressive left insisted they knew public sentiment, and the moderate centrists such as myself are more than happy the let public opinion be heard.

        Your social views are about a century out of date to be a “moderate centrist”.

        Now the regressive left doesnt want public consensus to be voiced.

        I don’t want hundreds of millions of dollars spent so that small minded morally bankrupt bullies like the ACL can scream about how homosexuals are all child-abusing perverts when it’s really just a simple issue of gender equality before the law.

        Why would the sane let parliament decide anything if they have an alternative?

        Having a plebiscite for every piece of legislation hardly seems efficient or productive.

        OK. I’m happy to make no changes for 3 years, that’s also how government works.

        Presumably you will be equally happy if parliament simply does its job and votes whether or not the change the Marriage Act, then, if that comes about through someone else submitting legislation ?

        Nope, the alternative is do nothing.

        Certainly that’s one. Another is for legislation to be submitted and voted upon.

        What about the rest of the population who don’t want it passed?

        They can write a letter to their MP explaining how they think they should vote.

        So the morally superior excluding the morally inferior hey? Sounds very Jacobin of you.

        Fuck that’s hilarious from someone who spends probably half his time here being “the morally superior excluding the morally inferior”.

        The current parliamentary opposition, who seek to deny a democratic voice.

        No they don’t.

        True believers of democracy would embrace every plebiscite, regardless of the topic.

        No, true believers of democracy would embrace binding votes not expensive opinion polls.

        Of course, here in the real world, the whole country voting on every piece of legislation is not even vaguely practical.

        Rights to estates can be accomodated by the government, without discrimination.

        Most easily by changing the Marriage Act.

        I most definitely do, dictatorial governments usually arise out of your kind asserting that some have better judgemental faculties.

        No, you don’t, because you are referring to the processes within our democratic system as “dictatorial” simply because they might produce an outcome you don’t like.

        Unless you want to argue every piece of legislation Parliament has ever passed not subject to a plebiscite or referendum was “dictatorial” ?

  10. Man, she was quick to pull the racism card.. Plus she complains about the pursuit of economic growth, but what does she think will happen long term if we keep growing the population at the current rate without economic growth?! I like the Greens, they’re the closet party to my values, but they have to do better than this..

    • Crying “racist” used to work; but the allegation is now so overused inappropriately that it says more about those making the (unfounded) allegation than those who receive it.

  11. But wait, there’s more:
    http://www.candobetter.net/node/4940
    Mercurius Goldstein is a current candidate for the Legislative Council Preselection in New South Wales. Because overpopulation via mass planned invited economic immigration is a very big concern in Australia, and people wonder why the Greens downplay or even suppress this concern, we have published Goldstein’s views on population numbers with an analysis by Jane O’Sullivan.