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Oceania The Power of Nightmares and The New Al-Qaeda

Discussion in 'Oceania Discussion Boards' started by Katana_Geldar, Dec 8, 2005.

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  1. Katana_Geldar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2003
    star 8
    I see, you like Ender are not really worried about now but in 20 years time. So if this whole thing blows over (I'm playing sith's advocate here) these laws will still be sitting on the shelf.

    Isn't it complicated to stay informed of the latest things in the world? I'd rather not but I know I have to because if I don't know what's going on....
  2. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    1) I think that's already the case, with the exception of malcontent leftists who will piss and moan regardless what the Howard government will do. What you have to worry about is the possibility for abuse; and given that it's a red light to a bull, the potential for abusing laws I'd say that's a given ;)

    2) Can you really prevent a kind of jurisdictional creep with any legislation?

    E_S
  3. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    Probably not with legislation, because legislation can be interpreted. I think the best safeguard against misuse of the law is to shore up the independence and powers of judges, mostly because they are then able to execute truly (or as close to it as you can practically achieve) impartial judgment on these issues. It's plain that a number of laws (at least in the WA jurisdiction if not others) have been passed not to stop accused taking advantage of loopholes in the law, but rather to prevent the judiciary exercising what it objectively thinks is the right decision in I don't think discretionary power of the kind we've been discussing should be left in the hands of an Attorney General or even a Director of Public Prosecutions; they are ultimately political positions. The decision as to whether evidence should go to a jury should always be the province of the judge overseeing the trial; his decisions are reviewable, and I have been honoured to say that by and large the judges I have met exercise their powers with due restraint and objectivity. And that includes the ones who convict or sentence my clients.
  4. Katana_Geldar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2003
    star 8
    So really, we should have a Bill of Rights to prevent this from happening? Would that work at all?

    The problem is with laws and legislation si that they only work if they are upheld and implimented in the way they were intended. There's also what words SAY and what they MEAN. What words say are black and white but what they mean can depend entirely on your own point of view. ;)
  5. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    The absolute last thing we need is a bill of rights. From my analysis, the reason America society is screwed up the way it is has everything to do with having a bill of rights. Our legislation, and indeed in the Commonwealth as a whole, frames laws in terms of what we can't do. They're told what they can do, i.e. they have a right to this and a right to that.

    We do not need to emulate the United States any more than we're already doing.

    E_S
  6. Katana_Geldar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2003
    star 8
    So really, we should not have a Bill of Rights but a Bill of Responsibilities :p

    But I can see your point Ender, America's about as stuffed up as you can get in terms of telling people everything's okay when its actually not. The only cocnsoaltion we have is that Australia is far too small, isolated and not to mention arid to ever become like the US. I dunno why anyone would want to invade us, there isn't that much arable land to share.
  7. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    Ah, but who produces a sizeable fraction of the world's uranium? Not to mention all those wonderful gas platforms in the North-West shelf? Australia, if invaded, would never be the subject of complete conquest; only be the top third of the country, because that's the only part that's of any use to anybody.

    The insanity of Australia following the United States and demanding a Bill of Rights really comes from the influx of American culture and television. People watch "Boston Legal" and think it's representative of the way Australian courts work (let alone American ones). For my money, MDA's a far closer fit to the way Australian law works on a day-to-day basis...but I digress.

    A Bill of Rights, or a full set of rights, will never be implied to the Australian Constitution for one main reason: Australia's foundation was as a convict colony and extension of England. Australia never secured its own independence; the UK had to acquiesce to our departure from its control. The American Bill of Rights was part of the reaction by the American colonies against taxation by England, and part of the rights involved included such archaic rights as bearing arms and thereby being able to form militias--reactions against the imperial power of England, not the mad justification that the NRA seems to think it has. The rights of citizens are not explicit in our constitution because (a) there weren't many citizens out here when it was passed--mainly convicts and commoners; and (b) the Australian constitution isn't the 'noble' document that US citizens seem to worship. The US Constitution is almost a declaration of philosophy. The Australian Constitution reads more like a public service manual of instructions. (In fact, given the events of 1975, you could just about call it the Governor-General's manual of instructions...he is, after all, the highest public servant of the lot. :D )

    American law is mainly screwed up. Mostly because there are too many lawyers and too many systems of law co-existing at the same time. At least in Australia we only have to contend with state, federal, and common law.
  8. Katana_Geldar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2003
    star 8
    What about the local councils? IMHO they seem to always look for ways they can catch you out. ;)

    So really, what is really to stop the government to bring in draconian laws for 'the purposes of our protection, or worse, bring back conscription?
  9. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    The short answer? An informed Australian public, which is what politicians of both sides fear the most. I think I'm not being especially cyncial to propose that both sides of Parliament secretly welcome 'voting blocks' like 'the Christian Right', or 'the Grey Vote', or 'The Union Vote', mostly because it gives them easier targets to spin their policies and ideas to. It's much easier to appeal to the fears of a group in passing laws, rather than be forced to put their whole agenda before the entirety of the Australian public.

    The media must bear some responsibility for this, having concluded long ago that news is entertainment rather than information, and therefore needing to appeal to a short attention span. Having said that it is important for all Australians to watch those in power and what they do very carefully. When a government puts an idea forward, stop evaluating the goodness or otherwise of the idea by reference to the party and your ideological base--review your Marcus Aurelius instead: "Consider each thing of itself; what is its' nature?" Become informed about the proposed measure, not the party behind it.

    I say be an activist, but join no party. Never say you are of the Left or the Right. When that happens, their doctrines become yours and you are accountable, in whatever small measure. And more importantly, you are categorised and your independent voice becomes so much less relevant. As I grow older, I grow ever more convinced of the power and political cleanliness of being a swinging voter.
  10. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    This country simply doesn't have voting blocks, because they can't influence anything enough to make a difference...

    E_S
  11. Katana_Geldar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2003
    star 8
    All hail the swinging voters! :D

    And speaking on conscription, it was mentioned this morning. Freaky stuff. If it comes in I'm leaving the country and going somewhere where the government can't find me. Like Alaska, or Siberia.

    Having said that it is important for all Australians to watch those in power and what they do very carefully.

    Is that the problem with Johnny Howard? That he's been in there too long and too set in his ways?

    I was hoping Latham would have more of a chance, but he was in the wrong party.
  12. stinrab Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 9, 1998
    star 5
    I was hoping Latham would have more of a chance, but he was in the wrong party.

    And he's a douche.
  13. Katana_Geldar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2003
    star 8
  14. Detonating-Rabbit Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2003
    star 5
    Well...it's kinda...well. Maybe the TOS wouldn't allow me to be specific on that one. :p
  15. MarvinTheMartian Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 31, 2002
    star 5
    It's a bag people carry arounds when they can't pass urine themselves. Easy huh DR :p
  16. Katana_Geldar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2003
    star 8
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