highlyeccentric: I've been searching for a sexual identity, and now you've named it for me: I'm a what. (Sexual what)
For those who haven't heard, one, Australia is apparently going to have a (non-binding!) plebiscite on the topic of equal marriage, and two, the Australian Christian Lobby are requesting that anti-discrimination/hate speech laws be lifted during the campaign. Because they can't argue against our right to marry without arguing against our right to exist, apparently, which really does just make the pro-equality argument for them.

There is a very, very good article on this at the Conversation, by Patrick Stokes of Deakin University. It covers reasons why a plebiscite is a shitty idea, the underlying anxieties about heterosexual "specialness", and reasons why exemption from hate speech laws would be a terrible idea. (Stokes is not uncritical of the marriage equality lobby, either, which is good.)

The impact of homosexual marriages on heterosexual married couples is that their marriages stop being special just because they are heterosexual. It takes away the privilege of being in the ‘right’ sort of marriage, a default, ‘normal,’ and implicitly normative form of relationship.


I also have feelings on this topic. My feelings are different from my political opinions (political opinions, in short: marriage equality would not be as good a fix for the problems it purports to fix as would be a broad programme of legal changes to the way custody, inheritance, kinship and related laws work; but fucking hell if we're coming down to a yes or no vote then fine, I will gear up for this fight). I made this as a Facebook post, but putting it here so it's more easily findable. It's not going under a cut, because it's not meant to stay private.




The fact we do seem to be going to a plebiscite makes me feel ill. I don't want this, I don't want this, I don't want this.

Here's some things you probably know about me: once upon a time I was a very earnest Christian. And a very argumentative one. And, as religious people go, a relatively liberal one, albeit armed more with enthusiasm and a sense of justice than a good sense of political analysis, because I was a wee teenager. I was in the Uniting Church for the Resolution 84 kerfuffle of 2003, and just beginning to form a political awareness. The people I looked up to and admired, my peers and mentors from the UYF and our champion ministers Lyn and Nancy were broadly in favour of such notions as being nice to gay people, and permitting them to train in ministry. (Resolution 84 is a wiffle-waffle: it says you won't be explicitly banned, but does not promise that you will be explicitly included. There are reasons for this.) So I was too, and drew on those people and their resources for starting to inform myself.

No, wait, back up. Some time before that- maybe 2002?- I was in a circle of people at school. Mostly students, one teacher. "Nondenominational" for which read fundamentalist Christian school - the kind where Catholics were bullied for being insufficiently Christian. The teacher was asking us all where we went to church, and to discuss our church communities. I said, without expecting any reaction, that I went to the Uniting Church.

"The Uniting Church?" said the teacher. "They're not Christians. Don't they have gay ministers?"

I had some idea what 'gay' meant at that point. (It was a dodgy idea: I'd been reading Anne McCaffrey, where being gay got you either eaten by tigers or late-life reformed heterosexuality with a girl half your age, but I digress.) I had no idea why I was getting this reaction. I considered, for a second or two, saying I didn't know. I considered everything I knew of my church, and of my school.

"Yes, we do," I said. "And I'm proud of it." Then I went home and asked my mother to explain why people thought gay people couldn't be ministers????

From there on, throughout high school and university, I set about being an informed gay-friendly Christian. I armed myself with historical analyses of St Paul's context and the difference between pederasty and an equal relationship between partners of any sex. I read "Uniting Faith and Sexuality" about six times. I argued with more conservative Christians wherever I found them. I actually met some gay people, and they were cool. (They were soooo cooool I envied them a lot. We'll come back to that.) I was also a prat, and made what I now realise were classic intro-level Ally Fails. Once I was talking to a baptist at a UCA student convention, and this baptist said he had never met a gay person before. I said "I can fix that" and hauled Curtis over to be Token Gay. (I'm *so sorry*, Curtis).

And in my fourth year of university, many things changed. One of these was that suddenly there was a giiiiirl and she was pretty and, well, you get the idea. And this time (unlike previous times in high school or early uni days) I had the self-awareness and the vocab (I had never met the word bisexual until my first year of uni!) to realise that duh, I had crush on this GIRL. And that made many things make sense, including the fact that I had sat with the UCA queers feeling both happy (included!) and sad (different??) and envious (???).

And I stopped going to church. Part of that was because I also had an anti-revelation and stopped believing in God. But I'd stopped going to church *before* that. Not because I thought my particular congregation would give me trouble over my sexuality - I'd seen other friends come out, it had been fine. And I knew the UCA was, overall, a pretty welcoming denomination. But not entirely. And there would always be others. And I knew how exhausting those conversations were, because I had been having them since I was fifteen. I had been told I was not a Christian and my church was invalid not because *I* was gay but because I was hypothetically theoretically gay-positive.

I had absolutely no qualms, when I thought it wasn't about me, in throwing myself into that fight (in the particular context I was in).

I could not do it, not when it *was* about me. And I have never, not since I started coming out to people, had to justify the existence of same-sex attraction in general, to anyone. (I have had to justify myself as a bisexual, to both gay and straight people; and to pitch in in defense of other gender or sexual identities.)

I do not want to do this. I am a long way away from Australia right now, but I do not want to do this. I do not want to have to find out that many of my friends or family will not only vote against equal marriage (... I don't want to find that out, either) but will turn out to hold degrading, dehumanising opinions of me and my peers. I don't want my friends and peers to turn on the TV to find ads denouncing our evil influence on society. I don't want to have to have conversations with friends and family about how I do not wish to marry but I will be really, really fucking upset if I think any of them could deliberately vote against my *right* to do so.

I don't want to do this. Stop the ride, I want to get off.
highlyeccentric: Julia Gillard making a Lleyton Hewitt salute (Gillard)
Draco grabbed Pansy's arm and pulled her behind the nearest tapestry. 'We've reached peak flag,' he said. 'It's on!'

It was the matter of moments to explain the situation to Crabbe. Most of them belonged to Malfoy: 'I feel our styles are divergent: you're all classic Death Eater, I'm more complex anti-hero with a possibility of later redemption. It's just not working for me. Also, I've been planning your public downfall since you rolled me four years ago and I can't think of a better time than four days before you meet the criteria for your Prime Ministerial pension supplement.'

Pansy's message was simpler: 'You're dumped, Crabbe. And you're taking Goyle with you.'

Even Rita Skeeter couldn't argue, epsecially when Malfoy fronted the media with his hair glinting perfectly in the afternoon sun and with no phalanx of flags to make his argument for him, but rather words, more than three, constructing an actual argument. Draco looked earnestly into the camera. 'We need advocacy,' he said. 'Not slogans. We need a different style of leadership, one that respects the people's intelligence."

Two hours later, Crabbe replied. 'We're not the Labor Party!' he declared. 'We are not the Labor Party! WE ARE NOT THE LABOR PARTY!

'Alas,' muttered the Australian Voting Public, remembering well that – mad as they may have been, and in all honesty they put cut snakes to shame – the Labor Party under both Harry and Hermione had provided stable government, passing legislation, negotiating intelligently with the opposition and cross benches and rarely embarrassing us on the international stage.

For hours they pretended there was still a decision to be made. Goyle announced: 'We cannot and we must not become a carbon copy of the Australian Labor Party.'

But it was all to no avail. Of the 99 votes, Draco received 54, Vince 44, and Kevin Andrews drew a picture of a penis.

Crabbe was out, having served less time than any Australian Prime Minister since the one who was eaten by a shark*.

*Probably


The full saga of Vincent Crabbe and the Goblet of Bile can be found at blamebrampton's LJ.
highlyeccentric: Sign on Little Queen St - One Way both directions (Default)
Port Arthur was the tipping point for Australia, after many years of avoidance by politicians who knew the gun laws needed reform but lacked the guts to do it. The murder of 35 people on one afternoon marked the end of the prevarication. The laws were overhauled with resounding success: annual gun deaths have dropped by half, and we have not had a mass shooting since 1996. An evaluation by researchers at the Australian National University found the laws saved, every year, 200 lives and $500 million.
Other developed countries that have suffered such calamities have also toughened their gun laws. The massacre at the Sandy Hook Elementary School reprises the tragedy at Dunblane Primary School in Scotland in 1996, where 16 children and their teacher were murdered and 12 more children wounded by a disgruntled man with a gun. The only eventual glimmer of consolation for those grieving families was that Britain reformed its gun laws, and it is extremely unlikely that such a horror will recur in that country.
Commentators in the US are shocked and horrified, of course, but they have come to see mass shootings as an inevitable feature of the American way of life. ''We know it's going to happen again and again," they say, but the experience of Australia shows it doesn't have to be that way.


Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/will-the-sandy-hook-massacre-be-americas-tipping-point-20121216-2bhfy.html#ixzz2FG9jjArL


I'm absolutely sickened by the number of people trying to assert that now, in the wake of a mass shooting, is *not* the time to talk about gun law reform in the US. Yes, it is possible that people (particularly privileged white male people) might still get hold of guns illegally. It's LESS LIKELY. There is *concrete evidence* that gun ownership restrictions reduce the number of mass shootings. Which, hey, saves money! The US could do with saving $500 million dollars, surely.

As someone was pointing out on tumblr - immediately after 9/11, airport security was rapidly tightened. Why is it not the same with gun laws?
highlyeccentric: Arthur (BBC Merlin) - text: "SRSLY" (SRSLY)
Congratulations. I'm pleased and proud and relieved at your exercise of democratic common sense. And this election gives me hope, in a way that the '08 election does not, that your country stands a good chance of improving itself, improving the lives of its citizens, and also not dragging the rest of the world into either economic or political disasters. Good on you. Take ten points.

It is one thing to elect a liberal(ish) candidate who promises you, as Obama did in 08, all the pies you could possibly fit into the sky. Economic recovery! Free health care! Milestone black dude in the presidency! Restoration of your much-vaunted and much-abused position as Leaders of the Free World!

It is entirely a different matter to re-elect the same man when four years has proven that you can't fix everything with one milestone vote. Maybe it's just that I was ill-informed about the ins and outs of American governance four years ago (guilty as charged!), but I get the feeling that the past four years, and the hard fight the Obama government has had to put up just to make the tiniest of gains on the sort of things which much of the rest of the world takes for granted (vis: universal healthcare) - I get the feeling that President Yes We Can's struggle to yes anything has shown up the huge swathes of problems yet to be fixed.

And yet the voting population turned out and cast its lot in with the forces of change again. Mostly. The Republican House is not good news, not from where I'm sitting, in a country where most of your *Democrats* would be considered centre-right and the republicans could line up from right wing to 'completely barking mad'. But apparently yours is a country which deeply mistrusts things like, I dunno, making sure its citizens have adequate health care - and in that case, we can hope that anything which gets through a hostile house, while imperfect, may be longer-lasting and perhaps provide precedent for future change.

Also you got a gay lady, a pansexual lady and a disabled lady into your Senate! And several states put through gay marriage by popular vote! Those I am not relieved about, but quite pleased! These are precedents the rest of us can hope to emulate (although, gay lady senator? CHECK. We got one of those. She's even got a BAAAAABY. D'awww). The marijuana thing I've no actual opinion on but I'm amused by the question of how, precisely, anyone's going to deal with having a drug that's legal by state ballot but federally illegal.

I still find the amount of money, private or otherwise, you lot spend on election campaigns to be really quite worrying. But congratulations. I was cynical and grumpy four years ago and pissed a number of you off, but this time: congratulations on your exercise of democratic common sense.

Now, for the love of all that's sensible, do something about this 'fiscal cliff' thing I keep hearing about, mkay?
highlyeccentric: Inception - Arthur in his badass waistcoat (Inception - badass waistcoat)
To express my love of compulsory voting.

You citizen? YOU VOTE. Or we fine you a small amount of money. You can hand your form in blank or draw butts all over it if you like, but you hand the damn form in.

Positive consequences of this system:

- voting on Saturdays, when more people are free to do so
- everyone recognises the government and general public responsibility to ensure that everyone has access to voting systems. We're not perfect at implementing that (see also: ratio of wheelchair-accessible to other polling places; low registration rates of rural indigenous people) but, y'know, if you're going to fine people for not voting you assume its your job to make it possible for them to do so
- on a similar note, more efficient absentee voting systems
- comparatively less time and money spent convincing people to vote at all (we spend some time and money educating people on how to register, where and when to vote, but we don't have to whip up voter enthusiasm JUST TO GET PEOPLE TO THE POLLS). People trudge down there, ignore the spruikers, and write something on a form. Lo, democracy!
- 'voter fraud' isn't really a thing. Insofar as it might happen, it consists of people voting in multiple places: it's not possible to whip up fear of people voting who shouldn't vote, because EVERYONE DAMN WELL VOTES

TL;DR, compulsory voting, I like it. I would endorse it for more institutions (eg: student unions! I never vote in union elections, even though I should. If my ACCESS card were to be disabled if I didn't vote, I'd damn well vote. I might even form an opinion).
highlyeccentric: French vintage postcard - a woman in feminised army uniform of the period (General de l'avenir)
I'm fed up to the ears with the US election, but it does generate some true things. Even at the HuffPo.

You say it can't happen -- the system is too rotten.

It won't happen if you wallow in the comfort of your cynicism. But it will happen if you and others like you get fired up.

We've done it before.

I remember when progressives joined with African-Americans to get enacted the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts. I remember when progressives stopped the Vietnam War. When women finally got freedom of choice over their own bodies. When the Environmental Protection Act became law.


Relatedly, I am getting extremely sick with older people* telling me how shit the world is these days, how dismal the political prospects, how un-fixable the situation, how inappropriate the methods favoured by the Yoof of Today, and how everything was better and/or more effective in Their Day and by Their Favoured Methods.

~

* Currently, people over about 30
highlyeccentric: Book on a shelf, entitled "Oh God: What the Fuck (and other stories)" (Oh god what the fuck (and other tails))
It is well accepted under the act that the sending of sexually explicit material via email or text to a person constitutes sexual harassment. The definition also covers accessing sexually explicit internet sites. Therefore, creating sexually explicit internet sites or posting such sexual material to Facebook pages would easily fall within the definition of sexual harassment.

In her press conference on Thursday, August 23, the Prime Minister identified cartoonist Larry Pickering as someone who publishes ''a vile and sexist website''. She added that ''for many, many months now I have been the subject of a very sexist smear campaign from people for whom I have no respect''.

For many months, Pickering has regularly bombarded not just Gillard but every member of Parliament with emails containing hate-filled commentary about the Prime Minister. Often these commentaries have been accompanied by cartoons, many of which depict Gillard naked and wearing a huge strap-on dildo.


Anne Summers (yes really) is annoyed and rightly so.
highlyeccentric: Prize winning moody cow (Moody Cow)
Because, IDK, I have Thoughts.

TW: meta-discussion, some personal details )

ED: updated shortly after posting. Final three paras added. FYI, LJ folks, this is an unlocked post on DW.
highlyeccentric: Angel Coulby's feet in red boots (angel's feet)
Real women do not have curves. Real women do not look like just one thing.

Real women have curves, and not. They are tall, and not. They are brown-skinned, and olive-skinned, and not. They have small breasts, and big ones, and no breasts whatsoever.

[...]


I’m going to say it again because it’s important: There is no wrong way to have a body.

And if your moral compass points in any way, shape, or form to equality, you need to get this through your thick skull and stop with the “real women are like such-and-so” crap.

You are not the authority on what “real” human beings are, and who qualifies as “real” and on what basis. All human beings are real.

Yes, I know you’re tired of feeling disenfranchised. It is a tiresome and loathsome thing to be and to feel. But the tit-for-tat disenfranchisement of others is not going to solve that problem. Solidarity has to start somewhere and it might as well be with you and me.

Hanne Blank


Warning for some (rather strange) transphobia in the comments, and a stray post of incomprehensible bile, and a few people Not Getting It.
highlyeccentric: Dr Who Season Five - She's Amy, and surrounded by Romans (Amy surrounded by romans)
Sadly, I have no Russian poetry to share.

Firstly: those who are inclined to resent the Russian userbase of livejournal for the current DDoS debacle (or anything else) should perhaps go and read Syn's latest DW post on LJ Russia, the DDoS attacks, and why LJ would probably not exist at all anymore if it weren't for lj.ru. And you should also read the New Yorker's article on Alexey Navalny's anti-corruption efforts and consider the critical role LJ has to play in this sort of activity in Russia. To quote [personal profile] holyschist's comment to Syn's post: maybe quashing free speech in Russia is actually a bigger problem than the inconvenience to English-language users..

----

On with the poetry!

Not My Best Side
(Read accompanied by this picture)

I

Not my best side, I'm afraid.
The artist didn't give me a chance to
Pose properly, and as you can see,
Poor chap, he had this obsession with
Triangles, so he left off two of my
Feet. I didn't comment at the time
(What, after all, are two feet
To a monster?) but afterwards
I was sorry for the bad publicity.
Why, I said to myself, should my conqueror
Be so ostentatiously beardless, and ride
A horse with a deformed neck and square hoofs?
Why should my victim be so
Unattractive as to be inedible,
And why should she have me literally
On a string? I don't mind dying
Ritually, since I always rise again,
But I should have liked a little more blood
To show they were taking me seriously.
II, III )

By U.A. Fanthorpe (1929 - 2009)
highlyeccentric: XKCD - citation needed (citation needed)
ABC Online's chief political writer offers apology to Kevin Rudd, apparently unprompted.

Of course, that's all part of the Annabel Crabb persona, the performance of an irreverent attitude to politics and political reporting both. It's not as if such an apology *costs* her, or the ABC, anything: rather, it shores up the 'real person' image she's got going, somewhere between a column and a blog.

And this article isn't precisely *nice* about the Ruddbot. Indeed, early on Crabb reiterates that evidence exists to support the contention that the Foreign Minister is a deeply, ornately strange human being - funny, and possibly true, and also evidence that this performance of contrition is about Crabb's readership, not Krudd at all.
highlyeccentric: Garden gnome reading - text: can't talk. dorking. (Garden dork)
Currently, Anthony Green, the leading Australian election commentator, is conducting a long internet conversation which can best be summed up as Preferential Voting for Dummies Britons. Scrolling back through the last couple of pages you can find detailed but plain-language explanations of all kinds of factors involved in Australian elections. Eg: how is a ballot paper counted?; No we don't use electronic voting machines; Are Australians tyrannised by the alternative vote?; and why it takes more than a week for election results to be finalised (hint: it's not the alternative vote).

If you read from the start of the kerfuffle forwards (instead of backwards, which is the order in which I linked you), Green's increasing tone of annoyance at having to explain the same basic things over and over again is deeply entertaining.
highlyeccentric: Sign on Little Queen St - One Way both directions (Default)
Apparently he's happy we're helping out NZ at the moment because "they're family, not foreigners".

Firstly there's the unpleasant implication that foreigners should *not* be gladly helped, which I am happy to see that several people are grumbling about in the letters page of the SMH.

But there's also the strange idea that family and foreigners are mutually exclusive categories.

Show of hands all those whose family ARE foreigners!

I myself am not possessed of any overseas family - my nearest immigrant ancestor was my great-grandfather, back before England counted as foreign in the Australian mind - and so far as I know the only one of my relatives to *leave* Australia permanently since then is a second-cousin who moved to Canada and hasn't had anything to do with my branch of the family since then. But non-indigenous Australians have *always* come from places overseas (obviously; otherwise we wouldn't be here), and there have always been (sufficiently affluent) Australians traveling back to wherever it was their family had come from, or on to other places for all sorts of reasons. People who travel sometimes stay. Sometimes they marry and bring new families back with them.

Foreigners are our family, Tony.

*goes off grumbling*
highlyeccentric: I've been searching for a sexual identity, and now you've named it for me: I'm a what. (Sexual what)
Apparently only straight women do the dishes?*

Not to mention the ridiculous stereotyping of what's attractive here. So I want to brighten up my boring housewifely drudgery... let's look at a muscled fireman (dirty) and a muscular guy carrying a baby (clean). Because... men involved in childcare don't have dirty sex? Because OBVIOUSLY there are two kinds of men, Dirty Men and family men? And women want both but can only have one at a time (they have different names. It says so on the dishwashing liquid bottle).

I DON'T EVEN KNOW.

Also, I realise that I'm standing on thin ice here, for someone who reads fuckyeahkarlurban and fuckyeahtomhardy on a daily basis and has watched the bizarre Tyler Shields video in which Zach Quinto gets covered in milk more times than I can count, but nevertheless:

I am uncomfortable with the level of objectification going on here.**

I'm just... going to leave that there, and go remove the labels from my diswashing liquid bottles so that I don't have to be glowered at by an unrealistically-muscled fireman every time I do the dishes for a month.

~

* Or possibly only male-attracted people. I think the presence of the baby in the 'clean' shot suggests this is aimed at stereotype straight women, but I'm sure Morning Fresh wouldn't complain if gay men were more likely to buy their dishwashing liquid as a result.

** Especially the baby, I think. BABIES: they are more than accessories for the female gaze! Not it's not nice and occasionally very attractive to see men being competent with children, but... that's men being competent *with children*, not Man Who Has Been Posed With Baby In Order That Women Find Him Attractive And Buy More Dishwashing Liquid.
highlyeccentric: Black boots and leather pants, ankles crossed, against brown grass (Chris Pine, Details shoot) (Boots - CFine)
On the one hand, if there's one thing you can rely on Germaine Greer for, it's shouting when shouting is warranted (and often when it is not) - in this case, shouting about Stephen Fry.

On the other hand, she thinks women aren't interested in genital encounters with total strangers! Because Germaine Greer can totally speak for all women, ever! And no women EVER have one night stands. No. Certainly not.

There wasn't, like, an actual prize awarded at my college for the most spectacular hook-up or, preferably, series of hookups over the course of Orientation Week.

Perhaps that's a new invention since Germaine Greer was at college. Or perhaps she thinks that all the female participants in such mating rituals are non-consenting.*

UGH.

~

* I am not denying that there is a high incidence of rape within colleges, or that charming rituals like that one provide cultural endorsement for college boys' attitude of entitlement. BUT Y'KNOW, SOME WOMEN AND GIRLS ENJOY CASUAL SEX WITH BLOKES THEY'VE JUST MET. OR GIRLS THEY'VE JUST MET. OR BOTH. SOMETIMES BOTH AT ONCE. See also: the kink community! Swingers' clubs! Craigslist!
highlyeccentric: I've been searching for a sexual identity, and now you've named it for me: I'm a what. (Sexual what)
The Family Court has resolved a custody dispute for a same-sex family: specifically, ruled that in this case, the child must spend time with all four of his parents (two gay men in a committed relationship, and two gay women in a committed relationship).

Stressing that the case was not about the socio-politics of single-sex parents or the definition of a nuclear family, she ruled that the boy should spend time with all four adults.

''E is the product of a number of fine people,'' she said in a recent judgment. ''He is entitled to know about them, to know them, and to know their love of him.''


I don't know if we had any precedents for this sort of thing before, but, well, we do now. And the decision appears - from the newspaper report - to have been made not on the assumption that a child needs two parents, or that a child needs male and female parents, but, y'know, that it's in the child's *interest* (which is actually different from 'needs') to have all of his parents. How remarkably even-handed.
highlyeccentric: Julia Gillard making a Lleyton Hewitt salute (Gillard)
We appear to be safe (for now) from Liberal government; and, hopefully, safe for good from the Mad Monk.
highlyeccentric: Julia Gillard making a Lleyton Hewitt salute (Gillard)
Can we please have a national holiday until the government sorts its shit out?

In other news, Alexander Dore did not get in in Grayndler (no surprise there) but Wyatt Roy, another undergrad liberal, took the seat of Longman in QLD. Stranger things have happened! Unlike Dore, Roy actually *lives* in his electorate and apparently has massive family connections there, so I guess he had local appeal as well as the party line behind him.

Albo was streaks ahead of Dore, but then the Greens overtook the Libs and Grayndler's now sitting on 48.5%/51.5% two-party preferred, Albo's way. He'll probably get to keep it but the Greens haven't given up hope yet.
highlyeccentric: Julia Gillard making a Lleyton Hewitt salute (Gillard)
1. The libs are running a NINETEEN YEAR OLD UNDERGRADUATE in my electorate. Not that I had any intention of voting liberal, but - what, he can't get on the SRC so he runs for parliament

[ETA: It has been pointed out to me that I should be focusing on Mr Dore's lack of experience rather than his chronological age. My apologies; it was not my intent to slight Mr Dore's political ambitions (although it is my intent to mock the USyd Liberal students club for their long tradition of not getting into power in the SRC and Union and then apparently holding a grudge against student unionism during their later political careers; see also, John Howard). It seems to me, however, that Mr Dore's candidacy suggests that the Liberals have given up on the seat of Marrickville: he lacks both political experience and any sort of platform on local issues (so far as I know), and is not a serious candidate to oppose Anthony Albanese.]

2. The Democrats are attempting to return from the dead! I went and read all their policy statements, and was vaguely charmed. They do try so hard. On the other hand, they oppose the Mining Tax apparently on the grounds of states rights, of all things. This strikes me as exceedingly strange.

3. The Socialist Alliance have some truly batshit policies. Eg, they wish to fund public housing reforms using "state taxes and superannuation". I RATHER THINK PEOPLE WILL WANT THEIR SUPERANNUATION. They also wish to cap rents at 20% of income, which, as far as I can tell, will just mean that poor people can't find a house.

4. I thought the Socialist Alliance were the outer edge, but then I discovered the Socialist Equality Party are also running in my electorate. Their website seems to have no policies at all, just an "Election Statement" which details their support for workers rights, etc, but no plans on how to achieve this. Also apparently they're a branch of something called the Fourth International (Fourth International WHAT?), which appears to be a Trotskyist group.

5. I discovered down in the depths of the Greens policy documents the intention to institute "intersex" as "a gender recognised by law". On the one hand, props to them for trying, but I think they've managed to fail a little on the sex/gender distinction. Am I right that "intersex" is a physical/biological distinction and "genderqueer" would be the appropriate non-binary gender option? But of course then you'd have to decide whether you wanted to collect government data on the basis of *sex* or on the basis of *gender*, which I don't think is a question anyone has thought about (I can see good reasons for collecting either set of information, and you could do some complex data analysis if you had both sets; but you'd have to have a population who could understand why they were being asked for both sets of data).

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highlyeccentric: Sign on Little Queen St - One Way both directions (Default)
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