Is some tough reading but...
...it's well worth it if you're intereste din our democracy. And the argument will only be improved if people are actually familiar with what they are arguing about.
(This goes for all legislation, BTW. Don't leave it to the wonks like me. It's available, it's easily accessible, so read the stuff and let the pollies know what you think of it)
Actually I made around 20 pages of suggested improvements to the select committee.
I know. But yours was not a typical submission.
It may do but at the same time it justifies those doing the arguing. Presumably those crtical of the bill were under no obligation to keep quite and just hope things might improve.
Of course not - it improved because people spoke up and submitted to select committee, identified the flaws and made constructive comments on how to fix them.
Having read a large number of the submissions, what's glaring is that the vast majority of those who opposed the bill utterly failed to do the latter. The suggestions on fixing the bill came from groups like the Coalition for Open Government, and various other NGOs, not the rejectionist right.
Oh, and they got rid of the statutory declarations bit - the most important change they could make.
Yes, a damn good move, which along with the change to the definition of election advertising, cuts the ground underneath those arguing against it. The bill restricts freedom of spech? Only if you're trying to buy an election - and in that case, I think its a restriction we're all better off with.
Remember, the right to participate in free and fair elections is also a human right.
And OTOH, statement from the HRC here. Still pretty happy, but also unhappy with the regulated period, and utterly unconcerned with the normal Parliamentary process.
The HRC's view, according to the report:
We acknowledge the assistance of the Human Rights Commission.
After hearings of evidence on this bill we requested that the Human
Rights Commission consider our proceedings, speak with our advisers,
and comment on our recommended amendments. We note that
the Commission strongly supported a number of recommended
changes relating to third party involvement and increased expenditure
limits. The Commission stated that it believed the changes
enhanced freedom of expression and upheld the right to participate
in electoral processes.
Sounds like in the end they were pretty happy with it as well.
I am very happy with National's new stance opposing anonymous donations, maybe they could do a deal with like minded parties to force an amendment through to that affect.
Seconded. C'mon, give us your SOP!
(Though actually, if we want it to pass, the person we really need to pressure is Winston).
Meanwhile, the protest organiser reportedly spent $50,000 to get 2,000 people. And the right calls people a "rent-a-mob"?
Wow, I stand corrected. What is it with Prime actually screening stuff? First Dr Who, and now this?
(Of course, I've already seen it thanks to aforementioned friends in America, but the gesture is nice).
So, how long till Family First tries yet again to get the leave of the Solicitor-General to bring a private prosecution for Blasphemous Libel? And isn't it time that law went?