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Old 03-17-2013, 03:50 AM   #856
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By the sounds of it, Tassie's definitely going to make another push this year to pass a gay marriage bill after last year's one narrowly failed in the upper house. Some members of the legislative council that were on the fence apparently were swayed to vote against it due to concerns that it would not be legal under the constitution, so marriage equality supporters have been gathering legal advice - and I think the point's moot anyway, because what we really need is a state to pass a bill and have it go to the High Court as a test case. The constitution's a bit vague and the matter won't be settled any other way than a state passing a bill and seeing what happens to it, because even if all legal advice says they can do it, the bigots are going to make a federal appeal anyway.

South Australia and NSW have also been making quite prominent noises and might beat Tassie to the punch.
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Old 03-17-2013, 04:00 AM   #857
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I've always thought that Labor were centre-left in the same way that the Democrats were centre-left, ie. they aren't.
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Old 03-17-2013, 04:20 AM   #858
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Labor were historically centre-left in economic matters, which makes sense given their origins. That should not be confused with the grab-bag of 'socially left' (although why some of those social concerns should be exclusively left is beyond me) issues that have been tacked on with greater or lesser commitment since the 1960s. And of course since then, like social democrat parties everywhere, Labor have surrendered much of the economically 'left' ground. Hence where we find ourselves today.

The Democrats were a breakaway from the Liberal party. Their perceived trajectory to the 'left' (into the early 1990s anyhow) exactly mirrors in reverse the fate of the old DLP from Labor to Coalition affiliation.
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Old 03-17-2013, 04:31 AM   #859
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Y'know, I studied politics for a semester last year. I still haven't got a fucking clue what socialism, communism, capitalism, etc mean, nor do I have any idea what the "economy" is besides "people work and get money and buy things". I think I'm gonna give up.
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Old 03-17-2013, 05:13 AM   #860
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In the end it's about wealth and how it is distributed. And make no mistake, whatever corner of the political spectrum holds power, it is distributed.
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Old 03-17-2013, 05:40 AM   #861
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u dont comunism its when bad people kill u and take all ur mony n ur not aloud 2 breath
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Old 03-17-2013, 07:18 AM   #862
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I've always thought that Labor were centre-left in the same way that the Democrats were centre-left, ie. they aren't.
What Kieran said. One of the reasons why the ALP has struggled so much to adapt to the "new" progressive/left wing landscape is because its left wing credentials were based largely around its attitude towards the economy. Keep in mind this party had communists, social democrats, and other Marxists in very high profile positions right up until at least the seventies. However, its emphasis on the working class has lost a lot of its resonance now that most Australians are either middle class or perceive themselves to be; practically nobody self-identifies nowadays as "working class". Furthermore, many of the unions that have been essentially central to its existence have been socially conservative and racist. The ALP was quite happy to uphold the White Australia Policy, in part to protect the jobs of white Australian workers. The fact that progressive politics has now shifted to a greater emphasis on social issues has really fucked them around; the greater environmental emphasis has been somewhat easier to manage, though not smooth.

On an economic scale, I would say until the Hawke years, the ALP were left. Hawke/Keating, they drifted a bit to the centre in line with the general global trend. Post-Howard, Rudd and Gillard have had to deal with the reality that the majority of Australia is wedded to Howard-era middle class welfare (and Howard-era xenophobic dog whistling) and they have had to maintain that despite contradictions with their own rhetoric and ideology. They're centre-left only because the centre has shifted more to the right in the wake of Howard.

New Zealand Labour has coped a bit better because of two factors: they were able to absorb the new social concerns of progressive politics with a greater degree of ease, and their members who leaned right economically departed in the late eighties to create a new small-l liberal party, ACT, that now sits a bit to the right of the Nationals. The ALP never quite got the luxury of discarding its equivalents to New Zealand's Roger Douglas, Richard Prebble, etc. (Though the comparison is imperfect, since ACT is true to its liberal principles and supports most socially progressive causes, while the right wing of the ALP - and its effectively dead DLP offshoot - are socially conservative.)
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"And as for Bono, he needs a colostomy bag for his mouth."

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Old 03-17-2013, 08:00 AM   #863
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Of course in relation to all that, I'd be more than a little inclined to describe the self image of the overwhelming majority of Australians as 'middle class' to be a bit of an American trojan horse. Take away all those little subsidies and benefits and see how middle class you feel, eh?

If working class means pulling levers in a factory, then no, not many of us are that now.
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Old 03-18-2013, 06:44 AM   #864
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Unfortunately I'm not confident. Gay marriage may be a big issue, but it's not the biggest issue in Australian politics right now. Elections at the moment are largely decided in bogan parts of western Sydney and Queensland. They hate taxes and they've been convinced that the current government's price on carbon is a tax when it's no more a tax than parking fines are a tax on driving. They want more middle class welfare ("zomg we've pulled little Jimmy out of the state-run school and put him in a private school and now there are fees?!?!? We want the government to pay for that too!!!!1!!11"). They're xenophobic, so the rather benign matter of asylum seekers has been whipped up into a racist fervour that poisons any and all political discourse that comes into contact with it. And these are also the places where you're most likely to find homophobic types.

The current state of play with the major parties is:
Labour (centre-left): Currently in power, has adopted gay marriage as party policy but members of parliament are permitted a conscience vote rather than having to follow party lines. Some right-wing unions are quite powerful within Labour and their leadership is socially conservative, hence the failure for more than half the party's members to vote for gay marriage. Labour's historically been based around the working class and had an emphasis on class conflict; it is struggling to adjust to modern progressive politics and the reality that almost everybody in Australia now sees themselves as middle class.
Liberal (centre-right): Will almost certainly win the September election. Party policy at the moment opposes gay marriage. Due to the nature of Aussie politics, the Libs will almost certainly be in power for the next six years if they win, and probably nine. However, some prominent members do support gay marriage and the party might revise its policy to permit members a conscience vote in the next few years. The combined vote of socially liberal Liberal and Labour politicians alongside the Greens might be enough to get gay marriage over the line, but I don't see this scenario happening until at least 2016-17.
Nationals (centre-right agrarian): Minor partner of the Liberals in coalition. Represent rural constituencies that are socially conservative. Definitely won't support gay marriage.
Greens (left): The only major party at the moment that is actually committed to supporting gay marriage.

It's depressing! Right now the best hope is that individual states will pass gay marriage laws and then seeing how the High Court interprets the constitution (since it's debatable whether states can legislate for gay marriage or not). It's likely that a gay marriage bill will pass in at least one state this year.
Those bogans sound like fun people. At least they're trying to get their kids educated, I guess...


Woah, so if one party wins they are in charge for six to nine years? THat's a helluvalong time!
But perhaps a sensitive approach to the topic would help. I mean, if the party's openly pro-gay, the bogan's aren't voting on them and they won't win the election. By revising it after, that could work. May take a couple years but they might get there after all.


Do your states work the same as The US? They can figure out their own laws and stuff like that?
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Old 03-19-2013, 07:45 AM   #865
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Of course in relation to all that, I'd be more than a little inclined to describe the self image of the overwhelming majority of Australians as 'middle class' to be a bit of an American trojan horse. Take away all those little subsidies and benefits and see how middle class you feel, eh?

If working class means pulling levers in a factory, then no, not many of us are that now.
Agreed. But as long as self-perception is of membership to the middle class, traditional rhetoric about the working class is not going to have much resonance and the ALP desperately needs to adapt.

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Woah, so if one party wins they are in charge for six to nine years? THat's a helluvalong time!
Well, basically, incumbent governments in Australian elections don't tend to lose often. Since the end of World War II, we've had just one single-term government, and that was in extraordinary circumstances. You can basically guarantee that when a party enters power, they will win their first and probably their second election as incumbent. Since elections are every three years, that gives the six to nine year figure (and the Liberal Party once held on 1949-72!).

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Do your states work the same as The US? They can figure out their own laws and stuff like that?
Similar, but our federal government exercises more control over the states.
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"Who buys U2 records anyway? It's just music for plumbers and bricklayers. Bono, what a slob. You'd think with all that climbing about he does, he'd look real fit and that. But he's real fat, y'know. Reminds me of a soddin' mountain goat."
"And as for Bono, he needs a colostomy bag for his mouth."

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Old 03-19-2013, 08:22 AM   #866
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Lol, here most parties don't actually end up serving full term. As it's usually a coalition of a few smaller parties(yeah, we have a fuckload of them here, ridiculous!) they will disagree on points, and to get laws through they have to find a majority. If they can't, it won't pass, and eventually the disagreements break up the parliament and they crash.

If it wasn't for the bloody control of the country, it'd actually be pretty funny. But yeah, it's sad.
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And if U2 EVER did Hawkmoon live....and the version from the Lovetown Tour, my uterus would leave my body and fling itself at Bono - for realz.
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Old 03-19-2013, 08:58 AM   #867
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http://m.washingtonpost.com/blogs/th...post-abc-poll/



What's really significant: SSM is supported by 81% (!!!) of 18-29 year olds.
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Old 03-19-2013, 10:45 AM   #868
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I may be almost 31 years old, but I could see why that age group overwhelmingly supports SSM. We came of age when gay rights gained momentum and sympathy for LGBT increased because of Matthew Shepard and the movie Boys Don't Cry. Unlike previous generations, we were more likely to know someone who was gay at a younger age. The LGBT community wasn't that foreign to us, so it's no wonder why we're more supportive.
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Old 03-19-2013, 11:58 AM   #869
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What's really sad is that I'm no longer in that age bracket.
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Old 03-19-2013, 12:23 PM   #870
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