Reminding us why ALP inactivity is preferable to Liberal Party destructiveness

And the week of appallingly backwards and destructive policy by the Victorian Liberals continues:

Fury as Baillieu rams through pro-discrimination law

The Victorian Government has cast the rules of Parliament aside to reintroduce a bill that will allow faith-based groups to discriminate on grounds such as religion, marital status or gender.

Seriously, whenever there’s a terrible Labor government and you’re thinking “the Liberals can’t be any worse than this”, please remember – YES, THEY CAN.

UPDATE: You know what’s even more galling about this? That when Labor went to remove those exemptions for discrimination from the Act, they compromised and permitted religious organisations to discriminate on employees’ private lives so long as they could show a connection between the role and the ground. Religious schools could still sack the gay teacher, they just couldn’t sack the gay gardener.

But even that wasn’t good enough for the bigots. They needed to sack the gay gardener. Sanitarium needs to be able to sack the single mother. St Vincent’s Hospital needs to be able to sack the divorcee. How could they provide services if they can’t?

So what was the point of the ALP giving them the concessions they did? The ALP might as well have said, no, we’re not going to permit you to discriminate against employees on the grounds of what they do in their private life at all. Clearly you can’t compromise with these people.

Let’s hope that when this issue is revisited, next time Labor is in – and it had bloody well better be revisited – that Labor doesn’t even try compromising with the bigots. It’s not like they could be any more hostile to it, anyway.

I hope that these people live long enough to see gay marriage legalised and all forms of discrimination against gay people ended, I really do. Because unlike their victories, which are temporary and on the wrong side of history, once that psychological barrier is crossed, that’s it. Short of a collapse of civilization and the rise of a theocratic heart, they’ll never be able to undo it, any more than racists can revive apartheid or misogynists can take away women’s vote. I hope they live long enough to see it – and I hope we don’t have to wait all that long for the discrimination to end, either.

16 responses to “Reminding us why ALP inactivity is preferable to Liberal Party destructiveness

  1. Yes they can and usually do, worse that is. Liberals how I hate them let me count the ways. They’re all that shallow they could parachute out of a snakes arse. They would have the poor taking their tambourines down to the local church to sing for their supper if they thought they could get away with it etc.

    The religious zealots are making a grand come back, after all, the party that represents the insane, mis-guided, gullible, nasty, greedy, and just down right dis-honest as the day is long people among us, is there to collect not only their taxes but their vote. I hope I die before I see their cousins in federal parliament get power.

    Some of these shallow bastards make Jimmy Swaggert and some of the the other fundamentalist wank stains, look quite sane.

  2. mondo rock

    I remember, many years ago, you posted about the US elections and urged those dissatisfied with the Democrats to vote Nader, even though voting for Nader would actively assist the Republicans to get back in.

    You made the (valid) point that we shouldn’t vote for a party that fails to properly represent us as it entrenches that party’s poor behaviour in the long run. In other words, the Democrats have no incentive to adopt improved policies if they can bank on your vote merely by being slightly better than the Republicans.

    Have you now changed your tune?

  3. Let’s not forget they had to suspend standing orders because Wooldridge was in her office chatting to Dept staff — essentially she couldn’t be arsed turning up. Sloppy.

    The Bill itself represents another disgraceful example of the special privileges granted to religious organisations by a supposedly separate State. Shite.

    Libs/Nats — sloppy and shite.

  4. “Have you now changed your tune?”

    No, the US system is different. You can’t register your disgust with the Democrats by voting for them.

    In contrast, because we in Australia have preferences, we can vote Greens without helping the Liberals, whilst still registering our contempt for Labor and threatening them with losing seats.

    The US electoral system is a debacle. I suspect the right choice is short term pain for long term gain – putting pressure on the Democrats by voting for Nader – but it’s hardly an easy call.

  5. narcoticmusing

    Of all the legislation to consider so important that you would breach parliamentary convention – one that reduces human rights. Nice work guys.

  6. And this is the other problem with a very unpopular Labor govt – the conservatives can get in with a barely scrutinized agenda, including some real loonies like the new AG.

  7. uniquerhys

    For all the talk about “throwing away your vote on third parties” in the US, no one seems to point out that more people throw away their votes by not even showing up to vote. The Tea Party got in last year because Democrat and Independent voters stayed away, allowing the crazies to pick off the margins.

  8. Do you actually have any reference to Sanitarium wanting to sack a single mother, or was that just a random example? If so, I’d really like to have it.

  9. “Do you actually have any reference to Sanitarium wanting to sack a single mother, or was that just a random example?”

    Random example of what the religious nutters are demanding they be able to do. FOR THEIR FREEDOM.

  10. slhope: Sanitarium is wholly owned by the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, so if the law allows discrimination based religious preference then there is a valid question as to whether church-owned entities will seek to terminate employees based on insufficient conformance to religious doctrine. The color of ones religion is of course immaterial to the ability to make and pack breakfast cereal, vegeburgers, etc.

    Right now, employees can be fired if they don’t meet the job requirements. How is religion a job requirement at a health food company? The danger is that if the law is changed, then a bigoted manager at Sanitarium *could* fire a single mother who otherwise performs the job correctly. And it would be legal for them to discriminate. The whole point of anti-discrimination law is that it should *not* be legal for irrelevant factors to affect ones employment.

  11. The new Attorney General’s turning out to be a nasty piece of work, isn’t he? Wants to do away with double jeopardy now, as well. Yes, the Liberals are definitely on a mission to prove why they are far more retrogressive and thus worthy of remaining in opposition.

  12. narcoticmusing

    The new pro-discrimination laws are very concerning because if we can tell the difference between religious purposes and religious organisations running a business in terms of charitable status, than surely the legislation for discrimination should be able to do that too. Eg. not appropriate for a non-christian to be a pastor at a church but does it matter if they are the gardener?

    defixio – we shouldn’t tar any suggestion by the AG with the same brush. Many are just preliminary ideas and not the final point. The double jeopardy situation in Victoria is not consistent with other jurisdictions and in many ways enables miscarriage of justice as it lacks adequate balance with the retrial/appeal capacity of someone convicted. However, the issue will be whether the current inbalance is corrected to create another imbalance on the other side. Everyone should have the right to a fair trial and if acquitted that should be it – the problem is, some trials are down right unfair (ie rigged, like in the Walsh st killings case that provoked this suggested change). If the key witness admitted to perjury and that was the basis of the acquittal, do you think that confessed murderers should go free?

  13. Pingback: Higher wages for ordinary Australians? Liberals say it must be stopped | An Onymous Lefty

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