Thursday, May 21, 2009

Democrats in search of meaning

The "resurgent" Australian Democrats continue there attempt to search for meaning. Following their serious of BastardWatch activities they have dug into the bag of lessons from the great leader (Don Chipp) and lighted on censorship.

Now there is certainly plenty to be proud of in Chipp's achievements in this field, and it may be churlish to note these were achievements he made as a Liberal. It is also worth noting that censorship was a policy area on which the Australia Party alays distinguished itself, before indeed Chipp made his impact I believe.

But they have not here found a place to distinguish themselves. Their campaign jumps on the no internet censorship bandwagon on the usual littany of lies that it won't work (let's do the trial), is ineffective (so we shouldn't outlaw murder because outlawing it doesn't stop it), or that the list is scret and wrong (well that's the existing list, the ALP always said it would revise the list).

At least they are going to seek an alternative. However they say
We will also be working on a new censorship policy that seeks to limit all censorship as much as possible, allowing adult Australians to choose for themselves what they want to see...This will include a consistent approach to classification and censorship across all media.

But as they seem to have decided that you can't block things on the net, that means they won't limit access to anything. That means that to deliver a consistent approach there would no longer be a Refused Classification group of material and tis would be available under the (presumably) same conditions as X18+ material.

It is an interesting proposition. Not one that I think will see a great revival. And also one that sees them trailling GetUp! yet again.

If they had real balls and policy brains they'd be addressing the question of the role of large corporations in all their guises in policy making and control of debate, they'd address how massive companies are inconsistent with the assumptions of market capitalism. They'd be at the forefront of the demands for better prudential regulation!

But no, censorship seems to be the big liberal issue. They truly are the embodiement of a "post-materialist party", but hardly relevant in the mioddle of an econmic crisis.

1 comment:

coconaut said...

Hi, actually, the Democrats are at the forefront of the debates you mention.

Here's a thread from this week of the members debating whether the party should refuse donations from large corporations, and whether a political party can survive doing so.

And here is an older thread sort of related to massive companies distorting market capitalism.

Any member of the public, friend or foe, can sign up to New Democrats and debate too. Chances are it leads to a ballot and then an official policy.