Greens will supersede ALP: Bob Brown

Dennis Shanahan - The Australia

BOB Brown has a vision of the Australian Greens supplanting Labor as one of Australia's mainstream political parties in the decades ahead.

As the Greens leader celebrates 25 years as a parliamentarian and holding the balance of power in both houses of parliament for the first time, with a record 10 Greens MPs, he envisages a much broader political future than the passage of the carbon and mining taxes in the months ahead. "I believe the Greens as a party are in a similar position to what the Labor Party was 100 years ago," Senator Brown told The Weekend Australian in an interview.

"We represent a widespread view of the community and our support is geographically widespread.

"I think that within 50 years we will supplant one of the major parties in Australia."

Declining Labor may have to tie knot with the Greens

Shaun Carney - The Age

HAVE Australians already seen the last majority national Labor government? The question acquires great potency now that the Greens have assumed the balance of power in the Senate. The comfortable, conventional view of the 2010 election result, which denied Labor and the Coalition an outright lower house majority, is that it was a one-off, born of the peculiar circumstances in which both Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott became leaders of their parties - and the limited ways they exercised leadership.

Ita Buttrose demands Prime Minister Julia Gillard call an election

Elissa Doherty - Herald Sun

ITA Buttrose has demanded that Prime Minister Julia Gillard show strong leadership and call an election.

In a blistering serve, the businesswoman blamed a lack of leadership for Julia Gillard's dive in popularity and said she needed to tell the Greens and independents the party was over.


Equality for all parents, straight or gay

Jessica Irvine - The Sydney Morning Herald

WE'VE all witnessed recently how quickly, in the hands of politicians, the great moral challenges of our time reduce into simple sums about jobs and dollars. Where moral arguments fail to excite politicians, economic arguments are never far from mind.

Advocates of gay marriage commonly use moral arguments about equal rights to support their case. And polls show three out of four Australians tend to agree, thinking it ''inevitable'' marriage between same-sex couples will be legalised.

The Same Sex Marriage Debate

Daniel Emerson - Menzies House

Daniel Emerson argues in article 3/4 in today's debate series that the same sex marriage debate is a distraction: (The other articles have been very good as well)

Recently we in Australia have had the resurgence of the same sex marriage debate. Pushed mostly by the current rise of radical left wing organizations such as: the political popularity of the Australian Greens, some far left lobby groups and the media savvy Australian Sex Party. This topic is a very deep and emotional debate topic for those on both sides of the political divide. Differing polls have been quoted as saying a majority of Australia either does or doesn’t support the changing of the marriage act based on the political agenda of the pollster. Asking people whatever question you want, and seeking the desired outcome is inevitable with the agenda some of these groups are pushing.

A history of marriage in Australia

Rodney Croome - The Drum

Rodney Croome - On August 13, 2004, in a debate punctuated by rage and tears, the Senate passed a Howard government amendment to the Marriage Act banning same-sex marriages.

Exactly 45 years earlier, on August 13, 1959, in the midst of debating Australia's first national Marriage Act - the one Howard later amended - the House of Representatives erupted at the news an Aboriginal woman had been denied permission to marry.

ABC spotlights gay marriage


ABC1’s Compass program will delve into the topical issue of gay marriage in Australia with an engaging two-part series starting this Sunday night.

The first hour-long episode, titled State of the Union, introduces three couples who would dearly like to get married – if only they could.

“Every day of every year somewhere, sometime, someone is getting married,” says the ABC’s promo for the show. “This timeless ritual is a celebration of the legally binding union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others.

“But in Australia not every loving couple has the right to marry. What does this mean for them? How does it play out in their lives? And with all the rights now afforded to same sex couples, why do they even want to get married?

Robertson praised for gay marriage stance


Campaigners for same sex marriage are encouraged by the support given by the New South Wales Opposition Leader.

John Robertson has told the ABC's 7.30 program he has decided to push the issue at Labor's annual conference next week.

"This is a personal issue for me, not a political one. One of my kids is gay, and I'd like them to have the same opportunities as the other siblings," Mr Robertson said on the program last night.


Anglican Church queries school chaplain program

Leesha Mckenny and Dan Harrison - The Sydney Morning Herald

THE legitimate place of religion in NSW government schools might be put at risk by the misuse of the National School Chaplaincy Program, the head of Sydney's Anglican Education Commission has warned.

Bryan Cowling, the executive director of the peak body for the Anglican Diocese of Sydney, said well-established special religious education preserved the secularism of NSW schools while providing weekly faith instruction for those who wanted it.

But he told the Herald that chaplains - with the term's religious connotations - might blur the distinction between faith and welfare, increasing the chance of misuse by proselytising, which might call into question access granted to schools for special religious education, also known as scripture.

Baillieu says euthanasia should be dealt with at a 'national level'

Julia Medew - The Age

PREMIER Ted Baillieu has rejected a dying man's plea for voluntary euthanasia to be put back on the agenda in Victoria, saying it should be dealt with at a national level.

Mr Baillieu said although he personally supported voluntary euthanasia, he would not refer the matter to the Victorian Law Reform Commission, as requested by Melbourne lawyer Alan Rosendorff, who is dying of cancer.

Proposal could give police power to lift burqa or full-face veil

The Daily Telegraph

WOMEN wearing the burqa or other full-face veils will be forced to show their face when stopped by police under proposed changes to the law, Attorney-General Greg Smith said yesterday.

Mr Smith said there was a duty on all citizens to identify themselves when asked by police and the law should reflect that.

"The law is not that specific at the moment and that is what we are leading towards," Mr Smith said.