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Pages tagged "federal politics"
MR: ACL welcomes High Court decision on marriage
· December 12, 2013 11:00 AM
For release: Thursday, 12th December, 2013
The Australian Christian Lobby has welcomed the High Court’s decision to reject the ACT’s same-sex marriage laws.
Managing Director Lyle Shelton said the ruling upholds uniformity of marriage laws across the country.
“The ACT’s “marriage” laws were inconsistent with the federal laws and incapable of concurrent operation,” he said.
“This ruling shows it is not the jurisdiction of states to legislate in regards to marriage,” Mr Shelton said.
“It’s important for marriage laws to continue to be administered federally – this is why the Marriage Act was passed in 1961 to have uniform marriage laws,” he said.
“Marriage between a man and a woman is good for society and beneficial for governments to uphold in legislation. It’s about providing a future for the next generation where they can be raised by their biological parents, wherever possible,” he said.
However, Mr Shelton expressed concern for those same-sex couples who thought they were married under the ACT legislation.
“Understandably they will be disappointed at the decision handed down today and it is unfortunate they were put in this position,” Mr Shelton said.
“The debate about changing the definition of marriage has been given a fair go for the past three years with nine parliamentary attempts to change it,” he said.
“Like the republican debate, the public and parliamentarians have had plenty of time to evaluate it and it is now time to move on.”
Teenagers care about democracy and government
· March 26, 2013 11:00 AM
Image Source: The Courier-Mail
In light of the upcoming federal election, Michael Knight - "adolescentologist" and founder of Peer Power - raises some interesting points in an article examining the interest of teenagers in the process of democracy and who governs the nation.
His article, entitled 'Teens may seem self-centred but democracy is at their core' was published in the Courier-Mail this month.
Below is a copy of Mr Knight's article.
With the recent announcement of a Federal election, comes the question of whether the incumbent will stay in power or whether the opposition will win a majority and take power.
As someone who spends his days working with teenagers, I wondered whether the average teenager cared about government, its various forms and what role they can play in the whole decision-making process?
After briefly thinking about these two ideas, it would be plausible to conclude that they have little in common - which would be true if one buys into stereotypes and sound bites.
Like a frog in a pot, we can easily lose perspective.
True, Government and politicians can be easy targets for complaints especially given the sound bite news cycle. However before we take another pot shot at our chosen form of government, let us not forget the very form of government we can be so displeased with allows for her citizens to freely express such opinions.
It was the former Prime Minister of England, Churchill who said of democracy, “It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.”
Now consider the average teenager in Australia and their attitude to government? Would these two ideas be held in the same sentence?
Given a stereotype of the larrikin Aussie teenager as, laconic, pleasure seeking, narcissists or anarchists I would find myself leaning towards the notion that they could not care less about government – but I would be wrong.
In Peer Power’s 2011 survey of 5,000 teenagers, ‘Adolesecentology’ we asked if they take an interest in how our country is governed? I was surprised to learn that 43% agreed with this statement, and 39% were neutral about this, only 18% disagreed.
Of more interest was that over half of all students surveyed agreed or strongly agreed that democracy really does give the common person power to make significant decisions in how our country is run.
Herein lies the danger of stereotypes and sound bites. They may come over as satisfying evidence to support my disposition or I can use this apparent evidence to ‘join me on the bandwagon of my own uncertainty’ (apologies to Taylor Mali Declarative Sentence).
However, beyond the stereotype and sound bite I discovered one of the colorations within the survey showed that those students who do take an interest in government reported having strong core values and could articulate those values. Hardly laconic, pleasure seeking narcissists or anarchists, but capable, thinking, intelligent and articulate young people forming their worldviews and expressing them.
To my surprise and delight I for one came away from these findings encouraged to know that some teenagers not only care about the governing of our country but are and have formed core values which they are willing to express - a wonderful rite within democracy.
It is true that government at times does make decisions that leave their citizens scratching their head, nor wishing they had ticked the other box on the ballot paper.
It is true that a commonly held stereotype of teenagers is that they may be laconic, pleasure seeking narcissists or anarchists.
But to continue to hold these views would be to lose one’s perspective on what we discovered.
Democracy invites and welcomes the expression of opinions free from the threat of being silenced or imprisoned and many teenagers do care about government within Australia.
Whatever happens in the Federal election, we have a nation where many teenagers care, think and take an interest in how the country is governed.
Jim Wallace on the Political Spot
· December 17, 2012 11:00 AM
Jim Wallace is the Managing Director of the Australian Christian Lobby. He spoke to the ACL's Katherine Spackman about the year in politics and looks ahead to the federal election and upcoming WA election.
A-G introduces human rights scrutiny laws
· June 03, 2010 10:00 AM
The legislative component of the Federal Government’s response to the Human Rights Consultation, headed by Father Frank Brennan, was tabled in parliament this week by Attorney-General Robert McClelland (pictured).
The Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Bill 2010 (and a further consequential amendments bill) will increase the parliamentary scrutiny of legislation. The bill establishes a new Joint Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights, which will be responsible for examining legislation for human rights compliance, and will have the capacity to undertake inquiries.
The bill also creates the requirement that all new bills introduced into parliament must be accompanied by a statement of compatibility with Australia’s international human rights obligations. These obligations are outlined is seven core international human rights treaties, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Additional parliamentary scrutiny of legislation for human rights compliance is part of the Government’s ‘
Human Rights Framework
’, which is the Government’s response to the
Brennan inquiry report
That report recommended the enactment of a Human Rights Act, which would have shifted some political power to the courts. The Government fortunately rejected that suggestion.
ACL welcomes the introduction of the parliamentary scrutiny bills, which ensures that the rights and interests of vulnerable Australians will properly be considered in the process of policy development and legislative change.
It also means that the final determination on how to balance competing, and often contentious, ‘rights’ remain in the hands of elected and accountable officials, not the courts.
The Australian Human Rights Commission has also
welcomed the bills
, saying they “had the potential to more closely align Australia’s domestic systems of protection with our international human rights commitments”. For a short media report about the changes, please click
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