Tuesday, October 06, 2009
Monday, June 30, 2008
Sunday, October 07, 2007
Australia's new citizenship test criticised
The new citizenship test ... is a national embarrassment. Fitness for Australian citizenship will be based on the ability of would-be citizens to memorise a short but selective history of Australia and with it some pretty obscure facts... But this citizenship test is much more than propaganda and aspirations. For some, it will represent an insurmountable barrier to citizenship and therefore a denial of the right to vote in Australian elections. It's yet another assault by the Howard Government on democracy. Not everyone wishing to become an Australian citizen has the advantage of a formal education, and many will struggle to read, let alone memorise, all of the irrelevant information in Becoming an Australian Citizen. You can't judge a person's fitness for citizenship based on a test any more than you can judge a political party's fitness for government based on its promises.
Allison dissects and parodies the new citizenship test in a video posted to YouTube.
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Haneef case highlights eroding civil rights
It is a fundamental principle in any democracy that a person should only be imprisoned following the use of a fair and transparent process, free of political interference.
The case of Dr Mohammed Haneef is a stark demonstration of the way the Migration Act enables politically motivated decisions to be used to imprison people, regardless of judicial processes.
The Democrats have consistently been calling for an urgent reform of the Migration Act:
The Democrats believe that more than ever there needs to be proper independent oversight of the use of ministerial powers;
We believe there must be mechanisms to prevent violations of natural justice and to protect due process and the presumption of innocence.
We should be outraged by such reckless treatment of a person in our country because tomorrow it may be us. This issue is not about supporting terrorism, nor about the guilt or innocence of Dr. Haneef, it is about protecting our fundamental rights and freedoms. You can take action by signing a petition here.
Friday, March 02, 2007
Native Title Amendment Bill
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Call for Senate enquiry into water
"There was a serious lack of consultation during the development phase, with stakeholders such as the Murray-Darling Basin Commission and experts in the field left on the sidelines, and this is continuing to happen. The Murray-Darling Basin Commission has been forced to write letters to the Prime Minister outlining concerns because he refuses to consult properly."The Senate can play a constructive role in consulting widely and recommending sensible suggestions into the water management debate. The current sidelining of the Senate by the Government is missing opportunities to make parliament work effectively for the country on important matters, such as water management. particularly when the politicians with the most experience in environmental issues, The Greens and the Australian Democrats, can fully participate if the Senate is involved through an inquiry.
"I will push to refer the federal government's water plan to a Senate Inquiry for thorough examination if the states give the deal the go ahead."
Technorati Tags: Australian politics, Australian Democrats, Water, Environment