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This is why I will never, ever vote for the NSW Liberal party while they have any kind of deal (including second preference group voting in the Legislative Council ballot) with Fred Nile and/or the so-called Christian Democratic Party.

In summary, Nile has proposed private member’s bills with various anti-abortion effects, banning full-face coverings, banning X-rated movies and lifting the legal drinking age from 18 to 21. Talk about wowserism and an ideological push.

He’s also proposing an advertising ban on alcohol and gambling – now that, I admit, I could get behind, if the bill is a sensible one. But as the whole agenda appears to be based on ideology, I’m not sure it would be.

Cross-posted at Hoyden About Town.

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I’m a little bit excited by the results of the elections in the USA yesterday.

The reason for my excitement is fairly nicely summarised in this post at Shakesville.

My excitement is not so much because Obama won, or because Romney lost. While I think that Obama is a significantly better choice, politics in the USA is largely to the right of where I sit, so Obama winning gives me a sense of relief but probably not enough excitement to lead to me writing an actual blog post.

On the other hand, the long list of wins that Melissa has set out in her post says to me that there might just be something progressive in the air in the USA: apparent rejection of candidates who said horrible things related to rape, election of the first openly gay Senator, marriage equality initiatives passing – generally, the election of people who are not necessarily male, white, cis and wealthy. Of course, I’m not saying all of the people who have those descriptors are bad, and it’s not like they’re not still the majority of elected representatives in the USA anyway – my point is more about the increasing diversity of representation, the apparent value of that diversity to the voters in the USA, and the apparent rejection of certain things (like the people who said horrible things related to rape).

That’s what is getting me excited.

(And wondering whether we might see something similar here in next year’s federal election.)

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I always vote below the line in the Senate, and I have now done my research so I can vote in an informed manner.

If you want to do the same, you can find the information you’ll need at the AEC election website, which lists candidates as well as the registered preference tickets for the Senate. The tickets can be helpful for candidates about whom there is very little info, because you can get an idea of who they’re willing to jump into bed with.

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caitlinate at The Dawn Chorus has a bonza (or something) collection of quotes from Tony Abbott, just to remind you of all the odious things he’s said over the years.

Here’s a sample:

Why isn’t the fact that 100,000 women choose to end their pregnancies regarded as a national tragedy approaching the scale (say) of Aboriginal life expectancy being 20 years less than that of the general community?
– From Tony Abbott’s speech to the Adelaide University Democratic Club ib 16 March 2004 (NB: link is a PDF; quote is at the top of page 6) (NB2: he put it in writing, so it’s not just something he said “in the heat of discussion” – rather, it must be taken to be an “absolutely calm, considered, prepared and scripted” remark!)

I think there does need to be give and take on both sides, and this idea that sex is kind of a woman’s right to absolutely withhold, just as the idea that sex is a man’s right to demand I think they are both they both need to be moderated, so to speak
– From Q&A, 19 March 2009

Misogyny, racism, general douchery. What more could you want?

(yep, that’s sarcasm)

Well, even if you don’t think you want more, go read caitlinate’s post to remind yourself of how odious Tony Abbott really is.

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Ok, the post title is snarky, but Fraser does seem to be getting his name in lights a bit lately [warning: there is a video that starts 5 seconds after you load the linked site].

As well as his resignation from the Liberal Party, he was on Q&A on Monday, for which there is a transcript here. I had it on in the background while I did some work, so I didn’t catch every word. But this comment of Fraser’s made me perk my ears up (my emphasis):
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Diane Abbott, the UK Parliament’s first black female MP, has put her name forward as a candidate for the UK Labour Party’s leadership ballot.

Realistically, it will probably be one of the frontrunners who wins. But as Abbott points out, all the other candidates “look the same”.

If Abbott is successful, I think that means she’d not only be the first black female leader of the party (or of any of the UK major parties – any of the UK Parliamentary parties, for that matter), but the first female leader of the Labour Party, the first black leader of the Labour Party, the first black leader of any of the UK major parties (and perhaps of any UK Parliamentary party).

Which would be pretty incredible.

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Yet another reason I can’t see myself bringing myself to vote for the Libs at the next NSW election (not that I think I’ll be able to bring myself to vote ALP, either): Barry O’Farrell’s interesting take on the criminal justice system:

If he (Williams) had a criminal record, what’s he doing on the street in the first place?

Bazza, you do know that most people convicted of crimes are not locked up for the rest of their lives?

In any case, his defence of the police chase re responsibility for the crash is weak. The chase “just moments” before the crash. I’m sure that the driver was able to read the minds of the police force and knew absolutely that they weren’t chasing him any more. /sarcasm

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