Australian people are having their debates and discussions stifled by the threat from the 'NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal for Homosexual Vilification' and the 'Racial Discrimination Act Section 18c' on several important political issues that will affect many generations to come: 'national security', 'immigration', the 'definition of marriage' and 'Aboriginal recognition in the constitution'. Paul Coleman in his book 'Censored: How European "Hate Speech" Laws are Threatening Freedom of Speech' shows the threat to free speech is not limited to locally grown authoritarians, but all the way up the halls of power.
Several important articles in the media report the problem of stifled debate.
Chinese investment: National security must come first
Michael McLaren speaks with Peter Jennings, Executive director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.
ALAN JONES TALKS TO PETER JENNINGS
This time it is the possible sale of Ausgrid to the Chinese
Wicked Campers critics 'authoritarians disguised as hippies or feminists': Senator Leyonhjelm
...Senator Leyonhjelm said those complaining about the slogans were "authoritarian" because they were trying to enforce their views on the rest of the community.
"They're purporting to make up rules for the rest of us," he said.
"What they're trying to do is tell us what's good for us."...
Nick Xenophon rules out support for removing 18C from Racial Discrimination Act
Crossbench senator Nick Xenophon has ruled out supporting any future changes to the Racial Discrimination Act, effectively blocking any amendments.
...Senator Xenophon said "I can understand some of the arguments put forward, but when you have both the Jewish community and the Arab community on a unity ticket in the same room saying 'we think these amendments are reckless', then you know this is an area we shouldn't go down."
American President Franklin Roosevelt was often quoted as saying that "it was the task of politicians to yield to pressure".
In order to correctly engage with the political process, it is the task of every member of the community to inform their representatives of their views on these important issues. Doing nothing is no longer an option. The correct political process cannot occur in a vacuum.
FROM THE PAST: COERCIVE LAWS WILL ONLY HELP TO PROMOTE RACISM
from The Age (Melbourne), 11/11/1994
The 'racial vilification act' is a totally unnecessary piece of legislation introduced into a society that already has become litigious and over regulated. Such legislation threatens one of the basic tenets of democracy that is 'freedom of speech'. If you destroy freedom of speech, you destroy a democracy. "Australia is a tolerant society that is remarkably free of racial tension. Such a law is sending out a strong message that we are a nation of bigots and racists who require thought policing through criminal sanctions.
"Coercive laws are not required in a country that enjoys a level of racial harmony, which is the envy of many other countries with racially diverse populations. If anything, the racial vilification laws will do more to promote racism through driving it underground. Very few instances of assault, murder and property damage have resulted from racial disharmony and we already have adequate laws to deal with these problems. The proposed legislation is too vague in its definition and such statements as 'incitement to racial hatred' would be difficult to enshrine in law and can only be interpreted subjectively.
"Apart from criminal sanctions this law creates opportunities for defamation suits. For too long, defamation laws have been a powerful inhibitor of the freedom of speech and the dissemination of information relating to issues of public concern. Defamation laws have been exploited by people seeking easy money and the level of compensation payments are often out of proportion to the level of damage suffered when one compares the payout figures for permanent physical disabilities arising from accidents.
"No doubt, the racial vilification laws have been designed to specifically inhibit debate and discussion on sensitive issues like immigration, which is yet another example of influential minority groups setting the agenda on matters that are of concern to the wider community. "This is a potent argument for abandoning the policy of multiculturalism and replacing it with a policy of integration. Under a policy of integration, ethnic groups will be treated no differently from the mainstream community, which would facilitate the development of a more cohesive society with a stronger sense of national identity.
"Over the years, I have observed the steady and incremental erosion of personal freedom in Australian society and the racial vilification laws are just another step back into the dark ages of repression.
(Angela Walker, Candidate of Kooyong by-election, Australians Against Further Immigration)
On Target 18 November 1994. http://alor.org/Volume30/Vol30No44.htm