06 August 2010

Australian internet filter dead in water

Forners may not be aware of an extremely boring federal election in Australia right now. Indeed, few Australians seem aware of this. This is as it should be. Elections that are Interesting usually turn out to be Dangerous. But there is one good that has come out of this. The Coalition of conservative parties has decided not to support the mandatory internet filter. Given that the party most likely to hold the balance of power in the upper house, the Greens, is opposed to it, the filter is dead no matter who wins the election. Excellent, outcome I hear you say in my head. And yes, it is. But there remains a deeper problem: Australian censorship is among the most draconian and pervasive in the western world, and both major parties have reiterated their devotion to it. This means that any attorney general can refuse a classification to a game, a book, a video that they dislike for no stated reason, and it becomes a crime to own it then and there. And right now, the religious own both major parties. Even though 70% of Australians want no censorship apart from violent and child exploitative material, there is no option. We will be treated like criminal children until proven innocent. This is why I am voting for the Australian Sex Party. Not because I am a major consumer of pornography or terrorist materials, but because, if it harm none, nobody has the right to tell me what I may or may not see as an adult citizen. The ASP is the only party whose priorities are in the right order: freedom, secularism, and humour. Forgive my suggesting to my six Australian readers that they vote this way too.

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