@Evelyne Roullet. You raise some good points in your reasons …

Comment on Alice’s upbeat YES campaign for marriage equality by John Bell.

@Evelyne Roullet. You raise some good points in your reasons for ‘No’ voters not coming out of the woodwork in Alice. You make an excellent observation that outside those of religious faiths, marriage has been devalued and has lost much of its meaning in the hetero secular community in favour of de facto family situations. Centrelink and other agencies provide similar benefits, while gay couples with kids get similar financial entitlements. There can be no doubt that there are still, however, large silent numbers of agnostic or atheistic non-religious secular Alicians who hold marriage in the same light as their religious fellow citizens. In a small town like Alice they keep their views to themselves and the survey envelope for fear of backlash in their social and business lives in the current environment. It would be good if some of these Alicians would be game enough to articulate their ‘No’ arguments.
I would like to see the debate go beyond the highly charged emotive to the clearheaded discussion on the intention of the Constitution and peoples’ voice questions of referendum v postal survey, the jurisdictional separation of powers in any change to the Marriage Act, the parliament’s so-called ‘conscience vote’ and the ramifications of legal case precedent such as the decision in Hyde v Hyde etc. This would make any subsequent change or staus quo of the Marriage Act a much more credible exercise of due diligence that would stand the credibilty test of scrutiny by future generations. Are there any Alicians out there who are prepared to stand up to public scrutiny I wonder? I hope there are.

John Bell Also Commented

Alice’s upbeat YES campaign for marriage equality
Ms Finnane has done one side of the journalistic due diligence exercise seeking out and interviewing Yes lobbyists in depth.
Will Ms Finnane be completing the full circle of the due diligence exercise by seeking out and interviewing No supporters? (ahem) Yes? No? (So to speak). I look forward to it with interest.


Recent Comments by John Bell

Town still upset with Stuart statue, say researchers
Went to Budapest in 2003, home of the indigenous Magyar people. A unique tribe of ancient warriors not related to the Slavic peoples of Europe that surround Hungary.
On every street corner, in public parks are statues of ancient warriors on horses. And outside the athletics stadium in Pest are the statues erected by the Soviet Russians.
Commemorating the proletariat of Communist oppression.
Knocked down, broken and lying in the long grass where the pigeons poo on them. Left there deliberately by the descendants of the Magyars who drove the Russian Communists out in recent times.
Left there as a reminder of the oppression. Perhaps some of our chattering activist class in academia who are hot and bothered about an explorer of Central Oz might like to rock on over to Budapest establish a sister town link – to get an idea of what constitutes real outrage over real oppression.


Inquiry into fracking: Giving it the green light?
No problems or worries about gas down here in Mexico. The Andrews government has a total moratorium on all land gas exploration and extraction, whether by conventional or fracking.
Plus the shutdown of Hazelwood. With summer upon us. And the hot air supply of Parliament House temporarily reduced with the pollies going on holidays.
Trillions of litres of gas by conventional means under our feet, the gift waiting for China in the fulness of time not too far away.
Ah yes. The Garden State. Utopia.


Local government: A lot of action beyond the 3Rs
“What role does the Council play?” is a vital question that needs to be addressed urgently by the Australian community in the most over-governed nation per head of population on planet earth.
With councillors around Australua zipping off on “professional development” trips to China hand in hand with State politicians, councils have become platforms to launch political careers and to pursue social engineering agendas way beyond the letter and spirit of council charter.
Our daily lives are being micro managed by
Looney Tune councils down here in Mexico a la Darebin, Moreland and Yarra, preaching social engineering philosophies that are moralistic, intrusive and extreme nanny state.
I hope the good people on the Alice Council resist the the heady drug of self-appointed greatness and power beyond their charter and stay true to the ideals of first class delivery of roads rates and rubbish collection that aren’t glamorous but serve the town best and keep the people happy and safe.


No gaol for Peace Pilgrims: sentence
@ Kieran Finnane. Cold War circumstances change with the times.
Once it was Russia. Now it is North Korea backed by China.
What’s the difference between a KGB-ruled Soviet Union and a despotic ally of the soulless atheistic materialistic Tiananmen China superpower that has vowed to take control of the Western democratic world by whatever means possible?
Australia is a bunny blinded by the China spotlight. Anti-American protestors a la the Peace Pilgrims are yesterday’s men (and women), way behind the times in their inability to see today’s reality.


No gaol for Peace Pilgrims: sentence
@ Horton: Agreed. A good and sensible outcome. From the outset, the right to public protest by the Peace Pilgrims has never been questioned. The real issue here is the concept of civil disobedience and its reasonable limits in a society that is ruled by a stable democratic government under the rule of law.
Justice Reeves got it right. The Pilgrims challenged the limits and received much public praise on their journey. Acquittal would have implied that civil disobedience has no limits, no matter what the cause and where and when the civil disobedience occurs. The sentences did not bring down the hammer of a jail term, but emphasised that the Pilgrims had exceeded the limit.

@ Fred the Phillistine: Your emphasis on the cost to the public purse is interesting. You say that the Pilgrims should have been allowed to do their thing, presumably whenever they feel like returning.
Down here in Mexico, the CBD at Flinders and Swanston has been seriously disrupted in peak hour every Friday arvo during the month of November by the Manus Island protest marchers. Ongoing and escalating loss of income, serious stress and inconvenience is being caused to countless city workers.
With increasing numbers of civil disobedience protest marches in this critical part of the CBD almost weekly for every cause under the sun, we are looking at untold loss of income for ordinary punters and their families going about their lawful daily business affairs.
My question to you is – where would you draw the line and set the limit, on the causes that justify civil disobedience and the number of times protesters of any given cause should be able to cause social disruption and financial damage?

[ED – It was up to the jury, as always in a jury trial, not the judge to find the defendants guilty or not guilty.]


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