John Anderson AO, an icon for the abandoned cultural conservationists in Victoria, tweeted earlier this week:
That wasn’t a headline we read anywhere. And it’s not the first time he’s raised his deep concerns. In August 2020 in an interview on SKY News with Peta Credlin following the passing of the ACT Conversion Therapy Bill, Anderson lamented the lack of quality political debates and the cultural unravelling with this type of legislation. He was ignored.
Credlin referenced previous difficult conscience votes citing RU486 and stem cell research, where views were well-ventilated in both the community and parliament. Anderson responded with a current survey about the ACT legislation revealing 85% of parents in Canberra didn’t know this was coming. No surprises if the same level of community non-engagement existed in Victoria.
You’d think Victorians may have caught on, but grassroots members of the LNP are just as dazed and distraught by the smooth unopposed passage of this bill in Victoria’s Legislative Assembly. Those concerned about impacts upon freedoms, family and especially vulnerable children were not represented in mainstream media (Bernard Lane highlights definitely not on ‘our’ #ABC who showcase children’s gender clinics). And their representatives in parliament were not even permitted a conscience vote. No media, no vote, no choice. That’s a very sick democracy.
Victorian politicians have not only failed the grassroots members of the conservative side, but the many ordinary families in our society; the parents and their children who are expected to make life-changing irreversible decisions impacting their sexuality and fertility. They have failed the democracy test and the human rights test. They have failed the ‘do no harm’ test.
Despite spruiking its multicultural credentials, Victorian politicians have also failed those migrant communities who have fled religious persecution from troubled regions of the world to find religious freedom in Australia. Secular Australia may not understand that, but it’s actually terrifying for those who have been persecuted for their faith to think that normal practices like reading the Bible or praying (deeply embedded in their culture) could become criminal. They can’t understand how this can happen in Australia.
Anderson wasn’t quite right. Perhaps it isn’t this controversial bill that’s the ‘biggest threat to our democratic freedoms in Australia’s entire legislative history.’ It seems to me, it’s the Victorian Government itself and the inability of any Victorian MP to persuasively prosecute the case for freedom and vulnerable children.
[Photo by Jonathan Kemper