Today the ‘right to be a bigot’, as the pompous George Brandis put it, was rebuffed by his own party.
The Liberal Party halted attempts to repeal Section 18 C of the Racial Discrimination Act, after a poll revealed more than 76% of Australian’s were opposed to the repeal.
It’s certainly a win for community campaigning, but to what extent is this a victory?
If we have to fight this hard to preserve the status quot on race issues, is our country really succeeding at all? Continue reading You have no right to be a bigot. #100daysofblogging #Day65
So what actually is in the Australian constitution??
The Constitution Act defines, in detail, the conditions under which the Commonwealth Government of Australia was established. It’s second Act extends recognition of the powers of the Queen on to her successors, chaining Australia to the British monarchy indefinitely. It then outlines the methods and machination involved in the election of the two houses of Federal Parliament and their various responsibilities. The largest part of the Act deals with the integration of the colonies various systems of law, taxation, finance, security and transport. It is quite boring actually, and very little is relevant to ongoing debates about the rights of Australian citizens.
Unlike the Constitution of the United States of America, the Australian Constitution does not have a Bill of Rights, or indeed any section outlining and guaranteeing the individual rights of citizens. Instead these rights are established through the Judiciary and through Acts passed by both houses of Parliament. The downside of this is that any government, with the support of a majority in both houses of Parliament, has the ability to repeal or modify our rights.
This is concerning to those of us who believe basic human rights ought to be guaranteed by law. Continue reading What is in the Australian Constitution? (Part 2)