An unexpected glimmer of hope that the Opposition will do their job and oppose Rudd and Conroy's mad internet censorship scheme: Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey has come out against the net filtering scheme. This is significant because he's the first senior member of the Opposition to speak out against this bill; in fact he's only one step down from the leader of the Opposition, Tony Abbott. The down side is, he's from the Coalition's despised and discredited "moderate" wing, so this isn't necessarily an indication as to what the Coalition's formal policy will be. If they do reject it, the Bill will be dead in the Senate--even with Senator Fielding's enthusiastic support (would this be one of the few times he will have voted with Labor in the Senate?)--because the Greens have (predictably) rejected it. Even then it could still pass if six Coalition senators defy their parties and cross the floor, but such a show of disunity would be almost unheard of here. (Party solidarity is a much bigger deal here than it is in the US, especially since the 80s when minor parties traditionally hold the balance of power in the Senate.)
On a lighter note, I was most amused by this opinion piece in The Australian on the major leaders' differing approaches to discussions about sex. But more importantly it highlights how much of an insincere weasel (apologies to my esteemed mustelid friends) Kevin Rudd has been as a Prime Minister. Right up there with John Howard, the "lying rat" (apologies to my murine friends) he so gleefully replaced. I was an enthusiastic supporter at his election, but that has waned as his own performance has grown limp and left me feeling cold and disappointed. His carefully stage-managed public persona is a bleak contrast to Tony Abbott's boots and all approach. If it weren't for Tony Abbott's well-known religious leanings, which culminated in him admitting to feeling "threatened" by gays (how would this feeling of "threat" be reflected in his policy approach to those who don't fit the traditional white picket fence definition of family?) and his unintelligent approach to many of our burning issues, I might be tempted to give him a go. Sadly, we are denied any real choice at the next election; never has the Aliens vs Predator movie poster been more true: "Whoever wins... we lose".