The political pink cold potato that is GLBTI legal reform is farcical. It lies on the ground, untouched and rotting.
So, I now turn my gaze to the Greens, Independents, and smaller political groups who often hold the balance of power in the Senate – until recently a plus for GLBTI policy goals. You could argue that this is a good or bad thing, so I am going to argue that it’s a good thing. In the now famous words of Cheryl Kernot, “Let’s keep the bastards honest.”
Pauline Hanson was a freak situation, seemingly redundant in the wake of the ugly campaign lies of the “Tampa” election. Family First claims to support some sensible issues, but could hardly be considered progressive or friends of Dorothy.
And the Democrats? Their worthwhile political force in the Senate seems to be dwindling away, a loss for GLBTI rights. Whatever the minor party, preferences are an issue we must all be aware of.
Bob Brown mentions that voting for the Greens is a double vote. One gets to have a vote for the Greens, with the added bonus of a preference for your party of choice. Preferences are complex, especially for the Senate with its statewide electorate proportional system.
The House of Representatives is a little simpler. As the official house of review our Senate is an important part of our democracy. Lately Howard has had full control of it, and has used and abused it, to rubber stamp any legislation he wants.
While depicted as the loony left by right-wing “think tanks”, the Australian Greens are a party with clear, fair and concise policies regarding most areas of our society: from sexuality and gender identity, transport, health, indigenous and Torres Straight Islander peoples to regional Australia and human rights – not to mention a fundamental commitment to sustaining our fragile planet. In my mind, Bob Brown is a legend.
Meanwhile, the major parties seem ever conscious of the religious right, as they stake out minute policy differences, and leave the GLBTI community to languish in a discriminatory legal environment, with the basic protection from violence still a critical issue.
As far as the other Independents and smaller parties, I wouldn’t have a clue. I’ll do some research for next week.

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