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The Forum > Article Comments > The tyranny of the majority > Comments

The tyranny of the majority : Comments

By Peter Fenwick, published 17/1/2018

Attempts to modify the SSM bill to protect freedom of speech and religious beliefs got little support and amendments to the bill were voted down.

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The author seems spot on regarding the disappearance of liberties that's taken place over the last little while. To be honest, if Saint Paul was travelling around today, it's likely that few, if any, western nations would allow him in. So, Christianities main evangeliser wouldn't even get to visit because he'd be seen as too radical, unfortunately.
Posted by progressive pat, Wednesday, 17 January 2018 9:39:21 AM
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The same deviants who pushed to pervert marriage often defend Islam. Strange world.
Posted by runner, Wednesday, 17 January 2018 9:50:17 AM
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Not sure how 'tyranny of the majority' came into popular use when democracy is about the will of the majority. In this country, the real tyrants are the minorities who make the loudest noise to frighten our cowardly politicians and, the majority stays silent.

The dumbclucks who voted YES to SSM were not dumbclucks because they voted for SSM, but because they voted for a Bill that had not been tabled and whose contents were kept secret by our undemocratic politicians of all colours. Had they known that there would be little, if any, protection for people needing it, I believe they would have voted NO, as 40% of us did.

Because of this, SSM will always be contentious; simmering resentment will never go away. It is a zero-sum and ham fisted, with a few people getting rights, and many more losing rights. Not the stuff social harmony is made of.

And, too many Australians don't give a stuff.
Posted by ttbn, Wednesday, 17 January 2018 12:42:47 PM
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The real dumbclucks were those who demanded that the parliament know the will of the people, before a SSM bill could be put! Therefore the contents of any allowed bill, would not have been known!

When the people said yes in overwhelming landslide numbers, they knew the real will of the people!

The born to rule ultra right wing were not happy! But were allowed to put every amendment they had in the locker, all of which were voted down!

So let's just set the record straight, although there in Hansard for all to read for themselves if they want to fact check. And what's plainly missing in some of the earlier comments.

That said, I agree, we should have a bill of rights, which can never ever include a right to be wrong, yet preach as holy gospel. Nor can they have the right to be bigots enshrined in law. Or just hate filled gormless morons!
Alan B.
Posted by Alan B., Wednesday, 17 January 2018 9:26:53 PM
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There is no freedom of speech, or religion, in Australia, unless seen as residual to all restrictions which they are subject. Australia's High Court has said that while "freedom of speech" is a "highly valued element in our society", "of cardinal importance", and an "essential element", free speech does not mean free speech but "freedom governed by law". It has also been said in the High Court that "recourse to the general law reveals that ... speech ... may be regulated and ... severely restricted" and similarly "religious conviction is not a solvent of legal obligation". Religious conduct is subject to "ordinary laws i.e. those which do not discriminate against religion generally or ... particular religions or conduct of a kind which is characteristic only of religion". As has also been said in the High Court, "in law there is no absolute freedom to do anything that might affect another". This echoes Mill's comments that "acts, of whatever kind, which without justifiable cause, do harm to others, may be, and in the more important cases absolutely require to be, controlled ... As soon as any part of a person's conduct affects prejudicially the interests of others, society has jurisdiction over it". In other words it will often be a question of determining how religious interests should be balanced with other interests, e.g. if one section of the community has a higher suicide rate than others, is it really best that people can pick and choose whether to serve them in a shop? This article might have benefited by more analysis about that
Posted by WilliamS, Thursday, 18 January 2018 6:00:33 AM
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ttbn referring to the majority who voted for same sex marriage as 'dumbclucks'. Coming from that is priceless...although being one itself, it is well placed to identify them.
Posted by minotaur, Friday, 19 January 2018 9:54:18 AM
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