Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The title goes here

A few weeks ago I had dinner with my uncle and grandmother. And while I was there we were watching the news and there was a bit about how Italy was bringing in laws making it illegal to cover your face in public. I was a bit outraged and was all sort of, 'that's very uncool, we shouldn't be restricting peoples rights for non-existent gains in security'. And then my grandmother said that people shouldn't cover their faces in this climate of terror, and generally coming down on the side of paranoia.

This is the first time I've ever really taken a greatly different political position with another family member. Admittedly I haven't really spoken all that much politics with the generations before me, but they've always given the impression of moderation and reasonableness. Now I'm left to wonder what else do we disagree on.

My politics aren't very rigorously defined, but ultimately they come down to the side of personal liberty and social responsibility. Let people be free to do as they will, but ensure they don't get screwed over by others. I think corporations have too much power, or more accurately are too unconstrained, and that essential services such as health and education are at the moment not sufficiently funded. I also have a strong dislike of extremism. By that I mean taking things too far. Everything becomes dangerous if taken to an extreme. There's a book I've read called Jennifer Government, where corpratism is taken to an extreme, and society as whole has become much more dysfunctional. Perhaps the problem with extreme solutions is that they only work when things are very black and white, whereas the world is a large spectrum of grays.

When it comes to politicians, I think the first principle to apply is one that doctors live by, first, do no harm. The world today is a complicated place, and lots of stuff happens all the time, some good, some bad. Not adding more to the bad pile is a good place to start. That's why I think the state premier isn't too bad, because he hasn't gone around doing stuff making things worse for people. The prime minister however, has brought in a whole load of bad things. The messed up treatment of refugees, the complete and utter willingness to go along with anything America proposes (I'm not saying everything America proposes is good or bad (but recent stuff hasn't really been to our advantage), it's the going along without any real consideration or consultation that isn't good), the changes to higher education, the war on terror bullshit, and other messed up stuff.

End post

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