Gary Johns is one of the more sensible people you’ll ever meet. He is also a former ALP federal cabinet minister. These days he writes magnificent books and a must-read column in The Australian. Today (as on many previous days) he is putting the boot into s18c. Then there is this snippet (that I knew but now he has confessed).
I have to confess that I was a member of the federal parliamentary Labor Party caucus that voted for 18C. I opposed it in caucus and supported it in the parliament.
So many politicians (and former politicians too) seem to think that opposing something in the party room but voting for it in the parliament is okay. Or speaking against some or other legislation but then voting for it is okay.
If a law is bad enough to oppose in the party room or speak against on the floor of the parliament, don’t vote for it.
Now I understand that Gary was a member of the ALP and they never vote against the party line in the parliament (one reason why I can never support ALP MPs even when I’m assured by people I trust that they are closet libertarians/Hayekians etc.) and was bound by party rules – but there are Liberal MPs that I know who do the same thing.
To reiterate – Gary has been a vocal and vehement critic of 18c and it may be somewhat unfair to single him out, but it is very frustrating to see sensible people voting for rubbish legislation in the parliament when you know full well they know it is rubbish.
Why do it? How you vote is more important than what you say.