Do you think Australia should have a “Bill of Rights”?

Here’s a thing: I’ve listened to a number of wonderful podcasts for the bill of rights, and then listened to one podcast against them and was utterly surprised to find myself against such a bill! I’m quite alarmed at what such a bill could do to this country!

Let me illustrate. Some time ago I mentioned random breath testing to an American friend, and he was horrified! “What about your bill of rights, your right to privacy?” he demanded?

I was caught off guard, and did not think to answer: “But what about my right to life, to not being killed out by a drunk driver, to living in a society that generally speaking has less drunks because people know they can be pulled over and breath tested at any time?”

Before Australia leaps into this direction I’d love you all to listen to the following podcast, twice. There are some very interesting and unexpected opponents.

EG: I would have sworn the Australian Christian Lobby would have been for human rights, which of course they are, but they are against a bill of rights as the means by which to best guarantee them in Australia.

Instead, Brigadier Jim Wallace, AM, (Ret’d) Managing Director of the Australian Christian Lobby said something to the effect that “Bills of rights enshrine selfishness over the rights of the community”, which helped me remember my conversation with my American friend about breath testing.

Not only that, but a bill of rights can:-
* politicise the judiciary which are meant to be about interpreting law, not social policy
* promote an *absolute* formula of ‘rights’ as interpreted by our generation, and make them absolute for all time when ‘rights’ are often about social policies more appropriately held to account by the political process and democratic discussion of the day
* reflect the silly prejudices and blind spots of our day
* condense into silly summary issues that are far more complex and require weighty volumes of legal document to truly unravel
* promote selfish policy at the expense of the public good

Please, “Don’t leave us with the bill!” Download the podcast here.

http://www.abc.net.au/rn/bigideas/stories/2009/2596855.htm

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