Most people accept that painlessly ending the suffering of animals is an act of compassion. As a veterinarian I often had the decision to put an animal to sleep placed in my hands, because animals cannot give consent. Yet even when we give consent and beg for help, the law denies humans the same compassion.
The recommendations to ease lockout restrictions in Sydney have been hailed by some people as the measures that will reinvigorate Sydney's late night entertainment. They won't, because they don't go nearly far enough.
Is the Liberal Party serious about balancing the budget, reducing wasteful spending and lowering taxation? Or is it really a party of religious conservatives determined to prevent social changes such as same sex marriage, changes to drug laws or assisted suicide?
It showed the Greens are willing to throw out marriage equality if it means stitching up a deal to win a few more seats. It showed the Liberals are prepared to throw away the chance to curb union thuggery in the building industry if it means pushing Labor out of some inner city seats. It showed Green concerns about Coal Seam Gas are more apparent than real.
I am concerned about the cost of the plebiscite. With net debt of $278 billion and an interest bill of $1 billion a month, we cannot afford to waste money. For that reason, I believe we should hold the plebiscite at the same time as the next federal election and avoid the $160 million cost of a stand-alone plebiscite. There would also be less of a spotlight on the issue, hopefully moderating the worst excesses of the homophobes.
While we can all pack ourselves in cotton wool and live long, miserable lives, we can also choose to leave consenting participants alone, given that even in sports such as UFC they are no risk to anybody else.
It's time for government to get its hands off Australian innovation, and encourage disruption, not punish and deter. Until that happens, our economy and country are set for decades of slow growth that none of us can afford.
Not only can't I guarantee that 50 percent of Liberal Democrat candidates will be women, I can't guarantee that a quarter of them will be born overseas, that half of them will be under the median age of 38, or that half will have below-average intelligence.
There is no justification for a legislative mandate that acts as a chemical straightjacket, threatening cannabis users with loss of licences (and in many cases income) for choosing to enjoy a different drug to those who framed the laws.