An Historic Week for LGBT Rights, Nationwide

In Politics: Genral, Politics: Marriage Equality, Politics: Queensland, Politics: Rallies & Protests on December 3, 2011 by mjwill91

The last week has been a fairly monumental week for LGBT rights, nationwide. Earlier this week we saw the Queensland Legislative Assembly pass the Civil Partnerships Bill 2011, a bill allowing for and recognising the validity of same sex relationships. We also saw today the Australian Labor Party officially changing it’s position on same sex marriage, adding it to their party platform.

In a sitting of the Legislative Assembly than ran late into the night, the views of numerous MPs from both sides of the political divide were heard, along with the views of their constituents. The bill passed at 11:10PM with 47 votes (46 Labor MPs and Independent MP Peter Wellington) to 40.

Premier Bligh & Dep. Premier Fraser address a pro-equality rally outside the QLD Legislative Assembly. Photo: Daniel Hurst

Deputy Premier Andrew Fraser said that the Civil Partnerships Bill struck a blow against the discrimination that same sex couples had faced in the path, calling it a “momentous occasion for civil rights in this state”, as Queensland moved into line with Victoria, Tasmania, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory.

In a move considered surprising given his previous vocal support for marriage equality, the non-sitting, de facto leader of the Liberal National Party & former Lord Mayor of Brisbane; Campbell Newman did not allow Liberal National Members a conscience vote on the issue, which raises the question, “what does our alternative Premier actually believe?” or better yet “can we trust what Campbell Newman says?”.

For a little bit of added poignancy, the Civil Partnerships Bill 2011 passed the Legislative Assembly exactly 21 years to the day that Queensland decriminalised homosexuality – how far we’ve come in such a short stretch of time.

Of course, that isn’t the end of the changes that we’ve seen over the last week, with the Federal Labor Party officially changing it’s position on same sex marriage today at the Labor National Conference- unfortunately, as I predicted several months ago, the Prime Minister has, while allowing the party platform to change, has essentially scuppered the debate by allowing it to go to a conscience vote, doomed to fail on the floor of our Parliament.

Senator Wong & ACT Dep. Chief Minister Barr receive pro-Marriage equality petition from GetUp!'s Simon Sheik // Picture: Renee Nowytarger

In October I suggested that the Prime Minister might circumvent the National Conference alltogether, allowing a conscience vote to get shot down before we got to today, effectively “washing her hands” of the issue before it could go to a vote. Well, I wasn’t exactly correct there, but I wasn’t too far off.

By allowing a conscience vote, Julia Gillard; puppet of the right faction, will have her own views on marriage equality unchallenged. A conscience vote in the House of Representatives will not pass… even if Tony Abbott allows a conscience vote (which he won’t, regardless of the Liberal Party being a “broad church”) any amendment to the Marriage Act will not pass.

So. The Prime Minister & the Labor Party can bask in the glory of being a “progressive party”, without being progressive at all. Brilliant… and completely expected as well.

So now we wait. Stephen Jones, ALP MP will be putting up a private members bill at the start of the next sitting period of Parliament – which means another month or so before marriage equality is shot down in flames in the Parliament.

Don’t get me wrong. Today has been a monumental day in the history of LGBT rights in Australia. It’s just, I don’t think any of us should expect anything to come out of it any time soon.



Marriage Equality – A Conscience Issue, not a Conscience Vote

In Politics: Genral, Politics: Marriage Equality on October 21, 2011 by mjwill91

Marriage equality is a cause that I’ve written on a few times before, due to the closeness of the issue to my heart, as both a gay man who one day hopes to have the same rights as straight people and a someone who believes that above all else, we must push for total equality. In the opinion pieces that I have written before, in June and August respectively, I discussed the push for marriage equality, and the steadily increasing support for marriage equality in the wider community.

Since my last piece there have been several important developments in the marriage equality debate, namely Tasmania passing a motion calling on Julia Gillard and the federal government to amend the Marriage Act through the Tasmanian House of Assembly and the appointment of Jay Weatherill, a vocal supporter of marriage equality as Premier of South Australia. As significant as these developments have been, it’s developments that are predicted to occur over the next few weeks that could change the nature of the debate as we know it.

Whilst not a bastion of brilliant reporting, the Herald Sun is reporting today that “several government sources” are claiming that Julia Gillard will be reversing her decision on marriage equality, by allowing a conscience vote on the issue, with these sources claiming that show may make the announcement as early as this coming Monday, or after the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Perth.

This reversal by Julia Gillard could be perceived by some as simply her “doing the right thing”, finally listening to the community on the issue of marriage equality. Whilst I’d like to believe that, there are at least two other reasons, both far more likely, both far less palatable reasons why Gillatf might well shift her view on the issue of marriage equality in the coming weeks.

The first of those reasons shouldn’t be too surprising: votes. A Galaxy Poll released today, commissioned by the Australian Marriage Equality lobby definitively shows that the ALP and Julia Gillard stand to make fairly significant gains, if only they shifted their positions on marriage equality. The poll found that over half of current Australian Greens voters and one third of all “young voters” would be more likely to vote for the ALP and Julia Gillard, if the party was to chance it’s stance on Marriage Equality. Not only is the appealing because of it’s potential to “win back” some voters that migrated from the ALP to the Australian Greens at the last election, but because it would secure a predicted 5% swing towards the ALP, at a time when every percentage point counts.

The other reason is a far less palatable one- to scuttle the marriage equality debate before the ALP National Conference in December by allowing the amendment to get “shot down” in the House of Representatives- through a conscience vote with no chance of passing.

The ALP is a party of broad and differing beliefs and political ideologies, and there exists within the party great opposition to marriage equality, predominantly from MPs representing lower socio-economic (and generally less intelligent) electorates and from members of the catholic-dominated right faction. Given the current make-up of this minority government. Of course, given the closeness in numbers in the House of Representatives, any amendment would require the support of every Labor MP and a majority of MPs on the crossbenches (assuming that Tony Abbott will require all Liberal National MPs to toe the party line – a safe assumption).

If put to a conscience vote, the amendment will fail. Then come December all Julia Gillard would have to do to throw a wet blanket over the issue of marriage equality would be to say “I allowed a vote. It failed. The numbers just don’t exist – ALTHOUGH, we’ll continue to support same-sex unions…”

The next few weeks will be interesting to say the least, with the very course of the debate on marriage equality set to be decided.


A Party Divided: The Future of the Australian Labor Party

In Politics: Genral on September 7, 2011 by mjwill91

Like their revered Tree of Knowledge before them, the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party seems to be slowly withering away, marching solemnly to grim death. Unlike the tree however, we can be fairly certain that their current predicament wasn’t caused by some rowdy Young Liberals with a bottle of RoundUp weedkiller. Instead, the party has faced almost two decades where it’s core voter base, workers (or to be more specific: blue collar, unionised workers) has been shrinking and in response the party has began to go through  a painful metamorphosis. However the process has been cut short, the chrysalis torn open too soon. So instead of finding a beautiful butterfly inside, we’ve found some sort of horrific half-caterpillar, half-butterfly creature, completely confused, unsure of what it’s even meant to be anymore.

The Tree of Knowledge, Barcaldine (in healthier times)

The current structural and ideological mess than the ALP is in can be traced back to one root cause, the decline of unionised employees in the workforce. In the late 70s Labor Party apparatchiks began to become aware of the future problems re: declining unionisation that the party would face over the next 30 years, and it was decided that the party would need to become more than a “single issue” party, more than just a “worker’s party”. It would need to adopt socialist social policies, attract the “young, idealist, tertiary-educated” voter. This move sowed the seeds of deep division between the already existent left & right factions of the Labor caucus, and would eventually see the Labor Party become  “slave” to two distinct and disparate “masters”.

Without over-generalising, the adoption of left-leaning social policies such as multiculturalism, indigenous equality, equal pay for equal work and environmentalism essentially fractured the Labor Party’s support base into two disparate groups. The first being the “original” Labor voter, a working/lower-middle class (not necessarily a union member) Australian, whose key concerns were economic stability, jobs growth, workplace conditions and border security. The second group, a socially active group whose key concerns were environmentalism, equality and human rights. Neither group held the other’s key objectives in too high regard, but neither was willingly to openly criticise the other’s point of view (mostly).

Whilst Kevin Rudd’s resounding election success in ’07 was a “win” for all Labor Party voters and supporters, it was an especially “sweet” success for the “socially-active” voter base, with Rudd’s championing of social causes such as his promise to apologise over the Stolen Generations (something that most of the community had been calling for, for nearly a decade), his support for an Emissions Trading Scheme and his use of a ground-up, social media driven, socially-active election campaign. The “traditional” Labor voters didn’t go without though, with the removal of Howard’s reprehensible Work Choices legislations placating them.

Unfortunately for Rudd (and the party in general), the high expectations placed on him were to be a key party in his undoing (we must also take into account the power-hungriness of certain ‘faceless men’). When he was unable to get anything done re: his much touted Emissions Trading Scheme, he abandoned it all together. It would appear to some as if he was no longer listening to the group that saw itself as responsible for bringing him to power. In response the “socially active” voter group’s opinion of the Rudd Government began to sour. At the same time the “traditional” voter group saw the whole debacle as a waste of time and money spent “pandering” to “inner-city, latte-sipping intellectuals” and also began to “sour”.

party thought replacing Rudd with Gillard would placate both groups within it’s voter base, however hindsight shows that to have been a colossal mistake. The whole party lurched right under Gillard, with many in the socially-active group unhappy with her stance against marriage equality and unsure as to whether they could trust someone that the right-faction had essentially swept into power. The traditional group has also not come around to Gillard, unable to see past the word “tax”.

At the 2010 election, the Labor Party suffered a swing against it of −5.40%. Is it any surprise that the Australian Greens gained +3.97%?

The Labor Party needs to work out what it is, what it stands for soon. Very soon. It needs to either abandon the socially-active group, essentially giving those votes to the Australian Greens and become a single-purpose worker’s party again (a move which would probably mean they’d be unable to form a majority government for a good 2 decades at least- if ever again) OR it needs to work out how to balance fiscal responsibility with social progression, whilst moving closer to the ideological centre in order to try to attract centre-right voters who have been left feeling betrayed by the Liberal-National Coalition which seems hell-bent on continuing it’s march towards the far right of the ideological spectrum.

However, if things continue going the way they happen to be going, the party torn down the middle on issues such as offshore processing of asylum seekers, the best way to tackle climate change, marriage equality and fiscal policy in general, the schism might become too wide to bridge effectively.

– Matt. @mjwill90


Marriage Equality Debate: Anti-Marriage Equality Rally Held in Canberra

In Politics: Marriage Equality on August 16, 2011 by mjwill91

I think by now we are all aware of Bob Katter’s comment that he’d “walk backwards from Bourke if the poof population of North Queensland is any more than 0.001 per cent” (at this time he was unaware of the gay couple who owned the local bakery, less than 100m walk from his electorate office… what a dedicated local member he is *rolls eyes*). Whilst we all (gay, bisexual straight or other) might get a chuckle out of the apparent willful ignorance of relics of the past like Bob Katter, behind his “old man political incorrectness” lies an irrational & borderline illegal hatred and discrimination of homosexual Australians made all the more concerning by the fact that he is seemingly not alone in Parliament.

So much potential for ridicule in this picture... the hat, hand on the hip, tight pants, phallic fruit...

Whilst many of you were focussed on the frankly hilarious (for all the wrong reasons) No Carbon Tax Rally, otherwise known as the “Shady Pines Retirement Home bi-annual trip to the Canberra”, not enough of us were focussing on a FAR more insidious rally- the anti-Marriage Equality rally.

Australia is quickly beginning to look like the social backwater of the western world, discounting the flaming (in the “literally on fire” sense) cesspit that is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Why? Our outdated views on marriage equality at a federal level. When a country of such overwhelming religious zealotry such as the United States can pass marriage equality laws in multiple states, the question is: why can’t we?

Katter railing at the audience..

Katter, more-so than the other MPs who spoke drifted into the realm of “hatespeak”, toeing the line of what is legally acceptable to say in public. His comments that “this proposition [gay marriage] deserves to be laughed at and ridiculed. It doesn’t deserve any serious treatment”  and that the word “gay” was once a “beautiful word” that had been “stolen” by homosexuals (there’s quite substantial evidence that the term “gay” was first associated with homosexuality in the 1920s BY “heterosexual society”- so we didn’t “steal” it) border on what is generally accepted as “hatespeak” as defined by several separate pieces of both Federal and State anti-discrimination legislation. In several jurisdictions around the country, anti-hatespeak legislation is designed to give redress when a person is victimised on account of colour, ethnic origin, religion, disability or sexual orientation. Katter’s vitriol is only slightly less offensive than the bile spewed by the Westboro Baptist Church, an American group who have been barred from entry to our country due to them being a “hate group”.

Liberal MP and runner-up in the SuperNova 2011 “Borg Look-a-like” contest Kevin Andrews’ opinion re: marriage equality is as equally unsurprising as Katter’s with Andrews stating that “this is a destruction of marriage, not simply a redefinition” 

Barnaby trying out "1940s fascist dictator chic"

Leader of the Nationals in the Senate Barnaby Joyce stated that he “feared” for the future of his four daughters if same sex marriage was allowed, saying “we know that the best protection for those girls is that they get into a secure relationship with a loving husband and I want that to happen to them, I don’t want any legislator to take that right away from me” Firstly- is Barnaby suggesting that if men could marry other men that there would be no men left willing to marry his daughters… hmmm…. if they are anything like their dimwitted father I can see how that might be a possibility. Secondly- what Barnaby is talking about is the protection of his rights. THis totally boils down to rights… rights that Barnaby feels would be jeopardised by giving everyone in society the same rights… hmm… ok then…

Despite the protests of relics like Bob Katter MP, Kevin Andrews MP, Barnaby Joyce MP and John Murphy MP that allowing gay people to marry will not only weaken the institution (if anything- allowing anyone who is in love to declare that love publicly through marriage would STRENGTHEN the currently faltering institution) but is also an “affront” to a Judaeo-Christian sky-deity (sorry Katter/Kevin/John, in Australia, marriage is actually a legally recognised institution controlled by the Marriage Act 1961, an Act of Federal Parliament which governs and legally defines marriage in Australia- made possibly by s51 [xxi] of the Australian Constitution), it seems that in some respects they are being left behind by an increasingly socially accepting and liberal society….

All State Labor parties (bar NSW) have backed marriage equality. The approval rate for marriage equality is close to 70% given most recent polls. Surprisingly, poll results released today have shown that even amongst Christians (the historical enemy of marriage equality) 53% of those polled believe same sex couples should be allowed to marry- so perhaps it’s only a matter of time, or rather: a matter of political convenience.

– Matt. @mjwill90


Post-#qanda evaluation: 4th July 2011

In Q&A Evaluations on July 4, 2011 by mjwill91

Topic: Terra Nullius, Carbon Pricing, Misogyny, Same Sex Marriage, Foreign Investment, Live Export, Mental Illness

– Note: Tonight’s blog is shorter, not feeling too well –

Stephen O’Doherty – CEO, Christian Schools Australia, Former Coalition MP

Is it wrong that I was surprised that he didn’t live halfway up Tony Abbott’s rear? O’Doherty’s criticism of Tony Abbott’s “wrecking” tactics, whilst not unique- was interesting to see coming from a right perspective and a former Liberal Party MP at that. Even more shocking was when he started discussing the benefits of tripartisan (ALP, LNP and GRN) agreement (shock horror!!) – who knew anyone related to the Liberal Party (even formerly) was capable of thinking down the path of mutually beneficial compromise.

Also unsurprisingly O’Doherty doesn’t support a change in the definition of marriage- unsurprising because he’s CEO of conservative Christian Schools Australian and comments on record supporting something that powerful people in the conservative movement oppose aren’t conducive to keeping ones job.

“Like the government, I like to start low” – Innuendo from the CEO of Christian Schools Australia? Tonight is full of surprises.

Rating: 5.5/10

Penny Wong – Finance Minister

My opinion of Wong is well known. Whilst I’d like to like her, I find myself unable to do so- due to her “parroting” of the ALP’s party line. Tonight was slightly different, she seemed a little more “herself” and a little less “party hand-puppet”. Saying that, she was “puppet-esque” at times, her attempts to explain parts of the Carbon Tax without revealing key features of the policy 6 days early were somewhat frustrating, but also mildly humorous.

Penny once again was asked the obligatory Same Sex Marriage question. She came out and said that she would be supporting a change in the Marriage Act to allow for same sex couples to marry at the ALP National Conference in December. Finally it looks as if we’re beginning to move towards the right direction re: total equality.

“when you’ve finished waving your hands around Mathias…” 

Tony: “can a misogynist make a great lover?” 

Penny: “I have no idea, I’m not qualified” 


Rating: 7/10

Charles Waterstreet – flamboyant barrister

Waterstreet’s roll as “everyman” in the Climate Change debate was an interesting roll. It’s something we haven’t seen on #qanda before, someone who doesn’t know much on the topic, and is willing to admit this. He made a joke of believing Wong, then believing Cormann- which while humerous also displayed the idea that there are people out there who are genuinely unsure re: climate change & how government should respond.

Recipient of a strange “can misogynists be good lovers” question from a slightly unhinged “wealthy dowager-esque” woman was somewhat… disconcerting. Really, really disconcerting.

“Marriage has a meaning in laws? You can change laws”

“Think about gay divorces, who gets the Kylie Minogue collection??” – ha!! 

Rating 6.5/10

Elizabeth Ann Macgregor – Director of the MCA

The idea that Climate Change policy is too important to allow government to mess it up was an interesting point of view, one that I’d never really entertained before- but makes sense when you think about it. Saying that, of course it could never be- but in a perfect world decisions would be made by people who aren’t simply pandering to the fickle nature of a largely ignorant electorate.

Rating: 5/10

Mathias Cormann – Shadow Assistant Treasurer

How Mathias can argue for the Opposition’s Direct Action Policy by claiming that the government’s plan will cost families and businesses, and that their own (which will be funded through budget savings- technically a cost on families and businesses) is superior was rather specious reasoning, the sort of specious reasoning that we’ve all grown accustomed to from the Coalition under Tony Abbott.

Unsurprisingly Cormann isn’t supportive of gay marriage, because apparently marriage is “something special between a man and a woman” – which elicited obligatory jeers from the audience- thank god.

Rating: 4.5/10



– Matt. @mjwill90


The Push For Marriage Equality In Australia

In Politics: Genral, Politics: Marriage Equality, Politics: Queensland on June 25, 2011 by mjwill91

Same sex marriage is to the opening decades of the 21st century as civil rights was to the 1960s and the suffrage movement was to the 1920s- an issue which many people in the community see as not being an issue at all, and yet despite this, is something which the “higher ups” and the lobby groups don’t want to touch with a 10ft pole. The push for the legalisation and recognition of same sex marriage in Australia has never been stronger than it is now, with every state branch of the Australian Labor Party (sans New South Wales) passing motions in support of amending the Marriage Act to allow for same sex marriage.

Bligh at the QLD State Labor Conference

Premier of Queensland and National President of the Australia Labor Party Anna Bligh said of the move by QLD State Labor to support same sex marriage last week,

I was very pleased to see marriage equality supported by the Labor conference, It’s an issue of basic human rights and fairness [and] legal recognition for pairings based on love is perfectly reasonable regardless of gender” 

Despite this, we have at the federal level a woman, who to all outwardly appearances seemed to be a liberal (note the use of the lowercase “L”), socially progressive and secular leader, but who in reality is actually at the very least a closet-quasi-conservative and at the worst, someone whom actively deceived her way into power by pretending to stand for social progression, or alternatively- she might well be a liberal, socially progressive and secular leader, simply held to ransom by the powerful Catholic dominated far-right faction of the party, too weak willed, too insipid to actually make a stand and take a risk for something that is ultimately in the best interests of a egalitarian society.

So what is all the fuss about? Well- it comes back to this: some people believe that because a several thousand year old manuscript of dubious quality makes a passing comment about the sanctity of marriage in ancient Judea and that the institution was between a man and a woman only, that means that is the way it must stay forever. Some see marriage as something more than it actually is, some see it as a divine covenant with/ or promise between us and “God”. In reality- it isn’t anything like that. Marriage isn’t divine. Marriage isn’t a promise to God. Marriage is a legal contract between two people that creates and recognises kinship. Marriage isn’t presided over by a divine Judeo-Christian arbiter, it’s controlled by the Marriage Act 1961 (Cth), an Act of the Parliament of Australia which governs and defines legal marriage in Australia, made possible by section 51 (xxi) of the Australian Constitution which determines that it is to be dealt with on a federal level.

So, there is nothing mystical, magical or divine about marriage in this country. It’s a legal contract, controlled by Commonwealth legislation and the argument that same sex marriage is an affront to God is invalid when you consider that fact. God doesn’t factor into the equation at all. Therefore, any and all discrimination re: same sex marriage on the grounds of it infringing on the rights of religious groups and organisations is also totally moot.

The Empire State Building goes Rainbow for Pride Week

The move by the US State of New York to allow same sex marriage is not only a step in the right direction in a country which to be fair is a societal backwater and a mire of inequity but also a clear challenge to the current Australian Government. The Marriage Equality Act passed by the New York State Senate was made all the more remarkable by the fact it passed in a Republican controlled Senate with the help of Republican senators crossing the floor to vote with Democrats senators. If marriage equality legislation can pass through an ideologically hostile Senate in the US, how come our current socially progressive (self-professed but dubiously), left-wing government can’t seem to find the backbone it need to do what is right? If put to a vote, marriage equality legislation would pass through the House of Representatives with at least a two vote majority (based on it NOT being a conscience vote and every ALP candidate voting for it, and everything LibNat voting against it- with Bandt and Wilkie supporting it- Katter not supporting it) and would breeze through soon to be Green Senate.

According to an Australian Marriage Equality commissioned Newspoll taken last month, 3 in 4 Australians over the age of 18 believe that the legalisation and recognisation of same sex marriage by an Australian federal government is inevitable, and an earlier Galaxy Poll suggested that 62% of Australians of voting age and higher believe that gay and lesbian couples should be allowed to marry.

However, despite the numerous calls from the community and the increasing societal support of the issue, our federal government refuses to move on the issue, or even discuss it until at least until the National Conference in December. Now there are several reasons that they are doing this, the first being that same sex marriage legislation is the ace-up-their-sleeve, which they intend to pull out if the primary vote somehow get even more pathetically dismal that it is now. Frankly, politically that isn’t a silly move, morally though- using it as a tool to win votes and possibly another term is ethically dubious to say the least.

JG deep in thought, probably wondering how she can further alienate the voter base...

When asked today whether or not Australia is falling behind on the issue of marriage equality at a press conference this morning in Western Australia (which coincidentally passed a motion in support of marriage equality today) she replied,

“We’ll make our own decisions on this country based on what’s right for Australia, my views in this area are well know” 

It might be “extrapolating” what she said a bit, but seeing as she doesn’t support same sex marriage (her views are well know, if not appreciated- we don’t elect the Prime Minister for their personal opinions, hell- we don’t directly elect them at all) and in her answer she said she’s doing “what’s right for Australia” then would it be a stretch to suggest that not only does Gillard not support same sex marriage, but she actually thinks that the perpetuation of an utterly discriminatory policy is in the country’s best interests….hmm…

In the end though, Gillard’s personal views on the issue mean nothing. In all likelihood she won’t be Prime Minister for too many more years, and despite the nasty conservative surprise that we’ll get when/if/when she get’s dumped in 2013, the fact is that it’ll allow for some of the “rising stars” in the ALPs ranks will be able to rise to positions of greater prominence in the party and maybe, just maybe- they won’t be as beholden to the Archdiocese that is the ALP factional far right.

– Matt. @mjwill90


Post-#qanda evaluation: Gen Y Special Edition

In Q&A Evaluations on June 20, 2011 by mjwill91

Topics: Gen Y apathy, Marriage Equality, Rudd & Gillard, MEMES!!!!, Climate Change


@ruslankogan – CEO Kogan Technologies  

Pre Episode Impressions:

It’s pritE sAf 2 sA dat Ruslan hz a gud hed on Hs shoulders, wethR o not he’ll b abL 2 eqQ8 Hs Biz smarts 2 d sort of “god knows what’s goin 2 b askd next” natuR of #qanda iz yt 2 b seen, bt I’m quite hopeful. Also: Hs pictuR on wikipedia hz him warin a shirt, adorned w a quote frm Ayn Rand… How awesum iz that?

Translation: It’s pretty safe to say that Ruslan has a good head on his shoulders, whether or not he’ll be able to equate his business smarts to the sort of “god knows what’s going to be asked next” nature of #qanda is yet to be seen, but I’m quite hopeful. Also: his picture on wikipedia has him wearing a shirt, adorned with a quote from Ayn Rand… How awesome is that?

Contribution to the discussion:

Kogan spent most of Hs tym floatin somwher rownd d centre-right, whch wz an intRStN positN 2 tAk. Clearly a Biz mind, less likely 2 shoot dwn viral videos az simpl web weirdnss, rather apprec’n thR plAc n marketing & d digital econ, somTIN dat of corS Kogan iz mo thN qualified 2 comment on.

Kogan’s defense of social privacy – dat “you chuse 2 use, U tAk d risks- don’t complain f somTIN hpns f U chuse 2 actively share online”.

Translation: Kogan spent most of his time floating somewhere around the centre-right, which was an interesting position to take. Clearly a business mind, less likely to shoot down viral videos as simple internet weirdness, rather appreciating their place in marketing and the digital economy, something that of course Kogan is more than qualified to comment on.

Kogan’s defense of social privacy – that “you choose to use, you take the risks- don’t complain if something happens if you choose to actively share online”.

“You could register at” …. *Tony glares angrily*

Post Episode Wrap-Up & Evaluation:

Despite copping a fair bit of flak 4 saying dat he wz a climate-change sceptic, I’d hav 2 sA dat az a whol I enjoyed Kogan’s input. Frankly I’d lIk 2 find out Y ppl felt it wz appropriate 2 boo SOME1 4 simply expressing dat dey aren’t 100% sold on d idea of climate change? Seriously? He isn’t saying he doesn’t tink dat climate chAng iz real, he sed he expressed doubt & wntd 2 Lern more- & 4 dat he wz booed… sumtimz d “ideological purity” (to steal SOME1 phrase) of dEz ppl iz mighty disheartening.

Translation: Despite copping a fair bit of flak for saying that he was a climate-change sceptic, I’d have to say that as a whole I enjoyed Kogan’s input. Frankly I’d like to find out why people felt it was appropriate to boo someone for simply expressing that they aren’t 100% sold on the idea of climate change? Seriously? He isn’t saying he doesn’t think that climate change is real, he said he expressed doubt & wanted to learn more- and for that he was booed… Sometimes the “ideological purity” (to steal someone phrase) of these people is mighty disheartening.

Rating: 5.5/10


@samahhadid – UN Youth Representative, human rights activist

Pre Episode Impressions:

f Samah iz NEthing lIk she wz wen she wz lst on #qanda n Feb, I tink we cn fairly certan n d predctN that, 1. She’ll b an informative & perspicacious panelist, & 2. dat she’ll most likely b d panelist lEst likely 2 says “totez”. Her performance durN her lst appearance on d shO wz brilliant & d way she handLD herself wen bullied by Piers “Pigs” Akerman wz az enjoyable az it wz affirmative. d affirmation dat despite stereotypes, ther R smrt & weL engaged Gen Y’ers out ther.

Translation: If Samah is anything like she was when she was last on #qanda in February, I think we can fairly certain in the prediction that, 1. She’ll be an informative and perspicacious panelist, and 2. That she’ll most likely be the panelist least likely to says “totez”. Her performance during her last appearance on the show was brilliant & the way she handled herself when bullied by Piers “Pigs” Akerman was as enjoyable as it was affirmative. The affirmation that despite stereotypes, there are smart and well engaged Gen Y’ers out there.

Contribution to the discussion:

1ce agen Samah wz d vox of rEsN. Saying that, ther wasn’t any1 dat unreasonable on tonight’s panel- duz dat mAbE hav somTIN 2 do w d fact dat evry1 iz Gen Y? duz it pRhaps sugest dat Gen Y iz less partisan dat X & d Boomers? I’d lIk 2 tink so. Her suport of reforms 2 d ALPs “revolving door” leadership & pRT organs wz wlcm.

Translation: Once again Samah was the voice of reason. Saying that, there wasn’t anyone that unreasonable on tonight’s panel- does that maybe have something to do with the fact that everyone is Gen Y? Does it perhaps suggest that Gen Y is less partisan that X and the Boomers? I’d like to think so. Her support of reforms to the ALPs “revolving door” leadership and party organs was welcome.

“A lot of reality TV shows are lets face it, crap”


Post Episode Wrap-Up & Evaluation:

NothA gr8 contribution by Samah Hadid. Her arguments DIS tym around, whilst stil good, lack d sAm sort of well-thought-out-ness dat dey did lst tym. Her argument dat d “Say Yes” rallies wer BetA representations of d wider communities views re: d carbon P$ thN Galaxy, Nielsen & Newspoll wz mo thN a ltl flawed.

Translation: Another great contribution by Samah Hadid. Her arguments this time around, whilst still good, lack the same sort of well-thought-out-ness that they did last time. Her argument that the “Say Yes” rallies were better representations of the wider communities views re: the carbon price than Galaxy, Nielsen and Newspoll was more than a little flawed.

Rating: 6/10


@joshthomas87– Comedian

Pre Episode Impressions:

Overall, Josh Thomas iz a pritE fune guy- he’s also apparently a gud cook. However: wethR o not he hz d smarts 2 Ans insightfully 2nt iz yt 2 b cn. I’ve yt 2 “forgive” him 4 bn Gen Y’s rep on TAYG, mainly cuz he sorta looks lIk d stereotypical, wild-haired, ADHD suffering Gen Y’er stereotype, somTIN weL wrth getin rid of.

Translation: Overall, Josh Thomas is a pretty funny guy- he’s also apparently a good cook. However: whether or not he has the smarts to answer insightfully tonight is yet to be seen. I’ve yet to “forgive” him for being Gen Y’s rep on TAYG, mainly because he sorta looks like the stereotypical, wild-haired, ADHD suffering Gen Y’er stereotype, something well worth getting rid of.

Contribution to the discussion:

Hs :-Q 2 Jones “Is Baillieu Liberal” sort of sums ^ aL d h8 I hav towards d a-polity of sectors of my gnr8n. Saying that, DIS wz EzalE forgiven by Hs impassioned (but stil ultim8lE Josh Thomas-ey awkward) monologue n suport of mariG equality, & how d mariG Act az it stands currently actually reenforces undRlyN homophobia n society.

Translation: His question to Jones “Is Baillieu Liberal” sort of sums up all the hate I have towards the a-polity of sectors of my generation. Saying that, this was easily forgiven by his impassioned (but still ultimately Josh Thomas-ey awkward) monologue in support of marriage equality, and how the Marriage Act as it stands currently actually reenforces underlying homophobia in society.

“What frightens me the most is the lack of compassion towards these [boat] people”

Post Episode Wrap-Up & Evaluation:

wz ultim8lE :-O dat Thomas wz (mostly) abL 2 kEp ^ & contribute intellectually 2 d discussion. I tink I mite evN b abL 2 4giv him 4 Hs terrible hair.

Translation: Was ultimately surprised that Thomas was (mostly) able to keep up and contribute intellectually to the discussion. I think I might even be able to forgive him for his terrible hair.

Rating: 6/10


@faustinathefuzz – TV Host 

Pre Episode Impressions:

Ok, I swear dat DIS iz goin 2 mAk me swNd lIk som sort of evil, racially profiling racist, bt I alwys mstake Faustina Agolley 4 d leadR ;-o of Sneaky swNd System, Connie Mitchell- Xcpt Faustina’s ‘fro iz fR mo impreSiv & luscious.

Translation: Ok, I swear that this is going to make me sound like some sort of evil, racially profiling racist, but I always mistake Faustina Agolley for the leader singer of Sneaky Sound System, Connie Mitchell- except Faustina’s ‘fro is far more impressive & luscious.

Contribution to the discussion:

“Fuzzy” t%k d “voice of d centre-left”, a supporter of socially progressiveness bt a social privacy advoc8 dat gave a gud argument agAnst d creation of an overly lRg digital footprint. wen it comes 2 d digital footprint, my “handle” @mjwill90 takes ^ evry sngL pg on g%gle wen searched- bt wen inputting my actual name, not a sngL rEzlt n d 1st 18+ pages (even wen filtered 2 “from Australia”) iz me.

Translation: “Fuzzy” took the “voice of the centre-left”, a supporter of socially progressiveness but a social privacy advocate that gave a good argument against the creation of an overly large digital footprint. When it comes to the digital footprint, my “handle” @mjwill90 takes up EVERY single page on Google when searched- but when inputting my actual name, not a single result in the first 18+ pages (even when filtered to “from Australia”) is me.

“Marriage should be between Love and Love”

Post Episode Wrap-Up & Evaluation:

ultim8lE a gud panelist. Actually, ther wer n bad panelists 2nt. Fuzzy’s suport of mariG equality & social progression, coupled w her pashN 4 on9 protection (ie. overshare) – bt her rejection of government creatD censorship infrastructure endeared her 2 me.

Translation: Ultimately a good panelist. Actually, there were no bad panelists tonight. Fuzzy’s support of marriage equality and social progression, coupled with her passion for online protection (ie. overshare) – but her rejection of government created censorship infrastructure endeared her to me.

Rating: 5.5/10


@jameswpaterson – Associate Editor of the IPA Review 

Pre Episode Impressions:

I’ve n previous knowLdG of DIS panelist. @ aL.

Translation: I’ve no previous knowledge of this panelist. At all.

Contribution to the discussion:

Blew d horn 4 d yung Liberals lowd & strong, although- dat wz a given, & unlike mbrs of d “actual” Liberal pRT he seemed 2 b socially progressive- I mean, since wen hz SOME1 somwot aSoC8D cum out & sed dat dey suport mariG equality, w/o slipping n “but won’t SOME1 pls tink of d archdiocese?”.

Translation: Blew the horn for the Young Liberals loud and strong, although- that was a given, and unlike members of the “actual” Liberal Party he seemed to be socially progressive- I mean, since when has someone somewhat associated come out and said that they support marriage equality, without slipping in “but won’t someone please think of the archdiocese?”.

Post Episode Wrap-Up & Evaluation: 

“I was happy to see the back of Malcolm Turnbull”

yyssw. k. feck off. U had me rght ^ 2 ther. I put ^ w yor yung Liberal rhetoric, I put ^ w yor “hug an Abbott” stance- bt wen U actively criticise & wer glad 2 b rid of d most thoughtful, intelligent & modR8 Liberal leadR n d lst two decades- n. I’m SBTA. We can’t b fRnds NEmor.

Translation: – yeah. ok. fuck off. You had me right up to there. I put up with your Young Liberal rhetoric, I put up with your “hug an Abbott” stance- but when you actively criticise & were glad to be rid of the most thoughtful, intelligent and moderate Liberal leader in the last two decades- no. I’m sorry. We can’t be friends anymore.

Rating: 0/10