24 Jun 2013

Reaching Out To The Compassionate Undecided

By Rose Iser

New poll data shows that many Australians are still unsure about asylum seeker policy. Now is the time to convince them that a fair approach is the best one, writes Rose Iser

An EMC poll has found that 38 per cent of voters think the Liberal Party has the best policy for handling the issue of asylum seekers arriving by boat. This is compared with only 13 per cent who support of Labor’s policy and 7 per cent for Greens.

However, a startling 42 per cent of voters think either that none of the parties have the best policy, or don’t know which party’s policy is best.

If nearly half of Australia’s voters are looking for a better policy on asylum seekers, the ALP is missing an opportunity to win voters on this basis.

Two event last week suggest the ALP is ready to test voter reactions to more compassionate approaches: the overdue move to remove children from Manus Island, and the release of two families with children from indefinite detention.

Writing off the 38 per cent of voters who support the Liberal party policies and chasing the 42 per cent who are still disillusioned may yet work for the Labor party.

The Liberal party’s policy, in Scott Morrison’s words, turns on deterrence. “The Coalition’s focus is on a regional deterrence framework. Our focus is on deterrence, not just on our border but on the borders of those countries in the region.”

Liberal candidates are not shy about using slogans such as “stop the boats” and “tow back the boats.” If “the Australian government is going to be taking boats and people who have been rescued at sea back to Indonesia rather than bringing them to Australia well that would also be something I would welcome,” Morrison told SBS radio last week.

Thirty-eight per cent of Australian voters agree with him and believe that turning back asylum seekers is the optimal way of dealing with refugees.

Would these voters be concerned if Australia were to withdraw its commitment to the Refugee Convention? That’s the instrument which imposes obligations to protect the human rights of all asylum seekers and refugees who arrive in Australia, regardless of how or where they arrive. Last week, Morrison left open the option of withdrawing or suspending commitment to the Convention.

Morrison describes the Labor policy as one of “accommodation”. A Parliamentary Committee, chaired by former speaker Harry Jenkins, described it as concerning and potentially in breach of Australia’s human rights obligations. The ALP website does not spruik refugee or asylum seeker policy – if it is articulated on the site, it is hidden in a dark corner.

According to EMC’s poll, only 36 per cent of Labor voters think the Labor Party has the best policy. The effort to mimic Liberal policy all the while trying to maintain base-Labor support for its asylum seeker policies has clearly failed.

The membership requirements for Labor for Refugees (Victoria) highlights the tensions in the ALP over the Government’s asylum seeker policy, that ineffective hybrid of accommodation and deterrence. A form must be signed that states: “I support a change in ALP policy.”

The Prime Minister has not indicated a willingness to try something radically new. The Government has indicated that new proposals to stop the asylum seeker flow will be discussed with Indonesia when the Prime Minister visits in July. A revival of an arrangement with Malaysia may also be considered.

Close to 20,000 asylum seekers will have arrived by boat to Australia since August 2012. Under the no-advantage policy, thousands of them are living in the community on Bridging Visas with no right to work. Charities are buckling under the pressure to meet their needs. Hundreds of asylum seekers are being held on Nauru and Manus Island. The costly detention system is overflowing.

Meanwhile, Australia plans to grant visas to only 600 refugees from Indonesian camps this year.

If the EMC research is to be believed, Labor has nothing to lose by radically rethinking its approach to asylum seekers. Its policies have next to no support now and 42 per cent of voters are looking for something new.

No one wants lives to be lost at sea. Nor do we want them to be lost at war. At least 42 per cent of voters don’t want them to be lost to politics.

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EarthFan
Posted Monday, June 24, 2013 - 13:49

 

Since the International Convention for Refugees was ratified, the world's population has more than doubled,  It is not an accident that asylum seekers come from places that are heavily populated and still have high birth rates.

Common sense tells us that, whatever a country's problems may be, a high birthrate can only add to them. It is hard to imagine how any government can supply jobs, education, clean water etc., to all their citizens while they continue to breed at the rate our forefathers did. And when they fail, conflict is inevitable.

Where there is competition over scarce resources, people find allies among those who share their religion and culture. That does not make the conflict sectarian or ethnic. It is just that more for "them" means less for "us". 

The flood of refugees isn't caused by intolerance. It is caused by overpopulation. For example: Afghanistan is a mountainous, arid country with agriculture confined to river valleys, yet it has 30 million people and a high birth rate. Afghanis were fleeing the Taliban before the western troops arrived and they will still be fleeing after the westerners leave. And those that don't flee, will be breeding more refugees.

The UN Convention on Refugees is sexist. How is death from "persecution" more dreadful, and deserving of alleviation, than death in childbirth or by starvation? Could it be that men don't die in childbirth and it is children who starve?

The maternal mortality rate in the undeveloped world is horrendous! And the women are not in an economic position to decide when or if they have sex. 

We should not be accepting refugees at all. Instead we should be demanding that the rest of the world do what we have already done – reduce reproduction to replacement levels – and help them to do it. Our humanitarian effort should be directed towards providing education and contraceptive technology to women and girls wherever it is needed.

Gordon Comisari
Posted Monday, June 24, 2013 - 19:32

The reason why the public is uninformed check out IA:

Ten reasons why most Australian MSM journalists are absolute shyte

http://www.independentaustralia.net/2013/business/media-2/ten-reasons-why-most-australian-msm-journalists-are-absolute-shyte/

Do you want to do something about it?

Kate Ahearne at Fair Media Alliance has posted a petition to Change.org http://t.co/rSR2RvluQ2Calling on Rupert Murdoch, Fairfax, ABC, SBS and all other Australian media outlets: Stop interfering with the democratic process

Please support this petition and let others know about it.

Michael_Wilbur-Ham
Posted Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - 11:28

What a very strange article.

It is almost certain that Abbott will win the next election, and as reminded by the recent Climate Commission report, climate change is a major threat to our future.

So will we next see in New Matilda a stream or articles saying that Abbott needs a road to Damascus moment which changes his views on climate change such that he becomes a strong  advocate for real action.

At the moment Labor and Liberal are both promising to reduce our emissions by 5% by 2020, and the science makes clear that this is far too little to prevent warming well over 2 degrees.

Because of the Liberals electoral popularity they are best placed to bring about the needed major change in public opinion on climate change so that finally the public really support it. 

The above article is similarly naively optimistic - just change climate change to asylum seekers and the LNP for Labor. 

If either Abbott or Gillard were to change and fully embrace any Green's policy I would cheer. 

But as this is very unlikely, the idea of voting for Abbott because he might one day support real action on climate change is as misguided as voting for Labor because they might one day support a compassionate solution to asylum seekers.

What we need are articles when make clear the actions and policies of LNP, Labor, and Greens, and let the now informed voters have a say, via the ballot box, which policies they support.

Mercurial
Posted Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - 16:29

Rose there is one very simple solution to stopping the sinking of boats at sea:  fly the asylum seekeds in from jakarta.

No, I'm serious  - it would stop the drownings instantly.

 

Well that's what Morrison is getting his knickers in such a twist about isn't it?

KCVelasco
Posted Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - 18:30

The only thing that matters about this is the willingness of the people to reach out and extend their compassionate bosoms. - KSA Kosher

Michael_Wilbur-Ham
Posted Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - 19:07

But what hope have we got when most people with compassion will vote Liberal or Labor and yet not feel any responsibility for getting what they voted for?

Last week's 4 Corners on the 'people smuggling' of North Koreans through China was shocking.

You would think that the one thing that an Australian Government with compassion and integrity would be able to do would be to apply diplomatic pressure to China to at the least let the people found in China from North Korea apply for refugee status in other countries (rather than sending them back).

But imagine if our goverment said that to the Chinese.

It would take incredible diplomatic skill for the Chinese diplomats not to roll on the floor in laughter at our hypocrasy. Not only does Australia treat its asylum seekers without compassion, but we too have also sent people back to their home countries to face some rather nasty consequences.

More and more I'm ashamed to be an Australian.

phoneyid
Posted Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - 19:19

Never you mind Michael-WH; you are well represented in parliament, all sides; it is I the "climate denier" and the multitude like me that are unrepresented in this "democratic process",

Earth Fan wrote "It is not an accident that asylum seekers come from places that are heavily populated and still have high birth rates."

Now that's exactly what I mean... see!!
A psychological condition which I've personally discovered to manifest itself in political discourse. It's a classic case of "simultanagnosia"

Not only EarthFan; but it seems that most Australians do see it as an accident, if they've noticed at all, that there are a large number of "boat people" coming exactly from the countries that we've helped to bomb the crap out of, along with our best mates USA and UK.
It's nothing new.

What say you KCVelasco ;
Shall we bomb the crap out of Syria now, and perhaps Iran, and then "reach out and extend [a] compassionate bosom" to those escaping there too?

MazelMan
Posted Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - 21:50

phoneyid, you have suggested that we have responsibility for refugees because we have bombed the crap out of their countries of origin.

The refugees coming to Australia have come principally from Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and Sri Lanka. I contend that the majority of those fleeing Afganistan are doing so to escape the Taliban, those who left Iran wanted to get away from a repressive theocratic regime and those from Sri Lanka are the victims of a bitter civil war. The Syrians will be next.

The flood of refugees is not really a byproduct of our supposedly belligerent gestures on the world stage, rather we are an attraction to those whose lives in their countries of origin have become unbearable because of terrible internal strife.

And Rose Iser, you naively advocate for a fair approach. Fair from whose perspective?  Have you found some magic way of measuring fairness? Regretfully I don't think so.

 

Michael_Wilbur-Ham
Posted Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - 22:03

MazelMan - A very easy way to determine fairness is to decide how you would feel on either side.

If you were a genuine refugee (not economic migrant) how would you feel if a country treated you as Australia now treats genuine refugees who arrive on our shores?

MazelMan
Posted Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - 23:19

Is it fair for refugees to be using illegal boats to get refugee status?

Is it fair for boat loads of refugees to be drowning in the ocean?

Is it fair for Australia which became a sincere signatory to the Refugee Convention to find now that refugees are shopping for a spot in our country? (beggars can't be choosers)

Is it fair for non-skilled migrants to be coming to Australia when we have no jobs for such people?

Is it fair for people to be exploiting a loophole in the Refugee Convention by managing to arrive in Australia bypassing other countries on the way who are signatories to the Convention?

Is it fair for the onus to take refugees be imposed on Australia when there are other countries in our region who don't pull their weight?

Is it fair on us to be providing safe haven to Muslims some of whom threaten the very fundamental tenets of our free multicultural society?

etc

 

Michael_Wilbur-Ham
Posted Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - 23:33

Rather than write an essay in rebuttal to MazelMan I'll just comment that I find it very suprising that someone with such values reads New Matilda. 

EarthFan
Posted Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - 00:11

"that there are a large number of "boat people" coming exactly from the countries that we've helped to bomb the crap out of,"

You desperately want to blame the western involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq for the influx of refugees coming by boat. When did the US ever bomb Sri Lanka? Or Mali? Or the Democratic Republic of Congo? The second largest source of refugees in 2012 was Somalia (according to the Guardian newspaper). When did the US bomb the crap out of Somalia?

Afghanistan has been the major source of refugees for 32 years. Are you actually claiming that the US and Australia have been bombing Afghanistan for that long? And you haven't acknowledged the war between Iran and Iraq in the 1980's. 

Mali, Congo, Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Ethiopia are all places with high birth rates.

phoneyid
Posted Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - 01:02

Here you go EarthFan
re Afghanistan
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYvO3qAlyTg
1979 USA's Brzezinski is addressing ethnic "Pashtun", who, with USA guidance, later came to form what is now known as the "Taliban". So here we see that early formation of Mujihadeen (Holly Warriors) being motivated and soon to be well and primarily funded by USA to become the Taliban. These Pashtun are the founding members of the Taliban,

Re Iran, You hadn't heard how America and UK overthrew a Democratic Secular Government there. Look up Opertion AJAX
Or you hadn't heard of "The Iran Contra Affair"

MazelMan "Is it fair on us to be providing safe haven to Muslims some of whom threaten the very fundamental tenets of our free multicultural society? "
We treat Jews and other Zionists with open arms even though they continuously seek to move us into directions which only serve there greater ideologies, while even gloating like you over expected further attacks on Syria.
UK and Israel have done very well out of Africa; Who would guess that Israel is a primary source of diamonds in $ terms.

Have you guys heard about the new Postage stamp brought out by AUST Post in partnership with Israel.
Little did the diggers know, even though Lord Balfour in his Promise to Lord Rothschild did, that they were there to lay the ground for the establishment of Israel. There were other lands on offer to Jews in those times, but I suppose MazelMan would feel that some "beggars [can] be choosers".

http://middleeastrealitycheck.blogspot.com.au/2013/06/australia-post-issues-israeli.html

Snap into reality EarthFan; you might say, we have a puppet regime.

jackal012
Posted Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - 06:53

EarthFan, you might be right.

"Afghanistan has been the major source of refugees for 32 years"

 

But, how many came in the seventies 3 or 4 a dozen, how many now. Hundreds??

 

The Libs say ITS A FLOOD, why suddenly a flood.

The wests Moral Superiority is based on America's so called Moral, Rightious Democracy.

 

But go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kE8RtL3azDg watch it and then ask yourself. Is that what you want, is that what you call Freedom and Democracy. Is that what so may Australian people died for, to become. What we have killed 100 million people for, to defend. What we so desperately try to become. You make some good points EarthFan and you have a good heart but you are a Human History Incompetent.

 

We killed millions of women and children to be, are we what you thought we were, are, or was what we fought for just a Trojan Horse.

 

There are none so right as the rightous, Strawmen.

jackal012
Posted Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - 10:09

Now People. You might not like what I say, or you might consider this of topic. But it isn't.

There are those who say we are a rich nation and can afford.

Hopefully you have watched the video I have referred you to and understand the implication to not only the health system but also the education system of this nation. a Nation which likes to follow and model itself on the Yanks.

 

Americas IRS/TAX laws came into being back in 1913, why 1913, because the Corporations and the rich who wanted in on WW1 so that America could become the new Empire and therefore control 85% of the Manufacturing and therefore wealth, didn't want to have to pay for the war itself.

However if you look at the video, taxing the workers wages income is against the American Constitution. The constitution actually says that Corporations have to pay Taxes on their Profits, despite this American Citizens are being dragged before the Courts and charged with not filling a tax return denying them their right to the 5th amendment, despite what the 6th says.

Now what are the implication for Australia should the American workers ever win, free themselves from having to pay for America's wars, because we know that America's health system is a shambles, same with its education despite America's workers being Taxed illegally.

Can our own Government maintain our system if Australians and everyone else suddenly depart for America because the Yanks free themselves from paying Taxes on their income.

Where will that leave Australia and its Health, Education and Refugee requirements.

 

At the moment I have maintained as previously posted here that 77% of Aust. don't actually pay taxes, we only give back a % of what we are given in the 1st place.

 

So how does all of this tie in with us being a Democracy, supposedly rich and capable of providing others with a way of life we can no longer afford, according to Abbott and Austerity measures abroad because of the GFC created by Greed Yanks who are supposed to be paing taxes but only pay abouy 267 Billion ???? while the Workers Pay 3 times that when they are not supposed to according to their you beaut Constitution..

So my Question is does any one really know where we are going with this and why.

The trouble in the middle east is about currency wars and wether the Yank currency looses world trading currency status. Libia was going to introduce Gold coins for Nations to trade in oil, same with Saddam. Look at the currency wars at the moment and Americas standing, if America looses all of the Dollars their now printing into exsistance to save themselves form collapse will be worthless. Then what. Those Refugees will be better of back home living in grass huts because they still can over there, but we can't here. Building Codes etc....

 

So think outside the square, the kneebone is connected to the thigh bone and so it goes.

Why do we have Refugee's isn't better to tell them the truth, our entire system is based on lies, rape, pillage and plunder, maybe they'll stay home.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MBpwq6zmuTo

 

MazelMan
Posted Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - 10:46

phoneyid, you are like the guy who picks up a gun and starts firing it willy nilly in all directions hoping that with the volume of shot that he will at least hit some of the targets.

US involvement in Iran or Afghanistan at one time on some occasion does not make for a full scale refugee problem. There are more fundamental issues with these societies than you are prepared to admit.

This postage stamp business is the biggest load of hogwash I have heard in a long time. Sonia Karkar, one eyed pro-Palestinian activist sits down every day working out how to drum up some anti-Israel dirt. Six weeks after the stamps were publicly issued under the direction of Ahmed Fahour mind you, a celebrated Muslim who is head of AusPost, she suddenly realises that there has been a joint stamp issue between Australia and Israel. That is too much for her to bear. Any excuse to bring up all the usual crap. And those dimwits at nineMSN bought it! Refer news.ninemsn.com.au/national/2013/06/20/17/26/australia-post-stamps-racist-say-activists. Can you believe it - over 2200 comments!

This user is a New Matilda supporter. Marga
Posted Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - 13:27

I discount the West's involvement in the M.E. as the major reason for people to seek asylum.   Did Japanese and Germans following WW2 leave in droves?  Yes, some migrated, but most staid put, rolled up their sleeves and rebuilt.  They had no other choice and had a strong desire for a return to 'normal'.   Why did they do it?  Because they had the ability, the resources from within, the discipline to do so (yes, I know, the Marshall Plan helped with the money).  They did not accept chaos.

If the West would not have interfered in the M.E., would they countries be less chaotic today? Just think about it.

An investigative TIME article some time ago (in fact, there were a few of those artices) suggested that the young in Afghanistan are restless; they have no future.  Better educated than their elders - who are not educated at all whereas the young are somewhat educated - the elders do not budge from their positions.  So the young look for a future elsewhere.    The young would do well to look for a future in their own country which needs a lot of rebuilding and new development.  They have plenty of natural resources eagerly sought by the rest of the world.   But then again, as a senior Afghani official said (not a direct quote and refering to Afghanistan's history): "we manage to fend off foreign invaders, but we seem to be incapable of sorting out our own domestic problems".

The ultimate cause of all these problems is overpopulation, as Earth Fan quite rightly pointed out.   Empowerment and emancipation of the ordinary people, especially women, education and family plannin -, and a few tips on how to be less chaotic - is what M.E. countries need.

Maybe a little less western technologies would be good too: fewer mobiles, TVs, laptops and ipads - so that they learn less about the glitz and glamour of the west and spend their time concentrating on how to improve things back home. 

 

jackal012
Posted Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - 16:23

Marga

Your Comment:

Empowerment and emancipation of the ordinary people, especially women, education and family planning -, and a few tips on how to be less chaotic - is what M.E. countries need.

 

Now go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MBpwq6zmuTo the Yanks can't empower their own people, their no better then the Afghan War Lords.

Then ask yourself what do we really know.

The Marshal Plane was the start of Globalization because the Yanks learned after WW1 that if you take out your richest and most capable competitors you also take out the very Consumers of your exports. The Yanks thought that they had won it all, instead nobody bought what the Yanks Manufactured, the Yanks thought wrongly that the demand for American Made would Sky Rocket instead they over produced, nobody brought and they went from heady 1920 to the 1930 colapse.

Thats why after WW2 they forced all Conquered Nation to Produce American Goods under License, thats why the Japs don't make their own Diffs and Automatic Gearboxes, their all licensed Yank Products. It was the poorer Countries in the east who migrated when their own master plan failed. It was the Checks who payed 2 billion pounds to a group called Focus in England to Bribe English Politicians like Churchill to take out their Competition in that case it was Germany. In the same way that the French are Saber Rattling again now, trying to get back their old Glory.

When you have watched the above ask yourself again, what of our own Tax structure.

 

 

jackal012
Posted Thursday, June 27, 2013 - 08:23

Marga, just to rock the boat and show you the games of divide and Conquer going on, watch this

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUMifHT1AwY

Listen to what it says towards the end about Male suffrages how Man got the right to vote and where their at now given what it says in the other video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MBpwq6zmuTo

Now, you can say, THATS AMERICA, but, IS IT. Globalization and our obsession with anything Yank and its wanky Democracy has contaminated our own structures.

Global warming and the alarmist mentality came about because the Space program and its supposed safe haven for the rich has collapsed, the rich are stuck here with us and with their one day Worthless Metals and Currencies. Food and Water will be worth more then the other two put together one day and that day is fast approaching.

 

 

O. Puhleez
Posted Thursday, June 27, 2013 - 10:36

Marga,

After you've watched the Jackal's Youtubes, he's probably got millions of slides to show you as well.

Like the ones he took on his last trip to Bamboozleland.

I am waiting for Youtube that shows him racing around in ever-diminishing circles until the inevitable happens.

jackal012
Posted Thursday, June 27, 2013 - 10:49

O. Puhleez some facts puhleez.

 

You don't agree, then why not.?

Puhleez fill us in. Share some knowledge, opinions.

This user is a New Matilda supporter. Marga
Posted Thursday, June 27, 2013 - 13:40

Thanks for all the good advice, but I don't particularly like You-Tubing.

Meanwhile I am waiting with bated breath for the next bombshell out of Canberra.

jackal012
Posted Thursday, June 27, 2013 - 19:04

Marga, this Guy YouTubes and he ain't no idiot or working Class drop kick who just walks around with his hand down the front of his undies.

Dr. Roberts was awarded the Treasury Department’s Meritorious Service Award for “his outstanding contributions to the formulation of United States economic policy.”

In 1987 the French government recognized him as “the artisan of a renewal in economic science and policy after half a century of state interventionism” and inducted him into the Legion of Honor.

He is listed in Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in the World.

He quite openly says Neo Con and free market ideologies were and are bull, it was nothing but out right theft by Business and Banks. The Fed.

 

It is the Yanks who are causing the refugee problem, period.