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Dilapidated Democracy Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Yaz, Canada Nov 8, 2002
Human Rights   Opinions


Democracy has traditionally been viewed as the form of government able to deliver the greatest amount of personal freedoms to the greatest amount of people; what happens if you're not one of them?

In Australia, if you're a refugee or asylum seeker, you face an uncertain future. The entirely illogical doctrine of sanctioning 'queue-jumpers', refugees who haven't had the ability or the facility to apply for refugee status before entering Australia, reflects more on a conservative government's policies and beliefs than a Commonwealth's neglect of it's treaty obligations. The fact that those that are not 'queue-jumpers', and are not vilified with emotive colloquialism, are less likely to be genuine refugees simply by virtue of the fact that they have the time and money to repeatedly apply for refugee status. This seems to be lost on the government.

Nevertheless, the effect is the same; middle class and/or educated applicants continue to pile into Australia, at the behest of the Department of Immigration. Mostly white, one might point out.

Aborigines have spectacularly high death rates, particularly in the context of deaths in custody. Governments take heed of public concern, and promise to address the problem: merely words, not deeds. The average life expectancy of an Aborigine, in an industrialized, western liberal democracy, is truly scandalous.

There are a wide variety of issues that need to be addressed in order to facilitate Australia's ascribed image internationally matching reality; these are just some of them. If people of our generation can show concern and the will to act now, hopefully the next generation will not be burdened with such worries.



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