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Should Christians even bother voting?

04 Jan

Lacey suggested this as a topic for discussion, emphasizing in particular, the matter of participation in the political process, and I concur that such is indeed a worthwhile topic to explore.

If no party in a given election is putting forth a platform that is clearly based, either explicitly or at least implicitly, upon Christian principles, but, in fact, all parties seem committed to the ‘progressive’ status quo on social issues (or at least, that none are especially vocally campaigning against ‘progressive’ positions, promising to actually overturn them if elected), I see no reason to vote.  I have therefore abstained from voting in the last four federal elections or so here in Canada, and in at least one provincial election I also abstained (we have, in Ontario, the ability to ‘decline’ one’s ballot, which I took advantage of in the second last provincial election).  I refuse to give a system which gives me no-one I can vote for in good conscience, my endorsement.  If a suitable protest party runs a candidate in my riding in a given election, I might be persuaded to vote for them as a protest – as long as I can go along with the jist of their platform; I did so recently in the most recent provincial election here this past autumn, voting for the Libertarian Party, after having met with them, read their platform, etc.

I don’t feel compelled to vote, just for the sake of voting.

I know other Christians have different opinions, of course; one one hand, some feel one should always vote, that it is a duty and not merely a right or privilege to be exercised as one wishes; on the opposite side, there are some Christians who abstain completely from voting – some because they don’t recognize the legitimacy of the state, per se – Anabaptists – others, such as Covenanter Presbyterian types, because they don’t recognize the legitimacy of any State not explicitly founded on Reformed, Covenanter principles.  I disagree with both, finding myself in the middle; voting if I wish to, but not voting if I can’t bring myself to do so, in good conscience.

Thoughts?

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47 Comments

Posted by on January 4, 2012 in government, religion

 

47 responses to “Should Christians even bother voting?

  1. Matthew

    January 4, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    I could recognize the legitimacy of certain kinds of states. Just not democracies. Democracy is the argumentum ad populum writ large, with the potential for very great evil.

     
  2. Will S.

    January 4, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    I get where you’re coming from, and generally agree with much of your sentiment; and furthermore, I am a monarchist.

    That said, I also see, as we have seen from history, potential for great evil also happening under absolute monarchies. Ambrose Bierce, in his The Devil’s Dictionary, defined dictator as ‘one who prefers the pestilence of despotism, to the plague of anarchy’, and I think that dilemma he posits, is an accurate one… As for the republican model of government, have we ever seen a republic that didn’t devolve into a democracy, eventually?

    Anyway, as for voting, since we do all, in the West, live under liberal democratic forms of government, whether constitutional monarchies or republics, what should we do, with the ability to vote, that we have been granted by our respective forms of government, under which we live today?

     
  3. Will S.

    January 4, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    (I meant dilemma rather than Hobson’s choice, I have amended my statement above accordingly.)

     
  4. CL

    January 4, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    Hobson’s choice seems like the perfect term for elections. It doesn’t matter who you vote for because the government always gets in.

     
  5. Will S.

    January 4, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    Indeed, CL; alas…

     
  6. Svar

    January 4, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    “Ambrose Bierce, in his The Devil’s Dictionary, defined dictator as ‘one who prefers the pestilence of despotism, to the plague of anarchy”

    http://www.chroniclesmagazine.org/2011/07/19/democracys-dictionary-with-apologies-to-ambrose-bierce/

     
  7. Will S.

    January 4, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    Ooh, Clyde Wilson created his own devil’s dictionary!

    I made one once, years ago, but it’s not quite suitable for publication; I just shared it with a friend.

     
  8. Rusty Shackleford

    January 4, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    I can vote for Ron Paul in good conscience, so I will. If he doesn’t run, I will be morally and ethically unable and unwilling to cast a vote for any other current candidate. Even though I agree with the Libertarian party on a majority of their platform, I won’t vote for someone who promotes abortion (which is kind of part of their platform, usually, but something they look past in their candidates, and yes, I definitely differentiate between promoting abortion ala Gary Johnson and saying either constitutional amendment or state’s rights like Ron Paul).

    Just as we are responsible for those under our domain and in our communities, we do have political duties. I certainly do believe that we have a duty to be politically active. Legitimately abstaining from voting is remaining politically active. Warning people of the dangers of voting for anyone who works for the bifactional ruling party is remaining politically active.

    Not being politically active reminds me of a Futurama quote: “Hey, I remember you. I was gonna vote for you one time. But voting isn’t cool so I stayed home alone and got trashed on Listerine.”

     
  9. Will S.

    January 4, 2012 at 11:03 pm

    @ Rusty: Just as we are responsible for those under our domain and in our communities, we do have political duties. I certainly do believe that we have a duty to be politically active. Legitimately abstaining from voting is remaining politically active. Warning people of the dangers of voting for anyone who works for the bifactional ruling party is remaining politically active.

    This; completely agree! I remain very much interested in politics, and try to stay abreast of what governments are doing, what parties are campaigning on, etc. So I, too, remain politically active, even if not actually voting.

     
  10. Simon Grey

    January 4, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    I asked a similar question a while ago. The general consensus was that voting is not a moral imperative.

    Personally, I never vote. I’ve yet to find a candidate that I could vote for and still tell God I was proud of voting for. Ron Paul is the closest (because the libertarian ethic of non-aggression is remarkably similar to the golden rule and law of love), but I don’t live in his district and he hasn’t been nominated for president since I’ve been eligible to vote. None of the local and state politicians I’m eligible to vote for impress me either. I figure its best just to stay away, especially since I am pretty ignorant of the views and policy platforms of local politicians.

     
  11. Svar

    January 4, 2012 at 11:42 pm

    I actually don’t care too much about politics… It’s all rather hopeless; everything is going to shit anyway no matter what any of us think or say. Paleoconservatism is both a philosophical movement as well as a political one, but I’m more interested in the former than the latter.

     
  12. CL

    January 5, 2012 at 1:10 am

    Does anyone else find the right-wing semi-worship of Ayn Rand more than a little disturbing? The tenets of objectivism are not very different from those of Anton LaVey if you boil them down.

     
  13. Matthew

    January 5, 2012 at 1:28 am

    CL: Randians do not make up a substantial subset of right-wingers. I know exactly one Randian, actually a Christian, a man who acknowledges that she’s batshit crazy about altruism, but who still finds her particular variety of demonized straw men compelling.

    On the Satanist resonance, I must recuse myself. I find the Crowleyian dictum “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law” to be useful advice, assuming the crucial proviso that one must be careful to subject one’s will to the Lord.

     
  14. Will S.

    January 5, 2012 at 7:18 am

    @ Simon Grey: I agree, that voting is not a moral imperative; I’ve found difficulty with the suggestions, which I, too, have heard from many I know in the church, that it is. On what basis? I see it as a privilege, a choice; we can choose to partake of, but are not obligated to. I think in all things, Christians have freedom to act as they please, provided their consciences are informed and guided by the Holy Spirit. God gave us brains, to evaluate alternatives, to make choices; He surely didn’t expect us all to always behave exactly the same, to make exactly the same decisions as each other.

    @ Svar: I used to be a political junkie, caring not only about politics in broad philosophical terms, but the whole nitty-gritty, the strategies, etc. Now, I don’t give a rip about the latter, but like you, still care very much about the former.

    @ CL, Matthew: The Randianism one finds in libertarianism is indeed disturbing, but as Matthew points out, it isn’t very mainstream. It is, however, fairly common in libertarianism circles.

    That’s a good point, Matthew, about the qualifier to the Crowley dictum. It makes all the difference. We have freedom in Christ, not to be abused, of course, but to be used, definitely.

     
  15. An Unmarried Man

    January 5, 2012 at 9:50 am

    Will, good timing this…in the past couple of months, with the American Presidential election circus kicking off, I’ve contemplated not voting as a statement for the first time in my life. I too was raised on the notion that voting is a right and duty, however I find it more difficult to accept politics for what it’s become in this country. Which is, a full-fledged soulless commercial enterprise. Politics has become a marketing tool and nothing else. They tell us what we want to hear and then do what they want. Their legal ingenuity allows them to do this subtly and they are back-handed about it so as to escape responsibility.

    That said, I feel that voting is merely contributing to the corrupt system. I’ve voted 3rd party in the past and I could vote for Ron Paul (who is 3rd party, for all intents and purposes) but even by voting for hopeless runners-up I still feel as if I’m bolstering this charade.

     
  16. Will S.

    January 5, 2012 at 10:07 am

    I’ve observed something interesting, amongst the folks I know who are of the voting-is-a-duty persuasion: few of them ever vote for third or minor parties, and most of them pooh-pooh the notion as impractical, “throwing your vote away”, or “wasting your vote”, they claim.

    But if voting is a duty, as they claim, shouldn’t one at least be conscientious in one’s voting? If we have the ability to reject the two main choices in favour of a third option, why should they so strenuously object to someone doing so? It’s as if they think that, not only must one vote, but one must vote for the media-approved, mainstream, choices on offer, and not consider any alternatives.

    To hell with that!

     
  17. An Unmarried Man

    January 5, 2012 at 10:10 am

    Not-voting needs to become a movement in itself. A visible and boisterous movement rather than simply people retreating into the anonymity of “opting out.”

     
  18. Will S.

    January 5, 2012 at 10:26 am

    Agreed, David; it would be great to see that; would be far more useful than OWS…

     
  19. CL

    January 5, 2012 at 11:04 am

    If we have the ability to reject the two main choices in favour of a third option, why should they so strenuously object to someone doing so? It’s as if they think that, not only must one vote, but one must vote for the media-approved, mainstream, choices on offer, and not consider any alternatives.

    To hell with that!

    Indeed. Also second AUM’s idea of a visible non-voting movement. I suppose one way would be to deliberately spoil a ballot, but that’s kind of meh.

    As for my Randianism question, maybe it’s mostly Internet folks but I do see a lot of it on right wing sites and not just the libertarian ones. It is certainly off-putting. Matthew’s addition to Crowley’s dictum is good; too bad most will never do that!

    I’m thinking I’ll just keep an eye on things but not bother voting at this point. Maybe in local elections if I know the candidate is worthwhile, but otherwise… I could just say that since it might be better if we went back to “only land owners get a vote”, my non-vote is a demonstration of that opinion.

     
  20. Laceagate

    January 5, 2012 at 11:58 am

    Speaking of the American election circus, with the dropout of Michelle Bachman there’s one less clown…but the party still sucks.

    Democracy is really a mistake. The U.S. is often mistakenly dubbed a democracy, when it is a democratic republic. A democracy where many people who are unfit to vote or cannot do so using objectivity and logic leads to the mess we have now.

    But if voting is a duty, as they claim, shouldn’t one at least be conscientious in one’s voting? If we have the ability to reject the two main choices in favour of a third option, why should they so strenuously object to someone doing so?

    The bigger question is, do most people even know what voting as a duty means? Most people vote with the idea that “well, if you don’t vote you don’t have the right to gripe” mentality and to an extent that may be true…but if ill-intentioned and unfit people are voting which in turn, effects myself and others, where does this leave us?

    Santorum seems like a viable candidate, but I’ll continue to keep watch.

    Nice topic, btw :D

     
  21. CL

    January 5, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    Santorum seems like a viable candidate, but I’ll continue to keep watch.

    I can’t help reading his name and thinking of sanatorium.

     
  22. Will S.

    January 5, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    @ CL: I could just say that since it might be better if we went back to “only land owners get a vote”, my non-vote is a demonstration of that opinion.

    Hmmm; I suppose my non-vote is, too. :)

    @ Lacey: Thanks for the idea. :)

    Most people vote with the idea that “well, if you don’t vote you don’t have the right to gripe” mentality and to an extent that may be true…but if ill-intentioned and unfit people are voting which in turn, effects myself and others, where does this leave us?

    Indeed. In practical terms, the vote of a moron, and the vote of a genius, are worth the same. Somehow doesn’t seem right, does it?

    As for that old saw about “if you don’t vote you don’t have the right to gripe”, I’m going to cut-and-paste something I said to David (An Unmarried Man) a couple years ago here:

    As for the absurd, erroneous, illogical, irrational argument that I have no right to complain about politics if I don’t participate, I respond thus: (a) I rarely complain, anyway, about the day-to-day actions of the government; I expect them to do what suits themselves and their masters, and I expect them to be a mix of incompetent and evil, and I am rarely pleasantly surprised by their behaviour; I am thoroughly ‘disillusioned’, in that I have no illusions (BTW, why do we use the word ‘disillusioned’ like that’s a bad thing, to have no illusions, anyway?), no pretty lies I like to believe because it makes me feel good to do so; and (b) on what logical, rational basis can one argue I have no right to complain, anyway, just because I don’t vote? We have freedom of speech and freedom of opinions, and my right to complain is part and parcel of that, whether or not I participate in the charade of the status quo. And I have noticed that there are many people who go out and vote, then when a party OTHER than the one they voted for gets in, and does what it says it would do, they STILL complain, even though they didn’t vote FOR that party, which is only doing what it said it would do, which is actually noble and honourable in itself, whether or not one agrees with the particular policy. If they reserve the right to exercise their freedom of speech and complain about a party they didn’t vote for, why can’t I, if I chose to do so? The only difference is, I’m voting for nobody.

     
  23. Rusty Shackleford

    January 5, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    I can’t help reading his name and thinking of sanatorium.

    That’s much better than the image you will get if you google his name… you’ve been warned.

     
  24. Will S.

    January 5, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    Oh yes, that nasty campaign launched by gay columnist Dan Savage, to link Rick Santorum’s last name to something revolting, as payback for his daring to voice socially conservative views. Despicable, that. But, what else can one expect from ‘progressives’…

     
  25. Master Po

    January 5, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    Voting is an unusually cheap and pleasant form of paying a donation to the civic religion, in this case the religion of Democracy. It is neither more than that, nor less. It is not per se immoral to do so, since the idols are really nothing at all. Only be careful that your weaker brother is not scandalized by your behavior. He should not be led to think that your voting is an endorsement of the civic religion, nor, God forbid, that you actually intend to do some good by participating.

     
  26. Will S.

    January 5, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    LOL! Well said, MP.

     
  27. Samson J.

    January 5, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    What was wrong with Hudak, Will?

     
  28. Will S.

    January 5, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    Nothing specifically, other than being a bit flip-floppy, but I ain’t voting Tory again till they are decidedly socially conservative, and not merely fiscally conservative. Just on principle, at both levels, federal and provincial, even though it’s more the federal Tories I’m ticked with. That said, though, I almost voted for John Tory last election, when initially, he was going to extend funding to all religious schools, but when he backed down, he lost my vote, and the provincial Tories won’t get it back unless they show the kind of courage he initially displayed before he caved, and stand for something right and unpopular, in a socially conservative vein.

     
  29. Samson J.

    January 5, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    I ain’t voting Tory again till they are decidedly socially conservative, and not merely fiscally conservative.

    I know what you mean… I go back and forth on this. The question is: strategically, how do you go about advancing social conservatism in this country? On the one hand, if you’re going to try and do it by stealth, you might just end up staying underground forever and never actually reach a point where you publicly identify as a strong so-con. Stated that way, the “stealth” approach is kind of pointless. On the other hand, my perception (hope?) is that Harper really has made quiet, clever strides to promote social conservatism in ways that Canadians won’t object to – by framing issues as being about religious “freedom”, for instance. It’s my belief that more Canadians would identify as socially conservative if there were no penalties for doing so, and it seems to me that the CPC has made efforts to remove the penalties.

    But I’m not convinced, either – as I said, at some point if you want to enact socially conservative policies, you’ve got to stand up and say so. I was pleased to see a prairie MP recently call for a re-opening of the abortion debate.

     
  30. Will S.

    January 5, 2012 at 11:56 pm

    Honestly, I don’t know how social conservatism can be advanced until the people are ready to re-embrace it, without being put off from voting for social conservative policies / parties by the shrieking of the media and the Grits and NDP that will inevitably follow the slightest moves by the Tories in such a direction. I really don’t see that much has been done by Harper and the Tories on social issues. Harper intends to placate his base by things like changing the names of the military back to their old names, getting ‘tough’ on ‘crime’ (IOW, increasing penalties for possession of pot, and other such bullshit), having an activist foreign policy, ending the gun registry, and the Wheat Board, and the like. Nothing about abortion; nothing about gay rights; nothing substantial about the most important issues, so far. A populist agenda, certainly; but not a so-con one. I’m not sure what you’re basing your perception or hope on, re: Harper actually moving quietly in a so-con direction; you can be sure that renegade western MP will be silenced, made to toe the party line, or be kicked out; that’s what party whips are for…

    I’m inclined to think that the only solution is to wait, for the pedestal to swing back; for society in general to move away from the progressivism that grips the entire Western world; if and when that happens, when enough people hold more traditional values again, then the time will be right to overturn progressive laws, and reinstate socially conservative ones. So, I don’t see a political solution, barring a societal change first. The only other way, or perhaps in conjunction with the societal change, really is some sort of stealth approach; encourage it within the CPC, but underground, slowly converting others to the traditionalist POV, but not going public with it, until some sort of critical mass has been reached in terms of enough people in the wider society at large becoming more sympathetic, once again, at which time it can be brought forward.

    We didn’t get to the status quo of today, overnight; I presume you’re familiar with the ‘long march through the institutions’ (promoted by 19th century Marxists like Theodor Adorno and Antonio Gramsci and the like), how the left slowly wormed its way into actual political and policy-setting power, by first gaining influence in various spheres – academia, media, civil service, the entertainment industry, education, and mainline Protestantism – then using their clout, once their numbers were big enough, to punish their enemies, push them aside. Definitely, we know that’s how progressives took control of mainline Protestant denominations – at first, calling for tolerance of divergent opinions; then, once they were strong enough, beginning purging their enemies, more traditional-minded folks, from those denominations. The same thing happened in academia, school boards, etc.; progressive people get in; hire more progressives, then eventually dominate. And on it went, with a progressive-minded media and entertainment industry doing their part to drive society in the same direction. No grand conspiracies, just sort of a hive mind, that instinctively knew what to do, bankrolled by some rich folks, of course – like the Rockefellers in the States…

    Perhaps the same will be have to be done to reverse it – have social conservatives move into spheres of influence, hire others, and when critical mass is reached in a given sphere, push out their progressive enemies. And then, once enough spheres of influence have been recaptured, the culture, and polity, will follow.

    Which brings up the fact that it’s a global problem, not just in any one country. Progressivism has become the governing ideology of the entire Western world, and it will have to be removed from the entire Western world. I don’t know that we can try to remove it here in Canada, without it also being removed in America, Australia, New Zealand, Britain, Ireland, Iceland, and continental Europe. The rot is civilizational wide; the cancer has to be excised from the entire body.

    Social conservatism itself, too, is in need of fixing – the misguidedly-overchivalrous, misandristic elements have to go, if it’s going to appeal to more men. Social conservatism must be purged of such progressive and even Victorian rot, be purified, and be frankly patriarchal and reactionary (like us), in order to properly oppose progressivism, IMO. For my part, I want no part of a social conservatism that promotes misandry; that blames men for whatever women complain about, that tells men to ‘man up’ and marry careerist skanks, blah blah blah; that doesn’t end alimony and exorbitant child support payments; that doesn’t end easy, ‘no-fault’ divorce, that does nothing to address the concerns of the manosphere, in seeking true justice for men, an end to the societal injustices meted out to men today, in the current, heavily misandrist society in which we live.

     
  31. Samson J.

    January 6, 2012 at 1:54 am

    Nothing about abortion; nothing about gay rights

    Yeah, in fact I’ve read in several places that the Harper government is “committed” to promoting homosexuality abroad.

    A populist agenda, certainly; but not a so-con one. I’m not sure what you’re basing your perception or hope on, re: Harper actually moving quietly in a so-con direction

    Well, I had the idea that the “Human Rights Commissions” were on the chopping block, for one. It’s just been my impression that the CPC is pushing almost a very libertarian social agenda – “let everyone do what they want, including abortionists and homosexuals, but also including politically incorrect people.” That’s better than enforced liberalism, at least.

    Which brings up the fact that it’s a global problem, not just in any one country.

    Yeah. I’m *very* interested to see how social attitudes will change (or not) as the US recedes in global importance.

    Not much to add to the rest of your response, except that I agree.

     
  32. Will S.

    January 6, 2012 at 2:04 am

    I agree, that the Harper government is pursuing a sort of libertarian-ish agenda, and I further agree that’s certainly better than enforced liberalism. (In fact, similar reasoning is why I voted for the Libertarian Party of Ontario candidate, this past fall.)

    I hope that Human Rights Commissions (or Inhuman Wrongs Commissions, as I think of them) are to be scrapped, but I’ll believe it when I see it.

     
  33. Svar

    January 6, 2012 at 11:37 am

    In America, over the last few years we had one good presidential candidate: Pat Buchanan. To bad I was only one years old when he ran.

     
  34. Svar

    January 6, 2012 at 11:59 am

    “Definitely, we know that’s how progressives took control of mainline Protestant denominations – at first, calling for tolerance of divergent opinions; then, once they were strong enough, beginning purging their enemies, more traditional-minded folks, from those denominations”

    Now they doing it to the more conservative Evangelical denominations. I was reading the comment sections at Chronicles and TJF was talking about how there are large amounts of leftists and radicals trying to promote Marxism under the banner of the Catholic Church. My Church needs to excommunicate more.

    “Progressivism has become the governing ideology of the entire Western world, and it will have to be removed from the entire Western world. I don’t know that we can try to remove it here in Canada, without it also being removed in America, Australia, New Zealand, Britain, Ireland, Iceland, and continental Europe. The rot is civilizational wide; the cancer has to be excised from the entire body.”

    I have heard from both David Collard and Kathy that atleast feminism has no hold in Aussie and that things are a bit more socially conservative: http://davidcollard.wordpress.com/2010/12/02/why-are-we-australians-so-socially-conservative/

    I’ve seen their gun laws though… Shit! In Texas you can own any firearm you want without a license or paper-work(unless it’s a sawed-off shotgun, a short-barrelled rifle, a smoothbore pistol, or a fully-automatic weapon but those can be owned thorough special paper-work). In Aussie, you can’t own self-loading rifles, pump-action shotguns, and you need paper work for everything, even rimfires. By those standards, Canadian gun laws are lax.

    As for the rot, conservative Americans and conservative Canadians need to band together. Europe and Australasia are just too far away.

     
  35. Will S.

    January 6, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    Yes, the Aussies are almost as bad as the British, in the draconian anti-gun laws there, I’ve heard. Canada is bad enough, but not like those countries…

    Even if Australia is not as feminist as Canada or America, progressivism has just as surely taken root there in terms of morality, sexual permissiveness, etc. And I’m not entirely sold that Australia is much better as regards feminism; Mark Richardson has a different take, if you read his blog

    So, the decline of civilization is West-wide…

     
  36. Svar

    January 6, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    “Yes, the Aussies are almost as bad as the British, in the draconian anti-gun laws there, I’ve heard. Canada is bad enough, but not like those countries…”

    True. America may be going down the shitter, but atleast we still have some freedoms. Socially; it just annoys me here in Texas how otherwise conservative women still go on with the feminism thing.

    “And I’m not entirely sold that Australia is much better as regards feminism;”

    How so?

    “Mark Richardson has a different take, if you read his blog…”

    Haven’t read it in a while.

     
  37. Will S.

    January 6, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    Mark Richardson has reported extensively on the Australian social, political, and media scene. Maybe feminism is slightly less vicious there in terms of misandry, but they have feminists there too, in academia, the media, etc. They’re going through the same things we are, far as I can tell.

     
  38. Will S.

    January 6, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    Here’s just one example:

    http://ozconservative.blogspot.com/2011/12/strange-homage-to-policewomen.html

    Note how the arguments levelled against the thing, are not of a traditional, “How dare he compare members of a respectable profession to those of an unrespectable one!”, sort of bent, but are all liberal, egalitarian, progressive, feminist, in tone.

    To quote both an argument against it and Richardson’s response:

    “demeaning to women, including policewomen and sex workers”

    I found that funny – we’re supposed to accept that a sculpture of women dressed as prostitutes is objectionable because it is demeaning to prostitutes.

    Confused? Of course! Feminist arguments always are…

    “I believe the proposed sculptures are disrespectful to all women, not just policewomen,”

    Another feminist argument… As is this:

    “As a former policewoman I am offended because it reinforces all the stereotypes of women,” Ms McLean said.

    “It’s male fantasy stuff and it’s from the porn shops. It’s not empowering females.

    Then again, one supporter of this ‘art’ wrote:

    Some people will always see forms of nudity as denigrating but there are many of us who see these images as empowering.

    Another feminist argument, but on the opposite side of the issue…

    And Australia isn’t as feminist like we Canucks and Yanks are? Right…

    Just one anecdote – I could comb Richardson’s blog and find more examples – but I believe that will suffice.

    Therefore: Q.E.D.

     
  39. Will S.

    January 7, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    BTW, Ferd linked this interesting piece from AVFM.

     
  40. Will S.

    January 7, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    So, I have good reason for my doubts, that feminism has no hold in Australia. It does. Just like everywhere else in the West, alas…

     
  41. Kathy

    January 8, 2012 at 2:32 am

    Yes I read that piece on AVM afew days ago and was rather puzzled by it. There is no denying the insisdious presence of feminism in Australia.. Mainly in Academia and the public service.

    I am rather confused about the plan.. Sure it favours women(and I don’t agree with it) but I see nothing about changes to the law. More improvement to services and support(again I think this is over the top) They box on about equality but it all seems to be for the benefit of the womenz..

    This excerpt about my home state as follows..Western Australia (WA)

    The reform of family and domestic violence laws occurred in the state in 2004. These reforms increased penalties, provided greater police powers in suspected cases of family violence and recognised emotional abuse as a form of domestic and family violence.

    The Western Australian Family and Domestic Violence Strategic Plan 2009-2013 involves systemic reform of Western Australia’s response to family and domestic violence. The reforms are currently being implemented by the Department for Child Protection and the Senior Officers’ Group for Family and Domestic Violence.

    Here is a link for you to peruse Will. I would appreciate your thoughts if you have time to take a look at it.

    http://www.fahcsia.gov.au/sa/women/progserv/violence/nationalplan/Pages/default.aspx

    Nothing appears to have changed at the grass roots level here in my home state.. The police are loathe to take a guy from his home and throw him in the slammer.That sort of thing rarely happens here. Unless there is some form of extreme violence, it just does not happen.

    The police are run off their feet anyway and have more important things to do than mediate between squabbling couples in households.. I remember an incident in my Parents suburb about a year ago when a couple that lived across the road had a really big argument. Screaming yelling smashing things…etc. Police were called.. When they arrived, they managed to calm them both down eventually…. Apparently the wife wanted the husband out (well that’s what a neighbour told my Mom) but the police would not intervene. Obviously they could see that the husband had not been bashing the wife or doing anything wrong.

    Some months later the wife took off and left the husband with their five kids. He was a very nice guy according to my mother. The wife would always be yelling and screaming. Probably a blessing for the poor guy. According to Mom he was quite a skinny guy and the wife was obese.. She was not well liked.. Not a nice woman..

    My opinion is that our police force is still very much masculine. They make common sense decisions.

    People on American blogs often do not believe it when I say that women mostly here in Oz DO respect their men.. It’s a different mindset here..

    Read some of what David Collard says. He says the same thing that I do in that regard.. And he lives on the east coast of Australia.

    Having said all that though, I think it is right for Dr Greg Canning to advocate for men.. I certainly do not trust the current crop of politicians, particularly our uselesss as tits on a bull female Prime Minister. Australia’s worst ever Prime Minister. She will be booted out at the next election.

    Prevention is better than cure.. And there is a definite imbalance here.. What about the violence perpetrated against males??..

    My own mother said that she suspected that the husband who lived across the road from her was a victim of domestic violence.. But of course he kept quiet about it.. Probably for the kids sake..

     
  42. Will S.

    January 8, 2012 at 8:17 am

    Kathy, I’m glad to hear that attitudes in general towards men are better, but the fact seems to remain, that feminism does exist, at least in media and academic circles and the civil service, in Australia, and that such has the power to impact law. So, the better attitudes of people in general, from what you and David Collard say, are less important, than what lawmakers are able to ram through. Because, after all, if the lawmakers are successful in that, attitudes will shift in their direction, as men become more vilified in the press, etc. Maybe Australia is simply a bit behind North America in feminism, but it looks set to catch up, if so…

     

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