I had a wonderful vacation many years ago in Australia â€” 5 1/2 weeks traveling in a station wagon with camping gear. Beautiful country with wonderful people. Everything was familiar, but different. Exquisite.
The laws had that same feel. For example, they could randomly conduct breathalyzer tests on anyone (something not allowed here). The cops would simply stand in the middle of the highway and randomly point at cars that were to pull over, have their breath checked, and continue on their way. I got caught in one of those (it was my first and only breathalyzer test â€” in fact, it was the only drug test of any kind I’ve ever taken). I was amused about what it said of the Australian love of drink â€” I was pulled over on a Thursday… at 10 am.
Some laws were more generous, some more restrictive.
Now Western Australia is moving toward the authoritarian …
West Australian police will have the nation’s toughest powers to stop and search people under a plan, unveiled yesterday, which removes the need for them to show any grounds for suspecting an offence.
Premier Colin Barnett […] said legislation would be introduced within weeks to allow anyone to be stopped and searched without reason…
And what’s the need for this extraordinary use of police power? Terrorists? Civil unrest?
He said Labor had failed on law and order, and he accused the former government of trying to con the community into believing cannabis was harmless, when it was ruining lives.
“The cannabis of today is not the cannabis of the 60s or 70s. It is far stronger, it is harmful,” he said.
Ah, yes, that scary cannabis that causes so much violence and societal disruption.
What really bothers me is when people cheer for the loss of their own freedom.
To thunderous applause at yesterday’s state Liberal conference, Australia’s only Liberal Premier said law and order was a defining issue at the September 2008 election.
“I make no apologies,” he said. “We will act on that small minority that destroy the quality of life and the amenity of this great state for the silent majority.”
Mr Barnett said he knew he would be accused of breaching civil liberties but it was a small price to pay if people felt safer.
Small price? I think he’s confusing “priceless” with “small price.”