Still No Obvious Tech Policy Winners In Election

Still No Obvious Tech Policy Winners In Election

The news that the Liberal Party would block any attempts to introduce mandatory internet filtering has attracted much attention since it emerged yesterday afternoon. However, a lack of detail on what alternatives might be proposed, and the lurking question of what will happen to the NBN, mean that advancing the cause of technology with your vote is still difficult.

The Liberals have said that they would block any legislation to introduce mandatory filtering, which makes it unlikely that the legislation would ever get passed in a Senate where the Greens (also anti-filter) held the balance of power. However, the Liberal policy does appear essentially to be an argument against the specific details of Labor’s policy, not necessarily opposition to the concept of filtering on other grounds. It’s worth remembering that the blacklist which forms the cornerstone of Labor’s suggested approach was introduced by the Coalition when it was in power. Yes, that’s the first point Labor itself made in reacting to the announcement, before returning to its usual tired “if you oppose us you support child pornography” rhetoric, but it’s worth noting nonetheless.

It’s also worth remembering that Liberal policy is to discard the NBN. Not only would that eliminate a major potential boost to Australian infrastructure, it would also mean essentially leaving Telstra in control of existing infrastructure, an approach which hasn’t worked well for competition so far.

Few people will vote based solely on technology issues, of course. However, if they’re something you’re considering, there’s still no obvious advantage to voting for either of the major parties, especially in the Senate. Voting below the line (and using the handy site of the same name to prepare for doing so) still seems the best way to make your vote count.


  • i’m voting for the sex party, i’ve decided, after their awesome performance against those family first nutjobs the other morning…. about the only genuinely libertarian party running for the senate.

    i believe australian democracy would be a lot stronger if the family first senator was replaced in the election by a sex party senator…!

    • Not to mention the fact that their policy is specifically against the filter.

      A pity about the name though – it makes the party sound cheap, and dare I say it; single-minded.

  • I’m voting for the greens with the hope that they gain the balance of power in the senate, then they can vote with the Libs to block the filter and vote with Labor to pass the NBN, so its a win win situation.

  • I’m voting for the greens with the hope that they gain the balance of power in the senate, then they can vote with the Libs to block the filter and vote with Labor to pass the NBN, so its a win win situation.

  • I think this is great news. Now I can safely vote for labour in the reps and greens in the senate and get what I want. Job security, NBN and No filter.

    It seems all the Libs are doing this election is promising to cut everything and not actually provide anything.

    Will be a hard election for me, as I am traditionally a liberal voter but my job directly depends on labour getting though. its good that the proposed liberal govt is truly dismal this time round!

  • Well now that we know the filter is not going through it’s safe to vote Labour. They’ll keep supporting it as a token gesture to the Christian right, but they know it’s not going to get in.

    I’m not against the liberal party in general but I’d vote for a dog turd before Abbott and Hockey and their pals.

    But regardless of who I vote for I will be putting Conroy dead last in my Senate vote. I can’t in good conscience vote for someone who risks passing ineffective and potentially dangerous legislation just to flirt with the Australian equivalent of bible-bashers. These fundamentalist dumb-asses can’t be allowed to influence politics.. just look at the US.

    • Conroy’s going after K-7(9)got the axe.

      This filter is not been requested by that public, they had no mandate for it. K-9 wanted it as one of his think big projects and now Conroy is responsible for it.

      It technically wont work will be another waste of my tax money. Conroy better wake up, it going to be musical chairs in his party soon and he is going to be left out in the cold.

  • Who trusts the Liberals on internet censorship? Has everyone forgotten about the terrible Online Services Act they passed in 1999?! Wake up….. Hockey signed off on this terrible initial piece of online legislation that underpinned Conroy’s filter. And then in 2007 Hockey signed off on the first draft of the Online Services Bill that would have sent people to jail for two years and fined them $200,000 for uploading adult content to websites anywhere in the world. The Sex Party’s Fiona Patten was the only one who knocked this terrible censorship legislation off. Both major parties and the Greens are flawed when it comes to internet censorship and no debate is complete until you look at the history of both Liberal and Labor censorship of the net back in the early days. The Leopard doesn’t change its spots.

  • If you vote against the Libs in the lower house and against the ALP in the Senate, we can have the NBN and have the filter canned. So forget thinking you have to choose. Just vote below the line on both ballot papers and have it all.

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