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Lockdown in State of Victoria: a threat to democracy?

  • 26-08-2020 4:09pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 3,516 ✭✭✭ political analyst


    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/aug/24/victorian-plan-to-extend-state-of-emergency-by-12-months-prompts-human-rights-concerns
    Legal groups have warned against Victoria’s plan to extend its state of emergency by 12 months, arguing that to comply with human rights obligations parliament should favour the “most limited possible option” when granting extraordinary powers.

    Victorian law currently allows the government to declare a state of emergency for four weeks at a time and to extend that declaration for up to six months.
    On Monday the premier, Daniel Andrews, said he would ask parliament to extend the allowable period for a state of emergency to 12 months, and then renew it, allowing Victoria to remain in a state of emergency until September next year.

    Considering that the fatality rate for Covid is a fraction of 1%, the proportionality of the Covid restrictions imposed by Daniel Andrews - and by governments in other jurisdictions throughout the world - is questionable.

    I suspect that democracy is under threat in the State of Victoria - and Daniel Andrews' slight resemblance to Kim Jong-un certainly doesn't help public perception!


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 19,312 ✭✭✭✭ Strumms


    Don’t be overly focused on the death rate.

    Covid has infected 24 million people worldwide in the 8/9 months since it was discovered.

    The strains placed on health services globally... in terms of money many billions have been spent worldwide already fighting covid.. in terms of other medical services and treatments that people require especially those in rehabilitative need are cancelled as resources and manpower are moved to fight and help with covid.. the long term effects of people not getting treatments in good time ? Might not recover and also be financial drain on the state going forward.

    I’m was in need of physical rehab that was 85% complete before covid hit...

    I was lucky I had at my disposal the ability to see what was happening and buy a couple of grands worth of gym equipment to augment what I had , if I didn’t have the spare cash ? Fuçked or at best delayed returning to full health.


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,323 ✭✭✭✭ Peregrinus


    I can see all kinds of plausible objections to, and concerns about, the lockdown regulations, but I'm not seeing the "threat to democracy", and the linked Guardian article doesn't mention any threat to democracy.

    Can you explain your suspicion that democracy is under threat?


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,516 ✭✭✭ political analyst


    Peregrinus wrote: »
    I can see all kinds of plausible objections to, and concerns about, the lockdown regulations, but I'm not seeing the "threat to democracy", and the linked Guardian article doesn't mention any threat to democracy.

    Can you explain your suspicion that democracy is under threat?

    It's simple - the reference to human rights obligations.


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,323 ✭✭✭✭ Peregrinus


    It's simple - the reference to human rights obligations.
    Overly simple, perhaps? "Human rights" and "democracy" are not the same thing at all. Democracies don't always respect human rights, and less-than-democratic countries are sometimes quite good at respecting human rights.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,516 ✭✭✭ political analyst


    Peregrinus wrote: »
    Overly simple, perhaps? "Human rights" and "democracy" are not the same thing at all. Democracies don't always respect human rights, and less-than-democratic countries are sometimes quite good at respecting human rights.

    Wrongful imprisonment is much more common in undemocratic countries.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,592 ✭✭✭ circadian


    Sweet Jesus. Threat to democracy.


    Are you going to head down the Bill Gates health passport/tracking/enforced vaccination/new world order route?


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,516 ✭✭✭ political analyst


    circadian wrote: »
    Sweet Jesus. Threat to democracy.


    Are you going to head down the Bill Gates health passport/tracking/enforced vaccination/new world order route?

    Of course not! A 6-week lockdown because of a viral infection with a very low fatality rate is disproportionate.


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,323 ✭✭✭✭ Peregrinus


    Of course not! A 6-week lockdown because of a viral infection with a very low fatality rate is disproportionate.
    The fatality rate is not the only issue here. There is also the virulence of the virus (i.e. how infectious it is) and the extensive less-than-fatal injuries it can inflict.

    There's also the factor that the low fatality rate is the producte of good and intensive treatment, which is only possible so long as case numbers are kept low enough. If infection rates rise beyond a certain point, the fatality rate will also rise. Thus the lockdown may not be so much unnecessary in light of the low fatality rate as necessary in order to maintain the low fataility rate.

    Tl;dr: The proportionality of the response is a more complex calculation than you seem to think. Plus, you seem to have abandoned the attempt to argue that it's a threat to democracy.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,516 ✭✭✭ political analyst


    Peregrinus wrote: »
    The fatality rate is not the only issue here. There is also the virulence of the virus (i.e. how infectious it is) and the extensive less-than-fatal injuries it can inflict.

    There's also the factor that the low fatality rate is the producte of good and intensive treatment, which is only possible so long as case numbers are kept low enough. If infection rates rise beyond a certain point, the fatality rate will also rise. Thus the lockdown may not be so much unnecessary in light of the low fatality rate as necessary in order to maintain the low fataility rate.

    Tl;dr: The proportionality of the response is a more complex calculation than you seem to think. Plus, you seem to have abandoned the attempt to argue that it's a threat to democracy.

    Nevertheless, it's still relevant to my OP. I said I suspected it was a threat to democracy - I didn't claim to know it was a threat to democracy. Therefore, I left the door open for the likelihood that I was wrong.

    I haven't heard of any legal challenge to the Victoria lockdown so far. This isn't just about Covid in Victoria - this is about alleged rights violations by the Andrews administration. I'm no lawyer but I think the pregnant woman who was arrested in Melbourne is in with a chance of success. Sure, look at the Australian Supreme Court judgement in the Cardinal Pell case!


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  • Registered Users Posts: 23,323 ✭✭✭✭ Peregrinus


    Nevertheless, it's still relevant to my OP. I said I suspected it was a threat to democracy - I didn't claim to know it was a threat to democracy. Therefore, I left the door open for the likelihood that I was wrong.
    Given that you still haven't offered any reason at all for your suspicion that it's a threat to democracy, I think the likelihood is fairly high.
    I haven't heard of any legal challenge to the Victoria lockdown so far. This isn't just about Covid in Victoria - this is about alleged rights violations by the Andrews administration. I'm no lawyer but I think the pregnant woman who was arrested in Melbourne is in with a chance of success.
    SFAIK she hasn't launched any proceedings challenging the legality or propriety of her arrest.

    She has been charged with incitement to the commission of an offence - that is the charge she was arrested on. The objection seems to be that the charge is disprortionate to the gravity of her conduct; other people who did similar things were simply warned. Over-zealous enforcement by the police is a human rights issue, but I think it's a bit of a stretch to present it as a threat to democracy.
    Sure, look at the Australian Supreme Court judgement in the Cardinal Pell case!
    I'm not seeing the parallel, to be honest. The issue in Pell's appeal to the High Court was whether, on the evidence, he had been rightly convicted. This woman hasn't been convicted at all (and may never be).


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,130 ✭✭✭ Del Griffith


    Australia is bat **** crazy about this virus. I've a friend over there who moved from VIC to QLD - met getting off the plane by army and forced military escort direct to a hotel where they were monitored to ensure absolute quarantine for 2 weeks, at their own expense. Completely OTT.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,434 ✭✭✭ mandrake04


    Australia is bat **** crazy about this virus. I've a friend over there who moved from VIC to QLD - met getting off the plane by army and forced military escort direct to a hotel where they were monitored to ensure absolute quarantine for 2 weeks, at their own expense. Completely OTT.

    But the rest of us are happy enough with that arrangement, especially in QLD they had total of 6 deaths and only had 15 cases in the last week most ...if not all are in Hotels. Personally in NSW I haven’t heard any people complain about the measures most people understand why they are there and just accept it...especially when you are free living pretty much normal life everything is open and has been since June/July What’s the point of punishing the majority of the population for the actions of the few.

    I think there is definitely more hysteria in Ireland....shit that just doesn’t make any sense. I was explaining to my wife that the schools were closed for 6 months LOL, Pubs are still closed unless they serve pizza, chicken wings or some other shit for 105 mins and people are still living with a heap of restrictions but yet they kept the airports open.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 9,389 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Manach


    Abrogation of the right to protest ( across all aspects of the political spectrum) / assembly isn't a knock on foundations on a democratic states?
    Undermining one the core aspects of a demoncratic society that of free assmebly, in the case of the young pregnant mother by arresting her for trying to organising a protest, is what appears to be happening here. Historically when such freedoms were been wrested away from the Ancien Regiem, cicra 18th/19th century Europe, the impact of infectous diseases were an order of magnitude worse than that of Covid-19. That did not stop the protesters then, nor should it stop them now.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,516 ✭✭✭ political analyst


    https://www.news.com.au/national/victoria/courts-law/antimask-lawyers-asking-for-200k-for-class-action-against-vic-government/news-story/6cbcc0a1efa03d433371f4b69f7e51c1
    Lawyers who last month urged Melburnians to reject the chief health officer’s mandatory mask directive are asking for $200,000 worth of donations to take Daniel Andrews, Brett Sutton and Jenny Mikakos to court.

    G&B lawyers, based in Sydney, created a crowd-funding page to raise money for a class action against the Victorian Government on Thursday which has so far received almost $10,000.

    They claim they are under “instructions” to file the action in the Supreme Court of Victoria on behalf of Victorians who have suffered directly because of “actions going well and truly beyond their powers”.


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,323 ✭✭✭✭ Peregrinus


    Manach wrote: »
    Abrogation of the right to protest ( across all aspects of the political spectrum) / assembly isn't a knock on foundations on a democratic states?
    The right to protest isn't being abrogated. You can certainly protest against laws you don't like; you just can't protest in a way that violates the social distancing rules. You don't get an exception if the laws against which you are protesting are the social distancing rules themselves.

    Obviously, you can characterise violating the social distancing rules in order to protest those very rules as a form of civil disobedience. Fair enough. But a key point about civil disobedience is that it is, in fact, disobedient; accepting the conviction and punishment that ensues is part of the protest. The Mahatma was very clear about this.

    In this particular case though, the woman who was arrested for organising the protest meeting, it doesn't seem that this was intended as a form of civil disobedience. From newspaper reports, by her own account she did not realise that the protest meeting she was trying to organise would itself have been a breach of the law.


  • Registered Users Posts: 424 ✭✭ TRANQUILLO


    Manach wrote: »
    Abrogation of the right to protest ( across all aspects of the political spectrum) / assembly isn't a knock on foundations on a democratic states?
    Undermining one the core aspects of a demoncratic society that of free assmebly, in the case of the young pregnant mother by arresting her for trying to organising a protest, is what appears to be happening here. Historically when such freedoms were been wrested away from the Ancien Regiem, cicra 18th/19th century Europe, the impact of infectous diseases were an order of magnitude worse than that of Covid-19. That did not stop the protesters then, nor should it stop them now.

    I don't understand how even the most contrary internet debater can think what's going on at the hands of the authorities in Australia is ok.


  • Registered Users Posts: 424 ✭✭ TRANQUILLO


    Peregrinus wrote: »
    The right to protest isn't being abrogated. You can certainly protest against laws you don't like; you just can't protest in a way that violates the social distancing rules. You don't get an exception if the laws against which you are protesting are the social distancing rules themselves.

    Obviously, you can characterise violating the social distancing rules in order to protest those very rules as a form of civil disobedience. Fair enough. But a key point about civil disobedience is that it is, in fact, disobedient; accepting the conviction and punishment that ensues is part of the protest. The Mahatma was very clear about this.

    In this particular case though, the woman who was arrested for organising the protest meeting, it doesn't seem that this was intended as a form of civil disobedience. From newspaper reports, by her own account she did not realise that the protest meeting she was trying to organise would itself have been a breach of the law.


    They didnt have a problem with having protests in Australia during the pandemic when it pertained to BLM.

    Videos available upon request.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,516 ✭✭✭ political analyst


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2022_Victorian_state_election

    The next election in Victoria is scheduled for 26 November 2022. I don't think voters will either forgive or forget the way in which Dan Andrews has handled the pandemic. After all, #dictatordan has been trending on Twitter.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,516 ✭✭✭ political analyst


    TRANQUILLO wrote: »
    They didnt have a problem with having protests in Australia during the pandemic when it pertained to BLM.

    Videos available upon request.

    Assistant Commissioner Cornelius explained that.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/sep/03/victoria-police-arrested-pregnant-woman-facebook-post-zoe-buhler-australia-warn-lockdown-protesters
    In response to a journalist who drew comparisons between the anti-lockdown protests and a Black Lives Matter protest held in June, Cornelius said there was a clear reason for the difference.

    The Black Lives Matter protests were held under stage two restrictions, and the protest planned for Saturday was under stage four, he said.

    “There’s a huge difference,” he said. “During the Black Lives Matter protest, we were operating under a very different set of rules. Under the Black Lives Matter protest, leaving home to protest was a permitted activity. There were restrictions on it, so the restriction was you can leave home to protest with a group up to 10 people, and in multiple groups, so long as there’s a 100m distance between each of those groups.

    “Now, in stage four, and also in stage three, which applies to regional Victoria, when those restrictions came in, public protest was removed as a permitted reason. That is the rule that applies now, and that applies to the individual arrested yesterday … those rules did not apply during the Black Lives Matter protest”.

    He added that the organisers of the Black Lives Matter rally had told protesters to abide by the restrictions at the time.

    “Here’s the thing – the organisers of the Black Lives Matter protest were on record saying we’re telling people who are coming to protest to comply with the [health] directions.”


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  • Registered Users Posts: 424 ✭✭ TRANQUILLO



    It was stage 3 in Ballarat on the day of her arrest.

    And the BLM protests in Australia were not socially distant on the day. The jack boots were not as heavy handed that day.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,919 ✭✭✭ TomSweeney


    Melbourne police going around like little SS thugs, yeah ... no trouble with democracy at all folks!!


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,253 ✭✭✭ Risteard81


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2022_Victorian_state_election

    The next election in Victoria is scheduled for 26 November 2022. I don't think voters will either forgive or forget the way in which Dan Andrews has handled the pandemic. After all, #dictatordan has been trending on Twitter.
    He belongs in gaol.

    So do the so-called leaders of Ireland.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 837 John O.Groats


    Risteard81 wrote: »
    He belongs in gaol.

    So do the so-called leaders of Ireland.

    The "unelected junta" is it?


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,323 ✭✭✭✭ Peregrinus


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2022_Victorian_state_election

    The next election in Victoria is scheduled for 26 November 2022. I don't think voters will either forgive or forget the way in which Dan Andrews has handled the pandemic. After all, #dictatordan has been trending on Twitter.
    Andrews' problem is not that he has instituted tough measures; it's that the tough measures he has instituted have not been sufficiently tough, or sufficiently early, to prevent a significant wave of CV19 infections. Victoria had 622 new infections last week and 1,158 the week before, and currently has 406 people being treated in hospital.

    Western Australia also has draconian infection control measures; I would need a permit to leave the state, and these are almost impossible to get. Don't even talk about getting a permit to enter the state. If I could get one, I would still be taken from the airport to quarantine for 14 days at my own expense in a hotel guarded by the WA police and/or the Australian army. People who evade or breach quarantine are jailed. At an earlier stage of the pandemic, even travel within the state was similarly restricted.

    The economic consequences have been horrendous, as you'd imagine for a state whose economy is almost entirely dependent on external trade. But these measures have worked. We've had zero community transmission since April. We currently have 5 active cases, all of them people who arrived from outside the state and were diagnosed while in quarantine.

    And the state government is unbelievably popular - like, North Korea-levels of popularity. This week the Premier, Mark McGowan, has an approval rating of 91%. The Covid restrictions are supported by 92%. Projections for the next state election, due in March 2021, have the Labor Party romping home.

    But all that would change dramatically if, despite the restrictions, we had a second wave of infection. McGowan would then discover what if feels like to be Daniel Andrews.

    The lesson is clear; in Australia at any rate, people will put up with, and even support, stringent restrictions, but they want the restrictions to work. What they resent is restrictions that don't work. It's not the restrictions that cause them to turn against the government; it's the CV19 infection rate.


  • Registered Users Posts: 179 ✭✭ sandbelter


    Peregrinus wrote: »
    I can see all kinds of plausible objections to, and concerns about, the lockdown regulations, but I'm not seeing the "threat to democracy", and the linked Guardian article doesn't mention any threat to democracy.

    Can you explain your suspicion that democracy is under threat?

    The Victorian Constitution doesn't have an equivalent of Section 3 of the Commonwealth Constitution ensuring the right to judicial oversight. Effectively what you have is internment without trial. Bureaucrats are making laws, police are enforcing them with no court appeal.

    For the record, the lady the arrested was in Ballarat which is not subject to Stage 4 lock down, she was in zone 3 and compliance with local Covid was explicitly mentioned in the face book posting. The terms of the conditions of the march were identical to the earlier Black Lives matter marches.

    Parliament has not sat since March and won't until March 2021, the Victorian government was hoping to extend the rule by decree until Sept 2021.

    The health minister has refused to answer the oppositions questions on the heath crisis and replied back in writing with one word answers. Today NSW has taken over the tracing teams in Victoria as the state health department has been so inept. This is definition of unaccountably.

    In the Melbourne metropolitan region everyone is under curfew (in practice house arrests), street are patrolled by the Police, drones are flying over the city to scan registrations to insure you are within your 5km radius which applies to anywhere within this zone: https://www.vic.gov.au/coronavirus-5km-from-home-map.

    You can be stopped and be asked for identification at any time within this zone.

    None of this has been subject to any scrutiny by parliament, which remains suspended.

    The police state has been introduced to mask this, it makes Boris Johnson look competent. This a very brief summary of the state of play and why the state has been put into a democratic freezer.
    https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2020/09/victorias-arrogance-left-it-a-virus-basket-case/


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,516 ✭✭✭ political analyst


    TRANQUILLO wrote: »
    It was stage 3 in Ballarat on the day of her arrest.

    And the BLM protests in Australia were not socially distant on the day. The jack boots were not as heavy handed that day.

    So you're accusing the Assistant Commissioner of being dishonest?


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,516 ✭✭✭ political analyst


    sandbelter wrote: »
    The Victorian Constitution doesn't have an equivalent of Section 3 of the Commonwealth Constitution ensuring the right to judicial oversight. Effectively what you have is internment without trial. Bureaucrats are making laws, police are enforcing them with no court appeal.

    For the record, the lady the arrested was in Ballarat which is not subject to Stage 4 lock down, she was in zone 3 and compliance with local Covid was explicitly mentioned in the face book posting. The terms of the conditions of the march were identical to the earlier Black Lives matter marches.

    Parliament has not sat since March and won't until March 2021, the Victorian government was hoping to extend the rule by decree until Sept 2021.

    The health minister has refused to answer the oppositions questions on the heath crisis and replied back in writing with one word answers. Today NSW has taken over the tracing teams in Victoria as the state health department has been so inept. This is definition of unaccountably.

    In the Melbourne metropolitan region everyone is under curfew (in practice house arrests), street are patrolled by the Police, drones are flying over the city to scan registrations to insure you are within your 5km radius which applies to anywhere within this zone: https://www.vic.gov.au/coronavirus-5km-from-home-map.

    You can be stopped and be asked for identification at any time within this zone.

    None of this has been subject to any scrutiny by parliament, which remains suspended.

    The police state has been introduced to mask this, it makes Boris Johnson look competent. This a very brief summary of the state of play and why the state has been put into a democratic freezer.
    https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2020/09/victorias-arrogance-left-it-a-virus-basket-case/

    It's a charter of rights in Victoria. All state governments and the federal government of Australia have to adhere to the Australian Constitution.

    If those protesters are convicted, they can appeal.


  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators, Regional North Mods, Regional West Moderators Posts: 81,470 Mod ✭✭✭✭ biko


    When elections are cancelled - then and only then is there an actual threat to democracy.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,253 ✭✭✭ Risteard81


    biko wrote: »
    When elections are cancelled - then and only then is there an actual threat to democracy.
    Nonsense.


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