Public debate has been limited because the government did not publish the bill. The chief executive of the Australian Capitol Territory, Jon Stanhope, published it on his Web site three weeks ago, saying he thought broader public discussion was needed. Mr. Howard, leader of the center-right Liberal Party, reacted by refusing to provide Mr. Stanhope, of the Labor Party, any further drafts.Well, I would urge disaffection toward the... Or, no, I guess you'd better be careful down there.
Based on that draft, the proposed law would permit the police to use preventive detention for up to 14 days, during which time the detained person would be allowed to let only one family member know of the detention. It would be a crime for the family member to tell anyone else - even for a father to tell the detainee's mother, for instance.
The definition of sedition would be expanded to include statements that "urge disaffection" toward the government, or that promote "ill will or hostility" among groups.
Mr. Howard is expected to introduce the bill on Thursday. Approval is expected within days. Mr. Howard's party controls both houses of the Parliament, and the leader of the Labor Party, Kim Beazley, has said he supports such a law.
November 3, 2005
Sedition = to "urge disaffection" toward the government or to promote "ill will or hostility" among groups.
According to the proposed anti-terrorism bill in Australia, where free speech doesn't seem to be much of a treasured value: