While letterboxing for the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in the federal electorate of Bradfield that has a byelection on December 5th, I spied some opposition material in a discarded-junkmail box. Not the Opposition, but the LDP’s opposite, the Christian Democrats (CDP). It was a pseudo-survey, purporting to ask for the views of residents on a variety of issues, but clearly simply pushing CDP talking points in a somewhat bizarre fashion. A scanned copy is below the fold.
I’m not sure what political priority people should place on “Jesus Christ is the Son of God”, but I guess it’s not surprising to see something like that in there. So let’s leave that and go further into the rabbit hole.
The next statement is the first of Fred Nile’s logical fallacies – “We should do what the Greenies (sic) want and let any foreigner in”. It’s unclear whether it is referring to greenies (aka environmentalists), or the Greens. Either way, it’s untrue that either group wants high immigration – they’re worried about ecological carrying capacity. Regardless, it’s a classic fallacy along the lines of “When did you stop beating your wife?”, or the schoolyard equivalent, “Are you a poofter in a cage?”. Agreeing or disagreeing, as the CDP asks you to do, means you accept at least one premise, even if neither is true. It also implies a false dichotomy. Two logical fallacies in one sentence! Not bad.
The other mention of “Greenies” employs the same tactic, and repeats the same error – “We should follow the Greenies’ plan of ending sheep and cattle raising”. Again, neither group has that plan, though of course they make an argument for scaling back sheep and cattle numbers.
Going back up the list, we find an example of equivocation with “Australian (sic) needs no more Muslim schools and no more mosques”. We need no more?
Regarding persecuted Christians, people fleeing persecution can all seek asylum, and there is no queue nor any quota for them to have preference in. This is one of the most common mistakes when people talk about immigration policy. Refugees aren’t “queue-jumpers” because there is no queue. They can’t displace others by seeking asylum, nor affect wider immigration. So it’s an appeal to a false dilemma, a formal fallacy.
Sadly, the CDP appears to have a denialist bent, going by the statement “Climate changes are natural and do not threaten to destroy the world” and “The ETS will harm Australia with no measurable environmental benefit”. They continue the dual-premise fallacy technique. For example, I believe that the current trend in climate change is mostly not natural, but I don’t believe it will destroy the world, and that the ETS is a bad idea but would have measurable environmental benefit (but isn’t worth the cost).
On to the stupidities. A 10-year moratorium on Muslim immigration implies there is a problem with Muslim immigration. Considering the vast numbers of countries and cultures and denominations in the dar al-Islam, apparently in the CDP’s view it’s not radicalism or fundamentalism that is a problem, but simply believing that Mohammed is Allah’s prophet and the Koran is the word of Allah. Ooh, terrifying. Keep them away!
The next one is a weird one – raise the minimum age for smoking by one year a year. I’m not sure if it’s stupid or ingenious. I suppose it’s an attempt to ban smoking in the long term, because eventually the minimum age will be beyond the human lifespan. And that way cultural norms can change gradually. But by the same function of gradualism, the damage smoking does (that the CDP feel is unacceptable) continues for many years. If you feel smoking should be harder to take up, why not just raise the minimum age by whatever amount and be done? If you want to ban it because of the harm, why allow the harm to continue for decades? Perhaps they had a rare moment of lucidity, and realised that banning things generally doesn’t work if there isn’t a cultural change to support it.
I don’t know who came up with the idea “Australia should employ the Fijian Navy to intercept illegal immigrants”, but I’m guessing they don’t know that it only has 300 people and nine boats. I’m fairly sure they’re busy enough as it is anyway.
The CDP continues with the anti-Muslim theme by suggesting Muslims be singled out for expedited deportation. It implies that we should dispense with normal legal standards and venerable concepts like habeas corpus, the presumption of innocence, and the rights of citizens. Essentially, the CDP wants Muslims to be second-class citizens.
I left the stupidest stupidity until last – “Australians deserve 4G mobiles with totally free telephone calls and free data, instead of being ripped off by the phone companies”. Deserve? Is fast telephony now an entitlement, a human right? Let’s not mention that 4G is still to be rolled out. Free? There is no such thing. Someone always pays. Typically, it would be the taxpayer, and without more detail it’s a fair assumption that’s the case here. Ripped off? Competition drives down prices, so if the CDP wants lower prices, they should support competitive markets. You know, like the Liberal Democratic Party does.
Vote for sensible policies, not fallacious and stupid ones.
Vote 1 LDP. Vote 1 Lucy Gabb in Bradfield.
PS The pseudo-survey claims that “The statements of belief listed below are not necessarily the policies of any political party”, but there’s absolutely no reason for them to be on the list unless the CDP supports or is considering supporting them.
PPS Interestingly, the online version of the survey, found here, has an additional statement about development, and is basically the only one that applies specifically to Bradfield. I guess they printed the surveys off then someone realised there was nothing about Bradfield in them, so chucked the extra one into the online version.
PPPS The CDP is putting up nine candidates for election in Bradfield. Apparently they wanted 11, to match the number of honest apostles, but could only muster nine. Anyway, one of them is Andrew Hestelow, and going by the official CDP candidate picture (you can see them all in a Powerpoint file here), he doesn’t seem to take his candidacy seriously: