Lessons from Down Under

Published: Tuesday, June 19, 2007

SYDNEY, Australia – Immigration is transforming Australian society, much as it is in Canada, and the experience here has some important lessons to teach.
Australia has a historic reputation for being hostile to immigrants, especially those of the non-white variety. This is not undeserved, but outdated. It was official policy for much of the 20th century to promote European immigration and to keep out those who did not fit Australia’s European heritage. There was racism involved to be sure, but also something of a legitimate fear of being overwhelmed; Indonesia could send 20 million of its citizens here today – one for each Australian – and it would mean less than a 10% reduction in the population of the archipelago to the north.

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Unmanly whingin’

In Australia, a dispute over the ethics of stem cells has turned ugly

Published: Thursday, June 14, 2007

PERTH, Australia – It takes some doing to be both cowardly and tyrannical at the same time, but the Speaker of the Western Australia Legislative Assembly pulled that off in the recent controversy over embryonic stem cell research.
Last December, the federal parliament in Australia legalized the creation of human embryos for research purposes – research that requires their destruction in order for the stem cells to be harvested. Now the various Australian states (provinces) are debating their own enabling legislation.

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