Politics and The Internet (Week 6)

This week’s first task was to test our own political involvement by taking part in several sub-tasks on the internet. The first of these was to sign an e-petition. I chose one that I feel very strongly about and which I have quite an informed opinion. I have numerous gay and lesbian friends, who I believe are as normal as anyone else and should not be discriminated against in any way due to their sexual preferences. Some of my best friends are homosexual and it breaks my heart to see their possibilities limited and their quality of life lessened by outdated laws and policies and ignorant human beings. The e-petition I signed was in defence of Civil Unions and can be found on page two of the Current e-Petitions page on the Queensland Parliament website.

The second task was to respond to a professional blogger at a major news site. I contacted the ABC’s chief political news correspondent Simon Culler regarding his article Bowen signs Nauru processing agreement. The article outlines the Labor Party’s dramatic shift towards asylum seekers. “From now on, anyone arriving in Australia by boat will get “no advantage” over other asylum seekers means those sent to Nauru can expect a long wait” (Scott Morrison in Culler 2012). The policy marks a firm stance against asylum seekers who traverse dangerous seas to get to Australia. I sent Mr Culler a brief comment stating the following:

“Dear Mr Culler,

I am writing in regards to your article on the ABC news website ‘Bowen signs Nauru processing agreement.’ As a young Australian who is only recently exercising her political rights and cultivating an interest in the acts of the Government, I believe political reporting such as yours is a powerful education tool. Political articles such as this one make understanding the political state of affairs much simpler. 

Furthermore, although it may not be of any concern or interest to you, I want to express my support of the current asylum seeker policies and Nauru processing agreements. As Scott Morrison said, “no advantage” should be given to those arriving by boat. Each claim by either refugees or asylum seekers should be assessed appropriately and not rushed, and these ‘international guests’ need to understand that for Australia to uphold its integrity and reputation as a welcoming country, delays may be incurred. If these people are so desperate to seek asylum on our shores, they should show respect and gratitude that they are being given a place to live, even if it is in a detention centre. I want to clarify that I am not opposed to those seeking asylum; many Australians who have come from overseas are a credit to the diversity of the Australian culture. 

Please continue to write engaging and informative news articles about pertinent world political affairs, and spread the praise you have received for doing so.

Kind Regards,

Miss A Woodman”

The third task was to investigate what Barack Obama is “up to today” and send him a message about the importance of freedom on the internet. I am opposed to participating in this task as I believe that Barack Obama’s intentions with regards to internet freedoms are of minimal concern to the Australian public and my close networks; that is, his immediate choices and policies with regards to this issue do not concern me. However, I do understand that due to the close relationship that Australia and the USA share, his policies will undoubtedly influence the Australian laws. The specific question of the task was whether or not you can communicate directly with Barack Obama. The White House provides a comprehensive Contact Us website which includes a submission form for questions and comments, an online forum, an address for written letters and a number to call.

Fourth on the list was to find out when the NBN (National Broadband Network) would be coming to your area of residence (Australia only) and its benefits. The image below shows that no work has commenced in my area to implement the NBN. However, work has commenced 10 minutes away at the brown “C” marker. To find out whether the NBN is coming to a place near you soon type your postcode into the Rollout Map.

So what exactly is the NBN? It is a new broadband network designed for Australia’s future needs which show that online experience is becoming richer and more rewarding but more data intensive. “Radio broadcasters took 38 years to reach an audience of 50 million. Television took 13 years. The internet took just four.” It will comprise of three technologies – optic fibre, fixed wireless and next-generation satellites to provide widespread reliable and high-speed broadband which is accessible by all Australians. The reform will introduce uniform national wholesale pricing ensuring that every community has access to high-speed broadband at competitive prices. This results in a fairer infrastructure and better services for recreational and business use. The new reform will bring Australia up to speed with some of the world’s most advanced countries. Currently, Australia’s dependence on ageing copper telecommunications networks mean that our broadband performance lags in comparison. The rollout represents a leap in the not only the speed, but quality of broadband access and improve and meet the steps in the comprehensive plan to prepare Australia’s telecommunications infrastructure for the future. The NBN will also modify the way healthcare and education are delivered to regional and remote areas; allowing people to access more information and services online. All these changes will ensure that high-speed broadband will promote efficiency, productivity and new opportunities for businesses, improving logistics and creating new working environments and methods.

For more comprehensive information please visit the NBN Website and this Opportunities Fact Sheet.

NB:// All information was taken from the following reference: Australian Government Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy 2012, NBN – National Broadband Network, viewed 2 September 2012, <http://www.nbn.gov.au/ >

 

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