The announcement that voters in NSW were waiting on, was made last Friday afternoon. The final distribution of preferences for the last seats in NSW’s Legislative Council were made, and Mark Pearson from the Animal Justice Party NSW was fortunate enough to score one.
Once the announcement was made the social media accounts of animal groups and their supporters went into overdrive with claims that this was a great day for the animals, that the winds of change are blowing through NSW and so on.
Once everyone’s emotions have settled down, and we all get back to reality, will Mark Pearson and the Animal Justice Party be able to live up to their hype, or will they implode like other micro parties have throughout history?
Nothing Is Going To Change
Despite all the big talk that Mr Pearson and his supporters are claiming, there is very little chance of his vote in the MLC having any impact on proposed legislation.
The AJP don’t hold the balance of power, so there is no need for the government to have discussions with him regarding anything on their wish list.
Sure, Mr Pearson may get some more air time in front of the TV camera’s now that he is, or will be an MLC, though only time will tell how much good that will do.
We all also need to keep in mind that the aim of the party is to “improve the well being of animals”.
Will They Be Accountable?
We all know that animal advocates like to think they are a law unto themselves.
Unfortunately for the animals, the AJP and Mr Pearson are no different.
We have seen the AJP attempt to incite violence against Tony Abbott about live export, pointing the finger at RSPCA NSW instead of himself over the Wally’s Piggery fiasco, and even Mr Pearson’s comments about building more slaughterhouses to stop live export, then taking part in a March To Close All Slaughterhouses.
It will be interesting to see if Mr Pearson will respect the position he has been given, or use the protection of parliamentary privilege to say anything he feels like.
Will RSPCA NSW Be His First Target?
It’s no secret that the RSPCA doesn’t have a huge number of supporters within Mr Pearson’s branch of the animal advocacy movement. In fact, according to the AJP’s Animal Law policy, they want to remove, “the RSPCA, a private and unaccountable organisation, from involvement in the enforcement of laws relating to animal welfare and animal cruelty.”
I am sure we all remember Mr Pearson stating that RSPCA NSW should hand back their enforcement powers after the dropping of charges against Wally’s Piggery.
Should we be holding our breath for a private members bill from the AJP taking the powers away from NSW’s RSPCA?
Will The Animal Justice Party Accept Compromise?
Politics is a game of trading and compromise.
During the 2012 Animal Activist’s Forum, MR Pearson gave a presentation titled, The Continuum Between Soft Welfarism And No
Compromise (Which Is Better For Animals Breathing Today And Those Who Will Be Tomorrow?)
Will he be taking that concept into parliament, or will he adopt a hardline approach and acknowledge that the use of other animals isn’t acceptable, regardless of the conditions they are kept in?
I wonder which animals he is willing to sacrifice to score some minor victory
Will he trade off the life of greyhounds for a minor improvement for the life of a layer hen?
Will he cast a vote in every piece of legislation that involves the use of other animals? Or will he ‘conveniently’ be absent during the vote, thereby avoiding being called out on it?
What about legislation that isn’t animal related?
Would he vote in favour of say, the watering down of industrial relations protections if he is promised that something will be looked at?
Or, how about the further privatisation of public assets? Would he accept that if it meant the kangaroo meat trade was investigated?
Only time will tell if there will be justice for the animals, or not.