Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Finally - a real alternative to religious classes

The report on the trial of ethics classes in ten NSW schools has come in with a recommendation to adopt the ethics classes alternative model used in the trial.

News story is here.

(Edit: broken link above now repaired)

Since the Premier had already said if the report recommended adoption, that it would be implemented, it looks like it will go ahead next year. On top of the same-sex-couple adoption legislation (her speech), this will make another worthy achievement for her (nevertheless still doomed) government. Keneally will go down at the next election, but if she manages this, I will certainly remember her as having had a number of very worthwhile achievement.

It's worth noting that Keneally is a Catholic, and has an MA in religious studies from a US Catholic university (she was born in and grew up in the US).


Cujo359 said...

I know it's a bit early, but how is Keneally doing on other issues? I suspect she accumulated a few enemies the way she took power, but I have no idea what her objectives are. Such was the coverage given by the foreign (by which I mean non-Australian) press.

Efrique said...

Hi Cujo,

You may be confusing the state government with the federal government.

Kristina Keneally is the head of our state government. Julia Gillard is head of the federal government.

Keneally is a US-born-and-raised religious Catholic, while Gillard was born in Wales, grew up in Australia and is an atheist.

Keneally has been in the job a while now, but will face an election next year that she has no chance of winning (she'll probably retain her seat but she'll be in opposition and will almost certainly be ousted as party leader).

I doubt Kristina Keneally's coming to power was covered internationally at all - though there were some similarities in the way she took power from Rees and the way Julia Gillard took it from Rudd.

One big difference was that Rees (the state premier) was not about to face an election, whereas Rudd was.

Keneally, though religious, has been much more willing to stand up to the church lobby that Gillard has federally.

Gillard has only just been sworn in recently, following the close election and the formation of a loose coalition with a few independents and a Green. Keneally, by contrast is in the last few months of a majority government (but one that will be lost).

In either case I can't tell you what their personal objectives are - officially their position is whatever their party's policies happen to be (though they have some ability to shape those policies of course). It's a bit easier with Gillard to say what her aims are because she's just had an election campaign, whereas Keneally has not fought an election as part leader.

Efrique said...

party leader, dammit.

Ben Finney said...

From the SMH article:

> The decision will anger church leaders, particularly the Anglican and Catholic archdioceses of Sydney, which have campaigned against the trial. They argue that holding the classes at the same time as scripture classes would disadvantage scripture students, who would be unable to attend.

Sheesh. The journalist presents this without pointing out that exactly the same thing works the other way around:

Scripture classes disadvantage scripture students, because they're missing out on actual education they could otherwise be attending.

That's the logical equivalent of what they're squealing about. Where is the journalist willing to press them on that fact?