Extract two by the Governor Generals department argues for the introduction of new surveillance powers that would stop the emerging ‘threat’ of ‘terrorism’. Furthermore, the overriding argument in extract two is that these threats to the national security of Australia justifies the inclusion of new surveillance powers to protect the public from further attacks.
In contrast extracts one by Michael Head opposes the proposed new surveillance powers and argues that there are ulterior motives influencing the proposals. Furthermore, the first extract goes on to argue that the proposed powers are unnecessary because there is already an abundance of terrorism laws, if not too much, enacted upon Australians today.
Michael Heads’ argues that the proposed surveillance laws are not only unnecessary but they are detrimental to the fabric of society as they may be used to silence those such as “investigative journalist” who could hold the government accountable for their actions. For example, Mike Head points out vague definitions such as ‘agents of espionage’ and ‘emerging threats’ have such a broad definition to them that almost anyone who disagrees with the government could be classified as a terrorist. Furthermore, extract one speaks of the destabilisation of the global financial crisis and the major struggles by workers and young people to argue that by Julia Gillard meeting with AFP officer about preparing for riots, it is evidence to suggest that the new surveillance powers are being proposed not to protect public safety against so called ‘terrorism’’ but to protect the government against the public whom might feel oppressed and rise up against the Government itself. This argument is influenced by Marxist view that hold those in power will utilise their vast means of production or power to suppress those who do not have the means of production or power to silence and suppress them from revolting against those who do have the power.
The argument presents elements of a false dichotomy. For example, just because Julia Gillard has met with the AFP officer about preparing for riots, it does not means that these new proposed laws will be used to silence those who try and protest. Nevertheless, the second extract does not define what a “terrorist”, “agents of espionage” and “emerging threats” are but rather uses vague definitions that try to invoke an emotional response to get the listener to agree with their argument without actually realising what they are meaning. Wide definitions from the Government of the word terrorism could be argued, restricts the public’s and individuals autonomy to speak out against the Government for religious or political purposes1. For example, the criminal code act 1995 states that a terrorist act is an action or threat of action where the action is done or threat made with the intention of advancing a political, religious or ideological cause. According to this vague definition, someone who proposes that Government be overturned because they are infringing on the civil liberties of the…