Monday, January 31, 2011

Tasmania's new premier supports euthanasia.

Last October I spent two days in Tasmania. I made a presentation in the Tasmania parliament building and at one other location.

While in Tasmania, I was informed that the Tasmanian parliament will debate a bill to legalize euthanasia that will be sponsored by the Greens. At the time, I was informed, that Premier Bartlett (Labor) was opposed to euthanasia, but that he needed the Greens to maintain his coalition government.

On Friday, Michael Cook, from Australia, wrote an Article explaining that the new Premier of Tasmania, Lara Giddings, intends to support the Greens in sponsoring a euthanasia bill.

Last year, I was told, that the issue of euthanasia was debated in the Tasmanian parliament in 2009 and it was defeated by a vote of 15 to 7 in the lower house.

Michael Cook's article is pessimistic concerning the prospect of defeating the euthanasia bill in Tasmania. He stated:
Ms Giddings has a difficult task ahead of her as the leader of a minority Labor government in partnership with the Greens. She can only stay in office by courting them, but she also needs to ensure that her coalition partners do not continue to steal the votes of social progressives who have voted for Labor in the past.

On her first day in office, Ms Giddings appealed to the Greens by confirming that she would support euthanasia. A private bill which proposed by one of the two Green members. ...

With the support of the new Premier, there is a good chance that the euthanasia bill will pass.

Based on the people I met in Tasmania, I am more optimistic than Cook.

The group HOPE, under the leadership of Paul Russell, successfully worked to defeat the euthanasia bill in South Australia and HOPE is working to build contacts in Tasmania.

I encourage the leaders in Tasmania to have hope and work with HOPE.

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