Electoral Significance of Tough Anti-Bikie Laws (Queensland)
According to Hogg and Brown, the political landscape in different countries in the world is becoming quite elaborate. This raises the issues of law and order in politics. Law and order are considered to be vital issues in shaping the manner politicians and their supporters conduct themselves. More often than not, criminal incidences are witnessed in the course of conducting politics.
The issues of politics and law and order further extend to the ways the media needs to conduct its operations when covering political developments. Law and order in the political sphere occur within a constricted space. This makes it hard to embrace objective debates about the modalities of enforcing law and order within the government. This is what is called the uncivil politics of law and order. This type of politics is taking root in diverse policy areas in Australia.
An example is the harsh anti-bikie laws that were enforced by the Government of Queensland. The high levels of lawlessness in the Gold Coast prompted the debate preceding the tough anti-bikie laws. There were high levels of violence and intimidation by motorcycle gangs operating on the Gold Coast. Therefore, the Government of Queensland moved with speed to enact a piece of legislation to help curb such incidences. However, the bill that established the Act was marked by bipartisan politics. This depicts popularism and prejudice. It also denotes the prevalence of uncivil politics. The legislation named a total of 26 criminal organisations operating on the Gold Coast of Queensland.
Furthermore, the law barred the members of the named organisations from conducting meetings and movements, besides raising the minimum sentences for the crimes committed by the members of the named organisations. According to Ryan and Santow, the law has already been subjected to massive criticisms from the Human Rights Commission, politicians, and other civil libertarians in the country. Most of the arguments focus on the fact that the law is too harsh and rushed. It, therefore, portrays weaknesses in its implementation. However, as Hogg and Brown argue, civil society requires freedom from any kind of violence.
Going as per this observation, it can be argued that it was important for the Government of Queensland to come up with the tough law. The law is critical for scaring people away from violence and crime. However, adjustments to such laws can be made when the situation starts to improve. The law can be most favourable if it pays attention to the human rights of the subjects. In this way, criticisms about the brutality of the laws will be drawn away, thence making it easy for the government of Queensland to enforce them.