So the stem cell legislation scraped through the Senate with 34 votes to 32.
It’s really scary sometimes how these things happen. Democrat Senator Andrew Bartlett has written on his blogsite:
I would have preferred the extra day or two to think further about the matter and discuss my concern with others, and I really didn’t reach a conclusive view in my head about how I would vote until the very final minutes…
Those in favour of the legislation seemed to be keen to just bring on the final vote as soon as possible – I presume because they had such a slim margin in favour and they were worried that waverers might change their view overnight.
My lack of enthusiasm for the vote I ended up casting in favour was such that it is possible I would have taken a different view tomorrow, so I guess in that sense their strategy worked…
Here are some more insights into the thoughts of our senators:
Bob Brown (Greens): Are we doing good or are we doing harm? In the end, I’ve come to the conclusion that this legislation will do more good than harm.
Natasha Stott Despoja (Dems): “This is the happiest days of my parliamentary life…We avoided a Luddite moment.”
Julian McGauran (Lib): “It has all the pride equal to a Nuremberg rally – a rally of Dr Strangeloves chanting for such weird experiments as the creation of hybrid embryos, mixing humans with animals.”
Andrew Murray (Dems): “I do not fear that I will live to see centaurs, minotaurs or satyrs.”
Steve Hutchins (ALP): “We don’t know what doors we will be opening if we pass this bill.”
Ron Boswell (Nats): “We entered a race and we created two types of embryos, one born to live and the other created to die. I don’t think it is a particularly good day for Australia.”
I’m with Mr Boswell on that one.