Not a particularly good day for Australia … especially for embryonic Australians

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.

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