1 November 2021

Probing the polls: nuclear energy and mandatory vaccinations

| Genevieve Jacobs
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Vaccination centre

The AIS COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic has issued tens of thousands of shots. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

Opinions may be shifting on nuclear energy if last week’s poll is anything to go by.

The nuclear question is close to home following the Federal Government’s switch to US-designed nuclear submarines and the ANU’s hands-on nuclear training capacity. Academics say the new security deal provides an exciting opportunity for nuclear science in Australia, which only consisted of a handful of jobs.

But is domestic opposition to a nuclear industry likely to short circuit a nuclear-powered future for defence and energy?

We asked Is nuclear power a viable way forward for an emissions-free future? A total of 1374 people voted.

Your choices to vote were: No, we’re safer without nuclear risks. This received 43 per cent of the total, or 594 votes. Alternatively, you could vote Yes, it’s about time we got on with it. This received 57 per cent of the total, or 780 votes.

This week, as Canberra approaches world-beating vaccination rates, should we rely on communal goodwill to get the job done, or do we need to accept mandatory vaccination as a matter of course where there is any risk of public transmission?

READ MORE A principled stand or misguided posturing? ‘No jab, no job’ poses tough questions

Debate was sparked by the Canberra school principal who appeared on an anti-vaccination video and has since taken time out from his role.

“The death toll, ongoing illness and economic cost make for a compelling argument for vaccination, and it is understandable governments and businesses want to limit the risk of more damage,” Ian Bushnell wrote about the underlying issues.

“This risk management is colliding with the minority of people who feel they should have the right to take their chances and manage their own health. It is an extension of the ‘no jab, no play’ controversy that embroiled child care settings, but on a broader scale.”

The ACT’s mandates are tied to public health directions and will lapse with them, but how do we treat dissident views? Is there a risk that we will normalise coercive laws?

There was vigorous debate in the comments section about the ethical issues at play.

Andrew D’Arnay wrote: “We live in a free society where you can make your own choices, this is the greatest thing about living in Australia, but those choices at times have consequences. I can choose not to work, but will have to live on welfare and do work for the dole. No one can make me get vaccinated, but there will be consequences to my decision.”

TimboinOz said: “But they are NOT taking just ‘their chances’ they are behaving as if they are more important than anyone else.”

ChrisinTurner agreed, saying: I wouldn’t want my child to go to a school where the principal doesn’t believe in evidence-based science or the rights of others to avoid infection and possible death.

“What other freedoms does he believe in? The freedom to drive on his own choice side of the road? In principle, our freedom to do what we like applies only if it does not adversely affect others.”

Our poll question this week is:

Are you comfortable with mandatory vaccinations?

View Results

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The first matrix didnt work. The people needed choice.

Once you start sprouting garbage about having to wear ‘yellow stars’ or dribbling about ‘Nuremburg Trials’ You’ve already shown you’re incapable of rational thought. To equate what was happening to jews and other minorities during WW2 with vaccine mandates is hyperbole at best. Malicious and ignorant stupidity at worst.

If you really feel that way, go ahead and walk out in public with that yellow star stitched proudly to your clothes. Don’t skulk around facebook and forums, show everyone what kind of person you are. I’d say anyone that would try wouldn’t last anymore than 10 minutes in public before they sheepishly remove it and crawl back under their conspiracy rabbit hole.

You have a choice to say ‘no’ to the vaccine but you don’t get to say ‘no’ to the consequences of the choice. Just like many things in life. You make a choice – Whether it’s quitting your job without a job, not paying bills, speeding, taking drugs; You deal with the consequences of those choices. You’re not a toddler, throwing themselves on the floor of the supermarket.

Of course you get the very uninformed and somewhat hypocritical that make the statement “Oh I don’t know what’s in it!” inbetween pulls on the glass pipe or the cigarette. “I don’t trust big pharma!” but will down those oxy tablets or go running to emergency at the drop of a hat. Those principles go right out the window when things get even marginally tough.

Then there’s the furrowing of brows over the vaccine passports for international travel. Anyone who has done a degree of international travel will know it’s always been that you needed to show you were inoculated/vaccinated against particular diseases when going to certain countries.

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