The Prime Minister told Melbourne radio that while he did not personally support capital punishment for pragmatic reasons, there were a lot of people close to him who were in favour of it.
"I know lots of Australians who believe that a death penalty is appropriate and they are not barbaric, they're not insensitive, they're not vindictive, they're not vengeful, they're people who believe that if you take another's life deliberately then justice requires that your life be taken."
Mr Howard said that even if he were in favour of reintroducing the death penalty, he could not pass such a law. However, it could be "pursued at a state political level". (read: if people don't like this idea, they can't possibly blame me, because i couldn't bring it in or not. no. not at all. i would never do such a thing as publicly bully state governments, none of which support the Liberal Party, and who are a constant annoyance to me, into taking the flak for this.)
"If people want to raise it again it would be open, for example, to the Victorian opposition, if you have a different view on this matter, to promote it as an electoral issue.
"I'm not encouraging them to do so but I'm just making the point that there should be debate on it."
which is interesting, because australia didn't have a debate over joining the invasion into another country with george w and his lot. no, not even when seventy percent of the population were against it. funny how the word debate gets pushed around a lot, don't you think?
and are you wondering what the opposition leader simon crean said in response? "A spokesman for the Opposition Leader, Simon Crean, said he did not believe anyone was "proposing there is going to be extensive debate" about the death penalty, which was abolished nationally in 1985."
yes, such poorly worded replies, rather than accusing howard of using the amrozi verdict for his own right wing political agendas and neatly tearing him to shreds. this is why you'll never see the labor party into power, simon.
of course, there's no difference between the two parties, so right wing puppet one, or right wing puppet two, ultimately makes no difference, does it?