How could Family First have been taken in by disgraced online flasher Andrew Quah? Perhaps they need to take a good hard look at their recruitment procedures.

For anyone wanting to become a Family First candidate, it all starts online, where you can email through your CV to the party.

It’s not clear which of dumped candidate Quah’s qualifications appealed most to FF. His conservative atheism, his reputation as a maverick bonsai grower, his role as Vice-President of the Sydney Eclectic Composers Society… Or perhaps it was his role as one of the performers in the opening sequence of Mr Squiggle (take it away YouTube). Hey, it’s a family show.

But perhaps FF should have at least gone to the bonsai community for a second opinion. According to an online biography, Quah “caused much controversy in the elite Bonsai community for his unorthodox philosophies of bonsai care and maintenance, one prominent bonsai artist publicly derided his work as ‘a bad take-away trying to compete against a five star restaurant.'”

Or Google. A quick look shows he ran in recent times for president of the Students Representative Council at Sydney University. During these heady days, Quah authored The Quah Report, “a download of my mind”, arguing for men’s rights and diversity of representation in student unions, provoking with comments like these:

  • What I understand about the feminist movement is that over the last fifty years, the rights of the woman have slowly become greater than the rights of the man. On the issue of abortion, the point is that the NUS and the SRC isn’t an abortion activist group, or a “kill all ugly people” activist group, or an activist group for any number of ridiculous and irrelevant debates. It’s a Students group. And it’s supposed to represent all students. It’s not a small-federal-government. It’s a group which is intended to represent Students. Not people who aren’t students. And not minorities of students either.
  • And as for higher-paid jobs, men have those higher positions because they are more qualified. Don’t forget, these people got their training during a time where men Were more advantaged in education. Surely you notice this trend starting to disappear even today? In 20 years time, women will make up around 50% of all these boards, because they had the same educational opportunities as their male counterparts. Maybe even more, if you feminists have your way and tighten up affirmative action legislation even more. I’d also say that maternal leave and such is a sensitive topic. I do believe that many businesses could offer more support for the new mother, but I also believe that paternal leave is important too, since the father is an important part of the child’s developmental process.
  • It is obvious that men are not only neglected within our universities, but that there is no interest by student organisations to change this. Despite any benefit men’s representation could bring to the students in our universities, our representatives continue to reject it on the basis that it would “undermine” women’s representation. However, the fact is the only thing it would undermine is their misandrist policy of revenge upon our gender for perceived disadvantage against women long before any of us were even born.

    Men do face disadvantage not only in our universities, but also in society. An officer trained to handle men’s issues could deal with the fact that the suicide rate for young men is far higher than that for women, or with issues such as men’s health: one of the big killers of young men is testicular cancer, yet there is absolutely no awareness about detecting and treating this fatal condition.

    Perhaps this officer could explain why it is that a man will, on average, serve a longer sentence than a woman for the same crime. Or why, since we’re on the issue, men make up an overwhelming percentage of our prison population.

    Maybe this officer can explain to me why it is that all men are “r-pists”, “s-xual harassers”, “woman beaters”. Or why domestic violence is defined in one reputable source as “emotional, as well as s-xual or physical abuse of women in their homes by partners”, despite the results of 122 scholarly investigations, 99 empirical studies and 23 analyses, with an aggregate sample size of over 77,000 respondents, demonstrating that women are in fact more likely to commit acts of domestic violence against their partners or children.  

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey