Wednesday 9 August 2017
So the best-assembled brains-trust ever in the history of Australian politics has decided to let the issue of Marriage Equality go yet again down the path of a plebiscite.
So desperate they are to have the public confirm what is already known that they are prepared to spend up to $170 million of taxpayer’s money to prove it so.
They have decided to take Tony Abbott’s delaying route that will see the (non-binding) plebiscite reintroduced in the Senate where they know it will be defeated. And they knew this before the meeting on Monday.
Knowing that, they then said they would go to a postal vote that they also knew would probably not withstand what would be a rather venomous challenge in the High Court. Or it may turn out that parliamentary approval is needed for a postal plebiscite, and that certainly wouldn’t be forthcoming.
They now plan to have the postal vote in November but scant information is available and at the press conference midday yesterday, which the Prime Minister treated like a sideshow, not one journalist thought to ask the question: “what will the question be?”
In fact, I found his attitude condescending and unworthy of an Australian Prime Minister. He was giving the impression of a man who found the whole thing beneath him. And we mustn’t forget the damage this open debate will cause. There will be accusation upon accusation. Tony Abbott will lead the Christian nutters brigade and a lot of people will get hurt and as the PM said at the pressor, he won’t have much time for it. What a pathetic bunch of people they are. “I have many other calls on my time … national security, energy, the economy,” he said.
In addition, they also knew that they could have a conscience vote in the parliament this week, cop a bit of flack for caving in, then the matter would be done and dusted and everyone could move on. All with a minimum of fuss, easily and cheaply at that, doing what they were elected to do.
They could even applaud themselves for legislating gay marriage.
It makes one wonder why we elect MPs if they are too gutless to make decisions that reflect our beliefs.
But no, these people with degrees from Oxford and many of the worlds finest learning institutions preferred to keep the matter bubbling along, further infuriating a populace that is sick and tired of their procrastination.
And all this on the principle that they had made a promise at the last election that they couldn’t break. This proposition is difficult to accept when they have in the past broken promises with gay abandon (pardon the pun). And a postal vote is not what they took to the last election.
God only knows how men and women of such esteemed learning could get themselves into such a quagmire of ineptitude.
Now we know that the conservative ilk toward change is to resist it with all the ideology one’s party can gather but this is rather like an invitation to the electorate to kick you out of office sooner rather than later.
It is indeed strange that a party that presumes the rights and freedoms of the individual as sacrosanct would be withholding equal rights and freedoms from a large portion of the population.
One has to – given the trustworthiness of this government – suspect that there is more to this non-binding, non-compulsory postal plebiscite. My feeling is that it will be largely doctored to suite the ‘no’ vote. The government won’t disclose its structure even though they say it might be initiated by as early as next week. Is there something fishy here?
There are a few conclusions we can reach here. Firstly, Marriage Equality will come about despite the conservative’s prevarication and needless fear mongering. All their homophobic slurs will be written into our country’s history and the shame of their action will be recorded for future generations to witness. Even if the ‘no’ vote were to get up because of a protest of silence then the matter will remain unresolved. And if the ‘yes’ vote wins MPs will not be bound to respect the will of the people. Now thats democracy for you.
Secondly, it beggars belief that this postal vote of dubious legal standing – this ludicrous option is the best that these people with degrees printed on the finest parchment could come up with.
Thirdly, it once again reveals just who holds the reins of power in the Liberal Party. However Turnbull chooses to parrot his support for a plebiscite, the public will be judging his weakness of leadership and the hypocrisy that floats along with it.
Fourthly, are we observing the death throes of a once proud Liberal Party with a legendary broad church of views? Maybe it’s a little early for that but it’s hard to imagine that both the hard right and the small ‘L’ remnants will be able to coexist for much longer. About all they can agree on at present is the time and date.
Fifthly, we may be witnessing the end of a political career of a man who showed so much potential as a leader but had neither the intestinal fortitude nor the courage to take on his opponents.
He has had ample opportunity to show his leadership qualities but he seems to be restricted by the contents of a certain agreement with the National Party.
He is only – hypothetically – another poll closer to losing his job.
“There are males in my life whom I can say I really love because their goodness transcends self, and manifests itself in empathy towards others. To love someone of the same-sex is as normal as loving someone of the opposite sex because love has no gender. Indeed love is when there is an irresistible urge for the need of the affection of another and the irresistibility is of its nature mutual’ Gender has nothing to do with it.”
My thought for the day.
“In the recipe of what makes a good leader there are many ingredients. Self-awareness is one. The innate ability to know whom you are and what your capabilities and limitations are. The need to have the aptitude to motivate people with your vision. Often the art of leadership is the ability to bring those otherwise opposed to your view, to accept it. It is also about delegation, empathy and understanding. It can also require from time to time the making of unpopular decisions. Decisions like going to war. However when they consistently imply the leaders own morality and spiritual beliefs they are more akin to autocracy.”