I don’t know how many pieces I have written on the subject of ‘marriage equality’ but on Tuesday 23 august 2016 I wrote the following:
Over the weekend the subject of ‘marriage equality’ once again reared its head. Surely enough is enough. If ever a government was laughably incompetent on legislating the will of the people, it has to be Turnbull’s. Reports on the weekend suggested that a plebiscite would be held in February. This was later denied.
An “unnecessary” plebiscite was promised by the Prime Minister this year. If it can’t, for whatever reason, then Turnbull should come out and say so. Surely a government two months into its term can make a simple decision about an election promise, come up with the question, and name a date. If the AEC cannot cope, then just say so.
Their incompetence is breathtaking. The most educated government in our history can’t come up with simple legislation that would make the marriage act representative of equality.
The longer it is delayed the more Australians will prick their ears to the “sounds sus” position. Their current position unequivocally suggests that the conservative right of the party are well and truly in charge of the decision-making process.
As a leader who has just won an election, claiming a mandate, with a promise of marriage equality, he could have named the date immediately.
Their incompetence is demonstrated by the fact that Australians have for many years supported gay marriage. It could, if the Prime Minister had the guts, be over in the first week of the Parliament sitting. There are 150 members of both houses. All they have to do is take a vote. But intestinal fortitude is not one of Turnbull’s strengths. And bear in mind that he is against the plebiscite.
Bill Shorten’s response to the ‘non-announcement’ was that:
“Mr Turnbull is willing to waste taxpayers’ money and provide a platform for hate campaigns, all because he doesn’t have the guts to put a vote to Parliament.”
He is correct. Just imagine, giving the Australian Christian Lobby many millions of dollars to spend on a negative campaign. So because of the Government’s ineptness the debate will continue to fester with increasingly inflamed rhetoric for the remainder of the year. And into the next.
I also have doubts that the rumoured question, “Do you approve of a law to permit people of the same-sex to marry’’ will be ambiguous enough for the extreme right of the party.
The vote on recognition of our indigenous folk in the constitution is due in May. Where does the plebiscite fit in? They are so incompetent you wouldn’t trust them to put together a football season’s fixture.
Greens leader Richard Di Natale said he was unsurprised by the “delay tactic”, calling the plebiscite a “pointless” sham that would be costly, divisive and ignored by some Coalition MPs anyway:
“Delays are the entire point of the Liberals plebiscite ploy. They don’t want to end discrimination in the law, they want to push it off to the never-never.”
Former respected International jurist Justice Kirby made the point that Australia’s record on passing referenda was not good and a plebiscite might turn out the same.
Justice Kirby, who served on the High Court from 1996 until 2009, said plebiscite votes were “alien” to Australia’s system of representative democracy and the campaign would drive hatred and abuse towards gay and lesbian Australians.
“It’s time Parliament did address itself to the issue of marriage equality and giving it out to a plebiscite is simply an endeavour to delay or defeat the measure.
“Our Parliament, our parliamentary institutions in Australia and elsewhere are really not working all that well at the moment and what we should be doing is strengthening parliament and ensuring it gets on with the job” Justice Kirby told ABC radio.
25 August 2017. And the rest is history. What a mess they have made of it. Vote ‘YES’.
My thought for the day
“When we go out of our way to help someone less fortunate we cannot avoid helping ourselves.”
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