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This Is Not A Plebiscite… It’s Not A Knife Either

One of the most quoted lines from Paul Hogan’s “Crocodile Dundee” was: “That’s not a knife… This is an knife!”

And so to channel Hoges, “That’s not a referendum. It’s not even a plebiscite”

Now I don’t know if I’m correct here but – using Malcolm Roberts as a role model – I’m going to assert something anyway.

You know, Malcolm Roberts. “I was never a British citizen but I renounced my British citizenship by sending an email saying that if I am, then I don’t want to be.” Which is rather like sending a letter to the bank and telling them that you don’t think you have a debt but if you do, you don’t want one.

Anyway, there’s a little problem with the Liberal’s position. And it’s an even bigger problem than the one Matthew Guy has in Victoria. Matty Guy, for those of you who haven’t heard, had a dinner with a mafia boss. I should use the word “alleged” because there’s no proof that he ate anything. Or, indeed, no proof that he drank any of the Grange that was on offer. But Mr Guy has gone on the front foot and assured us all that – even though he’s ready to run the state after the next election – he had no idea that someone giving his name as “Antonio” could actually be sometimes called “Tony”. Even when the man was introduced at the dinner as “Cousin Tony”…

Mr Guy was very angry because he didn’t do anything wrong. He assured us all that nobody talked about donations; he only went because he was offered dinner and it was an offer he couldn’t refuse! So Mr Guy has referred himself to IBAC. This will, of course, clear him of any illegal activity. However, this is the equivalent of me going to a strip club, spending $500 and then telling my wife that I’ve referred myself to the police so unless they find something to charge me with, she has no reason to criticise me.

But moving on from the Family Guy, I’d like to point out that the reason that the Liberals won’t allow a free vote in Parliament is that they went to the last election promising a plebiscite. And once the plebiscite was rejected by the Senate, they couldn’t simply put it to a vote.

Senate votes no to plebiscite, so we’re going to use the ABS to run a…

Exactly what are the ABS going to run? Because they don’t have the legislative power to run an election. They’re not the AEC. And it’s this little loophole that’s enabling the government to hold the… is it a plebiscite? Because if it’s not, then they’re not keeping their promise. Which is their stated reason for not holding a free vote.


I know that I am.

But at least Turnbull told us today that he called all the energy companies together and told them that he was very cross and that they needed to do something and if they didn’t, then he’d be forced to consider doing something himself. And, just as he told us yesterday about marriage equality, he had more important things to worry about. Like how much longer he can stay as PM without feeling the need to punch Tony Abbott.

I don’t know what the postal vote will be, but I suspect that it’s not officially a plebiscite. And I know that when the results are in, Tony Abbott will be pointing out that because there were only X number of votes, then a majority of people didn’t vote for change. It was only a majority of those who voted.

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  1. Florence nee Fedup

    It is a badly designed survey. Based on no science. PM & Joyce got a telling off from retailers. Didn’t agree with govt at all.

  2. leighton8

    It would do as much good holding an online poll … and cheaper I reckon. Poor show all around is this Coalition government.

  3. Matters Not

    Re this push for ‘gay marriage’. Clearly a pressing need for bipartisanship .

    Allow only practicing Catholics and Muslims the right to vote. Fair and balanced.

    Problem solved. QED.

  4. Wayne Turner

    It’s a farce.That the wankers from the ultra right will manipulate ie: Yes vote wins – They make an excuse for no parliament vote. No vote wins – The ultra right celebrate wasting millions of our money.

    A few questions on this one off BIG NEW TAX aka non-biding wasteful only vote if you want to circus aka The expensive delay tactic:-

    *What will be the exact question asked? When will Tony Arsebott write it for Malcrap TurnNoBalls?

    *Whom will count the votes? How will it be checked for no corruption?

    *How can it be stopped from being corrupted in the voting process? Egs: What will stop,some people “accidently” never getting it in the mail? What will stop people stealing forms from others letterboxes? What will stop people photo copying and voting numerous times? Etc,etc,etc…

    *So much for a debt crisis?

    “STOP THE WASTE proudly braught to you by the COALition of no shame,endorsed by a PM with NO GUTS”

  5. pierre wilkinson

    It is almost a race to see who will descend furthest in the vilification to come from his inane proposition, the rabid right or the righteous rabid?

  6. Matters Not

    Yes the farce continues. So how should the ‘progressives’ proceed from here? Sit back and enjoy it? Or perhaps fill the obvious vacuum? These days, the tactical response is likely to be – no response – because it’s so much easier to sit back and let them self destruct – if they haven’t already done so.

    The problem with tactical responses is that the political landscape can change so rapidly. Remember Tampa? If not, then remember Gonski. An apparent advantage can disappear into the ether if it’s based on an ‘inheritance’ mentality. If a party works hard to dismiss distractions and instead concentrates on the strategy then the future is more assured. Seems to me that Bowen et al are doing the hard yards here.

    Like it or not, Bowen proceeds on the assumption that strategy trumps in the longer term. He ought to be congratulated. But the MMT adherents probably won’t. The again, MMT does not sell itself.

  7. Zoltan Balint

    The LNP is experementing with socialism – let the people have their say – BUT if WE do not like it we will still do what we think is right as we have been elected as your democratic voice. The damage you inflict on the rest of your social partners is your choice as is the right you have in this democracy. You don’t like it – tuff – you voted for us and if you were stupid enough … well that is your problem, we did tell you what we we believe before you did.


    This postal vote is all about wedge and distraction politics. The LNP hope to unite the conservative and centre right vote and to distract voters from their poor economic performance. That’s all it is. The LNP will galvanise their support with this postal vote…that’s what it is about. Uniting and rallying all the bigots & rednecks behind them.


    Matters Not. “Yes the farce continues. So how should the ‘progressives’ proceed from here? Sit back and enjoy it? Or perhaps fill the obvious vacuum? These days, the tactical response is likely to be – no response – because it’s so much easier to sit back and let them self destruct – if they haven’t already done so.” No doubt the Liberal Nazi Party will attempt to slip through some nasty legislation while the phoney referendum is in swing and voters are distracted by it. Mark my words that is what will happen.

  10. Owen

    Its all just too much and the terms and conditions are terrible they are allowed to mislead this lot are just the worst .ABS.. do the work of the AEC which will just show the world how bad our Goverment is Next we will have a potato letter head from the a lmmigration border protection internation intelligence agency sending letters to people with mental ilness to repay money or seek medical attention urgently .perhaps leaving the only option to buy a tent and head to Martian territory in Sydney place ..If you think I make no sense then thats fair because it matches government perfectly…

  11. Jaquix

    Great headline Rossleigh! This is of course a farce, just as Turnbulls government is a farce. Certainly his “leadership” is a farce. Yet he sails blithely on, living in an alternative universe. I have my fingers crossed that the HC can chuck this ludicrous thing out. Barrie Cassidy said a good opinion poll could be done for $2 million (that much?) and be far more accurate. But commonsense is not the order of the day at present. Sigh. PS: I am SO over the word plebiscite….

  12. Max Gross

    Like John Lying Rodent Howard’s referendum on the Republic, this plebiscite/postal vote/pick-a-card trick is precisely the same tactic to delay and attempt to sabotage the inevitable. Smoke, mirrors, hypocrisy, moral cowardice and bullshit. Pure LNP!

  13. Kyran

    You’re confused? Thank goodness, I thought it was just me.
    The non-plebiscite plebiscite, aka opinion poll, on a question no one knows, is to be based on electoral rolls that we are encouraged to update within 14 days.

    “In normal federal elections run by the Australian Electoral Commission registration is 7 days after writs.
    People will have 14 days from Thursday when the announcement is made.
    The ABS will run the process with ballot papers going to every enrolled Australian from next month, to be returned by November 7 and a result on November 25.
    There will be a chance for Parliament to vote later this year, but there is no guarantee that will happen and MPs will not be bound by the result of the postal survey.

    So we are required to update our details to provide the ABS with a mailing list through the AEC. There has been no suggestion yet of electronic compliance, presumably due to ‘census fail’. Ah well, Australia Post have never lost a letter.
    “This Is Not A Plebiscite… It’s Not A Knife Either”
    Whilst I agree it’s not a plebiscite, and its importance rates as a plastic butter knife, it does appear, to our elected morons, that it is some sort of ‘steak knife’, with the rump of talcum to be the ‘course du jour’. Can’t you hear the spin doctors? “But wait, there’s more! A set of steak knives!” whilst withholding the caveat that the only possible winner of the steak knives will be talcum, presumably with sufficient dexterity to remove the knives from his back. Given the absence of any spine, this should not be too difficult.
    “And, just as he told us yesterday about marriage equality, he had more important things to worry about. Like how much longer he can stay as PM without feeling the need to punch Tony Abbott.”
    Ah, poor talcum. Judgement, as poor as ever, chooses to ignore the distraction of the opinion poll whilst forever focused on the ‘real game’, tiny.
    You know, the one who’s insatiable need for relevance and importance is the sole motivator of this debacle.
    You know, the one who said;
    “I say to you, if you don’t like same sex marriage vote no.”
    That translates into English as “If you don’t respect equality, vote no.”
    You know, the one who said;
    “If you’re worried about religious freedom and freedom of speech vote no.”
    That translates into English as “This has nothing to do with religious freedom, other than allowing a religion to dictate what human rights it may consider worthy of following. This has nothing to do with freedom of speech, other than to allow those preaching hate the use of a state sponsored mega-phone. Just vote ‘No’ because I’m ‘Doctor No’, and I’m better than ‘Doctor Do Nothing’, my successor.
    You know, the one who said;
    “If you don’t like political correctness vote no, because voting no will help stop political correctness in its tracks.”
    Yeah, ok, that one doesn’t translate into English. However, in support of his wish to dispense forever with political correctness, I can only offer this humble request.
    “Feck off, tiny. You are a disgrace.”
    As for that godfather guy, Capo di tutti capi, isn’t he the guy running on a law and order program? Isn’t he the guy who wants to build lots and lots of jails? You can just hear the spin doctor’s now, can’t you? “He was just drumming up business.”
    Ah, yes. Another day in Australian politics. When does good government start? Forget that. When does government start? About a day after the next election, hopefully.
    Thank you Mr Brisbane and commenters. Take care

  14. Kronomex

    Gosh, what a surprise that He Who Glues Furry Caterpillars To His Eyebrows and The Mad Monk are voting no.

    Well duh, anyone with half a brain knows that it’s wide open to fraud and you can bet that is going to happen because the religious christian loonies and Malcolm, in particular, are desperate to see the No Effing Way win. Wail, sob, bestiality, the destruction of civilisation, etc, etc, will reign.

  15. Phil

    I’m with Justice Kirby on this and I will not participate in this insult to our parliament. Marriage equality will not be resolved by this sham survey no matter whether a yes or a no vote wins the charade.

  16. king1394

    This plebiscite proposal is an attack on our democratic system of Parliamentary Representation, whether or not the Liberals are capable of recognising it. Perhaps there is a lot wrong with our current system, but I do not think it is wise to create a precedent which will no doubt be trotted out whenever there is a difficult or controversial question to be decided. I sincerely hope the High Court will throw it out.

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