What should have been a very simple and straightforward process is now being made immensely complicated.
A conscience vote vote in parliament, which seems necessary because politicians seem to think that their conscience and religious views should take precedence over the will of the people, would succeed and the matter would pass into law.
We didn’t have a plebiscite on whether we sent troops Iran, Afghanistan or our F/A-18Fs to Syria to bomb innocent civilians. We didn’t even have a vote in parliament. So if we don’t have plebiscites going to war, why do we need one on marriage equality?
Parliament should decided both cases.
Whatever happens from now on, it is going to be deeply divisive and possibly inconclusive. This is unfortunate because the vast variety of Australians support marriage equality.
I blame everyone starting with Tony Abbott who proposed a plebiscite as a way of stalling and possibly frustrating the legislation for marriage equality.
Then I blame Malcolm Turnbull who didn’t have the political balls to recognise this ploy for what it was and call out the lunatic right in his party. He went to the election saying he would support a plebiscite rather than a vote in parliament. Now he appears to be stuck with that decision and can’t get himself off the hook .
The hapless Prime Minister tries to think of ways to get his haps back.
The argument that he has a mandate for the plebiscite is fallacious. He received roughly 40% of the first preference votes. Those combined with the preference of a group of people who really didn’t want as prime minister have given him a majority in parliament. But this is hardly a mandate for a plebiscite on marriage equality.
Then I blame Bill Shorten (and the Greens) for threatening to block the plebiscite legislation and potentially giving the Coalition the opportunity to take the issue off the legislative agenda for this to Parliament.
Bill Shorten: is he only interested in making life difficult for Malcolm Turnbull?
All this will add up to a massive victory for Tony Abbott and the right wing of the Coalition. They have comprehensively outmanoeuvred the Prime Minister who has demonstrated, yet again, his total inability to get anything right.
Tony Abbott must be well pleased with his handiwork
And the whole unhappy mess is a result of the political intransigence of Tony Abbott, the lack of leadership on the part of Malcolm Turnbull and the political point scoring on the part of Bill Shorten and Richard Di Natale.
With all this going on in Canberra, it is abundantly clear what the will of the Australian people is on this issue.
When Australians wonder why a a proportion of the disillusioned American electorate supports Donald Trump, they should reflect on the actions of our own politicians on the issue of marriage equality.