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Gay marriage status quo has Abbott on shaky ground

By Marcus Paul - 13 August 2015 64

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And so it was, the Coalition’s marathon same-sex marriage debate in Canberra has ended in farce.

With two thirds of the joint party room supporting ‘traditional’ marriage, our MPs and senators have drawn attention to the fact that our country remains stuck in the 50’s. According to some it’s made us an international laughing stock.

To the disappointment of many, our current government is yet to decide on exactly what policy it will take to next year’s election.

“Our position going into the next election should be that in a subsequent term of Parliament this is a matter that should rightly be put to the Australian people,” Mr Abbott said.

What form will this take, PM? Will this popular vote will be a plebiscite, where the controversial question can be carried by a simple majority? Or perhaps even a referendum-style vote?

The latter of course, is far more risky for supporters of same sex marriage (as I am) as it would need to be confirmed with a much greater majority of Australian’s across all state’s and territories. It’s fairly obvious it would pass here in the ACT.

What else is certain is that ministers, MPs and senators are becoming even more concerned over the Prime Minister’s handling of this debate and the issue surrounding former speaker Bronwyn Bishop. The image of Mr Abbott sharing a kiss with Ms Bishop on Monday, whilst others clearly kept their distance, has rankled many.

There are now even more doubts about the Prime Minister’s judgement and leadership.

One can only wonder whether it leads to another party room revolt similar to the one we saw six months ago.

There are also many predicting Malcom Turnbull will become increasingly vocal in the near future.

Perhaps a plebiscite is the better way to go – but it should be done in line with the next election, and NOT after.

Do you support same sex marriage?

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Marcus Paul is the host of Canberra Live 3pm weekdays on 2CC.

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64 Responses to
Gay marriage status quo has Abbott on shaky ground
dungfungus 4:29 pm 13 Aug 15

Maya123 said :

The survey needs one other place to tick…’Don’t care’. I mean, not even all heterosexuals want to, or care to, marry.

Agree.

dungfungus 4:29 pm 13 Aug 15

chewy14 said :

No_Nose said :

Maya123 said :

The survey needs one other place to tick…’Don’t care’. I mean, not even all heterosexuals want to, or care to, marry.

And that is another example of how the PM is out of touch. He has taken an issue that really doesn’t affect many people and has no detrimental effects on anyone at all ( except in a few people’s minds) and could be sorted out in a couple of hours…and turned it into a major election issue which is going to overshadow everything else.

There is no way he is going to win votes with this strategy…but he will certainly lose some.

I don’t see how you could think this will lose Abbott votes.

The people who are firmly in support of this issue would never vote for a conservative politician like Abbott and the people firmly opposed would most likely already be supporting him.

And for the people who don’t really care either way or only mildly support or oppose, I find it hard to believe they’ll be changing their vote based on this issue. I think the electoral effect would be minimal.

The best comment so far as it has addressed the facts and not the emotion.
A couple more points.
There is no such thing as “traditional” marriage. It will always be simply “marriage” – the definition of what that entails may change but there is no scope for re-badging marriage as “traditional” and “non-traditional” (I can hear the screams already).
Secondly, if a referendum is held to decide the fate of this issue it will have to be carried by majorities in each state and territory as well as an overall majority. It has already been suggested that the ACT will vote “yes” – I am not sure about that.
I would wager money that it will be a “no” vote in the Deep North (Queensland) so that will be the end of it.
The supporters of “marriage equality” realise that and that is why the pressure is on to get a parliamentary resolution.
I think Tony Abbott has successfully “headed this off at the pass” and he is rightly passing the issue to the voters to make the decision.
This will only enrage the Abbott haters so we are sure to see and hear a lot more bile (if that is possible) in the near future.
A point to consider also is the result in the Irish referendum on equal marriage is not a benchmark for Australia due to the low turnout in Ireland where voting is not compulsory.

watto23 4:15 pm 13 Aug 15

chewy14 said :

]

I don’t see how you could think this will lose Abbott votes.

The people who are firmly in support of this issue would never vote for a conservative politician like Abbott and the people firmly opposed would most likely already be supporting him.

And for the people who don’t really care either way or only mildly support or oppose, I find it hard to believe they’ll be changing their vote based on this issue. I think the electoral effect would be minimal.

The thing is he has lost a lot of the moderates and swing voters who voted for him last time. so he won’t gain any ground either. It will be interesting to see what the key policies will be to try and win another term. I’m not sure the public will fall for the debt and deficit disaster again (of which its only got bigger because of the refusal to put in fair policies to reign in the debt), and he has turned back the boats, so unless he can concoct a terrorist event he may struggle to scare the voters into voting for security. He certainly has a pretty big hill to climb.

rosscoact 4:14 pm 13 Aug 15

chewy14 said :

No_Nose said :

Maya123 said :

The survey needs one other place to tick…’Don’t care’. I mean, not even all heterosexuals want to, or care to, marry.

And that is another example of how the PM is out of touch. He has taken an issue that really doesn’t affect many people and has no detrimental effects on anyone at all ( except in a few people’s minds) and could be sorted out in a couple of hours…and turned it into a major election issue which is going to overshadow everything else.

There is no way he is going to win votes with this strategy…but he will certainly lose some.

I don’t see how you could think this will lose Abbott votes.

The people who are firmly in support of this issue would never vote for a conservative politician like Abbott and the people firmly opposed would most likely already be supporting him.

And for the people who don’t really care either way or only mildly support or oppose, I find it hard to believe they’ll be changing their vote based on this issue. I think the electoral effect would be minimal.

I think you’re right, there’s probably not a significant number of people who are going to vote against the government for this issue. Let’s face it, there’s plenty of reasons to vote against the government widely recognised as the worst since federation so the SSM issue won’t be the line in the sand.
Unfortunately, the government needs to get about 8% of the population to think they have something positive to offer the country and they seem to be hellbent on doing the opposite.

watto23 4:11 pm 13 Aug 15

Southmouth said :

Compulsory Referendum or Plebiscite is the only way to bring an end to this nonsense. Bring it on.

The thing is, the high court ruled that the Federal parliament have the power to legislate regarding marriage. Thus a referendum is not needed and a waste of taxpayers money. A plebiscite is just an expensive poll except everyone has their. Can anyone tell me when the last Federal plebiscite was held? It was 1977 to decide on the preferred national anthem. Its also been used in the states for things like daylight saving and shopping trading hours. Things that do affect everyone fairly equally. So why for this issue? Why don’t we call for a plebiscite on how we treat refugees? I like the idea of plebiscites in general, at each election the government should put its major policies up in a plebiscite and see what the people say. Often those voting them in don’t agree to all the “mandates” they think they have.

As for SSM, there has yet to be a credible argument as to why SSM will have any affect on society today. People will still have the freedom to disagree with SSM, they can still be homophobic, they can still have everything they had before. So other than morally opposing it there is really no affect to them, except some feeling of not having as much power over a minority group as they did before. All arguments involving kids and the standard family unit are a null argument as gay couples can have kids regardless of marriage status just like straight couples can. I’m yet to hear an argument that clearly states why they personally will be affected and how, except that they don’t like it.
You know what, I don’t like how the church tries to interfere with my life. Usually it doesn’t affect me that much, so I ignore it. I find the catholic lifestyle to not be to my taste, but happy for others to lead that lifestyle. Would the catholic church like it if they were discriminated against? Probably not.

chewy14 3:47 pm 13 Aug 15

No_Nose said :

Maya123 said :

The survey needs one other place to tick…’Don’t care’. I mean, not even all heterosexuals want to, or care to, marry.

And that is another example of how the PM is out of touch. He has taken an issue that really doesn’t affect many people and has no detrimental effects on anyone at all ( except in a few people’s minds) and could be sorted out in a couple of hours…and turned it into a major election issue which is going to overshadow everything else.

There is no way he is going to win votes with this strategy…but he will certainly lose some.

I don’t see how you could think this will lose Abbott votes.

The people who are firmly in support of this issue would never vote for a conservative politician like Abbott and the people firmly opposed would most likely already be supporting him.

And for the people who don’t really care either way or only mildly support or oppose, I find it hard to believe they’ll be changing their vote based on this issue. I think the electoral effect would be minimal.

Antagonist 2:24 pm 13 Aug 15

Maya123 said :

The survey needs one other place to tick…’Don’t care’. I mean, not even all heterosexuals want to, or care to, marry.

That is true. And not all same sex couples want to marry either. But it would be better if all couples were in a position to make that choice for themselves.

Garfield 2:23 pm 13 Aug 15

With Abbott having chosen this path its obvious that same sex marriage won’t be passed by this parliament – the social conservatives amongst both Labor & Liberal backed up by social progressives in the coalition ministry and backbench progressives who don’t want to stand out will easily defeat any bill.

With this position the best outcome is a plebiscite alongside the next election, with both major parties agreeing to pass legislation in accordance with the people’s wishes. Gay marriage has been in the spotlight for some years now so I don’t think that there is any reason to delay on the basis of the different sides of the debate needing more time to communicate with the public. I would see any attempt by Abbott to delay until some indeterminate date after the next election as an attempt to weasel out and keep his preferred definition as long as possible.

Southmouth 1:20 pm 13 Aug 15

Compulsory Referendum or Plebiscite is the only way to bring an end to this nonsense. Bring it on.

No_Nose 1:07 pm 13 Aug 15

Maya123 said :

The survey needs one other place to tick…’Don’t care’. I mean, not even all heterosexuals want to, or care to, marry.

And that is another example of how the PM is out of touch. He has taken an issue that really doesn’t affect many people and has no detrimental effects on anyone at all ( except in a few people’s minds) and could be sorted out in a couple of hours…and turned it into a major election issue which is going to overshadow everything else.

There is no way he is going to win votes with this strategy…but he will certainly lose some.

Evilomlap 12:40 pm 13 Aug 15

What’s particularly interesting to note is that they spent six hours debating this. Given they have spent less time debating tax reform, climate change and even national security, it’s proof of how divisive this issue is within the party.

The PM’s blinding ideology and stubborn refusal to budge from his extremely conservative ‘values’ really is strangely fascinating to watch. I used to actually believe that this kind of ignorance couldn’t possibly be accidental; that is must be part of some overarching plan hatched in the depths of the party room. But as I continue to observe this sideshow I become increasingly convinced that he really is as oblivious as he seems.

Maya123 11:53 am 13 Aug 15

The survey needs one other place to tick…’Don’t care’. I mean, not even all heterosexuals want to, or care to, marry.

No_Nose 11:26 am 13 Aug 15

I am continually stunned that someone can be in politics for most of their life and rise to the Prime Ministership and yet be so inept at reading what is relevant to the public. Tony Abbott has shown this time and time again.

This is the man who for years advised John Howard to just make a national apology to aborigines as by failing to do so (when it was inevitable that it would happen at some stage) just gave the opposition a stick to beat him with, and made his government seem irrelevant and out of touch. He argued that, it was a minor matter, easily fixed that would have no impact on 90% of the population and would soon disappear from the news cycle after the apology.

How can he not see that this issue is exactly the same? The only reason it has become a major issue is because he made it one. It is something that could be sorted in a single afternoon parliament sitting without any problems.

It will now become a major election issue, in fact for many under forty who basically see no difference in the major parties policies on everything else, this will be the only issue.

JasonB 11:11 am 13 Aug 15

can only hope this will be the nail in the coffin for Tony’s leadership

Holden Caulfield 10:53 am 13 Aug 15

Yes, I do.

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