Today the deflating souffle that is Australia’s leadership voted down the plan for a compulsory national plebiscite on same-sex marriage and instead the measure will go to a non-compulsory postal ballot costing $122 million dollars. Will this process ever bloody end? Attorney-General George Brandis says same-sex marriage will be law by Christmas. I think there’s a greater chance that by Christmas he’ll be nibbling mince pies in the London Embassy.
There are worse ways to decide this, I suppose. As a precedent for the Australian government asking the public for opinion on policy, Mathias Cormann cites the 1974 phone poll of 60,000 randomly selected Australians to ask for their view on changing the national anthem. Try that these days and not only will the participants skew heavily towards the older generation who still have landlines, but you’ll end up with a result of 50 percent for ‘yes’ and 50 percent for ‘fuck off calling me a dinner time, call again I’ll shove the phone up your bloody arse’
So with a postal vote all but certain (today at least), here is a list of pros and cons of this political shirking of duty by democracy:
Con: Waste of my money and time
Fact: That money would have been wasted anyway. And you spent all day yesterday on the couch watching The Bachelor. Shut up.
Pro: Will be run by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, not the Australian Electoral Commission, which means the government does not need senate approval to fund the vote. Hopefully that means that the activists determined to stop the vote will not be able to.
Con: The Australian Bureau of Statistics crashed out on the census and they had five years to plan. This would have to happen in months. Also, the legal challenges have already begun.
Pros: Postal ballots can’t be hacked by the Russians.
Cons: If the ABS stuffs this up they’ll probably blame hackers anyway.
Pro: Avoids ugly scenes at polling stations and removes people who would vote no out of resentment for having to show up.
Con: No plebiscite day sausages.
Pro: Only people who feel strongly about the issue will vote.
Con: This could result in a near 50/50 split similar to Brexit.
Pro: Brexit was the reclamation of sovereignty from a corrupt elitist system whose only goal is to enrich itself through the total control of all aspects of society.
Con: Entitled millennials dressed in the European Union flag.
Pro: There might be enough self-righteous millennials to push the ‘yes’ case over the line for same-sex marriage.
Con: Ugh, millennials.
Pro: Once same-sex marriage gets passed they might shut up.
Con: You know they won’t. One shudders to think what deluded activism they might take up in the absence of the marriage equality fight.
Pro: I wouldn’t have to go to anymore Marriage Equality fundraisers and listen to that terrible choir.
Con: The postal vote only means that parliament gets a free vote and the law might still not get passed.
Pro: There is most likely enough votes to pass marriage equality in parliament and by the end of the year same-sex couples will have the right to marry and enjoy the legal protections that that entails under Australian law.
Con: Regardless of the result, the Liberal government tears itself apart and Bill Shorten becomes our next Prime Minister.
Sigh. Well Liberal Pride Launch will be interesting now!