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Source: (consider it) Thread: SSM by postal vote
Ian Climacus

Liturgical Slattern
# 944

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Would you believe SSM is not legal in Oz?

And our ruling party, led by a man whose spine has been removed it appears, has decided a parliamentary vote is a no no, but a postal plebiscite is the best option.

A plebiscite that will not be run by our electoral commission but our statistics bureau (to get around a legal challenge I believe).

A plebiscite that will be not be binding. So a vote of no means no, as could a vote of yes.

All this because the conservatives in the party seem to have the PM by the balls. Assuming he has any.

I despair. This "campaign" will be toxic to LGBTQIA individuals. And is pointless, when our elected representatives could just vote. Poll after poll says the majority of Australians support it.

A former leader changed the marriage act to be between a man and a woman in his time in the early 2000s I think...surely a vote in parliament could change it.

Get on with it.

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Gee D
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A simple vote of Federal Parliament is all that is necessary. The definition of marriage in s.5 (1) needs to be amended so that marriage is not limited to a man and a woman. Even with a plebiscite or a survey, whatever you want to call it, this amendment is both necessary and sufficient.

There must be real doubts about the validity of the Government's actions. We are told that this is going to cost $122m (a figure I find difficult to understand) and there is no parliamentary sanction for the expenditure. Then there is a question of the ability of the Bureau of Statistics to conduct this plebiscite; it is not a census under the Census Act and what is being collected are not statistics under the Australian Bureau of Statistics Act.

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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Patdys
Iron Wannabe
RooK-Annoyer
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Jesus wept.

Rainbow tears.

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Marathon run. Next Dream. Australian this time.

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Doc Tor
Deepest Red
# 9748

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In your position, I'd be advocating a boycott.

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Improbable Botany

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Gee D
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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
In your position, I'd be advocating a boycott.

But what if boycotting produces an anti-SSM majority?

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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Doc Tor
Deepest Red
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To qualify as a potentially fair vote, it has to have certain qualifications. ISTM that from what's been said that this poll (for it is little more than that) is an excellent way of stirring up hatred and can't possibly achieve SSM.

Rob it of its faux-legitimacy and don't play.

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Improbable Botany

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lilBuddha
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This is fucked. Given the polling results, most Australians support SSM. Roughly 55% to 60%.
If the vote is no, then the result is no because: "It is a clear mandate"
If the vote is yes, then the result is no because "It isn't a clear mandate"

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Dark Knight

Super Zero
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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
To qualify as a potentially fair vote, it has to have certain qualifications. ISTM that from what's been said that this poll (for it is little more than that) is an excellent way of stirring up hatred and can't possibly achieve SSM.

Rob it of its faux-legitimacy and don't play.

It's not anything like that simple. The hatred will be stirred up anyway, whether us progressives "play" or don't. It has already started.
Labor and the Senate cross-bench have refused to play along, so this absurdly expensive, non-binding opinion poll is supposed to be happening by post now. Given the way the ABS fucked up the census, I'd be surprised if costs don't blow out further. For what? As lb said above, the fuckers in the govt can just ignore it.

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Alan Cresswell

Mad Scientist 先生
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It's Brexit all over again. Avoid letting Parliamentarians earn their keep by debating the issue. Skip any requirement to clearly define the options (though, in the case of equal marriage the options are a lot clearer than Brexit). Don't bother about a decent campaign arguing for/against the options, just let the tabloids run whatever bollocks they want. Hopefully you avoid the sight of senior politicians riding around the country in a bus with a massive lie emblazoned down the side.

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Don't Brexit if you haven't a scooby how to fix it.

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Leorning Cniht
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In the DH thread, stonespring argued that seeking a public vote is providing a cover for conservative MPs who want to keep the support of the old-and-bigoted. Which makes it very much like Brexit - Cameron proposing a referendum when he was confident that the public would support remaining in the EU in order to appease the anti-EU members of his party.

Only the referendum went the other way, and now the UK has to deal with the consequences.

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Lothlorien
Ship's Grandma
# 4927

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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
To qualify as a potentially fair vote, it has to have certain qualifications. ISTM that from what's been said that this poll (for it is little more than that) is an excellent way of stirring up hatred and can't possibly achieve SSM.

Rob it of its faux-legitimacy and don't play.

Indeed. The poisonous rhetoric is already started. The Australian Christian Lobby, had publicity all prepared and hit the newspapers running. It may be a Lobby but Christian is definitely not the right word. Vitriol.

[ 09. August 2017, 22:16: Message edited by: Lothlorien ]

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Gee D
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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
To qualify as a potentially fair vote, it has to have certain qualifications. ISTM that from what's been said that this poll (for it is little more than that) is an excellent way of stirring up hatred and can't possibly achieve SSM.

Rob it of its faux-legitimacy and don't play.

What sort of qualifications? Given that it is coming about by a dubious administrative procedure, any qualifications would make the result even more suspect. Then we have the news in morning's ABC site suggests that electors will have to enrol to be able to participate in the opinion poll - quite a change from the standard procedure here of compulsory voting.

As I've pointed out on the Dead Horses thread, this is not really a party political point here - there's no equivalent to the US religious right. We have openly gay parliamentarians on both sides and have for years. The present government could easily get out of its problems by allowing a free vote in both the House and the Senate. If that were done, the amendment would sail through.

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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Doc Tor
Deepest Red
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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
What sort of qualifications?

Free. Fair. Open.

If it doesn't even tick those boxes, then fuck it six ways to Christmas.

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Improbable Botany

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simontoad
Ship's Amphibian
# 18096

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I understand that there is a High Court challenge in the wings. The bloke from Marriage Equality on the radio was hopeful it would be lodged today.

My first-blush feeling is that a boycott wouldn't play well. I think many people who are not committed advocates one way or the other would have a negative view of a boycott. I think they would see this as a chance for people who want marriage equality to push their case.

I heard Antony Green on the radio at about 9:15am saying that as he understood things, they were going to use the Electoral Roll for the mailout, and that there was not going to be a separate registration process. I imagine this will be clarified as the news cycle rolls on.

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The opinions expressed above are transitory emotional responses and do not necessarily reflect the considered views of the author.

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stonespring
Shipmate
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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:

As I've pointed out on the Dead Horses thread, this is not really a party political point here - there's no equivalent to the US religious right. We have openly gay parliamentarians on both sides and have for years. The present government could easily get out of its problems by allowing a free vote in both the House and the Senate. If that were done, the amendment would sail through.

Then could you, as an Aussie in Oz (my husband stopped being interested in Australian politics long ago) explain what, if not a lobby resembling the US Religious Right, only much smaller, is preventing Turnbull (who himself supports SSM) from calling a Parliamentary vote and allowing Liberal MPs to cast a conscience vote? There must be some kind of Religious lobby in Australia, but it may be less wedded to one political party than in the US. I know Australia is a much more secular country than the US but *something* has prevented Turnbull from letting his MPs have a conscience vote.
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Lothlorien
Ship's Grandma
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Stonespring you may be interested in this ariticle by David Marr. Link here.

I am not a fan of his, I found his biography of the novelist Patrick White rather dreary and that has coloured my ideas since. However, he is a respected journalist down here. It will give you some background over the years.

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Gee D
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Stonespring, there is undoubtedly the desire of many to keep control, and a lot of bigotry around as well. But not the political link to the right that there is in the US. The bigotry and so forth is pretty much as strong in the Labor Party.

[ 10. August 2017, 03:39: Message edited by: Gee D ]

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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Gee D
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For example, both the Anglican and Catholic Archbishops of Sydney are strongly opposed to SSM. They are just as strongly opposed to the stance of the Government on migration policy in general and refugees in particular. They are both for a liberal reworking of the social security system and an increase in the funding of a wide range of community service measures. SSM here is much more complicated than a simple left/right question.

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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Dark Knight

Super Zero
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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
Stonespring, there is undoubtedly the desire of many to keep control, and a lot of bigotry around as well. But not the political link to the right that there is in the US. The bigotry and so forth is pretty much as strong in the Labor Party.

No, it isn't.
There is a strong "wet" faction in the Federal Liberal party - Malcolm Turnbull himself is ostensibly a "dry", but he has really demonstrated himself to be largely a nothing ever since his rise to mediocrity. The former Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, is the most prominent of the conservatives in the Liberal Party, and has been doing his best to white-ant Turnbull's leadership for ages. He is on the lookout for anything he can claim as a wedge issue, in order to be seen to be speaking for the conservatives in "middle Australia" (whatever that is).
Despite Gee's (unsubstantiated) claim, there is no similar phenomenon in Labor, where prominent powerbrokers such as Penny Wong (in the video I linked above) represent the view of the overwhelming majority of Labor and Green politicians - that marriage equality should be legislated by parliament, rather than through this ridiculous charade of a plebiscite.
No one really knows why Turnbull is so pathetic on this and so many other issues, where the perception is that he is being held hostage by the conservatives in his own party. The most likely reason is that he nearly fluffed the election, when he was exalted as the redeemer of the Liberal party after Tony Abbott's largely ineffectual and very unpopular term. But when he only barely won the election, he was beholden to the right of his own party to maintain unity and power, and they have hijacked much of the policy debate ever since. They are despicable on asylum seeker policy (in that regard Labor is pretty much as bad), doing everything they can to mismanage the welfare state into oblivion, and are committed to tax cuts for the best off Australians, as if everyone with any sense doesn't know that trickle-down economics was and is a total failure and gross lie.
Anyway, I could rant about this for ages. Sorry. This mob make me feel ashamed.

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Wronger than a drooling idiot on stupid juice - but I understand his argument.
mousethief (paraphrase)
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simontoad
Ship's Amphibian
# 18096

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Michael Kirby, a retired High Court judge, has indicated that he will be boycotting the postal ballot. Among other things, he says:
quote:
It wasn't done in the case the advancement of the legal rights, equal rights of the Aboriginal people, it wasn't done in respect of women's advancement of legal rights, nor in the demolition of 'White Australia'.
Full Article

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Gee D
Shipmate
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Michael Kirby is s quite right that there is no precedent for what is being done; he's also right that the procedure is of very dubious legality. I don't agree that should the poll go ahead it should be boycotted. SSM needs to have a strong vote in favour both to express the public opinion, and to send a strong message to Parliament that the necessary legislation must be passed. Every vote counts.

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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simontoad
Ship's Amphibian
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What if it doesn't get up? A boycott would allow the next ALP PM to say it could be ignored. But I am genuinely torn on the issue. I think personally I won't boycott, but I am torn.

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Gee D
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We have to do what we can to ensure that it does not fail, and an easy part of that is to express and opinion in favour of SSM. If this were a proper referendum, I'd expect it to pass by a very comfortable margin; with the odd procedure and the voluntary nature of it, I'd not be anywhere near as certain. Basically it may well be a case of every vote counting - assuming that it goes ahead.

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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Ian Climacus

Liturgical Slattern
# 944

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quote:
Originally posted by simontoad:
What if it doesn't get up? A boycott would allow the next ALP PM to say it could be ignored.

I thought Labor were committed to having.a vote in parliament within 100 days of being elected? Or am I misremembering?

I liked Guy Rundle's description in Crikey:
quote:
Truly, we are a laboratory for democracy, but it’s the laboratory in the film The Fly. Remember the half-man, half-fly’s plaintive cry at the end of that? “Kill me … kill me … kill me …” In a small voice. We’ll all be saying that in a few weeks.


[ 10. August 2017, 10:27: Message edited by: Ian Climacus ]

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simontoad
Ship's Amphibian
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Yeah that's right. I don't trust the ALP with anything. In my opinion, they will say or do whatever they think is popular to get elected or stay in Government.

Witness Bowen decrying the actions on the Howard Govt on refugees and then implementing a very similar programme as Immigration Minister. Result: the Libs go even further to the right.

No, the only thing you can trust the ALP to do is anything that will get or keep them in Government. The structures and culture of the party prevent principled stances. Even on industrial relations they screwed themselves and union members by weakening the Award system in the early 1990's. Blairite scum who showed Blair how its done.

Sorry, they might do it. I hope they do if the current Liberal strategy succeeds in stymieing internal support for reform. I just hate the bastards for what they have done (or haven't done) over their last two periods of Government. I mean, why the fuck are we in this position now? Why didn't the Gillard Govt reform marriage laws? Answer: They thought it would sink them quicker.

/rant dissipating

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orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
There must be real doubts about the validity of the Government's actions. We are told that this is going to cost $122m (a figure I find difficult to understand) and there is no parliamentary sanction for the expenditure. Then there is a question of the ability of the Bureau of Statistics to conduct this plebiscite; it is not a census under the Census Act and what is being collected are not statistics under the Australian Bureau of Statistics Act.

I will be watching the court challenge with great interest, partly from personal "hey, can I get married?" interest but far more from professional interest as to the scope of a government to get around Parliament.

Both sides are claiming they have legal advice. I'm sure both sides have legal advice saying there's a valid argument that they're in the right, but how strong that advice is in terms of chances and risks I've no clue. Because in some respects this is highly novel territory.

The thing is, though, there are certain aspects of this that are very well set up for the High Court to slap the government and declare they have no authority to do this. And the repercussions could extend far beyond this particular issue, in the same way that the cases on the school chaplaincy programme affected much more than school chaplaincy.

That's just the legal repercussions. The political repercussions of this vote being declared unconstitutional... well, when you're trying to defuse an issue, that's a hell of a grenade to go off in your hand.

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Gee D
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I'm sure that both sides have legal advice - mad if they had not - but you wonder who wrote that for the Government - Brandis or Donaghue.

As to your last paragraph, I'm not so sure. A loss in the High Court could let Turnbull off the hook. To both sides, he could say that he tried to let the people of Australia let their opinion be known, but here he is stymied by the pedantic lawyers on the High Court.

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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orfeo

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# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
I'm sure that both sides have legal advice - mad if they had not - but you wonder who wrote that for the Government - Brandis or Donaghue.

As to your last paragraph, I'm not so sure. A loss in the High Court could let Turnbull off the hook. To both sides, he could say that he tried to let the people of Australia let their opinion be known, but here he is stymied by the pedantic lawyers on the High Court.

True. The large proportion of fools who understand nothing about elections or the rule of law might well believe they've been robbed of their democratic right.

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stonespring
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My sister-in-law in Australia, who is very pro-gay-rights but for whatever reason likes Tony Abbott (she doesn't like Turnbull and likes Labor even less), thinks that to save money a plebiscite on same sex marriage should be on the ballot at the next general election.

Does the law or constitution in Australia allow for this? She said it was proposed and she said Labor was hypocritical for rejecting this while protesting at the $200 million price tag of a separate plebiscite. Was anything like this ever proposed?

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Gee D
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# 13815

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The constitution has provision for referendums to cover constitutional amendments, but not otherwise. No provision at all for plebiscites. That does not mean that Parliament could not legislate for one, but the Government can't get the necessary legislation through the Senate.

Good to see that Michael Kirby has publicly recanted his previous boycott. Why he did it, I can't understand. Still, he got a few more headlines for it.

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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simontoad
Ship's Amphibian
# 18096

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Oh I hadn't seen that about Kirby. He might have been speaking to the press while he was still very upset about seeing another opportunity to marry his partner of many decades slip away. Alternatively, he might have been upset about the LGBTI community once again being the victims of blatant discrimination. In any event, I'm glad he's reconsidered his view, as people like me are wont to take very seriously the views of people like him.

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The opinions expressed above are transitory emotional responses and do not necessarily reflect the considered views of the author.

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Ian Climacus

Liturgical Slattern
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I've been reading, couldn't look away but wish I could, a topic on this on another bulletin board where I thought there may be reasoned discussion.

Fat chance. Nothing offensive as I was suspecting, at least not yet, but just odd. One person even gave their reason against as "life isn't fair" and when challenged repeated life wasn't fair, giving the example of him paying more tax than others not being fair!?!? Where are these people's minds? Or compassion? I know I'm not the sharpest tack in the box, but what an odd argument. I think arguments like this worry me...this is someone who will go out to vote, and for the lamest of reasons.

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simontoad
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I'm hoping the casually homophobic chuck the ballot in the recycling.

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orfeo

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# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by stonespring:
My sister-in-law in Australia, who is very pro-gay-rights but for whatever reason likes Tony Abbott (she doesn't like Turnbull and likes Labor even less), thinks that to save money a plebiscite on same sex marriage should be on the ballot at the next general election.

Does the law or constitution in Australia allow for this? She said it was proposed and she said Labor was hypocritical for rejecting this while protesting at the $200 million price tag of a separate plebiscite. Was anything like this ever proposed?

Labor was not merely protesting the price tag. The price was simply ONE of the reasons for objecting to the plebiscite. Labor's position is that there shouldn't be a plebiscite, full stop.

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

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orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by Ian Climacus:
I've been reading, couldn't look away but wish I could, a topic on this on another bulletin board where I thought there may be reasoned discussion.

Fat chance. Nothing offensive as I was suspecting, at least not yet, but just odd. One person even gave their reason against as "life isn't fair" and when challenged repeated life wasn't fair, giving the example of him paying more tax than others not being fair!?!? Where are these people's minds? Or compassion? I know I'm not the sharpest tack in the box, but what an odd argument. I think arguments like this worry me...this is someone who will go out to vote, and for the lamest of reasons.

Saying that life isn't fair when you are being explicitly handed the power to make it fairer is indeed bizarre.

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

Posts: 17995 | From: Under | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged
Dark Knight

Super Zero
# 9415

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Two of the worst of the Liberal wets, Abbott and Howard, are teaming up for the No campaign. I have heard this somewhere before.
This "plebiscite" is a disgrace, but we had best win the fucking thing. Kirby's position leaves me cold.

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Wronger than a drooling idiot on stupid juice - but I understand his argument.
mousethief (paraphrase)
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Love is as strong as death (Song of Solomon 8:6).

Posts: 2760 | From: Beyond the Yellow Brick Road | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged
stonespring
Shipmate
# 15530

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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
quote:
Originally posted by stonespring:
My sister-in-law in Australia, who is very pro-gay-rights but for whatever reason likes Tony Abbott (she doesn't like Turnbull and likes Labor even less), thinks that to save money a plebiscite on same sex marriage should be on the ballot at the next general election.

Does the law or constitution in Australia allow for this? She said it was proposed and she said Labor was hypocritical for rejecting this while protesting at the $200 million price tag of a separate plebiscite. Was anything like this ever proposed?

Labor was not merely protesting the price tag. The price was simply ONE of the reasons for objecting to the plebiscite. Labor's position is that there shouldn't be a plebiscite, full stop.
I know that. I'm not saying I agree with her. Does anyone know if the option to have a plebiscite vote on the same day as a general election was ever proposed?
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Ian Climacus

Liturgical Slattern
# 944

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I didn't hear it.

Though I think it would be a brave government who would make this the election issue. Because I think it would be. Or at least right up there.

Poll after poll says it is not very high on the list of the average voter's priorities (health, education ...), but support for is definitely larger than support against overall.

Posts: 7241 | From: Albury, Australia | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

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Yes at some point amongst the myriad of thought bubbles holding it at the same time as an election was proposed.

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

Posts: 17995 | From: Under | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged
Dark Knight

Super Zero
# 9415

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quote:
Originally posted by stonespring:
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
quote:
Originally posted by stonespring:
My sister-in-law in Australia, who is very pro-gay-rights but for whatever reason likes Tony Abbott (she doesn't like Turnbull and likes Labor even less), thinks that to save money a plebiscite on same sex marriage should be on the ballot at the next general election.

Does the law or constitution in Australia allow for this? She said it was proposed and she said Labor was hypocritical for rejecting this while protesting at the $200 million price tag of a separate plebiscite. Was anything like this ever proposed?

Labor was not merely protesting the price tag. The price was simply ONE of the reasons for objecting to the plebiscite. Labor's position is that there shouldn't be a plebiscite, full stop.
I know that. I'm not saying I agree with her. Does anyone know if the option to have a plebiscite vote on the same day as a general election was ever proposed?
Well, I reckon you can find that out as easily as anyone else.
Here is what I managed to unearth. If you scroll down the page, you can see under "Timing of the plebiscite" the various arguments for and against holding the plebiscite at the same time as the election.

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Wronger than a drooling idiot on stupid juice - but I understand his argument.
mousethief (paraphrase)
----
Love is as strong as death (Song of Solomon 8:6).

Posts: 2760 | From: Beyond the Yellow Brick Road | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged


 
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