If you thought the clusterfuck that is the Turnbull government’s postal plebiscite couldn’t get any worse, it is sadly time to think again. In order to bypass the Senate, the government decided that a voluntary postal version would be run by the Australian Bureau of Statistics instead. According to reports by Fairfax Media, it turns out this means the usual protections put in place for election campaigns around people distributing deceptive and malicious material in the mail will not apply to this shitshow. Fucking wonderful.
In plain language, this means that everyone is about to cop a whole immense load of absolute bullshit in their mailbox. There are no restrictions on what can be distributed, so everyone can expect to receive a lot of misleading ‘information’ that will likely imply (or outright say) terrible things about the LGBTQI community. Apparently the government is working with the ABS to come up with a list of regulations, but they will not be backed up by the legal system, and will therefore likely be meaningless. This is extremely bad news for a community that is already fearful about the level of vitriol they are going to face in the coming months.
The whole farce might still be avoided however, with news today that Tasmanian MP Andrew Wilkie is going to team up with activist Rodney Croome to challenge the postal vote in the High Court, claiming that the government has no power to order the ABS to conduct it. So all we know for sure at the moment that this whole thing is a circus. A terrible, joyless circus that everyone hates.