Here we fucken go again. Malcolm Turnbull‘s extraordinary “emergency” party meeting this morning, one which was held to explicitly discuss the Coalition’s plans regarding same-sex marriage, has resulted in the Federal Government deciding to change exactly nothing in regards to policy. The much-derided and fundamentally stupid plebiscite is set to rear its head back up once again.
Sky News is reporting this afternoon that the Cabinet “consensus” reached by LNP leadership states a preference for pushing the same plebiscite proposal back through Parliament, despite the fact that the Senate torched it the first time and will more than likely torch it again.
The defeat of this legislation will then lead the Turnbull Government to push ahead with a volunteer, anonymous postal plebiscite instead.
That is, a non-legally binding vote, conducted entirely by mail, that seeks to gain “official” public support for same-sex marriage, in a result that will both a) allow anti-SSM campaigners to run harmful and hateful advertising campaigns that effectively demonises the LGBTQI community, and b) will produce a result that no anti-SSM politician will be bound to on the floor of parliament regardless.
The proposed postal plebiscite is already facing legal challenges, with Australian Marriage Equality officials vowing to launch immediate High Court action should the Government attempt to push ahead with it.
While the formal plebiscite, in the form the Government would very much like for it to take, will almost certainly be torpedoed by the Senate once the bill reaches the upper house for a second time, legislative loop holes mean the postal plebiscite would not need to be taken to a parliamentary vote for it to be implemented. But any challenge to the plan in the High Court would be time consuming and expensive for a Government that constantly bleats about reckless spending. The postal plebiscite itself will reportedly cost the Government somewhere in excess of $40 million.
This plan, if the Government stands by it, is a gutless capitulation to the Coalition’s increasingly megalomaniacal and scrotal-willed conservative arm, and does nothing to appease its more moderate members, four of whom have been vocally in favour of legislating same-sex marriage through a free, conscience-based parliamentary vote.
It’s a sad, pitiful, weak-willed move by a Prime Minister increasingly beholden to the braying of feckless old men in his party, unable to reign them in as leader while the party literally fractures around him.
Or, to put it another, more succinct way: He’s a fucking gutless wonder.
That’s his great legacy to the nation.
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