As expected, yesterday’s news that there could be a private members bill on same-sex marriage as early as next week has caused some manner of consternation among conservatives in the Coalition government. To the point, apparently, that they’re considering knifing Malcolm Turnbull if he can’t stop members of his party crossing the floor to vote for it.
The Daily Telegraph reports that senior conservative Liberals are sharpening their blades over this one – suggesting that it would constitute a broken election promise if Turnbull kowtowed to the moderates and allowed them to vote their conscience on a same-sex marriage bill.
They’ve even got a leadership lineup prepped – which features Peter Dutton as the new prime minister and Greg Hunt as deputy. God help us.
“It’s terminal. If Turnbull can’t control the moderates, what’s the point of his prime ministership?” one senior Liberal told the Tele. Another senior source – Christ, this is a leaky boat, isn’t it – said the following, while stressing that they do support Turnbull’s leadership in theory:
I don’t want there to be a change of leadership. I want Malcolm to lead us to victory at the next election. But you can’t have a situation where we completely lose control of the parliament. Effectively it says to our base, ‘We just don’t care about you.’ There are people sticking with the Liberal Party and the National Party, despite the difficulties we’ve had, because of our stance on issues like marriage.
There you go. It’s good to know that no matter what happens on same-sex marriage, there are always going to be a group of absolutely cooked units on the Liberal backbench willing to plunge the country deeper into political chaos to make sure that people who love each other can’t get married. Nice!