The process sucks – this whole exercise is a very expensive opinion poll but I’m determined to focus on the outcome rather than the process. I would urge people that support marriage equality to do the same – to make sure that they are enrolled and that they do vote.”
You’d hear much the same from opposition leader, Bill Shorten, and from the marriage equality advocates challenging the legality of the postal survey on Australians’ views on same-sex marriage.
But they’re the words of Liberal MP, Warren Entsch, one of the so-called rebels who unsuccessfully pushed the Turnbull government to reconsider a free parliamentary vote.
He’s one of many marriage equality supporters who’ve now reluctantly decided if it’s on, it’s on.
When the Coalition party room rejected a free vote on Tuesday, it set in train the voluntary postal survey by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the Plan B said to fulfil the government’s election commitment not to legalise same-sex marriage without giving Australians a say.
The rolls will close on 24 August, with ballots to go out on 12 September. Despite two high court challenges aimed at shutting it down, the campaign has begun to feel very real.
The legitimacy of the exercise was immediately called into question, from concerns that young people disproportionately would not vote in a postal survey, to the fact normal electoral laws will not protect the vote, which the government is now trying to fix, and the lack of precedent of deciding a minority’s rights with a voluntary poll. Read more via the Guardian