Monday, 11 July 2016

Shorten wants a Canberra conscience vote before plebiscite - marriage equality

My how an election changes things. The Governor General isn't even back from France yet to swear in Turnbull but already Shorten is flexing Labor's new found political muscle. Shorten is making it clear he wants to avoid a socially damaging and expensive plebiscite.
"Let's see if we can't have a conscience vote in the Parliament first-off," he said when asked about the issue on Monday. 

"What is the case for $160 million to be spent on a taxpayer-funded opinion poll, which the hard right of the Liberal Party said they're not going to be bound by anyway?" 

Mr Shorten said the Australian people appreciate authenticity and would respect Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull "if he stuck to his own views before he became Liberal leader". 

Mr Turnbull was an ardent critic of the plebiscite proposal before becoming Prime Minister, and has continued to concede there are arguments against it, but defends it as a government policy he inherited from former prime minister Tony Abbott. 

"I think the nation, the people of Australia, made it clear they want the Parliament to work," Mr Shorten said. 

"I think it would be a lot more practical and common sense to have a vote in the Parliament and be done with the issue and then we can get on with the other big issues, which are out there too," Mr Shorten said. 

When asked a second time if Labor would block the plebiscite, Mr Shorten said: "We'll have a look at this matter." Sydney Morning Herald
Who knows exactly where this will go, but I have a feeling that Lieberals with the slimmest of majorities will want to avoid marriage equality continuing to fester in the electorate against them. 

Once people know all the details of a plebiscite the public support for it plummets, and if that discussion is entertained in the main stream media nationally, we can be sure the national support for the plebiscite will also plummet. Especially when the public knows it will cost $500million when there's already well and truly enough votes in both houses to easily pass the legislation.