Update. 08/08/17. Following partyroom debate, the Australian Liberal Party has agreed to honour its election commitment to a people’s vote on the question of same-sex marriage. Fifty-five thousand Christians signed a petition against the move to push gay marriage through parliament without the consent of the people. The plebiscite was promised by the governing Liberals at the 2016 election. The main coalition blocking the people’s vote comprises Labor, the Greens, the Liberal left faction and activist networks. The pro-plebsicite democrats include the Liberal majority, conservatives, classical liberals and Christians. The people will be heard in a plebiscite by December. (End update).
MINORITY SUPREMACY V. DEMOCRACY IN GAY MARRIAGE DEBATE
(Monday August 7th, 2017)
IT’S minority supremacy vs. democracy in Australia’s showdown on same-sex marriage. The MPs pushing minority supremacy by blocking a people’s vote on gay marriage deserve to lose. As I write in The Australian Consensus May Forever Elude Libs, seven MPs from Australia’s centre right Liberal Party have orchestrated a plan to deny democracy. They are trying legalise same-sex marriage without the people’s consent.
The MPs shouldn’t have reached this far, given the government’s election commitment to hold a plebiscite on marriage reform. But they are empowered by the governing Left faction of the Liberal Party, which is developing a track record for dishonourable and undemocratic conduct.
The first anti-democratic action of the Liberal Left was the long campaign to undermine and destroy Tony Abbott’s prime ministership. I supported Malcolm Turnbull’s prime ministership on the basis that while there clearly was an organised coup against Abbott, it was due in part to his actions as PM. However, a leaked tape of Turnbull’s chief tactician, MP Christopher Pyne, revealed the Left faction had undermined Abbott. As I write in my column for The Australian:
Christopher Pyne unwittingly revealed the character of the Liberal left at the infamous Black Hand dinner. Pyne boasted to factional comrades: “Our fortunes are pretty good at the moment. And most of your senior cabinet ministers, George Brandis, Marise Payne, yours truly — quite a few of us are very senior ministers in a Turnbull Government … there was a time when people said it wouldn’t happen, but George and I kept the faith. We voted for Malcolm Turnbull in every ballot he’s ever been in.”
If senior ministers voted for Turnbull “in every ballot,” it means some voted against former PM Tony Abbott while they were on his leadership team. The news that Abbott was ousted seemingly after a campaign of treachery has shocked Liberal loyalists:
Liberal Left power brokers tried to undermine democracy again by blocking the democratisation of candidate pre-selection. They charged an exorbitant entry fee for Liberal members to attend the forum where voting on pre-selection processes was to take place. It was Tony Abbott and Major General Jim Molan who intervened so that Aussie battlers could have their say. The people voted in a landslide for Abbott’s “Warringah Motion” to democratise pre-selection.
The Liberal Left faction is fast developing an MO for anti-democratic and elitist action. Its third attack on democracy is to try to censor the people’s voice on same-sex marriage. As I write today:
After apparently revealing that he “voted for Malcolm Turnbull” as a member of former PM Tony Abbott’s leadership team, Pyne disclosed the current strategy being prepared by the Left faction behind the scenes. He said: “Friends, we are in the winner’s circle but we have to deliver a couple of things and one of those we’ve got to deliver before too long is marriage equality … we’re going to get it … sooner than everyone thinks.”
That was in June. The tactic that Liberal Left MPs have developed to get their way is silencing the people’s voice on same-sex marriage.
In this afternoon’s Liberal party room meeting, MPs aiming to subvert the plebiscite to satisfy their own self-interest should meet the force of reason. Wiser MPs will steady the ship by reasserting the Liberal coalition commitment to a plebiscite on marriage reform.
Although the proposal has been blocked by the Senate once, they could try again. After all, former Liberal PM John Howard tried many times to pass industrial relations reform through the Senate before he succeeded. Peter Dutton’s postal plebiscite is another option.
Whatever the outcome of today’s distraction from the main game of reducing national debt, power prices and government spending, the PM should consider his position. He has overseen the destabilisation of the party and the Australian government for little more than the accrual of factional power.
The nation deserves better.
**Podcast of Sky News “Outsiders” Program (interview starts at 3.00) https://player.whooshkaa.com/episode?id=107033