Australia, We Look To You!

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Australia, We Look To You!

Postby inthegobi » Tue Sep 05, 2017 11:34 am

This is about gay marriage ostensibly, but is really about the strange way Australians are not-voting-voting on it:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/glo ... -marriage/

How should a country decide the issue of same-sex marriage? Most hold a referendum (Ireland, for example) or they leave it to a vote of their elected leaders (such as Germany).


I forget exactly how the US did it. Supreme Court? It didn't matter to me: the thing happened. But to continue:

In Australia, though, we’ve developed our own peculiar process. We’re going for a nonbinding, non-compulsory postal vote, which — for legal reasons — has to be dressed up as a survey.


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Re: Australia, We Look To You!

Postby seamas o dalaigh » Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:17 pm

Chris,

There's a little more to it.

There have been a number of attempts over the years in the federal parliament to legislate for same sex marriage. They have failed. MPs and Senators who are members of the Liberal Party and National Party have been required to vote against it as a matter of party policy. The Labor Party has always allowed a conscience vote on the matter... until now. As of the next parliament Labor MPs and Senators will be required as a matter of party discipline to vote in favour of same sex marriage. (Purging the party of Catholics?)

Meanwhile, the former PM, Tony Abbott, promised to put the matter to a plebiscite (in Australia there is a difference between a plebiscite and a referendum - a plebiscite requires a simple majority; a referendum requires a double majority: a simple national majority as well as a majority of voters in a majority of states).

The argument in favour of the plebiscite rather than a parliamentary vote is that the matter is of such fundamental importance that it should be put to the people and not simply left to politicians. Those in favour of same sex marriage oppose the plebiscite, asserting that we already know from opinion polls that everyone is in favour of same sex marriage so there's no need for a plebiscite. They also assert that the plebiscite will be "divisive" and will encourage homophobic vilification.

When the former (conservative) PM was defeated in a party leadership ballot by the present (liberal) PM, the promise was made that the plebiscite promise would be kept. The bill to hold the plebiscite duly passed the House, but was blocked in the Senate by those who favour a parliamentary vote.

The government then decided it would hold a sort of national opinion poll. (It can't conduct a plebiscite in the absence of enabling legislation, nor can it hold a vote conducted by the Australian Electoral Commission. So a voluntary survey conducted by mail by the Australian Bureau of Statistics probably seemed a good idea.)

Now there is a legal challenge in the High Court as to whether this voluntary postal survey is legal.
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Re: Australia, We Look To You!

Postby inthegobi » Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:57 am

James,

There's a little more to it. [snip of Aussie ball-o-yarn]


Mm, yaas, of course. :shock:

Seriously, that is fascinating. So what does everyone really expect of the result? Will it matter to Parliament?

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Re: Australia, We Look To You!

Postby seamas o dalaigh » Sun Sep 10, 2017 8:40 pm

Chris,

The parliament will not be bound by the non-binding-voluntary-postal-survey.

Most people seem to think the YES vote will win. I'm not so sure. The noisy, chattering people seem unable to imagine anyone voting NO. But I think there's a "silent majority" out there and they can be very conservative about social issues.

Of course, I could be wrong. The result of the Irish referendum certainly surprised me.

Were this not so serious it might have been amusing.
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Re: Australia, We Look To You!

Postby seamas o dalaigh » Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:01 pm

The same-sex marriage debate seems to be getting to deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce.

"Just get out of my face," Mr Joyce said this morning about people campaigning on the issue.

"I can't stand these people who stand at the corner and start yelling at you about what your views are on a very personal issue, just get out of my face, leave me alone I will make the decision up myself," he told RN Breakfast.

"I just don't want people standing at the corner yelling at me, telling me that if I don't agree with them, that I'm somehow less than human."

Ballot papers for the same-sex marriage survey will be sent out from tomorrow.

The result will be known in November.


http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-11/b ... rs/8891366

Barnaby Joyce is Catholic (Jesuit educated) and, to his credit, is opposed to same sex marriage.
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Re: Australia, We Look To You!

Postby seamas o dalaigh » Wed Oct 04, 2017 6:42 pm

Residents of a remote Arnhem land community have destroyed about 50 same-sex marriage surveys in a fire, because they misunderstood the question.

Australian Bureau of Statistics deputy statistician Jonathan Palmer told the ABC a group of people in Ramingining, 560 kilometres east of Darwin, had believed the survey was asking whether or not a man should be "compelled" to marry another man.



http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-05/s ... ed/9017328
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Re: Australia, We Look To You!

Postby inthegobi » Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:05 pm

Reports (BBC, The Guardian) say Australians chose gay marriage, whatever they think it may be, by a wide margin.
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Re: Australia, We Look To You!

Postby seamas o dalaigh » Thu Nov 16, 2017 7:28 pm

Chris,

62/38 in favour.
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Re: Australia, We Look To You!

Postby Rose West » Thu Nov 16, 2017 11:24 pm

That's a pretty big margin, but what did they do to ensure it's a representative population?
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Re: Australia, We Look To You!

Postby seamas o dalaigh » Fri Nov 17, 2017 7:45 pm

Rose,

Nearly 80% of those eligible responded.
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Re: Australia, We Look To You!

Postby Rose West » Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:54 pm

Then the odds would be in their favor except in the case where every single one of the 20% was against, but that doesn't seem like a very good way to govern, unless he's trying to demonstrate that most of the country wants what he plans to do anyway. :/
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