The disingenuousness of Malcolm Turnbull in his nervous speech1 after the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released the results (61.6% yes) of the postal survey on the legalisation of same sex marriage, was astounding. After the usual platitudes borrowed from the ‘yes’ campaign he said:
“And now it is up to us, here in the Parliament of Australia to get on with it, to get on with the job the Australian people have tasked us to do…”1
This is precisely the responsibility abrogated by the Parliament when the Liberal Party room prevented Turnbull from allowing his party to have a conscience vote in Parliament. The religious right wing nut jobs in the party (e.g. Abbott, Andrews, Hastie, Seselja, etc.) had Turnbull in a squirrel grip and they squeezed hard. This is a hangover of the Faustian bargain that Turnbull made with the right to depose Tony Abbott as Prime Minister; they agreed to oust Abbott as long as Turnbull kept the idiotic Abbott policies. This included a same-sex marriage plebiscite2, but that was defeated in the Senate, so the postal survey was an even more ludicrous replacement for a desperate Liberal Party.
Turnbull did say one thing that true and that was:
“…this was an unprecedented exercise in democracy.”1
This is certainly true, as it was such a ludicrous proposition, that nobody has ever been stupid enough to try it before, and hopefully nobody ever will again. We have to make sure it doesn’t.
Then, in an outrageous case of mind-numbing hypocrisy, Turnbull stated:
“…and everyone has had their say. That’s what we pledged at the last election. Many people stood in our way; the Labor Party, a number of people on the cross bench, and others. They didn’t want Australians to have their say; we did.”1
The Coalition promised to have a plebiscite at the election, but could not get the legislation past the Senate. The Labor Party urged the Coalition to have a conscience vote, but Turnbull couldn’t convince the party room. That inability cost the Australian nation $100 million for a survey which provided the same result as almost every opinion poll paid for by other people. That inability of Turnbull to lead, has cost every man, woman and child in the nation about $4. What could $100 million have been spent on? Perhaps it could have been used to decrease the debt emergency, which doesn’t now seem to exist, despite the debt being significantly greater than it was under the Rudd and Gillard governments.