Letter to The Editor - They Might Have Made a Mistake
to THE AUSTRALIAN
The Coalition will be both sensible and ethical to continue its call for a plebiscite rather than a free parliamentary vote to determine whether Australia should significantly change its legal definition of marriage. Here are some answers to Peter van Onselen’s advocacy (‘Opposing gay marriage vote will hurt conservatives’, 15-16/7).
There have been plebiscites in our history before and the seriousness of this present controversy demands another, if not a referendum. Moreover, the ALP wants a plebiscite on a republic. Now, while the plebiscite result might not be binding, if it proves favourable to change, it would undoubtedly be honoured by the parliament and opponents of change would not feel betrayed, which would be good for national unity.
Opinion polls results are not always reflected in actual voting; nor do we want to live under government by such polls.
That other Anglophone nations have gone one way does not mean we must follow; they might have made a mistake, for it is simply not true that their decisions have been happily accepted by supporters of the traditional definition of marriage. On the contrary, there is great concern at certain subsequent developments and other mooted possibilities.
Finally, a free parliamentary vote, no matter what its result, would not be a truly representative way to proceed.
NJ, Belgrave, Vic