Thursday, 15 December 2011

Same sex marriage and the Liberals: a conscience vote is coming...

Some seem determined to portray support for same sex marriage as restricted to the Labor party (and Greens).  The evidence is against them.

In fact it seems the only reason Opposition Leader Abbott managed to persuade Shadow Cabinet to oppose a conscience vote on this issue is that they went to the last election with a commitment to the traditional view of marriage, and don't want to undermine one of their main lines of attack on Labor, viz broken promises.

In other words, it is not principle that is dictating the Coalition position, but pure politics.

All the same it is far from clear that Mr Abbott's position on this issue will prevail.  Today a report that Liberal MPs will continue to fight for a conscience vote, accompanied by data on the rarity of Labor allowing a conscience vote but not Labor.

With seven prominent Liberal frontbenchers (including all of the obvious candidates to take over the leadership when the Liberals finally dump Mr Abbott) supporting a conscience vote - and thus de facto same sex marriage - expect more in the same vein...


A Canberra Observer said...

Bad news, again.

OK, it isn't just the ALP. At the risk of irritating you even more though, the ALP in government, I believe, has the track record of legislating immoral laws.

Perhaps they are actually truer to themselves and have the courage of their (completely wrong) convictions, whereas their counterparts in the Liberal Party simply allow these things to happen (and of course have not reppealed any of these pernicious laws). So the LP's are probably more gutless and cynical.

Perhaps Kevin Rudd's sister is right - the honest thing to do would be to hold a referendum. I wonder if it would succeed or fail. The irony is that at the same time we have people suggesting we run a parallel system of shariah law in this country. I wonder what the penalty for sodomy is under that code.

And as to the politicans (especially the Maoist ALP national conference) - talk about fiddling while Rome burns - there are some other more pressing issues.

Kate said...

Dear me, CO, you really are prejudiced on this issue!

First, acquiescence is just a much a sin as actively proposing something.

Secondly, I can think of a few immoral laws passed when the libs were in power (RU 486, therapuetic cloning come to mind).

So just what immoral laws are you talking about at the Federal level?

Maoist ALP Conference?! I'd note that it is the Liberals who increased the size of government to Australia's highest levels ever, and who are now promising to spend big on policies such as Maternity Leave if they get elected, whereas Labor has actually reduced the size of government by cutting out middle class welfare.

Anonymous said...

This debate between supporters of the liberal and labour parties - as if anything much good would happen whoever is in government - is just further proof of the inherent immorality (and stupidity) of liberal democracy as a political system. It needs to be smashed.

That means soldiers and police must get involved.

+ Wolsey

A Canberra Observer said...

perhaps I am but I thought I gave it to the weak liberals in pretty stern measure in my comment.

I misused the 'maoist' term I suppose but what I meant was that they had this big 'all praise to the great one' shebang performance where they 'debated' inanities and delegates towed the party (or factional) line.

Frankly all sides are distasteful to me.

Neither party have policies which promote a society based on stable family life - eg if you don't have 2 incomes the tax system is not kind to you.

My earlier comment about +Manning relates to the cultural view that the ALP was somehow the party of the working class Catholics. That is no longer true. However in his public statements he has certainly leaned a particular way.

Kate said...

Your claim that neither party promotes stable family life depends in defining a stable family as single income.

That made sense once a upon a time when home production actually took up a lot of time, but does it really make as much sense these days?

That said, once upon a time Labor had some social justice credentials to gain catholic sympathies - these days they've pretty much destroyed them, so I agree there isn't much to choose between them on.

As to the ALP Conference though I think you are way off the mark. If you actually watched the Conference (or followed Annabel Crabbe's tweets or other commentators!) there was remarkably little 'all praise to..' (unsurprising in the circumstances!)and a lot of real debate.

Quite a change from the last one, which really was a moist affair run by Chairman Rudd which had no votes and very little debate at all.

That said, party conferences the world over are always going to be productions...

A Canberra Observer said...

The current both parents work model may work economically (the Finance Dept wants it ...) but one wonders, despite all the rhetoric about nurturing children, whether society is being well made by this model.

A debate for another day.