As expected, the Minister for the 19th Century1, Senator Eric Abetz, has threatened with unspecified consequences, those coalition members who may wish to cross the floor in the House of Representatives to vote for same-sex marriage2. He has stated that the Government should pursue a postal plebiscite3, a bizarre extension of the Abbott stupidity of the plebiscite ‘idea’. Abetz stated that he did not want to speculate on whether such a move by the moderates could put at risk Turnbull’s leadership of the party, and hence his prime ministership2. Maybe that was one of the consequences he meant.
Abetz tried to frighten the moderates off by stating that crossing the floor would be a grave matter2, seemingly either oblivious to other crossings of the floor which have had no dire consequences for members concerned. If one was of a less that charitable nature, one could construe Abetz’s threat as one to the members’ lives, but that is unlikely to be the case. It was probably the word that simply popped into his head when he was fuming at the thought of someone getting a right that his church had railed against for decades.
Like most people of his religious bent, logic is not their strong point. Abetz, despite being adamant that a plebiscite, postal or otherwise, be undertaken, has refused to be bound by the result, noting that plebiscites are not binding. This is his declaration that the result of the plebiscite will be immaterial to his deciding which way he votes2. If that is the case, presumably, this will apply to other members as well. If it does apply to others, then why have a $160 million plebiscite at all? It is blindingly obvious to most normal people that Abetz is not interested in the outcome of any plebiscite; he simply wants to continue to discriminate against people. These were the people who, when Abetz was a boy, were often beaten to a pulp or murdered, just for being who they were. Now they are just discriminated against. I suppose that is progress of sorts, but we still have some way to go.