Plebiscite Problems in Australia

Australia can be pretty backwards sometimes; this article discusses the problems of holding a plebiscite for same sex marriage.

What’s a Plebiscite?

Pronounced “plebiscide” by nine news.  A plebiscite is a national vote, that’s right, you voted for a prime minister or party leader to make decisions and legislations on your behalf. And it turns out these “leaders” of our nation can’t even read simple statistics and make a decision based off them. Anyway, plebiscites are simple votes made by the population that show the government if the public are for or against an idea. For years people have been campaigning for same sex marriage, and 64% of the population want it (81% of young people). But as usual the Australian government is dragging it’s heels and instead opting for a plebiscite in 2017.

 

What’s Involved in a Plebiscite?

Apart from a spare $160 million or more of taxpayer’s money, not much. Just like the general election, on a specified date everyone will be required to make their way to a voting center and tick a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ box in response to one question. Why they can’t settle 10 or more issues with a plebiscite I have no idea. After this the votes will be counted and submitted to the government. The ironic part of this ordeal is that after the taxpayers money is spent. After the ballot has been placed and counted. The government may choose to ignore the results.

 

The Lead up to a Plebiscite

The biggest problem concerning this notion of holding a plebiscite is the amount of drivel we will witness before the day. Consider the campaign adds, such as the ones we see in the run up to the federal election. But targeting the LGBTIQ community, instilling xenophobia in a country that is already prone to it. This will have a detrimental effect on member of the LGBTIQ community, as it did when Ireland held their plebiscite in 2015. It will put a great deal of strain on existing relationships, and may result in quite a few heated arguments among neighbors and family members.

 

Violence and Fear within a Community

By far the biggest issue regarding the plebiscite is that it may revert Australians back to the 70’s. Though gay bashings still occur across Australia. The fear of the number rising in the wake of the plebiscite is a real concern. Just as with Ireland, the number of suicides among young members of the LGBTIQ community or those who have not come out may also rise.

 

Hiding Behind a Caucus

The bright side of social media is really that people have been sharing their disgust at the notion of a plebiscite. Thank goodness that FOR ONCE the government seems to have listened the the public. Labor is no longer supporting the plebiscite. This narrows the chance of marriage equality becoming a reality for Australia near non existent this term. Meaning it may not be until 2019 that the government actually pulls their finger out and does something about it. The problem with this is that the minority are making biased decisions for the majority. I’m not implying that the government shouldn’t be making decisions for the population. Rather that the current demographic of political party members subjects them to a higher degree of bias. Which is quite a scary thought when you realize how large the impact of their decisions are.

 

Why is This Even an Issue Anymore?

As much as I would like free chicken nuggets, there are a lot more ways to support the LGBTIQ community than by voting “yes” on a daft piece of paper. Just support them, or more importantly don’t make an issue about their sexuality. Imagine being asked “what is your favourite sex position?” on a near daily basis. It would make you uncomfortable right? What you do behind closed doors is be no one else’s business (unless your Albert Fish). That being said, everyone should have the right to show off the person they love to society. And not have it be a big deal just because of their gender.

 

Show Your Support

If you wan’t to really make a difference and have Marriage equality in Australia now. Then there are four things you can do (probably more, but these were the first ones that came to mind).