Wheels Fall Off Turnbull's Plebiscite Promise

Four days to go before the election, and the Abbott-Turnbull Government is already splitting in two over its empty pledges on marriage equality.

THE HON MARK DREYFUS QC MP
SHADOW ATTORNEY-GENERAL
SHADOW MINISTER FOR THE ARTS
MEMBER FOR ISAACS

WHEELS FALL OFF TURNBULL’S PLEBISCITE PROMISE

Four days to go before the election, and the Abbott-Turnbull Government is already splitting in two over its empty pledges on marriage equality.

Last week, we discovered Prime Minister Turnbull does not even intend to bind his cabinet to vote in favour of marriage equality if the Australian people indicate their support through his wasteful $160 million plebiscite.

ACT Senator Zed Seselja is just the latest in a line of Liberals to say he would defy the will of the Australian people in the event of a ‘yes’ vote in the plebiscite and abstain from voting altogether.

Now, Tony Abbott’s former chief of staff, Peta Credlin, has warned that legislation for a plebiscite would be unlikely to even pass Parliament, and would split the Liberals down the middle.

“I think it will be a very big schism inside the Liberal Party going back, I think, to the territory of 2009 and Malcolm knows that very well because that’s where he lost his leadership.”

Peta Credlin, Sky News, Monday 27 June            

As the architect of Tony Abbott’s efforts to frustrate an internal push for a free vote on same-sex marriage by adopting the plebiscite plan in the first place, Ms Credlin would know all about the internal split in the Liberals over the issue.

Prime Minister Turnbull’s same-sex marriage plebiscite is in a total mess. He cannot control his party on this issue, and he knows it.

Under an Abbott-Turnbull Government, there is no guarantee a plebiscite vote will actually happen. The likelihood of an open right-wing revolt against Prime Minister Turnbull is high.

There is no guarantee the Coalition party room would not devise a model for the plebiscite which would make it more likely to fail. And this morning, Scott Morrison has said that if the plebiscite does not carry, he expects that “would be the end of the matter”.

Mr Morrison is dreaming if he thinks marriage equality is an issue that will go away if the Liberals find a way to engineer a ‘no’ vote. The issue will not go away until marriage equality is made a reality in Australia.

With Labor, Australians know what they are voting for on marriage equality. We will legislate for marriage equality within 100 days.

The only guarantee you are getting with the Liberals is chaos and uncertainty.