I had pretty much sworn off writing another article about the plebiscite, but there is something missing from a lot of the political commentary right now. As the ALP discusses whether to block the legislation, media commentators seem to be buying into the great lie that this will be the end of the possibility for marriage equality in the 45th parliament.
There is another possibility. It isn’t necessarily highly likely, but it is something that should still be kept in mind. If the plebiscite legislation gets voted down, the issue of marriage equality won’t go away (sorry George and Corey) because rejection of the plebiscite is not rejection of marriage equality. It is merely a rejection of the government’s attempt to abrogate its responsibility to govern. Some journalists reporting on this seem to have forgotten this.
If not dealt with, the issue (how is it even still an issue?) will stay like a millstone around the LNP’s neck, doubly so for Turnbull as it highlights his hypocrisy. Just as commentators are noting Bill Shorten could change his mind to supposedly hasten marriage equality, if the plebiscite is rejected the onus is back on Turnbull. His purely arbitrary statement that there will be no free vote without a plebiscite has no logical justification and he has already showed repeatedly that he doesn’t mind going back on his word.