Australian Christian Lobby wants a postal plebiscite

The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) has voiced its support for a postal plebiscite on marriage equality. The conservative group claims the idea put forward by Queensland’s Liberal National Party has merit.

ACL Managing Director said a non-binding postal vote would allow the Turnbull government to keep their election commitment; “…the Australian people expected all Government members to honour their promise to the Australian people to ensure no change to the Marriage Act without the endorsement of the people.”

“Under the right conditions, a voluntary plebiscite has merit and is consistent with the Government’s election promise to allow all Australians a say on whether or not marriage is redefined.” Shelton said.

The Christian leader dismissed concerns that the non-compulsory voting process would be against Australia’s democratic traditions. Shelton said Australia’s commitment to compulsory voting was a rarity in western democracy.

“No one is suggesting the Irish referendum to redefine marriage is illegitimate because it was a voluntary vote.”

Shelton noted that New Zealand had recently conducted a postal based referendum to make decision’s about their flag.

“Should the Government explore the issue, the ACL would look forward to being part of stakeholder consultations about the form and substance of a voluntary postal plebiscite.” Shelton said.

Yesterday marriage equality advocates were quick to dismiss the proposal.

Just.equal spokesperson Rodney Croome said postal votes would be biased against the reform.

“This is a deeply flawed proposal that will be biased against marriage equality.

“A postal vote will favour the ‘no’ case because younger voters, who are more likely to support marriage equality, are less likely to return their voluntary postal ballots.”

“It also won’t require legislation so the Government will be able to bias the question and other aspects of the vote any way it wants.”

Croome said the only people calling for a postal plebiscite were people who were opposed to marriage equality.

“It’s no coincidence that the only people keen on a postal vote are those who are dead against marriage equality.

“The only legitimate path forward is a vote in Parliament where all members are able to vote according to their conscience.”

A recent Galaxy Research poll found that only 14% of Australians support a postal vote when they know it is voluntary for voters and not binding on politicians. Croome said recent Australian elections have been marred by complaints about postal ballots.

OIP Staff


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