Barnaby Joyce says nobody will be happy with a postal plebiscite

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has refused to comment on the possibility of a free vote on marriage equality, but says a postal plebiscite is something that would leave both sides of debate dissatisfied with the outcome.

Appearing on SKY News’ Karvelas program the Deputy Prime Minister and Nationals leader was asked about the idea to hold a postal plebiscite. The proposal has been attributed to Immigration Minister Peter Dutton.

Joyce said the government has spent long enough discussing the issue.

“We spent six months talking about gay marriage, I think that’s about enough.” Joyce said. “We said at the last election that if you vote for us you’ll get a plebiscite.”

Asked if a postal plebiscite was an option, Joyce told host Patricia Karvelas, the idea had problems.

“I think one of the problems there is that everyone is going to say I didn’t get my vote, it’s not right, we’ll be arguing until tomorrow because both sides will believe that they weren’t properly represented.

Joyce said he believed the best way for the long running debate to be addressed would be for the Labor party to give their support to the government plebiscite legislation.

“Why does Bill Shorten think he’s smarter than every Australian person?” Joyce asked rhetorically.

The Deputy Prime Minister said he wouldn’t discuss other options for addressing the issue because they were hypothetical questions.

Last week Rodney Croome from just.equal said a postal plebiscite would be “inherently rigged”.

“There will be no parliamentary oversight of the question, the campaigns for and against the proposition, or the voting procedure,” he wrote.

“A non-compulsory vote also means the 30% of the electorate who are soft supporters of marriage equality are much less likely to vote.

Croome is also concerned that a postal vote could disenfranchise younger voters, skewing the results against marriage equality.

“The currently plebiscite proposal wouldn’t just be easy to rig, it would be inherently rigged.”

OIP Staff

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