Dear George Brandis,
I’ve been listening very carefully to your nuanced conversations about the authority and process for the Same Sex Marriage legislation that you are proposing.
I just want to get this right so I understand this right, so I’ve summarised my understanding below.
- The LNP coalition went to the last election with a bunch of policies in your platform;
- You won government by the barest of majorities: 1 seat in the House of Reps and 50.36% of the 2PP vote;
- But, nonetheless, it is a win, and Her Majesty gave you a mandate to form government;
- Now that you have formed government, you say you have a mandate to implement all of your policies, i.e. 100%;
- All members of Parlyment should support you on 100% of your policies, even though 49.64% of Australian electors voted against them;
- You have this mandate to implement 100% of your policies, even though you only got 50.36% of the vote;
- With one exception: Same Sex Marriange (SSM); In this case, the mandate is not to allow you to support a #SSM bill;
- You’ve been quite emphatic that you took this policy to the election, and so the only mandate you have is for a #plebiscite;
- That mandate only allows you to call a #plebiscite to see what people think about #SSM;
- In other words the 50.36% of votes at the election has only given you the mandate to seek another mandate;
- However, once that poll is completed, at a cost of around $200m, you might not have a mandate for SSM;
- It might be defeated, in which case of course you will respect the will of the people and not proceed with any #SSM legislation;
- Even if the ‘yes’ vote is up to 49.9%, you won’t have a mandate to pass a #SSM bill;
- On the other hand, if the ‘Yes’ case wins, if it gets a vote of 50% + 1 in favour of #SSM, you will have the people’s mandate to legislate for #SSM;
- But, your party members don’t have to respect that mandate, despite it being passed by the people;
- When your legislation for #SSM comes to Parlyment, your LNP members can do anything they want: they can vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ or abstain or go on holidays, regardless of your mandate.
Honestly George, I have to say it’s thin.
If I gave a paper like that to my Social Studies teacher, I’m pretty sure she’d give me an ‘F’.
Maybe she would even send me to the Principal’s office.
But hey, you are the top lawyer in the land, so who am I to disagree.
sweet dreams are made of this.