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After years of political wrangling over same-sex marriage, Australian voters are having their say in a national postal vote that ends on Nov. 7.
The survey of all registered voters has the potential to resolve an issue that, thanks to the relentless lobbying of same-sex marriage activists, has been dominating the Australian political discourse for years.
Activists - Celebrities - Media - Australia - Rest
Activists, celebrities, and the media say Australia is behind the rest of the world and is becoming an embarrassment.
Australia’s conservative government, under Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, promised no change to the Marriage Act unless the Australian people agreed by voting in a “plebiscite.”
Australia - Gauges - Opinion - Issue - Result
In Australia, a plebiscite gauges public opinion on a particular issue. While not legally binding, the result of this plebiscite will guide Parliament in deciding whether to vote to change Australia’s marriage law.
But a popular vote is exactly what the same-sex marriage lobby does not want.
LGBT - Youth - Plebiscite - Labor - Opposition
Claiming young LGBT youth would commit suicide if a plebiscite were held, the Labor opposition led by Bill Shorten teamed up with cross-bench senators to block legislation last December that would have triggered a compulsory attendance plebiscite.
The aim of the same-sex marriage lobby was to force the government to break its election promise by instead holding a vote on the floor of Parliament, where the numbers are tight and same-sex marriage activists think they have their best chance of winning.
Government - Members - Parliament - Floor - Vote
After five rebel government members of Parliament threatened to cross the floor and vote with the opposition, the prime minister’s hand was forced.
He was able to circumvent the Senate blockade by using special powers that allowed the government to conduct a survey of voters by mail under the direction of the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Vote - Post - Non-compulsory—voting - Australia - Mandatory—legislation
Because the vote would be by post and non-compulsory—voting in Australia is normally mandatory—legislation would not be needed to conduct the plebiscite.
This novel approach for Australia,...
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