Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott was ousted on Monday in what is fast becoming a regular bloodletting ritual as one political contender dispatches another.
I’m not sad to see Abbott gone. His politics and his argumentative and reductive style made me cringe and spout vile expletives.
And the elevation of Malcolm Turnbull to the top job had me momentarily conflicted, after all he looks so good as a leader.
Unsurprisingly, I do not vote on the conservative side of politics (which, rather confusing in Australia, is championed by the Liberal Party).
However, there is little doubt Turnbull will make a good show of delivering key messages in a suave and sophisticated manner (though perhaps they will be too sophisticated for the majority of Australian voters who will consider him a smarty-pants).
My husband and I were fearful of what his prime ministership would mean, ultimately resulting in likely second term of this Liberal (actually, Coalition) Government.
Surely Turnbull would change the party’s stance on marriage equality, considering he is such a fervent supporter of it, and maybe even take (real) action on climate change, which he is also, we are led to believe, in favour of.
Yet barely minutes after being voted in as leader of the party (and by extension the leader of the country) he was reaffirming his commitment to existing policy, that is, not changing position on either of these two platforms.
Marriage equality would still go to a popular vote (a plebiscite or referendum) AFTER the next federal election, and climate change (in)action would continue as is.
I’m going to leave climate change aside as I have only enough bile left in me to deal with the smaller issue of marriage equality.
I say smaller because it could be solved with a simple, courageous vote to change the law so marriage is no longer “between a man and a woman” only and then, once done, we can all get on with our lives and worry about the much bigger issue of how we’re all going to learn to breathe underwater within a couple of generations.
While people rejoice at Abbott’s dismissal in favour of the “statesman” that is Turnbull, they’re yet to catch up to the fact that they both belong to the same party that thinks it’s ok in this day and age, when some other countries have had marriage equality for more than ten years, to continue to discriminate based on sexual orientation.
And they cover it up by saying they have to consider all viewpoints, about what’s best for the country, the difficulty in getting “cut-through” with the electorate, instead of showing any real leadership and standing up for a value that doesn’t come with a dollar sign attached.
That’s what’s really been the message out of Turnbull’s mouth (and Abbott’s with his three-word slogans) is that it’s really all about the economy, that it’s about business.
Well, here’s a thought, allow marriage equality and give a real boost to the economy.
Marriage licenses, wedding venues, caterers, florists, decorators, hairdressers, make-up artists, seamstresses, clothing retailers, department stores (for the gift registries of course), marriage celebrants…the list goes on.
And then from there you get the gays and lesbians breeding and then they’re bringing more mouths into the world, more needs, more wants, that are just waiting to be filled.
And don’t forget divorce!
Give the lawyers some more work, and there’s a second home too and more fun time spent with the kids.
On and on and on, gays and lesbians supporting the economy, helping it to grow because – shock horror – they’re people too and part of this country.
That seems to be forgotten (like the refugees on Manus Island and Nauru but that’s a question for another time…perhaps when the ice caps have melted).
So yes, Abbott’s gone. Goodbye.
Turnbull’s in but now we have to watch how tricky it all gets – and how little we will get to show for it.