Politics

Turnbull Thinks The Postal Survey Has Been A Huge Success And People Aren’t Having A Bar Of It

"There's nothing more Australian than mutual equality and respect."

IT’S DONE. Australia’s expensive and cruel voluntary postal survey on marriage equality is over, and love has prevailed. With 61.6 percent of the vote Yes has won and Australia is essentially blanketed with a giant rainbow flag in celebration.

Addressing the nation straight after this morning’s announcement, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull also got in on the action. “The people have spoken in their millions and they have voted overwhelming for Yes,” he said. “They voted Yes for fairness, for commitment, for love.

“Now it’s up to us, to get on with it. To get on with the job the Australian people have tasked us to do and get this done. This year. Before Christmas. That must be our commitment.”

YAY! But also… hold up. Haven’t the Australian people have been telling you to get on with it for literal years?

As expected, Turnbull’s first statement was extremely Pro-Postal Survey. “We asked the Australian people for their view,” he said. “This was an unprecedented exercise in democracy: a voluntary postal survey in which 80 percent participated and over 61 percent have said Yes. That is an overwhelming participation rate and and overwhelming Yes vote.

“I know that many people — a minority of people — have voted No. But we are a fair nation and there’s nothing more Australian than a fair go, nothing more Australian than mutual equality and respect. And everyone has had their say. That’s what we pledged at the last election. Many people stood in our way — the Labor Party, a number of people on the crossbench and others. They didn’t want Australians to have their say — we did.”

Amid the celebrations, many LGBTIQ+ Australians are taking the time to correct Turnbull on his point about “mutual equality and respect”. The long campaign has brought with it verbal and physical violence, incredibly emotional turmoil, and it has arguably “unleashed a beast of homophobia” that will continue to hurt many.

Later in his public statement, Turnbull said, “Whatever your views may be, we must respect the voice of the people.” It’s a line he’ll proudly be pulling out for the next few weeks while legislation makes its way through parliament.

While he does, it’s important to keep note of whose voices he’s talking about. Plenty of other countries around the world have achieved this momentous moment in civil rights without encouraging bigots to ‘have their say’.