May 1

Republican minister fears the people

Responding to Independent MP Tony Windsor’s call for a referendum or plebiscite on same sex marriage  Finance Minister Penny Wong said she would "sound a note of caution" about the idea.

Now this is a matter outside of ACM’s purview, but Senator Wong had to bring in her annoyance over the landslide against the politicians republic in 1999.

You see Senator Wong – a republican – just does not trust the common sense and good judgement of the Australian people.

News Limited reports that she said a plebiscite would be a "very high bar to jump".

"My view is the parliament has a responsibility and will one day discharge that responsibility," Senator Wong told Sky News on 29 April. (Well that is questionable. Constitutional lawyers will tell you that if there were a constitutional challenge to any same sex marriage legislation, the High Court would have to decide and the conclusion is not clear. )

Senator Wong pointed to the 1999 republic referendum which failed across all states despite having strong public support.

"John Howard and Tony Abbott ran a very good fear campaign and we lost that referendum," she said.

…trust the Australian people, Senator…

No Senator Wong, they did not. There was a massive campaign by most of the media to ram through a Yes vote. Two thirds of the politicians argued for it, with the ALP and  ACTU providing foot soldiers for the campaign and the Liberal Party machine neutral. 

The people rejected your politicians’ republic, Senator Wong, because they smelt a rat. It would have vastly increased the power of the politicians, upsetting the checks and balances in the Constitution. They rejected it nationally, in all states including yours, and in 72% of electorates.  Trust the common sense and good judgment of the Australian people, Senator.



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