Getting closer

It’s always been inevitable, but it’s getting closer:

The Queensland ALP state conference has passed a motion calling for changes to the party’s national platform in support of same-sex marriage.

The Tasmanian, Victorian, Northern Territory and South Australian branches of the Labor Party have passed similar motions.

I know Gillard wants to keep the Labor Right happy, and is prepared to bend over backwards to do so – I mean, really, what’s with spitefully refusing CNIs for gay people wanting to get married overseas? – but just how far down is she willing to go with them? Has she really stuck her colours to their nasty mast so firmly that she can never do the right thing, no matter how obvious it comes that an increasing majority of Australians support it?

I can no longer tell with Gillard what she actually believes. I don’t know if she really does believe in equality but thinks it’d politically destroy her (worse than she’s doing herself), or whether she really does have some kind of problem with equality for gay people.

ELSEWHERE: The countries that have legalised gay marriage have of course descended into anarchy and compulsory anal sex and abused children and outlawed religions DO NOT GO AND CHECK JUST TAKE MY WORD FOR IT.

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33 responses to “Getting closer

  1. Splatterbottom

    Maybe Gillard doesn’t think marriage is a big deal. She seems to get by quite happily without it. Just a thought.

    “Has she really stuck her colours to their nasty mast so firmly that she can never do the right thing, no matter how obvious it comes that an increasing majority of Australians support it?”

    Same with the carbon (dioxide) tax. Clearly a majority of people don’t want it, yet Gillard seems intent on ignoring them.

  2. “She seems to get by quite happily without it.”

    So SB, it’s perfectly OK with you for a law, or lack thereof, to be determined by Gillard’s whim on gay marriage, but not on carbon pricing? OK then.

    “Clearly a majority of people don’t want it”

    A majority of *opinion-polled* people (no more than a few thousand) clearly don’t want the Strawman Carbon Tax championed by Tony Abbott and bandied about by polluters and their enablers in the right-wing media. It is yet to be seen whether that bears any resemblance to the real one.

  3. jordanrastrick

    A majority of *opinion-polled* people (no more than a few thousand)

    Uniquerhys, the “few thousand” part makes little difference to the accuracy of a poll.

    It is yet to be seen whether that bears any resemblance to the real one.

    Polling on the issue once the details are actually known will be far more interesting to watch. At the moment people’s judgements are necessarily based on essentially nothing but vacuous media commentary.

  4. Exactly. The opposition now is to the strawman, not what will actually be legislated.

    As for “not important” – I think she’ll find that it’s important to a lot of people, on both sides. About time she came up with a reason for supporting this discrimination, or got off her backside and ended it.

  5. Last night on Q&A James Paterson put forward one of the clearest, most cogent statements in regard to same sex marriage I have heard . He said, in part:

    “I don’t see any role for the government getting in between two people who love each other from getting married”… those religions that want to recognise gay marriage, they should be free to do so… those religions that don’t want to, they should also be free not to”

  6. jordanrastrick

    James Paterson was pretty good on Q&A, although how an honest libertarian can prefer Abbott to PM over any other likely candidate – Abbott, who’d raise corporate tax to avoid an efficient tax economic mineral rents, and to fund a massively generous maternity leave scheme – I don’t know.

    Then again in fairness I don’t know if anyone asked him what he thought of say Turnbull.

  7. That Q&A panel was depressing. That none of them could retort to Paterson’s nanny state rubbish… Pissweak.

  8. SB
    Maybe Gillard doesn’t think marriage is a big deal. She seems to get by quite happily without it. Just a thought.

    So does my kelpie
    (braces for more of SBs talk about hot, greasy man-dog sex)

    Jordan
    Uniquerhys, the “few thousand” part makes little difference to the accuracy of a poll.

    Not if the sample is taken at random – which we have no reason to believe.
    Not when, as you noted, the tabloid conniption is on. Especially when newspapers pay for most of the polls.

    “I don’t see any role for the government getting in between two people who love each other from getting married”

    I have similar views about wether priests should be allowed to marry.
    If a priest meets another priest and they fall in love, why shouldn’t they be allowed to make it official.

    No, really.

  9. Splatterbottom

    Unique: “So SB, it’s perfectly OK with you for a law, or lack thereof, to be determined by Gillard’s whim on gay marriage, but not on carbon pricing? OK then.”

    Wrong again. I have consistently stated that there are no logical arguments against marriage equality.

    All I was doing was trying to understand why Gillard is so persistently wrong on this issue, and suggesting a reason she may hold her current view. It is part of the nice new me. Instead of suggesting crass political opportunism I tried to come up with some other excuse for her. As I said it was just a thought.

  10. I missed his comments around the nanny state but I think Fuzzy, Ruslan and Samah all did a great job. I find Josh Thomas fucking irritating – always have…

  11. jordanrastrick

    That Q&A panel was depressing. That none of them could retort to Paterson’s nanny state rubbish… Pissweak.

    The lack of a serious social democractic voice to rebut Patterson on an intellectual level was kind of disappointing. Because Generic Gen Y’s who aren’t professional political thinkers tend to vote Green, it seems to be generally considered representative to pit a random twenty something celebrity’s left wing views against those of a think tank member.

    But in other respects it was quite a decent panel.

    Not if the sample is taken at random – which we have no reason to believe.

    As someone with a family member who worked in polling, I happen to know precisely how groundless such conspiracy theories are.

    But feel free to believe that if you want lykurgus; I somehow doubt I could say much to convince you otherwise.

  12. “The lack of a serious social democractic voice to rebut Patterson on an intellectual level was kind of disappointing. Because Generic Gen Y’s who aren’t professional political thinkers tend to vote Green, it seems to be generally considered representative to pit a random twenty something celebrity’s left wing views against those of a think tank member. “

    That does explain it.

    They desperately needed someone on the other side to counter Paterson’s bullshit other than only vaguely politically-engaged comedians and music journos.

  13. jordanrastrick

    Putting aside the rhetorical “nanny state” rhetoric and the support for Abbott, can you think of anything Paterson said on a policy matter that you actually disagree with?

    He seemed like a not especially disagreeable libertarian to me. Obviously I lean more towards that ideology that most other commenters here, but surely he gets credit for advocating gay marriage and decrying Bailieu’s anti-social behaviour laws as “appalling.”

    I’ll admit I didn’t watch the entirety of the episode – maybe he actually said something bullshit when I wasn’t paying attention?

  14. So there’s only the NSW and WA ALP branches left to (hopefully) pass similar resolutions. Although I guess the NSW ALP might too timid to do this any time soon after their spectacular defeat.

    And WA is WA although if the NT can pass it ….

    Seriously with all these state branches Gillard is seriously boxing herself into a corner. And rather than softening her stance she seems to be hardening it.

  15. narcoticmusing

    *Note for the sarcastically-illiterate, please read with caution *

    The countries that have legalised gay marriage have of course descended into anarchy and compulsory anal sex and abused children and outlawed religions

    You see, that is just so typical. It is totally the obvious response of any civil society that enables such a ‘lifestyle’.

  16. jordanrastrick

    “And rather than softening her stance she seems to be hardening it.”

    Really? What makes you say that?

  17. Cool. Being able to log in with Twitter is sweet!…anyway, ahem, onto the topic.

    Some of the comments by those opposing gay marriage are just so sad. My favourite are people who quote the bible. They rabbit on about how it says homosexuality is a sin blah, blah. Funnily enough I don’t see them trying bring back some of the other nastier stuff in that same book.

    Maybe they hide their biblically endorsed slaves in the basement?

  18. AU, I think you’ll find that the average believer doesn’t know very much about what is in their own holy book. The priests prefer it that way. A standard response to people who read the Bible in linear order; i.e. start at page 1; is “you are not supposed to read the Bible like that” (a quote from an actual priest I know). I remember daily Bible study aids from my youth that said “read Blah 16:4-7”, conveniently omitting verses 1-3 that put a totally different spin on 4-7. Believers only know the Bible in tiny out of context slivers.

  19. As someone with a family member who worked in polling, I happen to know precisely how groundless such conspiracy theories are.

    Cue Mandy Rice-Davies

  20. Splatterbottom

    Lykurgus: “So does my kelpie”

    She would say that wouldn’t she? It is high time you stopped leading her on. There are many better things to do with the leash.

  21. According to this article WA & NSW branches are likely to adopt support motions very soon as well:

    http://www.starobserver.com.au/news/2011/06/22/gillard-facing-state-revolt

  22. “maybe he actually said something bullshit when I wasn’t paying attention”

    Nah, I don’t think he did. It’s just that Jeremy has a pathological hatred of any ex Young Liberal

  23. “It’s just that Jeremy has a pathological hatred of any ex Young Liberal”

    No, I just have some antipathy towards the spiteful rot that Mr Paterson writes.

  24. Well, lets just agree to disagree on that one…

  25. narcoticmusing

    As someone with a family member who worked in polling…

    So then, you’d know how grossly inaccurate they are depending on the particular methodology used? And that generally you only get people who are either a) desperate to talk to anyone so will participate in the poll, or b) people very passionate/angry. Polls are often run at the same time as one sided campaigns on that issue or soon after – sometimes legitimately to measure the impact, other times it is the campaign that is illegitimate. The point is, polls are able to be rigged (or if you prefer, exploited) to an extent due to timing and mechanism.

  26. Not to mention selective quoting of polls by the media – Labor down in the polls on page 1, Labor up in the polls on page 10. Over time that creates a perception in the minds of the non-polled that is actually at odds with what the polls say. Polls then become yet another form of propaganda instead of a measure of support. I’d be more sympathetic to the pollsters claims of non-bias if they stood up to the media and demanded that the polls be reported honestly each week, every week.

  27. “It’s just that Jeremy has a pathological hatred of any ex Young Liberal”

    I am one of them. It was back in the 70s so I hope I can be forgiven now. I must say though the Liberal Party was a very different party then to what it is now (as is the ALP).

    Thankfully I’ve been able to vote Greens for the last years at all levels of government.

  28. I was thinking the same thing about Conservatism and Social Democrat as movements generally – they wouldn’t recognise the current lot.

    In all fairness, uniquerhys, the “news” bodies are usually the ones that pay for the poll – they’re entitled to dine a la carte.
    A few token disclosures to that effect would be nice however.

    SB
    There are many better things to do with the leash.

    Given your recent obsessions about my dogs penis, none of us are surprised.

  29. jordanrastrick

    So then, you’d know how grossly inaccurate they are depending on the particular methodology used?

    Of course there are limitations on polling accuracy, and methodology can make things better or worse.

    And that generally you only get people who are either a) desperate to talk to anyone so will participate in the poll, or b) people very passionate/angry.

    Sampling bias is of course a source of error, in polling as in pretty much any scientific study of a human population, given that samples have to be at least somewhat self-selecting (unless you work for a highly ethically compromised institution….)

    But its not actually that bad , as evidence by polling’s reasonable track record of making predictions where there is an objective verifiable outcome, e.g. voting intention close to election days.

    Polls are often run at the same time as one sided campaigns on that issue or soon after

    As far as bias in the poll itself goes, you should be far more concerned with framing bias. You can ask two questions that are logically equivalent and get completely different answers, even without using emotive or suggestive language; people aren’t rational agents, and their opinions are very much shaped by the act of trying to measure them and the cognitive biases we are all saddled with.

    – sometimes legitimately to measure the impact, other times it is the campaign that is illegitimate. The point is, polls are able to be rigged (or if you prefer, exploited) to an extent due to timing and mechanism.

    I don’t understand in what sense you mean campaigns can be legitimate or illegitimate. A campaign can of course be misleading, including poll questions that are framed deliberately to try and elicit a certain response rather than get a more objective idea of someones pre-existing thoughts.

    Its the same as if you ask an economist to model something for you – you can get any answer you want if you ask them to make the right assumptions. Take this Greenpeace-originated study that atrociously was used to lead an IPCC WG3 press release:

    http://www.marklynas.org/2011/06/questions-the-ipcc-must-now-urgently-answer/

    Sure, we could in theory get to 80% of global energy supply from renewable sources by 2050 – if we can cut total consumption from 2000 despite at minimum doubling of GDP, which will almost certainly not happen, plus in all likelihood satisfy a whole bunch of other spurious requirements.

    Anyway, if the assumptions of a model or the questions asked in a poll are transparent, and the journalist reporting on the matter is competent enough to critically and impartially examine them, you shouldn’t have an issue. Of course the latter almost never happens these days.

    I’d be more sympathetic to the pollsters claims of non-bias if they stood up to the media and demanded that the polls be reported honestly each week, every week

    Pollsters, like scientists, are responsible for ensuring that their results are accurate, not for advocating the accurate reporting of those results by others.

  30. narcoticmusing

    Pollsters, like scientists, are responsible for ensuring that their results are accurate, not for advocating the accurate reporting of those results by others

    I’m sure Oppenheimer et al initially held a similar view ‘my responsibility stops here…’

  31. Pingback: One more step towards equality | An Onymous Lefty

  32. Back on topic, and unsurprisingly the WA Labor conference has also passed the motion supporting gay marriage, hopefully putting more pressure on the government.

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