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Politics

Marriage-Equality

What is marriage?

Marriage is a formality that is a result of domination by males and religion in the last few thousand years. Prior to that time, informal marriages obviously existed. Since that time, in the last century, we have freed ourselves of domination by men and religion. Marriage still remains as a cultural institution, but the reasons for it being a formality are long gone.

What is the connection between marriage and church?

In Australia, only 1 in 4 marriages have a religious ceremony.  Consequently any religion-based argument regarding the sanctity of marriage is not in keeping with modern ways.

Which other countries have legalised same sex marriage?

As of 1 March 2017, same-sex marriage is legal (nationwide or in some parts) in the following countries: ArgentinaBelgiumBrazilCanadaColombiaDenmark,[nb 1] FinlandFranceIcelandIrelandLuxembourgMexico,[nb 2] the Netherlands,[nb 3]New ZealandNorwayPortugalSouth AfricaSpainSweden, the United Kingdom,[nb 4] the United States[nb 5] and Uruguay.

Of the western nations who have yet to join in, (Australia, Germany, Italy), Australia is easily the least religious with only 32% of the population thinking that religion is important. Compare that with countries that have passed same sex laws like Ireland (54%),  the USA (69%) and Portugal (72%) .

Is Australia gay friendly?

Obviously we have the Mardi Gras in Sydney. A major survey found that Australia is the 4th most gay friendly country in the world.

What do the polls say?

54% of Australian Christians support gay marriages in churches.

72% of all Australians support same sex marriages.

SUMMARY

  • Leaders of the major political parties in Australia  support it
  • Christians in Australia support it
  • Polls support it
  • Most western countries support it – with many being more religious than Australia
  • Any historical sanctity is based on oppression due to gender and religion

SO WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?

1. Gutless Leaders

When everything points to the majority of voters favouring a commonsense decision, that’s a cue to step up and make it happen. A strong leader wouldn’t hesitate.

2. The word “marriage”

The church would have no problem with a parallel status called a civil union, that did not use the word “marriage” – because they think they own that institution. This is not achievable by the government due to the mass of paperwork involved. Same sex marriage, on the other hand, just requires one new or amended law. All the other laws and documents that mention “marriage” would not need to be changed.

SOLUTION

It’s too late now, but if Malcolm Turnbull had just said “it’s obvious what the public wants, let’s have a conscience vote”, he’d gain enough popularity to see him through to a second term.

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Print

Yawn, politics again…

To be successful in a democracy, a politician needs to please the most people. The key to pleasing folk is to discover what they actually want.

So just ask them:

If someone could help you achieve it, what would you most want to do?

Obviously it needs to be asked to a lot of people, and a cross-section of society (a good excuse to find new ways of conducting surveys that aren’t biased towards bored people with landline phones). I figure this particular question works best if people are given time to ponder it.

You can guarantee that in the resulting answers there will be indicators as to what people really want from life. And then, within reason, give it to them.

Examples:

People want to experience foreign lands, but can’t afford it. Create a working holiday exchange program.

People want to open their own cafe. Create a TAFE course designed to guide them, but also save them from making costly mistakes.

People want to quit their minimum wage job and work on their art. Create a universal wage system.

People want to quit their minimum wage job and spend more time looking after their disadvantaged family member or friend. Create a universal wage system.

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438896403-quote-Horace-Mann-education-is-our-only-political-safety-outside-45411

As we have seen in the USA, if the majority of a democratic country doesn’t have the skills, intellect or education to understand the issues and what candidates truly offer… you get Trump.

I suggest that an improvement in political education is possible, if you get the right educators on board.

Most people interested enough in politics to spend a lot of time on it are on the intellectual side of things, or at least they are good at debating cleverly. They are not generally suited to educating the working class.. But some will be… we need to find them, train them, fund them and send them across the land.

Bipartisan won’t work, and most people hate being preached to on politics.

The solution is lively debates between experts in their field from opposing political parties and independents. I would expect a minimum of the two major parties plus one other, and preferably the two major parties plus a 3rd party and an independent or 4th party.

Critically, the debaters must make their arguments easily understood by common people. Those that are good at this might find they have a place in politics, from a background of expertise, with a ready fan base.

Each debate (on a new and different topic) should be held in a regional city or outer suburb of a major city. And of course made available online. After a month of online discussion and submissions from other interested parties, a repeat debate should occur in the original venue.

The ultimate goal is to get people interested in politics who otherwise would have shied away because they didn’t feel equipped to understand it all.

 

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Regarding the Asylum seeker impasse, what a shame we don’t already have a third body to help sort things. We have a cabinet and a shadow cabinet – neither of which usually have members with any skills or experience, pre-politics, to match their portfolios. I dream of a People’s Cabinet, democratically elected outside of the electoral system, staffed by men and women with genuine skills and experience. People outside of politics, with no allegiances. People who could come up with sensible solutions while our elected representatives play at smug gamesmanship.

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