Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Yes!

Does Australia Have A Government Yet?

I am not disappointed by the choice, although I would have been happy to see Tony Abbott as our PM. In the current context, to be handed government is to be handed something of a poison chalice.

One aspect of the new government actually frightens the willies out of me, and that is the possibility of a private members bill from Adam Bandt (Greens) for same-sex marriage. According to the new agreement it would get a hearing. However, also according to the new agreement, it would have to go to a Parliamentary Committee because it would be regarded as a "controversial" piece of legislation. What are the chances, do you think, of the current parliament voting something like this in? Certainly it would find the support necessary in the Senate after next July, with 10 Greens Senators holding the balance of power. The real question is, would it find 76 (or more) supporters in the lower house?

48 Comments:

At Wednesday, September 08, 2010 10:40:00 am , Anonymous Peter Golding said...

David,do you think MP's will get a conscience vote on this issue or be forced to vote on party lines?

 
At Wednesday, September 08, 2010 12:41:00 pm , Anonymous Alexander said...

I don't see it the same way you do, Peregrinus. Parties will be hunting for every preference they can possibly get, especially the 5% of SAns whos voted FFP. Both parties also went to the election with clear promises not to touch marriage. *Something* motivated both Abbott and Gillard to oppose gay marrigae before to do that...

Thing is, marriage in Australia is I think almost entirely a cultural institution, not a legal one. What rights to married couples have that unmarried ones don't have after a few years of being defacto?

Also, what leads you to say that pollies are more liberal than voters as a whole? I've always supposed it was the opposite, although maybe that's just because they tend to be older on average.

 
At Wednesday, September 08, 2010 1:16:00 pm , Anonymous Alexander said...

I said: I think they would even do well out of a double dissolution if it had’ve come to that.

I meant "they would've done well", that is, if Abbott had've been prime minister, an early election (despite the media's hostility to the idea) wouldn't've hurt his chances at reelection.

 
At Wednesday, September 08, 2010 5:58:00 pm , Anonymous Tony said...

I agree with your assessment Alexander. Here in SA the sky didn't fall in and we had a minority government with indies (in one case our only National Party member) in the Cabinet. It worked so well for Labor that they governed in their own right in the following elections.

For the opposition, it means the target of their opposition is not just Labor but Labor+. They simply can't be as gung-ho in their opposition given that they may need indies themselves one day.

Of course it call all go pear-shaped very quickly, but as long as Labor can make it work -- and that is the big question -- there will be more honey in the chalice than poison.

 
At Wednesday, September 08, 2010 6:07:00 pm , Anonymous Tony said...

Essentially I agree with you Pere.

This is new territory in many ways, but if the effect of a private members bill is that is works like a conscience vote, I think some sort of gay marriage bill will get in by a good majority and the only people who'll oppose it will be those on the right of the Coalition (I'm not sure that is as true of Labor -- Gillard may offer token opposition to appear to be consistent with her pre-election statements).

In the previous parliament it was an issue that Labor may have been inclined to be in favor of -- I simply can't believe that a woman living in 'sin' is against it for reasons of principle! --but wouldn't have been game to risk. Now I can imagine it can be voted for with little political downside.

 
At Wednesday, September 08, 2010 8:24:00 pm , Anonymous Terra said...

I can't see that either major party can allow a conscience vote in this term on this given their election commitments, and Labor's refusal to concede on this issue in response to bids from Wilkie and the Greens in the negotiation process.

Both parties made commitments; both parties need the Christian vote come the next election, and the numbers in favour of same sex 'marriage' do not yet stack up.

Its only a matter of time though since the gay lobby is out there actively campaign and no one seems to be making a very strong case in rebuttal.

 
At Wednesday, September 08, 2010 9:01:00 pm , Anonymous Matthias said...

Speaking of the camouflaged greenAndrew Wilkie,I emialed him regarding his push to debate the troops staying the course in Afghanistan,a few days ago. no response yet but await with interest his reply. My interest- i have a son about to depart for basic training at Kapooka- recruit training regiment,then further training as a armoured car crewman at Puckapunyal. He has been told he could be Over There 8 to 18 months after joining.

 
At Wednesday, September 08, 2010 10:14:00 pm , Anonymous Tony said...

Both parties made commitments; both parties need the Christian vote come the next election, and the numbers in favour of same sex ‘marriage’ do not yet stack up.

Aren't you being presumptuous about the 'Christian' vote Terra?

 
At Wednesday, September 08, 2010 10:22:00 pm , Anonymous Tony said...

I shouldn’t have used the word polygamy, what about any combination? How about 2 men and 3 women as a marriage?

Whatever you call it, Paul, I think it's still a 'slippery slope' argument as presented.

 
At Thursday, September 09, 2010 12:00:00 am , Anonymous Gareth said...

Mmm Tony, you dismiss my views because I suggest that a highly biased poll commissioned by a highly biased group is dubious (I would say that is good critical thinking on my behalf) and that from my experience I believe that the majority of Australian are as a matter of fact opposed to homosexual marriage (not a hard fact to disprove considering Julia Gillard's and Penny Wongs stance) and yet you then suggest that you know better than God???

What you believe is good for you but is irrelevant here because as Catholics we believe that God has laid out his plan and moral code for mankind and this can not be argued with, neither mocked.

We are not discussing warped views here, but the eternal truth of God.

 
At Thursday, September 09, 2010 3:15:00 am , Anonymous Peter Golding said...

Point taken Tony,but it must be remembered that state govts are largely about the delivery of services-health,education,law & order etc.
Federal govt is a different animal in that there are many "big picture"policy platforms such as immigration,foreign affairs,indiginous affairs,industrial relations,welfare and the environment.Good luck to Jules trying to please everybody on these issues.

 
At Thursday, September 09, 2010 3:28:00 am , Anonymous Tony said...

You're right, Peter, extrapolation from State to Federal might be risky (as with any predictions in the current climate!) but they're both about managing power-oriented egos and consultation and negotiation.

While the situation is less stable than a clear majority, I don't think 'Jules' will be too overwhelmed at least not in terms of the survival of the govt. There may be some legislative programs that have to run the gauntlet of endless argy bargy and some that may just not get up, but if it proves largely workable, 'Jules' will come out better for it in electoral terms.

I also think that many Liberals will start remembering that Tony Abbott got in by one or two votes if he starts to lose popularity and their record for replacing leaders is a whole lot worse than Labor's.

 
At Thursday, September 09, 2010 3:50:00 am , Anonymous Gareth said...

Grow Up Tony.

 
At Thursday, September 09, 2010 4:03:00 am , Anonymous Schütz said...

The fact that someone rejects one of the key characteristics of the Christian concept of marriage

Point of order there, Perry. We're not arguing about a specifically "Christian" view of marriage. We are arguing about a understanding of the nature of that which we human beings call "marriage" which has been universally shared by the entire human race from the very beginning. No society, no religion, no race, no tribe anywhere EVER has ever even imagined that what goes on between two people of the same sex (however taboo or accepted) could be described as "marriage". That's the real point. This is a radical shift of ground unprecedented in human history. It is hard to argue that accepting such a radical redefinition of "marriage" would be inconsequential for genuine marriage.

 
At Thursday, September 09, 2010 4:10:00 am , Anonymous Schütz said...

I am rather surprised at your support for same-sex "marriage", Tony. Perhaps you could tell us what you consider to be the essential definition or characteristic of the relationship we call "marriage", so that we can understand where you are coming from.

 
At Thursday, September 09, 2010 4:49:00 am , Anonymous Peregrinus said...

Hi David

I'm not arguing that it has no consequences. I'm only saying that it is not inevitable that the consequences will in particular include a rejection of the exclusive nature of marriage (as understood in the West).

 
At Thursday, September 09, 2010 5:06:00 am , Anonymous Tony said...

PS: Re Liberal 'memory'.

24 hours later and there's rumbling in the camp with Coalition MPs going for the independents and rumours that 'The Cockroach' may not survive this time.

One thing that 'Jules' has on her side -- albeit tentatively -- is the 'spoils of victory' and this may make it easier to keep her troops in line. The old 'crash or crash through' Abbott may have been supressed for the election campaign, but who knows if and when it will surface again?

 
At Thursday, September 09, 2010 5:36:00 am , Anonymous Gareth said...

I disagree Pere - infact there is a case before the Canadian Supreme Court that is arguing that since certain legal rights have been extended to homosexuals, why not polygamists?

One cant be consistent and argue that society should legally or socially look favourably upon homsexuality, whilst condemening polygamists relationships on the other hand. It is sheer hypocrosy.

 
At Thursday, September 09, 2010 5:36:00 am , Anonymous Alexander said...

If it did, then this is a horse which bolted long ago. For well over a hundred and fifty years both civil law and popular morality have rejected the notion that marriage is indissoluble and irrevocable.

I don't think it's true to say that civil law and popular morality have rejected indissoluble and irrevocable marriage, except inasmuch as they've rejected them in their absolute cases. Even the Catholic Church recognises that there are cases in which an apparent marriage may be terminated.

However, I do think gay marriage stems directly from the modern conception of marriage brought about (wordwide) with divorce-on-demand in the 1970s and contraception in the decades preceding that.

 
At Thursday, September 09, 2010 5:39:00 am , Anonymous Alexander said...

I shouldn’t have used the word polygamy, what about any combination? How about 2 men and 3 women as a marriage?

Be not mistaken; although in a liberal society that permits multiple relationships like you describe, there will be some non-traditional ones. But the main beneficiaries will be "traditional" polygamous/polygynous marriages because it is the only form that can be considered natural. This is why I said earlier "Because, at the end of the day, the beneficiaries will predominately be hims".

By the way, isn’t polyamorous a beautiful word? Its meaning may be a bit dodgy, but the word is wonderful.

It's an evil word! It combines a Latin root with a Greek prefix! Far better had the concept been called "multiamory"...

 
At Thursday, September 09, 2010 5:45:00 am , Anonymous Alexander said...

Why is it a good thing to encourage long term, faithful, loving relationships for heterosexuals? Your premiss is only valid if the justification for long-term heterosexual relationships can be applied equally to homosexual ones, but it my mind it can't be.

 
At Thursday, September 09, 2010 8:04:00 am , Anonymous Louise said...

I don't think gays (or at least very many of them) are really all that interested in an exclusive and thoroughly monogamous, life-long relationship though.

 
At Thursday, September 09, 2010 8:06:00 am , Anonymous Louise said...

I don't think the OT endorses polygamy exactly. It just describes the instances of it. Seems to me that this was merely tolerated. I often think the book of Genesis (and perhaps the OT generally) could be subtitled "Patriarchs behaving badly." IOW just b/c the Patriarchs did it (murder and what-not) doesn't mean it's okay!

 
At Thursday, September 09, 2010 8:08:00 am , Anonymous Louise said...

Well, there are Christians and then there are secularists-with-a-bit-of-God-sprinkled-on-top. The latter pretty well describes the UCA as far as I can tell.

 
At Thursday, September 09, 2010 8:11:00 am , Anonymous Louise said...

I think the (very, very few) gay people who actually want to marry are trying to be subversive. But that doesn't mean that the thing itself will not be subversive.

 
At Thursday, September 09, 2010 8:13:00 am , Anonymous Louise said...

I confess, I have found this whole election thing has bored me to tears. But then, I have a new baby to enjoy!

 
At Thursday, September 09, 2010 10:27:00 am , Anonymous Tom said...

Alexander is correct Per - just because marriage at the moment is called 'exclusive' why does that mean it should always necessarily be so? If someone is poly-amorous maybe they will want to be married, just to several people at once. If the definition of marriage is already giving way to 'two people' instead of 'a man and a woman' why not make it: "an exclusive union between two or more people voluntarily entered in to for as long as is deemed convenient."

The selection of 'two people' represents something rather unique - that is, a man and a woman are the unique identity that is the unity of our species (species here understood in the Metaphysical term of 'a unity of difference'). If we are going to abandon the point of a unity in difference (that is we take homogeneity rather than difference) then we might as well take the point of it being two people to be another meaningless social construct.

 
At Thursday, September 09, 2010 10:35:00 am , Anonymous Tom said...

yeah but polyerotica doesn't sound nearly as good, nor does multiamory...

 
At Thursday, September 09, 2010 7:50:00 pm , Anonymous Paul G said...

I'm sorry for violating David's rule of one post from one person, but I just wanted to add the practical point that any legislation about gay marriage has to address:

-whether or not a gay couple has access to government funded IVF
-the legal rights of churches and marriage celebrants to refuse to marry a couple on the basis that they are both men or both women.

Unless the proposed law makes these clear, it is a fraud and is intended to be just a staging post on the way to further social engineering.

 
At Thursday, September 09, 2010 8:07:00 pm , Anonymous Gareth said...

Another interesting point on the topic is the word 'marriage' gets its defintion from the fact that the female 'maiden' is no longer so.

 
At Thursday, September 09, 2010 9:36:00 pm , Anonymous Pax said...

Ultimately even if the Laws of our land continue to diverge from Truth it does not alter our individual obligation to live in Truth and Love
What does it profit any one of us if we are feted and loved by the world and lose our soul?
All that a politician can do is vote according to his conscience which for a Catholic is formed by the teachings of the Church handed down over 2000 years and protected from error by the Holy Spirit.
Christian politicians should take comfort that they live in less life threatening times than Thomas More!

 
At Friday, September 10, 2010 1:15:00 am , Anonymous Gareth said...

I just have to sit and listen on why you dont find the Church's 'arguements' convincing because your 'personal experience' with a few friends tells you otherwise ?

 
At Friday, September 10, 2010 1:46:00 am , Anonymous Tony said...

I guess you 'just have to' do what you 'just have to' do, Gareth.

 
At Friday, September 10, 2010 2:36:00 am , Anonymous Schütz said...

Just a point of order, Paul, in our discussion. We should be clear that the Church does not define Marriage as a "sacrament". Marriage between baptised Christians is a sacrament, but the Church recognises and upholds every legally contracted marriage between a man and a woman in which neither partner has a previous, currently-living spouse. "Natural" marriage is still very much a true marriage, even if it does not have the character of "a sacrament" because one or both of the partners is not baptised. So we should be clear that we are not arguing for a religious defition of marriage here, but marriage according to natural law.

 
At Friday, September 10, 2010 2:44:00 am , Anonymous Schütz said...

Polygamy and monogamy are BOTH forms of marriage, even though the Church (and, for that matter, most Western states) recognises only monogamy as legal. Even in situations where a man is able by the law of the land or by custom to marry more than one wife, this is not a single marriage, but a series of co-existant marriage contracts between a man and a woman (where the man in question is the same man in each of the contracts). Both forms of marriage have existed in society, sometimes in the same society at the same time, as with the Israelites. Polygamy is not a perfect reflection of the divine plan for the union of man and woman, but can still be seen to be within the "traditional" definition of marriage. Both monogamy and polygamy fulfill the Thomistic definition of the purpose of marriage, ie. the procreation and support of children, and the mutual support of a man and a woman. The suggested "same-sex marriage" is something of a completely different order - especially in so far as it cannot be "fruitful" in childbearing - such that it cannot truly be called a form of marriage at all.

 
At Friday, September 10, 2010 2:49:00 am , Anonymous Schütz said...

Thanks for this link, Tom. Very interesting. I have read somewhere that in fact Jewish polygamy continued to exist right into medieval times until conformity with Christian laws proved advantageous. I have no references for that. But it is clear that Jewish and Christian thought on this matter are closely related.

 
At Friday, September 10, 2010 3:12:00 am , Anonymous Schütz said...

As the Catechism says in 1664 and 2387, monogamy best serves the uniative and exclusive purpose of marriage. I believe that this belief was strengthened by the Pauline theology comparing marriage to the relationship between Christ and the Church. which is by definition uniative and exclusive. The Christian's relationship to Christ is exclusive of all other comparible relationships. In this sense, the roots of monogamy are actually in the prophetic tradition of the OT itself, where Yahweh is described as Israel's husband to the exclusion of all others.

 
At Friday, September 10, 2010 3:21:00 am , Anonymous Tony said...

But marriages occur where the couples choose or have no choice in regards to children.

The church itself would happily bless the marriage of a couple who were too old to have children (maybe a first spouse died, for example).

I see the notion of 'procreative' as not narrowly about the production of children.

My wife and I will have no more kids, but I don't think that brings the curtain down on the 'pro-creative' nature of our union.

 
At Friday, September 10, 2010 3:40:00 am , Anonymous Schütz said...

The Church supports couples who, for unfortunate reasons beyond their choice, cannot have children (see Catechism 2379). The Church does not endorse the choice to remain childless as a legitimate choice for marriage.

 
At Friday, September 10, 2010 3:46:00 am , Anonymous Tony said...

I know David. I'm exploring the notion that children are an essential part of marriage (either for the state or the church) and the exceptions I gave suggest that they are not.

Also you said,

The only reason the State supports “long term, faithful, loving relationships for heterosexuals” is that they produce children, and stable marriages in which children can be raised and supported are a positive good for both the state and society. Since “homosexual marriages” are inherantly childless (unless they rob someone else of their child) they cannot be regarded to serve the same positive good for the State.

Rob, David?

 
At Friday, September 10, 2010 12:06:00 pm , Anonymous Tom said...

Hrmm, we'll see! :)

 
At Friday, September 10, 2010 6:44:00 pm , Anonymous Paul G said...

thanks David, I didn't understand it that way. Is that only true of marriage when one or both partners are Christian, or does it include non-Christian marriage?

 
At Saturday, September 11, 2010 3:00:00 am , Anonymous Paul G said...

Can somebody else please make another comment, so this thread breaks the 3 digit barrier? I wouldn't want David to be bowled for 99.

 
At Saturday, September 11, 2010 5:26:00 pm , Anonymous Louise said...

Well, I am very disappointed with the choice, but seriously, was it ever really going to be anyone other than the ALP? Would the Greens ever support the Libs over the ALP?

 
At Saturday, September 11, 2010 5:27:00 pm , Anonymous Louise said...

I hope the independents enjoyed their 23457645276346 minutes of fame!

 
At Saturday, September 11, 2010 5:33:00 pm , Anonymous Louise said...

Presumably the actual point of the whole exercise is merely to destroy marriage. I mean, the ideology behind all this, not necessarily the individuals who support the idiotic notion of gay marriage.

 
At Saturday, September 11, 2010 5:37:00 pm , Anonymous Louise said...

Polygamy at any rate is disgusting. I rather think that polygamy in the OT was accommodated in the Law, just as divorce was, "because of your hardness of heart, but from the beginning it was not so."

It seems pretty clear to me from the words of Our Lord, that God's intention was for one man joined to one woman (until death).

 
At Saturday, September 11, 2010 5:47:00 pm , Anonymous Louise said...

I don't know, Pere. Many of them will tell you that marriage is "just a bit of paper" which is a far cry from the beautiful words of the Anglican marriage ceremony.

 

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