Plebiscite Lies, Updated

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pic Theresa Thompson

Last Saturday Angela Shanahan, writing in the Australian, once again repeated the lie that there is 70% public support for a plebiscite on same sex marriage. Now Atorney General George Brandis has also used the same erroneous figure.

The plebiscite itself is emerging as a bellwether issue, almost separate from the question of same-sex marriage. The plebiscite is about people power. It is about people having a say. The plebiscite has become symbolic of the theme of the whole election.

One only has to look at the overwhelming support for the plebiscite, running at about 69-70 per cent, to see having a say about a change that most Australians realise is pretty fundamental is as important as the change itself.

In fact, the 70% figure is “a fraud” spun by News Ltd and friends. I spoke with Matt Farrugia, well-respected pollster and Research Director of the Centre for Applied Political Psychology, who has conducted his own poll into the support for a plebiscite on behalf of Parents & Friends of Lesbians & Gays. A report of our conversation is here: the podcast is below.

Matt’s work demonstrates that, once people understand what the plebiscite is, support for a public vote drops to 40%. But that’s not the story the Christaliban Abbottites and their friends at News Ltd want you to hear.

Update: That hasn’t stopped George Brandis from repeating the lie yet again today July 24 on insiders. He again quoted the 70% figure.

This despite a new Galaxy poll also showing that public support for a plebiscite disappears once people know what it will cost, and more importantly, will not resolve the issue.

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About the author

Veteran gay writer and speaker, Doug was one of the founders of the UKs pioneering GLBTI newspaper Gay News (1972) , and of the second, Gay Week, and is a former Features Editor of Him International. He presented news and current affairs on JOY 94.9 FM Melbourne for more than ten years.

“Doug is revered, feared and reviled in equal quantities, at times dividing people with his journalistic wrath. Yet there is no doubt this grandpa-esque bear keeps everyone abreast of anything and everything LGBT across the globe.” (Daniel Witthaus, “Beyond Priscilla”, Clouds of Magellan, Melbourne, 2014)