Shelley’s Advice To Turnbull

Shelly Argent

Shelly Argent

Today, the coalition party room will meet for the first time since the election. Already Tony Abbott is in a snit, reportedly because he hasn’t been invited to join the ministry. He won’t like the advice Shelley Argent, of PFLAG, has for the meeting.

In a press released signed by herself and Rodney Croome, she insisted:

“The Coalition party room must drop the planned plebiscite and opt for a free vote on marriage equality instead.”

As national spokesperson for Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), she has sent all Coalition MPs and Senators the research conducted by the Centre for Applied Political Psychology (CAPP) which shows only 40% support for a plebiscite with 60% against or undecided, not the claimed 70%. Support plummets further when voters are made aware of the cost, and the fact it isn’t binding.

Last week I spoke with Matt Farrugia, who conducted the research. He explains how the 70% figure was manufactured.


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Ms Argent also sent covering letters vouching for the accuracy of the CAPP research, after a number of Coalition members sought to undermine its accuracy by declaring it “push polling”. She said,
“I want Coalition members to know that their costly, damaging and unnecessary plebiscite proposal does not have the support they think it does”.
“Independent academic expert, Dr Denis Muller, has confirmed the CAPP research is sound and accurate so there are no excuses to ignore it.”
“The Coalition party room must drop the planned plebiscite and opt for a free vote on marriage equality instead.”

 

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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)