An exercise in futility

Monday, September 11, 2017 - 14:25

As an analyst sifting through facts, you don’t allow personal emotions, likes or dislikes to get in the way. With the up and coming postal vote on Yes or No to same sex marriage, the result will be a NO. This is how it was possible to publish that Trump would become president, even before he was nominated or why BREXIT occured. However this is yet another example of “Dead cat (or dead tortoise) on the table” since at the end of the exercise nothing will have been achieved except the expenditure of some $110,000,000 of taxpayers, our money, and the distraction away from important issues of majority daily life. Anyone heard of North Korea?

Even as a distraction, the exercise will have done more harm than good. The outcome will have polarised public opinion and pushed people who otherwise would not have had an issue with either a yes or no into taking a stand. And the whole exercise opens a whole new can of worms.

Taking it from the top, if we are looking at an eventual result, what exactly is a meaningful outcome? Given that you’re not going to have 100% one way or the other, does 30% become meaningful or does it have to be a higher or lower percentage? And is that 30% of what percentage of people responding? Will the overall exercise be credible given the weights conducted and how secure is a postal ballot when people can simply steal ballot papers out of letterboxes particularly in large-scale housing complexes? We have already seen people offering their vote for sale on eBay.

Despite the outcome of this postal vote anyway, we have no guidance on how the results will be interpreted in Parliament as to legitimacy among other reasons, nor how any specific legislation would be drafted. Remember the Republic referendum debacle which simply ask whether people wanted a Republic with a president elected by the Parliament. The outcome we will never know since even the people who might’ve wanted a republic might not have trusted the politicians to decide on a president. Remember also that politicians already couldn't decide how to handle this marriage question themselves in parliament.

The worst part about this indecisive way of commenting on a policy issue is that it will polarise two sides of an argument which did not really need to be there in the first place. When legislation was introduced to give same-sex couples equal rights as in marriage without actually pronouncing it as such, this was introduced without a public murmur. All the debate now about formalising marriage which was originally designed to establish legality of offspring rather than for any religious purpose suggests ulterior motives which puts the process under suspicion.

Questions have already been raised in the media on whether the extreme left wing are using this marriage debate simply to stir their own agenda rather than feeling deep sympathy for people who might just want to get married. Then we have more worms when you look at the percentage of failed marriages between man/woman couples and how this might play out under a new type of relationship. Is the Family Court structured to handle all these issues? Does it raise the question on whether marriage itself is an outdated institution with so many couples simply living togeather? Does it raise a debate on religion itself?

An analysis of interpersonal relationships can be extended considerably where it could be argued that same-sex marriage might be necessary or inevitable as where in China there are reportedly 40 million more males than females. There have also been unsuccessful societies that have tried to take children from their parents to raise them collectively, so the debate continues on whether this social engineering is a natural human development given that parents now have less time to devote in upbringing. We also have the dichotomy of parents having to spend considerable amounts of money on their children’s upbringing and education, this as against single sex childless marriages who want all the benefits of marriage without those financial constraints.

The issues this debate raises is endless and that is before considering the rights of children brought up by same-sex couples who might of course be loving parents but raises the question of paternal love for a child not your own. It also raises a series of questions along the same lines and in the minds of more conservative people on whether any such child brought up under a union of same-sex marriage is going to be indoctrinated no matter what their otherwise normal biology may be. So as the list goes on, even without having a particular bias for either a yes or no response, the reality is that no matter what the outcome, this exercise will have been one of futility...