It’s time for GLBTI Australia to put its foot down. We’ve waited 30 years for full equality, yet even after the 58 laws identified by HREOC are fixed, we’ll still have to re-elect Rudd at least twice before our relationships are given the full and equal respect they deserve under federal law.
Even religious-exempted federal anti-discrimination laws will not be introduced until the second term of a Rudd government – marriage or civil unions would take at least a third and officially the party line is still “never ever” on both. Do you really trust Labor to stay in government for another nine years?
If we want this struggle to come to an end before the Liberals return to power we need to send a clear message to Kevin Rudd that our votes can no longer be taken for granted. The best way of doing that is by voting Greens 1 in both houses.
Here’s why: the stronger the Greens are in the Senate, the more Labor will be forced to deal with our issues in its first term, while the more seats that go marginal to the Greens or where Greens preferences are essential in getting Labor over the line will influence what policies Labor takes to the next Federal election when it tries to win those voters back for a second.
Giving the Greens your second preference simply won’t cut it – unless they outpoll Labor in your electorate your vote will never be counted. Your vote has to go through the Greens first to make Labor feel it. Voting Democrats won’t do it either – a divided crossbench will only give Labor room to manoeuvre when negotiating in the Senate.
In contrast, the Greens’ Saeed Khan looks set to make Grayndler marginal – putting pressure on Labor’s Anthony Albanese to finish the job on GLBTI equality or risk losing it to Khan on Liberal preferences at the next election.
In Wentworth, where polling indicates close to one in six voters have already jumped ship to the Greens, it will be preferences from the Greens’ Susan Jarnason that get Labor over the line – Newhouse can’t do it alone. The same scenario will be repeated in other inner city marginals nationwide.
In the Senate, veteran pollster Malcolm Mackerras predicts the Greens will increase their numbers to at least seven, but with them polling 20 percent statewide in Tasmania and a well funded campaign in Victoria, the final number could feasibly be closer to nine. And as Territory senators enter parliament immediately, the ACT Greens’ Kerry Tucker is the only one who can break the Coalition senate majority before June next year when the new Senate sits.
For gay Liberals there’s no excuse either – once Howard is out, having Greens in the balance of power is the only thing that’s going to keep a Rudd Government scrutinised and accountable, and Labor can still negotiate with the Liberals to pass legislation where the Greens refuse to deal.
If we don’t send a message now and Rudd leaves office with the job unfinished, who knows how long it’s going to take? It’s time to get heard, people. Vote 1 Greens and vote 1 your rights.
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