Don’t Boycott The Evil Postal Poll

by Christian Heilmann

Cat Clark writes: “No one is going to give up their Sunday morning to go door to door explaining why they’re not doing something.”

I campaigned against the stupid marriage equality plebiscite, and I dearly hope the high court challenge to this evil postal poll prevails.

But with only two weeks to register to vote should the high court challenge not be successful, the LGBTQIA+ community has been put in the position where they are deciding whether or not to boycott this debacle.

I offer some reasons to NOT boycott the stupid, hateful postal plebiscite on marriage equality that the Liberals brainfarted out in their ongoing campaign to satiate their homophobic right:

Boycotting is exactly what the bad guys want you to do

Every political hatchet-head in the world knows that if you haven’t got the numbers, the way to rig a ballot is to take votes OUT

Boycotts demobilise activists around the issues at stake

“We want marriage equality but we’re not going to participate in this vote about it” is the antithesis of campaigning. It’s literally staying home when you could be on the streets, doorknocking, making arguments, talking to people. This does not grow a movement. It does not recruit. No one is going to give up their Sunday morning to go door to door explaining why they’re not doing something.

The bad guys aren’t going to boycott

They’re going to fiercely seize this opportunity to propagandise like crazy. One group has already printed a million hate leaflets and you bet they’re going to hand them out. We owe it to the community to fight as fiercely with a counter narrative to negate the poison they are spreading. You choosing not to engage with the process won’t stop your neighbours receiving homophobic propaganda in the postbox.

Force opponents to exhaust their resources

I, for one, want the bad guys to burn as many resources as they’ve got on this farce, because if we turn our our people, we will win and their investment in pamphlets and posters and Facebook advertising will be for naught. I want them to spend so much money that their movements are weakened and broken – so they can’t mobilise any of their other pet causes, like climate denial or fighting taxation. That’s in all our interests.

If NO wins, Tony Abbott wins

You know who is leading the “no” campaign? Tony Abbott. And if he’s victorious with a no vote, that relegitimises him within his party as someone capable of winning elections. With Turnbull so weak and battered, 17 consecutive poll losses down, if Abbott brings this home, he’ll prove that he can deliver victories through tactics. The Liberals don’t really care about issues or personalities – they just care about staying in power.

Is low voter turnout a boycott or apathy

The government can claim that people just aren’t interested enough in the issue to care. There is no political momentum to be gained with that outcome.

A NO win deprives Labor of a mandate

Counting on a Labor victory to bring the issue home at the next election is fanciful if the vote goes ahead and the vote is no. A loss will deprive Labor of a mandate to prioritise the issue – just like what happened after the Republic referendum failed in 1999. Not to mention that if Labor have made this one of their signature issues and the plebiscite votes no, that weakens the perception of Labor in the electorate – they’ll be rendered marginal outliers out of step with popular opinion. Electoral poison.

Very few politicians will vote NO once the people say YES

Yes, the poll is non binding. But if a thunderous YES vote is returned, any single person in the parliament who votes no in a house vote will be voting against the expressed will of the Australian people and that NEVER goes down well here – not even with no voters. They will be marking themselves as contrarians and outliers.

Winning proves we’re right

If we fight this and win it, it PROVES what we have been saying all along; that the majority is on our side, that the delays have just been because of infighting in the Coalition party room, that Australians are ahead of the government on this one. It will destroy any notion that there remains any political capital in homophobia.

A win will drive further changes

It will enshrine the issues of human rights and equality in the consciousness of a generation and give Labor progressive political capital and electoral confidence to build upon ahead of the next election on a WHOLE RANGE of issues. It will be momentum for transformational political change.

BREXIT. Trump! Power goes to who shows up

Hopefully, the high court challenge will prevail, but if it doesn’t BE PREPARED: enrol to vote here->