How To Get The Best Abbott Govt We Can & How To Survive It

Winter sunset, by Ian Barbour

Winter Is Coming: Prepare For Life Under Abbott

As the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy says,  DON’T PANIC! Yes, life will get harder under a Coalition government, especially one led by a man like Tony Abbott, and especially for LGBTI, but it isn’t the end of the world.

As we used to tell ourselves in the depths of the darkest, bone-chilling nights under the Lidless Eye of the Slaughterer of Belgrano, “All things pass; this may also.”

I mean, you can tell how awful it used to be. We thought John Major was an improvement. And Tony Blair was actually welcome, at the time.

So everybody calm down. We just have to figure out how to get through the next six years.

First, there are only two parties standing in the election unequivocally committed to full equality for every Australian regardless of sex (or lack of), gender, orientation, country of origin etc etc : The Greens, and the Australian Sex Party.

The Labor Party no longer counts: it will be out of power for at least three years, more likely six or more. As the LGBTI community, we are too small to prevent that. We can plan to chat with them again in, say, 2018.

OK, so, rather than running round like proverbial decapitated domestic poultry, bewailing an Abbottaclypse, what can we do?

Before the Vote

Build bridges to the Coalition. Work out which bits of it we can work with, and which not. Campaign for those who pledge to campaign publicly for us, and who live up to that promise during the election. Campaign against  those who campaign against us, or say nothing.

BE SELECTIVE – don’t just bag them all on the basis that they’re Liberals or Nationals. There are some human beings in there too, though they can be hard to spot.

How to Vote

We can register our displeasure at Labor’s cowardice in the matter of our rights. We owe them that much. But once again – BE SELECTIVE. Put them SECOND TO LAST on all ballot papers, unless:

Your local Labor candidate

  • has publicly declared they will in any and all circumstances support full LGBTI equality, including full marriage equality.
  • has  publicly worked for it through the whole of the current parliament.
  • no last-minute bandwagon jumpers!

Or unless he’s Doug Cameron, because

  • his name is Doug
  • I love his accent
  • he speaks truth – we want more like him

(Just an aside here: ignore How To Vote Cards and NEVER vote above the line in the Senate. That’s just stupid. Use one of the online tools available to work out how to best distribute your preferences, print out the result, and take it to the booth with you.)

No LGBTI person in their right mind can possibly vote for the Coalition, especially not under George Pell Tony Abbott. Put them LAST on all ballot papers: the ONLY excuses  I will accept is if you are

  • congenitally incapable of voting for anyone else by reason of insanity, and
  • the Coalition candidate in your constituency has, prior to the ballot, given a binding written pledge to cross the floor to support LGBTI equality, including full equal marriage, regardless of any position they might hold in the incoming government

“Full equal marriage” means no difference between same sex and opposite sex couples. “Marriage” that excludes adoption rights, IVF rights, surrogacy rights or any other rights heterosexuals get, is not equality.

OK, that leaves

Who To Vote For

First, ignore all that tripe that says a first preference for a Green will ‘let in Abbott’. If you do as I have instructed, and always put the Coalition candidate last, and the Labor second to last, the vote will go to Labor in the end.

Second, that will let Labor know that before we support them again, they have to grow a pair and chuck out all the Joe De Bruyns and other Christaliban extremists.

Third, the other object of the exercise is to ensure that an overwhelmingly tighty-whitey-righty lower house is balanced out by a rainbow-green-sexy upper one, with which Abbott will be forced to compromise.

So unless all of the above conditions apply.


  • Vote Green Number One In Both Houses
  • Vote ASP Number Two in Both Houses (if there’s a candidate in your seat, otherwise pick a socialist splinter party).
  • Put Labor Second To Last.
  • Put Coalition Last.

It’s a bit different over on the IPA Dark Side, but you can still help. Free marketeers should have no qualms supporting a party bankrolled by the porn and prostitution industry, the most enterprising sector of the economy, with plenty of risk-taking entrepreneurs, small businesses and single traders. It is, after all, simply capitalism with its knickers off.


  • Vote ASP Number One In Both Houses (if there’s a candidate in your seat – otherwise hold your nose and vote Green – there’s no risk your party will lose the election)
  • Vote Green Number Two in Both Houses
  • Put Coalition Second To Last.
  • Put Labor Last.

After the election

Lie about who you voted for

Keep building those bridges: the aim is a pro-marriage majority of MPs in every party and in both houses.

Keep up the rallies. Broaden the base of Equal Love supporters to include right and centre – take the politics out of it. Burn the red flags. And put the right and centre at the front of the March. Ali Hogg to join the CWAA.

Keep working  with sympathetic Christians

Petition Pope Francis to sack George Pell. I reckon with all the muck that’s coming out of these inquiries, that should be pretty easy.

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)