“Tone” is the product of a representative democracy.
martin english

An open letter to Mr English

Thank you for your comments. A number of us are trying to promote more of a free exchange of ideas on Medium, though I have to say I wasn’t expecting such a sober response to what was essentially a parody, and not a very good one at that.

The thought of walking down the aisle irks me, yet I’ve attended many weddings of friends and family to show my support for their love and their life choices. It saddens me that I can’t do the same for all my friends.

Reforming the institution of marriage so it is no longer limited to heterosexual couples would do something to reduce its connection to outdated ‘notions of patriarchy and religious control’, as you put it. This is anathema to certain sections of our society who support the continuation of marriage’s patriarchal and/or religious heritage.

Post-script — a word on the binding or non-binding nature of plebiscites

There is one point in your response which I would like to explore a little further. I assume when you say a plebiscite ‘will be binding’, you are referring to the political risk in ignoring the people’s vote, rather than some kind of legal requirement to implement the outcome. There have been three plebiscites in Australia’s history, of which only one was carried (we voted to change our National Song in 1977). Still, it wasn’t until 1984 that the people’s choice, ‘Advance Australia Fair’, was officially proclaimed as our new national anthem — a full seven years after the people indicated their support. So, while we don’t have a lot of data to work from, it seems the political imperative from a plebiscite has not led to swift action in the past. While a plebiscite can be marketed to the public as the apogee of direct democracy, it can also be viewed as a delaying tactic — aimed at preserving the status quo for as long as possible.