In 2004, with the balance of power in his hands, former Prime Minister John Howard made a small amendment to the Marriage Act 1961, entering a definition of marriage as between ‘a man and a woman.’ Twelve years later, the now Liberal Government of Malcolm Turnbull are unable to undertake even an open vote in the House of Representatives to introduce a Bill to approve Marriage Equality. Whether we agree or disagree with the 2004 amendment, it shows the big difference between the past and present Liberal Governments. One had the guts to do what they thought right, the other is beholden to the far right wing of their party, unable to make any independent move in case they are rolled from their role as Party Leader.
Not long after the Liberal Party came to power under Prime Minister Tony Abbott, I got a job at a very well respected, and unbiased, economic policy think tank. It was very interesting job, but one I struggled with originally. I didn’t understand why, if we were supposed to be unbiased, only Liberal Ministers were permitted to be invited to speak on our platform. It felt lopsided to me. Surely, if we were to be not aligned to any one political party and we were supposed to be above politics and focused on the success of the Australian economy, both sides of the economic coin should be represented.