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Redmond quits

The South Australian Liberals will choose a new leader on Monday after Isobel Redmond announced this morning her increasingly beleagured tenure had come to an end.

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Months after surviving a leadership challenge by a solitary vote, Isobel Redmond has pulled the plug on her three-and-a-half year spell as leader of the South Australian Liberals. Her successor will be chosen at a secret party room ballot at 9am on Monday. The hot tip had been that Alexander Downer would be drafted in to take the reins, but his denials today have been fairly emphatic. Deputy leader Steven Marshall appears to be a likely starter on Monday; the unsuccessful challenger from November, Martin Hamilton-Smith, is also presumably considering his options. This post will be feature updates on events as they transpire.

UPDATE (1/2/13): Daniel Wills of the Advertiser:

FIRST-term MP Steven Marshall is firming to become state Liberal leader after Isobel Redmond’s shock resignation, but senior party sources insist he will only take the job “on his own terms”.

Lucille Keen of the Financial Review:

The surprise move has pushed her deputy, Steven Marshall, into the leader’s position pending a party-room vote on Monday.

Insiders say he is likely to win that vote but speculation is still intense about the possibility that Mr Downer will lead the party to the March 2014 poll.

Paul Starick of the Advertiser:

It remains more likely, if he is to assume the leadership, that Mr Downer would wait until later in the year before declaring his hand.

Equally, he might just let the issue fizzle out if a new leader performs strongly.

UPDATE (2/2/13): Steven Marshall has appeared for a symbolism-packed photo opportunity with bitter 90s leadership rivals John Olsen and Dean Brown, who have both announced their support for his leadership bid. Olsen had “reportedly been a backer of the Downer option”. Downer was not available for comment yesterday.

William Bowe — Editor of The Poll Bludger

William Bowe

Editor of The Poll Bludger

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, is one of the most heavily trafficked forums for online discussion of Australian politics, and joined the Crikey stable in 2008.

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76 comments

76 thoughts on “Redmond quits

  1. Toorak Toff

    Steven Marshall has been likened to a Liberal Mike Rann. He has a lean and hungry look. Such men are dangerous.

  2. Carey Moore

    This is my comment on the subject, from the other thread, repeated:

    Isobel Redmond quits as SA Liberal leader. About time. She had lost control of her leadership and nobody had faith in her any more. Also her “rational” and “moderate” facade had dropped and she was starting to look extreme. As for her successor, Downer has said no, MHS most definitely will throw his hat in and Marshall has yet to decide. If Marshall says yes, the contest might be quite close. My view on the leaders’ potential: MHS would lose the election , Marshall would win. However, I suspect the Libs may want Marshall to prove he can retain Dunstan (currently Norwood) before they elect him, as the seat is a marginal (but not razor-thin), thus my gut feeling is MHS will be leader but I could be wrong – they may feel that they might as well strike with Marshall now.

  3. Diogenes

    Carey

    Agree with your comments.

    Marshall could easily win but MHS is a loser, and the SA Libs are very very good at losing.

  4. ShowsOn

    [Marshall could easily win but MHS is a loser, and the SA Libs are very very good at losing.]
    Marshall is in his first term in parliament! He would be a huge risk.

    If Downer took on the job in a Campbell Newman style leadership deal, he would win the next election easily.

  5. Carey Moore

    [If Downer took on the job in a Campbell Newman style leadership deal, he would win the next election easily.]

    He’s not running.

    Also, I don’t think Downer’s victory as Lib leader would be certain. He certainly has a lot of drawbacks that could harm him.

    The Libs need young, Adelaide-based moderates to give the party appeal in the metro area, where the votes are. People like Marshall fit that bill.

  6. Diogenes

    SO

    I agree but I really hope Downer doesn’t take the job. I couldn’t stand seeing him all over again. I’ve only just gotten over the Howard years.

  7. BH

    Dio – what’s the feeling in SA about MHS?

  8. Diogenes

    BH

    MHS is considered a nice buffoon. His heart is in the right place but he’s inept. A bit of a Bertie Wooster character but with an army background (think Dickie Mountbatten).

    Weatherill is way out ahead of MHS.

  9. Carey Moore

    I’ve heard that Marshall is (obviously) gauging his support in the party and, if it’s not that strong, he may approach MHS to retain his deputy spot in an unopposed unity ticket and thus keep his powder dry for later. One thing that may go against that logic is that, if MHS performs poorly at the election, Marshall may be one of the seat casualties…

  10. BH

    Thanks Dio. Has my family name in his but I can’t place which branch he comes from. I’m not necessarily happy that he’s a Dickie Mountbatten.

    So without a strong leader does that give SA Labor another go? It’s such a long time in power.

  11. Diogenes

    BH

    The new SA Labor team is almost unrecognisable from the old Rann one with all the top dogs gone except Weatherill. Rann, Foley, Atkinson, Hill, Holloway, Conlon etc were about 95% of the old Labor.

  12. zoidlord

    Will SA Liberals be able to recover in time for the election? or another question would be, how long before another liberal leader to take the reigns?

  13. Independently Thinking

    MHS doesn’t have the numbers but he is trying to convince SM he has so that SM stays as Deputy. I don’t think SM is that naive. SM it will be, unopposed.

  14. spur212

    My money is on a return to Iain Evans with Stephen Marshall (who’s too inexperienced to be leader) as deputy.

    Martin Hamilton Smith has done far too much damage to himself over the last four years.

  15. Carey Moore

    [Will SA Liberals be able to recover in time for the election?]

    If they choose the right person to lead and pull themselves in line, definitely. (There’s still 13 months)

    [or another question would be, how long before another liberal leader to take the reigns?]

    Whoever wins the leadership vote (barring a stalemate-like situation on Monday) will most likely be leader at the election. Mood is they want to get this shit over and done with and focus on the government from this point on.

  16. Peter of Marino

    Martin Hamilton – Whatever lost all credibility after that secret Scientology email he manufactured badly…..

  17. gloryconsequence

    SA average joe is crying out for a fresh face.

    It’ll be Marshall.

  18. Carey Moore

    Other thing that works for Marshall is where the marginal belt is. A lot of inner to mid-suburban seats starting mid-south to northeast. Marshall would directly appeal to them.

  19. GhostWhoVotes

    Steven Marshall is running for the Liberal leadership.

    The Australian: Redmond deputy ‘best one to reunite party’

  20. Toorak Toff

    At last the SA Libs are on a winner. Steven Marshall is street smart and a good snake oil salesman. Like Jay Weatherill, Marshall is a boy from the western suburbs and a Port Adelaide football supporter. But he now hangs out with the Norwood mob he once hated and is a shoo-in to retain Don Dunstan’s seat of Norwood/Dunstan he wrested from Labor in 2010.

    Labor has a new-look team but it’s low on talent and ripe for the picking.

  21. sykesie

    I think Marshall would be a good future leader for the Libs, but I think his elevation is pretty risky stuff. By Australian political standards, he is a serious L-plater, with most incoming premiers and prime ministers I can think of in the last 20 years having been in parliament at least 10 years prior to ascending to the position.

    I am still strongly of the opinion that Martin Hamilton-Smith has been the only effective opposition leader the Liberals have had since 2002. I feel certain he would have finished off Rann in 2010 if it wasn’t for the dodgy documents affair. He would have done better than Redmond. The problem for Marty is a fair few of his colleagues despise him. But I think the Liberals would have a better chance with him as leader. Marshall is too raw and a real risk in my opinion. I’m not saying he can’t win, but I think his inexperience means there lie plenty of traps ahead for him.

  22. Patrick Bateman

    The problem Weatherill has is that there’s no money. No money at all. So while he’s cleared the decks personality wise (at LAST), his only option is budget cuts between now and the next election.

    He’s generally regarded as a good bloke with solid progressive values.

    If the Libs put Marshall in I reckon the reality is that gravity will pull Labor down and the Libs will romp in the next election. We’ll then get the kind of public service bloodbath just experienced in Queensland, but with an economy much less able to weather the storm.

    I would love to see Weatherill go for some real game-changers – say, legalising gay marriage in SA (in D Dunstan’s memory, perhaps), banning pokies, a massive renewable energy program (SA already leads the nation), something like that.

  23. dovif

    ALP won an election too many in SA, like they did in NSW and Qld. The Liberals will win easily with anyone leding them. It is just the cycle

  24. sykesie

    So some numbers regarding previous parliamentary/political experience of the current tranche of premiers/chief ministers and the prime minister upon ascension to the top job:

    Colin Barnett (WA, 18 years)
    Barry O’Farrell (NSW, 16 years)
    Terry Mills (NT, 13 years)
    Julia Gillard (FED, 12 years)
    Ted Bailleu (VIC, 11 years)
    Lara Giddings (TAS, 11 years with a gap)
    Katy Gallagher (ACT, 10 years)
    Jay Weatherill (SA, 9 years)
    Campbell Newman (QLD 0 years but 8 years as lord mayor)

    The previous tranche of leaders offers Marshall a little more hope perhaps:

    Mike Rann (SA, 17 years)
    John Brumby (VIC, 14 years, 21 years if you include his fed parliament stint)
    Anna Bligh (QLD, 12 years)
    Alan Carpenter (WA, 10 years)
    Kevin Rudd (FED, 9 years)
    Paul Henderson (NT, 8 years)
    Kristina Kenneally (NSW, 6 years)
    David Bartlett (TAS, 4 years)
    Jon Stanhope (ACT, 3 years)

    If we go back even further:

    John Howard (FED, 22 years)
    Geoff Gallop (WA, 15 years)
    Paul Lennon (TAS, 14 years)
    Gary Humphries (ACT, 11 years)
    Rob Kerin (SA, 8 years)
    Peter Beattie (QLD, 7 years)
    Clare Martin (NT, 6 years)
    Steve Bracks (VIC, 5 years)
    Nathan Rees (NSW, 1 year)

    So there are a few examples of very inexperienced MPs becoming head honcho, but almost exclusively on the labor side of politics. In the list of 27 leaders above (admittedly only 8 of them are conservatives), the least experienced conservative boss man other than Campbell Newman, was Rob Kerin, whose premiership lasted less than 5 months. For the Newman example, there are obvious extenuating circumstances due to his town hall experience.

    Do we really think that Evans, Chapman, Hamilton-Smith and co who have done the hard years of opposition are really going to let the new boy on the block take the glory?? They probably will, but you can bet the green eyed monster will be in the room bigtime.

  25. Toorak Toff

    Labor will leave some great legacies – the new Royal Adelaide Hospital, the start of an electrified rail system, the upgraded Adelaide Oval, the desal plant (which is derided now but may be needed sooner than expected).

    Unfortunately the government embarked on at least one big project too many and has been caught out by straightened economic circumstances. The new Liberal government will find life difficult.

  26. Peter of Marino

    Wouldn’t you also include the widening of the Olsen High Way ?

  27. Independently Thinking

    Sykesie @24, I know it is a little while ago, but how much parliamentary experience did Bob Hawke have before he became leader of he Opposition and then Prime Minister?

    The inside word is a large number of Libs will not allow Vicki Chapman near the leadership, and many of them are also scared of MHS being deputy; but the numbers are close for both to get what they want, or nothing. As they are from opposite factions, they both won’t be happy.

    The most likely scenario is that Horst van der Pellekan will get the Deputy job to make it a clean sweep, but it will take Marshall’s request to make that happen easily.

    You read it here first.

  28. Carey Moore

    Congratulations Mr. Marshall and, indeed, the Liberal Party for your inevitable win next year.

    Let’s hope they have a decent vision this time that isn’t just gut the state’s infrastructure and do nothing, while everybody under 50 leaves…

    I would hate to see the progress made by this government undone by a bunch of myopic conservatives.

  29. Carey Moore

    Also, I am thoroughly disappointed that Labor MPs have not lined up to express how much they actually respected Redmond and how they despair over her treatment. If the shoe was on the other foot, you can be assured there would’ve been crocodile tears from everybody remotely associated with the Liberal Party…

  30. Independently Thinking

    Oh, and Peter @16, you need to be corrected – Martin Hamilton-Smith did not manufacture the dodgy documents in regard to links between the ALP and the Church (sic) of Scientology.

    The dodgy documents landed on MHS’s desk off the so called back of a truck and he and his then COS thought they were genuine and ran with them in the media where the documents were soon discredited. As was Marty and his soon to be out of work COS.

    The SA parliament rumour mill has it that an ALP staffer did them up (I hasten to add without the knowledge of his superiors, at least at the time) to embarrass MHS – and it worked.

  31. Carey Moore

    The dodgy documents didn’t ruin MHS’ leadership. It was already dying. The documents saga just finished it off. MHS was a terrible leader who was too aggressive, yet toothless. He also lacked substance as well. Rann would’ve crushed him. Weatherill would definitely crush him this time, had he decided to run and won.

    Also, he’s from the conservative wing. They never do well as leaders of the state party. The voters tend to prefer moderate leaders.

  32. Diogenes

    Sportsbet have MHS $2.50, Downer $2.75, Chapman $4 and Marshall $5.

  33. Diogenes

    Sportsbet have stopped betting now. Looks like Marshall is the only candidate.

  34. Carey Moore

    One thing that works in favour for the SA ALP Govt is that the PM has been kind enough to time the election to give South Australians a good solid six months of Federal Coalition government to make a few South Australian voters maybe think twice about giving them state government too.

  35. Psephos

    [I would love to see Weatherill go for some real game-changers – say, legalising gay marriage in SA (in D Dunstan’s memory, perhaps), ]

    The states can’t legalise same-sex marriage.

  36. gloryconsequence

    Labor have next to no chance in 2014.

    Marshall isn’t too bad. He won’t get my vote, but he will get a lot of people’s – I think a Marshal/Chapman ticket will win a comfortable majority.

    Put it this way – it could be worse.

  37. Patrick Bateman

    Psephos – actually the states can make laws regarding marriage. It’s not an exclusive Commonwealth power.

    http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/states-leave-canberra-behind-in-rush-to-samesex-marriage-20120919-266wa.html

  38. Carey Moore

    There will be a vote on the issue early this year. Weatherill is personally for it but is allowing a conscience vote. Redmond similarly had extended the conscience vote to her party (and is personally for it), I daresay Marshall will take the same stance.

    As for the constitutionality, it is debated. I would like to see it pass, so the High Court can clear it up once and for all. Even if the HC strikes it down, it would still be good symbolically.

  39. William Bowe

    If you go to the SA ALP website and run the pointer over “ALP People”, you get a link which says – and I quote – “Federal MPs: The Federal Minister’s of South Australian Labor”. The page itself turns out to be written in Latin.

    http://www.sa.alp.org.au/

  40. Patrick Bateman

    Anyway, my point was – if the Labor govt. doesn’t have money to spend, it needs to look for something more along the lines of big picture social policies (like gay marriage) to show that it stands for something.

  41. Carey Moore

    [Anyway, my point was – if the Labor govt. doesn’t have money to spend, it needs to look for something more along the lines of big picture social policies (like gay marriage) to show that it stands for something.]

    I disagree. It should stand on its record of infrastructure investment and economic growth.* Same sex marriage should be legalised because it’s the right thing to do but the swing-voting “average Joe” isn’t going to give a damn about the issue of same sex marriage when it comes to voting.

  42. Toorak Toff

    Jay was generous in his comments on Isobel, his former law firm colleague.

    If the Pelioan gets the deputy post, it will be good news for Marshall and the Libs. Two smart cookies on opposite sides of the Liberal divide. No doubt C. Pyne will be salivating over his boy’s accession to the top job.

  43. Diogenes

    [Psephos – actually the states can make laws regarding marriage. It’s not an exclusive Commonwealth power.]

    My understanding is that the states can legislate for SSM but it could be challenged by the Feds.

    It would be friggin’ hilarious if SA legislates for SMM and Gillard tries to strike the law down, despite SSM being official ALP policy.

  44. Toorak Toff

    It’s quite ironical that South Australia, which in 1894 gave women the right to vote and to stand for parliament, is the only state or territory not to have had a female chief minister or premier.

    Now that Isobel Redmond’s gone, there’s no woman on the horizon either.

  45. Carey Moore

    [It’s quite ironical that South Australia, which in 1894 gave women the right to vote and to stand for parliament, is the only state or territory not to have had a female chief minister or premier.

    Now that Isobel Redmond’s gone, there’s no woman on the horizon either.]

    What is less ironic though is it is the only state that has given a majority of its 2PP vote to a party led by a woman, both state and federally.

  46. Mick Wilkinson

    Any state who opens the door to gay marriage will eventually rue the day they ever considered it. This is a fringe issue that affects fewer people in Australia than arguably more important indigenous issues.

    The plain facts are:
    1. Civil unions already allow equality in financial and legal benefit in the same way that de facto relationships are given.
    2. Marriage as a cultural and religious institution should not be made to bend to the will of those currently outside its legal boundaries. It is akin to waltzing into vegetarian restaurants and demanding that meat be served.
    3. The ‘best’ claims for SSM appear to be that couples are ‘in love’ and ‘deserve marriage equality’, which was never the basis for the institution of marriage in the first place. The ‘slippery slope’ arguments in such debates are always dismissed as strident ranting but once the heterosexual monogamous wall is breached on this issue, I guarantee that even if the high court needs to be involved, there is no defence to stop:
    a) related, sterilised, family members from marriage (as the famous ACA case from WA was reported in 2009 of a father and a daughter living in a de facto relationship)
    b) polyamorous relationships
    c) lowering of the age of consent (some countries already allow marriage at 13) and minimum age to wed

    Gay political activists decry current laws because there is still the (unfounded) belief (that the American Psychological Association has already walked away from) that gayness is genetically based so marriage equality is only fair. Is this where we should set the bar for legislation on families??

    Paedophiles have the highest rates of recidivism of any criminal offence and the poorest rates of rehabilitation, what if, to our horror, we found a gene relating to this behaviour. Is anyone suggesting here that if paedophiles could find a consenting child that marriage should be opened here too? This is not fiction. Operation Argos in Queensland has already uncovered a movement of paedophiles towards justification of their behaviour and decriminalising it.

    I know people in this blog have unwavering opinions on this issue and individual cases close to some of your families make it a very personal issue. However legislation is to protect ALL, not just those who feel ripped off with the current laws.

    Rights of children are paramount here. It matters not that ‘some homosexual’ couples would (anecdotally) make far better parents than some heterosexual couples’, some certainly wouldn’t… as you would find with ANY population of people. A more important point is that, wherever possible, we should ensure that children are able to grow up in an environment where the diversity and complementarity of both genders of parents is available to children. Where are their rights in this complex issue??

  47. Carey Moore

    Okay… (tl;dr)

  48. Peter of Marino

    Independently Thinking @ 30

    Thank you for the clarification.

  49. Diogenes

    Mick

    Homosexual couples are already allowed to adopt children and studies show they turn out much the same as other kids. SSM has nothing to do with homosexual adoption.

    Genetics are about 20% of sexual orientation using twin studies. Environment is more important.

    Plenty of places have legalised SSM. None of them have “rued the day”.

  50. Mick Wilkinson

    Dio

    1. ‘much the same’ is not ‘the same’ and denies the importance of male and female parents as diverse and important influences on child rearing.

    2. The APA, as arguably the peak Psychological Association in the world, does not agree with any part of your statement regarding genetics. Some proclaim gayness is as prevalent as diabetes.. with the human genome project complete, it is odd that such evidence is still inconclusive.

    3. In the last decade, no government has ‘rued the day’, sure, but there are not ‘plenty’ of countries that have done this and it is nonsensical to consider consequences in such a short timeframe. The more problematic issue is that the box can’t be closed again once opened. Same as legalised prostitution, people have too much invested to have such laws ever reversed. Those countries that have SSM are now the ones most lobbied by the Polyamorists at present and the legal likelihood is that Polyamory and, with the rise of Muslim diaspora, Polygamy, will be the next frontline for ‘marriage equality’.

    There is a more serious problem to the ‘gay gene’ argument,which has for years split the political arms of the gay movement. At issue is the very real dilemma that if homosexual orientation is genetic AND affects cognition, affect and behaviour of the individual, then this re-opens the door that might suggest homosexuality as a mental disorder. How?

    Well Depression and Bipolarity are now clearly indicated with varying genetic predisposition. Both affect cognition, affect and behaviour as well. Medical conditions like breast cancer, diabetes, heart disease and myopia are all genetic and occur in a minority of the population. Some gay advocacy groups are now shifting tack and holding a ‘gay by choice’ line in defence of this possible regression.

    We now know a great deal about the behaviour, in particular of gay men and a wall of research shows that cognition about sex, obsessive sexual behaviour and acting out of sexual acts with higher risk (in terms of unprotected sex, sex in a public place etc) are statistically higher than in the average male population. The results are less clear for Lesbian relationships however, the literature is also more scarce. What is clear is that sex is far more central in the cognition, affect and behaviour of homosexual male populations than heterosexual ones.

    So there is definitely a diversion of ‘party line’ with gay political agendae.

  51. Psephos

    [Psephos – actually the states can make laws regarding marriage. It’s not an exclusive Commonwealth power.]

    That’s true, but the Commonwealth has already legislated in the area: the Marriage Act says that marriage is between a man and a woman. No state law can contradict the federal law. Any law that purports to do so will be struck down by the High Court at the first challenge.

  52. oyster

    the editor of fridays advertiser certainly let the readers know which person they wanted for the job with the photos of marshall and downer on the front page
    nice photo of downer smiling, photo of marshall just awful

  53. Diogenes

    Mick

    The APA does not say there are no genetic factors in sexual attraction. They say it is a mixture of genetics and environment.

    [There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay, or lesbian orientation. Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors. Many think that nature and nurture both play complex roles; most people experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation.]

    There is clearly no single “gay gene”, but there are probably a few genes which slightly predispose you to being gay.

    There are huge meta-analysis studies on monozygous and dizygous twins which conclusively show genetics is important in sexual orientation. It’s only about 20% genetic, which is quite low compared to most other characteristics but it is still there.

    Gays argue that their poor health and mental illness statistics are due to discrimination causing depression. Personally, I don’t know enough to know if that is true or not.

    You point about disease and genetics is a huge issue for the future. We have found genes which predispose the person to committing violent crimes, as well as found differences in the functional MRI scans of sociopaths. Numerous cases in the US have had their sentence reduced as they argued diminished responsibility as they had the gene and MRI which predisposed to violent behaviour.

  54. Independently Thinking

    William @39 – unbelievably, the Latin is still there, and according to Google translator, it reads:
    “This page is required to post a comment. Select a base that they want freedom. More clinical laughter from freight and throat, post it here. Read-time storage. Your investment, drilling shafts and arches, just a clinical impact, as a mass at the Olympic requirements. In order to obtain arrows nibh not a problem. China’s mass of visitors and school. Now a great job now. Contact.”

  55. Wakefield

    Well done Alexander Downer helping destroy Isobel Redmond – member of his own conservative faction. And probably install Marshall from the other conservative Pyne faction.
    Finding a deputy will be another factional stoush.

    Be interesting to see if Marshall can restrain his impulsive and rather dogmatic tendencies.

  56. Carey Moore

    If Marshall is smart, he would avoid any more photo ops with John Olsen. Last thing he’d want is to be associated with that disastrously bad government.

  57. Carey Moore

    [Finding a deputy will be another factional stoush.]

    Deputy battles don’t capture the public’s attention as much as leadership battles. They will survive a competitive race.

  58. Independently Thinking

    I notice the ALP has now removed the Latin from their SA webpage. Pity, it was the most interesting thing on it.

  59. Von Kirsdarke

    That latin “Lorem Ipsum” stuff is the default text for text boxes while using Microsoft Publisher.

    SA Labor really needs to get a professional web designer.

  60. Kevin Bonham

    Some readers of the SA SSM discussion may find my discussion of the Tasmanian SSM rejection of use or interest:

    http://kevinbonham.blogspot.com.au/2012/11/the-legcos-claimed-reasons-for.html

    Mick Wilkinson@46


    Any state who opens the door to gay marriage will eventually rue the day they ever considered it.

    I don’t see any sign that nations that legalised it many years ago are ruing it.

    2. Marriage as a cultural and religious institution should not be made to bend to the will of those currently outside its legal boundaries. It is akin to waltzing into vegetarian restaurants and demanding that meat be served.

    An invalid comparison. A meat-eater who cannot obtain meat from a vegetarian restaurant can obtain what they want from the majority of other restaurants. The correct analogy for “waltzing into vegetarian restaurants and demanding that meat be served” would be that same-sex marriage was legalised and then typical mixed-sex couples demanded the right to have their wedding formally recorded and recognised as a same-sex marriage and advertised as such by a celebrant. You’re comparing vegetarian restaurants (the specialised exception) with mixed-sex marriage (the norm).

    A nearly correct analogy for restaurants for gay marriage would be if vegetarian restaurants were allowed to exist, but it was illegal for a vegetarian restaurant to call itself a “restaurant” or to advertise as such. That is the sort of discrimination that occurs at present – and that illiberally affects the economic rights of those celebrants who would like to conduct same-sex marriages and market them as such. And even that doesn’t go far enough because if vegetarian restaurants were not allowed to self-market as such meat-eating restaurants would benefit, while mixed-sex couples do not benefit from disallowing same-sex marriage.

    3. The ‘best’ claims for SSM appear to be that couples are ‘in love’ and ‘deserve marriage equality’, which was never the basis for the institution of marriage in the first place.

    The true origins of the institution of marriage are lost in the mists of time and irrelevant to the current debate. But in any case the institution has long had multiple purposes that are considered legitimate, and on that basis attempting to ascribe a single purpose to it (and thereby deny it to marriages not meeting that purpose) is utterly bogus and denies the legitimacy of many existing mixed-sex marriages.

    The ‘slippery slope’ arguments in such debates are always dismissed as strident ranting but once the heterosexual monogamous wall is breached on this issue,

    That pass was sold so long ago it never existed in the first place. Sexual monogamy is neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition for marriage to occur. It is a separate issue.

    a) related, sterilised, family members from marriage (as the famous ACA case from WA was reported in 2009 of a father and a daughter living in a de facto relationship)
    b) polyamorous relationships
    c) lowering of the age of consent (some countries already allow marriage at 13) and minimum age to wed

    All of these matters can be argued independently irrespective of the same-sex marriage argument and indeed your example in (c) points out that they have been. They are irrelevant. I would, however, point out that legalising polygamous marriage-type relationships would be much more complex because of the property complexities where more than two parties are involved. As for (c) since the assumption of the same-sex marriage debate is the equalisation of rights assuming adult consent, to wedge it to changing the age of consent is just spurious.

    (That said, Australians are way too hysterical in classifying some apparently willing and non-abusive relationships involving mid-teenagers and twenty-somethings as criminal child-abuse, that would be legal and unremarkable in some other developed countries.)

    Rights of children are paramount here. It matters not that ‘some homosexual’ couples would (anecdotally) make far better parents than some heterosexual couples’, some certainly wouldn’t… as you would find with ANY population of people.

    Same-sex parenting and same-sex marriage are again distinct issues. Substitute “fundamentalist Christian” for “homosexual” and “non-fundamentalist-Christian” for “heterosexual” in the above and tell me whether it is a valid case against allowing fundamentalist Christians to marry. Of course it isn’t.

    A more important point is that, wherever possible, we should ensure that children are able to grow up in an environment where the diversity and complementarity of both genders of parents is available to children. Where are their rights in this complex issue??

    If that is a point (which I don’t think it is in the absence of clear and strong evidence of adverse wellbeing impacts, as opposed to bogus evidence such as the fatally flawed Regnerus study) then it is a point in the debate about same-sex parenting rights which is again a distinct debate.

    Federal same-sex marriage is one of the biggest no-brainers being passed off as a complex issue of our time. The way in which it is passed off as all too hard or too dangerous is through the continual intrusion of irrelevant issues and distractions, of which your post is a premium example.

    We now know a great deal about the behaviour, in particular of gay men and a wall of research shows that cognition about sex, obsessive sexual behaviour and acting out of sexual acts with higher risk (in terms of unprotected sex, sex in a public place etc) are statistically higher than in the average male population.

    But these generalisations do not apply to all same-sex couples and in particular do not apply to those who are in long-term relationships with devoted partners. Such arguments are like taking evidence that a particular race, subculture, religion or age group is more promiscuous than another and trying to use such arguments as evidence against allowing people of that sort to marry. People should be allowed to have their own rights as individuals considered irrespective of generalisations about groups to which they belong and spurious conclusions drawn from those.

    Don’t want to get into a prolonged debate on a thread to which it is completely off-topic but thought I would indicate my more or less complete disagreement at length once.

  61. Diogenes

    Kevin

    Thank you for that. You did a much better job than I did. Agree with all your comments.

  62. William Bowe

    [I notice the ALP has now removed the Latin from their SA webpage.]

    And “The Federal Minister’s of South Australian Labor” bit on the link on the front page has been changed to “The Federal Member’s of South Australian Labor”. The apostrophe’s still there, but y’know, little victories …

  63. Independently Thinking

    Today’s Sunday Mail in SA has a story that the Deputy Lib Leader position is likely to go to Vickie Chapman.

    Rubbish.

    She won’t get more than her own moderate faction votes and conservative Iain Evans is also dead in the water.

    It is true Dan van Horst Pellekan is receding as a contender due to his inexperience, when combined with that of the equally inexperienced Marshall. He will pull out Monday morning if he thinks he will bomb.

    Marty Hyphen-Smith is still negotiating with Steven Marshal to be deputy asking that he gets it without a ballot after all Marty did for him. He has a point. It will be interesting to see which way Marshall, who is technically a moderate, will go, as he is very much a listener to moderate warlord and mentor Christopher Pyne.

    As those opposed to Vickie ‘it’s all about me’ Chapman are more than half, and Marty is non-aligned, if a ballot was held head to head, Marty would win.

    The Liberals would be wise to allow MHS the deputy role without a ballot. I don’t think that will happen.

  64. Carey Moore

    IT, the Liberals seem to very wisely be pulling their heads in lately and thinking of the future. I think the mood is that, if they screw up next year, the subsequent despair could haunt them in the long term. Ultimately, the deputy race will probably go to MHS in the name of unity and as a reward for not making a fuss this time.

    I will note that some have made comparisons between the current situation and when Dean Brown and John Olsen faced off to succeed Dale Baker in the early 1990s. While there are similarities (and certainly, when Premier, Marshall should watch his back), the political conditions were quite different. Back then, the government was so on the nose that anybody could win. Baker probably would’ve won too but not by the huge margin they were aspiring for. OTOH, now it is a case of a vulnerable government that can lose but it might not either. Which is why unity and moving forward is their priority.

  65. Wakefield

    What an odd outcome if the MHS – Marshall ticket from last time ends up as the Marshall – MHS ticket this time. History repeating itself backwards somehow.

    Sunday Mail predictions – be interesting to see if they improve with David Penberthy as Editor.

  66. castle

    Marshall leader Chapman deputy.

    Abbott has held news conference deploring knifing of Redmond.

    Pyne at same conference compared Marshals actions to a crazed Nazi regime and called for a bomb in the bunker approach to correct this travesty.

    Laming tweeted that Marshall should have been helping kids on first day back at school insted of knifing leader.

    Bernardi has lamented misogynistic SA liberals for knifing a woman leader for a man.

    Hockey has asked whens lunch.

  67. Carey Moore

    Chapman as deputy? Watch your back Steven etc.

    The Liberal Left will be proud of what they’ve achieved with this ticket.

  68. Toorak Toff

    The Libs are crazy. Dan XYZ Pelleken should have been deputy to complete a brand new team and mollify the dries.

    Now the deputy will be tempted to unseat the leader, and the dries will be out to dehydrate the wets.

  69. Wakefield

    Indep Thinking – need to review your intelligence.

    Anyone able to put up a list of who voted for who and compared with last leadership vote. Suspect Redmond must have voted voted for Chapman?

  70. Carey Moore

    As the Left has gotten a total win out of today, who will Marshall have to keep an eye on more? Chapman or somebody from the Right?

    MHS looks like he has the potential to be this generation’s John Olsen, TBH…

  71. Wakefield

    Carey – calling the Pyne faction Left Liberals is a bit off beam. They are right wing. The others are rural conservatives?

  72. Independently Thinking

    Wakefield @69

    I know, I am deeply embarrassed but my source had admitted to being overly optimistic about Chapman coming unstuck and Chapman was brilliant. Some in the Liberals wish she could show that level of political nous outside the Liberal Party, but anyhow…

    What happened was Chapman put her hand up, confirmed votes from her faction were solid very quickly, and then refused to back down.

    Iain Evans of course did much the same with his faction a little later.

    It left the unaligned candidates and unaligned MPs nowhere to go but for the factional candidates as they didn’t have enough to do anything but come third.

    Marshall realised Sunday it had to be a Wet vs Dry argument and he would always vote for a Wet in that case so Evans was then always going to, at best, tie.

    Avoiding the tie was paramount so someone voted for Chapman to ensure a name wasn’t drawn from a hat (how dopey would that have looked).

    A certain prominent wet Fed MP was deeply involved in the number crunching, but I wouldn’t want to say who he is, or cast asturtions.

  73. Carey Moore

    [Carey – calling the Pyne faction Left Liberals is a bit off beam. They are right wing. The others are rural conservatives?]

    I wasn’t commenting on their ideology, I was just referring to the label they are known as.

  74. Carey Moore

    Oh, it looks like the ALP website is not the only one with Latin in it. The National Association of Local Authorities in Ghana (their equivalent of our LGA) website does too.

    http://www.nalag.org/index.php

    Okay, I will come right out and say it: Illuminati Zionist Lizardmen from Tau Ceti IV! 😆

  75. Wakefield

    New Liberal shadow ministry announced. Rather an odd setup. Trying to behave like a buisness board?

  76. Carey Moore

    [New Liberal shadow ministry announced. Rather an odd setup. Trying to behave like a buisness board?]

    Underwhelming is the word I’d use. He’s just shuffled the same hacks around.

    Marshall hasn’t had the best start, in my view. He’s made a few errors of judgement. Luckily for him, he’s still in a honeymoon period and he has a little sympathy, however, if he doesn’t improve by the end of the year, he could end up being a total dud.