2017: Tony Abbott, the ghost of plebiscites past

tony abbott plebiscites the voice

Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott popped up this week to oppose The Voice. You’d think after his discreditable contributions to the last national plebiscite, he’d sit quietly in a corner.

Scroll down for John Oliver’s video of Abbott’s greatest hits.

Who is Tony Abbott?

For the lucky souls, who’ve forgotten — a Tony Abbott refresher.

1994: elected to federal parliament in the safe Liberal seat of Warringah.

2009: Elected to Liberal Party leadership based mainly on his denial of climate change.

2013: Elected Prime Minister of Australia.

2015: Dumped by his own party, widely judged one of Australia’s worst-ever PMs.

2019: Loses Warringah to independent Zali Steggall.

Marriage Equality Plebiscite

If there’s one thing we all do remember about Tony Abbott, it’s his opposition to same-sex marriage.

As PM, Abbott proposed a national plebiscite on same-sex marriage as a delaying tactic when he could no longer ignore the growing momentum for reform. Then, as a former PM, he spoke out against same-sex marriage on the first day of the marriage equality campaign.

“I say to you if you don’t like same-sex marriage, vote no. If you’re worried about religious freedom and freedom of speech, vote no. If you don’t like political correctness, vote no because voting no will help to stop political correctness in its tracks.”

Abbott consequently described the campaign for marriage equality “a war on our way of life.”

His own daughter disagreed with him and filmed a Yes campaign advertisement. His sister, a lesbian, also disagreed. As did the voters of Warringah, 75% of whom voted for marriage equality.

But who cares about voters? Abbott abdicated responsibility for representing the electors of Warringah when the House of Representatives voted on marriage equality. He left the chamber rather than exercise his vote.

Yet, not two years later, while fighting to retain Warringah, he attempted to claim credit for the reform.

It didn’t work and Abbott lost the Liberals a seat they and the predecessors won every election since its creation in 1922.

Abbott lost the prime ministership, the marriage equality debate and the seat of Warringah.

You’d truly think he’d just sit quietly in the corner.

But no. Here he comes again. Opining loudly on The Voice. Let’s hope his opinion counts as much on this as it did on marriage equality.

More marriage equality opponents:

Cory Bernardi’s Claim that Marriage Equality Leads To Bestiality.

Barnaby Joyce just the tip of traditional marriage hypocrisy iceberg.

Katter party welcomes members who identify as crocodiles.

For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Destiny Rogers

Destiny Rogers embarked on her career in the media industry immediately after high school, initially joining Mirror News, which later evolved into News Ltd. She fondly recalls editing Ian Byford's 'Passing Glances: A History of Gay Cairns' as one of her most fulfilling projects. Additionally, Destiny co-researched and co-wrote 'The Queen's Ball', chronicling the history of the world's longest-running continuous queer event. Her investigative work on the history of Australia's COON Cheese and Edward Coon culminated in the publication 'COON: More Holes than Swiss Cheese', a collaborative effort with Dr. Stephen Hagan. Destiny's journey at QNews began as a feature writer, and she was subsequently elevated to the role of Managing Editor of QNews Magazine in 2018. However, in July 2022, she decided to resign from this role to refocus on research and feature writing. For contact, please reach out at destinyr@qnews.com.au.

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