Cory Bernardi recently claimed vindication for his 2012 prediction that, “redefining marriage has seen a push for further redefinitions including lowering the age at which people can marry, multiple-partner marriages and even advocacy for the legalisation of bestiality.”
It’s that unpredictable summer storm time of year. No sooner has a Katter blown itself out than there’s a Palmer on the horizon, a Cory Bernardi brewing and a threatened Hanson in the Gulf, plus the distinct possibility of a Shelton in 2019.
With all that and election season upon us, expect to hear lots of thunder.
The smaller personality-driven political parties prefer to attract attention with spectacular lightning shows. It saves money.
But with so many in the field, it requires progressively more extreme statements to generate the requisite outrage.
Look forward to the RuPaul of Australian politics.
One drag queen performs a death drop, dramatically falling backward to the stage with a leg folded under their body so the next queen must increase the degree of difficulty to stand out.
That queen performs a triple pirouette then cartwheels into the death drop while quoting scripture. Sorry — strike the “quoting scripture” bit.
I’m confusing one mob of drama queens with the other.
Anyway, onto Cory Bernardi’s statement.
If you will forgive me the use of obscure technical fact check jargon — it’s a load of old cobblers.
Evidence of moves to lowering the age at which people can marry: Zero, zip, zilch, nada.
However, there has been talk of lowering the voting age. Perhaps that confused the Senator.
There are people who believe fervently in polygamy, polyandry and polyamory, but they appear to have mounted no demonstrations, undertaken no publicity campaigns and proposed no legislation — not so much as an online petition.
70,000 people signed a petition on Change.org to rename our currency the Dollarydoo yet not one can get up a petition for multi-partner marriage. That probably says something.
As for advocacy for the legalisation of bestiality? Not a purr, bark or moo of this in Australia. Senator Cory Bernardi is utilising the time-worn tactic of the ‘slippery slope’.
Unable to argue facts, he’s resorted to outrageous and unlikely hypotheticals. 1 + 1 = The sky is falling in!
You would think the slippery slope argument would have been retired after the Vietnam War.
America and its allies fought to stop a communist takeover of South Vietnam because world domination would surely follow.
Well, they lost the war, South Vietnam became communist, but world domination never followed. Indeed, only a handful of communist dictatorships remain in the world today, while there appears to be a Trump on every rocky outcrop.
But the use of the strategy predates even the last century.
In 1896, the South Australian Register in Bernardi’s home state applied the slippery slope argument against legislation to ban opium.
It stated that after the banning of opium, “all that will be remain to be done will be… to expel drink and tobacco as well.”
Well, people still drink in South Australia and they still smoke cigarettes.
I’ll be bernardied if I’m going to spend my day listing the thousands of BS historic slippery slope arguments.
Nevertheless, in fairness to Cory Bernardi, I will finish with the one example in Australian history when a predicted slippery slope actually came to pass.
Legislative Council of Victoria
The Gippsland Times reported in 1899 that the Legislative Council of Victoria opposed giving women the vote.
The members of the upper house predicted that would lead to members of the fairer sex demanding direct representation and even Ministerial office.
Heavens to Betsy, they were right.
Women got the vote and now, a scant 120 years after the prediction, 18 of the 84 elected members of the federal government of which Cory Bernardi was once a part, are women.
Even more remarkable, several ministers are also of the female persuasion. Bloody hell. If it keeps going at this rate, they’ll soon be asking for parity.
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