Opinion

Letters to the editor

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August 09, 2017

The News welcomes letters to the editor.

The wisest path

- Peter Hall, Mooroopna

It’s a worrying sign for our nation that politicians are afraid to ask citizens what they think about important social and cultural issues affecting all people.

While I agree governments would be paralysed if everything from tax law to road rules needed a people’s vote, issues such as euthanasia and changing the definition of marriage are of such importance that seeking a public mandate would be the wisest path.

I say this not only because they have far-reaching consequences, but if a change is made it would have cultural authority through public endorsement.

Alternatively, if say marriage was somehow redefined and most people were not in favour, the change would be forever suspect and quietly resisted in the hearts and minds of people who were never given the opportunity to voice their conviction.

Politicians take note: curious results that contradict news polls have taken place recently in America and Britain.

People don’t welcome elected officials trashing commitments or appearing elitist by thinking they know best.

A national vote is a much safer course and I think one that will smooth change if a resounding majority endorse it.

Conversely if we reject the idea, wise politicians should take heed.

I have faith in Australians to conduct a civil debate and accept the outcome.

If Bill Shorten is right and Australians can’t be trusted to have an orderly and respectful plebiscite process, we deserve to be treated as children and have decisions forced on us as Mr Shorten wants.

I don’t believe this to be the case and would back ordinary Australians above elitist political leaders who are afraid to hear from those who put them in power.

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