Marriage Equality: The Greens’ choose power over principle. And where is GetUp! ?

When it comes to their power grab coalition with the LNP, The Greens just keep digging themselves a deeper hole, even misrepresenting the views of others to cover up their power-lust. But yesterday’s events should also raise questions about the commitment of GetUp! to its own principles.

Senator Leyonhjelm showed in the Senate yesterday that when it came to choosing between their own marriage equality bill, and cementing their political power, the Greens preferred power. Rather than allow their own marriage equality bill to be properly debated, they’ve tried to save face by forcing it in to a one hour time slot Thursday.

Senator Penny Wong sums up the farce nicely:

“This is manifestly inadequate, and the Greens know it,” she said.

“They take this position knowing one hour is not sufficient time to debate marriage equality and the government can and will frustrate a vote.”

She said the Greens valued their “dirty deal” with the government on Senate voting changes over their own principles.

‘What happened to the party’s mantra on marriage equality, every Green, every vote, every time, except today, today we are voting with Senator Bernardi’, she said.

This situation has seen The Greens’ engulfed in a social media maelstrom of the sort they’re usually advocating be unleashed on others. It’s  a social media shit-storm they seem to be struggling to deal with. On Facebook, The Greens NSW social manager has completely misrepresented Senator Leyonhjelm’s long standing support for marriage equality.

For the record, Senator Leyonhjelm has been a supporter of marriage equality since he first entered the parliament.  It was even  one of the issues raised in his maiden speech.

Liberty is eroded when our cherished right to vote is turned into an obligation and becomes a crime when we do not do it. It is eroded when we are unable to marry the person of our choice, whatever their gender

At best, we might say The Greens’ social media rep has been reckless with the facts in the heat of the moment. Others might take a less generous view of such  slander against a politician who has genuinely and consistently campaigned for marriage equality.

Where is GetUp! ?

Yesterday’s event should also have people asking where GetUp! is? Before we go any further, Let’s refresh ourselves with what GetUp! claims to stand for.


GetUp! wants to “bring participation back into our democracy”. It also wants “marriage equality for all Australians.” Yesterday’s Senate debate involved both these topics. Whether you support the proposed Senate voting changes , or ague against them, the political manoeuvring in the Senate yesterday should clearly have been of interest to anyone interested in Australian democracy. 

Likewise, Senator Leyonhjelm’s attempt to have marriage equality debated should have been of interest to those advocating for reform of Australia’s marriage laws.

But GetUp! seems to have chosen to completely ignore what was unfolding in the Senate yesterday. I can appreciate that they would still want to cover  prearranged events (the protest in Sydney and the healthcare piece on ABC). But as of this morning, I still can’t find a Tweet or Facebook post even mentioning what went down in the Senate yesterday.

Why, it’s almost as if they don’t want to embarrass The Greens by pointing out that The Greens are:

  • in cahoots with the LNP on voting reform
  • supporting a reform that will have the effect of making it harder for minor parties to get elected
  • Avoiding proper debate on marriage equality, one of their core issues, in order to try and cement their own political power.

Which begs the question – “If GetUp! Won’t go after the Greens when they pursue power over principle, how can GetUp! Continue to claim to be independent?”

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