OPINION, by George Christensen:
MANY think the vote on changing the definition of marriage is pretty much done and dusted by now.
I have been told 'everyone's already voted'.
But that's definitely not the case.
The latest update from the Australian Bureau of Statistics has revealed that about 10 million Australians, or 62.5 per cent, have voted.
As there are about 15.7million eligible voters in this country, that leaves a good five million who haven't.
That's a sizable number in anyone's books.
So why should you bother?
Regardless of how you want to vote, the short answer is that you should bother because it's so important.
There's also just a week to go to request another form in case you have lost or tossed yours.
Governments don't hold referendums, plebiscites or national surveys every day. When they do occur, it means there's an issue of national importance to be decided.
And for our democracy to work as effectively as possible, people should treasure that opportunity rather than squander it.
There have been just three plebiscites held in our nation's almost 120-year history, and 44 referendums.
Every tick in the appropriate box adds to the weight of the count as we move towards resolving this issue on changing the definition of the bedrock institution of marriage.
Objections about every aspect of this survey continue.
Some are more reasonable than others.
"I'm sick of hearing about it. Just do it!"
That is exactly what this government tried to do in February this year but Labor canned the process for a plebiscite in the Senate and hence we're still working to resolve the issue.
"Politicians just 'do your job'!"
Well our 'job' is to respect and represent the views of people in our electorate.
The best way to do that is by asking what they think. I believe most people want a say on an issue as fundamental as this, rather than leaving it all up to 226 politicians in Canberra.
I want everyone in Dawson to have their say, and as I have clearly stated previously, I will not vote against their view.
"Marriage has nothing to do with gender"
Ummm, well yes it does. This is really the crux of what is being decided here.
"This is just about equality"
Sadly it's only about 'equality' if you agree with those who make this claim. If you hold a different view get ready for the tirade from the 'love is love' crew.
"You're still fat", "You're illiterate", "You're spreading hate", "You're scaremongering".
You can't listen to a different point of view.
"Marriage equality will have zero impact on the education system"
Evidence from overseas countries suggests that it will.
Of course not all who are in favour of changing the definition of marriage have other agendas but the core militants most certainly do.
They push gender deconstruction and they will push for this to be taught in all schools, both state and private.
They're already pushing through programs like the unsafe Safe Schools, and changing the definition of marriage will add further weight to their cause.
There has been a strong early turnout of voters for this postal survey and that means people care about the outcome.
But I repeat my earlier plea.
If you're one of the five million or so who haven't voted, I encourage you to make your vote count.
You can hardly complain about whatever the outcome might be if you don't exercise your democratic right to have your say.
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