SUPPORTERS of marriage equality across the Central West have been granted at least one of their wishes by Calare MP John Cobb.
Mr Cobb has made no secret of his support for the traditional definition of marriage and he has long maintained that he gets the sense most of his constituents feel the same way.
That claim certainly contradicts published national polls that show support for same-sex marriage is running at anywhere from 60-70 per cent and local marriage equality advocates have, rightly, wondered whether Mr Cobb’s reading of the issue reflects more on the circles in which he mixes than the wider community view.
Well, now both sides of the argument have the chance to put their opinions directly to their elected representative.
Mr Cobb has this week distributed tohouseholds in his electorate a questionnaire asking residents to “tell me what’s important to you”.
It covers a wide range of economic,environmental and social issues, but it is a reflection of the times in which we live that the question about same-sex marriage is sure to create the most discussion.
And it is to be hoped that Calare voters on both sides of the argument respond in their thousands to give the clearest possible view of just where the electorate stands.
If only those residents who support same-sex marriage take the chance to respond to the questionnaire then it will be easy for Mr Cobb’s office to disregard the results.
Similarly, if marriage equality advocates pass up this chance to have their say on the basis that Mr Cobb’s position is already well-known, then they forfeit the right to complain in future about a lack of consultation.
Whether you agree with his politics or not, it must be said that Mr Cobb has done exactly what every federal politician should do with their printing entitlements – use them to gain feedback from the voters rather than publish a one-sided cheer booklet for the government.
Good on him for doing so. Now it’s up to the people of Calare to do their bit and the results can speak for themselves.
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