Area News editorial - November 17, 2017.

The political clambering to claim credit for the success of the same sex marriage survey highlights just how ridiculous our federal parliament has become.

Having discredited the process from the outset – to the point of preventing a plebiscite on the issue – the federal ALP and Greens ridiculously tried to claim some credit in the success of the national survey.

Bill Shorten

Bill Shorten

This, from two parties that were in a position to create and implement same sex marriage legislation for six years, was yet another example of political opportunism taking priority over good policy outcomes.

If you were completely cynical, you could even go as far to suggest that the ALP's internal polling showed a number of its sitting members were in seats that have voted against same sex marriage.

For political expediency, pushing too hard for same sex marriage may have come at a political cost – hence their reticence to legislate when they had the numbers in the federal parliament to do so.

Similarly, the Coalition has gone out of its way to avoid the issue, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull being swayed by those in the party room take the easier option of a plebiscite or survey – taking the heat out of the debate and leaving it to the people – rather than the politicians – to decide.

But the same sex marriage debate is just the latest in a litany of examples where politicians are more interested in the "game”than achieving outcomes for the people they purport to represent.

The farce of the dual citizenship issue highlights precisely how they are more interested in retaining power than doing the right thing by the electorate.

The law may be a ridiculous hangover from when the constitution was created – but it is a law nonetheless. Just as society demands "normal” citizens must abide by the laws of the country, so too should our elected representatives. Political manoeuvring to avoid public scrutiny is as obvious as it is offensive.

Those not eligible to sit in our parliament would be very aware of it, and the fact they try to skate around the obvious – treating the public as fools – is disgraceful.

If politicians were struggling to get the respect of voters in the past, recent actions – and in some cases inaction – will simply cement the stereotype that many of our elected representatives are not in the "game”for what they can do – but rather what they can get.