This marriage survey experience confirms my despair about 'democracy' which is based on public opinion.
As correspondents to these columns have shown, we can't even stick to the topic.
No, we are not voting on whether or not we approve of what same-sex couples do to each other in private, nor on changes to school curricula, nor whether we like the way some people express their views.
In fact, we are not 'voting' at all - it's a survey, for goodness sake!
We are being asked a simple question: should the law be changed to allow something (specified) to happen?
The rest stays as it is, even gay and lesbian couples, and single parents, bringing up children, which they already do. And religious institutions will continue to refuse to marry couples who do not meet their rules. (Try getting married in synagogue if you are not Jewish, or a Catholic church if you are divorced, as my mother found.)
Anyway, the whole process is suspect because I haven't even got my survey envelope yet, so who got it and returned my form? (Yes, I did ask for a replacement but you know Australia Post.)