Tobias Ellwood: why I abstained from gay marriage vote

Bournemouth Echo: Tobias Ellwood: why I abstained from gay marriage vote Tobias Ellwood: why I abstained from gay marriage vote

THE only Dorset MP to abstain in the gay marriage vote has defended his position.

In correspondence with concerned residents ahead of the vote, Bournemouth East MP Tobias Ellwood had said: “I have concluded that I cannot support the Government on this proposal.”

Several of his constituents told the Echo they took this to mean that Mr Ellwood would be voting against the bill and were surprised to discover he had abstained.

But Mr Ellwood said: “I made it very clear that I would not be supporting the government but I never said anywhere that I would vote against.

“In my own mind I am supportive of the principle and I think it is important that we have this debate but it has to be done at a pace which society can accept. I feel this legislation is slightly ahead of its time.”

Equal marriage: how your MP voted

Comments (22)

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10:15am Thu 7 Feb 13

TinyLegacy says...

Cue the comments from all the haters. Democracy people, he's entitled to his own opinion.
Cue the comments from all the haters. Democracy people, he's entitled to his own opinion. TinyLegacy
  • Score: 0

10:22am Thu 7 Feb 13

bmthtony says...

Strange that when he was asked how he stood on gay equality when polling for my vote at my door, he said he was fully supportive. Yet when it came to the crunch he didn't stand by his word and vote for equality for all!
That's one more household he will no longer get a vote from.
Strange that when he was asked how he stood on gay equality when polling for my vote at my door, he said he was fully supportive. Yet when it came to the crunch he didn't stand by his word and vote for equality for all! That's one more household he will no longer get a vote from. bmthtony
  • Score: 0

10:27am Thu 7 Feb 13

Hessenford says...

To abstain from voting is a cowardly act.
He says he could not support the government which in my view is a no vote.
To abstain from voting is a cowardly act. He says he could not support the government which in my view is a no vote. Hessenford
  • Score: 0

10:43am Thu 7 Feb 13

In Absentia says...

A gutless move. Personally I think that the majority of people aren't really bothered by this issue one way or the other. It just shows that the Tories still have a large undercurrent of the 'nasty party' in their ranks.
A gutless move. Personally I think that the majority of people aren't really bothered by this issue one way or the other. It just shows that the Tories still have a large undercurrent of the 'nasty party' in their ranks. In Absentia
  • Score: 0

10:53am Thu 7 Feb 13

s-pb2 says...

Hessenford wrote:
To abstain from voting is a cowardly act.
He says he could not support the government which in my view is a no vote.
I like many people felt that was a government distraction excersise, but Mr Ellwood's decision to abstain is like you say, cowardly. Cowardly in the face of constituents both for and against, and cowardly against the government who he obviously does not wish to upset
[quote][p][bold]Hessenford[/bold] wrote: To abstain from voting is a cowardly act. He says he could not support the government which in my view is a no vote.[/p][/quote]I like many people felt that was a government distraction excersise, but Mr Ellwood's decision to abstain is like you say, cowardly. Cowardly in the face of constituents both for and against, and cowardly against the government who he obviously does not wish to upset s-pb2
  • Score: 0

10:56am Thu 7 Feb 13

Glashen says...

TinyLegacy wrote:
Cue the comments from all the haters. Democracy people, he's entitled to his own opinion.
I agree he is entitled to his own opinion, but it appears to be both Yes and No which isn't good enough. Whilst I disagree with my own MP Christopher Chope on this (and many other things) he does have the merit of having strong opinions and sticking by them. Tobias is just being indecisive.
-
He says “In my own mind I am supportive of the principle and I think it is important that we have this debate but it has to be done at a pace which society can accept. I feel this legislation is slightly ahead of its time.”
-
By that measure we would still have Capital Punishment and surely the point of being a member of Parliament is to lead Public Opinion not blindly follow what you believe to be wrong. (By the way polls have find that the majority in society support this change, so he should have substituted "Society" with "the Conservative Party" in his statement.
[quote][p][bold]TinyLegacy[/bold] wrote: Cue the comments from all the haters. Democracy people, he's entitled to his own opinion.[/p][/quote]I agree he is entitled to his own opinion, but it appears to be both Yes and No which isn't good enough. Whilst I disagree with my own MP Christopher Chope on this (and many other things) he does have the merit of having strong opinions and sticking by them. Tobias is just being indecisive. - He says “In my own mind I am supportive of the principle and I think it is important that we have this debate but it has to be done at a pace which society can accept. I feel this legislation is slightly ahead of its time.” - By that measure we would still have Capital Punishment and surely the point of being a member of Parliament is to lead Public Opinion not blindly follow what you believe to be wrong. (By the way polls have find that the majority in society support this change, so he should have substituted "Society" with "the Conservative Party" in his statement. Glashen
  • Score: 0

10:59am Thu 7 Feb 13

itsallgammon says...

No wonder the human backside is the shape it is - it's all that sitting on the fence! Invertebrate action. If you disagree say so, don't hide behind the sofa till it goes away
I agree TinyLegacy he is entitled to his own opinion, he is also supposed to represent his constituents' views. If he cannot reconcile this with his conscience (whatever that is to an MP), he should resign his seat.
No wonder the human backside is the shape it is - it's all that sitting on the fence! Invertebrate action. If you disagree say so, don't hide behind the sofa till it goes away I agree TinyLegacy he is entitled to his own opinion, he is also supposed to represent his constituents' views. If he cannot reconcile this with his conscience (whatever that is to an MP), he should resign his seat. itsallgammon
  • Score: 0

11:08am Thu 7 Feb 13

Seabeam says...

Ha ha!

These people will say/do anything to increase their prospects of continuing in power.

The guy is so much a tory spiv, has as much in common with the average voter as Lord Drax.
Oh dear, he hasn't forced his tennants to vote for him and got a seat in parliment as well has he.

And they told me that this was a democracy, another lie!
Ha ha! These people will say/do anything to increase their prospects of continuing in power. The guy is so much a tory spiv, has as much in common with the average voter as Lord Drax. Oh dear, he hasn't forced his tennants to vote for him and got a seat in parliment as well has he. And they told me that this was a democracy, another lie! Seabeam
  • Score: 0

11:55am Thu 7 Feb 13

contric says...

worst mp bournemouth has ever had he is worse than useless my opinion
worst mp bournemouth has ever had he is worse than useless my opinion contric
  • Score: 0

12:14pm Thu 7 Feb 13

HRH of Boscombe says...

TinyLegacy wrote:
Cue the comments from all the haters. Democracy people, he's entitled to his own opinion.
Yes but his opinion is not strong enough to vote on the issue?
.
Isn't he supposed to be representative in democracy? He has an opinion to tell the Echo, 'legislation ahead of it's time' so why won't he vote against it then??
.
It's safer sitting on the fence is why!
[quote][p][bold]TinyLegacy[/bold] wrote: Cue the comments from all the haters. Democracy people, he's entitled to his own opinion.[/p][/quote]Yes but his opinion is not strong enough to vote on the issue? . Isn't he supposed to be representative in democracy? He has an opinion to tell the Echo, 'legislation ahead of it's time' so why won't he vote against it then?? . It's safer sitting on the fence is why! HRH of Boscombe
  • Score: 0

12:27pm Thu 7 Feb 13

phonehome says...

Wouldn't stand a chance of any future promotion if he voted against the government! This way he may still have a chance.

And what have constituents got to do with it anyway?

At least, not 'till the next election!
Wouldn't stand a chance of any future promotion if he voted against the government! This way he may still have a chance. And what have constituents got to do with it anyway? At least, not 'till the next election! phonehome
  • Score: 0

12:36pm Thu 7 Feb 13

jeebuscripes says...

What a total fence sitter.

He doesn't want to offend either side and reduce his potential number of votes in the next election.

If he was in charge of anything important, nothing would happen.

"I could make a cup of tea, but well, I would have to wash it up. Oh, and there's always coffee. Hmmm. I just don't know. How about some squash?"

Make a decision Tobias you spineless jerk.
What a total fence sitter. He doesn't want to offend either side and reduce his potential number of votes in the next election. If he was in charge of anything important, nothing would happen. "I could make a cup of tea, but well, I would have to wash it up. Oh, and there's always coffee. Hmmm. I just don't know. How about some squash?" Make a decision Tobias you spineless jerk. jeebuscripes
  • Score: 0

12:53pm Thu 7 Feb 13

skydriver says...

The word that comes to mind for those who abstain is SPINELESS, scared of loosing is position, its like those who don't vote in an election a protest vote, what an idiot, he is another for the chopping block come the next election.We will remember you!
The word that comes to mind for those who abstain is SPINELESS, scared of loosing is position, its like those who don't vote in an election a protest vote, what an idiot, he is another for the chopping block come the next election.We will remember you! skydriver
  • Score: 0

12:58pm Thu 7 Feb 13

muscliffman says...

Perhaps he would like to 'abstain' from his MP expenses forms in future.

Thatcher was respected, even by those who despised her, because when she had an opinion she was not afraid to aire it.

What is the purpose of a politician who either lacks the courage of their convictions or has no convictions?
Perhaps he would like to 'abstain' from his MP expenses forms in future. Thatcher was respected, even by those who despised her, because when she had an opinion she was not afraid to aire it. What is the purpose of a politician who either lacks the courage of their convictions or has no convictions? muscliffman
  • Score: 0

2:51pm Thu 7 Feb 13

Cosmic Crusader says...

Glashen wrote:
TinyLegacy wrote:
Cue the comments from all the haters. Democracy people, he's entitled to his own opinion.
I agree he is entitled to his own opinion, but it appears to be both Yes and No which isn't good enough. Whilst I disagree with my own MP Christopher Chope on this (and many other things) he does have the merit of having strong opinions and sticking by them. Tobias is just being indecisive.
-
He says “In my own mind I am supportive of the principle and I think it is important that we have this debate but it has to be done at a pace which society can accept. I feel this legislation is slightly ahead of its time.”
-
By that measure we would still have Capital Punishment and surely the point of being a member of Parliament is to lead Public Opinion not blindly follow what you believe to be wrong. (By the way polls have find that the majority in society support this change, so he should have substituted "Society" with "the Conservative Party" in his statement.
I thought the purpose of a MP was to represent public opinion not lead it. Maybe it is time for the silent majority to stand up and make their views known and ensure that these are truly represented in Parliment.
[quote][p][bold]Glashen[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]TinyLegacy[/bold] wrote: Cue the comments from all the haters. Democracy people, he's entitled to his own opinion.[/p][/quote]I agree he is entitled to his own opinion, but it appears to be both Yes and No which isn't good enough. Whilst I disagree with my own MP Christopher Chope on this (and many other things) he does have the merit of having strong opinions and sticking by them. Tobias is just being indecisive. - He says “In my own mind I am supportive of the principle and I think it is important that we have this debate but it has to be done at a pace which society can accept. I feel this legislation is slightly ahead of its time.” - By that measure we would still have Capital Punishment and surely the point of being a member of Parliament is to lead Public Opinion not blindly follow what you believe to be wrong. (By the way polls have find that the majority in society support this change, so he should have substituted "Society" with "the Conservative Party" in his statement.[/p][/quote]I thought the purpose of a MP was to represent public opinion not lead it. Maybe it is time for the silent majority to stand up and make their views known and ensure that these are truly represented in Parliment. Cosmic Crusader
  • Score: 0

3:18pm Thu 7 Feb 13

manyogie says...

Grow a pair!,
you dont `abstain` from taking the money, so dont abstain from doing the job, an abstain is a wasted vote, no excuse!
FYI Tina, having an opinion different from your own does'nt = hater.
Grow a pair!, you dont `abstain` from taking the money, so dont abstain from doing the job, an abstain is a wasted vote, no excuse! FYI Tina, having an opinion different from your own does'nt = hater. manyogie
  • Score: 0

4:36pm Thu 7 Feb 13

Baywolf says...

bmthtony wrote:
Strange that when he was asked how he stood on gay equality when polling for my vote at my door, he said he was fully supportive. Yet when it came to the crunch he didn't stand by his word and vote for equality for all!
That's one more household he will no longer get a vote from.
Well said bmthtony all the mps jump on the gay support card come election but frown on supporting gay rights when in power..hypocrites the lot of them bigots to.
[quote][p][bold]bmthtony[/bold] wrote: Strange that when he was asked how he stood on gay equality when polling for my vote at my door, he said he was fully supportive. Yet when it came to the crunch he didn't stand by his word and vote for equality for all! That's one more household he will no longer get a vote from.[/p][/quote]Well said bmthtony all the mps jump on the gay support card come election but frown on supporting gay rights when in power..hypocrites the lot of them bigots to. Baywolf
  • Score: 0

5:52pm Thu 7 Feb 13

Bmthbeach says...

To abstain is fine. This bill still has a long way to go in the process before it become law so there will be plenty of time to vote on amendments and changes along the way to it becoming law.
As was highlighted in the debate it is a bad bill which fails to give equality. Either civil partnerships have to be discontinued or be made available to heterosexual couples and the reasons for divorce must be the same for heterosexual and same sex couples or we will simply have two versions of marriage.
I support same sex marriage but am unhappy with this bill and would want to wait to see how it changes. We have too many bad laws because of the rush by MPs to pass bad bills without proper scrutiny. It is more complex than a simple yes or no
An MP is dammed whichever way they vote or in this case not vote.
To abstain is fine. This bill still has a long way to go in the process before it become law so there will be plenty of time to vote on amendments and changes along the way to it becoming law. As was highlighted in the debate it is a bad bill which fails to give equality. Either civil partnerships have to be discontinued or be made available to heterosexual couples and the reasons for divorce must be the same for heterosexual and same sex couples or we will simply have two versions of marriage. I support same sex marriage but am unhappy with this bill and would want to wait to see how it changes. We have too many bad laws because of the rush by MPs to pass bad bills without proper scrutiny. It is more complex than a simple yes or no An MP is dammed whichever way they vote or in this case not vote. Bmthbeach
  • Score: 0

6:08pm Thu 7 Feb 13

Letcommonsenseprevail says...

Hessenford wrote:
To abstain from voting is a cowardly act.
He says he could not support the government which in my view is a no vote.
Cowardly? I don't think so. I can assure you that 5 years in the Royal Green Jackets beats cowardice out of a man.
[quote][p][bold]Hessenford[/bold] wrote: To abstain from voting is a cowardly act. He says he could not support the government which in my view is a no vote.[/p][/quote]Cowardly? I don't think so. I can assure you that 5 years in the Royal Green Jackets beats cowardice out of a man. Letcommonsenseprevail
  • Score: 0

6:09pm Thu 7 Feb 13

Letcommonsenseprevail says...

He was in for a rough ride from you lot whichever way he voted.
He was in for a rough ride from you lot whichever way he voted. Letcommonsenseprevail
  • Score: 0

6:31pm Thu 7 Feb 13

PokesdownMark says...

It's high time MPs learned how to properly canvas opinion rather than allowing themselves to be deafened by a vocal minority screaming into their letterbox.
It's high time MPs learned how to properly canvas opinion rather than allowing themselves to be deafened by a vocal minority screaming into their letterbox. PokesdownMark
  • Score: 0

11:21pm Thu 7 Feb 13

boscombewizard says...

“In my own mind I am supportive of the principle and I think it is important that we have this debate but it has to be done at a pace which society can accept. I feel this legislation is slightly ahead of its time.”


At a pace that society can accept? Has the man never heard of a point of principle? If everyone waited until society was ready slavery would still exist and women wouldn't have the vote. If he is supportive of the principle he should actually support it. His words are nonsense. He is bowing to the bigots.
“In my own mind I am supportive of the principle and I think it is important that we have this debate but it has to be done at a pace which society can accept. I feel this legislation is slightly ahead of its time.” At a pace that society can accept? Has the man never heard of a point of principle? If everyone waited until society was ready slavery would still exist and women wouldn't have the vote. If he is supportive of the principle he should actually support it. His words are nonsense. He is bowing to the bigots. boscombewizard
  • Score: 0

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