Australia has just conducted "probably our boldest electoral experiment since the military conscription plebiscites of 1916 and 1917", in the words of Liberal Senator Dean Smith, the author of the private member's bill that will now carry the result of the marriage plebiscite into law.
"At a time when public faith in political institutions is being sorely tested, even opponents of the postal survey or plebiscites more generally" - and they included Smith himself - "must concede the Australian people have reminded us that they are the true custodians of our civic character."
Politicians on all sides tell us that now that the people have spoken, the Parliament will debate and legislate and show us "Parliament at its finest" or "Parliament at its best".
Freed of their partisan constraints, and with an unmistakeable mandate to fulfil, there is consensus that our parliamentarians will now change the marriage law swiftly and effectively and with some semblance of dignity.
But then they immediately tell us that we mustn't let it happen again. Que? If it's such a good outcome, why can't we make use of the plebiscite mechanism more often?