Australia – The Sunburnt Country going Green around the Gillards?
Will we or won’t we? Each day for nearly two weeks we swing politically… looks like Labor… looks like the Coalition… One side has more seats, then the other; one side has a higher primary count, then the other; the three crucial independents say things that sound like they find the big-spending side of government appealing, then polls show that their electorates all voted conservatively; then the 2-party-preferred vote swings one way, swings back, and swings again, in the end it’s a piddling few thousand votes out of 14 million or so.
I’m kind of getting used to not-having-a-government. The Business Council wails repeatedly that business “hates uncertainty”, but I keep thinking that if UFO’s took our elected reps on a 3 year wine-tour of Alpha Centauri, Business would revel in the certainty that no new-fang-dangled-clauses would appear.
We wait for the three amigo’s to decide. They seem torn (it’s the internal conflict of at least two of them wanting to go against the grain of most of their electorate, and looking for an excuse). All three were originally from the Nationals (a quite conservative party), but the breaks were not so amicable.
One of the three amigos, Rob Oakshott, most unconservatively wants an emissions trading scheme, and one of my 15 nanoseconds of fame is that he ad hom’d me in Parliament:
I smelt a rat in the shift that I saw and what looked to be—to their credit—a very well organised and very well-funded campaign from the likes of JoNova and Viv Forbes.
It’s not clear which way this will go (though today it’s looking more like a Labor Green “win”). The house is so finely balanced it may be a poisoned chalice, though with the Senate being so strongly Green, the ETS or a Tax may well be given life if the Labor Party gets the flag. I don’t know that the mining tax has a chance if it needs the votes of the rural independent “amigo’s”, but there are plenty of other ways to destroy a good industry. (The Labor Party will need 2 of the 3 independents to nod, if it wants to pass legislation).
If Labor forms government and has to simultaneously appeal to the unions, the politically correct, the Greens and the rural independents, imagine the complexities… especially with some of the ideas that appeal to Bob Katter?
Peter Spencer — the man who held a 52 day hunger strike — will have his case heard by the High Court. It’s a great step forward. It seems hard to believe we should be grateful that after so many attempts (some 200 days), the man who it seems had his farm effectively confiscated by the government will just get the chance to present his case.
Peter Spencer bought a farm south of Canberra in the early 1980’s. In the mid 1990’s new laws rolled into action that prevented land clearing. That meant, even though the land belonged to him, Peter could no longer clear the regrowth. Eighty percent of what he paid for was effectively confiscated [party to earn "carbon credits" for the government]. He received nothing in return and there was no way out. He couldn’t sell the property — who would buy a piece of land they have no right to use?
But Peter still had a mortgage [and rates] to pay…
For legal minds, I recommend Australian Climate Madness for Simon’s analysis of the Spencer case.
I also wrote on Peter Spencer here The CommonFascism of Australia
See all posts tagged: Peter Spencer
The Australian Farmers Federation ought to doing something… where are they?