Thank you Julia Gillard. Nothing could have put the fire back into the carbon debate like promising not to tax us during an election, then barely scraping in by the thinnest of “wins”* (with hang-nail support of two men in some of the most conservative seats in the country) and then doing what you said you wouldn’t.
This is much more than just a lie.
Imagine if Gillard had announced the Carbon Tax as part of her election platform. How many voters would have changed their vote? It wouldn’t take many. The two party preferred vote in Australia was split by only 0.12%.
Would the Labor Party have won?
Back in August 2010 Julia Gillard obviously thought the Australian people would not have wanted a carbon tax, or she would have run her campaign on it. Instead she thought we’d want an ineffectual climate committee and the certainty of knowing a carbon tax would not be imposed before another election.
Seven ALP seats were won with less than a 2% margin.
In Corangamite, a mere 769 voters who didn’t want a carbon tax could have changed the leadership of the nation.
This is not just a “lie”, it’s deception writ large. The Australian public were never given the chance to vote on this issue. There was never a discussion about the benefits. It was not a debate topic. The commentators and opinion writers did not thrash out the costs and risks. This is not how democracies are supposed to work.
The Pendulum will swing.
When John Howard said “Never ever a GST” he went to an election after that saying he was going to bring in a GST, and then he still won. There was no deception, no trickery, no hiding an issue during the election campaign. Julia’s action buried this topic, kept it from critical views, and hid it from the light of day. She bypassed democracy.
People hate being lied to. Nothing fires up the crowd more than knowing they’ve been actively deceived or taken for a ride. Behind the scenes here emails are running, people are abuzz. Suddenly everyone has the energy to fight back. Bets are shifting rapidly on who will be the new Prime Minister. And Jooliar is (unfortunately) the label du jour.
This Labor government barely scraped into control, and yet instead of being circumspect, they are abusing that honour and treating citizens with disdain. They got a mandate for nothing, yet think they can sneak in the beginnings of one of the largest economic reforms in history without so much as asking the people.
They think if they make 14% of Greens voters happy, they can rule over the other 85% of us? They can’t add up.
Part of Tony Abbott must be delighted, even as the rest of him, like so many of us, weep as the country shifts closer to the waterfall.
(*For non-Australia readers — this election was so close that out of Australia’s 150 Parliamentary seats, the tally ended up with 72 : 72 split and 6 “independents” — 4 of whom eventually sided (after weeks of deliberation) with Labor.)
A string of new groups and projects and websites are springing up in response to the carbon tax. Many are in proto-type stage. I’ll add the links as they come in.
Petition at Come On Australia
Petition against the Carbon Tax (Facebook)
March 23rd is being touted as the date around the country.
I have names for organisers in Brisbane and Sydney (see The Climate Sceptics site).
Herald Sun Poll (! 31,000 votes and 85% say NO).