Quo Vadis, Australia?
This election is shaping up to be one of the most contentious in recent memory.
On the left: a Labor government which appears to have gone missing in action: voted in with a mandate which it has refused to pursue. Instead, doggedly pursuing agendas like internet filters which *nobody* wants. Springing mining taxes without warning and then wondering what the fuss is about. Uninspiring.
On the right: a formerly Liberal opposition which features a dogmatic and uncharismatic leader who openly embraces the priciples the last government was voted out on. Who ousted the former leader over emissions and tradings and who has been quoted as saying climate change is 'a load of crap' (like a pile of brown coal briquettes, perhaps?) Unthinkable.
In the middle, a bunch of greens (in more ways than one, it might be argued. But, in this company, they seem the sanest of the lot). Unpromising.
Poll after poll is showing a majority of people and industries want action on emissions: be it carbon taxes or whatever (what they really want is certainty, so they can get on with life. Wouldn't that be nice?)
How then, does this point to a Liberal victory? Possibly climate isn't the major factor in most people's decision making (A clean and stable environment strikes me as being fairly basic to the pyramid of Marslowe's heirarchy of needs. But then, I'm not everybody else)
Looking at the mess, I have a horrible sense of deja vu: Victoria in the early nineties was a financial basket case. Its government had proven itself unfit to govern and, waiting on the sidelines, there was an opposition that made no attempt to hide its carnivorous aspirations ("we won't announce our policies: they will confuse the electorate"). I know how that story goes!
Alex Steffen has said that cynicism is obedience to the status quo, and that optimism is a political act.
So here's my take on political optimism:
- I will vote green, with Labor prefs.
- I will specifically *not* vote for Senator Conroy. (Message to Canberra: there is a message here)
- I will get on with doing things like supporting the Beyond Zero Emissions plan (which doesn't even have to mention AGW, and has a prayer of being pitchable to either party)
- I will not be cowed by the craven bullying of the fossil fool sneer squad.