Which makes the PM for fair dinkumness perhaps surprisingly competitive.
Peter Lewis suggests that Voters are looking for more than the major parties offer at the moment. He quotes polling that shows at least 20% of votes are still up for grabs. However, if you consider this table, then there is considerable disaffection for the major parties, and a good independent would be in with a show:
Labor has been largely standing back allowing the Liberals to make themselves look ridiculous. Unfortunately the LNP/Liberals have been devaluing the whole currency of politics for a very long time. David Marr told Richard Fidler this began in earnest when Kevin Rudd squibbed climate change in 2010.
I think it goes back to the ‘Tampa’ election of 2001 when John Howard made clear he would do whatever it takes to gain and hold onto power. Since then we have had slogans and scare campaigns rather than policy. We’ve had interludes with Kevin 07, and Gillard working with the Greens on climate, but that added to public distrust when Rudd abandoned the CPRS and Gillard so blatantly broke her promise about no carbon tax while she was PM.
Now at least climate change is coming to the fore again as an issue. This table from Essential puts renewable energy up there as the most important issue after the motherhood one about the economy:
This poll from Fairfax-Ipsos puts reducing emissions well ahead of household bills with Labor and Green voters:
However, the formulation of questions is problematic, as it assumes a binary where people have to choose between higher household bills and reducing emissions. Labor is going to contend that their policy will do both.
I understand that Labor will stick with its long-term policy of 45% reduction of emissions by 2030, so as not to frighten the horses. Also reports are that they will adopt a form of the NEG (National Energy Guarantee), which after all has been accepted three times by the Liberal party room and represents the best chance of longer term bipartisanship.
Word is that if they win the next election the best that can be hoped for is that Labor plus Greens will needs a couple of crossbenchers to pass anything in the senate, which makes adventurous policy difficult.
Meanwhile the world is waking up in fright. This from a single Google feed today:
Will We Survive Climate Change? Possibly. There is ‘no scientific support for inevitable doom,’ one expert notes.
- “The evidence was absolutely mind-blowing to me,” said the lead researcher.
- Don’t say we weren’t warned.
From human health to the world’s food supply, from water scarcity to widespread migration and violence, the threats from climate change are much larger than previously thought, a study released Monday suggests.
And in many places, several threats will be happening at once.
Given the prevalence of climate contrarianism across the Coalition, and the outright denialism of the so-called right rump that seems to hold Liberal leaders hostage, we have to be thankful that climate change is will be one of the leading issues. We can just hope that the voters will play their part.