Indeed, even if Mr Abbott was to win the next election his government would presumably have to negotiate with the Greens in the Senate to dismantle the policy. At the moment, this would appear to be an almost impossible outcome.
The situation is that should Abbott attempt to dismantle the carbon tax policy and the Senate twice resist these attempts, Abbott has threatened a double dissolution. Bob Brown has already given a “rolled gold guarantee” that the Greens will oppose any attempts by the Coalition to rescind the legislation, so a double dissolution looks likely.
In the event of such an outcome, all Senate seats are up for grabs. What are the chances of the Greens re-gaining the balance of power in a double dissolution election? I’m no expert but gut feelings say I doubt it.
What a moral challenge for the Greens! To capitulate to Abbott’s demands to rescind the carbon tax, avoid an election and thus maintain their balance of power, or to thwart Abbott’s will and risk losing Senate seats.
And then there’s this statement in the same post:
While the government has been down in the opinion polls, there are two years until the next election is due. Time is on the government’s side.
Well, yes, as long as there aren’t any by-elections. The government can’t afford to rest in the belief that time is in on its side. It may very well not be. The government can’t afford to plan as if it has two full years in which to persuade the public to accept the carbon tax. It may very well not have, in the event of adverse circumstances.
Beware the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune!
While Kevin Rudd apparently lacked the bottle to call a double dissolution in 2010, it’s a safe bet that Abbott won’t be as timid. We can only keep our fingers crossed that the angels are watching over the government, that all misfortune is held at bay, and that nobody does anything stupid and has to resign.
Brown’s “rolled gold guarantee” has pretty much committed his party to a course of action that could well see them undone. Unless they do a backflip like everyone else does, and then they really will have come of age in Australian politics.
- Phoney campaign is wearing thin (theage.com.au)
- Judge me when you’ve lived the regime, Gillard tells voters (theage.com.au)
- My carbon tax is better than Rudd’s: PM (news.theage.com.au)