Has Australia gone mandate mad? Everything it seems has to be a mandate from the masses. There is so much concern about mandates, I felt that I had a mandate to write about it.
The latest in this madness comes of course from Tony Abbott, as that is where most mad ideas seem to originate from currently. Tony tells us that if he wins the next federal election, a thankfully diminishing possibility, he will consider his victory a mandate to remove the Carbon Pricing legislation, pokie reforms, and anything else that he thinks might earn him some hefty campaign contributions from well funded lobby groups.
Forget cash for comment, the Liberal Party under Abbott has become cash for policy…
So, does he have this supposed mandate?
Hardly…if we judge by the television ratings, most of the country seems to be more interested in Home And Away, or Neighbours rather than the news. More interested in watching D Grade celebrity wannabe’s try to cook, rather than watching current affairs programmes, just ask George Negus, or next year you could probably ask the hosts of Channel 10’s Movable Timeslot Project.
Given this trend, I think it’s more than likely that most of the country have what can best be described as a limited understanding of the carbon pricing legislation, the household compensation, the incentives to business, and the tax concessions etc.
If this is the case, as it seems to be, then why should we take any mandate from a primarily ill informed public seriously, even if it did exist. If the public in general don’t fully understand the issue, then surely they don’t have the knowledge to warrant a mandate.
Nobody knows this better than Tony Abbott, as it seems there has already been a mandate on pricing carbon that he has chosen to ignore.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard in the lead up to the last federal election explained that if she won the election it would be due to the country wanting to take action on environmental issues. In fact, Julia even went so far as to say that if she won that she would consider it a mandate to put a price on carbon, as this article from The Australian explains.
Whilst I don’t think Julia actually had a mandate, I do think that she had a strong indication. I believe that the public have always had an expectation that the Labor Party was the party to act on environmental issues, certainly since the Kevin 07 campaign. I also believe it is quite clear that the country wants to act on environmental issues, and putting a price on carbon is one method. It’s just a method that polled badly, right?
In fact, polling that mentioned householder compensation as part of the carbon price legislation, rather than just asking if people supported a straight carbon tax, showed a majority in favor of the carbon price legislation as it stands. Far from Tony’s imaginary mandate… It’s often all about how the question is asked with polling.
So with Tony Abbott talking about mandates, what can we expect from a Liberal Government should they get in?
A whole lotta pain….
I draw this conclusion from the dictatorship that NSW seems to have unwittingly elected in. A state government that Tony Abbott appears to be watching closely.
Barry O’Farrell, the Liberal Premier of NSW since March this year, is doing whatever the hell he wants. Whatever Barry wants, he gets, his reasoning for everything is that his victory was a mandate, and that he therefore has a mandate to do whatever he likes…
Selling off Sydney Ferries, mandated, privatising parts of Sydney Water, mandate. Delivering a budget deficit for his first budget, after years and years of surpluses, Barry had a mandate for a deficit. Making a basket case of DOCS and letting children suffer, another mandate. Scrapping Western Express Rail Line, and the Parramatta Epping Rail link, more mandates. NSW’s own version of Workchoices, destroying the hopes of our public service sector by removing their entitlements, affecting, police, transport workers, paramedics,nurses, teachers, and many more…mandate.
What the more than 30,000 protesters who marched on Macquarie Street forget is, that we the public, apparently gave O’Farrell a mandate for this utter slap in the face of decency.
This NSW Workchoices is Barry’s Big Bad Mandate, the mother of all mandates, but certainly not his only one… In fact every time Barry screws the public over, it is due to some sort of imaginary mandate.
I could go on and on…
Actually I will… Annihilating funding for Tamworth and Blacktown hospitals, mandates. Letting the good people of Stockton risk the affects of deadly Hexavalent Chromium for a few days after the Orica spill, and not bothering to warn them, NSW mandated it. Deliberately misleading the public in the press about the affects of a carbon price, another mandate. Allowing for an 18% rise in electricity rates, timed to coincide with the start of the carbon price, blame deflected and mandate acted on I guess…
As I write this, Julia Gillard, as promised, has taken a massive leap forward in the quest for equal pay for women.
140,000 Care workers, are about to get a pay rise. This however, needs the backing of the states also, thankfully most have, only 2 are yet to support this important initiative, NSW and Victoria. What a surprise… Ted Baillieu, the Liberal excuse for a Victorian Premier who put discrimination laws in his state back 50 years, we kinda expected it from him. Barry O’Farrell on the other hand probably thinks the women of NSW mandated for lower pay then men.
Like I said, Tony Abbott is watching the new Liberal regime in NSW closely.
So when the next federal election comes around, and Mad Monk Tony starts talking about mandates, say it ain’t so, vote Labor.
Forewarned is forearmed.Follow @madwixxy