Monday, May 28, 2012

Why not rush to the polls? Two theories on best for labor

Strategy 1:

Labor will get slaughtered whatever happens. The Coalition is likely to win control of the Senate as well. The best way to stop this is to call a House of Representatives election as soon as possible this year (after changing labor leaders) so the Reps election is not held with the Senate election.

The Coalition will win in the Reps, begin implementing its program, become unpopular, and then probably not win control of the Senate when the half Senate election is held as scheduled next year.

Labor will be better off than if it had waited.

For this to work Labor would need to deny Tony Abbott the opportunity to call a double dissolution by ensuring none of his bills were blocked, which would mean voting in favour of bills to repeal the carbon tax and the mining tax (because “the people had spoken”).

Strategy 2:

Applying Strategy 1 will mean the carbon tax will scarcely operate. It’ll be abolished just after it begins and the public discover that it is not so bad after all. It will forever go down in history as a bad idea.

If instead Labor waits out its full term until late next year the public will have had a year to evaluate the carbon tax and might just find Tony Abbott was scaremongering when he said it would destroy Whyalla, kill the mining “stone dead” and so on. Few people would want to bother removing it (just as one year on few people wanted to bother removing the GST).

Furthermore, although half the Senate would be elected with the Reps in late 2013, the new Senators would not take office until July 2014 -- two years into the carbon tax, and more importantly only one year away from 2015 when it is legislated to be replaced with an emissions trading system (which will probably have a lower carbon price).

Relief will be at hand. Anger over the carbon tax will be old hat. Abbott might even have second thoughts about resubmitting to the Senate bills to abolish it.

In any event the history books will record that it was a good reform, killed by a zealot, rather than a bad one killed by the people.


Related Posts

. The compensation payment that dare not speak its name

. Carbon tax: We'll wonder what all the fuss was about

. Antony Green is on to something. Why we are voting more thoughtfully


Gordon said...

Strategy 2 seems to be the plan. I think it's solid but the short term noise is clearly going to get in the way

Strategy 1 is probably more painful than things are currently

Anonymous said...

Strategy 1 is only for the insane. Best bet is Strategy 2

Anonymous said...

I like the idea if going with this PM before or after Christmas.

I cannot see much benefit of installing a new leader.

The toxic political climate that we now have needs to be destroyed. I do not see how allowing Abbott to force a new leader on Labor helps this.

Anonymous said...

The libs won't be able or willing to repeal the carbon tax no matter what they say, I'd bet money on it.

Anonymous said...

Strategy 1 is madness. Strategy 2 is the only sensible option.

Anonymous said...

Naturally Strat 2, so it would appear that the libs have boxed themselves in a little.

If Tony does not repeal both the carbon tax and the mining tax he will have to be judged a liar. Thus condemning himself to the same vitriol that is normally handed out by the pious.
He will have to push the senate bills through regardless of any public acceptance the taxes may have acquired and despite any loss of revenue.
Of course he has also promised more, generous parental scheme etc, and lets not forget my favourite, a 15000 strong green army. All the while producing bigger surpluses.
I bet Hockey is praying every night that China or Europe do not stumble.
Meanwhile the people revert to more mediocrity in policy outcomes.
A direct result of mediocrity in our parliament...

Anonymous said...

It's not just those two taxes. I think the NBN is a really transformative piece of infrastructure and the greater the extent of its installation, the greater the difficulty of pulling the pin on it.
In fact, the longer all govt policies are in place, the greater the difficulty with "rollback". And when you think about it, the whole idea of being in govt is to implement developments you believe will benefit the nation. If staying in power is given greater priority, then nothing will happen. Whitlam and Keating may have lost elections but they had a far greater influence on the nation than did Fraser (although he is trying to rectify that now). Strategy 2 is the one that makes sense to me. Abbott will be a failure regardless of the timing of the election (assuming he wins it), no point in bringing forward such a disaster.

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