Yet on the same day, Labor’s serial misjudgment on climate change was prominently on display.
Labor exuberantly promised an emissions trading scheme at the 2007 election. And the electorate has punished Labor every time it has run from this pledge.
When Kevin Rudd decided to abandon the fight, it destroyed his prime ministership.
Then, when Julia Gillard brought down the weakened Rudd and applied a political quick fix – a citizens’ assembly to write Labor’s new policy – her own poll numbers started to crumble.
The result of Labor’s weakness on climate change was that half a million Labor voters took their support to the Greens.
And it was the Greens’ strength that Gillard yesterday acknowledged when she signed a power-sharing agreement with them.
The first item on the Greens’ press release? That Labor had agreed to set up a Climate Change Committee of politicians and experts to work towards putting a price on carbon emissions. It’s the issue that Labor can’t escape, no matter where it turns, no matter how hard it tries. But was it a good idea for Labor to sign the deal with the Greens yesterday?
The Greens had already promised to support Labor in forming a new government. There was no clear benefit to Labor.
But there was a benefit to Tony Abbott, who claimed vindication of his prediction that the Greens would “form effectively a coalition with Labor”.
A Labor strategist said that “this deal gives Abbott a platform to attack us from”.
Labor’s primary aim must be to win over the three rural independents to give it the numbers to form a government.
Yet by formally embracing the left-leaning Greens in a power-sharing agreement, Labor has now made it harder for the trio to justify to their conservative constituencies such a deal with Labor.
Labor’s economics are good. Its politics are woeful.
Poll: Is Labor’s deal with the Greens too high risk to win the independents’ support?
Yes, the independents are inherently conservative
No, it shows Labor can work with minor representatives
Total votes: 1329.
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