Greens go nowhere as Liberals win Australian federal byelections in Bradfield and Higgins

For overseas readers the Australian Liberal party is right wing – (unlike your small “l” liberals in the USA). The Libs form our Federal opposition with the smaller even more right wing rural based National Party. The left wing Australian Labor Party forms the Federal Govt now under Prime Mimister Kevin Rudd after elections in 2007.

The byelections – both in safe Liberal seats - Bradfield in Sydney and Higgins in Melbourne were due to prominent Liberals resigning from parliament.
In a post below “Conservative party in Australia elects a new leader – only just” – I run through events leading up to the Liberal party earlier last week electing a new leader, Tony Abbott, who is more right wing and more of a “climate sceptic” than Malcolm Turnbull who he replaced.
All week the MSM has been in a lather of anticipation at the thought that the Greens might ride some wave of community anger after the Liberals voted down the Rudd Govt ETS scheme in the Senate last week. This notion has been shown to be wishful thinking – considering Labor did not stand in either byelection – the Greens results are pretty mediocre. Voters showed by pretty much maintaining the Liberal vote of 2007 that there is no significant backlash against the new Liberal leader Tony Abbott – so much for the Green-Left propaganda that climate scepticism is some kiss of death.
A quick word about the tiny fledgling Climate Sceptics party who stood as independents in both seats (Bill Koutalianos in Bradfield and Stephen Murphy in Higgins) both polled under 2% – less than the SEX party. It has not got easy for TSC party now the Liberals have a mildly sceptical stance on “IPCC climate change”.
Finally, I predict there will be less talk about a “double dissolution” election now and we will get a normal federal election late next year.
The Australian Parliament is bicameral with the Senate being a “states house” which reviews legislation from the lower house – each state has 12 senators regardless of population and half are elected for ~8 year terms at each ~4 year election for the House of Representatives. The house of reps is more democratic with ~equal sized electorates and is where Govts. are formed. Australian voters tend to be a little untrusting of their politicians and often (as now) do not give the Govt a Senate majority. A double dissolution election can be called by a Govt if the Senate repeatedly refuses to pass bills – then all senators are tipped out at once – and when parliament resumes the Govt can call a joint sitting of parliament to pass the blocked legislation – quite an event.

2 thoughts on “Greens go nowhere as Liberals win Australian federal byelections in Bradfield and Higgins”

  1. Interesting times indeed in Australian politics.

    A month or so ago Abbot blurted out that climate change was “crap”.

    On his election as opposition leader this week he was asked if he still believed this. Answer: “OK…um…look…ah…it was…it was a bit of hyperbole…it’s not my considered position.”

    Hard to say what’s behind this answer. My guess is he still thinks “climate change” (in the sense of the catastrophic man-made global warming tale) is the same substance as what he previously indicated, but he is learning to be more “considered” about what he says in public.

    So far, all he is saying is that the government’s emissions trading scheme (ETS) is a disastrous new tax, and that he’ll be able to think of ways of reducing emissions that are less of a bureaucratic nightmare. The practical implications of the ETS are thus going to get a detailed public airing, which they would not have got under the previous opposition leader, who actually supported an ETS.

    That will be interesting because the scheme was a turkey, even according to very PC economists who buy into the global warming story lock, stock and barrel. This morning’s Insiders’ programme has an interesting example: scroll down to and play “Rudd’s plan won’t cut a gram of emissions” here: Insiders

    Also note in that clip PM Rudd’s tight-mouthed sanctimony as he tries to demonise Abbot: “Denying climate change is bad for our kids, it’s bad for our grandkids.” Rudd had better watch it. He is starting to look like a know-it-all moralising pill, and that’s poison with the Australian electorate.

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