Tony Abbott is introducing a bill in Parliament calling for a plebiscite on the carbon tax.
There should not be a plebiscite. This country is too democratic as it is. The people, by and large, are neither informed enough nor reasonable enough to make the right decision on this issue. We’ve heard stories of people expecting a “carbon tax bill” alongside their tax returns next month, and Abbott himself is spreading the lie that it is a “tax on the Australian public”, rather than the corporate tax it is, because that lie furthers his cause. Most people are only concerned for the immediate good, and politicians never look further ahead than the next election; both groups will see a tiny blip in the economy next year as being worse than the long-term benefits which outweigh it. While the public is so uninformed and the politicians so short-sighted and dishonest, it is irresponsible to trust them to handle this issue.
Also what was that line of Oakeshott’s from just under a year ago? “We should have a great big swear-jar in Parliament for when anybody uses the word mandate.” Shame, Tony.
What scares me is how Abbott has managed to completely take control of this issue. Of the people who actually care about the issue, the vast majority are in favour of the tax. Of those who actually understand it, support is nearly unanimous, with the holdouts being those who believe alternative means to the same end would be more effective. Yet somehow he seems to have swayed the ignorant masses.
Why is it that, just when the Government tries to do the right thing, something that will benefit all, something that should by its own virtue be popular, they are utterly unable to sell it? How can they be that stupid? How can they be that incompetent?