Tuesday, March 15, 2011

We Have the Numbers.

So Saturday morning’s post inexplicably failed to go up, and I only noticed last night. Bugger. It’s been bumped to Thursday’s slot. For once I had a post written well in advance — in fact, I had it mostly done while I was away in February — and I still managed to fail to have it go up on time.

But for today, I’d like to say a few words about Saturday’s climate rally. As you may have read in my twitter stream, the numbers were thoroughly on our side — at the end of the day, the crowd was estimated at over 8 000 strong. The “people’s revolt” of deniers and libertards was only a few hundred: initial estimates were about 200, and even the rally’s organisers only claimed 400. Andrew Bolt conveniently “misremembered” our figure on Insiders the next day, quoting 800 to 400. Pardon me while I have a coughing fit that doesn’t remotely resemble an accusation of bullshit.

While we’re on numbers, I know the Newspoll indicated a loss of 6 percentage points to Labor following the announcement, but the Coalition only recorded a gain of 4 points in the same poll. The other 2 points went to the Greens, and I seriously doubt those would have been from people “revolting” agains the government’s proposal to price carbon emissions — unless they felt disappointed that the government wasn’t going far enough, which seems fairly unlikely if they weren’t voting for the Greens in the first place. Makes you wonder about the other 4%, don’t it.

I’ll conclude with the text of an email Quincy and I sent to our respective representatives in Parliament the other day (we’re both in Labor seats). Feel more than free to copy and/or modify it and send it along to your own member. If you’re in a Liberal-held seat, maybe it’s worth letting them know that the numbers are against them.

Dear [representative],
As an [electorate] voter, I write to inform you of my involvement in yesterday’s rally in support of the proposed carbon pricing scheme. I believe that this is a very important initiative for our future and that the money it raises will be valuable in funding research and development in renewable energy and supporting related industries. I am personally proud that my Government is taking such a positive step in combating climate change. The public support shown at yesterday's rally — an 8000-strong crowd in favour of the carbon tax, compared to a few hundred protesting against it — speaks volumes.
I urge you not to be overly concerned by what is a very small vocal minority. I believe that the doomsayers will be proven wrong when the scheme kicks in and the world keeps turning. After we weathered the GFC so well, I have every confidence in the ALP's competence in economic management. Good luck to you and the rest of the government with putting the carbon price into practice.
Yours sincerely,

[Oolon Colluphid].
PS. Fuck you, Tony Hooper. Your accusation that I and the rest of the crowd at the pro-tax event were “paid activists” and unrepresentative of our own convictions, let alone public opinion, is offensive and not remotely true. Had we the time or the inclination, we’d have grounds for a libel suit; but I, for one, have much better things to do.

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