Skip to comments.PM’s (Tony Abbott) vow met after five years, two polls (axed the carbon tax)
Posted on 07/17/2014 2:15:51 PM PDT by naturalman1975
AT 11.14am yesterday, Tony Abbott was delivered a victory in the Senate after five years of hard political campaigning and two election mandates to repeal the carbon tax.
At 2pm yesterday, the political momentum began to shift in the House of Representatives.
The Prime Minister was able to point to the fulfilment of one of his biggest promises and at the same time start to deflect the pressure of an obstructed and unpopular budget back on to Bill Shorten and Labor
Whats more, Abbott has the opportunity to turn this legislative victory into a telling political victory.
(Excerpt) Read more at theaustralian.com.au ...
Now, I hope we will see a shift in momentum - Tony Abbott went to the polls last year with three major core promises.
He would stop the boats - stop the flow of the massive number of 'asylum seekers' who were heading to Australia by sea. That has basically happened now - nobody can say for certain that no boat will ever get through, but none have since late last year - the rate prior to the election was several every week.
He would axe the tax. That has now been achieved.
He would repair the budget. At the moment, the Senate is still blocking a lot of that - but maybe the tide will now start to turn on that as well.
Does PM Abbott's party now have a majority in the Senate, or is he relying on peeling off votes from other parties? If the latter, how long will it be before the Liberals have a majority?
Just watched both a Deutche Welle and BBC report on the repeal.Both of them described the tax as “deeply unpopular”.It would appear that the will of the people has prevailed.
Simple answer, no, he doesn't have a majority. Longer answer...
The new Senators elected in the half-Senate election (at normal elections half the Senators are reelected - they have overlapping terms, similar to the way they do in the US) last year took office on the 1st July. That has changed the Senate in our favour, but it didn't deliver a majority.
Prior to the switch on 1st July, the Senate consisted of:
Liberal/National Coalition - 34
Labor - 31
Greens - 9
Democratic Labour Party 1
Independent - 1 (Senator Nick Xenophon)
72 Senators make 36/36 a tie, 37 a majority. Labor and the Greens combined and controlled the Senate with 40 votes. The DLP tends to vote with the coalition most of the time, and the independent Senator Nick Xenophon can really go either way, although he does lean conservative on most issues.
From the 1st July, the Senate is:
Liberal/National Coalition - 33
Labor - 25
Greens - 10
Palmer United Party - 3
Democratic Labor Party - 1
Australian Motoring Enthusiasts Party - 1
Family First - 1
Independent - 1 (Senator Nick Xenophon)
Labor and the Greens are down to 35 - no longer controlling the Senate. But the 'cross benchers' now have the balance of power.
Palmer United are an odd bunch - broadly speaking I'd call them conservative, but they are unpredictable, and they know they have power - especially because the Australian Motor Enthusiast Party Senator has agreed to cooperate with them. If they add their block of 4 to the Coalition, it's a majority - and they are going to milk that to get what they want.
Family First and the DLP are more likely to support the coalition on most issues - they are generally conservative except on a few issues (for example, Family First is pretty big on welfare, especially when it concerns payments to families). And Nick Xenophon is, as I described earlier.
In this case, in the end, the minor parties supported the axing of the Carbon tax.
The current senate will sit until 30 June 2017. (Senators from the ACT and Northern Territory are elected on a different schedule, but they only elect two each and are not likely to change anyway.)
It is normal in Australia for the government to have a minority in the senate. The only time in recent history when the government has held a majority in the senate was 2004-2007.
Didn't answer this bit.
The Senate has fixed terms under normal circumstances. So the current Senate expires on 1st July 2017, by which time there will have been an election for half its seats (the half not up for election this time).
But a mechanism exists in the Constitution for a 'Double Dissolution' election under certain circumstances (basically if a government can't get important legislation passed) in which case all the House and all the Senate go up for immediate reelection. Some would like Mr Abbott to do this - but it's very risky. First of all, at the moment, the polls would suggest Labor would win the House, and therefore be back in government. Secondly, even if that wasn't so, in a full Senate election, the 'quota' to get a Senator elected is halved (because there are twice as many positions to be filled). That would likely lead to an increase in Greens and Palmer United Senators at the expense of both the major groupings - and an even harder Senate to work with.
PM says no carbon tax under her govt
Julia Gillard unveils her plans for carbon tax
Abbott won’t repeal carbon tax: Gillard
Carbon tax is gone: Repeal bills pass the Senate
UPDATE. A feast of sadface Twitter reactions:
Today is the saddest day for Earth.
My poor stupid country has no climate change policy.
Abbott’s monstrously stupid decision will be incredibly hard to rectify and will be a huge burden for decades.
A sad day.
They even clapped. A shameful victory for old white men over the future. Note their names. History will damn them.
What a joke.
Australia, one of the world’s biggest polluters, becomes the 1st country to ban carbon tax.
Tony Abbott versus the future.
Australia has just gone back 50 years in time.
Well once again Australia, hope you’re proud. You absolute morons.
So much for being the clever country
Ashamed of my country right now.
World should heavily condemn this aggressive selfish action.
Humanity is now one step closer to defeating the Earth.
God forbid we ever place any importance on the environment over money.
I’m weeping on the inside about it.
No jobs on a dead planet.
Can’t even deal with today’s complete & catastrophic failure of the political system.
If you strike the carbon tax down, it shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.
Looking forward to that.
Thanks for all the info!
Next boats Abbott may have to keep out are those filled w Americans fleeing ObamaVille...
It seems that PM Abbott will need to work within constraints for the next year while convincing the voters that his policies are best.
In Canada, PM Harper's opposition has turned out to be the left-leaning Supreme Court, not the appointed Senate. He is down a few points in the polls with a year to go before the next election. Between expanding aboriginal land rights and U.S. refusal to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, Canada may not be able to export its coming crude oil surplus of five to six millions barrels per day. That is more the lifeblood of the Canadian economy than most will admit. As an analogy, imagine Australia's economy with its natural resources landlocked.