On the 5th of December two relatively safe Liberal seats will test the voters’ opinion.
Higgins in inner Melbourne will have 10 candidates, the 2 largest parties contesting being the Liberals and the Greens. Polling in this electorate may be clear, but the field of quality independents may see the Greens fail to reach second. However there is a Climate Sceptics Party candidate and so measuring that opinion may be possible, indicating how important people see the issue when high profile climate activist and progressive Clive Hamilton is also standing.
In Bradfield 22 candidates contest, but 9 of them are from the Christian Democrats [Fred Nile Group]. Perhaps they hope by filling a significant number of positions on the ballot the preference distribution will see one of them elected.
Of course every square must be numbered sequentially to be a valid vote although failure to record number 22 would be arguably a valid vote if the other numbers before it are represented only once and in, or very close to, the square allocated. Good luck scrutineers.
Bradfield will be more difficult to read on the night, but if the Green vote increases and the Liberal falls markedly one could conclude that their position on the CPRS/ETS has cost them electoral support. Methinks we will have to await the allocation of preferences.
This website lets you into some discussion of this matter.
The trigger for a double dissolution election does not yet exist. A Constitutional debate may follow if the Australian Senate sends the government’s bill off to an Inquiry. It has not been rejected and so one would consider that a double dissolution election has been deferred until a vote is taken.
If the bill is passed then it’s on to Copenhagen, if rejected its on to the polls. The above website has discussion on possible election dates.
Malcolm Bligh Turnbull is tough and a fighter, he has been most of his life, including time at Sydney Grammar.
Kelly and Uren in The Australian explain clearly what a repudiation of the CPRS/ETS is very, very likely to mean for the Liberal Party’s electoral fortunes in the Saturday the 28th edition.
Measuring the current craziness of the Liberal Party in the electorate has one feature, they are risking returning 1 Green Senator from each State and possibly 2, as in a double dissolution election the vote required is halved, as all 12 Senators face election. In Tasmania it may be 3 Greens and 7 Labor on the quota allocation.
Even dreaming aside, it is hard to imagine voters swinging to a party in disarray, whose policy on a high profile issue is way out of touch when viewed in the light of recent behavior including the 4 Corners interviews.
Of course, the lower quota required is likely to see ballot papers the size of bed sheets, swallowing whole forests to allow the voters to express their clear opinion in each of the States of the Federation.
In this election, if it comes to pass, the conservatives will also benefit with a strong vote for the Nationals, especially in the country, following their opposition to an ETS.
Perhaps, as we saw with the Labor Party’s move to the Centre the Greens grew, if the Liberals 2 broad elements can no longer find common ground a new Conservative style party will emerge along with a Liberal Democrat Party one. They will not be the same as the English division of parties but the conservatives have a major division over wich they must resolve their apparently irreconcilable difference.
Whichever, Labor has a good chance of another 2 terms, bedding down its CPRS before being judged by the electorate on the effectiveness of it and the other reforms it makes, because the environment has becoming a determining issue in Australian political life.
The first environmental issue whites faced in Australia was a drought, addressed by the tanks dug into the sandstone in Sydney, hence the name the Tank Stream. It was not long before pollution forced Sydney’s water to be sources from another catchment.
Now we face another set of environmental issues brought about by the growth following an expansion of England’s empire forced by changing the industrial base in England from agriculture to manufacture.
Except this time there is nowhere to move the problem to.