Vale CPRS and hello a green tinged Parliament?
The Senate has rejected the CPRS.
The Government will reintroduce its Bill in 3 months’ time and give itself a trigger for a double dissolution.
There seem to be two competing arguments for Labor about whether to go early or not.
They can hang the Opposition out to dry for the next few months, make them look a bigger rabble than they already are and then do a deal with them to reward the polluters even more.
Labor get the kudos for saving the environment but in effect they will have concocted a scheme that is worse than the useless one they already have.
On the other hand if unemployment begins to increase over the next year (as it will) then that could make an election in late 2010 more of a problem.
So they might plump for an early election on the CPRS, decimate the Liberals and deal with the Greens by giving a few trinkets on CPRS to them.
That to me seems a pretty attractive option even if you lose Lindsay Tanner and Anthony Albanese.
For those ALP voters who might agree with Bob Brown that the scheme is worse than doing nothing it leaves little but the Greens.
If there were a double dissolution there could be around ten green senators and a few green MHRs.
Lindsay Tanner and Anthony Albanese (and hopefully Stephen Fielding) are likely to be the biggest losers from any swing to the Greens.
There is another reason why the Government might be tempted to go in say March 2010.
By November next year unemployment will be much higher than now – maybe not at 8.5% but still high enough (say 7.5%) compared to the current 5.8% to cause Labor some political angst.
Maybe that is the real driver for going early.
Given the state of the Opposition Labor could wait till March 2011 and still win easily.
But that is too long term and they’d shoo in in March 2010 so they might be very tempted.
Either way, the useless CPRS will still be Labor’s main vehicle for addressing climate change - redistributing wealth from the poor and workers to the rich and their polluting industries.