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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

public debate in Australia « Previous | |Next »
March 3, 2011

This is the contribution by SA Liberal Senator Mary Jo Fisher in the Australian Senate to the public debate about the Gillard Government's adoption of a carbon price to begin the process of reducing greenhouse emissions. It gives an support to those Australian citizens with some knowledge and understanding of public policy criticizing some politicians for being hollow.

The Gillard Government's carbon pricing policy is open to criticism from a number of perspectives. Alan Kohler in Business Spectator, for instance, says:

Just as Howard repainted the Liberals’ brand with a tinge of xenophobia in 2001, Julia Gillard is now slapping green paint on Labor’s logo.That is intention No.1 of the carbon tax. Intention No.2 is to raise an almighty barrel of pork for the 2013 election. Call me cynical, but I would say carbon abatement is intention No. 3 on the PM’s list, with daylight between two and three.

He says that Julia Gillard’s target in declaring war on carbon taxation is not the Coalition, but the Greens.The ALP’s greatest threat comes from erosion of its base by Bob Brown’s Greens. If that continues, Labor’s future as an independent political force looks very dim.

So the cash raised from the tax is going to be spent to help out the battlers and working poor and not the high income households. Cynical yes, but an argument worth considering.

Senator Mary Jo Fisher, in contrast, does not have a substantive argument. It's more akin to a comedy routine in the Adelaide Fringe, not a debate about public policy in the Senate, which is committed to deliberation and public reason on public issues.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 12:37 PM | | Comments (9)


That would be the worst speech by a parliamentarian I've ever had the misfortune to sit through.
Watching the senate for a while the other night, the only one who emerged with even a skerrick of credibility was Wong and that's only because most of the rest were so, so far worse.
How dare the Tories present rubbish like this, delivered in the way it's delivered, involving mutton heads like Abbott, Abetz, Mirabella, Morrison; now this strange, skinny, surly woman- this can only be considered as a calculated, spite-riddled insult to the Australian people and its (limited) intelligence, worst of all of emanating from people lacking the wit even of average Australians.

as a South Australian I found this speech embarrassing to watch. I squirmed in my seat.

Mary Joe Fisher is a country Liberal --comes from an irrigator/ farming background. Senator Fisher, trained as a lawyer and had a career as a policy adviser to ministers. She came to Parliament in 2007 to fill the casual vacancy caused by the resignation of former minister Amanda Vanstone.

Its not just the hollow politicians---we have junk commentators. An example is Kenneth Wiltshire, the J.D. Story professor of public administration at the University of Queensland business school, writing this dribble in The Australian:

It is now clear that Australia is virtually ungovernable. ... The Greens are already effectively running this nation and this kind of behaviour will escalate as they become more arrogant after July 1 when they will hold the balance of power in the Senate.

Wiltshire claims that the root cause of ungovernability is the complex and stultifying agreements Julia Gillard reached after the election with The Greens and regional Independents. Consequently,
There is no way out of this mess except an early national election to give one side or the other a clear majority and mandate, and restore sound governance and proper service delivery: the sooner the better for the wellbeing of the nation.

It's a puff piece for the Coalition. Its what the Conservative base wants--a minority government cannot work. So we have another election now, which Abbott wins.

The Coalition seems to believe that the people are revolting and that a populist style tea party movement is forming.

To use Paul Keating's language, South Australian Senator Mary Jo Fisher flicked the switch to vaudeville in the Senate yesterday with her rendition of the Hokey-Kokey and The Time Warp.

Her act was bad vaudeville.

Paul Kelly states the conservative's political position in The Australian:

Australia is a polarised nation, split on carbon pricing, divided on the Greens' ideological agenda, plagued by uncertainty over power industry investment and needing another election to resolve the latest political war over climate change.

He doesn't say much else in his column.

Gary, he didn't even say that, because its a load of bollocks at its utmost best, let alone its fanciful depths.
He didn't say anything-at all- in his column, or most other columns he has written, and he has, he wants to know why, that's a blemish on an otherwise spotless record for dumbing through the premeditated starvation of information and truth from them, by himself.

Australia is becoming a very divided nation.The divisions are being fostered by the Coalition.

a divided and angry Australia.

Barrie Cassidy makes this observation:

Insiders is in its tenth year. We get a steady stream of feedback, positive and negative. Most of the negative is thoughtful and thought provoking. But this year, we have we been inundated with vile filth passing as political commentary, of the type we have never before received in such large numbers. It is hateful and vicious. No political party would knowingly want these creeps in their ranks.It might be orchestrated by a well organised minority. It's hard to tell. But it is relentless.

He reckons it is the "cost of living" issue that is fuelling the anger. It is stirred by the shock jocks.