August 22, 2011

Horse 1221 - Why The Plebiscite is a Waste of Time and Money

Tony Abbott has put before the parliament a bill calling plebiscite on whether Australia should have a carbon tax; by his own admission, it will be a waste of time and money and it will be HIS fault.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has introduced a bill calling for a plebiscite on whether Australia should have a carbon tax.
He said the vote should be held by November.
“I am giving the Prime Minister an opportunity to redeem herself. I am giving the Prime Minister an opportunity to make an honest woman of herself … to overcome the honesty deficit that she currently displays,’’ he said.
This would mean there could be a vote on the carbon tax without an election.
“We can have a vote on the carbon tax without necessarily a change of government. I am making it easier with this bill to have this matter put to the people. By proposing a plebiscite I am allowing this matter to go to the public for a vote, as it should … wI am giving the Government and other members of this Parliament an opportunity to restore faith with fewer adverse consequences for themselves than would otherwise be the case.’’
- Canberra Times, 20 Aug 2011

Why is Tony Abbott even bothering to get the parliament to force a plebiscite?

The truth of the matter is that on June 20 on Melbourne's 3AW, that if he was successful in forcing a plebiscite and the result found that the Australian public were actually in favour of a Carbon Tax, that he would rescind the legislation if he became Prime Minister.

Where do you find such information? Published on the Liberal Party's website for crying out loud.
Oh yes, absolutely. I mean, my position on a carbon tax is that I am against it in opposition and I will rescind it in government.

Here we have a man who continually attacks the Prime Minister for "lying" about not introducing a Carbon Tax, yet actually promises to violate the wishes of the Australian people should he become Prime Minister.

Perhaps a reminder of Section 51 of the Constitution is in order; specifically:
The Parliament shall, subject to this Constitution, have power to make laws for the peace, order, and good government of the Commonwealth...

I often wonder about those words "good government". Can "good government" include a promise to deliberately act in bad faith? Admittedly actually holding a plebiscite doesn't bind the parliament but acting in good faith which is arguably the basis of "good government" at very least should demonstrate a commitment to the compliance of the will of the people, no?

Again, why bother to force a plebiscite if you have not an iota of intent to listen to it if you disagree with it? What is the point?
Or to put it another way, Mr Abbott has promised to willfully waste taxpayers money on a stupid non-binding  question which he'll ignore anyway.


No comments: