So where are we at in the CPRS debacle at lunchtime?

Well, you might be surprised to know no one’s too sure.

Julie Bishop may have tapped Turnbull or may not.  She is denying it.  It’s understandable, because anyone going in to tap Turnbull on the shoulder should probably wear body armour.

Joe Hockey and Peter Dutton may be preparing a joint ticket, or may not.  I’m hoping Dutton doesn’t become deputy because, try as I might and professional as I would want to be, I just don’t understand why anyone rates him.

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Connie Fierravanti-Wells resigned as shadow Parliamentary Secretary, if anyone is still counting.

Coalition MPs are desperately trying to work out how they should vote, given the fury from party members over this week’s decision to support the CPRS.  Joe Hockey used Twitter to invite people to tell him what they thought he should do (an impressive act for a putative leader). Bob Baldwin rumoured last night to have resigned, but still in the shadow ministry issued a survey today. If I could I ask you to respond to the following questions so that I can be better informed when I have to make a final decision on the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme/Emissions Trading Scheme in Parliament on Monday, it began…

From: Baldwin, Bob (MP)

Sent: Friday, 27 November 2009 12:20 PM

To: undisclosed-recipients

Subject: Bob Baldwin’s CPRS/ETS Survey

Good Morning,

I am emailing to understand your views on Climate Change and the CPRS/ETS,

If I could I ask you to respond to the following questions so that I can be better informed when I have to make a final decision on the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme/Emissions Trading Scheme in Parliament on Monday.

1. Do you believe that Climate Change is caused by Human created Carbon Emissions Yes/No

2. Do you understand the CPRS/ETS (tax) and it’s impacts on our Nation? Yes/No

3. Do you think a CPRS/ETS (tax) will stop global warming Yes/No

4. Do you support the introduction of a CPRS/ETS (Tax) Yes/No

5. Do you require any further information on this matter so that you can make a better informed decision? Yes/No

Name:

Address:

Thank you for taking the time to respond,

Regards

Bob Baldwin

Listening Locally – Fighting Nationally

The bills themselves, the little – or actually not so little – package of legislation that has caused the Liberals to methodically pour petrol over themselves and strike a match, remains mired in the Sisyphean hell of Senate debate, with the Government-imposed deadline of 3.45pm looking impossible.

If the bill doesn’t pass, the Government will be bringing all its artillery to bear on the Coalition.  It took it easy in Parliament this week, with plenty of jokes at the expense of the conspiracy theorists, but little in the way of outright comment, apart from regular praise for Turnbull and Macfarlane.  But the most impressive messaging machine in Australian political history will wind up and open fire, especially when the Prime Minister returns from talking about emissions targets from Washington next week. Greg Combet gave a taste this morning at a press conference, saying that it the bill hadn’t passed by 3.45, it would show the extremists and fanatics were running the Coalition.

Extremists who welsh on deals, in particular.

But the great unknown in all this is Malcolm Turnbull.  He could call a press conference at any time to declare he could no longer lead a party that wasn’t as committed to addressing climate change as he was.  More likely, that massive brain is plotting some way to both cling to the leadership and pass the CPRS bills, thereby removing the immediate cause of all the anger and division in the party.

The talk in the corridors and on Twitter is of Hockey becoming leader with a strong Praetorian Guard of conservatives in order to restore a semblance of peace, and of the bills being rejected.

Malcolm Turnbull might have other ideas, and his personal history suggests he ends up winning far more often than not.

As a Crikey subscriber and someone who began working as a journalist in 1957, I am passionate about the importance of independent media like Crikey. I met a lot of Australians from many walks of life during my career and did my best to share their stories honestly and fairly with their fellow citizens.

And I never forgot how important it is to hold politicians to account. Crikey does that – something that is more important now than ever before in Australia.

Liz
North Stradbroke Island, QLD

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