33 ayes. 41 noes.

And there we have it. The ETS goes down. With a whimper.

Back in December last year Ross Garnaut said the government’s initial CPRS blueprint would get “5½ out of 10 at a good university”:

“Never in the history of Australian public finance has so much been given without public policy purpose, by so many, to so few …”

Well now this piece of public policy is dead, not slayed by any kind of high-minded principle, mind you, but by sheer, bloody minded politics.

Crunch time, in the form of the Copenhagen conference, kicks off in five days. Meanwhile, the international headlines about yesterday’s little domestic kerfuffle are rolling in:

Australian opposition dumps its leader over carbon trading billThe Guardian

Australia opposition vote deals climate law blow BBC News

‘Mad Monk’ Tony Abbott plays with fireTimes Online (UK)

Climate e-mails topple Australian opposition leaderTelegraph.co.uk

Showdown in Australia Over Climate Bill The New York Times

How much support will Australian climate sceptic get?The Financial Times UK

Not so funny anymore.

Peter Fray

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