There’s something wrong with your strategy when Steve Fielding has the sense to call you out.

In one of his final acts as a senator, Fielding this morning refused to back Coalition leader Tony Abbott’s plebiscite on a carbon tax. He gave Abbott a serve:

“It is a political stunt and I won’t be backing it. It is an $80 million glorified opinion poll that isn’t going to be binding. Seriously, why should we waste $80 million on a glorified opinion poll just because Tony has got a problem?”.

This isn’t in the script. The conservative Victorian senator was supposed to be a “vociferous opponent” of a carbon tax, as miffed Liberal Eric Abetz reminded him today. And the man is not afraid of a good (albeit less expensive) stunt himself.

Mind you, even Abbott admitted he’d ignore the result of a plebiscite if he didn’t like the answer. Even Steve could see through that one.

Peter Fray

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