Like it or not, Abbott has a mandate on carbon tax

Douglas Kirsner writes: Re. “Crikey says: what’s in a mandate? ” (Tuesday). Tony Abbott has a clear mandate to abolish the carbon tax. It was a key policy at the election. As prime minister, Kevin Rudd recently declared that governments were obliged to act in accordance with their democratic mandate. In the recent election debate, Rudd responded to David Speers’ question as to whether it was right that he dismantled Howard’s Pacific Solution following the 2007 election, Rudd declared  “I believe in acting in accordance with your democratic mandate. That is what we took to the people, and the people supported it.”  Abbott took the abolition of the carbon tax to the people, and the people supported it. It would be hypocritical of Labor to reject it in the Senate. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

Tamas Calderwood writes: Interesting thoughts from Crikey on how an election victory translates into a mandate for specific policies.  When it comes to the carbon tax, however, it’s difficult to argue that Abbott didn’t win a mandate to scrap it.  This logic flows from the fact that Labor categorically ruled out a carbon tax before the 2010 election and then shoved it down our throats afterwards — sans mandate — thereby making the tax a major factor in Abbott’s victory.

The Greens and Labor have the senate numbers to block its repeal until next year, but Labor needs to ask if it wants to double down on its association with the Greens: a party that broke its partnership with Labor anyway — although not until after it received all its promised goodies.  Why would Labor keep supporting the Greens’ key policy after their partnership led them both to electoral disaster?

Selling weapons has consequences 

Ingrid Strewe writes: Re. “Russia may yet offer US a Syrian lifeline” (yesterday). If Assad gives back his gas stocks, will the UK company that sold him the components give him his money back? While there is still doubt his government actually used them you have to ask: what do we expect when we sell arms, any kind of arms, to anyone, let alone dictators?

Discuss. (Please)

Paid pollies

Katrina Willis writes: Re. “Open for business: Lib flacks rush to Canberra to lobby Abbott” (yesterday). Your item in today’s bulletin about the lobbyists was interesting. So many former politicians and staffers (from Labor and Coalition ranks) seem to set up shop working as lobbyists or in associated. It’s a sharp contrast to former prime minister Julia Gillard, who it was announced today will work in a voluntary (i.e.) unpaid capacity at the University of Adelaide. It would be interesting to see how many ex-politicians have chosen public service roles. For example, Bob Brown has set up a foundation working on environmental issues.

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Peter Fray
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