A hung parliament.
Clearly the Labor governments dropping the ETS is a huge factor. Large swings to the Greens, with them picking up their first lower house seat.
As I said a few months back, this is the new political instability. Climate change is a wild card that will destroy governments:
The politics of climate change destroyed two political leaders: what’s next?
The politics of climate change is not the sole driver of these events.
However, I think we can say climate change is no longer an issue politicians can afford to ignore.
The majority of Australians (let’s ignore the highly vocal, but significant minority of “sceptics”) want action on climate change. Rudd disappointed with his ETS back flip.
Conversely, sceptics of climate change backed the new Liberal leader Tony Abbot whose acceptance of the science is at best tenuous.
I think it goes without saying that climate change issues will completely reshape the political landscape over the next few years.
As it’s effects begun to be felt even more, politicians who once chanted the “growth” mantra will struggle to develop policies that will mitigate the effects of global warming and put a price on carbon.
The public will become even more divided on what they believe is an adequate response to climate change. This in turn may drive even wilder swings in opinion polls.
Perhaps politics will become even more partisan. Having delayed action for nearly twenty years, governments and politicians around the world will scramble to develop effective and popular strategies.
But what will this mean for us, the ordinary citizens of democracies such as Australia?
Labor got punished for dropping the ETS.
Maxine McKew, the Labor candidate who took former Prime Minister Howard’s seat, has lost that same seat after one term.
Labor dropping the ETS… a core issue that disappointed many.