Australia Votes to Crush Carbon Tax and Big Government

By:  Alex Newman
09/09/2013
       
Australia Votes to Crush Carbon Tax and Big Government

Voters in Australia delivered a landslide victory for a more liberty-minded coalition on September 7 that ran on a market-friendly platform and vowed to abolish the deeply unpopular “carbon tax,” reportedly winning the biggest parliamentary majority in about a decade.

The new prime minister, Tony Abbott (shown) of the Liberal Party, presented himself as a socially conservative leader who would rein in high taxes and spending while slashing foreign aid and half-baked “green” policies supposedly aimed at combating “global warming.” Evidently, Australians liked the plan.

The crushing defeat for the giant government-promoting Labor Party, which helped foist unpopular and hugely expensive pseudo-environmentalist policies on Australia, led to the resignation of party leader and former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. In the House of Representatives, it appears that Abbott’s coalition — composed of so-called “center-right” parties including his Liberal Party and the National Party — secured at least 91 out of 150 seats so far. About half of the Senate seats were also up for grabs, but the full results have not yet been released by the Australian Electoral Commission.     

"Something very significant has happened today. Today the people of Australia have declared the right to government to Australia ... belongs to you the people of Australia,” Abbott said after it became clear that his coalition had secured a solid victory. "From today I declare that Australia is under new management … Australia is once more open for business.” Indeed, among the primary selling points for Abbott’s coalition was dismantling broad swaths of the bloated government that had been steadily growing in size and scope amid six years of Labor Party domination.

At the top of the new coalition government’s agenda, at least on the campaign trail, was dismantling the wildly unpopular and extraordinarily costly so-called “carbon pricing mechanism” imposed by the Labor Party and its partners. The controversial scheme went into effect in mid-2012, and, as The New American and numerous other sources have reported since then, the results have been disastrous: Record business failures, soaring prices for essentials such as energy, and a major plunge in the nation’s economic competitiveness.

When the scheme was approved by a razor-thin margin in 2011, Abbott, then leader of the opposition, gave a “pledge in blood” that his party would undo the damage upon being returned to power. However, now that voters expressed their wishes, it is not yet certain whether the new government will be able to follow through on its pledges, according to analysts. How much can be done will depend in part, at least, on the Senate election results and being able to work with independents and smaller parties.

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Photo of Tony Abbott: AP Images

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