The Climate Election

I went to bed early on election night without looking at the vote count on TV, hoping fervently that the former government had been ‘binned’. My wife called from the lounge that the ALP had 72 seats, guaranteeing them a victory – albeit in a minority government or a hung parliament. But it was not until this morning that I realised the extent of the changes that had occurred, with the fantastic performance of the so-called ‘teal’ independents and the greens. This was especially pleasing for a very small financial supporter (see above) of the “climate independents” through the climate 200 organisation.

My ‘wish list’ for the election has come true with a few exceptions. Locally the Greens candidate increased the vote by about one third. In Monash the Voices candidate Deb Leonard polled well, but nowhere near enough to be a threat to the incumbent. This is understandable as the Voices for Monash is a very young organisation and Deb appears to have had nowhere near the groundswell support of candidates in other Voices groups.

In Victoria virtually everything I wished for has happened – the return of Helen Haines and ‘climate independents’ in Goldstein and Kooyong. In the seat of Higgins it appears Labor has pipped the Greens. Australia wide the Greens have polled very strongly in Brisbane and may yet form a minority government with the ALP. In Sydney the ‘climate independents have also performed well and the size of the cross bench may well double.

It’s a relief we no longer have climate deniers and delayers in power and we no longer have to witness the media catching antics of coal waving troglodytes. The power of the Murdoch media and Palmer billions has mostly been illusory. Hopefully the failure of the main political parties and the mainstream media to call the climate election has also been binned.

An ex CSIRO scientist has called for the economic opportunities of climate change to be taken up as well action on disaster preparedness. He added that “International agreement” was also important “since what Australia actually does makes little difference except as part of global action.” This climate election is just a very small step forward in fighting the climate emergency. The power of the fossil fuel lobby remains, as does that of the Murdoch media and a number of reactionary politicians in the Libs, Nats and other minor parties.

Perhaps the Liberals eventually will split, as my wish list hoped for, and it will be a week or two before we can the full results in both houses.