Pig heaven for a political tragic

Former deputy PM and leader of the Aussie National Party has just resigned. I’ve been poking sticks at Mark Vaile, also my local member, for years now. So some time around mid August I will be into election mode, supporting the current state MP Rob Oakeshott in his effort to shift to the federal arena.

Now there are rumblings that Canada will go to the polls in the autumn. Stephen Harper’s minority Conservative government has passed its use-by date. Survival to now has reflected the fact that no party had the voter support needed to form a majority government.

While the Conservatives focused on crippling their opposition, Liberal leader Stéphane Dion has been busy promoting his ‘green shift’ plan. Surprisingly voters in Canada and Australia are embracing climate change policies which come a personal cost to all.

Just goes to show, given a choice between playing politics or leading with ideas the ideas are actually winning. Of course when it really starts to hurt living standards the outlook might not look so rosy, but for now the momentum is with climate change action.

For a political tragic this is pig heaven; involved in one campaign and closely watching two others. There will be campaigning lessons to learn in all three shows, particularly the power of ideas over political posturing. But if Obama was watching Dion and Rudd he would be thinking seriously about sticking his neck out with some brave policy statements.

4 thoughts on “Pig heaven for a political tragic”

  1. Surprisingly voters in Canada and Australia are embracing climate change policies which come a(t) personal cost to all.

    I think this says a lot for our (Canada’s and Australia’s) socialized democracies. Propped up by the much-maligned ‘welfare state’ the average citizen feels able to take more personal chances with their life than the ‘rugged individuals’ created by the dog-eat-dog American system. You may for instance decide to take a job that is more personally satisfying for less money. I call that true freedom. When those individual choices also lead to better collective decisions being made for society and the planet, that’s a bonus.

    OTOH, I completely understand how an American may be forced into a materialistic, even unethical mindset given the conditions he or she faces. After all, without even the social safety net of guaranteed health care taking that more attractive job at a lower wage, or with fewer benefits could leave you bankrupt, crippled or dead because of one unanticipated crisis. I’m really happy I don’t have to make those kinds of hard choices.

    And thanks for showing an interest in Canadian politics Cartledge. I sure hope you’re right about the opposition parties pulling the plug on Harper before the fall. He really doesn’t deserve to be in power.

  2. “showing an interest in Canadian politics..”
    Thanks for expanding the thoughts in the right direction. You are spot on with the social/cultural difference between the US and our shared Westminster traditions.
    I suspect I would enjoy election holidays the same way others enjoy ski holidays. There is so much to absorb by being there. But for now I will concentrate on my South Pacific by-election.

  3. But if Obama was watching Dion and Rudd he would be thinking seriously about sticking his neck out with some brave policy statements.

    Would that it were the case. In fact, this is exactly what the left of the Democratic party is agitating for.

    But SBT has hit the nail on the head. The only way mitigating climate change is going to become an American priority is if every citizen make it her/his personal responsibility, regardless of the cost–government and industry will only follow when it becomes clear that profits are to be found in catering to an entrenched majority that won’t have things any other way.

    This brings up an interesting question: Let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that Americans become the eco-fanatics that we all would wish for. Taking into consideration the additional cost to us due to our ‘every man for himself’ society, will we gain an extra cred, garner any sympathy on the world stage, for putting ourselves at additional risk?

    The cynic in me says no.

  4. “Let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that Americans become the eco-fanatics… will we gain an extra cred, garner any sympathy on the world stage, for putting ourselves at additional risk?”

    Sorry Kvatch, I had to read and reread this. Oddly enough the countries who have traditionally looked to the US for leadership are hoping like hell leadership credibility will return. Just look at that turnout in Germany! The US is ‘Rome’, regardless of the cultural differences in the provinces. We might enjoy picking on the leader, but still hope for effective leadership.
    But that is not why we want to see an effective attempt to mitigate the Earth’s destruction, at the projected personal cost. Surely if we destroy our planet questions of who likes whom are moot.
    I should also point out that Rudd is far more radical (and still bloody conservative) than his election campaign suggested. The real problem is unraveling methodology from outcomes. Rudd is using conservative language, (comfort for the centre?) while cobbling fairly radical results.
    The risk, of course, is you have to put these people in effective positions to find out what the real potential is. I have a feeling you will be surprised.

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