Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise. Former National Post & Toronto Star columnist, past vice president of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. New posts: Mondays & Wednesdays.
In my corner of the world it’s the 8th of November, 2011. On this date across the ocean in Australia something terrible happened (it’s already November 9th there now).
A minority government led by Julia Gillard passed 18 pieces of legislation that, collectively, ushered in a brand new, nationwide carbon tax. This is the same Gillard who, on the eve of a national election in 2010 made a clear, unequivocal statement:
I rule out a carbon tax. [backup link here]
According to the Sydney Morning Herald two weeks ago, a public opinion poll found that 2 out of 3 Australians were opposed to the carbon tax (59% versus 32%). Yet in a blog post Al Gore now says the passing of this legislation means that:
the voice of the people of Australia has rung out loud and clear. [backup link here]
Reasonable people can disagree about many things when it comes to climate change. But it is not OK to rule out a measure just prior to an election and to then ram it through afterward – especially when you’re perfectly aware that two out of three of the citizens you’re supposed to be serving oppose this measure.
Nor is it OK for Al Gore to spin this as a victory for the people of Australia. What a contemptible thing for him to say.
First, the Australian public was lied to. Then its views were ignored. Whether we are climate activists or climate skeptics surely we can agree that this isn’t how democratic government is supposed to work.
For news and views from Australia, check out: