This is a pledge in blood this man will go.
Two weeks ago, the Gillard government succeeded in passing legislation for a new carbon tax through the lower house of the Australian federal parliament. Shortly after, opposition leader Tony Abbott made a "pledge in blood", promising that: "We will repeal the tax, we can repeal the tax, we must repeal the tax".
The passing of the carbon tax bill represents a concerted effort spanning at least ten years, made possible by the hard work and the sacrifice of numerous Australians (at all levels, including at the very top). Australia is the highest per-capita greenhouse gas emitter in the developed world. We need climate change legislation enactment urgently, and this bill represents a huge step towards that endeavour.
I don't usually publish direct political commentary here. Nor do I usually name and shame. But I feel compelled to make an exception in this case. For me, Tony Abbott's response to the carbon tax can only possibly be addressed in one way. He leaves us with no option. If this man has sworn to repeal the good work that has flourished of late, then the solution is simple. Tony Abbott must never lead this country. The consequences of his ascension to power would be, in a nutshell, diabolical.
So, join me in making a blood pledge to never vote for Tony Abbott.
Fortunately, as commentators have pointed out, it would actually be extremely difficult — if not downright impossible — for an Abbott-led government to repeal the tax in practice (please G-d may such government never come to pass). Also fortunate is the fact that support for the anti-carbon-tax movement is much less than Abbott makes it out to be, via his dramatic media shenanigans.
Of course, there are also a plethora of other reasons to not vote for tony. His hard-line Christian stance on issues such as abortion, gay marriage, and euthanasia. His xenophobia towards what he perceives as "the enemies of our Christian democratic society", i.e. Muslims and other minority groups. His policies regarding Aboriginal rights. His pathetic opportunism of the scare-campaign bandwagon to "stop the boats". His unashamed labelling of himself as "Howard 2.0". His budgie smugglers (if somehow — perhaps due to a mental disability — nothing else about the possibility of Abbott being PM scares the crap out of you, at least consider this!).
In last year's Federal election, I was truly terrified at the real and imminent possibility that Abbott could actually win (and I wasn't alone). I was aghast at how incredibly close he came to claiming the top job, although ultimately very relieved in seeing him fail (a very Bush-esque affair, in my opinion, was Australia's post-election kerfuffle of 2010 — which I find fitting, since I find Abbott almost as nauseating as the legendarily dimwitted G-W himself).
I remain in a state of trepidation, as long as Abbott continues to have a chance of leading this country. Because, laugh as we may at Gillard's 2010 election slogan of "Moving Forward Together", I can assure you that Abbott's policy goes more along the line of "Moving Backward Stagnantly".
Image courtesy of The Wire.