After the contortions of the last few weeks, I think itâ€™s pretty safe to draw the following conclusions
(i) The Liberal Party is all over the shop on climate change and is going to stay that way, at least as long as Brendan Nelson remains leader
(ii) Whatever legislative proposal the government comes up with, the Opposition will oppose it
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Having made the bold predictions, some time back, that neither the Nationals, nor the Liberals, would ever win another election in Queensland or nationally, I gave myself two bob each way by explaining that this was because a merger, or a completely new party, was a precondition for defeating Labor. Everything looked to be going swimmingly until last night, when the Liberals suddenly backed out of the merger theyâ€™d agreed with the Nationals. On the face of it, this didnâ€™t look too good for my record as a political tipster (which had been improving a bit).
But the great thing about an each-way bet is that there is more than one way to win. Whatever happens now as regards the merger, the Libationals have made such a mess of things that itâ€™s hard to see Labor losing here for another couple of terms, by which time the merger will presumably have happened. And whatâ€™s true in Queensland is almost certainly true nationally. Short of an econoic catastrophe, the next serious prospect for a Libational win is that provided by the lamentable NSW government, which is not due to face the voters until 2011, IIRC.
Update Thanks to a court order, the merger has gone ahead. Given these farcical events, my prediction looks like winning both ways. Not only have the Libs and Nats ceased to exist, but they still don’t look like a plausible alternative to Labor.
That’s the question being debated at the Creative Capitalism blog. I’ve made a small contribution on the idea, responding to the argument that the managers of companies have a fiduciary obligation to maximize profits. Joshua Gans has covered the same topic, and there’s lots more interesting stuff to read.
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This peace deal in Zimbabwe seems like good news, though it’s hard to be sure. I hope it is a way to bring the miserable Mugabe regime to an end without any further loss of life and general suffering. At the risk of contradicting views I expressed regarding the Sudan case, I’d welcome a deal where Mugabe lived out his remaining days in retirement, and his party handed over power to the democratically elected MDC.
The arrest in Serbia of Radovan Karadzic is great news for the world and for Serbia. For the many victims of the genocidal campaign undertaken by Karadzic’s regime in Bosnia, there’s the prospect of long-delayed justice. Of course, Karadzic is entitled to a fair trial, and a conviction is by no means certain, given the need to prove his personal responsibility, but at least the issues will be tried.
It’s excellent also as a signal that the new Serbian government is going to be part of the world, rather than persisting with the poisonous nationalism that has done so much damage (to ordinary Serbs as much as anyone).
Finally, for all those in governments around the world who even now are giving orders for torture and murder, it’s a reminder that no matter how strong their position might seem and how long they can evade justice, it will catch up with them in the end.
It’s time for MMB again. Civilised discussion and no coarse language please.
I haven’t had time for a really thorough reading of the government’s Green Paper on emissions trading, let alone a full-scale response. But I thought I’d put down a few points for discussion.
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It’s time, a little bit late for weekend reflections. Feel free to write at greater length than for a standard comment thread. As always, civilised discussion and no coarse language.
Over the fold my piece from yesterday’s Fin, a response to the argument that since Australia only contributes about 2 per cent of global CO2 emissions, there’s no real point in us doing anything. I’ve drawn on discussions here, so thanks to everyone who participated.
Although the article includes some allusions to the Green Paper, the deadlines involved meant that it was mostly written before the Green Paper was released, and it doesn’t deal with any of the details, on which more soon I hope.
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After a long period of deterioration, the shared server from which the blog is hosted has finally been repaired, fixing the cumulative depredations of spammers. At least for the moment, response seems to be rapid and free of 503 and similar errors. I’m looking into migration options to avoid a return to the problems that have plagued the blog intermittently for the last year or so, but this depends on getting a bit of free time. In the meantime, I’m just glad to be back on air.