Sunday, November 25, 2007

Australian Election and Climate Change

Australia has a single member electoral system like Canada but it uses a preferential ballot. That means that if the leading candidate has less than 50% of the vote, second (and third choices) are counted until one candidate reaches 50%.

The Australian Labour Party has won a majority but there are still some undecided seats. One is La Trobe in Melbourne's eastern suburbs. The Liberal Party (in Australia a small 'c' conservative party) was ahead on the first count but, according to Australian Broadcasting, is likely to lose it on the second choices of Australian Green voters going to Labour. Labour's commitments and the impact of the electoral system (Labour isn't likely forget the role of Green second choices in this election and the potential in the future) likely mean that Australia will go from being a climate change laggard to a leader - one Labour commitment is to immediately ratify Kyoto.

This comes on a weekend when Stephen Harper has demonstrated yet again just how little priority he gives to climate change (indeed one is left with the impression that he simply wouldn't do anything if politics did not matter). Read this analysis of Harper's behaviour by Accidental Deliberations. I think he nails it.

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