After losing an ‘unlosable’ election (where have we heard that before?), Labor has a lot of choices to make, especially in regards to how they fared in Queensland. The only problem is, the issue that they need to consider is one that will lose and gain voter support no matter how they approach it – climate change.
Slowly but surely, it is evident already that the choice has been made, and they just need to ease into the position. That is, they are going to lay down concession after concession on climate change to appeal to the Coalition’s base. The Adani coalmine, and coal in general as a part of our nation’s energy source, was deemed an important issue by many, particularly in rural areas and Central/Far North QLD.
Despite the science and economics not being on the side of the fossil fuel industry, there are a number of people who still believe that coal is an essential resource. It is this segment of the population (or at least, one of the larger ones) that Labor failed to appease with its insistence on transitioning to renewables. This is where it gets tricky for Labor, because they will now have to balance the coal regions with the rest of the nation.
While conceding to that base might bring back supporters who turned to the Coalition, it will also trigger a loss on the other end of the debate that will be disappointed. Despite being in the camp of people who believed Labor was not doing enough to combat climate change, I was impressed that they were so steadfast in the message they wanted to tell. It was a party, unlike the LNP or the Nationals, that actually stood for something, and they were knocked down for it.
Rather than drive a stronger campaign on their beliefs, however, Labor now seems intent to back down, scared and hesitant to cause too much trouble. Labor voters who believed in their climate policy will likely now filter to the Greens – hence it being a balancing act. How many supporters can they regain without losing more by doing so?
It’s like the Coalition trying to regain supporters that have jumped to One Nation or the like – will the old base swing to Labor rather than vote for an increasingly depraved party? I have too little faith in Coalition voters to believe they would do that, but Labor voters I think would consider switching with more of a conscious on climate change.
Especially as a Queenslander, it does pain me to say that it is likely I am a minority in this country regarding climate change and the transition to renewables. But I can’t help but feel as though the Labor Party is betraying their values and base by announcing a step back on policy. Taking the time to listen to the issues that voters have is understandable and important, but there is much to be said about their tenacity and resolution if they waver now.
Today they say they’ll consider working with the Coalition on achieving their ‘reduction targets’, and tomorrow the Coalition will say renewables have no place here. Round and round we’ll go, further into regression and catastrophe, just like the Democrats following the Republicans like hapless lapdogs off the political spectrum.
The Adani mine here in QLD is getting closer and closer to being finally approved, and if that happens we can say goodbye to the Great Barrier Reef, a large amount of clean groundwater, and species in the area. QLD Labor has one chance to save our environment – they cannot capitulate like Federal Labor seems to have done.
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