Voting Liberal is Voting National

Prince Charles was said to be shocked when he heard that Australia’s Prime Minister may not be attending the Glasgow Climate Summit in early November. But Morrison confirmed late last week that he would attend, and the National Party is now shocked at what he might agree to when he does.

Net zero by 2050 has rapidly become an asinine global norm. Everyone from banks and insurance companies to oil companies and, in recent weeks, News Corporation has got behind this important but far too distant goal.

Everyone except the Nationals. Having spent years scaremongering against a carbon price as a wedge against Labor, and talking up the actually quite minimal economic benefits of mining, it is now near-impossible for them to back-track even if they wanted to. 

Nor is that a sentiment they are showing any signs of. In fact, as Crikey reported, QLD National Matt Canavan was recently photographed proudly holding a commemorative plaque of the first piece of coal extracted from Adani’s Carmichael mine.

Last week, Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce explicitly denied his party would be “holding the government to ransom” over net zero at Glasgow. Never believe anything until it has been officially denied.

For its recalcitrance, the AFR expects the National Party will get “billions” in exchange. Joyce is touting, among other things, millions for port and rail infrastructure to facilitate exporting coal from Queensland.

The situation is hardly helped by Angus Taylor, the Liberals Energy Minister, leading negotiations with the Nationals in Cabinet. Undoubtedly, any net zero arrangement that that group concocts will exacerbate Australia’s oversized contribution to climate change, while sending millions the way of resource corporations.

Actual farmers, with plenty to lose from climate change, are getting fed up, too. In NSW’s last election, the state’s two furthest-west seats voted for the environmentally conscious Shooters, Farmers and Fishers Party.

For all the talk of pro-climate, inner-city small-L liberal candidates, that constituency is electorally insignificant. Voters for Liberal candidates like the pro-climate action Dave Sharma might not feel like they are part of the problem.

Yet at the last election, a third of Coalition votes were for the Nationals or the QLD Liberal-National Party. The Coalition cannot govern without its anachronistic climate-denying wing. To vote for any Liberal is an act of tolerance of this idiotic cohort.

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