It took seventeen days of our country being in limbo, stuck between governments. Then, the inevitable happened. Julia Gillard signed a deal with Bob Brown, and the greens gained unprecedented control over the nation. It was a bad situation, but it could have been worse. After all, we had been assured that we wouldn’t get a carbon tax. Things changed however. Just as Gillard had stabbed Rudd in the back, she proceeded to do the same to the average Australian.
We all remember the day when she got up there with the independents, Combet and the greens, and announced that she had betrayed us. It was clear from that day, the influence the greens were having on the government. We knew then that Bob Brown was essentially prime minister. Adam Bandt has since admitted that the greens were directly responsible for Julia breaking her word.
Then, attempting to escape the calls that she wasn’t in charge, there was that fake “lover’s tiff”, when Julia had a crack at the greens, claiming they don’t share a love of family and that they were extremists. No one was fooled.
Recently, we’ve seen the greens announcing government policies and giant billboards in Melbourne ensuring we know who’s really in charge.
But none of these things had to happen. We don’t have to have a carbon tax right now. It was a given that the greens were going to pursue it, but the prime minister did not have to concede. We all know that the greens would never have switched allegiances. The very thought of a coalition with Tony Abbott would have sickened Brown. Abbott would have been too smart to accept anyway. It is only Gillard’s weakness as a leader that has left us in this mess.
I believe her when she says she didn’t mean to deceive the Australian people, but the fact is that she did. Her intentions as far as this goes, are irrelevant. If she is to preserve something of her legacy, she has three options. She can resign, admitting she failed the country. Her seat would probably be retained by Labor, and, depending on the new leader, we may still be stuck with the tax. The other two options would be to roll back the tax while she is still in power or call an election. Either way, it is political suicide, for her and for Labor, but at least she would have preserved at least some of her image in the eyes of history. Needless to say, I’m not holding my breath.