New Senate Balance

There are to be a large number of independents in the Senate this time. It looks like the Greens will be out in the cold. Decisions related to climate are likely to be made by a couple of people who know nothing about the subject.

It is likely that Bob Day of Family First and David Leyonhjelm of the Liberal Democratic Party will side with the Govt. The Palmer United Party reps, Glenn Lazarus and Jacqui Lambie will also be in the denial camp. John Madigan of the DLP appears to be on the do nothing side also.

This leaves Nick Xenophon who thinks the Carbon Tax is not a good idea but supports action and two others who don’t appear to know anything about climate:- Ricky Muir of the Australian Motoring Enthusiasts Party and Wayne Dropulich of the Australian Sports Party. Both these appear to have got in by mistake – never expecting to take the trick!

These three voting with the Greens and Labor would …

balance the rest exactly at 38 votes. Taking out the speaker (probably a Lib/Nat) would take the balance against Abbott by one vote.

These independents will be heavily lobbied by both sides and the final position will not be known until the voting start to occur. The new Senators do not take up their positions until in July 2014, so expect some influence from the Greens for at least the next 9 months.

UPDATE: Jacqui Lambie, says she supports the carbon tax but at a reduced amount; it appears she will keep her own mind on policy and not bow to the Govt.; she wants to be leader of the PUP if Clive Palmer does not make it into the lower house.

THE SENATE:

33 Coalition, 25 Labor, 10 Greens

List of Current/Returning Senators:

DLP: John Madigan The DLP has no policy on Climate Change listed on their site. Their energy policy states nothing regarding climate change but supports a form of nuclear energy (Pollywell fusion process). On a related issue, the party wants an immediate moratorium on Coal Seam Gas pending a Federal investigation to show it is safe (but still no mention of climate change).

Nick Xenophon   (anti-gambling position is well known) Nick accepts the need for control of emissions. Advocates the Frontier scheme rather than a price on carbon or the direct action policy of the Coalition.

New Senators:

Palmer United Party: Glenn Lazarus (well known rugby league player) Jacqui Lambie (42, former army soldier in army; lists veterans affairs, unemployment and national security in her interests) Policy on Climate Change: Scrap the Carbon Tax; Have a National Commission to investigate the Carbon issue and seek submissions from all Australians so that the government is fully informed.

Liberal Democratic Party: David Leyonhjelm   (blogger on The Land) LDP(SA) Policy accepts the climate has changed and that humans may be causing some change but suggests the potential change is not well enough known to justify action by governments. Wants to allow the market to rule all decisions on energy.

Family First: Bob Day   (long time member of the Liberal Party, started home building businesses and was involved in the Housing Industry Association) Policy on Climate Change is that the climate has always changed in the past, that there is no scientific consensus and that carbon dioxide has had no discernible influence on the world’s climate in the past.

Australian Motoring Enthusiasts Party: Ricky Muir  The Party do not seem to have a developed environmental policy let alone any mention of climate change.

Australian Sports Party: Wayne Dropulich   (An Engineer who worked on iron ore mining projects in WA) Policy on climate change (and many other issues) is non-existent. Believe in sport and a healthy life-style.

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