The Australian Liberal Party is in "meltdown" this week over the bungled Emissions Trading Scheme. It goes like this.
Leader of the Opposition Malcolm Turnbull does a deal with Labor to pass the ETS, so that Kevin Rudd can go off to Copenhagen to look like a good global citizen. Having drunk the David Cameron Kool-Aid, he's convinced being Green will play well in urban areas, and with moderate voters.
His own party, which has been long divided between "conservatives" and "moderates" does the maths, and figures out the following things.
The ETS is equivalent to a massive tax
The environmental benefits are uncertain (to put it kindly)
Copenhagen's outcome is equally uncertain (ditto)
And most importantly of all, the average Liberal Party voter, especially in the bush, hates the idea, and wants to hold off.
And they've been saying so.
Ain't that democracy a bitch?
Spooked by their full email inboxes and burning phone lines, the Liberal MP's and significant numbers in the Shadow Cabinet tell Mr. Turnbull to pull his head in.
Mr. Turnbull labels his opponents climate change deniers, wreckers, disloyal crazies, and generally acts like the Sun King on a bad day.
To the attack come the disloyal peasantry, demanding that the Opposition do its duty and oppose. That horrible rabble of farmers and businessmen and housewives, led by our favourite Mad Monk, and a reluctant standard-bearer press-ganged by the Mob.
This is glorious, it's quite like old times.
We're the first to fix bayonets against rebels in ordinary circumstances, but in these, we've only got two words.
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