Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Power and the Passion in Power

Oh the power and the passion, oh the temper of the time
Oh the power and the passion
Sometimes you've got to take the hardest line
--Midnight Oil

Congratulations to the Aussies, who have smartly elected themselves a new government with new ideas:
(Incoming Prime Minister Kevin) Rudd’s pledges on global warming and Iraq move Australia sharply away from policies that made (former PM John) Howard one of Bush’s staunchest allies.

Rudd has promised to pull Australia’s 550 combat troops from Iraq in a phased withdrawal, and to quickly sign the Kyoto Protocol on limiting greenhouse gas emissions. Howard had rejected withdrawal plans for Australia’s troops in Iraq, and said no to ratifying Kyoto.

This on a day when Peevie Stevie and the suddenly toothless outgoing Australian team shamefully ganged up on the rest of the Commonwealth to thwart any promise of real action, and undermine the Kyoto treaty to which Canada is a signatory.
"It simply calls for 'aspirational' targets. In other words, these are things the Commonwealth countries just hope will happen," (Opposition leader Stephane Dion) told Newsnet.

Canada had opposed language that would set firm, Kyoto-style targets. Harper said the original wording excluded developing countries that are also becoming major greenhouse gas emitters.

Environmentalists and Commonwealth sources claimed Canada stood only with Australia in opposing firm targets.
Well as of today, Australia is clearly mandated by its citizenry to sign Kyoto. That isolates Harper with another lame duck - that Bush guy. Either Harper will fold completely on this or he will be pushed out of the Prime Minister's chair within months. And it will be over this same issue that has walloped Howard, despite his furious back-peddling.

So if you're a Canadian opposition party that wants Canada firmly back on the Kyoto track (and that would include the Liberals, NDP, Greens and BQ) you can take solace from another Midnight Oil song whose 20-year-old promise has finally been realised. Last word back to the Oils' former frontman Peter Garrett (most recently Rudd's Environment critic and the logical choice to head that ministry) from the song "Sometimes":

Sometimes you're shaken to the core
Sometimes you're face is gonna' fall
But you don't give in

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