The Chief Whip insists you toe the party line...

Yesterday Australia passed a carbon pricing scheme, over the strenuous objections of the opposition. In fact, the opposition’s objections were so strenuous that their leader, Tony Abbot, has promised a “blood oath” to revoke the legislation.

I guess he’s thinking of a blood oath in the demonological sense of signing a contract in blood to make it more binding. It’s the natural extension of Tony Abbot’s rather unfortunate recent admission that the only promises he makes that can be trusted are promises that are written down. This surely means that promises written in blood are much more manly and believable than those written in mere ink.

This opens up a few worrying questions for me:

  • Does Tony Abbot secretly believe that contract law should be changed to make blood-based signatory agreements more powerful, and if so how?
  • Is this an extension of his willingness to “sell his arse” to a willingness to “sell his soul”? And if so what kind of policy-making process does this represent?
  • Given the paucity of soul in the nasty little blighter, and given he can only sell it once, how much policy benefit can we gain from a government that functions in this way?
  • Given he used to be a monk and now he’s become a demonologist, is this further evidence that he’s not really very trustworthy?
  • Given he used to be a monk and now he’s become a demonologist, is this more of an indictment of him or the catholic church?
  • This kind of language seems very fitting for a role-player, something I never suspected Abbot to be capable of. Is he actually a fantasy role-player, and if so is his party aware of how damning this is for his electoral prospects? Do they seriously think the mortgage belt is going to vote for someone that nerdy?
  • If he’s a role-player, what system does he use, is he a GM or player, and where does he fall on the Gamist-Narrative-Simulationist debate?

The obvious good point of this “blood oath” is that he has finally made his position on demonology explicit. The current minority government is in the hands of the Australian Labor Party, who are widely rumoured to have sold their souls en masse to satan in order to gain admission to the party (or at least, to get the numbers for pre-selection). It’s also generally accepted that they will eat their own young and no act of treachery is too low for them. Of course rumours have long abounded that the Liberal Party are just as bad, but their god-fearing family-loving image has saved them from general acceptance of this rumour. At least now Abbot has admitted that, yes, shock! everyone in politics is up to their necks in satan’s semen, and we can all heave a sigh of relief and get back to analyzing the polls.

Politically this pledge could be a disaster for Abbot. As if suspicions of satanism and (omfg!) role-playing were not bad enough, it will probably be very hard to undo the legislation without revoking the tax cuts that came with it, which is obvious political suicide. Furthermore the only practical way he can revoke it is to get it through the Australian Senate, which is currently controlled by the realms of faerie (the Greens). Long-standing agreements between the Seelie Court, the CIA and Rupert Murdoch mean that the only way that Abbot will be able to drive through his legislation is likely to be a double-dissolution election, which means that Abbot will have to go to the next election with the pledge that he will “hold another election within 6 months of this one.” That’s not going to be popular in a country where only two things are compulsory: apathy and voting.

While overall it’s nice to see Abbot finally embracing the inevitable spiritual compromises necessary to succeed in Australian politics, and being so open about it, I don’t think this is going to be good for the party. Also, how is he going to manage to resist Satan’s demands for compulsory abortion and gay marriage?