Guest Post: Noodle – Senator Elect Muir’s First Logroll?

In their classic treatise The Calculus of Consent, Buchanan and Tullock analyse logrolling:

Logrolling seems to occur in many of the institutions of political choice-making in Western democracies… Under the rules within which such assemblies operate, exchanges of votes are easy to arrange and to observe. Such exchanges significantly affect the results of the political process.

On June 20, the Fairfax press broke a story that the Greens were in discussions with Senator Elect Ricky Muir:

Based on the numbers in the new Senate, the vote of Mr Muir, of the Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party, has become crucial for the government if it is to abolish the profit-making agency [the CEFC]. Mr Muir is being courted by the Greens.

This story was a little bit puzzling. The CEFC is a rent-seeker’s dream and is poor policy.  Now, Mr Muir is no economic rationalist but there doesn’t seem to be any a priori reason why the member for petrolheads would support such waste, no matter how nice the Greens are to him.

Today we may have the solution to this little puzzle.  The Greens have just announced a huge backflip – they will oppose the Abbott Government’s Budget proposal to re-index the fuel excise to inflation.

According to The Australian:

MOTORISTS will be spared a $4.2 billion increase in fuel excise after a backflip by the Greens put the government’s budget measure in doubt.

So why the sudden policy backflip?  Why in the name of Gaia would the Greens oppose a proposal to increase taxes on those evil fossil fuels?

Here’s a suggestion: follow the money.  If there’s one policy the Greens want to keep, it’s the disastrous CEFC.  Similarly if there’s one thing that motoring enthusiasts want, it is lower petrol taxes.

So, we now have a theory: this is a textbook example of logrolling in action.

Did the Greens procure Muir’s vote for the CEFC in exchange for today’s backflip on fuel excise?

Perhaps the Greens (and Mr Muir, for that matter) are really not that smart.  When Mr Muir enters the Senate and casts his vote on the CEFC, we may have our answer.

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18 Responses to Guest Post: Noodle – Senator Elect Muir’s First Logroll?

  1. steve

    wait a minute, are you suggesting that the Greens are cynical……!

  2. Baldrick

    Did the Greens procure Muir’s vote for the CEFC in exchange for today’s backflip on fuel excise?

    If you thought Baldrick was dumb in Blackadder … wait for Ricky in the Senate 🙄

  3. Andrew

    These were the same scum who opposed roads funding as “last century’s infrastructure.” Just so we’re clear, the Greens WANT people in Coffs Harbour, Toowoomba etc to die rather than upgrade national highways.

    This bloke is no Stephen Hawking, but even he should be able to understand the equation: “you side with the Greens, you’ll save 1c on petrol but that’s $15bn less available for roads because we will be flushing $10b on windmills. ”

    Is there no one capable of telling him?

  4. If you thought Baldrick was dumb in Blackadder … wait for Ricky in the Senate

    Yes, but it could be a cunning plan on his part 😉

  5. H B Bear

    Taxpayers will get value for money for Muir’s salary in the Senate in LOLs alone.

    With Glenn Druery as his senior adviser, the only question will be whether you can see his arm up the back of the shirt and his lips moving during Ricky’s interviews. Even my Olympic standard cynicism may not be enough to deal with this Star Wars Senate.

  6. Turtle of WA

    Christine Milne is as dumb as Muir. She keeps saying that the money from the fuel excise will be spent on more roads and more congestion.

    More roads means less congestion.

    Let’s just remember, Baldrick, that you tried to solve the problem of your mother’s low ceiling by cutting off her head.

  7. Christine Milne is as dumb as Muir a box of hammers.


  8. brc

    I wouldn’t throw Mr Muir under the bus just yet, we haven’t seen his vote. If he does vote to keep the leeches in the CEFC he would be casting his lot with the greens, which wouldn’t go well with the actual government, who are in a far better position to deliver pork than the greens are, especially for motorists.

    However, if he does vote with the greens on keeping the CEFC then I will resolve to insult him online once per day for the rest of this parliamentary term, or whenever I finally tire of it, whichever comes first.

    There is no more pinnacle of stupid than the various green cash-splashers that were set up during the RGR term. The worst of the worst kind of mooching. At least holden made cars that you could drive, and cadburys made chocolate you could eat, and qantas could fly you someplace with a less powerful nanny state.

    All the CEFC does is hand over cash to be partially sunk into rusting hulks on beaches, useless holes in the ground and junkets for greens to fly to foreign locales and drink free range booze.

  9. 3d1k

    Jeez. Surely the representative of the Motoring Enthusiasts Party welcome spending on roads. The paltry Fuel Excise ‘cost’ is easily overcome by reversing the ACCC ruling on supermarket discount vouchers.

  10. .

    I reckon Muir can turn good. I think he is a libertarian at heart. As is Glenn Drurey.

  11. mundi

    Muir was supposidly libertarian originally, and was against big government.

    Also I think he is sucking up anything he can. Clive. The Greens. Abbott. Whoever. He has nothing to lose and everything to gain.

  12. Johnno

    Maybe a double bluff? The Greens oppose the fuel tax (and can’t change their position since they have already publicly said they would oppose unless the money goes to public transport). Muir hasn’t said anything yet. He can still vote to abolish the CEFC and shaft the Greens.

  13. custard

    Abbott may as well let the opposing parties do whatever they like about the measures raised in the budget. Every measure they oppose in relation to revenue raising or savings measures can be thrown right back at them when it counts…at the next election.

    every week or every month that the carbon and mining tax remains in this country will be a week or month whereby the country is trying to function with a handbrake on itself.

    The opposition cannot sustainably (politically ) continue this argument. They will blow up.

  14. James B

    The Greens opposing the fuel tax is a good thing.

    I am sick of the LNP shills and big government statist cowards crying foul when a big government LNP policy is blocked somehow.

  15. WhaleHunt Fun

    Badar is pantswettingly hilarious. He reckons he’s an oriental. Honour killings are not big in China. Maybe he’s talking about Singapore?
    When his mates increase their level of civilisation every year for the next thousand years, the stone age primitivism which passes as culture in western Sydney might start to approach that of 14th Century China. …. might, but probably won’t.

  16. WhaleHunt Fun

    How is indexing a tax to the CPI “big govt”?
    Surely it’s constant govt. If you don’t index then the buying power of the tax shrinks.

  17. .

    WhaleHunt Fun
    #1359207, posted on June 25, 2014 at 12:04 am
    How is indexing a tax to the CPI “big govt”?
    Surely it’s constant govt. If you don’t index then the buying power of the tax shrinks.

    They still get to inflate the debt – hence even if fiscal drag is eliminated, we pay through crowded out loan markets. They are subsidising the price of credit for themselves regardless of tax indexing.

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