GST and the Democrats

Issue 

GST and the Democrats

"Mr Costello has my number", Democrat leader Senator Meg Lees declared after independent Senator Brian Harradine announced that he would vote against the government's goods and services tax.

Her words had a double meaning, unfortunately all too valid. Not only are the Democrats eager for the government to begin negotiating details with them; it is also the case that the government has a good idea of the extent of the Democrats' "opposition" on the GST (and most other questions).

Instead of trying to negotiate a slightly less obnoxious version of the GST (and thus prove their "responsibility" — to big business), the Democrats should recognise that the tax is a bad measure for which the government has no mandate whatsoever. They should join Harradine in voting to kill it.