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Day to Day Politic: What should progressives do?

Friday 24 March 2017

Author’s note. Today I give up my daily article to a long-time friend Max Odgen. We played football together and share a love for cool Jazz. We have kept in touch over some 50 years. Max is well-known on the left of Australian politics, particularly in the Union movement as an activist. Now retired he is an active member of the Collingwood/Fitzroy branch of the ALP.

I recommend this article to you.

TOWARD A GLOBAL COALITION OF PROGRESSIVES –

DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS, FAIRNESS, JOBS, AND CLIMATE CHANGE ACTION

It is becoming urgent for the broadest forces of Progressives globally, to come together and reach agreement on a minimalist, but principled set of strategies to roll back the massive advance of the global Right. However it must be based on an objective analysis of the real world, and not some imagined, optimistic fantasy.

More & more experts are referring to the twenties and thirties for similarities and lessons, and there are many. The latest report of International Human Rights Watch – Jan., ’17, warns that the growth of populist movements and leaders, could lead to a resurgence of Fascism and Nazism. No two eras are the same, but there are important lessons to be learned. Perhaps the most important, is how progressives in the twenties and thirties, were more concerned with fighting each other, which made it easier for the Right to come to power. This must not be allowed to happen again.

CURRENT STATE OF GLOBAL RIGHT ASCENDENCY

Brexit, and possible breakup of the EU.

At this stage there is little chance of the British Labour Party winning the next election, especially under Corbyn, when 80% of his caucus refuse to serve under him.

Trump, with Republicans in control of both houses, 35 states, and he can appoint Supreme Court judges, which will reverberate for a generation.

Hard Right governments in Poland and Hungary. In Austria, while losing, the hard Right garnered 46% of the presidential vote. A serious concern.

Italian politics in chaos, with a right-wing, populist victory very real at their next election.

While Le Pen is unlikely to win the presidency in France, she could win the first round and accumulate a lot more influence, with the Socialists in their worst state for generations, and struggling to find a candidate.

A criminal state in Russia aligning itself with Trump, and a possible increase in nuclear weapons.

China, under the current leadership, tightening its grip and undermining whatever civil liberties there are, expanding militarily in the Sth. China Sea, while its global influence grows, especially in second and third world countries.

A self-confessed murderer, President of the Philippines, trampling on the few democratic rights they have.

Japan continuing to elect conservative governments, with Abe further to the Right than most.

Israel has moved so far to the right, that it is hard to see Palestinians ever being liberated, certainly not in the foreseeable future.

Fundamentalists making gains in Indonesia, undermining democratic developments.

Turkey under Erdogan moving rapidly to the Right and embracing Islam, attacking progressive movements, and gaoling thousands of activists and leaders.

The global wealth gap increased significantly in ’16, with the wealthiest increasing by 10s of billions, a lot of it immediately after the Trump victory.

The UN under the greatest attack since its creation.

‘17 is likely to see setbacks for climate change action.

It is clear from this brief summary, that there is little good news for global Progressives, as we are losing ground almost everywhere. There are those who are buoyed by the Bernie Sanders campaign because it mobilised millions of young people. However the result suggests a lot of them were so pure they could not vote for Hillary, and now look what they have got. Despite that good campaign, it was still insufficient to win. Some think Sanders might have won.

However given the incredible attacks thrown at Hillary, it is likely that Bernie would have copped far worse, as he threatened privilege more than Hillary, and that is the central issue. History suggests that it is difficult to maintain that kind of momentum. A colleague of mine says, it is mobilisation not organisation, and that is what it must transition to, across the globe.

2016 ELECTION

In Australia the ALP did well in the ’16 election, and it ran on possibly the best set of policies for decades. A friend said that the ’15 National Conference provided the best set of policies since he joined the party in ’62.

The election saw the growth of small, but vocal and influential right-wing groups, pursuing very dangerous racist and nationalist policies, taking their lead from Trump and Brexit. Increasingly they are being backed by the Right in the Coalition Government, which may even split away, although given their influence, this would be a silly move.

For virtually everyone, Turnbull has proved to be a woefully weak PM as he bows to the Right on almost every issue. The most recent poll from Get Up, shows the ALP ahead on the two party preferred vote 54% – 46%. While this is heartening, the Labor Party primary vote is the same as the Liberals – 32%, which is not marvellous, but it strengthens the need for a broad progressive alliance. The ALP leadership is not cutting through. Shorten and his Shadow Ministers performed reasonably well during the election campaign, and they ran on those good policies.

Given the poor government performance and various scandals, the ALP should be polling much better. This isn’t helped by the recent endorsement of a controversial candidate to say the least, for a Senate vacancy, and police charges for breach of polling regulations against several members of the ALP Right. Both these incidents will blow back on the labour movement.

Given the growth of the Right and the general trend of politics in this country, despite that recent polling, winning the next federal election will not be easy. The Andrews Victorian state government, despite its excellent record, particularly the enormous investment in infrastructure, and other worthwhile projects, will probably struggle to get re-elected, given its very narrow majority. Hanson is planning to stand in almost every seat, and despite Victoria being their weakest link, it may be sufficient to attract some ALP and even some Green votes. They will preference the Coalition, so it is going to be a difficult task. Hanson support will also make it difficult for the Queensland, minority ALP government to survive.

POLICIES, LIES, AND FAKE NEWS

Progressives usually believe they have a chance of winning, provided our campaigns are based on good policies, and the last federal election showed the possibilities. However, other recent experience suggests that this may no longer be true. Recent campaigning in Australia, UK, and the US, showed that outrageous lies, fake news, anti-truth, rejection of scientifically proven facts in many fields of science, with insidious use of social media, have prevailed over good policies and researched facts.

It is not widely understood that Hillary Clinton ran on the best set of progressive, Democrat policies since Roosevelt, according to an ex state Democratic Governor in an interview on Lateline. Yet virtually no one knew because of the dominance of lies and fake news.

We are in a new era where science is trashed, there is little regard for researched facts, which runs counter to the Enlightenment. We thought social media would enhance democracy, but so far, its manipulation by the Right has been successful in turning it into its opposite.

The Right have been clever in using simple phrases, but practicing the opposite. Everything is about more democracy, the elites – using the term exactly opposite to the reality, protecting our lifestyle, our shores, our culture, giving everybody a say over their lives, making our society great again, creating fear of anyone and anything different, and for many it works. This, despite the reality will be very different, and the wealth gap will continue to grow. They have been particularly effective in turning “political correctness” into a weapon against Progressives.

Progressives are disadvantaged, as their policies and solutions are necessarily more complex than just a slogan or one word, but we have to find a way around this. The simple focus on Medicare in the last few weeks of the ’16 Election campaign, was effective, but also real, as Coalition governments have been wanting to smash it for decades. We need to consider how more complex policies can be reduced to a few words which link them to reality.

Like in many other countries, Australia is experiencing attacks on democratic rights under the guise of fighting terrorism, climate change attacked and relegated to a minor issue, cuts and attacks on Medicare, and education, which is now the most privatised education system in the developed world, the gap in wealth ownership continues a pace, increasing joblessness and development of the casualised gig economy, vicious, and unprecedented attacks on the Human Rights Commission, and the ABC, and a trashing of scientific endeavours and their results.

To demonstrate the insidious impact of the Right, the Age newspaper recently exposed how right-wing fundamentalist Christian organisations have spent several years in successfully dominating the Casey council in Melbourne’s fastest growing Sth. East region. They are impacting many developments including public schools, and other public organisations. This is a new element, and frightening in its ramifications.

We cannot counter these attacks in the traditional way, of simply arguing for the return of an ALP Government. We must build a powerful movement of all progressive forces united around a minimalist, but principled set of key, strategic issues.

KEY STRATEGIC ISSUES

For the greatest unity I would suggest the following six issues as providing the greatest potential for unity.

Democratic Rights

Climate Change Action

Fairness, Tax and Closing the Wealth Gap

Jobs

Health

Education

These six are not suggesting that other issues are not important e.g. gay marriage, the Republic, etc., but they provide the best chance for the widest possible unity, and anyway success with them, will positively impact all the others.

I suggest that we begin a wide discussion immediately about a broad progressive coalition, with the objective that by the end of ’17 a national congress of all those progressives wanting to play a role can take place, and agree on the program, and how we go about decisively defeating the Turnbull government, and the Right in our country.

The Progressive Coalition should reach beyond the Centre to include small “l” Liberals, and Nationals, farmers, progressive business both small and large, unions, welfare lobby, environmentalists, leading individuals in their fields across the board, people in the man y artistic streams, academics, workers in as many workplaces as possible.

DIALOGUE AMONG FRIENDS AND ENEMIES

This means welding minimal unity among groups who don’t usually dialogue with one another, or even see each other as enemies. The stakes are such that we simply do not have the luxury of fighting among progressives. There are, and will remain, significant differences among progressives, but for the sake of our country and society, there are larger targets than each other.

I am well-known for being a strong critic of the Greens, but that does not preclude a constructive dialogue for the greater good. I am also critical of ALP factions and lack of democracy, and a member of Open Labor, an organisation dedicated to democratising the ALP.

Late in ’16 three of us members of the Collingwood/Fitzroy branch of the ALP, had dinner, and a very robust discussion with three prominent local Greens. We went hammer and tongs, but at the end everyone agreed that we must do this again, which will happen in February. I learned as a union activist and official, that despite disliking most employers and managers, often with very good reason, although not all, we had to engage them on an almost daily basis to resolve problems, and also dialogue about industry wide and nationwide issues relevant to the job. So if we can dialogue with such people, surely it is possible to dialogue with people with whom we have more in common.

If the Greens take part in the suggested dialogue, they will be critical, and eventual unity to defeat Turnbull, they and others will need to modify their attacks on the ALP. This is not to suggest that they not have criticisms of the ALP, but to do this in a way which contributes to constructive dialogue. It also does not suggest that they don’t stand candidates in ALP seats, but whatever they do it must be in the spirit of defeating Turnbull.

ALP FACTIONS MUST DIALOGUE

The recent Get Up poll strongly suggests that the ALP cannot win on it’s own, but must work constructively with all other forces with an interest in defeating Turnbull. This means that if we are to succeed it is urgent that ALP factions come together and reach agreement on the key issues, and agree to meet, dialogue with, and develop unity and campaign with other organisations and individuals with the overriding objective of defeating Turnbull, which may mean having to include others in a government.

PUT LIBERALS LAST

Eventually at the election itself, it will be critical that all progressive forces agree to “Put Liberals Last”, meaning no deals preferencing the Liberals. Each group may have a different list, and there will be significant arguments, but by agreeing to the key strategic issues, building massive campaigns, and then putting the Liberals last, we will have a very strong chance of defeating the Coalition government in’19, if not before.

While this paper began on a pessimistic but realistic note, there is cause for hope. There are thousands of young, energetic activists in Progressive movements. The unions and the ALP have very impressive numbers of such people, as do the Greens, Get Up, the environment movement, women’s rights, against racism, among indigenous organisations, opposing current asylum policies, and among art and music practitioners.

If they can be united, mobilised, and organised with the supreme objective of defeating Turnbull, then not only will we be successful, but lay the basis for an ongoing democratic movement, which will continue action to influence a government, which in the circumstance of how it will come to power, we can rightly call ours.

Max Ogden.

 

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23 comments

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  1. Harquebus

    John Lord
    No offense meant but, your friend Max is another that doesn’t have a clue.
    The left shares equally the blame for our current predicaments. Their ideology of infinite growth is just as absurd as the conservatives ideology of infinite growth.
    Policies ha! Neither side has any policies that will come close to solving our problems.
    Infrastructure investment consumes vast amounts of energy and resources and leaves a maintenance burden that future generations will not be able to afford. We are already struggling to maintain the infrastructure that we have now.
    The era of economic growth is over and the massive global debt bubble will never be repaid.
    Physical realities trump political and economic ideologies every time.
    Cheers.

  2. Terry2

    Interesting how we funnel more public money into childcare – an additional $1.6 billion we are told – but because we have this blind and unflinching commitment to free markets we do nothing about the spiraling costs of childcare all of which is controlled by the private sector : surely there is a better way ?

    This from the ABC :

    “The Federal Government has promised its overhaul of the child care system will help keep costs down, amid predictions fees will rise by 14 per cent by July 2017.

    The Department of Social Services expects the costs of long day care to increase 6.5 per cent this financial year, and 7.3 per cent by July 2017.

    That would mean fees for a handful of day care centres in Sydney could hit $200 a day, and $150 a day in parts of inner Melbourne. “

  3. nurses1968

    John/Max
    I think there is a bit of wishful thinking thrown in there
    You/Max say
    “if we are to succeed it is urgent that ALP factions come together”
    Is Max willing to give up his “leftness” to join with say “Unity’ and let us not forget all of the Parties and groups he/you are suggesting come together all have their own problems with factions.
    Just the Greens NSW are tearing themselves apart with the “Left Renewal” “Tree Torie” factions with outside influence 0r stirring, whatever you chose as your view by Bob Brown and Christine Milne mainly targeting Lee Rhiannon.Include Di Natale as well
    From my experience and it has only been short term membership compared to John/Max factions have been around since year dot and the likelihood of any giving up their positions seems unrealistic.
    Labor factions do come together on many areas already and it seems to be enough to present viable policies to take to elections
    just how much store can be taken from “The recent Get Up poll ” is debatable as i am continually told on here to consider the target groups the polling was done with.
    From what I have seen and heard, Labor is content to formulate policy and take it to the people at the next election.
    Ultimately, unless a drastic change takes place the Next election will either be won by one of the 2, Labor or the Coalition and to be quite frank, the minors can play their role in preference allocation……..or not

  4. wam

    great read, max. the alp has neglected the members by not giving them the counter to the rabbott’s bullshit and let the sheep of the right bleat alp baad liberal goood.
    labor has little or no access to the msm, except when trumbles stumbles and even then bill is loath to make us laugh at them, so word of mouth is the way???
    ps no ‘truth’??

  5. ok, but pull your socks up

    I vote Greens. have done for the last 10 years after voting for Labour.

    What i have seen over this time, particularly since the ALP lost federal government is various ALP members and supporters attacking greens voters and policies for a political “difference” in a really toxic, nasty way.

    Before any of what you propose can happen, the ALP and its supporters not only need to repent of this behaviour, but also make amends.

    I don’t forget that it was Hawke and Keating that were the first of many to sell us out to neo-liberalism just as i don’t forget that it was Howard’s corrupt policies that is causing most of our financial problems today.

    I still preference labor but my impression from the way that party has conducted itself is that it is just as much a problem as the Coalition when it comes to right wing nasties pretending to be the good guys, e.g. that Joe Bullock monstrosity.

    Julia Gillard did an amazing job and she did it through negotiation with the Greens. THAT is democracy, not this winner takes all crap that infests parliament today.

  6. nurses1968

    ok, but pull your socks upMarch 24, 2017 at 10:30 am
    “Before any of what you propose can happen, the ALP and its supporters not only need to repent of this behaviour, but also make amends. ”

    That was a joke right?

    I guess you didn’t have much to do with the electorates of Grayndler or Sydney ?
    “e.g. that Joe Bullock monstrosity.” agree a bad decision, but corrected
    you have conditions so
    For Labor to even consider a deal will you dump Di Natale and Whish Wilson ?
    As a VERY junior partner {on numbers} would the Greens accept and agree to support the bulk of ALP policy
    as the Greens do control just 1/150 of the House of reps?

  7. billshaw2013

    I fear that any change to our political parties will only come when a catalyst such as global climate change becomes severely disastrous and obvious or war erupts over national boundaries, resources or some such other cataclysmic event. There are too many placid citizens living day by day just now with little thought of the future. The right wing will not survive but will inflict a lot of inequality and pain before the wheel turns and they are crushed.

  8. nurses1968

    ok, but pull your socks up
    Just to add, the Greens did cause Labor disharmony and put Julia at risk back then

    “FEARS are growing within Labor that the fight with the Greens may have leadership consequences as ministers and MPs vent their spleens at the minor party and some begin to question the power-sharing deal Julia Gillard cut with them.

    As another Newspoll showed the government still flatlining, more joined the fray, attacking the Greens for intransigence on asylum seeker policy, refusing to back company tax cuts associated with the mining tax, and blocking in the Senate the original carbon pollution reduction scheme.

    The Finance Minister, Penny Wong, used a speech in Brisbane on Monday night to say, if the Greens had passed the scheme, emissions trading would be embedded rather than at the risk of being repealed by Tony Abbott.

    ”Where the Greens claim to share our values, their inability to compromise, their unwillingness to take on board evidence and their refusal to accept that politics inevitably involves trade-offs means they cannot deliver policy outcomes to reflect these values,” she said.

    http://www.farmonline.com.au/story/3605417/frustration-poses-fresh-leadership-strains/

  9. michael lacey

    1. “It is not widely understood that Hillary Clinton ran on the best set of progressive, Democrat policies since Roosevelt”
    Really! Well if that is the case why did Bernie bother running at all!

    2. I suppose in Britain we could get rid of Corbyn and put the Blairites back!

    3. Russia and China’s cooperation could conceivably become integrated into the vast China One Belt, One Road high-speed rail infrastructure and deep-water ports great project. That OBOR, as the Chinese call it, is rapidly developing into what will be a multi-trillion dollar development of the vast Eurasian land space with its enormous reserves of untapped raw materials–oil, gas, uranium, rare earth metals, gold and most every raw material needed by man. An independent Australian foreign policy is badly needed in a world that is changing! We had better take notice!

    4. Lies and fake news were just as evident in the mainstream and are very thick on the ground about a great many international events!

  10. James O

    Well said Michael. Re your point 3, the Chinese have offered to link Australia to OBOR through Darwin and high speed rail links to Melbourne and have met with indifference and hostility from this ‘agile’ and ‘innovative’ government.

  11. jimhaz

    [I don’t forget that it was Hawke and Keating that were the first of many to sell us out to neo-liberalism just as i don’t forget that it was Howard’s corrupt policies that is causing most of our financial problems today]

    While I might just be ignorant of the history, am I not convinced about the argument that what Hawke and Keating did was a sell out to neo-liberalism.

    Neo-liberalism is where desires for productivity and profits result in worse working and pay conditions for employees. It is when these things are taken too far and strong false memes are bought into play to tame workers.

    My view is that conditions for workers continued to improve, until Howard took over. The rate of improvement slowed

    Keating did put into place certain things such as the Four Pillars for banks, which has resulted in neo-con controls – but that assumes an ALP government would not have done anything to revise this power as they bought out smaller banks. By the time Rudd got in things had become too entrenched.

    We may also be a touch unfair in relation to Howard’s spending, but only just a little bit. Looking at the modern ALP, I can see them giving out middle class welfare and excessive tax rate decreases as well had they been in power during the mining boom. They may also have overspent on initiatives involving recurrent expenditure that we would find even more difficult to let go of than middle class welfare, thus our debt might have even been higher (without another deep thinker like Keating as leader).

    I am not suggesting any forgiving of Howard though as he had so very many negative policies that took away from workers betterment in order to give to the rich, or to support his ideology or religion.

  12. Christian Marx

    Capitalism is in its death throes. More and more are going homeless and jobless, while the 1%
    continue to brainwash the masses via their corporate owned media propaganda. Until the status quo is directly
    challenged, nothing good will happen. Mainstream media has to be ditched altogether and independent media embraced.
    Too many still get their information from commercial owned media outlets with a vested interest in keeping the current status quo.
    Mainstream media must be toppled and the information gatekeepers removed. Only then can the we begin to educate the masses.

  13. Florence nee Fedup

    I believe CC centres maker good profits. Has anyone asked Dutton how well his is going.

  14. Kronomex

    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/turnbull-government-backs-penaltyrate-cuts-for-low-paid-workers-20170324-gv5rzr.html

    “It’s not up to us, it’s up to the completely interference free and completely independent Fair Work Commission,” says Honest Mal Feasance and his Carnival of Lunatics. “You can’t blame us if they, without any interference from our hands off government, decide that penalty rates will…cough…er…should be cut. We care because we are a party that cares for all Australia. Anyway, it’s Labors fault in the first place.”

    “Pst, Scott, can you uncross my fingers behind my back. They’ve locked up again from being crossed for so long.”

    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/islamic-state-might-form-diaspora-caliphate-around-the-world-george-brandis-warns-20170324-gv5z0j.html

    What would this complete moron know about world affairs to pass his “wisdom” along to us. Idiot!

  15. Kronomex

    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/labor-greens-xenophon-team-likely-to-link-with-cory-bernardi-to-block-china-extradition-treaty-20170324-gv5rx1.html

    Holy shit! I can’t stand Bernardi but if this travesty of treaty is killed off then he rises one tiny step in admiration. I can just imagine the feds being flooded with extradition orders for “accused criminals” who might as well just be gaoled or outright executed here to save sending them to China for sham trials.

  16. Terry2

    On March 3 Turnbull sought to defuse the penalty rates issue and was reported as saying :

    “The Prime Minister indicated the Government would push the commission to phase in the penalty rate cuts over two to five years in bid to ensure workers were not worse off.

    Mr Turnbull said an element of modern awards was that any changes would not reduce the take-home pay of workers.

    One option was to have the commission make a take-home pay order that whittles back penalty rates at the same time as annual minimum wage increases are awarded.

    “The employee’s overall pay packet increases and offsets the phased-in reduction in penalty rates,” Mr Turnbull said.”

    So, three weeks ago he was committed to ensuring that the take-home pay of workers would not reduce : has something changed ?

  17. f1retree

    One thing is missing from your list of issues Max, community and community organisations.
    Turnbull is trying to whiteant much of the community orgs by withdrawing funding, eg Legal Aid.

  18. Kathy Heyne

    Thought I’d mention there are a lot of progressives unmoved by either Labor or the Greens. I’m one of the older ones who cops a fine rather than vote. I personally know scores of young progressives who don’t even register to vote and come across thousands more on the net. Green’s policies have been close, but no cigar, though Di Natale’s recent Press Club speech got them closer. The ALP are making the right kind of leftist noises lately- close, but no cigar. You’ve got ‘jobs’ on your list, but many progressives out here are well aware that the old world of employment is gone. We’re debating the relative merits of a UBI versus a JG with the government the employer of last resort, while you’re talking about jobs in the same old way, all that’s changed for you is the industry, now it’s about the market in green energy: do you see the disconnect, Max?

    It’s only very recently ‘progressive’ professional politicians snapped out of the government spending is like a household budget bull shit analogy and stopped demanding surpluses, for God’s sake! Do you see the disconnect, Max?

    Looking for unity among professional political progressives is a good idea. Might I suggest you all stop trying to lead and start following real world progressives instead for awhile? Frankly, we’re years ahead of you and you need to catch up. 40 years of selling us out puts you behind the eight ball, too. That’s if you really want to woo progressive voters.

  19. ok, but pull your socks up

    nurses1968

    Thanks for your comments. you prove my point.

    so what is your strategy to get the left to start co-operating instead of attacking each other?

    In relation the the ETS. did it escape your attention that we had a carbon tax (an ETS by another name) brought in by Labor and the Greens which the Liberals then scrapped.

    And for you to lay blame for Labors political infighting at the feet of the Greens is ludicrous. It is just the same as Liberals projecting and blaming Labor for their own failures.

    It was all pure politics and i find your outrage either disengenous or highly selective.

    But this appears to be the problem. the nutjobs in all parties unable to find common ground.

  20. nurses1968

    ok, but pull your socks upMarch 25, 2017 at 10:32 am

    “so what is your strategy to get the left to start co-operating instead of attacking each other?”
    I just expressed an opinion based on statements and actions that there is no future for a Labor/Greens deal and ALP leadership have made that clear
    Daniel Andrews “No deal will be offered no deals done”
    Annastacia Palaszczuk “Let me make it very clear no,no,no deals”
    Jay Wetherill “No deal with the Greens”
    Tasmanian ALP Rank and file “no deal to any power sharing agreements with the Greens”
    Bill Shorten “If Richard Di NAtale wants a Ministry he’d better join the LAbor Party”
    add the reinforcement of Anthony Albanese,Chris Bowen,Mark Dreyfus, Tanya Plibersek ,numerous othe MPs and many Branches and the position is clear.

    Di Natale never helped your cause when he held is Election Launch in Anthony Albaneses seat of Grayndler, NSw Greens allocated a huge proportion of the election budget to target two seats, those of Albanese and Tanya Plibersek
    To devote a third of the NSW State campaign budget on unseating Albo and Tanya sort of gave the feeling they were fighting ALP than LNP wouldn’t you think?
    At the Greens election night celebrations the reports were “Richard Di Natale hails ‘big swings’ to Greens in Australian federal election” but it was in fact the worst Senate since 2004
    And the intention to “fight the ALP in key seats in 2019”

    Now the Greens are a registered political Party and have every right to contest seats but after a few decades it is time for them to stand on their own two feed and stand or fall on election results.
    They chose to target ALP seats, what do you want Labor to do,just roll over and accept it.
    To most in the ALP the Greens are viewed as just another party to defeat, like Liberals,Phon, etc

  21. ok, but pull your socks up

    Nurses 1968

    It is obvious by your reply that you are fairly deeply embedded in politics.

    As such you would be aware of the false construction in politics and media of the Greens being “crazy”, in the same way that refugees have been branded as “illegals”. Given the toxic Tony Abbott Period, they of course needed to distance themselves in the minds of the less aware in the electorate, hence the statements you reference.

    The Coalition hate the Greens as they want to be able to do what they want and have nothing get in the way of making a buck, no matter the cost to society or environment and Labor hate the Greens as they feel they have “stolen” progressive voters from them and filled the void on the political spectrum to the left of their platform as they chased the Coalition to the right over the last couple of decades. the Phonys occupy a similar situation on the right of the Coalition but they are highly unstable and are likely to implode.

    Now as to running candidates in the same electorates, they are after all completely different parties and they have every right to put up a candidate wherever they like to, that is open participatory democracy. If the voters of that electorate prefer Labor so be it, if they prefer Greens so be it, they can direct preferences wherever as is their right.

    BTW I have no “cause” I don’t want the Greens to win over Labor or vice versa. I want to see government by people that have the interests of the people of our nation at heart no matter their political persuasion, i object to our society being structured for the benefit of corporate interests and believe that the measure of any society is how it treats its disadvantaged.

    “To most in the ALP the Greens are viewed as just another party to defeat, like Liberals,Phon, etc”

    And this is the problem. its all about “defeating” even potential allies. Human survival has always depended upon co-operation. the whole competition mantra of neo-liberalism have rended the current conversation as being incapable of providing any solutions.

  22. nurses1968

    ok, but pull your socks up March 25, 2017 at 2:51 pm
    Sorry for the slow response

    “Now as to running candidates in the same electorates, they are after all completely different parties and they have every right to put up a candidate wherever they like to,”
    I have never denied the Greens the right to exist and run candidates wherever.You at least accept my point they are a political Party and should stand or fall on their ability to attract votes.The things I find a bit rich is they can spend one third of their state campaign budget trying to unseat one Labor candidate,more in fact than spent on Turnbull,Abbott,Morrison and a couple of others seats combined.
    “And this is the problem. its all about “defeating” even potential allies”
    I guess we have differing views on “allies”
    Most closet Greens push for this Labor Greens connection simply to try to give the Greens a bit of power as it’s very unlikely they will ever get it alone.
    The Greens are free to vote on legislation and if it happens that they have similar views to Labor then they will vote that way, they don’t need some formal alliances.
    How it stands in the H.O.R at the moment Bandts one vote 1/150 is neither here nor there.

    In the Senate the Greens should value their independence where they are free to continue to vote with Labor or the LNP as they now do on issues and Di Natale has made it clear he wouldn’t rule out a deal with the LNP for a bit of power.

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