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It’s the demographics, stupid

Why do the Greens exist? It depends who you ask.

Some say the purpose of the Greens is to pull Labor to the left. This strategy is justified by Greens voters as a way to ‘keep the bastards honest’, and is often coupled with misleading and unthinking statements such as ‘Labor and Liberals are just as bad as each other’.

I understand the theory here is that the more MPs Greens get into parliament, the more they can hold Labor to ransom on environmental policies and asylum seekers. But, when the reality of this position is that Greens block environmental policies such as Labor’s ETS because ‘it doesn’t go far enough’, yet then help the Liberals to pass pension cuts, I’m not sure how this is successful in practice.

When the Greens refuse to work constructively with the Gillard government to develop a regional solution to manage asylum seeker arrivals, because ‘it is not onshore processing’, only then to have Sarah Hanson-Young admit later that a policy like the Malaysian Solution, where asylum seekers are processed overseas before being flown to Australia, might be something the Greens would consider, it appears the Greens are less interested in working constructively with Labor to ensure policies are ‘left wing’, and instead are more interested in blocking Labor’s attempt to make progress.

The other problem with this ‘pull Labor’ theory is that it doesn’t pull Labor to be more left-wing. This is because most of the people who have left Labor to support the Greens, are from Labor’s left-flank. So, by losing numbers on the left, Labor’s right-flank is strengthened, which clearly won’t do anything to pull Labor to the left.

Others, like Ben Eltham in New Matilda, claim the Greens exist to govern in Coalition with Labor. This is a far preferable option for a Labor supporter like me, as rather than having the Greens constantly fighting against Labor, it would be to everyone’s betterment if Labor and Greens worked constructively as a team. However, the only hole in this theory is that, as far as I can tell, the Greens aren’t trying to steal seats off Liberals to make the Labor and Greens coalition unbeatable on the floor of the parliament. Instead, they are putting all their energy and resources into taking Labor’s inner-city seats.

Apart from a strong attempt at unseating Kelly O’Dwyer in the wealthy inner-city Victorian seat of Higgins, with the Greens candidate Jason Ball placing second in the 2016 election, the biggest recent campaigns from the Greens have been in Labor-held inner-city seats. Bandt took Melbourne from Labor after Lindsay Tanner retired in 2013, and in 2016, focused on taking the seats of Labor’s Tanya Plibersek in Sydney and Labor’s Anthony Albanese in Grayndler. So, if the Labor Greens coalition is going to happen, clearly the Greens want Labor to do the heavy lifting of winning seats off the government. Not really helping.

What about the Green elephant in the room that not many will admit is there? This, I would argue, is the real reason the Greens exist, as evidenced through their behaviour, and that is to replace Labor as the major party of the left. Bob Brown himself admitted to this when he said ‘we don’t want to keep the bastards honest, we want to replace them’. This week, former Queensland Greens candidate, Ben Pennings echoed Brown when he wrote ‘Rather than drag Labor slightly to the left, maybe it’s time for The Greens … to ‘cut out the middle man’ and replace them…?’.

Now the elephant has been identified, I want to talk about it. How exactly do the Greens plan to replace Labor as the major party of the left? Do they want to develop attractive progressive policies that address wealth inequality in order to persuade voters through real-life outcomes to make Australians better off? Judging by Greens leader Richard Di Natale’s cynical grab for conservative votes in Batman by calling Labor’s dividend imputation changes an ‘attack on so many people in this community’ the answer to this is no. Do they want to focus on local issues in each electorate, dependant on the varying needs and wants of the voters there, and do the hard yards work of incrementally improving their circumstances through the slog of parliamentary negotiation and legislative advancement? Not that I can see. Or, do they want to campaign with ‘stop Adani’ sloganeering and by framing the Liberal’s inhumane treatment of asylum seekers as the work of the Labor Party, without offering any alternative policy solutions to actually help solve these complex policy issues? I think you can answer that one. So, if they’re not doing the policy work to replace Labor, what exactly are the Greens doing to win Labor’s inner-city seats?

The Greens are waiting for inner city suburbs to gentrify to the point where working-class Labor voters no longer live there. It’s the demographics stupid. Let’s look at the Batman by election. A lot was written about the Bell Street divide, such as this New Daily article aptly titled ‘The hipster-proof fence’.

From thenewdaily.com.au

The map of booth results from the 2016 election shows clearly that the northern side of the Bell Street divide, furthest away from the city, are still committed to Labor. According to Real Estate.com, the Batman suburb of Reservoir in the north has a median house price of $825,000. A suburb on the southern, inner-city Greens side of divide, Northcote, comparatively has an average house price half a million higher at $1,325,000. That’s quite a wealth-divide.

So, do the Greens claim it is just a coincidence that their voters live in more expensive houses, on the richest side of the electorate? When commentators, ad nauseam, say Labor’s inner-city seats are ‘under threat from the Greens’, do they realise what they are really saying is: traditional Labor voters have been priced out of this electorate and the class who have moved in don’t align themselves with Labor working class values and are therefore not buying what Labor is selling?

I have always found it odd how offended people get when their privilege is pointed out to them, but the truth is, Greens voters, by and large, are in the privileged position of not needing, and therefore, not caring as much as Labor voters do about Labor’s policy priorities.

Where Labor campaigns to save Medicare, to raise the minimum wage and save penalty rates, to fund public schools and to make work more secure, Greens voters needs are met in these areas and therefore they aren’t turned on by this message.

Greens voters, by and large, are less likely to be living in public housing, less likely to be struggling to pay the rent, and are much less likely to have seen their manufacturing jobs disappear, and are more likely to be in white-collar professions where wage rises are negotiated without union involvement. How else do they afford million-dollar homes in gentrified inner-city seats? So, with these needs met, they look elsewhere for a political message to resonate and they find it in the party promising to focus on humanitarian issues and environmental protection.

There is nothing wrong with being privileged. I would far prefer rich inner-city voters chose Greens than Liberals. And there is obviously nothing wrong with caring a lot about asylum seeker policy and environmental problems like climate change. I’m a Labor supporter and I care deeply about these issues too. But, when Greens focus solely on these issues as an electoral strategy to divert progressives away from Labor, with a narrow view of political progress that excludes the most disadvantaged in society, people who couldn’t dream of affording to live in Northcote, are they really helping the progressive cause? Are they really helping to make Australia a more progressive country to live in by stealing gentrified seats from Labor? I don’t believe they are.

You often hear Greens voters say ‘Labor lost me with XYZ asylum seeker policy’. Perhaps what they’re really saying is ‘Labor lost me when I lost the need for Labor policies’. The sad part is that while Greens take Labor policies for granted, and battle to take Labor seats, even when Liberals are in government, trashing the environment and doing all manner of vindictive harm to asylum seekers, who is really winning? It sure isn’t Labor. And it’s not the Greens. So how did we end up here again?


95 comments

  1. paul walter

    I question much of it, or at least how it is framed, but it is good to get the discussion out into the open. No further comment for now.

  2. paul walter

    Just lost additions.

    I was going to say both parties and the ALP in particular need to stop operating within conservative terms of reference (eg, enviro OR jobs, America/ Israel/ Britain, right or wrong) and break down the more obviously bullshit memes through educative processes that bring to light the realities of many issues.

    They need to more AIM, say and less tabloid, to put it in a rough way.

    Mind you the MSM is a mighty hindrance as to this, in its stubborn refusal to report so many issues outside of the often fantastical conservative narrative frames…Arab plots, commie plots, business ripoffs as good practice, green plots, lefty or union plots etc.

  3. flohri1754

    Victoria and Paul Walter … between the both of you, many good points … I appreciate them being presented. Lot of food for thought …

  4. Michael Slocum

    No longer vote Labor because of XYZ asylum seeker policy. That’s a fact. Also, have a strong desire to change the whole Coke/Pepsi political system with my vote as I don’t believe in it any more. It is of very little functional value to the country.

  5. Jill Lyall

    I am a Greens member, former Labor voter. I come from a a poor working class background, have struggled as a single parent certainly do not fit the stereotype of the inner city privileged Green. Labor and the Greens disappoint me in different ways. Labor for its pigheaded adherence to inhumane asylum seeker policies and also to destructive coal mining and similar developments, and Greens for a wishy washy attitude to addressing poverty and hardship faced by so many groups in our society now. We really need Labor and Greens to work together and stop acting like enemies. They should work out the pre-selections so that Labor and Greens are not both competing for seats that could be won by either. And they should work together on contentious policy issues and base their policies on evidence, not vote catching and politics.

  6. Steve Ber

    I think the ‘keep the Bastards Honest’ mantra which came out of the Liberal Party via Don Chip is what has held the Greens back because this mantra ensures they spend as much time fighting Labor as they do fighting the LNP. The other problem they inherited from the Democrats is that when they had the chance to cut income tax while introducing the GST, they instead sided with the Liberals to cut sales taxes instead. Greens have always had a tendency to favour higher taxes for low wage earners which adds to their electoral unpopularity.

  7. Trish Corry

    Bravo Standing ovation Bravo 👏 👏👏

  8. Trish Corry

    Someone made a very valid point on FB the other day. That Labor even with offshore would treat Asylum Seekers humanely. As I often say to people; don’t talk about Labor’s Asylum seeker policy and ignore the risk management measures they have put in place, such as return of refugee tribunal, access to medical and legal, KPIs for settlement, independent oversight, child guardian, mandatory reporting, removal of secrecy and actual resettlement (that’s the bit where people stop being locked up and get a chance to build their lives.). The Greens constantly ignoring all these provisions isn’t progressive, it’s Hansonesque shock tactics purposely ignoring debate on the actual solutions. Imagine if the actual practices that the measures bring were discussed in an intelligent progressive space? The Greens offer absolutely nothing in terms of progressive politics. The underpinning constructs of their political tactics are so Hansonesque, if someone mapped them out, I’m sure even the most dedicated Greens supporter would be shocked. Well done Victoria. A great article that is desperately needed to discuss the Greens desire to replace Labor as Pennings proudly tweeted the other day.

  9. Nero Dog

    Well, I wish to hell someone would demand wildlife corridors and stand up for nature. As far as I am concerned there is no difference between Lib, Lab, Greens now; they are just all arguing over the same stick and ignoring the trees and the forest. I resent the ‘Greens’ using the term because a lot of people get confused by it and think the Greens are actually Green. I think they were once, but they got taken over by the S.A.

  10. Kaye Lee

    I understand why Labor and the Greens continue to waste their time fighting each other but it drives we unaligned progressive voters mad.

    The Greens will target seats they think they can win. That is understandable. I wish they would develop specific measures to help farmers to give them an edge in contesting Nationals seats but country people tend to hate the Greens almost as much as Labor supporters do. Country people tend to vote the way their family has voted in the past without recognising that the Nationals have sold out. Perhaps if Labor helped them by not running in opposition in some winnable country seats like the Lismore region might be a start towards collaboration for outcomes….but I think both parties are more interested in power than outcomes.

    I agree that Labor has promised many things that would improve the plight of those on Manus and Nauru, but they steadfastly refuse to agree to bringing them here while they work something out, and that is a tragedy that will continue to not only cost Labor electorally, it is costing people’s lives.

    I also object to the stereotyping of Greens supporters, or Labor supporters for that matter. They are not all privileged inner-city latte sipping dilettantes any more than Labor supporters are all unionised blue-collar workers.

  11. PK1765

    Rather it is the other way around… when is the ALP going to get of its high horse and work with The Greens???

    The Greens by far have the better most inclusive social policies that aid the poor and disadvantaged and working class… time to stop stealing policues and look toward working with them.

  12. John Boyd

    ‘But, when the reality of this position is that Greens block environmental policies such as Labor’s ETS because ‘it doesn’t go far enough…’.

    I go a bit further. At the time, I thought that the Greens were just being naive, along the lines of the perfect being the enemy of the achievable. However, I now believe that they acted deliberately to deny Labor any progress on an issue that they relied on for popular support, as they did later with the so-called ‘Malaysian solution’. In that case the only justification offered by Abbott was that Malaysia is not a signatory to the refugee convention, which argument was adopted by the Greens. To those who keep going on about Labor’s position being ‘no different from the LNP’, I suggest you ponder what the outcome of the Malaysian arrangement could have been, and have a read of the relevant parts of the Labor platform as agreed at the 2015 national conference, and which they took to the 2016 election.

  13. paul walter

    Jill Lyall and Kaye Lee, for mind. It has gone beyond counterproductive in recent years and I put the blame at fifty/fifty.

    I think the asylum seeker issue is the festering thorn that keeps the public divided.. there has to be a common sense middle of the road answer to open slather, which Australians just won’t accept and the Brownshirt brutality of the Right.

    I appreciate that pro asylum seeker supporters are morally in the right, but the public has been spooked for decades by Murdoch and the LNP.

    If they are like me, they know the real problem lies in Big Power Interference in the Third World- stop this and the flood of people fleeing cluster bombs and malnutrition, then use the $trillions wasted instead on social infrastructures in these places. There would not be a problem and billions of people who live like dogs unlike we Aussies, would have a chance at life also.
    The racist versus sooks binary misses the real cause and divides the public so the Tories keep power.

    I’d love to see the Greens be reasonable over Labor on asylum seekers, but would also like to see the ALP stop kow-towing to the British, Zio Lobby, the USA , Developers and other sections of Big Capital.

    Rationality has to trump irrationality or the West is stuffed. We need to get rid of the LNP same as several key overseas countries need to get rid of their rightist governments but it has got far too late in the day.

  14. Kaye Lee

    paul,

    Labor has already agreed to increase foreign aid “to the fullest extent that financial circumstances allow…in a timely manner”.

    I understand the fine line they walk on this because they cop flak from people who want them to look after home first (which I believe their policies do.) These are often the same people who hate migrants. And they don’t seem to understand that we can reduce the number of displaced people by stopping bombing them and by acting on climate change.

    I would like to see Labor question the billions being spent on strike force capability but that is also precarious electorally with some.

  15. Trish Corry

    Hear Hear John Boyd. Exactly.

  16. Zoltan Balint

    Diplomacy – a war and political game set in WW1 Europe time that I played as a kid. Basic assumption was for friendships and elegance you can form to eliminate a common enemy and after that stab the friend in the back for total control. Do not take it hard but be aware … as long as there are TWO people standing in power … by the end of the day ONE will be dead.

  17. diannaart

    Like Kaye Lee, I am an unaligned progressive voter. And I am fed up to the gills, the back teeth and even my pineal gland to the fighting between the Greens and Labor.

    All Victoria has managed is to attack the Greens, I expect Greens supporters to feel irate for being told, they should do what Labor says. It all feels a bit like being told what to do by the LNP, the Christian Lobby and other powerful entities which believe it is their way or the highway.

    If the above article is expected to create a bond between the Greens and Labor, Victoria needs to do a rethink on what working collaboratively actually means.

    FFS, the binary party system does not work. Labor still believes in this 19th – mid 20th century dichotomy. In England and the USA similar political systems are floundering, do we have to follow suit with a Brexit or Trump of our own?

    We need more influential independents and progressive parties to keep both Labor and the Greens a little more honest.

    PS

    The Greens do have good social policies – I have gone to their website to check for myself – it is not difficult.

  18. Matters Not

    Re:

    to pull Labor to the left

    Observers will note the move left (away from Adani) when it came to the recent QLD election with Annastacia Palaszczuk performing monumental feats of mental gymnastics as she distanced her government. Followed by Bill Shorten in the electorate of Batman in more recent times.

    The Greens don’t have to win seats to have a policy affect. Of that there is no doubt.

  19. paul walter

    Exactly, Kaye Lee. I think Labor put up a suggestion last week that intakes be increased by (to ?)50,000, But this would be attacked by both the racist and the open slather cultists. I’ve never been convinced that taking say 30-50,000 poor folk stranded at detention centres here and in SE Asia would necessarily result in a flood of arrivals, but no one can agree to a middle ground approach for all sorts of reasons, some fair, many a bit slimy.

    End tax cuts for the rich and use the money saved for both the unemployed here and newcomers.

    As for Boyd, I don’t agree with Boyd and Corry, the policies have also to conform at least little bit with the science.

    Tokenism only invites ridicule.

  20. paul walter

    Matters Not, largely agree. But it is a pity the rightist press has been able to convince large slabs of the public that leftist equates to silly. What both Greens and Labor alike often propose is often just modest common sense rather than screaming Trot.

  21. paul walter

    Thinking on it, the Bartlett ad is tabloid pitiful, considering the last five sad years for ordinary people because of the LNP.

    I’d have congratulated him if had criticised the ALP for voting with the government to keep FTA details quiet when the public has a right to know these to plan their own futures, likewise their supporting the anti civil liberties pro-censorship idiot “security: laws.

  22. Zoltan Balint

    The greens and their supporters need to get a reality check. Who do you little people think you are. The LNP worked you out. THE Greens have been nothing BUT the little LNP lap dog for years. The LNP got you the Greens to bark and attack anything they wanted you to by just throwing a bone …

  23. diannaart

    Zoltan

    You may have mistaken the Greens for PHON.

    Glad to be of help.

    🙂

  24. Zoltan Balint

    No I have not. PH is stupid and needs to be neutralized so she shows how basic she is (intentional pun). The Greens need to find out who their enemy is and who is their friend or go and strum your banjo on a mountain somewhere.

  25. Kaye Lee

    If we continually look at the past and hold grudges for who did what, it will be impossible to work together towards the future. I have disagreed with some votes from the Greens and some votes from Labor. No party will ever completely please me – I don’t expect that.

    But I have been happily living with my partner for over 40 years and, whilst we disagree on many issues, we both agree that storing up grievances from the past is a toxic thing to do.

    Surely they can remain independent parties but collaborate on policy? Yanno….speak to each other and gain support before you make an announcement. Perhaps that would avoid having to tweak policy immediately after making grand pronouncements.

    Labor is in the power position in this relationship. They can invite input and look for collaboration from the Greens or they can continue fighting them. Power or outcomes?

    PS I agree the Bartlett ad is just stupid. I can understand Labor’s anger about it but it is so easily rebuffed.

  26. paul walter

    I don’t quite agree, Kaye Lee. I think it is much more subtle than that.

    But I get your drift.

    Labor with its now dominant right-faction can drift to the right from centre or listen to its own left and the Greens.

  27. Mick Byron

    As someone earlier commented, the Greens as a Party have every right to contest seats,to develop their own policies and do as they please.
    On the other hand so does Labor and both Parties have their own constitutions that members sign and agree to abide by. I and quite a few others in the ALP want to ensure it stays that way and as far as we- and from what I read on social media-a whole bunch of other ALP members would walk away from the Party rather than to have any formal/informal links to the Greens.
    If you have “friends” like the Greens you most certainly don’t need an enemy.Today on social media Andrew Bartlett was laying the blame for cuts in penalty rates squarely at Labor,The Batman campaign against Ged Kearney was almost totally based on the lie of Adani MIne being “Labors Adani” the almost total Greens Queensland State election campaign was targeting Labor with nasty gossip by door knockers of corrupt Labor,and again the lie that it was “Labors Adani”
    The fact that Campbell Newman approved the mine the Federal Liberal National Government supported it, and a High Court sanctioned it was never even spoken about.
    Labor are on a roll.Bill is leading a solid quality and committed team to what will be a solid victory.
    On the other hand the Greens copped a beating in Batman.with 54.63% 2PP over Alex Bhathal 45.37 is a margin of 9.26%. [previously 1%} the decimantion of the Greens as a Party in Tasmania. the lose of support in South Australia hot on the heels of similar result in Queensland, a Leader,on the nose with a large section of his own Party, A Leader out “hunt down” those who spoke out against a bully in Batman, A former MP suing her own Party, the catastrophic NSW Greens and on and on.
    The further the Greens stay away from Labor the better and the fact that after 30 years or whatever it is,they are still a bit player is their fault.
    It isn’t Labors job to take them under their wing and empower them.
    Best to sit back and let them go the way of the Australian Democrats,or for those so supportive, just continue to limp along shooting themselves in the foot at regular intervals
    It must be embarrassing for the Greens to know even Hanson who ran only 2/3 as many candidates as the Greens in Queensland outpolled them by 100,000 votes.

  28. diannaart

    It must be embarrassing for the Greens to know even Hanson who ran only 2/3 as many candidates as the Greens in Queensland outpolled them by 100,000 votes.

    You’d think so.

    The Greens suffer as much, if not more assassination by the MSM, the LNP and Labor.

    How to beat years of successful propaganda on issues such as climate, coal mining, refugees? I do not know. I do know creating a deeper schism between Labor and the Greens is not achieving anything.

    I have been trying to locate a graph I posted here recently which shows how in step the Greens and Labor are in voting in the senate.

    If anyone remembers it? Would appreciate link.

  29. Kaye Lee

    diannaart, this is not up to date but makes the point…

  30. Mick Byron

    This graph about Senate voting gets trotted out to suit whatever argument is current.
    I was astounded to read today that Greens Victoria voting record is with supporting the Opposition LiberallNationals 60% of the time .Anyone have that graph?
    I thing those wanting coalitions alliances may have the answer there for then A Liberal/National/Green Alliance
    That should keep everybody happy as the Greens would have some relevance and a taste of power and the Liberal National would get their lapdog
    diannaart
    The Greens suffer because of a simple fact the voters don’t want or trust them.
    Take Tasmania alone particularly while under McKims leadership -from 2010 to 2018 the vote dropped from 69000 and 6 MPs to 36000 and 2 MPs in 2018 and lose of Party status.
    That is the voters turning off in droves

  31. diannaart

    Thanks Kaye Lee this indicates what I have been trying to say.

    OK, Mick, you claim (specifically) the Greens in Victoria vote 60% of the time with the LNP. Where is your evidence?

    Labor will continue without the support of its former members until it shifts its policy towards progressive reform and urgent action on climate and refugees.

    It really bites to see someone, I did respect write the words: “XYZ asylum seeker policy” – Greens and other progressives have been and continue to be very specific in what they mean by asylum seeker policy. To write something so blatantly dismissive and then to complain when the Greens goes its own way to achieve votes, leaves me speechless, leaves me thinking many Labor supporters are disingenuous to say the least.

    Labor suffers because of its control by a right faction who should really be in the LNP.

  32. paul walter

    Mick, it is not a tabloid readership. You have to do better.

  33. Matters Not

    Re:

    or trust them

    Yes trust is important when it comes voting intentions and that’s a dimension where Bill Shorten has a significant problem. Take education as an example. Shorten’s penchant for deal making (with the Catholic sector in particular) – contrary to Gonski’s specific recommendation – reveals him to be very untrustworthy, particularly when it comes to public schools. (Details on request.)

  34. Trish Corry

    Excellent comments Mick. Spot on. I used to like the Greens, however, the last few years of constant Labor bashing and silence on the LNP has turned me off. After the disgusting, underhanded, deceitful, outright lying and aggressive campaign by the Greens trying to remove one of the best Premiers we have ever had in QLD whilst simultaneously saying absolutely nothing about what a LNP/One Nation Govt would do to this state….I absolutely despise them. I hope they disintegrate and are nothing but a memory like the Democrats.

  35. Kaye Lee

    “This graph about Senate voting gets trotted out to suit whatever argument is current.”

    If the argument is that the Greens are the “lapdogs” of the Coalition or that there should be a “Liberal/National/Green Alliance” then is it any wonder the evidence is brought out? Or would you prefer us to just say “Yes Mick”?

  36. Mick Byron

    diannaart
    “Labor will continue without the support of its former members until it shifts its policy towards progressive reform and urgent action on climate and refugees.”

    Labor has policies on both Climate AND Refugees, it is just the Greens trash talk it and without sounding too smug, “Labor will continue without the support of its former members” may be the case although it isn’t obvious as from the polls I see 53- 47 or 54 -46
    I guess Labor can afford to continue without them and still end up with a handsome majority come the 2019 election

    “Labor suffers because of its control by a right faction who should really be in the LNP.”
    That is your opinion.
    Again it isn’t suffering too much as I think I read it has now led in some 59 or so Newspolls .

    diannaart, the question that needs addressing, I guess from your point of view is WHY is it the Greens keep failing so catastrophically election after election at both State and Federal Elections.Is it the Right Wing Leadership, the unappealing candidates,the lack of ability to sell a message.
    Those voters you claim have abamdoned Labor didn’t go Green so where did they go, or is Labors increasing support in the polls just people who have given the Greens a chance,giving up on them and returning to the stable ALP and theee leadership of Shorten

    Paul Walter
    “Mick, it is not a tabloid readership. You have to do better.”
    On what specific issue?
    The fact that Greens are failing badly?

  37. Kaye Lee

    Victoria says in her article, “the Greens exist to govern in Coalition with Labor. This is a far preferable option for a Labor supporter like me” and then goes on to make the case for how that can’t and won’t happen. Strident Labor supporters go further to say why they “despise” the Greens and hope they “disintegrate”.

    I understand that, if you are playing on the team, you want your team to win and will talk endlessly about the nasty tactics of the opposition. For those of us who haven’t signed up to any team, we sigh loudly about the silly squabbles. I can understand the anger/disappointment on both sides but I cannot understand how you think animosity is going to make things better.

    For you, it is about winning elections. For the rest of us, it is about what we want delivered.

  38. paul walter

    The voice of reason, rising above the din. Thanks yet again, Kaye Lee.

  39. Mick Byron

    “For you, it is about winning elections. For the rest of us, it is about what we want delivered.”
    First you need to win elections if you want to deliver or have things delivered .
    Kaye Lee everyone has their choice when the vote and you usually have a few to choose from. I personally don’t want someone else telling me I must be stuck with another Party as well as the one I’m voting for and my reason for not wanting any form of deal with the Greens
    Some of us will come away from the election pleased with the result others not so but the bottom line is we all had our chance.
    If the Greens can’t muster the numbers so be it,-don’t then try to force them on Labor

  40. johno

    The above article and some comments don’t impress me towards labor, that is for sure.

  41. Kaye Lee

    Mick,

    Will you accept that some progressive voters disagree with Labor at times? Are we to be silenced always by some reference to the other guys and how bad they are? The people on Manus and Nauru cannot be left there regardless of what oversight is put in place. Increasing our production and consumption of coal cannot be allowed to happen regardless of how big business will perceive our stance. Yes I understand sovereign risk. If they don’t want to play by house rules then go elsewhere. The amount of money being spent on “defence” and “national security” is ridiculous. Why does Labor always rubber stamp it?

    We need our country’s leaders to show integrity, not fear of backlash. Do what is right because that is what must be done. Who cares who unveils the plaque?

  42. Zoltan Balint

    Mick, no one is forcing the Greens on to Labor or anything. The fact that the Greens can not get traction with the voting public is their problem. As a new kid on the block the Greens should not stand on the corner and challenge everyone, they will get pissed on.

  43. randalstella

    What current policy position of the Labor Party does the writer of this piece above have any doubts over?
    Any doubt at all.
    If not any formal policy, then how about any informal stance, or tendency, or proclivity or hint or hunch, or murmur of any of them.
    Anything at all.

  44. Trish Corry

    Anyone who smugly accepts the disgusting, lying, deceitful and aggressive campaign by the Greens, in the QLD election is nothing but a Greens sheep. As Mick pointed out, they door knocked and made up lies about Trad to the point constituents complained. In our campaign in CQ volunteers asked advice how to deal with the aggressive and nasty Greens. The Greens candidate at my booth stood with LNP complaining loudly how nasty Labor is. The Stop Adani campaign is a campaign designed by the Greens purely to target three seats, as admitted on Twitter by one candidate praising Ben Pennings. This “campaign” which has now gone miraculously quiet, was advised to me by Greens candidate that Pennings designed this based on a US style campaign and total social media saturation was the key. That’s why these “progressives” didn’t go after the coal loving renewables hating LNP and PHON, mo they came in massive numbers from down south derailing really important policy announcements on FB about health, education, aged care etc. Never mind Hanson was an actual threat. The out right lies and dirty tactics and aggressiveness and nastiness they employed, has made the LNP look like amateurs. Anyone who thinks this is great campaigning, and is an apologist for the Greens, is either a sheep or is quite fine with LNP and PHON making inroads in seats. The deceitful campaign that Palaszczuk was corrupt turned people to One Nation. I know because I don’t just sit behind a keyboard I door knock and talk to people. Shame on the Greens. In the bin with them. They might earn back some credibility when they learn who the actual enemy is.

  45. Mick Byron

    Zoltan Balint
    ” As a new kid on the block” They are old “new kids”
    Kaye Lee
    “The people on Manus and Nauru cannot be left there regardless” No one said they should. Have you read Bills latest Media releases.
    ” Increasing our production and consumption of coal cannot be allowed to happen regardless ”
    Again, not what Labor says but maybe you can answer this for me
    The Greens ran a deceptive/lying campaign “Labors Adani’ .The Greens polled in Batman pre election and found 70+% of people opposed Adani.
    The question you,or another Greens backer may be able to answer is in regard to another article I read online today.
    Besides the Adani mine there are currently 8 or 9 other very large mines in the planning or progress stages in QLD, One of those is a monstrous mine,Kevins Corner a GVK project in company with Gina Rinehardt.Approved with conditions.Combined underground and open-cut coal mine with an ultimate capacity of 30 million tonnes per annum.
    Why is it these are not mines the Greens campaign about,or even speak about?
    Is it that the only one they could try to wedge Labor on both at State and Federal level was Adani?
    Is there a @StopKevinsCorner linked to The Greens

  46. Trish Corry

    Oh and I forgot to mention, not only did the Greens remain silent on PHON, but their candidate “Independent Amy” posed as an Independent and promoted herself using PHON colours as the Greens did using PHON colours in deceitful memes about Palaszczuk being corrupt! Their halo has fallen off. These sort of tactics have turned a hell of a lot of people off Greens as voiced on social media and I’m pleased to hear it.

  47. Trish Corry

    No Mick, it’s because racism works well in Australia. Stop Adani is a Greens joke. People need to wake up, because the amount of mines in that area being ignored just makes the entire thing a farce. But what would I know? I only live here. Ps: the Farmers in CQ aren’t protesting it either. What they are protesting at the moment is Labor’s land clearing laws. Another fabrication. Just like “Labor’s Adani” it puts Abbott’s axe the tax to shame. Good work Greens. 🙄

  48. Kaye Lee

    Trish,

    The best way to counteract lies is not to have a hissy fit but to calmly present the facts. A friend of mine campaigned for Jackie and made a video which was displayed on Jackie’s facebook page and I took part in the conversation underneath. Good on you for knocking on doors though personally I hate that sort of intrusion. We all contribute in our own way.

    Mick,

    No, if Labor have agreed to get the people off Manus and Nauru, I haven’t read about it. A link would be appreciated.

    When you say “you,or another Greens backer” you make preumptions you have no right to make…but moving along to answer your question….I would suggest you read the many articles I have written over the years about GVK, Gina Rinehart, Kevin’s Corner etc. It may be new to you but it isn’t to those of us who care about the environment more than party squabbles.

    You could start with this one from over four years ago

    https://theaimn.com/ginas-bollycoal-adventure/

  49. Mick Byron

    Kaye Lee
    You are right,Kevins Corner is new to me.
    I still ask the question why is it or any of the other 8 or so mines not pursued by the Greens as was/is Adani?
    Again I just learnt why in Trish Corrys comment about. Adani is nothing more tnasn a stunt used by the Greens to wedge Labor as I suspected otherwise as much campaigning against the other would be evident in Greens articles-and they aren’t
    Can you direct me to any significant campaigns against Kevins Corner or one of the other major mines in QLD,or if not you,a Greens reader or member/supporter?
    Goodnight all

  50. Zoltan Balint

    It’ is so not funny that it is a pain to even smile at the stupidity. The Greens want to be seen as relevant so they think by standing with the LNP (the goverment) and by attacking Labor they will look important.

    Oh yes, a nerd in a school yard will side with a bully and pick on the weaker so they do not become the target, rarther than having the backbone and courage to stand and fight for what is right.

  51. randalstella

    Labor hacks actually mentioning Adani.
    Next will they be discussing its environmental record, and its industrial relations record?
    No they won’t.

    To claim that concern over Adani is somehow a concoction of the Greens is a ridiculous lie.

    To claim that sections of the Labor Party and their mates have not been instrumental in the Adani proposal takes the craft of lying to a farce.

  52. Kaye Lee

    Mick,

    Is it not enough that I direct you to my campaign against developing the Galilee Basin? If you were unaware of it then perhaps you should read more articles at the AIMN.

    Trish,

    re Jackie Trad and the campaign against her, this is what I posted on her page in early November in response to the lies….

    “Australia was the only advanced economy to be named in the 12 deforestation hotspots in the world. Rates of clearing surged when Campbell Newman promised to scrap restrictions, which his LNP government did in December 2013. Rates then reached a plateau of about 300,000 hectares for several years.

    The minority Labor government tried to reverse the legislation last year, but was blocked at the 11th hour in August 2016 when its former MP turned crossbencher Billy Gordon sided with the LNP.”

    and….

    “The Beattie government introduced legislation in 2004 to control land clearing. Slash and burn Newman unwound the laws. Labor tried to reinstate some controls again in August last year but didn’t have the numbers.”

    I do what I can to help.

  53. paul walter

    Kaye Lee, 9.48

  54. Gary Jones

    The Inner City Elite is only a generation away from comfortably retired.Do not vote Green

  55. Trish Corry

    As I said, if you condone and excuse the disgusting campaign tactics of the Greens in the QLD election; if you condone and accept the silence about LNP and PHON; if you think the Greens achieving another Campbell Newman style Govt with the addition of Hanson “because the lies Greens spread with Stop Adani” by a nasty, lying campaign against Labor, would have been an achievement, then you don’t care about people, you don’t care about the environment, you don’t care about progress, you don’t care about civil rights, you don’t care about access to public services. You are not a progressive but a Greens sheep.

  56. Kaye Lee

    I care enough to inform myself so whatever lies politicians and their acolytes tell don’t fool me.

  57. Adrianne Haddow

    Well said, Kaye Lee and Randalstella.

    The Adani issue has many progressive groups acting to reduce the toxic effects that corporate donors and lobby groups have on our environment and lives.
    The Greens did not begin the protest against this issue, they merely added their voice to the many environmental groups that have been fighting for years to prevent this aberration from becoming reality.

    They are instrumental in exposing issues which will impact the future well being and health of both our environment and ourselves. The latest coal seam gas exploration and seismic testing along the eastern coast is just one example.

  58. Stephen Brailey

    I find this comments section “debate” quite interesting and illuminating. To start I will state that I recently became a Greens member. I did this because of my own ongoing disgust with my historic party of choice, Labour! The knee jerk salivating anger against the Greens on show by Labour pundits in this forum informs and illuminates the debate quite nicely. Now, I dont wish to write a book length essay here so I will speak in broad strokes.
    30 yrs ago The Greens were all those people who wished to fight for environmental causes and needed separation from the industrial right wing of Labour. Greens candidates harvested green votes and handed them over to their Labour mates to help win elections because they were on the same side, basically. Then the Labour Party became a cynical LNP lite party who were: scared shitless of Uncle Rupert; infiltrated by sellouts; that they abandoned MOST of their principles to cling to power. At this point the Greens snapped and started to actively campaign against Labour on issues and slowly became a genuine progressive party.
    Now however, it seems to me the Greens heirarchy who are reponsible for election strategy have cuccumbed to the delusion we can gobble up Labour and become a real force in politics (this would be the power corrupts segway!). This has infuriated the rusted on Labour pundits who more than anything hate it when a whipping boy get above their station. So I agree with Kaye who quite rightly points out the real enemy is the bloody LNP and their black shirted employees (clumsy reference to Border Force, sorry 😋).
    For the record:
    1. I love lattes.
    2. I have worked as a tradie most of my life.
    3. I live in rural QLD.
    4. I voted Labour until they dumped Gillard!
    5. I rent.
    6. I got my degree as a mature age entry.
    7. I now work as a Disability Care Worker.
    So anyone who who wants to dismiss my opinion by stereotyping me…good luck!😂

  59. Kaye Lee

    I have one question…..what’s the difference between a latte and a white coffee?

    It seems to me the best way for Labor to win back the greens voters would be to address their concerns about asylum seekers, the environment, defence spending and the increasingly intrusive surveillance of our communications.

  60. Zoltan Balint

    White coffee has coffee in it, latte is just milk.

  61. Trish Corry

    Stephen, The entire point of this article is that the Greens do not see the LNP as their enemy. They want to replace Labor and be the opposing party to the conservatives. Not eradicate them. Labor wants to eradicate them.
    I question anyone who thinks Adani, one of many mines in CQ, is the top issue, ahead of workers rights, equality, poverty, social security, education and unemployment. Regardless of anyone’s beliefs about the environment, all Stop Adani is, is propaganda. It is a campaign designed by the Greens, just like Stop the Boats, Axe the Tax. It’s also why now elections are over, it’s very quiet.
    I think Labor supporters have expressed very clearly on social media their issue with the Greens, is the outright lies they tell about Labor. The silence on attacking LNP and a range of underhanded tactics and the increasing voting with LNP, especially in one state, and how DiNatale said he’d never say never to forming a coalition with the Liberals, how he was supporting the Liberals attacks on Labor with the franking credits, WW admitting he voted for Howard, the yawn yawn belief that Labor is the same as the Liberals, (which is just non thinking clap trap) and the complete lack of ideas by the Greens, but just a lot of lying and complaining about the only party who seems to know who the actual enemy is.
    The Greens have attempted to be a major player and they are failing miserably. They are a protest party and nothing more. And people are not leaving Labor (spelt with no U) but are actually coming back to Labor. In Short, the Greens would rather have a Conservative Govt as long as that meant Labor’s seats were reduced. It’s a bit of a twisted way to pose as progressives, isn’t it?

  62. helvityni

    Some of our racist politicians most likely prefer all their coffees white, never black. Maybe they even like the horrid Instant variety of it,( the American invention) or they see a cup of tea as the only dinky-die Aussie beverage….

  63. Kaye Lee

    In a speech to the Victorian Fabian society on Monday, Butler warned that Labor was at best “treading water”, with membership slipping and a decreased capacity to organise mass campaigns.

    He said the party’s membership of 50,000 had “disturbingly” declined by more than 6% since its peak in 2015 and in a country of 25 million people it could not “credibly claim to be a mass-membership party”.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/jan/23/mark-butler-factions-are-destroying-labors-capacity-to-campaign

    If Stop Adani is just propaganda, what was Mediscare?

  64. Mick Byron

    My last comment on this and just to clarify some points.
    I am in now way trying to entice Greens over to the Labor cause. Everyone has the right to vote for or be a member of any Party their little heart so desires.
    My point is the Greens and Labor are separate entities and that is the way it must remain.I and quite a few others, with the support of some MPs are working many Branches so that a Motion can go to National Conference abolishing the practice of, in the majority of cases preferencing Greens second on How to Votes.
    There are many smaller Parties and Independents with a philosophy much closer to Labors than the Greens and on Senate How to votes, no reason to have them in the six at all.
    People who want to give Greens preferences have the Option of below the line or not following the ALP ticket in it’s entirety, however the average voter finds it much easier to just follow a ticket.
    I,and many within Labor want and see no future with any form of ALP Greens alliances

  65. Steve Laing

    This article, and the following comments, underline why the right-wing continue to win elections. Party political based democracy favours those who play divide and rule, and no-one does this better than the parties that care about their own, and actively work against those who don’t support them. The fact that those on the left, Labor and the Greens, play into this paradigm must make those on the right piss themselves laughing.

    The problem isn’t the Greens, or Labor. It is the system. Without changes to the way our democratic system is run, the system will favour those who are happy to abuse it (ie those on the right). The main fight is not Greens vs Labor, it is about making the system more democratic and collaborative, rather than the divisive and competitive. It is a system that entirely favours the right.

    If you care about progressive politics, here is my suggestion. Stop doing the Coalition’s work for them and pull your head in. All your bitching does is make the undecided see is bitchy infighting, and who wants to support that? You are doing EXACTLY what those on the right-wing want you to do – fight each other, which is exactly why they didn’t put up a candidate in Batman.

  66. Kaye Lee

    I would so much rather hear what Labor intends to do about the issues I mentioned (and others) than about their tactics on their how to vote cards. I realise that might seem important to you but personally, I couldn’t care less about such trivialities.

    Wouldn’t Labor be better off concentrating on the government rather than worrying so much about the Greens?

  67. paul walter

    Steve Laing, good point.

    And still Corry avoids the issues?

    Bluster is just a cover for not having an answer.

  68. Trish Corry

    I find it very interesting that I have discussed the abhorrent tactics of the Greens in the QLD election, yet Greens supporters here ignore it, They also ignore the Greens desire to replace Labor by constantly working against Labor (as per Pennings announcement the other day) They also don’t think it’s terrifying that the Greens want to be the opposition to the LNP, rather than eradicate the LNP. Yet here we have the same old same old snide remarks, rather than expressing concern with any of the above.

    I can just imagine the regular clique-y Commentsriat on AIMN if Labor door knocked Bandts electorate and made up lies, personally attacking him. What union thugs they would be. Imagine if Labor made signs “Greens Cause Homelessness” because they just voted against public housing. What deceitful liars Labor would be. Imagine if Labor had candidates posing as Independents and promoting using Pauline Hanson’s colours. There would be outrage and reports to the electoral commission. Imagine if Labor campaigned that DiNatale was corrupt, knowing full well this would turn many undecided voters to Hanson. Labor would be accused of supporting racism. Imagine if on every Greens thread Labor organised hundreds of people to scream abuse and derail the conversation, even if was something really important to vulnerable people. There would be accusations of behaving like right wing nut jobs. Imagine if a Labor candidate went and loudly complained to the LNP booth how awful The Greens are. There would be an article in the New Matilda and that candidate would be attacked so bad on Twitter, they’d have to shut down.

    Maybe those so supportive of the Greens and always sanctimoniously attacking Labor supporters should have a nice long look at what type of party they are voting for and use your voice to tell them you want things above board. That’s if anyone in power speaks up and isn’t at risk of being shut out and placed in an unwinnable position at the next election. Oh and tell them that the enemy is the LNP! Hypocrites.

  69. Michael Taylor

    … the regular clique-y Commentsriat on AIMN …

    There have been just under 200,000 comments made on The AIMN, and I have read most of them. The comments – along with polls we’ve conducted – tell us that almost 70% of our commenters and readers vote for Labor, and 30% vote for the Greens.

    This site was started as a voice for Labor supporters, Greens supporters, and just about anyone else who is against the LNP. (We are often accused of not being independent because we lean to the Left … but I can live with that).

    Personally, I’ve gone off the Greens because I don’t like their leader and I really wish they wouldn’t try to take seats off Labor, when in my opinion they should be trying to take seats off the common enemy: the LNP. But hey, that’s their right. They’re not beholden to Labor and they can do what they want.

    What I would like to see, however, is Labor and the Greens work together better than they currently do.

  70. Marcus

    (Put this comment in a few hours ago, but did not come up so will try again)

    Thanks Victoria for another great discussion.

    It seems to be the Greens are not sure themselves what they are, and from what I have seen there is considerable debate within the rank and file around the strategy, identity, and focus…which probably, at least partly, explains some of the contradictory stances and actions of the party. Personally, I think the ruling Duopoly has FAILED the Australian people on many levels, and no amount of shrill pointing the finger at the Greens (as some above have done) will change the fact, that if the major parties had done the right thing and acted in the national interest…not only is it unlikely the Greens would exist but we would not be where we are now.

    In policy area, after policy area, BOTH major parties have failed dismally. To caveat that to some extent, I would be the first to say, and have done so repeatedly in other forums, that the ALP is far ahead of the LNP who are completely corrupted and wholly OWNED by their corporate masters,while in the ALP this process has not yet been completed. I have also pointed out, and will continue to do so, where the Greens policy has been a failure and numerous areas where they need to improve, some of which Victoria has touched on. Indeed, given the stagnant or even falling number of votes, I would have thought there would be emergency meetings across the Greens to do some serious soul searching. Plus agreed, Greens and ALP could be working much better together.

    To some extent our entire political process is to blame. For example, the winner takes all process, division of power in the senate and house of Reps almost guarantees the ascension of the established parties which only enhances the failure. Why would anyone change if they don’t have to? You only have to look across the front bench of the LNP in particular to see how our current political process rewards mediocrity and corruption. The idea the major parties legitimately “represent” their constituents is tenuous…and the notion of having a “mandate” as part an election win is equally self-serving. This situation means there is no outlet, which only adds to the frustration, and builds up the pressure in the system.

    I think there is room for a genuine progressive party in Australia, indeed I would argue the populace is crying out for change, and delivery of policies in terms of a people-centred model of economics, real action on climate change, dealing with inequality, social justice, homelessness, indigenous recognition and treaty, strengthening single payer healthcare, needs based education, properly funding TAFE, reducing immigration, and so much more. At the moment I do not see the ALP embracing these areas…although they scratched around the edges and done some “clayton’s change”…that will look far better than LNP, but then, that’s not hard.

    In conclusion, Australian politics is currently bereft of vision, leadership, plan, or progressive thinking. Putting aside the LNP who would need a complete overhaul to get back to anything of value…I don’t see much evidence the ALP will make much progress on these fronts either. Overall, whether it is the Greens or some other party we do not yet know about…there is a vacuum ready to be filled, and I am confident that if a real alternative were to be presented, people would find it very enticing . Maybe even vote for them.

    Marcus

  71. diannaart

    I apologise for my lack of involvement on this thread – I was struggling yesterday just to write a few words and am no better today.

    Would like to point out I agree with Michael – there is something about Di Natali that just doesn’t feel right.

    On Adani, as others have noted, there many groups campaigning against it and other environmentally threatening developments in Queensland. It is not a Greens “joke”. For exaple a group I have been actively supporting is the people of the Wangan and Jagalingou community – they have been actively pursuing mining deleopers, the federal government and the Queensland government.

    Letter outlining their concerns here:

    http://wanganjagalingou.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Submission-to-the-Special-Rapporteur-on-Indigenous-Peoples-by-the-Wangan-and-Jagalingou-People-2-Oct-2015.pdf

    https://www.adaninomeansno.com/

    I am fed up with the hostility fired at anyone who doesn”t agree 100% with Labor.

    The graph I was talking about last night, show clearly, just who does vote WITH the LNP.

    Grow Up – if you want to argue use evidence and stop with the abuse.

    Human rights are not just about winning elections – if that was true we would not be facing the problems we have today.

  72. Kaye Lee

    It’s strange isn’t it. I truly don’t understand why Labor members get so angry when someone mentions things that concern them. Is it because they are so caught up the tactics?

    Why pay for focus groups when you can have a direct online discussion with so many people who want to support you? Most of us are more interested in policy than politics.

    I agree our winner-takes-all system has created this problem. The HoR is a waste of space as all government bills pass no matter what the debate might throw up. Turnbull has the hide to moralise about the cricketers sledging. Parliament is infinitely worse.

    I don’t know how they ever expect to achieve anything when they spend their whole term in office blaming the previous government and undoing everything they achieved – oh and commissioning LOTS of reports and reviews and audits and feasibility studies and fighting lots of court cases to hide the truth from us or to be as despicable as they can to refugees.

    It must be a dreadful place to work when all you do is plot and scheme how to make your workmates fail.

  73. Michael Taylor

    It’s my turn to agree with you, Dianna.

    Although I’m a Labor voter through and through, I get disappointed when Labor voters go on the attack against anyone who holds a different opinion.

    I can’t name one person who has written more articles producing the facts and figures that expose the lies and corruption of the LNP than Kaye Lee. The articles would number in the hundreds, yet she gets dragged across the coals when she suggests something Labor could do better.

    I’m thrilled that Kaye has an opinion. Absolutely thrilled. And they’re worth listening to.

    And they’re welcome here.

  74. paul walter

    They won’t do that. Neither, in some instances will the New Greens, which is why their poll numbers have dropped so drastically.

    They will do rhetoric,and hyperbole; agit prop, to cover up that they CAN’T and WON’T (because it is beneath their dignity) answer the sorts of questions asked at places like this.

    There was a time when Labor was the party of original thinking and new ideas; what Horne called the National Project, but that has faded since the likes of Dunstan, Whitlam and Cairns. The reasons are complex, to do with de-industrialisation, globalisation, neoliberalism and other causes for a demographics change, with erosion of their real base.

    What seems to remain is an unimaginative social conservative right faction rump which is as clueless as to how society operates as the Tories or Hansonists.

    The Greens also have lost touch with reality as they (also) become more and more city- trendy, infected by identity politics, but from a different tack and (deliberately, in some cases), unaware of the propositions of situational politics.

  75. Kaye Lee

    Let’s get to the moral of the story. Labor fielded a better candidate in Batman and won. There’s a lesson there.

  76. Mick Byron

    “There was a time when Labor was the party of original thinking and new ideas; what Horne called the National Project, but that has faded since the likes of Dunstan, Whitlam and Cairns.”
    I am an admirer of Whitlam but things move on, 40 years in fact and let us not forget unless you can take the people along and sell your message you end up poleaxed just as Whitlam was.
    There is a history leading up to the Dismissal,but remember Whitlam and Labor lost support of the people big time
    The LNP won the Election 91 seats to the ALPs 36
    and in 1977
    LNP 86 ALP 38
    Shorten and his team are positioned to win a substantial majority and likely a couple of terms at least

  77. Adrianne Haddow

    Not that you need me to point it out…. but great analytical comments from Marcus, Diannaart, Michael, Kaye Lee and Paul.

    I, too, am bit suspect about Di Natale and I am disappointed in the Greens backing of the LibNats on anything, for any reason. Also the casting into the wilderness of social justice advocates such as Lee Rhiannon

    As Marcus pointed out
    ……there is a vacuum ready to be filled, and I am confident that if a real alternative were to be presented, people would find it very enticing .

  78. helvityni

    Keep up the bickering, you Labor and Green voters. and that’s the way to keep the Liberals ( Coalition) in power, with the ‘untrendy’ Pauline assisting them….

    (One of the Greenies here was a strident Liberal on another blog.)

  79. Mick Byron

    helvityniApril 1, 2018 at 5:50 pm
    (One of the Greenies here was a strident Liberal on another blog.)

    I had a heated argument on a polling booth with a Green/former LIberal who quite openly declared that he preferenced the Liberal Party second,always,and that he would prefer a Liberal Government to a majority Labor Government.His ideal was a minority Labor Government dependant on Greens support.
    His argument is a majority Labor Government damages Greens brand and future electoral chances
    The fact as pointed out by the ABCs Psephologist Antony Greens is that 20 to 25% of Greens always preference Liberals second.
    The further from Labor they are the better, you think a Labor Greens deal will ever happen Federally? NEVER

  80. Kaye Lee

    Actually, in the last election, 81.94% of Greens preferences went to Labor. In 2013, it was 83.03%.

    The vast majority of Greens voters put Labor before the Coalition.

    You won Sydney, You won Grayndler. You won Batman. Good candidates matched with good policy makes dirty tactics irrelevant.

    (no more Joe Bullock’s please – what were you thinking with THAT choice?)

  81. diannaart

    Kaye Lee

    Very true – regarding Batman one has to question a contender who has tried 6 times to be elected and lost.

    Also, I concur and agree that Labor taking a courageous stance on asylum seekers is fraught – but not impossible. To continue to indefinitely detain people for years… Political parties have been known to make unpopular decisions without losing power. If nothing else, at least the Greens stand firm on humane treatment of refugees.

    Adrienne Harrow

    Also the casting into the wilderness of social justice advocates such as Lee Rhiannon – I never understood that. Also Di Natali has a bit of the “my way or the highway” about him that too many politicians on both sides of the political fence have.

    Helvityni

    Care to name names – if a big “L” Liberal is pretending to be a Green here on this thread – who are they?

    Finally, to repeat for umpteenth time, whatever the Greens are and they are indeed imperfect, they do less voting with the LNP than anyone else.

  82. Matters Not

    The Liberal/National Party coalition is politically successful in electoral terms – not because they like each other or because they share the same political philosophy (they don’t on both counts) – but because both sides choose to be pragmatic – prepared to have X percent of the political spoils rather than 100% of nothing.

    Not so with the progressive side of politics. Too often the progressives prefer to be … not in government but with a clear conscience.

    Re Batman – look at its electoral history and see the decline in the Labor vote.

  83. Paul

    I have lived in Rockhampton for the last year or so. I witnessed the questionable behaviour of Greens here during the Qld election. I have voted Green at the last three elections, federal and state – nsw, but returned to Labour for the Qld election … and wont be going back.
    Yes, i want Labour to close the gulags and tackle head on the issues of immigration, climate change, energy generation, et al, in a humane, nation and community building way. No one else can or will do it.
    I sincerely believe we have to ensure Labour takes govt and starts dismantling the destructive monstrosity the born to rule class have foisted on us.
    I can understand Labour’s need to keep their policy announcements in many areas fairly tepid so as not to overly alarm the selfish ‘middle class’ terrified by their memories of Whitlam…. LOL

  84. stephengb2014

    Great discussion and commentary.

    My view, I have said before is:

    There is only Left of politics or Right of politics. Full stop.

    Of course there is a centre (neither Left nor Right), but nobody lives there. And of course there are the extreme of extreme, yes these people exist on both the Left or Right, although there not many people in the extremists camp, because the extreme of extremes of both Left and Right are merely totalitarianists.

    So for the majority of us in Australia, we are either Left or Right to some degree or other, because
    Greens, and Nationals and any other party or so called independents, are merely degrees of Left or Right.

    So its common sense to me that if you are Left then you should cast your vote to put the most likely Left party in government, because to vote for a least likely Left party is not only a wasted vote but a vote that may assist the most likely Right party. (And vice verser if you are Right leaning)

    It seems obvious to me that voting in way that could assist the opposite party to your own political stance, into power, is a really stupid approach to try and get your preference for a Left or the Right leaning government.

    Aa for me, well at the next State or Federal election I will be voting to try and get a Left leaning government in power, because I like to think that I am a progressive a socially responsible person, therefore I must vote Labor, yes I do believe that to vote for minor Left party or Left independent is a waste of my vote, apart from the very real possibility, that to do so, might inadvertantly keep the LNP in power.

    S G B

  85. Zoltan Balint

    If you look closely at some elections you will see a candidate running that appeared out of nowhere on a specific issue. Lets say the LNP thinks that smoking in a park will get 10% of the vote in the area but to run on this as LNP they might suffer 15% swing against them on primary vote. So put up an independant that will give them first preferences and the independent goes away after the election.

  86. Andreas Bimba

    This article is like an article about football teams, mostly partisan, pointless and valueless.

    The neo-liberal era of the last few decades has been a disaster for all but the top few percent and Labor is almost as complicit as the Conservative Coalition for bringing this about. The Greens are the most progressive of the main parties but the electorate even now votes for more Conservative governments for example in Tasmania and South Australia.

    Our current predicament is as much a failing of the values or wisdom of the Australian people, albeit influenced by a mainstream mass media dominated by the corporate oligarchy and their narrative, as it is of the political process.

    We know how to attain full employment, free universal education, universal healthcare, adequate government services across the board, aged pensions at a reasonable age, a dynamic economy and how to tackle global warming and environmental sustainability but our political system is not offering this choice.

  87. Meg

    Yes, I knew – when the Berlin Wall came down in 1990 that this little experiment would not end well.

  88. helvityni

    Matters Not, agree with you, that’s what I too am trying to say to Labor and the Greens, be pragmatic, join the forces, have a better chance of winning…

  89. Meg

    The advantage in having our progressive parties as separate entities, is that those that wish to vote Green for environmental, or compassionate grounds can safely vote with their conscience, whilst gifting their all-important second preference with Labor. Same-same, rather than actual competing interests.

  90. Zoltan Balint

    Meg when voting for the Greens are you sure you are voting for a party that is environmental and is compassionate. Does having the word “green” in a name equal those things. Irish beer on St Patrics day is green, envy, flesh cut and left to rot turns green. The ‘greens’ better start showing what they are worth before claiming the moral high ground.

  91. Meg

    What does it matter, as long as they vote 1 Green for whatever reason, and 2 Labor?

  92. johno

    Well said Meg.

  93. stephengb2014

    To vote for minor Left party or Left independent is a waste of my vote, apart from the very real possibility, that to do so, might inadvertantly keep the LNP in power.

    Not much complicated by that logic,

    S G B

  94. Alan Luchetti

    They both need to stop one-upping each other and the Libs on “budget repair”. The alleged need for it is either gold standard era sleepwalking or a neoliberal construct in the service of privatisation and inequality – or both. Financial resources are unlimited for a currency issuer. Real resources–people, skills, infrastructure, enviroment–are not unlimited and they are being stifled, degraded and destroyed by unanimous imposition of needless limitations on financial resources. ALP and Greens have different emphases and priorities but they share the same fundamental self-handicapping flaw. Together they could bring fiscal policy into the 21st century but right now they just cede the field to the conservatives.

  95. Mick Byron

    Matters NotApril 1, 2018 at 8:10 pm
    “Re Batman – look at its electoral history and see the decline in the Labor vote.”
    Just a quick look at Batman may give a false impression unless you take into account the changing demographic which I think the author did.
    Taking a quick look at Batman you could indeed be impressed by Labors effort,A seat held by a tiny 1% by Labor, the pundits all proclaiming a certain Greens victory and what was one a slim !% margin to Labor is now a healthy 9.26%

    helvityni
    What I find interesting is it is those who claim to have no political allegiances so keen to foist the Greens on Labor.I don’t read of too many Labor OR Greens members doing it

    What we need is Optional preferential voting Federally to give people the opportunity to apportion preferences to whatever Party they like-or NOT

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