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The Coalition has stayed true to its word

I generally don’t republish something from our archives but with this piece I come across yesterday – Some reasons why the Libs don’t want you to vote for the Greens – I make an exception.

First published prior to the 2013 federal election it provided a window into what to expect from the Coalition if they won power. Or more precisely, what not to expect. The article was based on a Coalition document which spelled out, in an indirect way, that there would be no social changes during tenure.

Given that some of the issues – such as same sex-marriage, and detention centres – are topical today, the document reminds us that the government stated their position and despite recent public pressure, in my opinion the government has stamped them ‘not negotiable’.

They told us this before the election.

Indeed, some governments do change their course on social issues after taking office but I consider the Abbott government to be more ideologically driven than any government I care to remember. And as such they will never change.

Anyway, have a read (re-read) of the article and be reminded that this is what Australia voted in favour of. Don’t expect the Coalition to change their mind now, regardless of any swings in public mood. It will never be ‘what the public wants’, it will always be ‘what we (the Coalition) want’.

* * * * *

If anybody wants to know what the Coalition plan to do in Government then they need look no further than the Coalition Speakers notes 1 July 2012 for an insight of the frightening world they would hope to thrust upon us. It looks at all the topical issues including Border Protection, Communications and Broadband, Employment and Workplace Relations, Foreign Affairs, Heath Higher Education, Indigenous Australians, Multiculturalism, Population, Superannuation and Youth.

But typical of any Coalition document it focuses more on attacking the other major parties than how and what should be done. The ‘hows’ and ‘whats’ are nothing more than a bit of chest thumping. There is much more passion in their criticisms of both the Government and the Greens than there is in beating their own drum. Just the usual scare tactics, you might say.

What struck me the most about the document was their rabid hatred for everything the Greens stand for. The Greens are not my party of choice, but after reading the document I’m convinced that they stand for much more than I gave them any credit for. And if anything, I’m more determined to vote against a party that opposes – or condemns – what the Greens want for our society.

I’ve made a list of some of the reasons why the Libs don’t want you to vote for the Greens. Upon reading them, you might also ponder how much the Liberals must be out of touch with the modern, progressive Australian. Here’s the list of what the Coalition fear:

The Greens believe in legalising same sex marriages.

The Greens believe in reintroduction of voluntary euthanasia laws in the NT & ACT.

The Greens support holding a plebiscite for an Australian Republic. The Greens will legalise the use of cannabis for specified medical purposes.

The Greens moved a private members bill entitled Anti-Terrorism Reform Bill 2009 to relax terrorism laws and calls for amendments to the Criminal Code and Crimes Act.

The Bill calls for greater freedom of expression and association, freedom from arbitrary detention, legal due process and privacy.

The Greens will repeal the sedition laws and will repeal mandatory sentencing legislation.

The Greens will prohibit the use of electroshock weapons and Tasers.

The Greens want an open door refugee and asylum seeker policy. They have said that they want to increase the number of refugees and asylum seekers Australia takes, but they haven’t said by how much; they also want to decrease the number of skilled migrants and increase the number of family reunion migrants.

Abolition of mandatory detention of illegal immigrants.

Restore Australia’s migration zone to match Australia’s territory and accept responsibility for processing all asylum seekers who seek protection in that zone.

Allow illegal immigrants unrestricted movement in and about reception centres.

Immediately grant illegal immigrants an asylum application visa (AAV) and move them into community reception centres after medical and security checks are satisfied or after 14 days.

Allow illegal immigrants with AAVs the right to work, travel, income support and access to ongoing educational and medical services anywhere in Australia while their claims are being assessed.

Ensure that refusal of an AAV is reviewable by the Administration Appeals Tribunal and that the illegal immigrant is housed in a facility close to an urban area.

Closing Australian ports and territorial waters to nuclear powered vessels and create nuclear free zones, municipalities and ports;

Prohibit mineral exploration, mining, extraction of petroleum and gas in terrestrial and marine nature conservation reserves.

Ban the exploration, mining and export of uranium and the storage of low-grade domestic nuclear waste in a remote location in Australia.

The Greens want a commonly agreed national benchmark to measure poverty and reform the social security system to ensure an adequate income for all.

The Greens will increase the number of marine reserves and implement a national framework for managing recreational and charter fishing.

The Greens will introduce an Oceans Act and establish a statutory National Oceans Authority to coordinate the sustainability of ocean uses. The Authority will report to the Parliament and enforce cosystem-based regional management plans and targets.

The Greens have called for a treaty with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders that recognises prior occupation and have sovereignty enshrined into the constitution.

The Greens will pursue the conclusion of a multilateral convention based on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and enact its provisions into Australian Law.

The Greens believe in the full restoration of the Racial Discrimination Act in the NT and ending the federal intervention into indigenous communities regardless of any consequences.

The Greens will repeal amendments to the NT’s land Rights Act as they believe the amendments disadvantage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Want to abolish SES funding for private schools, which would discourage private investment in education and create more dependency on taxpayer funding to fund school education. Impose new federal controls on where new non-government schools can be built or how many students they could enrol, which would severely limit parental choice.

Want Commonwealth funding for private schools kept at 2003/04 levels, which would see many schools be forced to close or sack teachers in order to stay open. Oppose performance payments for teachers.

Believe that education unions are the appropriate industrial representatives in all educational matters.

And finally …

Will increase Youth Allowance to the level of a living wage, irrespective of the cost to taxpayers.


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  1. Florence nee Fedup

    Trouble is nothing has changed for the better when it comes to Abbott.

  2. philgorman2014

    Looks like the Greens have an agenda for an inclusive social democracy.

  3. RosemaryJ36

    If they can realistically cost their policies I could support them.

  4. stephentardrew

    I have been looking at the Greens latest policies and they have come a long way. For social justice advocates the Greens are looking more viable every day. Labor is disenfranchising its core constituents and performing very poorly. Shorten’s approval rating is actually a very serious problem that Labor is currently glossing over however to have such bad figures when the opposition is in dire straits is unjustifiable politically to ordinary members, or it most certainly should be.

    The Greens new economic policies are shaping up well and I have been conversing with party members who are at last demonstrating a sound understanding of progressive economics. Some way to go yet but they are on the move.

    Labor is its own worst enemy at the moment and if they cannot respond to public opinion, which is the measure of democracy, they are not reflecting true progressive leftist opinion. It is madness to hold out like some belligerent child while the public is sending you a clear message. It is tantamount to saying you know better than your constituents which you do not.

    Winning by default and ignoring public opinion is not legitimate. The aggressive rejection of criticism on social media is certainly getting a lot of swing voters off side. If you cannot rationally discuss these issues without this defensive aggression then I suggest you know something is wrong yet you lack the wherewithal to do something about it.

    Over the next years I think the Greens will come of age and become a viable third party option in no small measure due to Labors abandonment of their core constituency. Some of the people in the Greens I have been talking to are intelligent respectful and persuasive and they will willingly listen to criticism. Are you listening Labor because if you support the TPP and its core framework TISA you will lose out substantially because to a lot of progressives this is a hot ticket item and they are going to make life very uncomfortable for you if you singn on especially with ISDS clauses incorporated . Combine that with a lack of moral fortitude over refugees and you are no longer a Labor party but a centrist to center-right economic rationalist party.

    Many of us have been watching you and are not at all pleased with what we see. The Greens are beginning to do the job you should be doing and if things don’t change not only will I vote Green or independent I will become politically active in undermining both the L-NP and Labor.

    You must realise if you don’t represent moral decency and democracy by going ahead and signing trade agreements that undermine national sovereignty you are a traitor to this land and its people and you cannot call yourselves a Labor party.

    I know I am a small fish in a big sea but damn it I know what is right and ethical and you are not behaving with moral probity. The world is in serious trouble and needs a radical paradigm shift based upon science, logic, ethics, justice equity and reasonable utilitarian distribution of goods. If you cannot deliver then we must go somewhere else. Furthermore the largest single group you could capture are youth and you, quite frankly, are looking like a bunch of worn out middle class elitists.

    Exponential growth in technology and high paced highly technologically connected young adults are going to leave you behind and conversely like many of us progressive you have left us behind. You either show some courage or continue to compromise and lose political dominance and respect.

    These are issues regularly discussed on AIMN, AI, across Facebook and a whole host of progressive social forums and platforms. You ignore us at your peril.

  5. Pingback: The Coalition has stayed true to its wordvv – Written by MICHAEL TAYLOR ( AIMN ) | winstonclose

  6. Peter F

    @RosemaryJ36:”If they can realistically cost their policies I could support them.”

    On that basis, can you tell us who you DO support?

  7. townsvilleblog

    It was so blatant that any of us who follow politics could have read this would happen yet it escaped the majority of Australians in the majority of seats. Perhaps if they were given a real choice i.e. the Labor Party were to drop its corrupt right wing. Why does a party pretending to represent labour need a right wing?

  8. Lizzie

    Hear hear stephentardrew. I couldn’t have said it better myself! It’ll be Greens or Independent for me also & a number of other usual Labour supporters too!

    The TPP (amongst other things) is a frightening prospect for all of us!

    What we desperately need is change.

  9. townsvilleblog

    Labor is not capable to bringing the change we need while it is ruled by their right wing by foul means including gerrymanders, I noticed a jurno saying that the Labor caucus only had 50% say in the leadership question, that’s the same for all of the 30-40,000 members only half a vote, which is ridiculous, every member should get a vote on a one vote, one value basis.

  10. Mercurial

    It was wrong then and it’s wrong now: there’s nothing ‘illegal’ about seeking asylum, Michael.

  11. totaram

    I believe the Greens policies were fully costed, by treasury, and released well before the 2013 election -unlike those of the two major parties.

  12. guest

    The Greens have always been progressive and visionary. They have policies about climate change, immigration, security and the environment and more which challenge the conservative view. Their policies are divisive in a society where the result of an election hinges on the votes of a relatively small number of voters.

    In a country dominated by the media in support of one side of politics it is possible to see the conservative view dominating or at least strongly disrupting discussion of key policy areas. It is that force which progressive policy makers have to oppose. Policies on climate change are converted from the science to the economics; immigration is about ‘legal’ and ‘illegal’; security is about keeping the country ‘safe’, even if it means reducing ‘freedom’; environment is about ‘productivity’ vs ‘conservation’. So it all comes down to vested interests.

    While the Greens might have some support for their progressive policies, they are not going to form a government in its own right in the near future. And it would be foolish of Labor to jeopardise its current and persisting lead in the polls despite the machinations of the dominant media. The consequences of the Coalition ‘wrecking ball through the economy’ have not yet all been realised. There is more to come. Abbott will is being hoist on his own petard, not only here in Oz, but in the world at large.

    Perhaps Abbott is banking on the results of Royal Commissions and investigations to have an early election. We would hope that the public would see through such a ploy. But Labor must not be seen to be rocking the boat too much. It can point out some clear differences, by all means, but they are still in the process of formulating more concise Labor policies. But in the present political environment of fear and loathing, Labor has to be circumspect, not impetuous.

    By all means, let us air criticism and offer suggestions, but to exhibit panic would not be very productive.

  13. Anomander

    As I said in my original comments at the time…

    While most of us wallow in our ignorance, powerful, malevolent forces are undermining our rights, pillaging our resources, destroying our environment, stealing our children’s future, making money from vapour, diminishing our humanity and turning us into mere consumers of commodities in a world of user-pays, where only those with money deserve to survive – everyone else is chaff.

    The only people spreading the word and standing-up against those forces seems to be the Greens.

    While I don’t agree with all of their policies, 90% are eminently more sensible than the “make-it-up as we go along to buy votes” policies of the duopoly and the extreme right-wing fringe lunatics.

    The Greens are essentially about Economy that serves Society – Humanity before Business – Environment before Profit – Science before Faith. And those are the reasons why they get my vote.

    – – – – –

    Having witnessed the damage this government has done in less than two short years, mostly with the unflinching support from the unseen man of politics – Shorten and the almost silent ALP, I remain thoroughly convinced that The Greens are definitely on the path to becoming a major player on the political landscape.

    Their new leadership team is far more aggressive in taking the fight to the LibLabs, they have depth of life/career experience, they have matured beyond the single-issue focus, they are adept in the use of social media and this is allowing them to hammer through the lies and misinformation and start getting their message out to a much more diverse audience, who are fed-up with the lies, corruption, the pointless games, and are instead craving politicians with principle and conviction.

    The Greens are a threat to both major parties – gathering the disaffected left and centrists the ALP have abandoned in their rush to secure the ignorant aspirational redneck vote, but they have also proven they are able to strip traditional votes from the Nats enough to take away safe seats.

    And while this government continues to promote mining interests whose projects are liable to destroy farmland and threaten water supplies, the Greens are out there selling their message of guardianship, sustainability, communities – and that message is making long-time Nats supporters question the value of remaining in coalition with the Libs.

  14. Doug Evans

    This article and the follow-up comments are very heartening although I wonder at Michael Taylor’s statement that the Greens are not his Party of Choice. What alternative is there offering a more sensible positive set of political aims and objectives? Plainly I need to look more carefully. A word of caution however. It is a very very difficult task for the Greens (or any minor Party) to gain power in the Lower House, commensurate with the size of their primary vote under this electoral system. At the moment ten percent of the vote garners the Greens one lower house seat in 150. The primary problem is mandatory distribution of preferences which means of course that despite over a million people (most of whom would wholeheartedly endorse this article) voting Green, their vote (unless they live in the Federal seat of Melbourne) helped to elect either a coalition or Labor candidate. Optional distribution of preferences is the greatest single step towards making the smug, entitled, self satisfied, self interested old parties accountable. Electoral reform, which seems to have been quietly shelved, is essential.

  15. Michael Taylor

    Douglas, that quote was two years ago. Back then I was 75% Labor and 25% Greens. These days it’s more like 55/45.

  16. Harquebus

    stephentardrew has just said everything for me.

  17. jim johnson

    Lets all vote independent and wipe these fossils from our political landscape.
    If they are all voted out the same as little Johnny losing his seat as sitting prime minister, we may still have some hope.
    It may wake these lying, horrible idealist parties up that most of us are sick of it.
    Since Abbott and his cohorts have been in opposition and now in government our parliament has been well and truly in the gutter.
    We want good governance , not smear and fear at all costs.

  18. Pingback: The Coalition has stayed true to its word – » The Australian Independent Media Network | olddogthoughts

  19. townsvilleblog

    Jim, great idea but sadly there aren’t enough informed voters to make the difference, most line up behind one tribe or another, and there are a lack of good independent candidates, personally I vote Green to give the two major parties a bit of a shake up but again, not enough informed voters, many are guilty of apathy, and why wouldn’t they be Abbott v Shorten dull and dim.

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