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EXTREME GREENS? July 8, 2012

Posted by wmmbb in Australian Politics, Duckspeak, Global Warming Politics.

On one plane the attack on the Greens by the ALP power brokers in quite right. The reality of climate change does require urgent action within the next three electoral cycles and ideally within the next one.

The fundamental argument is about the gravity and immediacy of climate change. To opt for delay is extreme.

ABC News reports:

Prime Minister Julia Gillard owes her minority government in part to an alliance with the Greens, who helped give her the numbers to take power after the 2010 election.

However, Labor’s relationship with the Greens has proven to be somewhat of a poisoned chalice for the Prime Minister, whose negotiations with the Greens included having to back-flip on her promise not to introduce the hugely controversial carbon tax.

Senator Milne was central to those negotiations and says the “outburst” from Mr Dastyari could hurt Ms Gillard at the ballot box.

She says the Greens represent mainstream views and Mr Dastyari’s comments are an “attack on the Labor base”.

Senator Milne also pointed the finger at Labor’s powerbrokers, saying “the faceless men are a part of the Labor disease … not the cure.”

“Labor Party people across the country will be horrified to think that if they vote for Labor they don’t know if they will be electing a Coalition person or a Family First person,” she said.

“What it shows is the faceless men in the Labor party do not have any principle any more, or any idea of what Labor stands for other than winning office.

“I think this attack from Sam Dastyari is actually an attack on the Labor base.”

I suppose the questions of preferences for Family First and other groups rather than the Greens will be a matter for the ALP State Conferences, who may well be inspired to replace the services of current party offices and at a stretch, although the polls would suggest otherwise, the current Federal Leader. Could it be that the Greens will do better without ALP preferences, given the quality of those selecting the options? How will the ALP look after it preferences Family First?

The catastrophic effects of global warming will not wait. But is the case as simple as presented here? David Roberts writes at Grist.org and uses 15 minutes to explain climate change on a TED talk (via Skeptical Science):

Dastyari and Howes should state whether they accept the reality of climate change, and if they do, whether they accept the time available to take appropriate and effective action of global scale, which presumably begins by demonstration effects of national action. Hopefully, along with Gillard, they will soon be spoken of in the past tense as relevant political actors.



  • Jeff Sparrow, Labor’s Spectacular Own Goal (The New Matilda).

    He concludes:

    Labor’s attack on the Greens represents an attempt to police the boundaries of Australian public life, to ensure that certain ideas (invariably those on the Left) remain beyond the pale, even as memes from the far Right creep increasingly into common usage. That’s why it matters, irrespective of what you think of the Greens themselves.



1. jane - July 15, 2012

Bit rich from the Greens who have preferenced the LNP ahead of the ALP before.

wmmbb - July 15, 2012

I may be wrong about this, but my impression is that Green voters would then to follow their own preferences, at least as far as the House of Reps is concerned. I am suggesting that Green voters, indeed the majority of voters, would exercise an independent judgement. This appears to be supported by this Green Party information sheet.

The Senate election is lottery for the fifth or sixth seat,assuming a normal half-Senate election. One would expect that they gained a quota, and the flow on may be significant, but why would they be expected to follow party preferences, given the organizational people who make these decisions in the ALP. The interests of the Greens in Senate elections is maximize the environmental vote, which includes Liberal voters.

This is a fake issue and failure to examine the failures of the Labor Party, given their significant electoral failure in NSW, Victoria and Queensland. The ALP is perceived as fractured between the designated social conservative working class and the progressive elements. Of course, the same is true for the LNP, especially affected by the urban-rural divide. Focus groups, and other means, can be used to identify relevant issues to be employed in wedge politics, and other techniques of mass manipulation manufactured through the media propaganda. So it is significant that the whole issue was raised in an article published in The Australian.

As has been demonstrated at the state level, the ALP would be extremely politically foolish to alienate a significant sector of potential electoral support. I would doubt that they can win Western Sydney let alone the rest of the country with this approach.

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