Why are voters shifting from Labor to The Greens?

John Quiggin has endorsed The Greens. Read why at his blog.

I haven’t finally made up my mind, but I think I’m probably going to switch my vote from Labor to The Greens this time too, for similar reasons.

The polls suggest John and I have a fair bit of company.

I’m interested in this thread in hearing from people who have or are contemplating joining Quiggin. I’m not interested in hearing endless rethrashings of the ETS debacle, or commentary about the impact of the leadership shift, unless that’s a salient part of the reason. In other words, this thread is about crowd-sourcing not stoushing.

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Posted in elections
106 comments on “Why are voters shifting from Labor to The Greens?
  1. gregh says:

    I commented on the old site that my 80+ Father – pretty died in the wool Liberal though Labor until Hawke/Keating – is voting Greens this time. Reason = a pox on both their houses plus Brown bringing the troops home. That’s a pretty amazing change.

  2. Jacques Chester says:

    Gosh, social democratic-leaning economist votes green! Someone call M. Night Shyamalan to pitch it.

  3. gregh says:

    you know I think it should be dyed-in-the-wool – bad mistake to make about someone in their 80s \o/

  4. salient says:

    Switched back to Labor from the Greens some years ago after realising some of the policies of the former were immature, for example the policy to close the Lucas Heights reactor.

  5. Brian says:

    Forget Quggin I decided two elections ago that it was important to lean to the left of the boat to send a message to Labor that they shouldn’t lean so far to the right. It’s just that in the seat of Brisbane Arch Bevis is a really good bloke and I didn’t like who the Greens put up.

    This time I’m in Ryan, so liberated from that situation. Ryan is only 1.2% Liberal now and with Michael Johnson running as an independent, things could be interesting. It’s just that Stephen Miles for the ALP is a national Councillor of the Australian Conservation Foundation and is arguably greener than the Green. He’s a PhD student, whereas she has a ‘husband, chooks, a vegetable patch and a variety of transient wildlife she rehabilitates.’

    So it would be a shame if Miles didn’t get up. He’ll definitely get my second preference.

  6. salient says:

    Sorry that should be latter not former. Too tired.

  7. Patricia WA says:

    Brian says “I didn’t like who the Greens put up.” Well I think like that. too.

    No matter how ‘dyed-in-the-wool’ an old Labourite I am I could be persuaded on some issues to look to the Greens if only they had more convincing candidates. Convictions aren’t enough.
    Common sense and competence are needed too. That’s not directed at Bob Brown, by the way. Leading Green politicians I see at closer quarters here in WA have not impressed me at both state and federal levels.

    PS can someone give me a hint on how to do quotes or emphasis here in exile? I was thrilled with all the help I had on our home site.

  8. tigtog says:

    Open and close the following tags around the appropriate text, Patricia. (Copy and paste this somewhere on your computer?)
    <em> ==> italic
    <strong> ==> bold
    <blockquote> ==>quote

  9. tigtog says:

    Patricia, I just marked up this text with this online WYSIWYG editor, switched to the HTML-view, then copied what was there and pasted it directly into the comments field here.

    NB: Not every formatting tag available on that online editor is valid on this site, but so long as you stick to bold, italic, blockquotes and links you should be fine.

  10. Gibbot5000 says:

    What sealed it for me was the spill and the week that followed. Rudd copped a hammering for ‘surrendering’ on climate change when there was no conceivable way for him to get an ETS through both houses. He took another major hit for standing his ground on the CPRS. The poor bastard couldn’t take a trick.

    So his popularity drops, his party ‘surrenders’ him, and within a few days, Gillard has announced she’s caved to big dirt, there’ll be no discussion of an ETS until 2013, gays can expect to remain second class citizens, and perhaps worst of all, she turns straight to asylum seekers to demonstrate her new string jerk to the right. Apparently among all the other things these poor people are guilty of, they’re now also responsible for overcrowding due to 30+ years of poor investment in infrastructure.

    We suffered 11 years of scaremongering under the coalition. 11 years of pandering to the whims of big business, and superstition salesmen. Enough is enough. I’m not only voting Green. I’m rolling my sleeves up & pitching in.

  11. Cristy says:

    I got fed up with Labor during the Tampa debate. I was so disappointed by their lack of principle or compassion. At the time I thought the Greens were a single issue party and I wasn’t all that keen on them, but figured I had better find out more since I certainly wasn’t going to vote for the Libs. After a fair bit of reading and listening I decided to not only vote for them but also to join the Greens…

  12. mollerhoj says:

    Rudd was right when he said climate change was the “greatest moral challenge of our time”. It is the Greens, however, that are the only major party with the conviction and sound policy that would ensure the necessary measures were taken to prevent climate change. No other issue – not the economy nor healthcare and certainly not asylum seekers – compares to the urgent need for action that has presented itself. For me, no other issue comes into consideration to the extent that climate change does when voting; hence, I will vote for the Greens.

  13. Christian says:

    Ive given the Greens my No 1 vote at the last few elections having previously always given it to Labor.

    The primary reason for me changing my vote was the Greens support for same-sex marriage (as well as other general LGBT equality).

    Its funny, I used to think that once we achieved full relationship equality I would drift back to Labor. I always saw myself as generally more ideologically aligned to the ALP than the Greens apart from the marriage/equality issue.

    That is increasingly not the case though. Labor’s piss-weak efforts on enviornmental protection as well as its cynical populism on asylum seekers has shit me to tears of late. There seems to be very little genuine passion in the ALP these days. They dont seem to have any principles. Its just a case of do/say whatever it takes to get elected. I dont think they deserve my vote.

    Still that puts them in a better position than Abbott’s Liberals who dont even deserve my contempt!

  14. Karana Bush Rat says:

    I’m still candidate shopping. But seriously considering the Greens. I think we need more diversity in opinion in our national politics. I was shocked to learn recently that Qld has no greens in parliament at the state or federal level. This is a sad reflection on our political diversity.
    I recently attended a Greens election planning meeting and was shocked at the low level of resourcing they had for their campaign. Even though I have not yet decided to vote for them, I have decided to assist with Greens election exposure, just because I think it is undemocratic when smaller parties get less exposure just because they don’t have the $$.
    I am very keen for Bob Brown to be involved in the Leaders debate and I will be interrogating Greens about their policies at every opportunity, so I can make an informed decision. I am in the seat of Ryan, so feel that my vote will really count and I can’t wait for election night!

  15. skepdadblog says:

    So that the Greens can block the filter in the Senate.


  16. TW says:

    I have only voted for a few elections and i guess am apart of the Gen X/Y crowd.
    I will be most likely voting the greens above the line, possibly below the line depending on what i’m doing that day.

    Last election i voted Labor in for something different and a few other things i would like e.g. NBN

    Labor have now made me sour on them due simply to the filtering issue. Liberal is quite the same.
    Healthcare, the economy and the climate are things that don’t effect me very much personally as I have a rather good online business, but the NBN and filtering issue are two policies that i worry about.

    The greens simply provides the best of many worlds, and while they may be too idealistic in some areas, its better to support a lesser party then to “show my support for a popular party and their policies”.

    Labor and Liberal have shown themselves to be pretty much dinosaurs in the IT world.

  17. robbo says:

    I live in the electorate of Eden-Monaro, albeit in the ‘Monaro’ section of the electorate. Everyday that I drive to town I see on the back of log trucks the result of an unfettered rape of the forests of SE NSW, that the federal member of EM describes as “worlds best practice”, as does his state counterpart.

    I believe that a vote for the Greens at a Federal level will be beneficial on any number of grounds, but in particular it may focus attention on the devastation being wrought on the SENSW forests at the hand of a rapacious timber industry that is being aided by NSW Labor.

    The Greens also advocate a more transparent form of government and a limit to donations, a stance that has to be a positive for democracy.

  18. Craig Askings says:

    Top three reasons for me:

    1) stopping the web filter
    2) Labor trying to dodge a price on carbon
    3) Same Sex Marriage.

  19. ossie says:

    Even the very small sample we have here sums up The Greens’ tragic electoral ceiling.

    Cristy loves the fact they are not the single-issue party she once presumed. With Tampa, that made two issues, which was enough to compensate for the “single-issue” – climate change and “green” stuff. Similarly from Christian not a peep about melting ice caps, it’s all gay marriage and asylum-seekers. I call this faction of The Green vote the Santa Clausers.

    For the Santa Clausers, The Greens are like writing a wish-list to Santa Claus. Of course The Greens still being nowhere near getting their hands on the petty-cash tin, can keep adding to these wish lists, and thus getting more Santa Clausers to vote for them.

    The Greens should be wary of the Santa Clausers, as they can be flighty, and will flit back to one of the major parties should one of their leaders get recorded chanting the right talking point.

    OTOH, Salient stopped voting for The Greens once it was clear that they were not a single-issue party. Mollerhoj acknowledges the multi-issue bit, but is focused on only the “single” issue – climate change.

    I call this faction “Greens.” Tragically, their greatest political adversaries are the Santa Clausers of their own party, who use The Greens platform for non-climate change hand waving, thus weakening The Greens political effectiveness on climate change.

    While GrehH’s father doesn’t care either way; he’s – rightly – pissed off with the process, and will vote Green to protest. I call this faction ‘my kind of people.’ But don’t count on us for the medium-long haul. There’s always the donkey.

  20. Chris says:

    I vote first preference Green – though not with the intention that they’ll actually implement all of their policies (eg closing down lucas heights for example) but in the hope that they’ll have the power in the senate to influence major party policies.

    Re: filter – I’ve been pushing/querying my local liberal party MP who is in a marginal electorate about it asking for a committment to oppose it because if the libs support it then it won’t matter how the Greens vote.

  21. John D says:

    Like Brian I am in Ryan and hoping that the coalition loses here again. I will vote green to because, while I disagree with some of the specifics of their policies, voting Green sends a general message re directions and attitudes that deserve serious consideration.
    In terms of climate action I am in the strange position of preferring the coalition’s direct action approach, am strongly opposed to the Green’s support of putting a price on carbon and its opposition to the gas fired transition while fearing that Labor will go to the election with a cunning mix of climate action proposals that are more about sectional politics rather than getting serious climate action started.

  22. Christian says:

    ossie said:

    Similarly from Christian not a peep about melting ice caps, it’s all gay marriage and asylum-seekers. I call this faction of The Green vote the Santa Clausers.


    Did you actually read my post? While I may not have specifically mentioned “polar ice caps” I did indicate one of the issues which has led me to support the Greens is the ALP’s poor response to environmental protection. Go and re-read my post, its there, take as long as you need!

    Perhaps it was easier for you to pretend I hadnt mentioned the environment to advance your spurious point about the “Santa Clausers”.

    BTW – Given that the last two polls on the issue have shown > 60% of Australians support legislation of same-sex marriage I would hardly equate it with believing in Santa Claus!

  23. Nickws says:

    If I lived in the division of Melbourne I’d be sorely tempted to vote 1 Adam Brandt. Between Tanner going and Gillard turning government weaknessess up to eleven I can see a perfect storm arising in that seat. This is a year when the ALP there should have gone for someone from outside the inhouse careerist treadmill cage, someone like McKew in Bennelong ’07 or Evan Thornley in the Eastern Suburbs upper house district arond Scots Hill in ’06.

    Last time I filled out the entire senate ballot, making a point to give the top of the Labor ticket 1 and 2 while giving Richard DiNatale of the Greens 3. This was based on my idea that since Labor had only won two Victorian senate quotas in 2004 then if it was to happen again it would be best to have the Greens take the final spot (the ADs would have got my 3rd preference if they’d still been viable, I wasn’t making a particularly pro-Green statement).

    I think I might support Labor for just one of those three winnable spots this time around.

  24. Sean says:

    I was 17 when the first boat people incident struck, and was at that time disgusted with the coalition and the spinelessness of Labor. Mark Latham came along and he honestly inspired me to vote for Labor at the 2004 election, I mean he was anti-war, wanted to take on private schools (I was enrolled in a private school), he stood up to the US and his economics sounded great against the corporatism of John Howard. I loved how he pilloried the “downward envy” of Liberal voters, you know, the way they complain about people less fortunate than them, plus it was obvious that the coalition only ever did stuff for their benefactors, nothing for the everyman.

    Anyway, with some input from Latham himself but more due to the lunacy of the ALP at that time, he went down and I hated the way the ALP ditched him. He wasn’t perfect but he would have made a very entertaining one term PM. After that I started looking at the ALP in the same light as I do the coalition. It just became more and more obvious they were a watered down version of the Coalition. Plus, Beattie was getting on the nose in Queensland at the time, and well, I decided to stop complaining, join the Greens and try to build up a better alternative.

    For me, there just was not enough competition in the electoral marketplace to make the ALP stand behind better and more inventive alternatives to the coalition at the time so I joined the Greens.

  25. wilful says:

    I’ll gladly be voting Greens too. If they ever had a chance of forming government in the lower house, I may change my mind. But they’ve been pretty fair dealers in the Senate in this term of government. Better them than the alternatives.

    Main issues I have with them is that their heart is in the right place re climate change, but their policies are badly misguided. They’re flat out wrong on native forests and nuclear power. Still, they’re more likely to get a clean carbon tax or market mechanism up.

  26. Bernice says:

    Anyone, any group who can bring Senator Fielding to bluster flushed, nay floridly, that voting for the Greens will only inspire “them and their hippy friends” deserves everyone’s votes….

  27. Ray says:

    The filter. Nothing more, nothing less

  28. c-sez says:

    I’m enrolled in Fraser, which is a very safe ALP seat (51% ALP, 31% Liberal, 13% Green in 2007). Bob McMullen retiring who got my vote last time. A pretty darn respectable candidate for them in Andrew Leigh.

    Nevertheless I’ll vote Green frankly in the hope that Leigh’s vote is <50% and he's only put through on Green preferences, like McMullen was in 2001. As long as we're apparently going to have another f**king 'boat people' election, I'm hoping to contribute to a very clear message in a Labor heartland electorate.

  29. Lefty E says:

    Agree with Waleed Aly on qanda: so much of this “population” debate is really about the crap nature of services and infrastructure in the outer suburbs of our cities.

  30. kimberella says:

    @ossie, I specifically said that this post was not for stoushing.

  31. Shingle says:

    We just talked about this tonight – two of us putting Greens 1st, ALP 2nd… not the first time for me, but in 2007 I put ALP first as a kind of emphatic act of faith that we would likely see the end of Howard and I wanted to have the satisfaction of voting for his replacement. In a similar spirit, I volunteered some menial labour for Labor. As far as voting commitment long term, I would hope that as a larger proportion of the electorate turn to the Greens, the Greens will reassure us that they will offer something that is, to use an over-used term, sustainable – in a political sense. If they have B of P 7 it all turns into a dogs breakfast, people might be put off doing it again. They need to manage B of P really well – as has been pointed out, Democrats lost their own supporters & had internal conflict when trying to play a bigger role (GST), so it’s a difficult thing to get right I spose. I also hope that if the Greens vote does get a big boost, the ALP will take the lesson on board… BTW, my electorate is Moreton and the Greens candidate is Elissa Jenkins. Last time the Greens got 5000 or so votes to the 30,000 plus each of ALP & coalition.

  32. jesterette says:

    I vote Green, then preference every independent who isn’t a crazy, then Labor, then Liberal (and then the crazies). I believe in democracy, not this farce of a ‘two party system’ which, as the past three years have demonstrated, is adversarial and quashes action and progress where political advantage can be gained instead. I have to say though, if Turnbull was sitting on the other side of the table, he might have had my ‘lesser of the two evils’ vote.

  33. I believe Gillard’s proposed East Timorese refugee processing station fail was when the bubble burst. Folk were expecting her to be competent, even if ruthless. That she was ruthless without being particularly competent was an unpleasant surprise for many people – me included.

    What’s more insulting was how easily she could have avoided this by (a) finding the right people to talk to (in this case, the actual East Timorese government), and (b) getting their go ahead before announcing the plan to the world. It’s just simple courtesy.

  34. paul walter says:

    I will be voting Green, seeking the repudiation of the lies in the msm today trying to wedge the left on asylum seekers and ecological concerns as oppositional.
    The saddest, crudest reduction in my mind is the one condescendingly dismissing ecological concerns as “grumbling about smaller back yards”.
    I wonder what the high level scientists working in universities and institutions like the CSIRO would have made such an essentially vandalistic attempt at a rational approach to sustainability that also incidentally, obviously, does involve skilful, non ideological economic assesments and modelling/
    now come on, let’s hear a sneer at that proposition, too

  35. paul walter says:

    btw Down and outs comment re East Timor is abit similar to anidea i had.
    My feeling is they were too stingy to ensure that it was ever worthwhile for the East Timorese people to have experienced any benefit or improve the lot of the in Indoneisia,

  36. paul walter says:

    banged wrong button, just finishing off what I meant to say was, it seems odd that while governments will pay big bickkies to detain asylum seekers coming by boat, there seems a disdain for the idea of using the equivalent amount of money on detention, processing etc, no more costly, that is also humane.
    the stinginess of foreign aid at a fractile of a percent, demonstrate in an another example, the peculiar poverty of our thinking.

  37. Helen says:

    My impression that a lot of people simply want to signal to Labor that they’ve shifted the overton window too far to the right (or to put it more rudely, adopted too many policies that are far too close to Liberal policy simply to woo the “aspirational” sector) and the Greens are actually offering the kind of policies that Labor should be offering.

  38. Malcolm says:

    I joined the Labor Party at 15 and have been an active branch member, as well as an enthusiastic volunteer in countless local, state and federal elections ever since that time. I was an unwavering supporter and apologist for the Labor Party even when I had grave reservations about the style and policies promoted by some of the past Labor leaders. I faithfully campaigned and voted for Labor in 2001 despite my profound disillusionment with Labor’s reprehensible support of Howard’s asylum seekers. I did the same in 2004 despite the fact that I was concerned about Mark Latham’s potential to be a good Prime Minister. And I did the same in 2007 in NSW despite my knowledge that Morris Iemma was a woeful State Premier. I did so because, despite my reservations about a particular issue or leader, I believed that the Labor Party was the party most capable of delivering good and principled government and was the party most interested in governing for all instead of a select few. I also deeply believed in most of the values and principles that Labor purported to stand for -social justice, equity, compassion -and believed that a Labor government would promote these values while in office

    But when they knifed Prime Minister Kevin Rudd -a Prime Minister who adhered to traditional Labor principles and values reflected in some of his achievements such as signing the Kyoto Protocol, apologizing to the Stolen Generation, softening the policy on asylum seekers, withdrawing from Iraq and standing up to big business with the mining tax -and replaced him with a cravenly opportunistic leader who has since pandered to the right on almost every issue and resorted to Hanson-like language to demonize the most vulnerable in society, something became painfully obvious to me.

    The modern Labor Party is no longer commited to the princples of social justice, compassion or even good government. It is now dominated a combination of factional warlords who think that being in government is the perfect time to engage in brazen factional games over the national interests, panic merchants who live their life by what opinion polls and the Murdoch press say and career opportunists solely interested in their self-promotion over the interests of party unity or showing loyalty to the party leadership. The vile disloyalty and treachery displayed toward Kevin Rudd from his Deputy Prime Minister down showed this all too well and the hideous spectre of the Gillard government reflects all that is wrong with modern Labor.

    Who then do I vote for? Tony Abbott is a right wing extremist zealot who will lead the country down to the path to disaster so he’s not a credible alternative and, after Howard and seeing the increasingly racist, reactionary right wing conservative tilt of the Liberal Party, I’d have severe reservations about voting for them anyway. The Greens are the party closest to the values and principles I believe in and, even though I disagree with them on issues like the ETS, I think they are the only party that is a viable choice for me at this election

  39. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Two facts seem unarguable, to me.First,whatever Abbott says to gain Government will, in my opinion,be a mix of ‘non-core promises’,deliberately misleading false impressions, and,I regret to say,outright lies.I expect Gillard to be similar,but perhaps not as bad. In the UK, where Cameron showed real ‘self belief’ by keeping a straight face over the last few years as he solemnly promised that the Conservatives had changed and had left Thatcherism behind,once the Tories gained power we can see what he actually meant.
    His regime (and their Lib/Dem fags) are not Thatcherites-they are uber-Thatcherites.Projects that Thatcher would have blanched at,like destroying public education, privatising the NHS and cutting welfare and other departments by 40%,are being rammed through with a mixture of fanatic zeal and insouciant unconcern at the consequences. The millionaires of the Cabinet continue intoning ‘We are all in this together’, with that earnestness that makes one imagine that somehow the auto-indoctrination has been so successful that they really believe it.Personally the absence of conscience, the facility at lying (now,more than ever, the lingua franca of politics) and the indifference to the fate of the serfs seem evidence of psychopathy,rather than conviction,in my opinion at least.
    The other grim reality is that,if the Greens survive the coming epic smear and hate campaign coming from the FoxNewsLtd swamp, and do gain some balance of power, they will then split along the ‘realo vs fundie’ lines we first saw with the German Greens. I’ve seen the Greens at work,and they are riddled with opportunists and self-servers who will sell-out at the first sign of a gravy-train to hop on board.That’s the beauty of ‘capitalist democracy’-everyone has their price.

  40. Liam says:

    I am not considering switching my primary vote from Labor to the Greens. Am I allowed to expand without ‘stoush’?

  41. akn says:

    Voted Kevin in ’07 to get rid of Howard but will return to voting Greens 1 as I have done for some time.

    This time it is mainly because Bob Brown has in recent weeks been looking 10 years younger.

    Mulga hits it on the head re. the predictable hate and smear campaign and I’m surprised it hasn’t got going yet. There are significant fractures within the Greens along realo/fundi lines however, unlike significant sections of the environment NGO’s who feed membership into the Greens (like the Wilderness Society), the Greens internal decision making processes appear to be democratic and healthy which is not exactly insignificant.

  42. Spana says:

    I have voted Green in the past when I respected their stance on foreign affairs, particularly around East Timor and Tibet. Previously I had been an ALP voter (and member). My reasons for abandoning the greens were their strong support for state intervention in so many aspects of life and their support for open slather abortion (which I don’t wish to debate here) which conflicted with my views on non violence. However, the other mistake I think the greens make is with some of the candidates they put forward. Too many candidates just come across as your latest trendy uni student. Some candidates are serious but I have an issue with taking seriously a middle class student in their early twenties with no life experience. Kerry Nettle and Hanson Young were and are just too classically politically correct for most Australians.

    So I guess I am defying the trend you speak of. I have since moved on to voting for independents and the DLP in my search for political integrity. I think the latest Greens deal shows they are willing to back a disgusting government for power.

  43. angela says:

    I’ve been voting green in the upper house for so long I can’t remember when I first started. Sometime around the Keating govt I think. This year wil be my first lower house green vote – bc I think our local ALP member is now on safe ground- internal ALP polling shows a 4% margin. No point in sending a protest vote if it results in a coalition MP.
    I am reall hoping for a green balance of power in the Senate – finally some hope for change on climate action, the environment generally, human rights bill would be great, same sex marriage, civil liberties etc. A few green lower house wins would hopefully move the political discourse to the left. I can dream can’t I?

  44. tssk says:

    What happens if the Greens win most of the votes?

  45. anthony nolan says:

    Then I’ll join.

  46. alex says:

    I’ve always voted green and will continue to do so in this election. I preference Labor over the libs, although frankly I see little difference between the two. Labor has failed miserably to engage with their more progressive supporters, and because of this part of me hopes that they lose this election. This would hopefully be the catalyst for a cleanout of the right wing cess pool dwellers that seem to be at the reins.

  47. John Edmond says:

    Going by the dismayed example of friends who only last week were celebrating Gillard’s rise I would say her personality only makes Labor’s problems more obvious. Rudd’s bumbling geek persona made it the repetitive nature of his speeches was due to awkwardness while Gillard’s legible communication skills makes the on-message nature of her speeches and interviews more transparent, and less forgivable. Likewise, Rudd’s conservative stance on some issues was partly considered genuine, part of his Christian identity; the same stance coming from a Victoria-based atheist woman would seem jarring, that the great left hope Gillard then gleefully tacked to the right was doubly jarring.

  48. kimberella says:

    @Liam, yes, providing there are no red rags thrown out! 😉

  49. verityviolet says:

    I will be voting Green, so will my partner, his parents (once lifetime Liberals), and my 2 sets of parents.

    I have voted Green in the last couple of elections, and preferenced Labor over Libs.

    I agree with Guy Pearse’s sentiments in the latest Monthly about the rise of the Greens.

  50. Voxpop says:

    I’ll be voting Greens and preferencing Labor with the Libs last.

    I have mostly voted Labor in the past but am turned off by JG and her swing to the right as well as the coup itself. If Rudd were still there I would have kept my vote with Labor. They’ve lost me now and as a female who wanted to celebrate a female PM (in due time) I actually feel ripped off.

  51. tigtog says:

    @Voxpop, it may not change your mind, but I suggest reading Brian’s latest post on what really happened with “the coup”. A lot of what’s been slung around, especially by Laurie Oakes this week, seems to be based on rumours that facts simply do not support.

  52. Paul Burns says:

    How can one find political integrity in the DLP? I thought you were familiar with Labor history.

  53. Voxpop says:

    Thanks tigtog I did read that post as well – the machinations and power bases within the party are obvious and insideous, but really not surprising or unique from other parties. I think we all have our own take on how certain people behaved but my criticism of the coup is that it just wasn’t politically necessary (Rudd was tracking well enough and would have seen a definite boost once the election campaign started) and it also has potential to backfire as people like myself become disillusioned with them.
    They have devalued the position of PM and the election now will seriously just come down to the lesser of two evils. I will never forget the night of the coup where Rudd announced he would not race to the right on asylum seekers and an ETS – that was a defining moment for me, and I had really hoped that him drawing a line in the sand like that would solidify his base. The contrast from that position to Gillard’s is quite stark, and that, more than the coup itself is why I will be voting Greens.

  54. MIKE says:

    I’m in the Sydney electorate and, despite being tribal labor, will be voting green for the first time. The mining tax cave-in totally destroyed my faith in the party – and then everything got worse.

    I quite like Tanya Plibersek, but if she wants to stay in the ALP and go along with its drift to the right, she’s gotta take it on the chin. She’s clearly a professional pol first and a believer second. I also know a lot of other tribal labor people in the electorate who are going to vote green. So doen’t be surprised if there is a boil-over on election day.

    But the big question on my mind is: where is the labor party going. It’s all very well to chase votes on the right. But soon it will be no different to the libs and just as soulless. Then who’s going to help with all of the grass-roots marginal seat campaigning, etc etc. It’s present move may help it win a few votes, but in the long term, there is no benefit at all in trashing the brand.

  55. Liam says:

    @Liam, yes, providing there are no red rags thrown out!

    Well, in brief, I vote the way I do because it’s a means to a policy end rather than a statement about my personal “principles” or an expression of consumer choice in [cough] a marketplace.

    I have more faith in Anthony Albanese to deliver better policy outcomes within a Labor Government or Opposition than Sam Byrne of the Greens. I prefer John Faulkner (or even Mark Arbib) for the same reasons over Lee Rhiannon. It’s as simple as that.

    More broadly, on historical grounds, I dislike the Greens’ habits of making stands on totemic, well-sounding political positions, without any sense of inevitable compromise or consequences. It’s one of the worst aspects of Australian politics—Jack Lang was master of it back in the thirties. The results weren’t pretty.

    A hypothetical question to those who’re voting Green as a symbolic act to push the debate in Australia towards the Left: would you still do it if it had the opposite effect, ie. allowing the ALP to move further to the Right without left members in caucus? If the Greens were to have the balance of power in the Senate but faced a more right-wing ALP and Coalition, would it have been worth it?

  56. Helen says:

    It’s not a symbolic act, it’s a democratic expression of a many peoples’ definite wish for policies further to the left on education, the environment, and the economy. If the distortions inherent in the Labor party means only the right rump is left, that’s unfortunate, but it’s not the voters’ fault.

  57. Liam says:

    Well that’s my point exactly, isn’t it, Helen. If your vote has unintended consequences, the voters get clean hands instead of the political outcome you’d prefer. “Don’t blame me, I voted [x]” is Pontius Pilate’s argument.

    Incidentally, the ALP veers right for one reason only: to pander to other voters’ democratic expression of their definite wishes for big fucking houses, low interest rates, white faces at the shops and Bill Henson in handcuffs. Don’t start me on the voters’ fault.

  58. James says:

    I’m not – I’m shifting my vote to the Sex Party, who are also against the filter and for LGBT equality.

  59. moz says:

    I’m somewhat confused by a couple of people who seem to have very different views on Green policies than I do. So a couple of questions:

    Malcolm:The Greens are the party closest … I disagree with them on issues like the ETS

    Is that because you think they should have tried to pass the Continue Polluting Regardless Scheme? If so, is that because you think 500ppm is the best target (viz, at least 3-5 degrees of warming), or because you don’t beleive in AGW at all?

    wilful: but their policies are badly misguided. They’re flat out wrong on native forests and nuclear power.

    You think we should destroy all of our native forests as quickly as possible? Really? Likewise, nuclear power, you think we should be buying nuclear waste from overseas as well as making our own here? Or is it the anti-proliferation that they’re wrong on? I can understand some disagreement, but “flat out wrong” is a very strong statement and I struggle to reconcile it with my understanding of their policies.

    Personally my efforts are more to get my parents to vote green. They’re classic small business/small l liberals and are struggling to find it in themselves to vote for the far right but don’t see that they have anywhere else to go. They’re concerned that a vote for the greens is wasted because they’re hapless idealists. Oddly, what’s got my mother wavering is the abortion issue – she’s against slavery of any description, especially including forced pregnancy.

  60. MIKE says:

    LIAM – where were the left members in caucus on the mining tax, boat people and the ETS?

    So, if I’m a progressive voter, why would I vote for a party where the left has no say?

  61. Liam says:

    Mike, and others, the question’s valid, but I don’t have an answer. More importantly I don’t see a Greens vote as any improvement: how much influence does a Greens Senator have on Labor’s caucus?
    From John Quiggin’s post:

    On other issues such as asylum seekers, the government’s position is carefully ambiguous, while the opposition is as close to overt racism[2] as it has ever been. A big vote for the Greens would force the government back towards a decent position

    I simply don’t see how this would work. In the seats Labor’s trying to appeal to with its ambiguity the Greens are a very minor force.

  62. Incidentally, the ALP veers right for one reason only: to pander to other voters’ democratic expression of their definite wishes for big fucking houses, low interest rates, white faces at the shops and Bill Henson in handcuffs. Don’t start me on the voters’ fault.

    Liam, that’s fine. But if Labor’s overarching concern remains keeping that subset of voters happy, they can kiss my first preference vote goodbye.

  63. Eric Sykes says:

    what Liam says.

  64. Voxpop says:

    Liam “Well, in brief, I vote the way I do because it’s a means to a policy end rather than a statement about my personal “principles” or an expression of consumer choice in [cough] a marketplace.”
    I agree with you but if Labor are not delivering the policy outcomes that I’d like then why keep flogging a dead horse. I’ve been pragmatic about voting for them in the past because of the 2 party system primarily but now they’ve moved further right I cannot see them delivering the policy outcomes I prefer instead they prove all to willing to pander to the conservatives.

    And this “Incidentally, the ALP veers right for one reason only: to pander to other voters’ democratic expression of their definite wishes for big fucking houses, low interest rates, white faces at the shops and Bill Henson in handcuffs.”
    And yet if you give them the vote it reinforces that they can veer right to capture those conservatives and still keep their base. I won’t be rewarding them for betraying the left. They will see a swell of support for the Greens and maybe next time instead of pandering to the right they will come back to centre left where I can again consider them to be representative.

  65. Helen says:

    how much influence does a Greens Senator have on Labor’s caucus?

    I’d guess very little, but just as a mug punter I’ve been sitting here watching Steve Fielding f#ck Australia up from his Senate niche, and while I deplore a political system that delivers that outcome I can’t help but think how much nicer it would be if some half reasonable Green-leaning person was in that position.

    Liam has a good point that a lot of the other mug punters out there are making too much noise about scary, scary interest rates and scary, scary boats, but the decline of support for Rudd after the abandonment of the ETS (which I really don’t think was his fault, but…) shows that there is a consituency out there which would respond well to a carbon tax and other policies further to the left.

  66. Fran Barlow says:


    The dynamic of The Greens‘ effect on the ALP and the polity as a whole is complex. It’s worth distinguishing though between consequences and causes, because these are easy to confuse.

    There’s no doubt in my mind that having a party like The Greens in our compulsory preferential system helps the ALP directly and indirectly.

    Firstly, he have to acknowledge that The Greens exist because about 8-10% of the populace like their policy arc so much that they think it the yardstick by which parties are to be mneasured. Others may share their concerns but attach much lower priority to them. So as I said to someone over at Quiggins, it’s idle to ask what would the ALP be like if there were no Greens. It’s inevitable that a party very much like them would arise, regardless of the ALP because they have a cultural view which is coherent and attracts a definite demographic, which overlaps with disaffected ALP lefties.

    In the old days f course, what disaffected ALP lefties would do is haggle over front bench positions. Then, to justify their existence, they’d play to their own supporters in public, writing cheques that, as the saying goes, their butts couldn’t keep. This would allow the conservatives to wedge the ALp and play the disunity/reckless radicals running the ALP card. That in turn denied the ALP office, which was the sine qua non of their existence and which even lefties understood was the starting point for actually getting stuff done. So self-censorship and spin takes over, the left loses its sense of purpose and the ALP moves sharper to the right with the tacit consent of a share of the left. Gillard was one of the tacit (and later explicit) consenters. Hawke was the triumph of this policy and its no accident that this period was the beginning of The Greens as a serious movement.

    The Greens allow people who basically want to elect the ALP to government to be extremely critical of the ALP in public while still voting for them. They get political cover, saying that they really want all these things that the ALP will not speak of, and because they are separate, the conservatives and the ALP can both dump on them without the ALP suffering politically. Anyone who really hates how rightwing the ALP is can leave, feel good about him or herself and still help elect an ALP government as the lesser evil.

    This does allow the ALP tactical flexibility that having disaffected leftwingers denies them, allowing them to consistently court people likely to vote coalition without sacrificing the votes of scandalised left-liberals and socialists. In a way, this is the job done for the coalition by the Nationals. Unfortunately, as the ALP moves right, the moderate Liberals get squeezed and the Liberals are also forced rightward, with the result that they are reduced to shoring up their hardcore and hoping to wein back votes in the centre based on non-political grounds — a scandal, incompetence, overreach etc. or, as we see on asylum seekers, through culture wars issues.

    So in a way you are right Liam. The presence of The Greens does help produce a more consistently right-wing ALP, but this doesn’t actually change the overall polity very much in practice. All that is different is that the ALP gets to look more politically coherent and to stay on (conservative) message. The policies it delivers will be much the same, though in some areas, it’s conceivable that they will be forced to compromise with The Greens (e.g climate change, forests, water policy, clean feed) which they would not have done had there been no Greens.

    Everyone from the centre to the left gets something out of this. Left-liberals and scoialists get to feel less done over by the arrangements. The ALP gets elected more often and the two parties’ boothworkers get to play happily families at elections. Even disaffected moderate Liberals can vote 1 green 2 coalition and snub their own party’s conservatives. The only people who lose are the Coalition, who are forced to sound increasingly potty.

  67. Fran Barlow says:

    but the decline of support for Rudd after the abandonment of the ETS (which I really don’t think was his fault,

    It was totally his fault. He was the guy in charge. It was his call. Had he done the right thing and been rolled, you’d be on good ground.

  68. anthony nolan says:

    The ALP need not be an inert mass but can, if it chooses, become again a party representing values and vision through its membership. It is perfectly capable, through members, branches and parliamentarians of waging a campaign for particular social values. However, it has been a long time since the ALP was a party of activism and vision which is why, as voters, we don’t so much negotiate the ALP as attempt to manipulate it. If there are ever signs of life again then they will be initiated by a purge of careerists and factionistas. Till then it is over to The Greens.

  69. Sam says:

    “how much influence does a Greens Senator have on Labor’s caucus?”

    None, but that is not the point.

    Suppose the Greens get the BOP in the Senate. Then a Greens Senator (or rather the Greens as a whole) get to push the government as far to the left as it can withstand in order to get legislation through. This makes them much more powerful than an equal number of Labor Left senators, who if they get Left policy through in the government, are then compelled to vote for Right policy in the Senate.

    Of course this scenario turns on the Greens having the BOP in the Senate. If they don’t, they are impotent.

  70. jusme says:

    i’ll come at this from a different angle.
    i’m a ‘rusted on’ green voter, but, i’d switch to labor OR liberal if they made policies not only for us and OUR children, but for the generations beyond the coal and oil years.

  71. Fine says:

    Sam, that’s why I’ll be voting Green in the Senate and Labor in the Reps.

  72. Mark says:

    Just noting that Kim said in the post:

    I’m interested in this thread in hearing from people who have or are contemplating joining Quiggin. I’m not interested in hearing endless rethrashings of the ETS debacle, or commentary about the impact of the leadership shift, unless that’s a salient part of the reason. In other words, this thread is about crowd-sourcing not stoushing.

    Please abide by her wishes.

    You can take any of that stuff to the open elections thread, or the endless rehashing of the Labor leadership thread.

    The specific purpose of this one is for those who have shifted their vote from ALP to Greens, or are contemplating or have contemplated doing so, to discuss the reasons for that.

  73. Fran Barlow says:

    The other factor here in the effect of The Greens is a quantitative one. To be effective as a force for more left-liberal policies, The Greens have to do better than 8% — a lot better. They have to persuade people giving their primary to the ALP to give it to them by persuading them that the issues they both have concerns about are more important than the people giving their first preference to the ALP rank them. In short, they have to win the policy and paradigm arguments.

    That’s a fancy way of saying that they have to win the agreement of more people and of the people the ALP cares about. It’s no use complaining that nobody in power listens to you 92% of the public either rejects you on cultural grounds or at best listens politely while thinking you rather daffy dreamers.

    Right now, The Greens’ 8% doesn’t get them anything like 8% of the say in public policy. When/if The Greens start consistently getting more than 15% in marginal ALP seats and in the senate, getting 10-12 senators and six or seven MHRs and getting 15 ALP MHRs across the line and being attractive to more liberal Liberals on local preferences, they will get a lot more than 15% of the significance to policy formation because they will help decide elections and the BOP. The ALP would then have to be concerned that some more of their left-of-centre supporters might jump ship, as indeed many would already have, since they would then be a viable career path in their own right.

    The trouble one often sees with politics amongst the fringes is a desire to game your way to influence and then being disappointed when others who have influence aren’t impressed with handwaving. It’s basic in life that if you want to bargain you must have something to trade that the people you are bargaining with want more than what they have or can get without your help more cheaply. In democratic politics, that is support where they are short.

    Forget trying to talk the ALP into being more leftwing, liberal or humane. They are what they are. Talk people they need to win over into being more leftwing, liberal or humane. That’s not an easy thing to do, but it is essential.

  74. Mark says:

    @Fran, that is skirting very close to being off topic. Please see my previous comment.

  75. Sam says:

    Strictly on topic, I think the Greens have made a big mistake in selecting Lee Rhiannon (nee Brown) as their Senate candidate in NSW. This dinosaur from the SPA (the pro Soviet Union comms who split from the CPA because they supported the invasion of Czechoslavakia) is an anachronism and a turn off.

    This is part of the problem with the Greens. They are such a mixed bag, a collection of the good, the bad and the ugly.

  76. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Every policy question,whether the level of taxation,the size of the deficit,the role of government,the position of trade unions, the relative hirsuteness of the leaders or the vital question of Gillard’s accent, is totally irrelevant besides the one that really matters. Will we ever do anything to protect our descendants from extinction?
    Obviously we have reached that stage where intelligent,educated and decent people have begun to comprehend just how dire is our plight,how morally insane and corrupt the two major parties and how terminally self-destructive our political and economic systems. The ignorant,moronic and vicious are growing more zealous and fanatic,as witnessed by their propaganda apparatus, FoxNewsLtd, which is becoming truly deranged in its obscurantist,ignorant and mendacious denialism.People are switching to the Greens because a vote for the business-controlled parties of the Right is a vote to murder our grandchildren and end human civilization,possibly the human race. The hope,of course,is futile,as the Greens will be bought out by the money power,or they will be destroyed by media vilification and even more sinister methods.Our real masters, the psychopathic business elites, simply do not care what happens after they are dead, and they will remove any obstacle to their power and prerogatives,by any means necessary.Just ponder the fate of environmentalist nuisances in Colombia (the Yanks’ model Latin American state) and the Philippines, amongst others.

  77. keiThy says:

    It’s important that the Libs lose their partyshiphood this century and most people under 60 know it and so that is why the Greens are doing well, because they are an anti-Liberal Party!

    Saying that I will be voting Labor 1 as it’s about time Australia, as a once proud semi-progressive nation, fully embraces a quality female touch when it sees one!

    Oi Oi Oi!!!

  78. Fran Barlow says:

    I thought, given Liam’s remark, that it was on topic. Or do you mean my comment about Rudd?

  79. Yowie says:

    I’ll be voting for every other party (with Greens with 1st preference), including the crazies and/or the fundamentalists, with the Libs second last and Labor last. I’ll be doing so not because I am a Liberal supporter (far from it), but because I live in such a safe Labor seat – both federal and state – that nothing actually happens in our electorate. Nobody tries to buy our votes, no party promises to do things for us if they win, we get denied infrastructure improvements that were promised to us 20 years ago (and were desperately needed those 20 years ago, I might add), we miss out on special federal funding, and our pleas go unheard because no matter what, Labor will easily win the seat.

    If we become a swinging seat, then we’d finally get our slice of the pie, and we’d only have to put up with whoever it was in our seat for 3 years – we could then return to Labor knowing that the message had been sent. I’d even vote for Fred Nile (may TPTB forgive me) if I thought it would stop Labor taking the people of my electorate for granted.

  80. MIKE says:

    FRAN – Don’t be surprised if the greens cause a few upsets in Melbourne, Grayndler, Sydney and a few others this time around. The ALP has left its left flank hanging in the air (as military strategists say). I can’t see any reason why green voters would drift back to Labor as the election gets closer. There won’t be any Kevin 07 suppressing their vote this time. I’m in Sydney and going from labor to green for the first time. Spoke to my sister (also in Sydney) on the weekend and she’d going in the same direction and taking her three kids with her. Anecdotal, I know. But there are some pretty pissed off progressives out there. Certainly, none of the women I speak to seem the slightest bit concerned that Julia is a woman. Indeed, I was accused of sexism for even raising the subject (I do take risks in the interests of election analysis). If the greens poll 12 to 13 per cent nationally, they have an outstanding chance of picking up inner city seats.

  81. anthony nolan says:

    Sam, to my knowledge Lee was never a member of either the CPA or SPA. My memory is that he parents may were members of the latter and therefore probably the former at some point. Quite why you choose to eroticise the matter of Lee Rhiannon’s political views as a “turn off” is a mystery. What are you on about? Do you find Tony Abbott a turn on?

  82. Fran Barlow says:

    I’m inclined to agree Mike, but as 1 senate quota is 14% that has to be the first benchmark. They need to get at least one senator from every state and help elect a second in three or four. If they can manage that I can easily see them getting ahead of the Liberals often enough to pick up several seats in the lower house and maybe even more.

  83. MIKE says:

    SAM – I think you’re being a bit unfair on Lee Rhiannon. I don’t know much about her, but it often seems to me as if she is actually running the opposition in this state (rather than fatty). You can’t accuse her of being lazy or disinterested. Maybe

  84. anthony nolan says:

    Mike, I’ll chime in there in support of Lee Rhiannon as an outstanding parliamentarian who leaves every other NSW member for dead in terms of hard work, integrity and commitment to environmental issues and social justice issues. What else would you want?

  85. jusme says:

    thanks Liam, i never considered that we might scare labor into joining with liberal, and thus making the greens opposition mightier.
    but thats fine. maybe thats what needs happening. labor and liberal are essentially the same thing and we only need one or the other of them to give us their side.
    so maybe our ‘unknown’ negative consequences may have ‘unknown’ positive consequences further on! : )
    i’ll still vote for what i think is right everytime.
    it just happens that so far it’s always been the greens.

  86. Sam says:

    Anthony, that’s not the way Mark Aarons tells it in his book.

    I find I find Stalinists to be ugly people, metaphorically.

    Abbott doesn’t do anything for me in any way.

  87. anthony nolan says:

    Maybe you’d be better off meeting Lee than basing your opinions on those of a man whose family of origin treated the working class movements of Australia as their private imperial domain. Aarons’ collective arrogance knows no bounds. The left was always broader, more vigorous and more enjoyable than the Aarons’ family history would have you think.

  88. kimberella says:

    Again, this discussion is off topic.

  89. Robbo says:

    With a recent redistribution, I went from being in Petrie to Lilley (Wayne Swan’s electorate). I voted Labour in ’07 because I wanted change, but this time in the interest of wanting to see them bang their heads together and talk, I’m considering voting Green.

  90. Nickws says:

    Liam>:A hypothetical question to those who’re voting Green as a symbolic act to push the debate in Australia towards the Left: would you still do it if it had the opposite effect, ie. allowing the ALP to move further to the Right without left members in caucus? If the Greens were to have the balance of power in the Senate but faced a more right-wing ALP and Coalition, would it have been worth it?

    That’s just not how the political dynamic would work, Liam. The new arrangement in Tasmania is the experiment that shows how all the base elements actually do react when mixed in together. (And the biggest possible point of contention doesn’t exist in federal elections—Vote Splitting. Thanks you, early twentieth century non-labour parties, for giving Australia preferential voting. Becuase of you modern Green primary voters have to actively direct their ballot towards the Libs in order to vote against the ALP.)

    If you’re concerned about the Greens getting the cream of the new recruits who would otherwise go to your preferred Labor faction you might have a point. The news about the Victorian ETU disaffiliating from the ALP while barracking for a Green senate BoP shows that nothing can be taken for granted anymore. It’s only a matter of time before that party runs a senior union official of some stripe in an election.

    That doesn’t change the fact the most ambitious Leftwingers will still join Labor if they want to get to the top of the greasy pole. More seats in parliament etc.

  91. OldSkeptic says:

    Well I said in a much earlier thread that I’d go Greens first and Liberal second.

    Now Rudd is gone I might go Greens first Labour second .. maybe not, we’ll see, Gillard seems like just a more effective Rudd.

    The reason is that tactical voting is the game that everyone has to follow.

    Since Labor/Liberal or more accurately the Laboral/Libour parties have zero differences in policies then if you want a difference you have to point it out to them in the only way (except if you are a CEO or billionaire) you can .. switch votes.

    Make every seat a marginal one, then watch the pollies squirm around.

    They may be unduely influenced (bought) by the big end of town but pollies have zero morality. They will shaft the big boys instantly (still take their money though) if it means they might lose.

    Now an important thing about this is polls, because after an election, even if they have been scared to death, they will revert to normal = the big end of town wins.

    The way to beat this is to constantly switch in polling. So they are contantly petrified.

    Will this lead to better governance .. well no. But it will still be better than what we’ve got = the big end of town always wins = we lose always.

    Cynical .. nope .. just realistic. That’s just how modern poltics works.

  92. wpd says:

    I live in Swan’s electorate and I’ll be voting Green mainly as a protest vote against Rudd’s demise, in particular the methods used and Swan’s role in this putsch . Too smug by half.

  93. Andrew E says:

    I’m not considering voting Green, and tremble at the thought of being automatically rendered Off Topic. Hopefully the following paragraphs can save me.

    I wonder what it means for Labor strategists to win, say, 60% of a vote in their own right as opposed to 51% Labor, 9% Greens-1-Labor-2 (or even 49% Labor, 11% Greens-1-Labor-2), giving the same 2PP result. Will Labor be hollowed out by the Greens in the same way that Deakinite Liberals were slowly picked off by Labor candidates a century ago?

    I wonder if someone like Greg Hunt can eventually craft a Liberal policy where a Green-1-Liberal-2 vote isn’t a) some smart-arse voting ‘strategically’ b) a mistake by someone who is too shy to ask for another ballot paper, or c) a sign of mental illness.

  94. kuke says:

    Anyone see this?

    Electrical union severs its link to Labor [to vote Green]

    I also posted the Harry Clarke on another thread:

  95. Lefty E says:

    “If the Greens were to have the balance of power in the Senate but faced a more right-wing ALP and Coalition, would it have been worth it?”

    No offence Liam, but this presume left ALP memberes have an impact on policy. I went through that debate in the mid-late 80s – and concluded that the ALP left was really just about distributing one-third of the jobs and seats to people whose politics I didn’t mind, so they didn’t go outside the party where they’d be more effective: they were never going to get any policy influence.

    What was the left’s last big policy win?

    That’s why I vote Greens. I cant remember the last time I even put ALP second – must be years ago. Usually 3rd or 4th.

    But you know…. I always stick em in front of the Tories. And always will.

    Truth is with the coming BOP, the Greens will have more policy clout that the ALP left has ever had. Mind you, so does the average executive committee member of a well-organised NGO. Labor govts actually listen to the community sector peak bodies – the last people they listen to are their own left. Unless they talk to their party via a peak body! (many do….)

    I note that after this election, everywhere in the country with a PR system (i.e where seats actually reflect first pref votes) there will be ALP-Green coalition governments or majorities. Thats *today* in ACT and Tas. Tomorrow in the fed senate.

    IMHO, thats more influence than the ALP left enjoys when ‘in govt’.

    Are you going to tell me thats irre

  96. Lefty E says:

    …levant and “feel good”? Being in government in two states/ territories? Ok, sure, we’re the nationals in that arrangement, but there’ll be real horse trading.

    The saddest thing is the leader of the Liberal party has more influence on ALP policy than ‘the left’.

    Which isnt to say I dont like me ALP lefty mates. But lets not even raise that old chestnut of where effort is better spent – I dont know a single Greens member who didnt think all that through years ago – with the ALP left usually as their first consideration. Maybe some of the younger ones havent…

  97. Paul Norton says:

    Would quite so many voters be shifting from Labor to the Greens if Labor were to take Geoff Gallop’s advice?

  98. Russell says:

    Paul, problem is even Geoff Gallop (based on his record as Premier) wouldn’t take Geoff Gallop’s advice.

  99. Paul Norton says:

    Do Labor people see anything ominous in the name of this Greens candidate?

  100. su says:

    I switched to the Dems when Keating was PM so I have an attachment to third parties and the perhaps illusory hope of progressive third parties moderating the majors but I began voting Green because of environmental concerns. That is their one strong point and even then I sometimes wish that they would drop some of the sanctimony and grow some political nouse. I think Salient is right, the Greens are an immature party but the only cure for that is more time in parliament.

    Forgive me for going OT: The forest negotiations between peak environmental bodies and Gunns in Tasmania would make a fabulous topic for a post. It seems to me that what has already happened down there is the basis for a new way of achieving a balance of economic and environmental concerns. John Gay and Robin Gray were levered out by lobbying major shareholders of Gunns. I don’t know if anyone saw the 7.30 report interview with Geoffrey Cousins but he seemed convinced that politics is the least efficient and least effective route for enabling social or environmental change. If there is anyone in the position to provide some more nuanced commentary on this I would be very interested. I imagine Myriad is going to be run off her feet for the next few months : )

  101. myriad74 says:

    Paul N ironically most of what Geoff Gallop’s article is found in the Greens’ platform, and just reading the comments here and from talking around the traps with people making the shift from ALP>Green this election, there are several themes & issues there that come up consistently.

  102. Paul Norton says:

    Paul Syvret in Tuesday’s Courier-Mail.

  103. myriad74 says:

    I imagine Myriad is going to be run off her feet for the next few months : )

    Yes, yes she is!

    will only be a very sporadic visitor / commenter I’m afraid

  104. Paul Norton says:

    Myriad, it’s reasonable to wonder whether Geoff Gallop mightn’t have joined the Greens rather than the ALP if he’d been born 40 years later.

  105. Russell says:

    Paul, you know he’s best friends with Tony Blair?

  106. Spana says:

    I don’t vote Green but those who arer climing to be sick of the ALP but are going to vote 1 Green and 2 ALP, you are wating your vote and endorsing Gillard and her right wing agenda. Serious opponents of Gillard (and Abbott) should be putting the ALP and Libs last and all independents and minor parties before them. Only then will a Green vote have any impact. Otherwise, stop wasting your time.

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