Modia Minotaur

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Saturday, November 25, 2006

Pure As The Driven Green

The news that the Greens have signed a preference sharing deal with the Liberal Party for the Victorian election is an epoch for the party that has always sold itself as the sole remaining tenants of the moral high ground. While such a deal has the potential to do some electoral damage, the main injury may well be suffered by the Greens themselves. How will their supporters feel about supporting, via preferences, a party which represents everything against which they have always campaigned? I'm well aware of the phenomena of the `Doctor's Wife', and recently had the startling experience of hearing someone describe themselves as a `swinging Liberal/Green voter' - but what of the countless holier-than-thou inner-city dissidents who regard a vote for the Greens not only as a message to the ALP but a finger in the face of the anti-gay, anti-worker, anti-refugee, anti-human rights, and pro-globalisation Liberals? Not surprisingly, other far-left minority parties such as the Socialist Alliance have roundly criticised the deal, pointing to the lunacy of a tactic which could see Liberal MPs win over more progressive Labor counterparts.

Greens leader Bob Brown has lambasted Labor MP and former friend Peter Garrett after Garrett dared to draw attention to the Greens/Liberal deal, describing him as `anti-Green' and indulging in `brutal Labor machine politics'.

Well, let's step back and look at this, shall we?

Here's a good way to show you're pro-Green - run a split ticket with a party that refuses to sign the Kyoto Protocol and argues stubbornly in favour of geosequestration and nuclear power rather than renewables and plays political games with the preservation of endangered wildlife. And here's a way to show you're anti-machine - be sure to give your preferences to a party that supports everything you were formed to fight rather than build genuine support and win on your own merits.

I'm actually a little glad that the hypocrisy of the Greens' electoral tactics is out in the open, because it's something the wider public hears very little of. It's demoralising to see base and puerile tactics used against progressive Labor candidates who would otherwise count the Greens as political and philosophical allies. Make no mistake - the public image of the Greens is pretty cuddly, yet their brutal behaviour behind closed doors has led to not a few former members that I know of either quitting in disgust or defecting to the ALP.

Brown further suggested that Garrett's lyrics, written while he was lead singer of Midnight Oil, often reflected Greens philosophies. Well, I'm with you on that one, Bob. It aches like tetanus, and it reeks of politics.

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