An absolutely cutting response by Tobias over at Pure Poison to a fatuous line of reasoning that the Greens should be “grateful” for being “allowed” by the Liberals to win Melbourne.
The line is that because the Greens didn’t get a majority in their own right, and had to rely on preferences, their single seat is illegitimate. That, somehow, despite receiving 12% of the vote around the country – 12% of 150 seats being 17 – they should be counting their lucky stars they were benevolently granted one. As if preference flows are only legitimate when they win seats for the big parties.
Doesn’t matter how many votes you win, there’s always a reason why we should discount them.
I’ve even heard the Nationals gloating that the Greens are irrelevant because the Nationals, with much less of the vote, received so many more seats than the Greens. As if that’s some kind of boon to their legitimacy, rather than a rather damning indictment on the quality of democracy in the lower house of our parliament.
Once the numbers are finalised, I’m going to do a post as to what the result would’ve been if we had multi-member electorates (say, one five-member electorate for every five one-member electorates today), and how much closer it would’ve been to giving us a parliament that represents Australian voters. (The idea being a compromise between full proportional representation and the benefits of having some local aspect to representation.)
But in the meantime, let’s be real – the Greens have, once again, greatly increased their vote, and the fact that they are so badly under-represented in the House of Representatives despite this is something that should embarrass big party supporters of the present system.
They’d do well not to snigger about ripping off so many Australian voters.
ELSEWHERE: Guy Rundle in Crikey on demands by the established media for us to return to the way things were, the blessed “stability” of the former status quo:
The mere process over the last three days has done more to make visible the invisible structures of power, and their potential (if not straightforward) transformability, than a hundred civics lessons. Other gains, such as an increased role for private members bills, would serve to bang the wedge a little further into the old tree dead.
Stability is not the issue, nor is it the danger. The danger is a politics so deadened that only the most demented and monomaniacal, the Feeneys, Shortens, and Bitars, can stand it, and everyone else retires to their private lives. The more the commentariat shriek in fear, the more interesting the ride.
The independents and minor parties should push this process until the rivets are popping.