It’s true – the Anti-Green Smear Campaign 2010 really is warming up. Here’s Lindsay Tanner – whose miserably dishonest efforts last election were so frustratingly asinine that I actually recorded video responses to them (complete with Polly bells in the background) – running the typical misleading ALP attack lines:
- The Greens are fanatics who won’t compromise their principles;
- The Greens are tertiary-educated snobs who hate battlers;
- The Greens are in bed with the Liberals because the Liberals occasionally put Labor last behind the Greens and because the Greens don’t ALWAYS give preferences to Labor;
- The Greens are mean to Labor and don’t do what they’re told.
On one – they’re not “fanatics”, Lindsay, but they are clear about what they advocate and their voters can rely on the Greens doing what they say they will. “Broad church” parties like the ALP pretend to represent groups who fundamentally disagree, giving none of their voters any confidence whether it’s them or their opponents who the party will represent.
Point two illustrates this – the ALP wants people who are concerned about “asylum seekers, forests and civil liberties” on BOTH sides to vote for it, and then it will choose what it feels like doing with those votes. If you’re clearly in favour of these things, and you vote ALP, then your representative in parliament may well oppose these things with your vote.
Lindsay defends Family First in 2007
Points three and four are particularly amusing – the ALP thinks it’s “entitled” to Greens support no matter what it’s doing. But if Greens voters wanted that, we’d vote for the bloody ALP directly. We want a party that will stand up for principle even when (“even when”! Yes, I know how ironic that is) the Labor Party declines to do so. And as for preferences, let’s be quite clear about this: the only place where a party actually allocates preferences is in its Senate ticket, and the ALP is almost always listed ahead of the Liberals in the Greens’ Senate ticket. In contrast, of course, is the ALP preferencing Fundamentalists First ahead of the Greens in 2004 and tricking its voters into inadvertently voting for Steve Fielding. (Let’s also note that the Greens advocate for voters to have the choice to preference above the line, but the ALP and Liberals oppose that move, since it’d greatly reduce their power to trick their voters.) Lindsay complains about “how to vote” cards that occasionally, in certain electorates, include a split card that shows voters how to preference whichever major party they prefer. (In the ALP’s traditional last-week attack leaflets, they cynically edit out the pro-Labor half to tell the lie that the Greens are preferencing the Liberals.)
Lindsay’s ALP wants power much more than they want to actually advocate for progressive causes. That’s why they regularly take on conservative positions – hell, Rudd’s on record as an “economic conservative” – and base their strongest claim for your vote on the Liberals being worse.
Unlike the ALP, the Greens are a party that consistently represents progressive voters and our views in parliament. And, in a representative democracy, that’s exactly what we want them to do.