As someone who dreads the thought of Tony Abbott – seriously, Tony Abbott, the shameless liar and vicious social conservative, representative of the most corrupt and dishonest multinational corporations raiding this country – being anywhere near the Lodge, can I make a request of the Labor Party?
Look, guys, I don’t like you and you don’t like progressive voters like me – but surely we can both agree that neither of us wants to see another Workchoices style hard rightwing (yes, even more rightwing than the faction that controls your party) government in office, cutting services and flogging off national assets just to fund tax cuts for the super-rich. And yet that’s what you’re in serious danger of causing.
To that end – please, concentrate on the fight against the Liberals, instead of wasting your efforts trying to crush the Greens. You’re the only ones who can win over those conservative voters bleeding from you to the Coalition. The Greens are not going to appeal to them: the Greens represent progressive economic and social policies to which these voters are apparently (if we understand what the Labor Right faction has persuaded you) innately hostile. That’s why you’ve abandoned social liberal policies like marriage equality, and refuse to properly fund public services and build infrastructure like decent public transport networks?
Only you can win over those conservative “swinging” voters. It’s ridiculous to suggest, as Lindsay Tanner disingenuously does, that the Greens should try to win conservative seats: it’s just not possible, at least in the short term. If someone is going to take those voters from the Coalition, it’s going to have to be you. So could you get started on it, please? Direct your campaigns to convincing THEM that the RSPT is in their interest – which, of course, it is. (And do a better job of selling it in Parliament.) Stop trying to chase both sides of politics at once – it isn’t going to work this time. If you devote your efforts to destroying the Greens, you could certainly (with the amount of money and other resources as an incumbent old party at your disposal) do them real harm. But you’d do that at the cost of putting Tony Abbott in the Lodge.
Don’t do it. You apparently want to be a middle-of-the-road soft rightwing party – well, do that. Don’t pretend to be anything else. The Greens will represent the progressives you’ve long since abandoned, and you can concentrate on keeping the vandals and wreckers out of power.
Unless you’d seriously prefer to subject Australia to the Liberal Party again, after only three years, because what you hate most of all is the idea of progressives finally realising they can actually have a voice in Canberra.