What will happen in Melbourne?

The other shock news of yesterday, of course, was Lindsay Tanner’s sudden announcement that he was going to retire. As expressed here on a number of occasions, I’ve not been a fan of Mr Tanner’s – he may well have been moderately “progressive” in the ALP, but he also regularly ran misleading smear campaigns against the Greens based on cynically capitalising on ignorance about how the preference system actually works. He voted, as do all ALP members, for very conservative positions, and to defeat progressive legislation from the Greens (eg the political advertising ban, or marriage equality).

So I can’t honestly say that I lament his passing all that much. (I lamented his descent into dishonesty in order to save his political skin a lot more.)

But it’ll be interesting to see who the ALP puts in his stead to try to recover progressive votes from the Greens in Melbourne. Odds are that the ALP will put up someone very, very left-wing – someone who still believes that the ALP can become progressive if people work at it from the inside. That is of course incredibly naive – the point of the ALP putting up progressive candidates is to gain progressive votes that it can then ignore internally – but some people still think that the two big old parties are immutable fixtures in our political landscape and the only way to achieve anything is to work from within, even though everyone who’s tried that before them has either given up or sold out.

And it’ll be their best chance of winning the seat. With a green-sounding candidate from the party of the first female Prime Minister, against a Liberal leader even more conservative than John Howard and with a campaign that will be designed to confuse voters into thinking that, somehow, contrary to all logic of how preference voting works, if they vote Green they might somehow help Abbott against their will (even though that’s impossible) – they might be in with a shot.

That’s what I suspect will happen. But what do I know? Until yesterday, I thought Julia Gillard was actually a sort of lefty.

6 responses to “What will happen in Melbourne?

  1. As a constituent of Melbourne, this makes it even easier to vote Green in both houses.

    Anyone who thinks that an ALP lefty can influence policy from within should observe the treatment of Peter Garrett this term.

  2. Blast Tyrant

    Tanner’s retiring eh?
    Good, he can fuck off back to the rock he crawled out from under.

  3. “Odds are that the ALP will put up someone very, very left-wing –

    Then why would they stand for Labor?

    It’s a rhetorical question. What I’m saying is that they may trick the voters but let’s look at Garrett for example, to be a minister he had to sell out his principles.. He had the choice, he could have resigned but he didn’t! Thus any lefty would have to sell out to succeed within Labor, another example is Gillard, I wonder how she felt when she doshed out millions to the richest, most privileged schools in the land?

    “That is of course incredibly naive – the point of the ALP putting up progressive candidates is to gain progressive votes that it can then ignore internally –”

    Damn right it’s naive thus I urge those who consider themselves ‘lefties’ to vote Green, any candidate Labor offers is to gain your vote, not to serve you and your beliefs.

    “I thought Julia Gillard was actually a sort of lefty.”

    I still hope that she wont lurch further to the right on asylum seekers, it could be another way she could distance herself from Rudd, by being more humane.. She won’t though, the dog whistling media will make sure there are no votes in it.

  4. Gillard & Tanner were members of Rudd’s ‘Gang of Four’ or ‘Kitchen Cabinet’. So much for so-called left wing ALP ministers.


  5. I’m disapointed hes gone from government I thought he was an excellent orator. In all the interviews I saw he was able to answer the question without automatically returning to the party line.

  6. Pingback: ALP to nominate Cath Bowtell in Melbourne « An Onymous Lefty

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