An example of why voting Green will make the ALP more humane

An example just occurred to me regarding my ALP voters voting Green makes the ALP more humane post of the other day.

That illustration? Pauline Hanson. In the late 1990s, the then Liberal government found itself losing right-wing votes to Pauline Hanson’s One Nation party. What did it do? It adopted their concerns. It implemented increasingly harsh anti-immigration policies. In summary, it moved to the right.

In exactly the same way, lefties voting for the Greens will force the ALP to move back towards the left, to adopt our concerns. It will force Labor to implement more compassionate and humane policies. In summary, it will change them for the better.

Of course, the Greens are not single-issue extremists like One Nation was, and their record in the Senate in consistently advocating for progressive policies across a wide range of areas – from opposing the internet filter to putting up a bill for marriage equality to proposing better public transport infrastructure and provision of healthcare – gives voters comfort that if they do actually beat the ALP candidates, they will be an improvement. But even if you think that it’s unlikely they’ll win seats, it’s still important to realise that every single Greens vote is a message the major parties can’t ignore.

There’s a reason the ALP is chasing after the voters to its right: because those voters seriously threaten to vote for someone else. If you want Labor to listen to your concerns, you need to be prepared to do likewise.

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15 responses to “An example of why voting Green will make the ALP more humane

  1. So in short the ALP fan boys who consider themselves “left” are to blame?

  2. Exactly. I’ve spoken to some progressives who appear welded to Labor because voting for the Greens feels like a wasted vote to them.

    IT’S NOT.

    As occasionally flaky as individual Greens representatives are, they still represent a reasonably united and coherent force for progressive change whose influence is not merely exerted through votes in the senate but by CHANGING THE DEBATE.

    If they end up having B.O.P. in the next senate and their voice actually needs to be heard (compared to the ETS debate, where voting realities meant it was better sense for Labor to ignore them in its attempt to chase the necessary bipartisan agreement) then you might actually see the machine men in Labor competing for votes on the basis of policy rather than frankly disgusting gutter tactics.

  3. Indeed. A senate with the Greens having BOP truly would be the best chance we’ve ever had of some real progressive policies. Let’s hope it happens!

    “So in short the ALP fan boys who consider themselves “left” are to blame?”

    By encouraging the redirection of progressive votes to a party controlled by the right-wing, where those votes can be controlled and dissipated – yes. I think they are part of the problem.

  4. If they believe the ALP is a left party they are the problem.

    How do they not understand that having minor parties with a BOP means the majors have to compromise?

    The Right seems to understand by voting Family First and One Nation etc? I think anyone who is not far Right would prefer Brown over Fielding.

  5. The ALP HAS been a centre-left party, although being a party of mass labour means that it’s often had a close affiliation for right-wink realpolitik.

  6. @redravens – “centre-left”? maybe 10-15 years ago.

    anyway, you want another example of why it’s SO important to preference your votes properly, and how just 1-2% of the population’s votes can make a BIG difference?

    exhibit a: Senator (Mr 2%) Fielding.

  7. I did use the past tense.

    Beazley started the rot. Latham’s eccentric populism continued it until it was recently buried with Rudd’s inability to flesh out his rhetoric with innovative policy and effective politics.

  8. confessions

    There are two realities which people seem determined to ignore:

    1. the recent flight of LAbor voters to the Greens before Gillard became leader did nothing to shift Labor leftwards, as evidenced by this AS policy announcement. I repeat: nothing. I’m sure we will again see reflected in the polls those same people fleeing again, and I am willing to bet money it does SFA to shift the ALP to the left.

    2. A majority of voters consistently say they want ‘tougher’ immigration laws for AS. Those voters largely reside in key seats in outer metro and regional areas. Any party that wins enough of those seats usually wins an election, which is why rightly or wrongly Lib/Lab try to appeal to them.

    As SB noted in the other thread, Labor will probably feel losing Melbourne, Sydney, and even Kingsford-Smith is small fry compared to the swathe of suburban/regional seats it could of lost to the Libs by not trying to be more like them.

  9. 1. That’s because they didn’t actually VOTE Green. The ALP thinks it can scare off those giving “intending to vote Green” responses to polls. It doesn’t believe they are going to stick come election time. The only way to show them they will is to actually vote Green.

    2. We understand why Lib/Lab try to appeal to the anti-immigration crowd. The point is that unless we stand up to them – by not voting for them – they will be increasingly confident that they can pander to those people without consequence.

    I didn’t say that voting Green would make the ALP as humane as the Greens – obviously the ALP also has right-wing voters it’s trying to capture – I said it would make it MORE humane. The more they lose votes to the Greens, the more they will have to stop ignoring progressive voters.

    It’s not going to be instantaneous, but every vote helps.

  10. confessions

    Well, we shall see. I still maintain that you are overstating the significance of the left vote in the ALP, and are underestimating the extent to which both Lib and Lab are pitching for the outer metro and regional voters.

    You are also working on the assumption that humane AS policies are first order issues for every progressive ALP voter. As I’ve already said on a few occasions, people vote on a whole range of issues.

  11. @ confessions: what jeremy said. is your logic that not actually voting for the greens based on what labour have done in the past after people (like you, perhaps?) have, at the last moment, voted ALP instead of greens? only YOU can prove YOU wrong it would seem. also, what i said yesterday is, 24 hours later, still true: “people voting green instead of labour decide what labour does after that election.

    voting for the greens, then preferencing labour above liberal re-enforces that people want more progressive social policy, and are willing to vote accordingly.

  12. confessions

    is your logic that not actually voting for the greens based on what labour have done in the past after people (like you, perhaps?) have, at the last moment, voted ALP instead of greens?

    I’m sorry, but I’m not following you.

  13. “You are also working on the assumption that humane AS policies are first order issues for every progressive ALP voter. “

    Where’d I make that assumption? Refugee policy is only one of many areas where the ALP disappoints progressive voters. Others include social policy (eg marriage equality), civil liberties (eg internet filter), economic policy (eg standing up to the miners), provision of public services, genuine progress on minimising the risk of climate change, etc.

    The ALP lets us down in so many varied ways. The only thing they still stand for that I agree with is being against WorkChoices, but then so are the Greens.

  14. confessions

    Sorry, that’s my assumption. I thought we were still talking about AS.

    The only things the government has done that really piss me off are the internet filter, marriage equality, knocking Rudd off, and Gillard’s rhetoric around AS – altho today’s speech was very good. As I said, if she squibs on climate change, I’m voting independent.

  15. For a while now I’ve been voting Green and preferencing the ALP before the Coalition.
    I’m afraid this morning’s announcement has hardened my attitude to f*ck you Julia and f*ck the horse you rode in on. For only the second time in my (long) life I will be preferencing the Libs over Labor. Why vote for mini me Tories when I can vote for the real thing?

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