If you don’t like the big parties, then don’t vote for them

Bernard Keane talks total crap in today’s edition of Crikey:

…No matter how much you dislike it, the major parties end up with your money, courtesy of public political funding, and your vote, courtesy of compulsory preferential voting.

Actually, the big parties only get the money for your vote if you choose to give it to them. If you vote for a different party, like the Greens, the funding goes to that party instead, and is denied to all the others.

And by “your vote”, I can only assume he means your preference when you put one of them above the other, albeit way down your ballot paper. Because your preferences can be allocated where you like – and whilst putting a big party down the bottom but not as far down as the other big party helps them against that other big party, it in no way equals your endorsement. All it equals is your abject opposition to the big party you put lowest – and would you really want it any other way? It’s like claiming everyone who puts Conroy last is actually voting for the CEC, just because they put the neo-Nazis above the filter guy. The truth is, they quite clearly voted against BOTH OF THEM.

And, yes, there’s no getting around that because of all the elections that have led to this point, combined with the single-member electorate system, it’s inevitable that either Labor or Liberal will, in some fashion or other, form government after tomorrow.

But recognising that fact does not mean consigning ourselves to it in perpetuity. It doesn’t have to be that way forever. The Labor and Liberal parties are not in our Constitution. They are not immutable laws of the land. They both had a beginning, and they can both have an end. If people stop voting for the incumbents – the two big parties – and vote for someone who hasn’t repeatedly let them down.

The only reason we end up with these big parties is a majority of voters giving them their first preference. If that bothers you, then don’t be one of them. Vote for a smaller party that more closely aligns with your views on the issues that are important to you. That will push the country in the direction you would like it to go.

Don’t be part of the problem that is propping up two creaking, undemocratic, contemptible old parties – vote for someone else, and be part of the solution.

ELSEWHERE: Tony Abbott’s promises to be paid for by cutting $1.5 billion from education including from the poorest students in the country.

This disgraceful revelation completely ignored by News Ltd, still busy doing everything it can to help Tony over the line.

UPDATE: And Labor is sending leaflets in Melbourne spreading the lie we’ve repeatedly exposed:

Voting for anybody but Labor puts us at risk of an Abbott government.

That’s Julia Gillard, there, telling shameless lies. And here’s a nameless ALP hack in Crikey, trying to confuse Melbourne voters with more lies:

But a Labor strategist hit back, saying that if the ALP ends up on 72 seats in a hung parliament, then Bandt’s presence would deny Gillard the keys to the Lodge.

“Adam can’t have it both ways, if he gives Julia a rolled-gold guarantee that he’s going to back Labor than there’s no point electing him because he will not have any voice. If he’s going to horse trade with independents then by definition he is calling that [solidarity] into question. His campaign is diminishing Labor’s chances of holding government.”

That doesn’t make any sense. Of course the Greens are neither going to do everything Labor wants, nor put Abbott in the Lodge. Yes, their campaign is diminishing Labor’s chances of holding government outright, in a situation where it doesn’t have to deal with the Greens. Yes, it’s diminishing Labor’s chances of being able to completely ignore the left, as they’ve done this whole last parliament. But, presumably, that’s exactly what Melbourne voters want. They want the ALP to stop ignoring progressives, and the only way to ensure that is to vote for an actual progressive party, the Greens. Labor wants the votes of progressives whose principles it can then ignore for the next three years.

Hence this ridiculous, and shameless scaremongering.

(As we’ve previously discussed, a vote for the Greens with preferences to Labor is the strongest anti-Abbott vote. Much stronger than a straight ALP vote.)


10 responses to “If you don’t like the big parties, then don’t vote for them

  1. Jeremy, how do you feel about Green plans to close the Lucas Heights reactor, which among other things makes a number of radio medicines which cannot be imported due to half-lives, etc. Is it true that to maintain its anti-nuclear purity the Greens would let cancer patients suffer and die needlessly?

  2. Nup, that’s total crap.

  3. Which is crap? The policy or the claim?

  4. Here: http://greens.org.au/policies/climate-change-and-energy/nuclear

    The Greens say they want to close Lucas Heights and have a “nuclear free Australia”.

    Presumably that means no more radiomedicine, yes?

  5. This is a complete side-debate for the day before the election. You’ve not shown me any material about the incredibly helpful materials that “save lives” and “end suffering” that are produced by Lucas Heights.

    It’s also completely off-topic, which is about people who complain about the big parties’ dominance realising that they don’t have to contribute to it.

  6. No, shabs, I’m really not interested in you dragging this thread further off-topic. There is something I’d like to discuss here, and it’s the post, not every other last-minute attack you think you can make against the Greens. We can talk about nuclear medicine some other time.

    (I note that none of the material you’ve mentioned outlines why those products are vital, or backs up your claim it “saves lives” or “reduces suffering” or has no reasonable alternative – if you want to email that to me, by all means I’d be interested to see it. But this is not a topic that can be dealt with appropriately on this thread.)

  7. I was most disappointed that I ended up having to put the majors 2 & 3, as my alternatives were One Nation, Family First and the DLP.

    On Lucas Heights, there are definitely some policies on the Greens website that need to be cleaned up.

  8. Pingback: If you don’t like the big parties, then don’t vote for them (via An Onymous Lefty) | i am durdlin

  9. I’ll be voting 1 Green, 2 ALP and Liberals last. However, having said that let me take up the challenge of “Let your imaginations run wild.”

    Suppose we have an electorate like Denison with a very strong Green vote, a traditional ALP working class area and a few pockets of wealthy Liberal voters. Being Tasmania and being traditional Labor, the ALP voters hate the Greens and ignore how-to-vote cards and preference the Liberals ahead of the Greens. Suppose the primary vote count is 35% Green, 35% Liberals, 30% ALP. Overall, the Green and ALP votes are a majority, but the ALP votes are eliminated and redistributed. They all get allocated to the Liberals. The Liberals win the election with two party preferred of 65%.

    It wouldn’t happen in the electorate of Melbourne where there is not such antagonism between Green and ALP but as the Green vote inexorably rises we might see some interesting results in electorates like Denison.

    Just taking up the challenge.

  10. I kow you want to avoid going off topic with Shabadootwo’s smear.
    But I can’t resist.

    This is the same rubbish that was trotted out by that creep from Vex News a few years ago and duly repeated here by Real Anon.

    There are two methods of producing radioisotopes in Australia.
    The first is with a reactor, which produces a flux of neutrons and the second is with a particle accelerator (cyclotron) which produces a flux of charged particles (typically protons).

    Cyclotrons are found in hospitals in Sydney and Melbourne and they produce all the radioistopes needed for use in Australia.
    Cyclotron produced radioisotopes have a short half-life and are, therefore, not suitable for export.

    Isotopes produced from Lucas Height, specifically Tc-99m, have a longer half-life and can be imported.
    Which is exactly what happens when Lucas Heights shuts down for extended periods of maintanence or repair after accidents.
    Furthermore, because of the ’boutique’ nature of the Lucas Heights reactor, it is very far from being a cost effective method of securing Tc-99m.

    Another point to consider is that it’s possible to produce neutron fluxes, as well as particle fluxes, with cyclotrons and that technology is getting better everyday.

    Finally, radioisotopes are not a cure for cancer. they are simply a diagnostic tool.
    The dumb kids in the class never seem to get the diference between Radiology (isotope imaging) and Radiation Therapy, which cures cancer.

    So, let’s sum up.
    Lucas Heights produces the kind of radioisotopes (Tc-99m) that can be, and regularily are, easily imported at a cheaper price.
    Existing and improving technologies allow for those isotopes to be produced without nuclear reactors.
    Finally, those isotopes are only using for imaging and are not ‘medicinal’ in any way.

    It’s nice to present a smear when facts don’t count and the ignorance of your audience is assumed.
    All of this information is verifiable with a few minutes worth of research.
    It’s too bad some people didn’t do the research before making useful idiots of themselves.


    P.S. I have nothing against nuclear.
    I believe Australia should develop nuclear power facilities to replace all our coal powered stations. I managed to convince a handful of my Green friends, but it’s hard going.

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