In yesterday’s Crikey, Charles Richardson succinctly highlighted the problem with Labor’s approach to the Greens.
Why the Green vote is something Labor should not discourage:
A strong Green vote is more likely to be an asset to Labor than a liability; the evidence suggests Green voters are more likely to come from the Coalition and give preferences to Labor than the other way around (although the effect is small either way: most preferences just go back to where the voters came from). Moreover, the Greens presence highlights issues that tend to play in Labor’s favor.
Why Labor is determined to waste resources trying to destroy them anyway:
…the Labor machine, whose apparatchiks are concentrated in the inner-city seats the Greens threaten…
That’s all it is – the Greens winning inner-city seats actually enables Labor to concentrate on wresting more conservative seats from the Liberals, with a net gain for the non-conservative parties. They’d gain more seats from the Liberals than they’d lose to the Greens. The problem is, those particular seats are the ones held by the specific individuals making the decisions…
So – how that selfish (their personal interests ahead of the party’s) bloody-mindedness would assist Baillieu:
If Labor chooses to spend its time and resources fighting the Greens in the inner city, that’s a double bonus for Baillieu: it gives him a clearer run in the outer-suburban marginals he needs to win, and it will make the Greens less likely to side with Labor should they end up with the balance of power.
The thing that annoys me most about the ALP’s bitter efforts to destroy the Greens (apart from the fact that it might well help the Liberals gain government) is that it’s done with absolute contempt for progressive voters. The ALP repeatedly demonstrates it doesn’t care about representing us in parliament: but it’ll be damned if it’ll countenance us giving our votes to someone who will.
I wonder if the Victorian ALP will once again pull a Steve Fielding on us.