Her main argument as to the Greens’ lack of “achievement” was that, due to the single member electorate system that turns 1.6 million votes (almost 13%) into one single seat in the House of Representatives (less than 1%), a system her party and the Liberals of course greatly support because it undemocratically inflates the number of seats they receive and makes it almost impossible for genuine competition, the Greens had been unable to pass policy opposed to that on which Labor and the Liberals agree. Like treating refugees cruelly in order to “deter” them, as if we can (or should) “deter” refugees fleeing persecution and danger in both their original countries and the camps to our north.
So, in short: we and the Liberals have locked them out and tried hard to ignore them (and those of you who voted for them) – give up your futile rebellion and come back to us.
How wonderful that would be for those wedded to right-wing policy. With no serious opposition in the parliament, and the only “lefty” participation in politics being a couple of vaguely progressive ALP members like Cath Bowtell who’ll say the right things to progressive voters and then be forced to vote with the rest of the party on whatever policy the ALP Right has decided will be most likely to appeal to voters swinging between it and the Coalition, just exactly how could any humane policy on refugees get up? Any genuine commitment to public services funded by – gasp – the reversal of income tax cuts? Action on climate change that doesn’t involve giving extra taxpayer money to the country’s biggest polluters (like the original ALP/LNP ETS did).
Keep in mind, the ALP and the Liberals both trumpet “tax cuts” as a priority in their policies, as if we were already adequately funding public education, public health and public transport.
Ah, says Clare, but if you vote for the Greens and they defeat the vaguely left-wing ALP candidates, then those vaguely left-wing ALP candidates will never get in a position to influence policy within the ALP, the only big party that isn’t the Liberals!
True, but we’ve seen just how much the ALP listens to its lefties already. Not at all. Once the ALP thinks it’s safe on its left, then it goes back to what it’s been doing since Hawke and Keating – adopting right-wing policy to compete with the Liberals.
I want the progressive MP I vote for to actually vote for progressive policy on the floor of parliament. I don’t want them to be able to be silenced by “party unity” into shutting up and voting for whatever the ALP Right demands they accept.
That’s what lefties have to do in the ALP.
Whereas the Greens can make a stand for the progressive case in parliament on every vote, on every issue.
Sure, the big parties have deliberately made it quite undemocratically difficult for the 1.6 million Greens voters to have our voices heard in Parliament at all – but that’s no reason to reward them by giving up.
Your vote is your declaration of what policies and principles you want promoted in parliament. Vote for the party that consistently espouses those policies and principles and will vote for them every time.