Sunday, November 14, 2010

Australia: the saga continues

The rise of the Greens has created ripples in Australia. New Green MP Adam Bandt will be moving legislation for gay marriage, they're progressing reigning in the banks, going forwards on euthanasia, indigenous rights, and there's some green stuff too... you know animals, climate change, that sort of thing.

As advances are made around the rights of refugees, one of the fore front Greens' campaigns, there's lots to be happy about of course. But the upcoming Victoria state elections are a taste of things to come.

The other parties are responding to the rise of the Greens, and it isn't necessarily pretty. As the Australian points out Labor are getting confused by it all. Having to actually fend off a left opposition that can win seats is just messing with their minds and they can't work out whether to hug or slap us.

Meanwhile the tactical haggling over the AV election preferences continues, which could see the Greens really lose out (note to all those people who say AV means no more tactical voting: WRONG!). The Liberals have for the first time called for a preference for Labor ahead of the Greens which could hurt their chances to win vital inner city seats off Labor.

The Liberals have signaled that they see the Greens as the greatest threat by saying they will preference the Greens last (ie behind Labor, fascists or any old candidate really) shows we're being taken seriously, but is also a new challenge as the two main parties are rethinking their strategies towards the new kids in the Parliamentary block. Meanwhile Labor and Greens have failed to come to a deal on preferences which some think may usher in a right wing state government in Victoria.

Of course the Greens are at a record high in Victoria at 19%, almost double their vote at the election in the region, putting them in contention for some good wins and also making it a dangerous ploy for any party to openly attack them, as many candidates, from both sides, may well be relying on Green preferences to win.

If the Greens can hold their nerve against this new concerted opposition from the other parties it could well be another advance. However, it's a useful lesson that victories bring with them new problems as well as the joy of success.

1 comment:

Dave Riley said...

However, the complication of the manoevres the Greens have been making in regard to preferences and which party they would support in government has given the Victorian election a larger significance in way of registering their political identity.

At issue is lesser evilism and tactics and the Greens have opted instead for pragmatism and opportunism which may blow up In their faces in regard to progressive support in the same way that the Lib Dems are paying for their collusion with the Tories.