urban creature: Are the Greens worth it?

Monday, August 30, 2004
Are the Greens worth it?
It's fair to say foremost that I am a member of the Australian Democrats and my party does have the most to lose from an improved Greens vote this time round. However, I don't think this makes my opinions about the Greens less credible - providing people are aware of my obvious bias.

That said, there are a number of reasons I haven't defected to the Greens. My loyalty to the Democrats has been stretched at times - particularly with some of our troubles. Partially, what has kept me in the Dems for 6 years is the lack of a suitable alternative.

The Greens don't offer a decent alternative. For me - politically, spiritually, culinarily - they don't cut it. I am an environmentalist. I am concerned about social justice - particularly with the treatment of refugees and asylum seekers. As a gay man, I am also naturally concerned about equality for GLBIT people. I am also a vegetarian, a concerned global citizen and between the ages of 18 and 30. For the Greens, I am ripe picking.

Unfortunately for them, they are not ripe picking for me.

Firstly, I don't agree with the Senate or any other upper house blocking supply. The Greens haven't ruled this out (as too the Liberals). Blocking supply means that public servants don't get paid, services can't be provided and grants can't be handed out. I support the right of a democratically elected executive to carry out its functions.

Secondly, I take the Senate seriously. It is a house of review where government legislation can be reviewed and debated. It is not a place for grand-standing, it is a place for Senators to seriously consider the impacts these laws will have on the Australian people. As a minor party you can either work with the government of the day to make these laws better or you can wave banners and slogans. Personally I know which is more effective.

Thirdly, their policies and rhetoric aren't fully thought through. I'd for once like to have a conversation with a member of the Greens (possibly this could be a forum?) without them endlessly feeding me a bunch of slogans. The Greens don't look too well into the implications of their policies - particularly the economic implications. This is partially due to the inexperience of the party and its lack of public scrutiny. But the Greens have been around for 10-12 years and Bob Brown has been in the Senate for 8 years. Political immaturity is hardly an excuse now.

Personally, I am just as frightened of the Greens holding the balance of power in the Senate as I am of another term of the Howard Government. In order for the Greens to win the support of people like me, it will have to be more serious, more responsible and more willing to engage with others. In other words, the Greens will have to be more like the Democrats.

  Scribbled by urban creature @ 9:17 pm - [Permanent Link]


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