For some reason, I know more about US politics than I do about Australian politics. Probably because I find the candidates in the current US election fascinating, and the reactions from the media and citizens very puzzling at times, so it keeps my attention.
I have noted a lot of bagging of the Greens on this site and its previous incarnations, and I am somewhat confused. Why are they so bad? A lot of their policies seem perfectly reasonable to me (quotes taken from their website):
- On same-sex relationships: remove discrimination on the basis of sexuality or gender identity from legislation; support equal and legal recognition of gay marriages; promote equal parenting rights regardless of sexuality or gender identity; allow people to make fully informed choices about their lives and access appropriate medical intervention if required.
- On education: increase funding for all levels of public education, including TAFE and university; fund at least two years of public preschool education for all Australian children; abolish university fees and forgive HECS debts; provide a living allowance for full-time tertiary students.
- On health: redirect the $3 billion private health insurance rebate to public health and hospitals; establish 24 hour community mental health services; ban junk food advertising on children’s television; protect women’s access to affordable, safe abortion and reproductive health services including genuine pregnancy counselling.
- On workplaces: repeal the federal WorkChoices legislation in its entirety; abolish Australian Workplace Agreements and guarantee the right to collectively bargain; establish a strong expanded safety net of minimum conditions, and restore the award system; provide universal access to unfair dismissal laws; return conciliation and arbitration powers (including setting minimum wages) to the independent Australian Industrial Relations Commission; protect the rights of employees to take industrial action and protect legitimate union activity
And various other seemingly sensible policies on climate change, transport, immigration, environment, etc.
I do disagree with some of their policies, but overall I think they seem ok. So why the hate? As I said, I know very little about Australian politics, so perhaps I've missed something.
For the record, I think I've only voted for them once in a local election, and that was because the Labor candidate was a complete asshat. But I wouldn't hestitate to vote for them again if I didn't like the Labor candidate. Is that wrong??