Tuesday, September 9, 2008

What's so bad about the Greens?

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??

35 comments:

Perseus said...

When George W Bush visited, The Greens decided to voice their protest by, umm, being voiceless, and turning their backs on him in Parliament like spastics. I had voted for them in that election and at that point I realised it was a waste.

If they just did what they were supposed to do and use seats in Parliament to influence conservation issues I'd like them, but when they put their noses into the International Politics trough they become a bunch of ill-informed hippies.

They also align themselves with Socialist Alliance, who are the most anti-semitic group in this counrty I can think of (except for National Front).

Holding up placards saying, 'Bush Is Evil' is counter-productive, juvenile and not what I expect of elected officials.

Perseus said...

...and even their sound policies are unworkable. We all want junk food ads banned, but TV stations rely on junk food for advertising revenue. If Government deprives them of revenue, they'll turn on that Government.

Besides, parents should be monitoring their kids' diets, not Government or TV.

eat my shorts said...

Some of my best friends are Greens.

Ok, that's a lie.

I don't hate them, but my understanding is based on the context I live in. Tassie is perceived as clean and green, but often that perception is in contrast with things like jobs and maintaining the economy. The rhetoric seems to be that you can't achieve both. I dunno. All I know is that my dad, while actually being a bit of a greenie himself (he goes off his nut if you put something that could be recycled in the rubbish) thinks they suck and hence it's fun to get a rise out of him when I tell him I've voted green. I ain't no Greens basher.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Puss, if you have absolutely no chance of forming government you can promise anything you like.

It's when you have to form a working government, with all the compromises and betrayals that democracy calls for - that's where the Greens fall over.

They're so convinced of their own goodness that any compromise of their policies is unacceptable.

You can't run a democracy like that.

And I've seen Bob brown up close a number of times. He's a creepy, creepy fellow.

Louche said...

Right now they are a very appealing choice over the NSW Labour party. But then so would the Nazi Party I generally only vote Green at the local level, as they can have an effect with planning etc.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Well, yes, I grant you that Louche.

Then again, so would a cat with mange and three legs.

Fad MD said...

Then again, so would a cat with mange and three legs

In bad news for NSW politics, I think I saw the local street kids bbqing that cat last night.

Ramon's right. I promise that if you elect myself and my merry band of followers to parliament we will:
* Promote all TSFKA contributers to important positions with much influence and monetary reward; and
* Provide sunshine, lollipops and happiness to all (except those who oppose the formerly mentioned TSFKA bretheren).

You want to vote for me now, don't you? Trouble is, there's no chance I will get in to govt so I can promise all I want, and then come across as all high and mighty when the government actually wants to get things done.

Plus Bob Brown IS a arseclown

Fad MD said...

*an* arseclown

WitchOne said...

Bob Brown, ugh.

Perseus said...

Promote all TSFKA contributers to important positions with much influence and monetary reward

I bags Arts Ministry. Outlaw street performance. Outlaw installation art. Outlaw anybody who claims their artwork contains 'mixed media' (I saw a 'mixed media' piece the other day and on close examination it included wood, string and paint).

patchouligirl said...

Right now they are a very appealing choice over the NSW Labour party
Reckon. Labours calculations are out by $1,268,000,000 and Nathan Rees doesnt have the 'time nor the inclination to examine why we've got those estimates wrong'. And what choice did the punters in NSW have last election with Peter Debnam (aka Frank Spencer) as the Liberal candidate?

homesick said...

and even their sound policies are unworkable. We all want junk food ads banned, but TV stations rely on junk food for advertising revenue. If Government deprives them of revenue, they'll turn on that Government.

This is not entirely true Perseus. The media screamed when tobacco advertising in both print, TV and radio was banned and all they had left was outdoor media. The(media) survived without any major fall in revenue. FMCG's do well with in store advertising and promotions as well as outdoor media. It is a exceptable policy for any party really*.

I just felt a need to make that point clear... back to the Green bashing.

*And yes flame me all you like but where you are all of the journo/rockstar/spin doctor ilk I come from an advertising background.

Puss In Boots said...

Puss, if you have absolutely no chance of forming government you can promise anything you like.

I hadn't even thought of it that way.

And not having seen Bob Brown in action much, I didn't realise he was such an arseclown.

fatkat said...

But even though they're not going to implement policies of their own, aren't they still going to vote on legislation and policies that are in line with theirs?

Louche said...

FMCG's do well with in store advertising and promotions as well as outdoor media. It is a exceptable policy for any party really*.

And they are finally starting to get on the online bandwagon. Why play a 30 sec TV pot when you can have them interact with an animated coco pop for 5 mins at a tenth of the cost?

Louche said...

Pay.

Jeremy said...

I love the line of logic "the Australian Greens haven't ever been able to implement their policies because they've never won government and therefore we must make sure that they never get elected to government". How delightfully self-fulfilling and convenient for the existing two major parties.

But so long as the Greens continue to vote in line with the policy positions they espouse, and so long as you agree with those policy positions, I don't see any good reason why you shouldn't feel comfortable voting for them.

I'd have more trouble voting for major parties that try to be such broad churches that you really have no idea what you're going to get when you vote for them.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Walt, old son, you can vote for whoever you like but I refuse to vote for a party that smugly shouts its virtues while at the same time doing sleazy deals with the right.

Fact One. During the 2006 Victorian state election, they swapped preferences with People Power - a group of lunatics whose IR policies were to the right of John Howard.

Fact Two. The Greens recently voted with the DLP in the Victorian Upper House on fluoride.

The DLP, Walt. You may want to look them up.

Fact Three. The Greens preferenced to the Liberals ahead of Family First, despite the fact that Family First voted against the Workchoices legislation.

Mr E Discharge said...

Heeerrrreeesss Wally!

Perseus said...

Sorry Ramon, but I also preferenced the Liberals before Family First (though I had them both near the bottom, just above the CEC).

FF policies are quite often Old Testamant hogwash and Fielding appears to have the intellectual vigour of plankton.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Well yes, Pseseus, this is like choosing whether you want to come down with smallpox or typhoid.

Fad MD said...

I thought we'd finally seen the last of him.

Can we never mention the Greens again?

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Greens are cunts, Greens are cunts, Greens are cunts.

Let's see, Fad.

Boogeyman said...

Yeah, I thought Jeremy only ever popped up to defend himself against Hack's barbs.

Seems he really is a needy attention whore who can't stay away, after all.

squib said...

In answer to your question Puss, there's nothing wrong with the Greens and the only reason the Labor fundies here can't see that is because they have failed to notice their party took a major right hand turn a long time ago, around about the time of the Tampa crisis.

I'm glad that Brown and Nettle stood up to Bush because no one in the Labor Party, these days, has that sort of courage.

I refuse to vote for a party that smugly shouts its virtues while at the same time doing sleazy deals with the right.

pffft and Labor never do sleazy deals, right?

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

We're not the ones constantly shouting about how pure we are, squib.

Removal of mandatory detention, abolition of Workchoices, apology to indigenous Australians, cutting private health funds off the drip-feed of government money, signing Kyoto.

Yeah, that rotten right-wing Labor government.

squib said...

Yeah Ramon, give yourself a jellybean

Jamie said...

Yeah, I thought Jeremy only ever popped up to defend himself against Hack's barbs.

Seems he really is a needy attention whore who can't stay away, after all.


Boogey, Sear is only human. How could he resist you all?

Ramon, that's the same government that's quite happy to let pensioners starve for the next nine months, no?

Perseus said...

"I'm glad that Brown and Nettle stood up to Bush"

But they didn't, Squib. That's what bugged me. That they didn't stand up to him.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

No, this is a government that's preparing for a major overhaul of the entire social security system and isn't going to be stampeded by "Half" Nelson.

Jamie said...

"We know you are doing it tough but you have to wait nine months for any relief" is heartless in anyone's language. Half Nelson couldn't put the half Nelson on the government if he tried.

Fad MD said...

Removal of mandatory detention

That they established.

Perseus said...

The ALP are also attempting to fix the whole Austudy / HECS debacle... which they established.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

That they established

Which we established in 1992.

Politics is always an imperfect business, but if you never do anything, you never make mistakes.

Which is why the Greens never make mistakes.

Cranky Frank said...

Greens never make mistakes? They made Wally Sear a member of the club.