THE PIOUS face of The Greens, Christine Milne, has conceded what has long been apparent in any unbiased evaluation of the coming election: her party will lose at least two of its Senators. Even so, the delusion continues, and even now, Milne’s diatribe shows no grounding in reality.
We have talked about the
Communist Party Greens often and at length at The Red And The Blue; for newer readers (or those who just enjoy the Greens receiving a deserved boot up the backside), there are a couple of older articles that may be viewed here and here.
I don’t need to spell it out of course, but I’m no fan of the Greens and have little time for them as a party, from a political perspective (remembering some of their policies and personnel would make Joseph Stalin blush), or for some of the fruit cakes that sit in their party room or aspire to do so.
So it was refreshing (to an extent) to read an article that is being carried in the Sunday editions of Fairfax publications today by Judith Ireland — “Greens Brace For Conservative Tide” — in which Milne apparently concedes that Senators Sarah Hanson-Young and Scott Ludlam face the loss of their seats to the Coalition.
I say refreshing “to an extent” because Ireland’s article also has Milne quoted on the record talking a lot of what we will term — far more delicately than it deserves — rubbish.
But we’ll come back to that.
Certainly, the said Senators are up against it; Ludlam in Western Australia — where Coalition parties stand an excellent chance of winning four of the six Senate seats up for grabs — faces losing his seat to a Liberal (or, quite feasibly, to the National Party).
And in South Australia, it seems implausible based on consistent opinion polling over the past two years that the Liberal Party will not win three seats in that state, an increase of one from the 2007 election, when the seats facing election were last voted on.
Labor will certainly win two, with the final spot being a contest between popular independent Nick Xenophon and the Greens’ Hanson-Young. Most analysts expect Xenophon to be re-elected fairly easily, and if this occurs, Hanson-Young is a goner.
I would add that if the ALP declines to exchange preferences with the Greens — and it’s a big “if,” but it has certainly been discussed since the Coalition won power in Victoria in 2010, partially as a result of doing precisely that — then its seat in Tasmania has to be at risk too, given the big swing to the Liberal Party that is building in that state and considering Bob Brown, who last won the seat in 2007, is not standing.
This is the point at which the “refreshing” aspect of the Fairfax article ends; beyond this point, the remainder of what she contributed to Ireland’s piece is a reversion to form.
In light of all of this, Milne claimed the election would not be “about numbers,” but rather “about us holding the balance of power and holding our sitting members.”
Last time I checked, elections were purely about numbers: specifically, the number of votes cast for each party, which in turn translates to the number of seats they win.
I’ll be the first to reiterate the view that politics is about people, but before anything can come from the political process, it is about the numbers, first and foremost.
Even someone like Milne has been around long enough to know that.
And as we have seen before, Milne is fond of semantic games; but her assertion that the priority of the Greens is about holding the balance of power is a farce, and not least given she has conceded that Greens’ numbers are about to be depleted.
It is, on balance of probabilities, impossible for the Greens to keep the balance of power outright; further, if the Coalition wins both existing Greens spots — and a fourth Senate seat in Queensland goes to either the LNP or the Katter crowd, which is again highly likely — then an Abbott government may have no need to deal with the Greens at all, given that the worst-possible scenario for the Coalition would be two Right-inclined minor party Senators (the Katter candidate and the DLP Senator Richard Madigan) and Xenophon.
Which is just as well, because the deluded Milne goes on to say that if the Greens retained the balance of power there would be opportunities for them, despite differences with the Coalition on policies such as climate change and asylum seekers.
For example, Milne said, there was more likelihood of influencing the Coalition than Labor on gay marriage.
Really? Based on what? It beggars belief that anyone in their right mind would believe that a conservative party would be more inclined to recognise in law a social measure that even the social democrats over at the ALP have refused to budge on.
And the party that enshrined the definition of marriage in Australia as being between “one man and one woman” remains committed to that definition.
It is true that some prominent Liberals on the party’s more liberal wing — like Malcolm Turnbull — openly support and actively advocate recognition of gay marriage at law.
But in Turnbull’s case at least, he is representative of what his own individual electorate wants, including as it does the epicentre of the Sydney gay community, but this is hardly representative of the majority in the 149 other electorates across the country.
And where Milne gets the idea that the Greens might find better weather from the Liberal Party once it is in government — as opposed to the diametric opposition it receives from the party whilst it remains, for now, in opposition — is simply unfathomable.
Still, even if her responses to approaching electoral realities defy common sense and sanity, at least Senator Milne recognises the fundamental truth of them; she notes that ”tide is rushing in for the conservatives” in the run-up to the election at state and federal levels, and that the ”overwhelming odds” are that the Coalition will easily win the election.
And that point throws up one of those rare situations in which I agree with Milne entirely.
Even so, she restates that the Greens do not want to see an Abbott government elected this year; that’s hardly a shock, given mainstream conservative parties are anathema to, and the antithesis of, groupings of the hardcore Left like Milne leads.
But that is democracy; and — especially seeing Milne has made loud protestations in the past (when it suits her) about her commitment to democracy — she and her errant colleagues over at the Greens are just going to have to suck it up, to use the vernacular.
I think the Labor-Greens experiment in governance over the past three years has been an object lesson in how not to run this country, not least because for much of that time it has been undeniable that the Greens’ tail has been wagging the ALP dog.
And the years under which the governing arrangement was formally in effect show us that far from being some harmless left-wing destination at which to safely park harmless protest votes, the Greens really are a dangerous outfit determined to implement radical and socially destructive policies with a flagrant disregard for the consequences.
Their anti-capital, anti-consumer and anti-establishment agenda, designed to implement rigid and doctrinaire change of the most blinkered and brutal kind — dressed in what remains of the old pretence of harmless environmentalism and tree-hugging wackoism — enunciates at its core a most destructive “vision” for modern Australia that must be avoided at all costs.
To this end, I can only say that I look forward enormously to the collective return for the Greens of a single Senate seat from the coming election; that is, of course, provided it defends the seat in Tasmania that is up for election this time around.
And it is to be hoped that in a further three years’ time, the other six Greens Senators face the people in an atmosphere just as hostile to the Left in general as is pervasive in 2013.
For whilst the loss of Hanson-Young will be an unqualified positive for Australia generally, the decimation of the remaining ranks of Greens Senators in 2016 will be even more so, especially with the likes of former USSR propaganda writer Lee Rhiannon and the sanctimonious Milne herself due to face voters again at that time.
But that’s democracy: some win, and some lose; and happily enough, the Greens are set to be big losers from the federal election that is now just five months away.