James Paterson

Aug 24, 2010

Breaking news: Greens’ performance insufficient to impress Young Liberal

An hilarious “analysis” of the Greens’ electoral performance from former Victorian Young Liberals president Jame

An hilarious “analysis” of the Greens’ electoral performance from former Victorian Young Liberals president James Paterson at that den of Leftist groupthink, The Drum. His arguments can pretty well be summed up as follows:

  • Yes, Adam Bandt won Melbourne. But he had to rely on preferences, which simply doesn’t cut it in our preferential voting system. Never mind that Bandt achieved a +13% swing, as compared to a –10% swing for the ALP and –3% for the Liberals. Real men win by getting more than 50% of the primary vote.
  • Yes, they won a Senate seat in every state, taking their total number of Senators to nine and giving them the balance of power in the upper house. But Kerry Nettle lost back in 2007, and they didn’t manage to get Senators elected from the territories or pick up a second Senator from Tasmania. Also, they won their seats at the expense of Labor and so it really doesn’t count – because even though the Greens and the ALP are two different parties each trying to advance their own interests and achieve the best outcome for their own party, the only thing that matters to anyone is whether the Coalition’s numbers are reduced.
  • Yes, they increased their national primary vote by around 4% to a total of around 11%. But that isn’t as high as the two highest polls that a critic could cherry-pick – 15% in Newspoll and 16% in Neilson [sic], respectively. If you think about it, the margin of error on those polls was probably +/- 3% – so really, we could have expected the Greens to get 18 or 19%. So why didn’t they? FAIL.

So there you have it. Their first ever House of Representatives victory at a general election, their highest ever Senate representation with the capacity to influence the passage of amendments and bills, and an across-the-board rise in their primary vote. All of which should make the Greens feel very inadequate, because they still don’t have safe lower house seats, multiple Senators from everywhere, and can’t manage to perform better than their polling numbers suggest they should. Incisive.

NB: I am a member of the Greens. And yet I don’t feel disappointed – sorry, James.

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63 thoughts on “Breaking news: Greens’ performance insufficient to impress Young Liberal

  1. both kinds of politics

    […] Posted by admin, on September 8th, 2010 Young Lib: Pfft, as if the Greens did anything significant […]

  2. quantize

    ‘Uh oh. Infighting on Poison!’

    Well it sure beats mindless bleating in a conga line over at ‘you know where’

    Conservatives like to paint themselves as a broad church but its amazing how much of them sing out of the same ill-considered song books.

    For example, based on the numbers of the Coalition leadership spill we had a party almost evenly split on important policy…now they would like us to believe there’s a consensus again that would deliver results. The only public deviations are the verbal diarrhea and willful stupidity of the extreme wingnuts like Heffernan and Tuckey.

  3. confessions

    proposed = tried to legislate.

  4. confessions

    It’s true I’ve voted for the Greens in previous elections at both state and federal elections. But now I’ve seen what destruction they are capable of, and against their own policy objectives, I won’t be voting for them again.

    Am I happy with consensus gabfest? No. Having said that, if they can increase the number of participants, and run it as an action research methodology, where ownership is vested with participants, who then act in a ‘train the trainer’ type model, I think the gabfest can run serious interference on the airwaves denialists who are sure to crank up again should legilsation to put a price on GHGEs grace our parliament again.

    Do I think the ALP are capable of this? No, especially while the toxic NSW branch has such a hold over the party. Having said that, the opposition is offering climate change is crap, and truckload of pork thrown at farmers as their contribution to GHGE abatement. The Greens blinked when it came to putting a price on emissions, so are automatically discounted by me as being serious when it comes to climate change. Only one government in this nation’s history has proposed pricing our GHGEs. It’s just a pity the opposition and minor parties weren’t up to the bipartisanship required to shift our economy accordingly

  5. BoldenwAter

    Well confessions, I would say that you have hysterically over reacted at my suggestion that you should vote based upon policy not party. I, myself, did not vote for the Greens in both houses and I doubt very much if that simple act will kill off democracy.
    Since it appears that you did vote for the Greens in the last election and have rejected them for not supporting a CPRS scheme that they were not invited to negotiate with Labor, I am curious as to your thoughts on Labors latest policy on green house gas emissions. Do you support the idea of a community talk fest on the situation? And do you think that we should base our emissions mitigation scheme based upon News LTD educated publics opinion?

  6. Pedro

    Uh oh. Infighting on Poison!

  7. confessions

    Again, for those who are having difficulty understanding my comments: I refuse to vote Greens, for the reasons I’ve already stated. I’ve heard all the Greens excuses for not passing the CPRS (both here and elsewhere), and remain unconvinced – ie you are wasting keystrokes. Their opposition looked more like a wrecking strategy designed for electoral gain. And by all intents it’s worked, just like it did for the Liberals.

  8. Captain Col

    Fran Barlow has just invited probably 1.5-2 billion people to Australia as refugees with “we don’t simply limit asylum seeking to those meeting the “well-founded fear of persecution” standard but a broader quality of life standard, and that we establish across the world a presumptive right to move to places to secure at least an adequate life.” And “The key here is speeding up processing”. So they could be here for Christmas! If we try hard.

    This is why we should relegate the Greens back to the bottom of the garden with the fairies. They think like this and actually believe it!

  9. Fran Barlow

    Let me also add, for transpraency, that I am an active supporter of The Greens. During this election I have personally placed more than 3000 leaflets in boxes, set up and coordinated the operation of a number of polling booths, and spent 13 hours on election day at one handing out material and then scrutineering.

    It has never occurred to me that any party can be the repository of all public policy wisdom. Once one moves beyond parties whose entire memebership can fit comfortably into someone’s garage, and starts to have sufficient public appeal to achieve representation in parliament, all parties are exercises in public policy compromise.

    This isn’t simply opportunism. Getting public policy right isn’t a process that is entirely objective. Good public policy entails both distributive justice a and efficient and adequate production of goods and services. It entails meeting the needs of quite diverse groups of people, weighing carefully how much and in what ways to impose upon them and to compensate them from the common resource pool, what resources are already or will become available and when, working out how to restrain free riders, which of these policies are maintainable over time both technically and politically and the ways in which the policy could be improved as new data about it becomes known.

    Fairly obviously, there’s enourmous scope here for people to differ. There is no absolute consensus on what is fair and just and viable over time in practice. Most of us like to believe we can assess policy on merit and yet rational, well-informed and honest people aren’t always in total agreement about what is best.

    So I have no particular problem with people disagreeing with aspects of green policy. On the contrary, provided criticism takes as its starting point accurate and pertinent information and a model that ends in social justice, then this is very healthy. I differ with some green policies myself. I’d porefer they took a different stance on GM, nuclear power and on HECS debts for example.

    Yet the criticism I’ve read here from “confessions” seems to be little more than the bog-standard talking points one hears from the ALP side. As others have noted, the CPRS was not going to reduce emissions until 2033 and even then most of that was to be achieved by buying dubious off-shore credit offsets and having CC&S work out. The policy would have locked in a polluter-gets-paid system and subverted the efforts of those who really were doing energy efficiency or usage avoidance or buying less CO2 intensive energy.

    Similarly, the policy on asylum seekers is exactly right. W ought to be processing them onshore and in the big cities. This would be cheaper and have better results. The argument that this encourages people to get onto rickety boats and drown is simply wrong. People do that because they think this is the lesser evil, compared with watching their kids grow up in squalid concentration camps, of the kind that exist in Indonesia and Malaysia. Unless we make Australia less attractive than that, the boats will keep coming. The key here is speeding up processing, getting acceptable timelines and ensuring that whereever people are processed, conditions are adequate. It probably also means ensuring that the “push” factors in originating jurisdictions are reduced, and that we don’t simply limit asylum seeking to those meeting the “well-founded fear of persecution” standard but a broader quality of life standard, and that we establish across the world a presumptive right to move to places to secure at least an adequate life. We ought to be working a lot harder to realise those Millennium Development Goals, precisely so that poor governance, civil conflict and natural disasters are less pervasive, and of course dealing with climate change which will surely worsen the rate of human displacement.

    As I said above, good public policy is a tricky business.

  10. Fran Barlow

    I’d just endorse the comments of those who have backed the Greens’ refusal to support the Carbon Polluters Porkbarrell Scheme.

    This was a recipe to increase emissions and taint all associated with mitigation, especially The Greens. It would have been The Greens GST

  11. confessions

    [That is utter bullshit confessions.]

    It’s my interpretation. Obviously you perceive it differently, probably because you agree with his/her comment. To those who are outraged that there is at least one Australian who will not vote Greens, I say deal with it.

    Meanwhile the Australian’s smearing of the Greens continues.

  12. twobob

    That is utter bullshit confessions.
    Boldenwaters statement clearly lists inconsistency’s from political players then said
    “We should all seriously consider policy above any perceived loyalty to a political party
    Your confusion on this speaks volumes to me and I will leave this totally confident that any reasonable person will conclude as I have. That you have done your credibility a major disservice, you may have the last word.

  13. confessions

    twobob: Boldenwater’s statement clearly says to me that party faithfulness is a killer of democracy, unless it’s the Greens you are rusted onto. There is no other way to interpret his comment.

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