The Greens are now a genuine alternative

By Leith van Onselen

I used to be highly critical of The Greens under the leadership of Christine Milne, who I viewed as a tad “loopy” and incapable of forming genuine workable policies across a broad range of areas.

Not anymore. Since senator Richard Di Natale took over the leadership in May, the Greens have become a beacon of light in an otherwise dysfunctional parliament.

Under Di Natale, the Greens quickly changed track and supported the Government’s fuel excise re-indexation (opposed by Labor).

The Greens then supported the Government’s Aged Pension reforms (opposed by Labor) whilst also advocating for fairer superannuation concessions (opposed by the Government).

The Greens then implemented as policy reform to Australia’s inefficient and inequitable housing tax concessions (opposed by the Government).

And it is the Greens that almost single handedly opposed the Government’s draconian and expensive metadata scheme.

For anyone still doubting the new found capability of the Greens, check-out Richard Di Natale’s appearance on The Bolt Report yesterday (above), whereby he runs rings around presenter, Andrew Bolt, and comes across as eminently sensible on a range of issues.

With the major parties offering a choice between dumb and dumber, the Greens are now emerging as a genuine political alternative, thanks to the leadership of Di Natale and highly capable MPs like Scott Ludlam and Peter Whish-Wilson.

[email protected]

Comments

    • If only they had a real policy on population, instead of the wheezleword gobble-gook that the party tries to pass as population policy.
      For all its focus on human rights, the Greens show no recognition that the most important factor impacting negatively on human rights is overpopulation and its flow-on to poverty, scarcity, hunger, ignorance and conflict.

      • Australia, nor anywhere else in the developed world, does not have a population problem per se. Rather, our problem is the distribution of that population and the profound stupidity of other policy for which the Greens have had no bearing. Agree that 3rd world population is an issue.

      • Peter, my bad, I mean that Aust natural increase is not a problem, the current rate of immigration is

      • Rage, in the 1990’s, the Australian Academy of Science recommended a maximum population for Australia of 19 million while in the 1970’s Gough Whitlam said that he saw no reason for Australia’s population to be more than 15 million, yet numbers will pass 24 million this year. Since the Sydney Olympics, just 15 years ago, Australia’s population has risen by 26%! This is totally unsustainable. Already most major capital cities rely on desalinated water in dry years, while traffic congestion is clogging up cities and reducing productivity, while perversely it adds to GDP as more fuel is burned in traffic jams.
        Australia needs quality of life, not a bigger population. In fact, the impact of humans on this ancient continent has been devastating for other species, with Australia recording record rates of species extinction, due to loss of habitat and human introduced pests.

  1. Well he certainly represents his financial backers well. Seems to have the script as Shorten. What are the odds ?

    • He certainly missed a golden opportunity to highlight that it’s Green policy to form a Federal ICAC similar to the NSW ICAC that uncovered so much political corruption. They certainly seem to have nothing to hide and they declare all donations (not just ones they are obligated to).

      Attempting to make it look like Greens are owned by unions is laughable at best.

      • Any party that supports a national ICAC has my vote.
        If two of them do then they take the top two places on my ballot.
        Normally I vet the candidates but corruption is such a big issue for me that I’d just tick the box.

  2. Great stuff and not before time. He speaks from the heart with a clear, concise manner. He will run rings around the other two clowns.

  3. All they need is some good candidates for the next election and hopefully they’ll grow into the third force of politics and fill the void left by the democrats.

      • I guess you’re voting for the major party with the ability to get a presence in parliament who has released these detailed policies.

        Can you remind us of their name?

      • Mentioned no names.

        Still waiting for an answer to my question.

        Here it is again, slightly re-phrased – ‘Which party in Australian politics, with the ability to win parliamentary representation, has provided detailed population policies and targets according to your definition?’

      • Mentioned no names of political parties – in response to @coming ‘what makes you think either of us votes lib or lab’?

        I’d take an answer to my question from either @jelmech, @coming or anyone else, if one exists.

        In my seat at last election I voted in – Victorian state election – only Lib, Green and Lab stood, and at previous federal was only Lib, Green, Lab, Palmer and a independent who provided zero policy statements or information. Under those conditions, how is the Greens’ lack of population policy to be used to choose who to vote for?

      • “I guess you’re voting for the major party with the ability to get a presence in parliament who has released these detailed policies”

        Actually, no I am not

        I am voting for fringe parties

      • so you have demonstrated a full understanding of my waiting… waiting…waiting comment.
        where did you get the notion that other *unnamed* parties aren’t revolving pointlessly in the same policy vacuum? I’ll be doing no barracking for anyone if it’s all the same to you. Indies for me if possible.

      • Good for you.
        Do you believe those fringe party candidates have a chance at getting up at the election or are you comfortable (or possibly resigned) with being represented in parliament by whoever your neighbours’ choose from the usual suspects?

        @jelmech,

        That’s great, too – but given our preferential system of voting requires ordering candidates from least inadequate to most inadequate, I suspect many care to decide who they believe is the least inadequate. Hence, if one party may have become very slightly less inadequate on some measures, that is useful information.

        re: indies – my difficulty, as metioned in passing, is that it can be very difficult, at least in seats I have been able to vote in, to get any info on their policies at all. If you have one of the better organised independents to vote for, and know what they actually stand for, you’re doing well, and they’re probably a good choice.

      • “Good for you.
        Do you believe those fringe party candidates have a chance at getting up at the election or are you comfortable (or possibly resigned) with being represented in parliament by whoever your neighbours’ choose from the usual suspects?”

        The latter

      • Under those conditions, how is the Greens’ lack of population policy to be used to choose who to vote for?

        The Greens do not lack a population policy, they simply don’t have hard and fast numbers in it.

      • Having looked through their policies around immigration, I’d have to agree that they are very vague when it comes to discussing numbers. The best you could say for them is they are not unambiguously pro “big Australia” immigration for immigrations sake. So in that respect they are at least a step ahead of the major parties.

      • Agree. That’s a blind spot of the Greens.

        But is there a better alternative? If you have the option you can vote for the Sustainable Population Policy as your No. 1 choice in the Reps, but in most seats its only Libs, Labor, Nats and (increasingly) Greens that have a chance of winning. In the Senate, only the Greens have any chance of controlling the Balance of Power by themselves and vote consistently as a block. We’ve all seen what a farce PUP has become in the Senate.

    • So in the mean time, vote for a known ultra high immigration party, the LNP, with their stated target of 300,000+.

  4. Di Natale is extremely reasonable and sharp as a tack. He ticks all the boxes as far as I’m concerned: socially progressive, environmentally sensitive, fiscally responsible. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – the main thing now holding The Greens back is their name. There are many people in this country who simply can’t take a party called ‘The Greens’ seriously. The Australian Democrats on the other hand…..

    • Don’t really see a problem – having a name that is totally at odds with their actual agenda doesn’t seem to hold back the Liberals, after all.

      • And who knows, maybe in twenty years we will all be suffering under the yoke of the pro-business and mining Greens government, when someone remarks on how useful the ‘Greens’ label is as distraction, and wonders aloud where it came from.

    • 100% agree with this.

      You will never get a pragmatic agreement by party faithful to change as they are all hanging onto to their cred/provenance as defenders of the environment.

      Rather than the real opportunity win large slabs of the electorate.

      I.e. clinging to name as opposed to seizing opportunity to drive change

      Greens in name > actually effecting change

      Would take a brave leader to take the name on.

      • But it could be changing due to the rest of the world beginning to take climate change seriously.
        The Greens have been hampered, amongst other things, by their message on environment issues being ahead of time. It is as if they were students studying for an important exam from the start of semester. Whereas the rest of the public voices in the community can see that the exam is on tomorrow and they haven’t done a thing for it.

    • Keeping their fixation on gay marriage prviate may also encourage many social conservatives to vote for them, who otherwise would not

      • Seriously, who cares what a bunch of throwbacks like Cory Bernardi think. Anyone who’s still worried about ‘The Gays’ in 2015 deserves to be ignored. Retards the lot of ’em.

    • I don’t think the name matters in the long run. The Liberals certainly aren’t liberals, they’re conservatives. Labor is a particularly odd name for a party, as it implies they only represent labour over capital, workers vs the bosses, but clearly that’s not always the case. What matters is good policy, well articulated and presented.

      I certainly think there’s a place for socially-progressive, economically-liberal party in Australia, without the union ties of the ALP and without the loopy extremes in the Greens (like the anti-vaxers, anti-fluoridation, anti chem-i-kills types). This party already has an obvious leader in Turnbull, but I don’t think Malcolm has any interest in moving outside the tent. Sadly I think the Libs are so infested with hard-right loons like Bernardi that its incapable of supporting a centrist leader like Turnbull.

      Under Di Natale the Greens are rapidly moving to occupy that space, and they will attract the educated, socially-progressive, inner-city types in droves. The ALP learned that lesson in the NSW state election when they ran a huge effort to win back inner city seats from the Greens and were absolutely thumped.

      • Agree with most of that Lorax. But what your point effectively boils down to is that they could succeed in spite of the polarising aspects of their name. Why not just change it and be done with it? For what it’s worth, I don’t think ‘Labor’ does anyone any favours in this day and age either.

  5. greens are a paradox..

    they want to help the environment but they encourage population growth through refugees etc..they should just be honest about the whole thing for once

    can’t have both

    also, doesn’t the greens leader drive a ford territory?? hardly a ‘green’ car..do as I say and all that

    saying that, they have sensible approaches to NG etc

    • “also, doesn’t the greens leader drive a ford territory?? hardly a ‘green’ car..do as I say and all that”

      Yeah, 9L per 100km certainly is a diesel guzzler. And why does he drive it?

      “When trading in his hybrid vehicle in 2014, Senator Di Natale switched to a Ford Territory out of practical ­necessity because he lives on a farm in one of wettest parts of the country,’’ a spokesman said yesterday.

      http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/richard-di-natale-new-greens-leader-is-a-4wd-loving-sports-fanatic/story-fni0cx12-1227344343616?nk=af521900a398a5478cb156eda1d0882e-1441589693

      • sure…..so its do as I say….and all that

        just don’t follow my example

        isn’t he adding to climate change??

        what a hypocrite

      • Dan, I reckon if the bloke lived in a hut and wore hair-shirts, you’d be criticising him because the hair came from somewhere.

        Individual actions don’t matter much (unless they’re quite hypocritical) when trying to influence policy. For example, one could argue that environmentalists should never fly (or even drive). But then they’d never go anywhere. Which would guarantee that none of their proposals or policies would be enacted.

        Nice straw-man though. Can you please dress the next straw-man up better so I can at least have some fun knocking it over.

      • and lord Dud is one to talk about the environment flying him and his family over to the USA….

        another green hypocrite, who makes excuses

        so no leading by example……rather like Al Gore who lives in a big mansion flying around the world to lecture us serfs

      • “sure…..so its do as I say….and all that”

        Yes, I remember exactly where I was on the day that Di Natale declared that farmers shouldn’t use 4wds. It’s etched in to my memory like the events of September 11 are.

      • Cool.
        Can you help us out with a link so we can see exactly what he said?
        (genuinely interested to know)

      • [email protected]: so now no one who has ever been in a plane is allowed to have an opinion on environmental policy? You’re going in my ignore list, Dan. Some people are just too dull and stupid to waste any time on, and you’re one of them. At least Rich42 was amusing; you’re not even that.

        By the way: family of 5. Power and gas bills under $600 per year. Haven’t owned a car for 4 years. I’m a monster!

    • your so fkn dumb…. just because they are called the greens dosn’t mean they have to driving around in tesla’s and hugging trees….. Look at the 2 major parties and the fkd up circus we are living in FFS….open your eyes.

    • WTF?

      “they want to help the environment but they encourage population growth through refugees etc..they should just be honest about the whole thing for once

      can’t have both”

      What are you on about?

      Of course you can.

      • Exactly right! Refugees don’t increase population, in fact it’s usually a symptom of the opposite. We have refugees when the pollution of a country is dying at an accelerated pace.

        He should stop hiding racism behind care for the level of human population.

    • can’t fairly bag the bloke for his choice of vehicle. What can he do? He’s living where the roads are sub standard. He would derelict if he didn’t have reliable transport suited to the conditions.

      • One of the local Northern Rivers’ dentists drives his Ferrari around on a post-WW2 bombing raid roads.
        Plated Fang.

        Hilarious. Puts all the Prados and Hiluxes to shame.

        (Not much use crossing flooded causeways but. Or picking up a few head of goats. Then again prolly has a maxed out Cruiser ute. Think I did the wrong degreee at uni)

    • What’s the relationship between ‘environment’ and ‘population growth’, both undefined or even correlation?

      It assumes an Oz resident population, and (permanent) immigration till 70s, were benign to the environment, but as the make up of the conflated and inflated headline population numbers change, it’s apparently all their fault?

      At best, the antipathy shown nowadays towards ‘immigration’ whatever that rubbery definition means. It seems more about abrogating Australian politicians and people of the fact that we are responsible for the environment and how our country works or not; our obsession with property, motor cars/fossil fuels and our material way of life.

  6. Spot on from LVO… I switched on the radio the other day and a bloke was being interviewed, seemed pretty sensible, middle of the road. I thought they were interviewing someone like John Daley from Grattan.
    Got to the end of the interview … was Richard Di Natale. I was a bit shocked – cognitive dissonance! (I wouldn’t have voted Green in the past and couldn’t stand Milne).
    Di Natale basically sounded like a normal, intelligent bloke speaking in human sentences – I would never have guessed he was a politician if I’d switched off before the end. I think “Death Cult Grocery Code” and Mr Zingers might have a few problems at the next election.
    If Whish Wilson and Ludlam manage to stare down the crazies and jettison some of the loonier stuff, they are in for a few good years I think.

    • staying in the middle of the road is the worst course we could take. We must change our dysfunctional system radically and going with “in the middle of the road” guy will not hep us at all. If it’s not feasible at the moment to get in someone with radical ideas, it’s much better to go with the existing fools because with them in charge the system will collapse sooner allowing us to bring the change.

      World is just about to go through major change so status quo or slow evolution is not good enough

      • Yes X and the first step on the long journey is to have publicly funded election and zero donations. He stated that this is fundamental to his values.

        Speaks volumes of the man.

  7. This guy displays appalling naivety about Syria. Where does he think these so called “death-cults” receive training and weapons from AND WHY? Who’s to replace Assad….the “death-cults”? This naivety is akin to Mr De Natale’s believing Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Have a look on some maps of the Middle East Richard and especially what American Petro companies want to do with Qatar gas. Goodness I was expecting a credible alternative…disappointed again…….

      • “NO” am not advocating another Iraq-conquest into Syria. I have an OBVIOUS preference for a revision of American (long-term) Foreign Policy in the Middle East because the current policy is a failure with little accountability.

    • “who is to replace Assad”

      Why, that would be the “moderate” rebels SN. The ones fond of eating their enemies organs on you tube vids, no doubt with some kind of alliance from a newly created political arm of ISIS.

    • Then why comment on your perception of his short comings if the others are no better in that area. It comes across as though lib/lab on top of it.

  8. why don’t the greens advocate for zero pop growth???

    answer…they won’t

    they can’t reconcile their left leaning politics with helping the environment thru zero immigration of any sorts

    • So when you vote in the House of Reps, which party advocating zero population growth are you going to give your first preference to? How about your second?

      An alternative exercise – place the following four parties in order, from strongest to least, according to their preference for a more populous Australia –

      LNP, Labour, Green, Palmer United.

    • “they can’t reconcile their left leaning politics with helping the environment thru zero immigration of any sorts”

      You’re actually correct with that comment that despite trying to use it as a reason to bash the Greens.

      Believe it or not, there is a wide range of opinions within the Greens and policy is generally developed through consensus rather than a centralised planning process. That means it’s difficult for the Greens to agree enough on issues like population growth / immigration and housing policy to develop clear policies.

      For every Green that wants very high immigration there is another who would prefer Australia doesn’t have any population growth. It’s not a blind spot per se, but rather an inevitable outcome of the consensus policy development process.

    • “Zero pop growth”…. Explain how that would help the global environment?

      I guess you could say that if all poor people stayed poor (i.e. stay where they are) and didn’t come to a rich country like Aus, then overall effect on global environment is better. However the overall effect on human happiness is worse.

      This is why these are not easy black or white positions to take.

    • Do you know where the ‘zero population growth’ meme came from, apart from compliant US media? I’d suggest on behalf of and with the support of some very privileged types decades ago, an then an academic (without demographic skills) redefined the meme as ‘population bomb’.

      However it was and still is a ‘baby boomer bomb’ as fertility rates have been crashing for decades….. so what’s it about?

  9. I agree, but I feel a bit sorry for Christine Milne.

    Her heart was in the right place, and she did a hell of a lot to repair the relationship between The Greens and the farmers. (Farmers still don’t like The Greens, but there’s a little sniff of trust that they might be fighting for the same purpose). Farmers are very important, because they are the owners of most of the environment that The Greens would like to protect (and by “protect” I don’t necessarily mean “lock up” – I mean preserve the soil, the water, and some habitat on the farmers’ land).

    Unfortunately Christine Milne (in my view) had trouble 1) selling her message to the public, and 2) managing the pragmatic environmental greens and the big city socialist greens under the same umbrella.

    • I’m a farmer, will be voting Green

      Any farmer thinking the Nats represent their interests I think needs to reassess the veracity of this association

      • Our voting system is F*^%t. It’s got squiddly dot to do with which party/ies you nominate on your ballot paper/s. It’s all about who these parties give their preferences to. You might go with independents but they have to nominate preferences so…..this ultimately leaves us with the Big2 and this absolutely sucks.
        The world will keep changing around Australia…..but nothing will change within Australia’s bipartisan political ‘cushy’ environ until we banish our preferential voting system, absolutely nothing.

      • Not if you explicitly direct your preferences (which of course many voters don’t do)

        If the Greens become a viable alternative to lots of people, then they start winning seats in their own right

        It’s not accurate to paint the system as one incapable to seeing non oligopoly members winning

      • raspberries you could not be more wrong.

        The House of Representatives, which decides on legislation, you elect by numbering all the boxes on your ballot. Which means your preferences get allocated exactly in the way that you choose. The Senate, which decides on funding, is the area which has an issue with preference deals which is generally because of the sheer number of candidates.

      • problem we have raspberries is lazy beggars won’t allocate pref’s on the senate table cloth. take the time and your prefs will count.
        which is the way i can dump on the droogs and keep the better performers. At this point in time i have a list of one as keepers.

      • tmarsh & Jason
        What I object to is having to vote for either Lib or Lab which is where it must go, via preference’s, under the present rules. My preference is to not number their boxes.

  10. it’s very easy to sound reassuring in opposition. One term in government would see the end of the Greens…for example, Sarah Hansen Young running immigration?????? God help us

    o

    • You’re right, it’s much more sensible to have people in Gulags in the Pacific.

      Essentially Provably putting women and children at risk of sexual assault.

      That’s a much more grown up response to things than anything The Greens might propose or wish for.

      • Exactly… Much better voting for LNP who have a stated policy of getting 300,000+ immigration through dodgy PR and 457 rorts.

        Now potentially from 300,000+ to unlimited courtesy of the China FTA.

        /sarc

    • Terror Australis

      One day, the people of Australia will issue a national apology for the current shameful episode of history that we are living through. Sarah Hanson Young gets my vote.

  11. I tend to agree. Now that they are moving from a party lead by activists to one with a more rounded skill set, they are imminently more electable.

    I’ve said for a while that with the two major parties wallowing in anachronism (the ALP with the Unions and the LNP with the old white Christian men dominating it and both being full of professional politicans) the Greens should be owning Gen X and Gen Y.

    They still have gaps due to their relatively low numbers (some of their tax and economics views are highly simplistic) and Lee Rhiannon in NSW is an absolute anchor.

  12. I love it how Bolt tries to pigeonhole him into “the left”. When you realise left/right are just arbitrary, change over time and are used to pigeonhole (and place theses in odious categories) it is pretty obvious the definitions are tools of political manipulation rather than ways to define political leanings.

    • I must have missed the posts where MB advocated nationalising everything and setting up workers’ collectives.

    • That’s easily the dumbest contribution to the discussion I’ve seen here.

      What’s with all these short-named first-time commenters popping up when there’s a post about the Greens on here?

    • Slim,
      If you come here for proper analysis of the economy, you should exercise some reasonable analytic skills yourself. In regard to politics the Greens are not communists. It is as stupid as calling the Liberal fascists. (Though checking my trusty Oxford dictionary I’d say the authoritarian desires of Abbott are stronger than the desires of de Natale to centralize power and organize society)

    • Terror Australis

      “communist”!
      Everyone playing The Greens drinking game at home, take a shot.
      Charge your glass and be ready for:
      “watermelons”, “muslims” (correct spelling = two shots).

      • Fortunately ‘muslims’ correctly spelled doesn’t appear that much.

        Now, if you’d said ‘muzzers’, we’d be in ‘new liver before sundown’ territory.

  13. Dr Peter Phelps, Liberals MLC had the correct description of the greens in the Coal Seam Gas debate — Most people have a genuine concern about green issues, but they are being fed misinformation and lies by the hierachy

    https://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/parlment/hansart.nsf/V3Key/LC20150813015?open&refNavID=

    This ignorance has been fostered by misinformation from green extremists. That is the nature of the contemporary green movement in Australia and in many other places in the western world. It is a pyramid structure. At the base is the vast majority of people who would be described as ordinary, concerned citizens. They are sincere but ill-informed people who are pulled along by emotion and who know little about the technical aspects of coal seam gas extraction. They believe what they hear in good faith, but at the same time they must rely upon the often tainted evidence of so-called green experts. That is the broad base of the modern environmental movement. The middle group are fewer in number and I would call them the lunatics or the activists. They are people who would have a tubal ligation rather than bring another filthy human into the world. They see humanity as a scourge and dream of a great plague that will wipe out 90 per cent of humanity. In lieu of this natural population reduction—

    The Hon. Adam Searle: Point of order: The member is pushing the bounds of acceptable parliamentary language. A lot of latitude is given to members during second reading debates, but the language the member is using is, in my respectful submission, outside what is acceptable in this place.

    The Hon. Dr PETER PHELPS: To the point of order: The comments I have cited about tubal ligation were made by the head of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals [PETA]. The reference to the scourge of humanity is taken from James Delingpole’s book Watermelons, in which he quotes senior leaders of the British green movement. These are not made-up examples; they are evidenced by the historical record.

    The Hon. Adam Searle: Further to the point of order: Yet none of those matters is under discussion here.

    The PRESIDENT: Order! The standing orders and the conventions are quite clear. There is no point of order.

    The Hon. Dr PETER PHELPS: Thank you, Mr President. I was referring to the middle group in the pyramid—the extremists, the activists. They support alternative energy not in spite of its inefficiency but precisely because of its inefficiency. They seek a lower standard of living for all humanity; they want humanity to make a smaller footprint on the world; they want to force us back into a neo-primitive state where we are all subsistence producers and consumers. I turn now to the leadership of the green movement. They are the people who see the environmental movement as a means of achieving socialist control, of course with them in charge. They are the broad-brush Marxists who controlled the peace movement in the 1930s, 1950s and 1960s and the anti-nuclear movement in the 1970s and 1980s and who now have a common cause with The Greens to destroy capitalism. What would replace capitalism?

    The PRESIDENT: Order! I warn people in the public gallery that if they cannot observe the debate in silence they will be removed.

    The Hon. Dr PETER PHELPS: That is the motivation. We have a pyramid structure that creates disinformation. We have the Stalinists, the sociopaths, the suckers, the Marxists, the misanthropists and the misguided.

    • FiftiesFibroShack

      That’s some astoundingly paranoid nonsense from Phelps. It was an example of the very type of disinformation he accuses the Green movement of producing.

      • FiftiesFibroShack

        If that’s all he said I wouldn’t have a problem with it. It’s the detour to crazy town that put me off.

    • What a hilarious piece of fanciful trash you have just spouted. Well done! So rarely do I get to see such creative imagery without a single piece of information behind it, and I work in government!

      True poetry. Now maybe move it to some whimsical cloud somewhere and leave this place as one for rational discourse?

    • G’day 3d. I feared we’d lost you when I read about the minerals council’s lack of budget this morning.

      Looking at some of the new posters to this thread you’ve obviously recruited some work experience tea party-ers to help contribute. They lack your wit and writing style, so I hope you’ve got a good on-boarding plan.

    • What’s that supposed to mean, you obfuscating lying misdirection machine? Your writing smacks of the drivel that Orwell criticised in ‘Politics and the English Language’. About the only time you write clearly is when you’re outright lying about climate science, or getting excited about Julie Bishop.

      The LNP’s ideology is dying – only rusted on old farts with their snout in the trough adhere to it anymore. Therefore the Greens and other parties are rising. Before long, the LNP will be as dead as the Whigs.

    • Nonsense 3d. The Greens won my seat from the Nats at the last state election, and they came perilously close to winning the neighbouring seat. Mig tells me he lives in a seat that was Lib and is now Green.

      IMO the ALP should forget about fighting the Greens in the inner city latte belt and tree-changer electorates and concentrate on winning back “working families” in the outer suburbs. The Greens will vote with Labor on most substantive policy issues anyway, whereas they’ll always vote against the increasingly hard-right agenda of the LNP.

      A seat going from ALP to Green is no big deal. A seat going from Coalition to Green is a genuine loss.

  14. Di Natale thinks he’s the boss, and like Rudd, is trying to snow the population. One swallow does not a summer make.

    • FUD FUD FUD FUD, Glorious FUD, FUD FUD FUD FUD, Wonderful FUD, FUD FUD FUD FUD…

      Looks like diNatale has the LNP staffers and young Libs spooked, so they’re turned up to soil his character with no evidence whatsoever. Pathetic job all round by the local loon pond; they’re really showing their true colours today. That’s what happens during the death-throes of a corrupt and dying ideology, such as that of the LNP.

      • Your comprehension has let you down. I don’t think Natale is bad, just that he isn’t the Greens, just the respectable front, as Rudd was to the union movement, until he blew up. The real Greens still believe in Mother Russia. They haven’t realised that communism is nearly dead, only alive here and North Korea.

  15. Natalie’s OK but I don’t buy the narrative that he has transformed the Greens. Bob Browne was always a giant and left the Neandrethal Liberals and self-interested Labor in his wake on policy and common sense. But new conversions always welcome.

  16. This is what an actual leader looks like.

    He didn’t speak from talking points that he was constantly try and steer the interviewer towards and no slogans. He met challenges instead of trying to twist and spin his way around them. He remained composed even while repeatedly being interrupted. He was knowledgeable about the content and didn’t stuff his speech with banal filler words to pad it out.

    Bolt also didn’t seem to go too hard either, I think the refusal by Natale to accept the political jingoism (left v. right) right off the bat put him off balance for the rest of the interview.

    • The discourse on Syria and what is happening there left a lot to be desired. Bolt is a peanut though. He thought it highlighted the importance of “border control.” Perhaps not arming mercenaries, Saudi death row inmates, Al Qaeda affiliates, and “Moderate” rebels to gut a country for your trans-atlantic geo-political objectives is the better solution, as it wouldn’t create a humanitarian crisis in the first instance. Bolt is an absolute peanut!!!

    • He merely stood up to a bully.

      Though too Bolts credit he did let his guest respond, which does not always happen.
      It did help that de Natale did not avoid the questions.

  17. I thought Bolt actually gave Natale a pretty easy ride in this. Natale’s ok, not as slick or gormless as some but still equipped with a politician’s disingenuity. I suspect he will prove more pragmatic in making his party the ‘viable’ third alternative than most bedrock Green supporters can bear.

  18. It seems Bolt is confused between the terms “absolute” and “relative”. Relative to the LNP, the ALP is to the left, but the modern Labor party is absolutely NOT left wing. Fact: the modern ALP is a right-wing party, just less to the right than the LNP: http://www.politicalcompass.org/aus2013

    The Left went MIA around 1980 when Neoliberalism and Monetarism took over as the dominant political and economic paradigms.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neoliberalism
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monetarism

    Just because my skin is darker than yours does not make me “black” Mr Bolt.

  19. I’ve thought about this a lot and, regardless of any economic or environmental credentials or policies that the Greens have or even get, and even though the Libs and Nats have completely dudded us, I cannot sanction Green’s approach to personal freedoms. Think shooting sports, recreational fishing, four-wheel driving, tree clearing, even meat-eating. All are on the hit-list of Greens party members, yet the freedoms that they embody are the essence of what it means to be Australian. I’m from multiple pioneering families and my ancestors would be aghast at what we cannot do now, let alone how it could be with the Greens were in charge.

    I agree or have sympathy for a lot of their concerns about habitat loss, AGW, reef protection, renewable energy research and incentives, but without the freedom to be a larrikin and enjoy the lifestyles and liberties of generations past, there’s no point.

    The Greens are too happy to tell me how I can live my life and I don’t trust them with that power. Note that I also don’t trust Lib/Lab.

    • Agree, the road to tyranny is paved with good intentions, and Team Progress [tm] has deemed the Greens their party of choice.

      if any group is relishing the prospect of tyranny, it is the commissars of Team Progress[tm]

      • Team Progress[tm] is a different type of tyrant.

        If they’re female, they’ve got unnatural shares of hair such as purple or fire-engine red, 32+ BMI and permanently grumpy from the constant pain of inner thigh lesions because they have no thigh gap.

        The guys, sexually frustrated, emasculated goony beards hoping that their pathetic appeasement will get them laid with the above mentioned hamplanets.

        This mob as arbiters is very dangerous.

      • If they’re female, they’ve got unnatural shares of hair such as purple or fire-engine red, 32+ BMI and permanently grumpy from the constant pain of inner thigh lesions because they have no thigh gap.

        The guys, sexually frustrated, emasculated goony beards hoping that their pathetic appeasement will get them laid with the above mentioned hamplanets.

        Wow. I knew you were shallow, but damn.

        Stay classy.

    • Terror Australis

      Show me the link to their policy page where they are against “meat eating” .
      I’m waiting. I’ve got time.

      • I’ve posted links to the Green’s policy documents here in the past and I don’t have time to get into specifics outlined in written martketing material. I trust the Green’s policy documents as much as I trust the Labor or Liberal claptrap. Everyone is out to get elected and I trust them to hide anything that might affect that.

        Besides, as I said in my post “the hit-list of Greens party *members*” is the key point. Policies can and will change and in a relatively democratic party like the Greens it will be on basis of members’ wishes. I don’t trust Greens members. Ban this, ban that, that’s all I see and here. When was the last time something was “unbanned”? Don’t bother answering that. I’ve got work to do.

      • “When was the last time something was “unbanned”? Don’t bother answering that. ”

        Nothing like asking a question and then running away from any potential answers. You might want to check the Greens’ policies on privacy and civil liberties and see how they compare to the Liberals and Labor.

      • Thanks AB. I’m very aware of, and pleased with, the Green’s policies on civil liberties and privacy. I don’t trust that Greens members see anything akin to a right to keep and bear arms in their definition of acceptable civil liberties.

        That’s the thing about liberty, you have to be willing to live with other people’s preferred liberties even if you’re vehemently disagree with them. Even if you’re scared of them. The Greens members and sympathisers that I know or have read don’t see my and others preferred liberties as important. Hence, my view that they are not libertarians, just well meaning and trendy.

      • “I don’t trust that Greens members see anything akin to a right to keep and bear arms in their definition of acceptable civil liberties.”

        Automaton: you don’t have that right in Australia. It’s not written or implied anywhere; strict gun controls are here to stay and supported by all major parties. I suggest if you want the ‘right’ to bear arms, then you emigrate to Texas, because Australia is not the country for you, and never will be.

        As for all this hyperbole about the greens being tyrants, Australia runs actual concentration camps where it is illegal to tell what is happening to the inmates, RIGHT NOW. The tyrants are already here; attempting to apply that label to the greens because they won’t let you burn down every tree on your property and drive Land Cruisers on the Coorong is delusional.

      • I don’t trust that Greens members see anything akin to a right to keep and bear arms in their definition of acceptable civil liberties.

        Nor do many people in this country because it’s not America.

        What’s “arms”, anyway ? Rifles ? Shotguns ? Handguns ? Grenades ? Mortars ? A tank ?

        The trouble with regurgitating NRA claptrap is it’s just as incoherent here as it is there, but here doesn’t have the same crowd of gun-crazy rednecks. There has never been any right – or “right” – to own guns in this country, and strict gun control is one of the few things that has nearly complete support across the entire population.

    • You’re an idiot.

      The Greens are BY FAR the least authoritarian of the major parties and the strongest supporters of civil rights, privacy and individual freedoms.

      Of the handful of things you mention that aren’t just made up (“meat-eating” ? FFS), all are subject to regulation precisely because engaging in them impacts OTHER PEOPLE.

      Do not mistake the ability to waltz into a school and pickup your kids with a pistol on your hip with “freedom”.

      • I’ll leave the name-calling to you. You’re obviously not going to change your view but for others’ benefit, from http://nsw.greens.org.au/policies/nsw/firearms

        Principles
        The Greens NSW believe:
        1. Public firearms policy should be concerned with the prevention of firearm violence and be directed towards the removal of objects that cause injury and death;
        3. The availability of firearms contributes to violence in our society;

        i.e. A key principal is “removal” i.e. ban something that they don’t like.

        Policy detail
        The Greens NSW will work towards:
        21. A prohibition on guns being stored:
        21.1 In rural homes without good reason; and
        21.2 In urban homes, except where a licence is granted for antique gun collectors (defined as manufactured prior to 1920) and the guns have been disabled;
        23. Guns in urban areas are to be stored at gun clubs under lock and key, with firing mechanisms kept at designated police stations;

        i.e. so onerous as to be impractical.

        24. Regular unannounced checks by police or another enforcement body to ensure that individuals and clubs are abiding with firearm storage regulations;

        “Regular unannounced checks by police” – THAT is about as authoritarian as it gets. Sounds like Hitler’s Germany or Stalin’s Russia. Civil liberties my arse!

      • i.e. A key principal is “removal” i.e. ban something that they don’t like.

        Actually it’s regulation of extremely dangerous devices.

        Because it’s not like we have no regulation of lethal tools anywhere else in our society. ::rolleyes::

        Personally, I think gun laws go to far. However, taking some absurd tea party line that gun regulation is hardcore authoritarianism comparable to, say, “banning meat-eating” is risible. The only things in the “The Greens NSW will work towards” section that seem particularly unreasonable are the bans on storing guns at home in urban locations.

        Like I said, don’t mistake “freedom” with be able to walk down the street packing heat.

      • I thought Auto’s opening precis was representative of a reasonable amount of the bush vote that is constantly drowned out by perhaps well intending but ill informed city types & along the lines of my thoughts too FWIW. I didn’t notice anywhere where he advocated packing heat? & I doubt any sensible person in this country would.

        The Greens recent senate inquiry into guns provided nothing of note, they won’t declare how much taxpayer money was wasted on their divisive hobby horse & they’re incapable of accepting the findings (just like any other senate waftam other parties hold). There’s been a concerted rural rag campaign to denigrate legitimate shooters since then regardless of nil findings in the inquiry. If they accepted there has been No Martin Bryants since that loser (that unedifying episode & the poor souls lost have changed the direction of Oz for the better to my mind) & started working With rural types on many fronts instead of subjugating them with unrealistic dictats they’d likely get more votes. Presently I see voter protest/backlash coming from the rural quarter due to some aspects of their misplaced zeal.

      • I thought Auto’s opening precis was representative of a reasonable amount of the bush vote that is constantly drowned out by perhaps well intending but ill informed city types & along the lines of my thoughts too FWIW. I didn’t notice anywhere where he advocated packing heat? & I doubt any sensible person in this country would.

        He is playing a slippery slope argument. It does not seem unreasonable to present a different one as a counterbalance, to get the point across.

        Relevant to your first point, the primary focus on most gun control laws are for people in urban areas, not rural ones.

        I am not going to try and defend every aspect of Greens policy, because quite frankly I don’t agree with it all. I am making the point that there are quite reasonable justifications for the regulation of things like owning guns, fishing, cutting down trees, etc, other than authoritarianism. Owning a gun is something that has significant potential to impact other people. Remember a fairly non-trivial proportion of gun deaths are things like kids accidentally shooting themselves or others with a gun they found in a closet or under a pillow.

        I’ve lived in Phoenix, Arizona. Believe me when I say I’ve experienced the more overt and less responsible sides of gun ownership.

      • I didn’t know there was a rule for the bush separate to the city for licensing? But I could see some grounds for that if it were to be proposed – unfortunately most of the city types I’ve seen with guns aren’t as safety wise with them as I’d like to see because they weren’t brought up around them, but that could be changed with a few more safety lessons also rather than licensing by postcode & denying their legitimate access to them.

        I agree there’s a case for likely different levels of regulation for different aspects of living for sustainability alone – regulation can soon become that slippery slope to authoritarianism if not scrutinised properly though. Unlike Phoenix (I’ve been there too) we already have strict gun laws that work quite well as is, but extreme types are trying to ratchet them into ownership oblivion & giving farmers a bitter wedgie along the way. Kids accidentally shooting themselves has happened here, but how far back in history are we going? Is it a regular occurrence since the onerous licensing regime & everything being locked up?

        Farmers & green groups could have a lot in common, but when guiding & regulation appear to be morphing into something much more pernicious, costing jobs livelihoods & making rural life unsustainable for sometimes what appears to be OTT regulation & red tape – people rightly start to ask questions.

      • I didn’t know there was a rule for the bush separate to the city for licensing?

        People in rural areas tend to have good reasons for having a range of different guns. People in urban areas, far less so.

        Kids accidentally shooting themselves has happened here, but how far back in history are we going? Is it a regular occurrence since the onerous licensing regime & everything being locked up?

        No, which is sort of the point.

        Have a look at how many people are killed in places like Arizona and Texas accidentally (or “accidentally”).

        The gun that a Rambo-wannabe keeps at home “for protection” is far more likely to kill him, his family, or his friends, than any intruder.

        The idea that an armed populace can somehow fight off the Government is even more laughable.

        Farmers & green groups could have a lot in common, but when guiding & regulation appear to be morphing into something much more pernicious, costing jobs livelihoods & making rural life unsustainable for sometimes what appears to be OTT regulation & red tape – people rightly start to ask questions.

        It’s quite clear from Automaton’s posts that those are not his motivations. He’s regurgitating NRA claptrap that equates “freedom” with “guns”.

        Farmers have guns so they can shoot animals. Sports shooters have guns so they can participate in competitive shooting. Collectors have guns because that’s what they collect. Those sorts of uses have absolutely nothing to do with a “right to bear arms”, any more than tradies have a bunch of spanners, cricketers owning bats, or philatelists collecting stamps need to be considered “rights”.

      • It’s not so clear to me about Automatons motives as it is to you Smithy, but I don’t always get nuance & we all see what we want to see…….. If you’re right I’ll state right now I’m not in favour of loosening the laws & certainly not in favour of the American guns/freedom claptrap. As far as I can see there is a divergence between us & them in that respect which I’m quite happy to keep, so I’m not sure why the constant conflation (scaremongering?) with American standards except to say we aren’t there & never will be thanks to the buyback & the national scarring that occurred at that time. I’m equally not in favour of tightening what is already an onerous responsibility to the point of making it all too hard, which is close as is. Some city folk actually do go to places where they have permission to have a shot, if they’ve got them just to stroke about something that’s never going to happen – well that’s another matter.

        A lot of country folk would like a pragmatic look at the plagues of ‘roo’s & deer that are a big issue in the sticks, but there seems to be plenty of well meaning types that expect the farmer to bear the costs of free ranging more than they can cope with just to keep them happy. I’ve heard all my life about roo’s eating them out & has now just got impossible, even driven some off the land! Now there’s plagues of deer adding to their problem where a lot of farmers have to fork out for dry feed just to keep their stock going through winter when they’ve never had to in the past. They want more tags for the locals & the deer declared as feral like other non indigenous pests instead of all the Elmer Fudd rules around them, & by what I see I can’t disagree with their plight.

      • It’s not so clear to me about Automatons motives as it is to you Smithy, but I don’t always get nuance & we all see what we want to see……..

        I’m only basing it on what he said:

        “[…] I cannot sanction Green’s approach to personal freedoms.”

        “I don’t trust that Greens members see anything akin to a right to keep and bear arms in their definition of acceptable civil liberties.”

        Owning a gun isn’t “right” and it isn’t a “personal freedom” in this country. Not now, not previously.

      • I missed the second one. You’re right it’s a responsibility & privilege, I’ve never seen it any other way. Just like a car license but much more onerous – & I have misgivings on car licenses been given out at times………….

        I wen’t through the stated objectives on their site & a lot are already in action so I don’t know what they’re aiming to achieve that’s not already covered fairly well – so why do they still froth on? The rules Auto picked out look like mission creep to me on what’s already standing, & personally I think are unrealistic & unworkable for owners involved. Collecting them all in the one place could also make it an attraction for potential thieves, just as has been the case for Police & security guard armouries being knocked off in recent history.

        Australian shooters are already the most scrutinised/monitored citizens in Australian history. If you want attention from the authorities get a firearms license! Considering there’s very little crime committed by legal owners, how much further do lawmakers want to take it & actually be realistic about allowing people to keep & use them at all?

      • I wen’t through the stated objectives on their site & a lot are already in action so I don’t know what they’re aiming to achieve that’s not already covered fairly well – so why do they still froth on?

        Because there are some people – I believe a minority in the context of the whole country – who support those more extreme measures.

        Just like there are people in the Liberals who want to do things like eliminate publicly funded healthcare and the minimum wage.

  20. I agree. Di Natale has brought some much needed pragmatism to the Greens. Most importantly, he’s not a politician. He was a doctor and worked as a doctor. This is a key difference. I would say a big part of the problems we have in many democracies is that career politicians are in charge. By definitions, politicians are not problem solvers. Had we required, as a prerequisite, that all people who want to enter politics must have worked in a real profession successfully for at least 5 years (ideally a profession that involves problem solving), then I am sure we would have been much better off. At least many of the current clowns in charge would have been filtered out and never made it into politics. Our esteemed treasurer would probably have taken a different career path, a real estate agent perhaps. I would say that would have been a much better outcome for all.


    • By definitions, politicians are not problem solvers.

      Except Christopher Pyne – he’s a fixer.

      A world where office bearers were almost all, for example, engineers, would be an interesting one. Have there been many engineering or similar parliamentarians.

      • Given all the progress humanity has made throughout history, I frankly don’t understand how we ended up with “career politicians” in charge of our policy making. Imagine a world where policy is made by engineers, doctors, nurses, scientists, farmers, teachers, entrepreneurs, etc.. people who actually do something for a living.. and imagine, on the other hand, a world where policy is made by real estate agents, lawyers, priests, sales people, etc.. Sadly, we live in a world resembling the latter..

      • 2b2f,

        A non-cynical view might be that it’s a side effect of the trend toward specialisation.

        Of course, one effect of giving control over to career politicians is, having no living to return to, they are easier to bribe, especially with soft bribes such as directorships or ambassador posts.

  21. Terror Australis

    For anyone who is not a Q&A watcher, I recommend at least seeing this segment from a few weeks ago.
    http://www.abc.net.au/tv/qanda/txt/s4273039.htm

    Richard Di Natalie absolutely OWNED the program.

    Best line of the night: they were discussing whether women should be appointed to cabinet by quota or by merit.
    Di Natalie –
    “Now, I’ve worked very closely with some of that frontbench and I can tell you that merit was the last thing that got most of them there … ”

    Killed everyone.

  22. He’s a pollie I can actually bear listening to.

    However, the Greens as a party I find to be overt social engineers, of types and to extents that I can’t tolerate.

    Love their environmental stance, in principle; I wish their was a decent alternative environmental party!

    • Terror Australis

      Define “overt social engineers”.
      If you mean passing laws which affect society there are 226 “overt social engineers” in Canberra.

      • If you mean passing laws which affect society there are 226 “overt social engineers” in Canberra.”

        Exactly! Plus who was it who said have one for mum, one for dad and one for the country (then threw a crap load of money at them)?!

    • However, the Greens as a party I find to be overt social engineers, of types and to extents that I can’t tolerate.

      As usual, we await the actual example of what you are referring to.

      If you want to worry about “social engineering”, worry about the authoritarians who want to read your emails and the fascists who want to bring back Feudalism.

  23. Thanks for this. Made my day like seeing Bolt have his ass handed to him.
    I don’t expect we’ll see Richard invited back again however 😉

  24. He’s been immensely impressive on TV, and it’s highly likely they’ll get my vote, however they would benefit hugely from a rebranding.

    • What about The Browns: the colour of baskets, beards, Birkenstocks, bull’s faeces, the uniform to be worn proudly, assertively, boldly, as adherents browbeat and bully non conformists into submission. We can refer to these adherents as Brownshirts.

      • Fascism. Not a fan. Not too keen on the likes of the Greens/Browns telling us how to live. A strong streak of authoritarianism exists within the ranks. Control is what they want.

        Don’t forget, a favourite of theirs is ‘denier’…

      • Fascism. Not a fan.

        Please. Grotesque hypocrisy from someone frequently and enthusiastically advocating the tenets of fascism.

        We see a post from you here rubbishing democracy and asserting Governments should prefer corporate influence over citizens’ every other day.

      • “Don’t forget, a favourite of theirs is ‘denier’…”

        Yeah, it’s not a pretty term, but what else do you call them? In most cases calling them sceptics would be an insult to genuine sceptics and the fine tradition of scepticism. It’s a dilemma..

      • FiftiesFibroShack

        @3d That’s funny, you’re the only person I’ve seen commenting on this blog who has pined for a dictatorship; laughably blind to your own authoritarian inclinations and desire to control.

      • Exactly RobW. If you call deniers skeptics, what do you call the genuine skeptics?

        Does anyone here believe 3d is genuinely skeptical about climate science, or does he have a rusted-on view that he prosecutes at every opportunity, driven by naked self interest?

        You’re not fooling anyone 3d, not even Mig.

  25. I used to be highly critical of The Greens under the leadership of Christine Milne, who I viewed as a tad “loopy” and incapable of forming genuine workable policies across a broad range of areas.

    Not anymore. Since senator Richard Di Natale took over the leadership in May, the Greens have become a beacon of light in an otherwise dysfunctional parliament.

    It is frustrating to read this sort of thing when the meat of Greens policy has not changed significantly in years.

    • I broadly agree with you drsmithy (yet again) although I do think the De Natale is doing a much better job at the helm. The Greens may have learnt a thing or two from being a minor party in government.

  26. @DrSmithy I too was disappointed with that statement from Leith. I have been voting Green for years and I’ve never seen them as ‘loopy’ not compared to the Labor/Liberal machinations.

    I think that Richard summed it up beautifully, “mind the Policy and the good politics will follow!” How true and how refreshing for voters like me seeking a truly progressive Australia.

    🙂