My natural sympathies lie with the Greens party but they have shown themselves to be impractical and unable to work in the political system.
In Australia we have preferential voting for the House of Representatives and proportional voting for the Senate.
I could vote for the Greens in the House and while the chance of them being elected is almost zilch, my second preference counted and the member who was elected knew that some of his/her support came from Green preferences.
In the Senate, while complicated, my vote could result in the election of Green senators who can hold the balance of power.
At the Local level, the Green councillors opposed the demolition of a row of dilapidated shops built in the 1920's and so helped delay the widening of the highway which was promised over 20 years ago. They lost my vote. Finally the shops are being demolished and the highway widened. Next year we can expect the Sunday afternoon traffic jams to be lessened considerably.
At the State level, the Green members opposed the removal of Moreton Bay Fig Trees in the Domain. While beautiful, they had a habit of suddenly dropping mighty branches. I have often sat under them to listen to the summer concerts. People have to be realistic, they needed replacing. The State Greens lost my vote.
At the Federal level the leader in the Senate is a partnered gay man and I was glad to give them my vote.
They have just voted against an Emissions Trading Scheme which would help in the fight against Global Warming. I acknowledge the scheme was inadequate but it was a start. It would have shown that Australia was willing to play a role in the fight against climate change. We have suffered the shame of not signing onto Kyoto for far too long (We signed in 2008).
The Government does not have a majority in the Senate. To pass legislation opposed by the Liberal/National Parties it needs the votes of the 5 Greens and the 2 independents.
A deal was struck with the Liberals which gave more concessions to the polluters. However yesterday the Liberals threw out their leader who acknowledges Climate Change and wanted to at least commence to reduce CO2 emissions. They have elected a right wing conservative (opposed to abortion, IVF, gay rights etc) Tony Abbott.
The vote was finally taken in the last hour. If all the Liberals and the Nationals (neanderthals) had voted against the bill, the Government needed the votes of the 5 Greens and the 2 independents (one is an evangelical, climate change denyer twit).
2 Liberals followed their conscience and crossed the floor to vote with the Government so only the 5 Greens were needed to pass the bill. The vote was lost.
As the bill was passed twice in the House but knocked back twice in the Senate, the Government can now call an early election. We do not know what Prime Minister Rudd (currently flying home from a meeting with President Obama) will do.
For the first time in about 30 years my first preferences at the Federal level will go to the Australian Labor Party. The Greens can go to hell along with the Liberals and Nationals.
If Tony Abbott were to be elected Prime Minister I would not just apply for dual citizenship in New Zealand but would happily renounce my Australian citizenship.
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