20 October 2004

a spectacularly silly attack on the Greens

The media are pretty much reporting an election that has not happened yet. We don't yet know the final composition of the Senate. We're looking at Labor losing a maximum of 5 seats in the House. That's a bad loss but it is not a landslide. Losing the Senate is the result of incomprehensibly bad ticket choices by Labor in Victoria and Tasmania.

Greens are no friend of Labor
The net effect of the Greens' rise has been to weaken Labor and entrench the Coalition. On October 9, most One Nation voters returned to the Coalition, as did a substantial proportion of Democrats voters.

Despite preference deals, the fact is that, all along, the Greens have really been running against the Labor Party, not with it. Success for the Greens comes through taking seats and votes away from Labor, not the Liberals. If Labor cannot learn the lesson from its own experience, in which it gave the Greens everything they wanted in terms of forests only to see its electoral fortunes reversed, perhaps it should look across the Pacific.

George Bush owes his 2000 election victory above all to one man: Ralph Nader, the unreconstructed leftie crusader who dragged precious votes away from Al Gore. And who did Nader represent in the presidential ballot? The Greens.

This is a spectacularly silly piece of reporting. Labor did not lose the election solely because of the collapse in its primary vote and there is, in any case, no way of knowing yet whether the lost voters went to the Greens, Family First or the Coalition.

Invoking the ghost of Nader is the silliest in a string of non-sequiturs. Spoiler candidates like Nader cannot happen under preferential voting. If the US used preferential voting Nader's minuscule primary vote (vastly less than the Australian Greens') would have broken massively in favour of Gore when his second preferences were distributed and given Gore the White House.

It's bad enough comparing apples to oranges but comparing them to watermelons is worse.

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