If there is one thing that will derail a Party’s campaign in the lead-up to an election it is leaks.
This campaign the Coalition have had disgruntled former powerbrokers and players adding unwelcome commentary from the sidelines that distracts from Turnbull’s message and undermines his authority. There is also the far-right element of his Party constantly reminding us that they don’t like him but will continue to use him as a glove puppet if it keeps them in government. However the damaging headlines like those when Turnbull’s Panama connections to a Multi Billion dollar company tax avoidance scheme were exposed did not come from within the Party this time.
From the Labor Party camp there has been no leaks at all. Labor are looking like a Party unified and with the early release of progressive policies are looking more and more like a Party ready to form government seamlessly. In stark contrast to their Coalition counterparts who even after three years of turmoil still don’t appear ready to govern.
It is the Greens however that are suffering at the hands of internal leaks. These leaks clearly indicate a Party in crisis with itself as it tries to shift to the centre to become more mainstream without losing the support of it’s hard left following who clearly desire the Party to remain a “party of protest”.
Greens leader Richard Di Natale, addressing the National Press Club in April, told the nations press how his Party were above all the obsession with polling that the other party’s carried on with.
Di Natale was insistent that the Greens;
“haven’t done internal polling. We don’t waste our money on that. News Limited can do that for us. We rely on a good field campaign”.
Within 24 hours leaks emerged detailing the Greens use of polling in various electorates. I guess Di Natale really thinks the Green’s field campaign is a failure based on that statement.
It is not the fact that the Greens use polling like other parties, it is the fact that in a desperate bid to appear “holier than thou” and alternative their leader would lie about it.
Nobody would think any the less of them for polling, just like nobody thinks less of team managers who monitor their teams score on the scoreboard at a football match.
However Di Natale thought this was worthy enough to lie to the nation about, making one wonder what other lies Di Natale and his Party are peddling.
We didn’t have to wait long to find out.
On Q&A last Monday the Greens lone member of the House Of Representatives Adam Bandt told the nation how they would be happy to form a partnership in government with the Labor Party. A couple of days later a video is leaked of a Greens Party meeting where Adam Bandt sits alongside Sydney candidate Jim Casey applauding and congratulating Casey as he told the members how he’d prefer to see Tony Abbott as Prime Minister rather than Bill Shorten, as it would lead to a stronger protest movement. Also smiling and clapping next to Bandt was Lee Rhiannon.
Someone within the Greens thought this needed to be leaked, and it’s not hard to see why.
Casey is the boss of the NSW Branch of the Fire Brigade Employees Union, a man who two years ago watched the Coalition government shut down fire stations all over NSW destroying the lives of many of his membership. Apparently he believes that is preferable to the leadership of a Party that has always sought to look after the workers, the Party of the fair go.
It is not the twisted ideology of union boss Casey that is the issue here, it is the fact that Adam Bandt applauds it and endorses it.
Bandt in his support of this view is basically telling the electorate he would rather see Abbott’s sick tax and the dismantling of Medicare than increased funding for hospitals and the protection and expansion of Medicare services.
A preference for $100,000 uni degrees to GONSKI funding for public schools.
He’d rather see welfare payments cut off forcing people into crime or poverty than see the funding of training services for the disabled and long-term unemployed.
Perhaps even more alarming would be his and Casey’s preference to see the changes to section 18C of the Discrimination Act altered to allow the racial vilification of minorities, rather than the protection of our citizens of all races from discrimination.
I don’t even need to go into their apparent support of Abbott’s views on marriage equality…
All these things they would gladly endure in the hope of picking up a few extra protest votes.
There are a lot of Greens members disgruntled at the party’s partnership with the Coalition in giving them a double-dissolution trigger rather than debate marriage equality and political donations reform.
Sarah Hanson Young is tipped as likely to be a casualty of the changes to Senate voting, thus conveniently ridding Di Natale of a high-profile rival. Di Natale’s apparent dislike of strong women and his disposal of them, such as Christine Milne, and the likely Hanson Young has made some wonder if he shares Abbott’s views on women.
Some have suggested that these leaks could be coming from the Hanson Young camp as a result of this betrayal by Di Natale and seemingly her former close associate Bandt. Perhaps we’ll never know their origin.
The Greens and their supporters keep telling us we should all concentrate on fighting the Liberals, something Labor has always done. However when it comes to themselves they choose to target seats already held by Labor, seats like Grayndler, Melbourne Ports, Sydney, and Batman, Adam Bandt’s seat was also formerly a Labor seat.
This election when party preferences become clear we will likely see the Greens exhaust their preferences, meaning they will preference nobody. This in fact is preferencing the Liberal Party via a different method.
Do not be fooled by the lie that this allows Greens voters to make up their own minds, Green voters have always had that right like everyone else no matter what the How To Vote Sheets say. This is a move to weaken Labor by taking away the preferences most left-wing voters would give to Labor. This in turn favors the Liberal Candidate.
If the Greens exhaust their preferences we will know they have done a preference deal with the Coalition, something the Coalition have not ruled out.
If I was deciding preferences for the Labor Party, I’d do what the Greens do, exhaust them or direct them towards another left leaning party nationally, a party that will negotiate with other parties for better outcomes rather than use important issues as a wedge tool for political gain.
I do not understand how Labor will be able to preference a Party that has key members that would prefer an Abbott government.
Under Bob Brown the Greens of old may have been a party of protest, but at least they were also a party of principles.
Sadly, that party is just a memory.