TOO LATE? Libs decisive move on Greens preferences welcomed by the heartland

The otherwise unremitting boredom offered to the Victorian electorate through Labor’s reassuring managerialism and an ineffective Opposition was shattered last Sunday. Mercifully shattered.

The Liberal Party’s decision to direct its preferences to Labor over the Greens has breathed into its own campaign. It has talkback radio running hot; it has had Green twitters gasping in amazement; and it has sent several Labor MPs potentially a lifeline back to Spring Street.

Most politicos expected the Liberals to preference the Greens ahead of Labor. Baillieu certainly was dragged screaming and kicking. He had Jeff Kennett telegraphing the Leader’s views on his behalf, which included an attack on now vindicated Senator Helen Kroger. Some are still complaining anonymously to journalists that she ought not have spoken out at all. History and the overwhelming positive response to the decision will vindicate her.

The reasons for the change has more to do with the perceived long term viability of the Liberal Party, not principle.

That is not to say principles have not been upheld – namely the protection of the Party’s meaningful brand. The principle was not, however, upheld as a matter of course by those who decided preference – the Leader himself, the State Director, Tony Nutt and the State President, Dr David Kemp.

Like the anti-ETS campaign a year ago, it was rank and file members of the Party sending emails and phoning Party headquarters, 104, that shifted decision makers away the received wisdom about ‘Labor is the only real enemy’.

Their target: Dr Kemp. Their threat: mass resignation.

That is not to say the Administrative Committee had not counseled the troika against backing the Greens – overwhelmingly it did.

The decision to damage the Greens – largely seen as ‘ecological Marxists’ to use Andrews’ catchphrase and not as benign conservationists by Liberal branch members – was another example of grassroots revolt against the anti-industrialism at the heart of Australia’s Greens.

Judging by the standing ovation Tony Abbott received at the Liberals’ launch on Sunday, opposing job destroying environmental policies is a core Party belief.

There are also those many former student politicians in the Liberal Party who recognise key Greens leaders in Victoria as former members of communist outfits like the defunct Left Alliance. Adam Bandt, MHR for Melbourne, is its most prominent example of this disturbing phenomenon. The violence and intimidation that characterised eurocommunist activists had been career defining for a generation of educated Liberals.

There were other concerns: Rural Liberal candidates incapable of explaining to constituents about the Party’s support for urban environmentalists were losing credibility and opened the possibility of losing seats to the Nationals and independents. Unconditional succour meant more Greens resources would have been deployed in marginal metro seats over time; even, seats like Hawthorn, Kew and Brighton were at risk over the medium term.

As Bandt’s recent profile in The Weekend Australian magazine illustrated, he and his eurocommunist parasites are insincere environmentalists. Their aim is to frustrate the productivity of Australian capitalism and undermine social norms as a way of paving a way forward towards democratic centralism.

To Victoria’s far left, the Greens are just another bourgeois party playing feeble-minded populism, characterisd by naturalism and sentimentalism. For them, the Greens are useful idiots.

On the Labor side, it has already deployed resources out of the inner city areas into the marginals – as many Baillieu supporters predicted.

Yet, Labor, too, has a longer battle on its hands. It must bring back those unions funding the Greens back into its fold. That process is already underway. It has to find ways to allow the Left to be meaningful active. The next national conference appears to be paving that way with its official position on marriage equality about to be debated. The Labor Left need to grow its collective spine and stop being morally blackmailed by the Greens. Taking them on in municipal elections should be a priority.

For too long, the major political parties have allowed the Greens to frame Victoria’s contest between a moribund compromised establishment and a new force for enlightened awareness, not matter how impractical or even destructive their politics and no matter how much work Green professionals did for brown coal miners.

The main culprit for these atmospherics has been Ted Baillieu himself. His long-term small target strategy had failed to polarise the electorate between the Government and the Opposition. Ted even tried to out-green Brumby with his ill-advised opposition to the dredging of Port Phillip Bay. In allowing the Greens’ narrative to run amok, he made voting Liberal purposeless.

Because of a grassroots revolt within the Liberal Party, he is now the beneficiary of a revitalised Opposition.

This renaissance in meaningful politics among the State Libs in Victoria has arrived too late. Brumby and the Labor Party’s marginal seat campaigns seem too advanced and too targeted to wind back.



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23 responses to “TOO LATE? Libs decisive move on Greens preferences welcomed by the heartland

  1. Steve Sensible

    Well, that was a well plotted piece of non-clap-trap that never once made me want to wretch.

  2. Carmen Electra

    Awesome. Except for one problem. The Greens + ALP = Over 50%. Always. Blame Kevin Andrews for permanent opposition.


    Praise Kevin Andrews for trying to keep the country on the straight and the narrow
    Thank Kevin for no gay marriage nor wattles and wombats and we dont like the flagrant disrespect for the human unborn either that emanates from the Greens
    so good on you Kevin!

  4. you greens are loathsome poor losers

    Hmmm, surely Carmen, it was always going to be ALP plus Greens regardless of the Libs decision. The Libs get nothing in return for supporting the Greens. That’s what makes preferencing the Greens ahead of the Libs such lunacy.

    Now the Greens have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars on worthless lower seat campaigns – that is the sweetest part of this development.

  5. andy bult

    Ted Played mind games with both the Greens and the ALP on this one as he was never going to give the greens a shoe in even if Pike & Wynn are useless.

  6. Wenchy

    Hey Greenies. If you give me your preferences I will make it worth your while. Just don’t tell Boofa…

  7. Resign Ted

    Why couldn’t Ted do a deal with Country Alliance … ? Because he opposes fishing?

  8. Bye Greens

    At last someone has kicked the Greens where it hurts, at the ballot box.
    The Labor party has not been given the credit for its environment policy. Remember the High Country! Go see what the area looks like now the cattle have gone (guess what? no cattle have died by them moving out and cattle numbers have not decreased either). What about the record number of marine parks!

    Environmentalists should be joining the Labor Party in droves. They then can use their numbers to implement more good environmental policies. You can make changes when you are in government!! Outside looking in all you can do is talk. The trouble being true environmentalists in the Greens are being ignored due to meglamaniacs who see themselves as little despots looking for a kingdom.

  9. Watermelons

    The arrival of Lee Rhiannon in the senate come July should do a good deal in attracting the media spotlight to the extreme socialist agenda that lies just beneath the environmental surface of The Greens. The media is obssessed with the “rise of the greens” at the moment but I have a feeling that as the number of Greens members in parliaments increases a rift between the true environmentalists and the extreme socialists will blossom and set them on a path of democrats style destruction.

  10. The Greens

    So hanging out to see the sad faces on the Labor defeated. I don’t give a dam if we miss out getting up a Green MLA up, but watching a Labor MP lose will bring me so much satisfaction.

  11. Anonymous

    I’m amazed to say, the Liberals are back in this election.

  12. Alex Eardley

    Did someone mention Kevin Andrews? Please spare us the religious right. We don’t want fundamentalism in this country. Better the secular values of separation of church and state. Better to trust the Greens than the holy rollers of theocratic paranoia.

  13. tedious

    Alex, I am unaware that Andrews advocates against the seperation of church and state. You seem to have confused a secular society or a secularist society. The difference is huge

  14. Kevin Andrews - Worst Liberal MP in history?

    tedious, you are being rather tedious. kevin andrews was responsible for workchoices and haneef and no policy development for the first 2 years and then the ETS debacle. this caused two things. 1. An ALp goverment. 2. The rise of the greens. Does this make him the worst liberal MP in history? chances are high, but interested in your views,

  15. Tedious, your pedantry is admirable.

  16. True Believer

    @ Kevin Andrews – Worst Liberal MP in history?

    Actually champ, you seem to have a very short memory. Most people in the party actual credit Kevin for leading the charge against bringing down Malcolm Turnbull, forcing the party to accept a change in the leadership, and thus forcing a change in the position on ETS.

    Journalist has even recognised the whole internal change as a political masterstroke for the conservative party.

    Furthermore, no one seems to be recognising or crediting his great working of how he actually got a swing towards him during a time of a state wide swing against the Liberal Party. So there’s just a few things to think about

  17. Wendy

    Kevin Andrews is a superman. He single handedly showed us that climate change is a communist-green scam to get funding for same sex couples to grow the soya bean on land once reserved for logging.

    He has exposed the greens forbeing alien anti capitalist dog loving soviet sleepres.

    He got a swing towards him in an election where the Victorian voters rated the Libs as dud burgers.

    He is a Christian in the finest national-socialist tradion, and I for one find him rather good looking and fetching.

  18. get your history right

    Andrews was responsible for Workchoices but Howard ignored his advice on not abolishing no-disadvantage tests, the building industry watchdog, Welfare to Work and Indigenous employment program reforms and a number of reforms to the Migration Act. Much of Workchoices such as a rationalized minimum wage system and centralized system remains in place, despite High Court judgements by the courts. Andrews was vindicated on the Haneef matter as a Labor appointed judge found. Andrews can’t be blamed for a lack of policy development when the shadows were in the foetal position rocking because they just lost government and while they went through two leaders before settling on Abbott. I would say that’s a good record.

  19. Zionist Victory

    The Liberals are always easy to persuade to follow the neocon jew line. That is why we must keep the Greens out.

  20. Anon

    I think it’s pretty clear Kevin Andrews staffers watch and contribute to this page. Give the spin a rest.

  21. Ted has been able to reunite the troops. The Greens had noting to offer the Liberal Party, They could not deliver any preferences. Also the conservative Christian and DLP camps were strongly opposed to the Greens preference deal. The Liberal Party quickly way up that they were better off keeping their support base on side and attracting the support of other minor parties who could deliver preferences. I expect the Liberal Party vote has increased 1-2% as a result.

    Southern metro is an interesting seat. Thanks to the preference deals the Liberal Party is set to secure three upper house seats. If the Greens fall below 14% then the Liberal Party surplus will elect the ALP number 2 candidate, Jennifer Huppert. Huppert has a strong support base in her community, but she can not be elected on the basis of the current preference deals, except if the Greens fall below the 14% threshold.

    In 2006 the Greens polled around 15.4%, the Greens could lose support as a result of increased scrutiny of their policies. If they are pegged back to 14% or less this would be good for Victoria. In the lead up to the 2006 State election the Greens exaggerated the effects of dredging in Port Phillip Bay, claiming that Armageddon was on its way as a result of the word undertaken. This has proved to be false as marine life in the Bay is still existing alive and well.

    Many people will be having second thoughts about the possibility of a Greens dominated parliament or the real possibility of the Liberal Party winning control of both houses of Parliament. In order to ensure checks and balance may voters in melbourne will be thinking more carefully over the next 10 day and will realise that a vote for the Labor in the upper-house would provide security and a form of insurance

  22. I’d like to visit your blog more often but lately it seems to be taking forever to come up. I visit from work, and our connection there is pretty good. Do you think the problem could be on your end?

  23. Keep posting stuff like this i really like it

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