Liberal tactics support Greens strategy


It is inevitable is that thinking voters will desert the old left right dichotomy of the industrial era and start to vote on the basis of long term marshalling of resources in the interests of future generations and the country, generally.

From a Labor dominated Canberra, the view is somewhat different. There, an increasingly shrill and desparate Liberal opposition scores points by railing against a Labor Green Coalition. As the Labor Left attempts to reclaim the progressive tag, the Liberals can successfully use that as a wedge to paint the Greens as driving the government agenda.

The opposite will happen in the Liberal led states. WA, Vic and soon NSW will get on with destroying the long term future of those states, while shoring up their immediate cash flow and isolate Labor as the incompetent past. The Greens will continue to present themselves as the rational voice of an alternative future and Labor will have no where to go.

Whether the Liberal parties’ desperation reaches such a fever pitch that it escapes human hearing and disappears in a pouffe of smoke, or the Labor party becomes so earnest it cannot ever finish a sentence for the endless sops it makes to the mythical left, the culturally correct as well as the aspirational worker is irrelevant.

What happens now is that the old, industrial parties blend, somehow, while the Greens work out how to manage a coalition of deep Green environmentalists, socialist watermelons, swinging voters who care and the increasingly important blue green pragmatists. That coalition will gradually come to represent the minority.

As well as managing the increasingly complex agenda of a broad politically party, The Greens have to work out how to manage the grass roots. A century ago the ALP was working with the unions and the catholic church to build a network of workers clubs, adult education institutes, railway institutes and so on in preparation for attaining government.

So far, The Greens have snubbed their nose at the environmental activist groups that spawned them. It is now time to grow up and harness the energy of that Green Army rather than neurotically attempting to distance itself from it.

The genius of the ALP a century ago was to establish a national conference that allowed the active and the political wings of the party to work together separately. So far, the Greens have failed to even recognise this problem let alone solve it. Thoughtful men on the periphery, like Ian Lowe and Clive Hamilton have attempted, unsuccessfully so far, to grapple with it, but without much success.

With hundreds of councillors, decades of state parliamentarians and seven Federal parliamentarians, this Green coalition has enough clout now to actually nail this thing. The challenge is to maintain the vision through the long tedious process of winning the numbers. But that is the nature of politics.

Ghandi and Mandela have acquired religious status because it is belief that informs that wait. It is the presence of greater knowledge that allows a little man in a loin cloth to cause armies to cower and a shackled man in pyjamas to cause his captors to snap to attention as he shuffles up the stone steps from his dungeon.

The Liberals denial of preferences to the Greens in the Victorian elections this weekend just gone is more grist to that mythical mill. The Greens simply have to recognise it.

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