Pioneer rednecks vote Green too


Their neighbours, fellow descendants of those same pioneers, return to the farming methods that grandpa used, sell their produce at local markets like grandpa did and rehabilitate the creek-beds and marginal land best protected by native vegetation. They adopt integrated pest management to harness nature instead of fighting it.

A lot of Greens supporters are true conservatives who believe that the best way forward is not globalisation, free trade and foreign ownership but solid communities supporting each other exactly as our pioneer great grandparents did.

Farming communities and the Nationals Party are split between those who still believe that the latest fertilizers, pesticides and genetically modified seed will help us beat the elements and subdue nature and those who recognise that fighting nature is a losing battle that could cost us everything.

Left completely out of this robust and meaningful debate are the economic rationalists who wish we could pump more money into the economy and sustain the miracle of post war economic growth that has made us the luckiest of generations.

That twentieth century fantasy is behind us now. It’s time to get real about how we go forward. Last century’s political divides are increasingly irrelevant.

Fifty percent of the Byron Shire voted One for Jan Barham. Katie Milne got the highest primary vote ever for a candidate in the Tweed Shire. The only Greens candidate in Ballina got the highest vote in his ward. This means something. It means that voters have recognised what the Greens have been saying for fifteen years. It is time to reorganise our relationship with the world. It is time to change the way we think about politics.

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