Australian Greens

From RationalWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
The Australian Greens, posing as a traffic sign/warning label since 1992.
It doesn't stop
at the water's edge

Politics
Icon politics.svg
Theory
Practice
Philosophies
Terms
As usual
Country sections
Flag of the United States.svg
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg

The Greens are a left-wing Australian political party founded in 1992. Currently led by Senator Richard Di Natale, the party was led from its inception until 2012 by founder Senator Bob Brown, whose homosexuality (which Brown pretty much never makes note of) is renowned for its ability to draw rage from the bile-ducts of Tony Abbott and the Liberal Party of Australia.[citation needed]

After gradually accruing 10 Senate seats over the course of a little over a decade, the Greens acquired one lower-house seat in the House of Representatives in the 2010 Federal election, with Adam Bandt elected to the Division of Melbourne.[1] The party also won two inner-city seats in the Victorian Legislative Assembly in 2014. With 10.23% of Australian votes in the 2016 Federal election, the Greens are the third-largest Australian political party, after Labor and Liberal.

Political stance[edit]

The Greens are practically the only party in Australia to support same-sex marriage [2] (the Labor party officially supports it but allows a conscience vote, making their "support" pretty much meaningless) and to possess a significant plan to deal with global warming[3][4][5][6], which Abbott et al. dismiss as "bullshit".

The Greens policies are said to align with the values of European-style social democracy; planting them firmly within Labor's old territory before the latter's shift to the Right in the 1980s and 90s. They support expanding publicly-funded universal health care[7][8] and better funding public education[9][10], free higher education[11], wealth redistribution[12], expanding the social security safety net (including a Universal Basic Income)[13], electoral reform[14], an Australian Bill of Rights[15][16], taxation reform including adequately taxing the profits of multinational corporations that operate in Australia, and ending tax-payer subsidies to big mining companies [17].

Internal divisions[edit]

Internal tendencies within the membership of the Greens tend to revolve around the following: - Those who argue that the party should negotiate with the government of the day over policy and act as a clean, credible and responsible party of government (the pragmatists/centrists), and; - Those who argue that the party should remain a protest option, put forward bold policy initiatives and only support legislation if it's near 100% of what is stipulated in the party platform; or to oppose policy no matter what (for example, if put forward by the Liberals or another right-wing party) on ideological grounds (the purists/radicals).

In recent years, the division between these two tendencies has become ever starker, and these divisions have only been exasperated by the rise of the likes of Donald Trump, and the emergence of other anti-establishment figures on the Left such as Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn who are actively challenging the political consensus and gaining considerable support, while the Greens in being a sensible, pragmatic, establishment voice without challenging the political consensus are stagnating and allowing far right populism to flourish where it may otherwise wouldn't.

Criticisms[edit]

The Greens are accused of being the second coming of Stalin by various wingnuts within the Liberal Party and by parties, individuals and groups further to their Right[18][19][20]. They are also accused of being Christian haters[21][22], destroyers of morality, antisemites[23][24], 'appeasers of islam', of wanting to drag Australia back into the Stone Age for their opposition to fossil fuels[25] and last but not least, have also been accused of being the second coming of Hitler (yes, really[26]). They are also panned for being "economically illiterate"[27][28].

They also draw a fair-share of critics from the political Centre for being too uncompromising, unwilling to negotiate, and not budging on their principles[29]. The irony here is that these same critics have been lashing the Greens for negotiating policy through the parliament in recent times.[30][31][32]

A few moonbats, both within and outside of the party, also criticise the party on its pro-vaccination stance (they have been known to staunchly call out anti-vaxers in their ranks[33]). Other moonbats even criticise the Greens for being too right wing[34][35][36][37], even though the party continues to vote most often against the neoconservative and right wing agenda of the Coalition.

Legitimate criticism[edit]

The Greens are less moonbatty and more sensible and pragmatic than some of their international counterparts (helped largely due to the influence of Richard Di Natale's leadership and an increasingly diversifying membership) and declare themselves proponents of evidence and science-based policy (which is true for much of the party's platform); thus, you won't find them supporting homeopathy or pandering to the anti-vaccination crowd or the anti-fluoridation proponents. Unfortunately, however, they still oppose genetically modified food on the basis of its apparent ill effects on human health and the environment despite scientific evidence to the contrary,[38] although there has been some pushback on this by some within the party.[39]

They are also opposed to nuclear power,[40] although a lot of this opposition largely centres around the costs and necessity of establishing a nuclear power industry in a sun-stricken country with a relatively small population (and thus less energy demand) compared to countries such as the United States and Canada with larger populations and less-favourable climates for solar energy, rather than blanket opposition to it at all costs[41]. However, many within the party do remain opposed to nuclear power regardless of its benefits. The Western Australian branch of the Greens, in particular, was born partially out of the anti-nuclear movement.

Scott Ludlam[edit]

Senator Scott Ludlam delivered a speech in early March 2014 to an "almost empty senate chamber", calling out Abbott for his callous attacks on society's most vulnerable and general wingnuttery.[42] This speech naturally went viral and was seen as at least partially responsible for his reelection to the senate in the Western Australian Senate Reelection in early April that year.

He and other Greens are seen by many on the Australian Left as the only parliamentary opposition to the Abbott government - mainly because of Bill Shorten and the Australian Labor Party's lack of spine when it actually comes to being an opposition. For example, Ludlam has spoken at length against mandatory data retention, while he and other Greens have also spoken against the Trans-Pacific Partnership, whereas Labor would rather rubber stamp both of these things through the Parliament and into law, while pretending nothing happened.

In July 2017, Senator Ludlam resigned from his position after realising that he wasn't actually eligible in the first place, due to him being a dual citizen of Australia and New Zealand.

Other notable members[edit]

  • Richard Di Natale, Senator for Victoria, Federal Leader of the Australian Greens. Also is good at taking down anti-vaxers and other conspiracy cranks that the Greens seem to unfortunately attract into their ranks.
  • Adam Bandt, MP for Melbourne.
  • Bob Brown, party founder, former leader, former senator for Tasmania
  • Christine Milne, Senator for Tasmania, former leader
  • Sarah Hanson-Young, Senator for South Australia
  • Larissa Waters, Senator for Queensland, co-deputy leader (serving with Scott Ludlam).
  • Lee Rhiannon, Senator for New South Wales. Often a whipping target for wingnuts because her parents were members of the Communist Party of Australia.
  • Penny Wright, Senator for South Australia
  • Rachel Siewert, Senator for Western Australia
  • Peter Whish-Wilson, Senator for Tasmania
  • Janet Rice, Senator for Victoria

References[edit]

  1. This was their first seat to be won in a Federal election; they had previously held the Division of Cunningham from 2002 to 2004 as a result of a by-election.
  2. http://greens.org.au/marriage-equality
  3. http://greens.org.au/policies/climate-change-energy
  4. http://greens.org.au/global-warming
  5. http://greens.org.au/national/climate
  6. http://greens.org.au/renew
  7. http://greens.org.au/policies/health
  8. http://greens.org.au/health
  9. http://greens.org.au/policies/education
  10. http://greens.org.au/lifetime-of-learning
  11. http://greens.org.au/node/11868
  12. http://greens.org.au/economy
  13. http://greens.org.au/policies/social-services
  14. http://greens.org.au/senate-voting
  15. http://greens.org.au/policies/constitutional-reform-and-democracy
  16. http://greens.org.au/policies/human-rights
  17. http://greens.org.au/tax-reform
  18. http://www.heraldsun.com.au/blogs/andrew-bolt/greens-either-communists-or-fools-but-i-repeat-myself/news-story/a882350719891f7a6a6779dd10c8ece9
  19. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-04-27/the-character-assassination-of-lee-rhiannon/167382
  20. http://www.smh.com.au/national/power-at-last-but-have-the-greens-got-the-goods-to-deliver-20110611-1fyb1.html
  21. https://billmuehlenberg.com/2015/11/13/the-greens-war-on-christianity/
  22. http://www.abc.net.au/religion/articles/2013/08/27/3834302.htm
  23. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/greens-israel-ban-bid-is-anti-semitic/news-story/292eb398f585a16de83fed78df797c08
  24. http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/greens-candidate-boycotts-forum-hosted-by-zionism-victoria/news-story/7c9a2b643094ec7b51b9e84d16f280f9
  25. http://www.heraldsun.com.au/blogs/andrew-bolt/no-to-cheap-power-say-greens/news-story/d0172dd9d6296b7edf95c853557f9464
  26. http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/10/29/1067233222840.html
  27. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/editorials/greens-economic-vision-needs-sharp-reality-check/news-story/6e94e9ef5cb59b3b9f493086e390015c
  28. https://www.ipa.org.au/library/greenpolicies.pdf
  29. http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/labor-needs-detente-with-the-greens-20100515-v5bf.html
  30. http://wixxyleaks.com/true-colors-the-greens-a-real-mix-of-yellow-and-blue/
  31. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-04-27/matthewson-the-greens-have-become-the-very-thing-they-hate/6423420
  32. https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/dec/03/greens-accused-of-selling-out-over-deal-with-coalition-on-tax-transparency
  33. http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/the-greens-denounce-a-regional-branch-of-the-party-following-a-facebook-post-saying-vaccines-kill-children/news-story/fa6c9d6514bdab199fdcc699ddd4c5ac
  34. http://www.spiked-online.com/spikedplus/article/14540#.WE1OaNZ-3IU
  35. https://overland.org.au/2016/08/a-good-hard-right-hook-at-the-greens/
  36. http://marxistleftreview.org/index.php/spring-2010/46-a-marxist-critique-of-the-australian-greens
  37. https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/01/17/gree-j17.html
  38. http://greens.org.au/policies/genetically-modified-organisms
  39. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-01-07/di-natale-breaks-greens-policy-on-genetically-modified-crops/7073086
  40. http://greens.org.au/policies/nuclear-uranium
  41. http://greens.org.au/nuclear-power
  42. http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/greens-senator-scott-ludlams-blunt-speech-to-an-almost-empty-room-goes-viral-20140306-348zx.html