Archive for the ‘The Greens’ Category

The NSW Greens have just completed their preselection for the upper house in the next State election.

The preselection was conducted by a ballot of all members and counted this weekend.

Prominent environmentalist and executive director of the Nature Conservation Council Cate Faehrmann was elected to fill the vacancy in the Legislative Council created by Lee Rhiannon who is running for the Senate.

The 2011 ticket will be headed up by industrial relations lawyer and Woollahra councillor David Shoebridge. Second is Byron Mayor Jan Barham. Orange councillor Jeremy Buckingham is in third spot.

NTEU organiser and Rockdale councillor Lesa de Leau and City of Sydney councillor Chris Harris are in the fourth and fifth positions.


Read Full Post »

NSW Redistribution

On Friday the Australian Electoral Commission released the draft boundaries for NSW for the next Federal election.

Due to population shifts NSW lost one seat and Queensland picked one up. The AEC have proposed abolishing the seat of Reid in Sydney’s west.

Election analyst Antony Green has estimated the margins for the new seats and suggests a Labor gain of 2 seats and a Coalition loss of 3. I don’t consider myself a psephologist so for more detailed analysis of the redistribution see The Tally Room here and here and Antony Green.

One of the changes being discussed a fair amount is the return of Rosebery to the seat of Sydney and the consequence of this on The Green’s vote. Sydney is regarded as The Green’s best chance in NSW to win a Federal lower house seat.

Rosebery has traditionally been dominated by working-class and migrant communities, both strong Labor blocs. In recent years the northern part has been undergoing gentrification along with suburbs like Alexandria and Waterloo. A new demographic is moving in, typically younger, higher income professionals. This group tends to be stronger for The Greens. However the southern end of Rosebery hasn’t changed very much and the gentrification that is taking place is generally slow.

The return of Rosebery to Sydney was something The Greens were hoping to avoid, preferring the seat gain western parts of Wentworth that are weaker for Labor. I personally am sceptical of Sydney being winnable for The Greens in the next few electoral cycles so the current demographic makeup of Rosebery is not that important.

Read Full Post »

I know the State election is almost two years away but these days it looks like the Australian political blogosphere likes nothing more than watching Labor supporters go at it with Green supporters.

Following on from recent Green successes in the ACT and the Fremantle by-election I have been involved in many heated debates on Pollbludger, Pollytics and The Tally Room. The general nature of the debates varies but the same questions keep popping up. Is the rise in The Green’s vote over the past election cycle something the major parties should be worried about or is it just a protest vote? Has support for The Greens reached its ceiling? If The Greens are a serious third force in Australian politics than why can’t they win lower house seats in a general election?

The last point is the one I want to focus on in this post. In terms of shifting perception away from The Greens being considered a Senate party or just a protest party in the same vein as the Democrats, as well as actually gaining more power and influence, it is important that The Greens start winning lower house heats.


Read Full Post »

Alex Mitchell in today’s Crikey was also reporting on the shenanigans in Parliament that I wrote about here. The interesting part of the article is towards the end, where Mitchell suggests a changing political dynamic in NSW.

Having spent the past 15 years relying on the votes of far right elements like Fred Nile’s Christian Democrats and the Shooters, Labor is undertaking a political realignment with the Greens who hold a power-broking four seats.

This change is both pragmatic and smart. It is the only way the Government can unfold its legislative program with any degree of certainty and it will create better conditions to reach a preference agreement with the Greens — currently polling a very healthy 14 per cent — for the next state election on March 26, 2011.

The nasty personal abuse of the Greens which became a feature of the upper house when Michael Costa was Treasurer has ended and so has Labor Ministers’ disgraceful tolerance of Fred Nile and his religious, ethnic and gender phobias.

Rees, Tebbutt and the premier’s chief of staff Graham Wedderburn are steering Labor in another political and electoral direction.

I disagree with a number of these points, mainly because I think the evidence contradicts Mitchell’s argument.


Read Full Post »

An article today in the Sydney Morning Herald  on The Greens had it all. Leadership intrigue, pre-selection tussles, commentary by unnamed sources and factional brawling.

You get the feeling that The Greens are saying “Hey, we can be like NSW Labor too!”


Read Full Post »

Last week The Greens’ Lee Rhiannon tried to move a bill that would prevent the building of new mines on prime agricultural land and sensitive aquifers. The National Farmer’s Federation supported the bill and a few bus loads of farmers came down on Thursday to protest in its support.

The Coalition decided to support the bill, as did the Rev. Dr. Moyes meaning only one more vote was required for it to pass. The Shooters seem to do whatever Labor says these days so it was down to Fred Nile from the Christian Democrats. He voted against it.

Fair enough, you might say. He’s an elected member of parliament and has every right to vote however he wants. But what was the reason he gave for voting it down? Why did he disagree with it? According to Mr. Nile, it wasn’t “because of the content”. Why then, Fred? Because if it passed it would:

give a great ability for the Green party to blow their trumpets

Faced with the choice of trying to implement good policy to protect the environment and the livelihood of farmers across the state and engaging in rank political opportunism, Nile chose the latter and apparently has no qualms about doing so.

Read Full Post »