While many conservatives hate any political party to the left of Genghis Kahn I actually have a fair bit of time for the ALP and those who support it, I do appreciate that most many of its ideals have some merit even though it has lost my vote over a number of stupid things adopted into its platform. The main reason I abandoned it was more to do with managerial incompetence in office both at the state and federal level. There has been a sad decline in Labor’s fortunes under Gillard which shows no sign of abating as the party moves zombie like towards the next election there is one bright spot on the eastern horizon and that is the even more severe decline in the fortunes of the Australian Greens. If there is one thing that must gladden the hearts of most Aussies it’s seeing the cold hammer of reality hitting that loopy bunch of ideologues as their fortunes continue to decline.
Thus I found Lenore Taylor’s piece about the changes to the Greens policy platform such a hoot mainly because what she reports is not a substantive change of heart from the Greens as much as it is a cynical marketing exercise where they have sought to conceal their true agenda behind euphemism and understatement.
THE Greens have announced a party platform portraying many of their core beliefs as ”aims and principles” rather than explicit policies, presenting a smaller target to critics in a federal election year.
After a year in which senior Labor figures have labelled the Greens as ”loopy” and extremists who threaten democracy, the new platform does not resile from the party’s basic beliefs, but it contains fewer firm policy measures, in keeping with the manifestos of the major parties.
It removes one of critics’ favourite lines of attack, no longer specifying that the Greens support death duties.
The platform gives the Greens’ federal MPs – currently nine senators and one member of the House of Representatives – flexibility in negotiating legislation when holding the balance of power. But it will also make it harder for opponents to attack or ridicule the party over specific policies.
For example, the new platform no longer specifies that the Greens want to abolish the 30 per cent private health insurance rebate, but rather talks about ”redirecting funding from subsidising private health insurance towards direct public provision”.
And it no longer calls for a freeze on Commonwealth funding for private schools, stating instead that funding should be based on school need and that money not provided to the wealthiest private schools under the model should instead be given to the public sector.
The new platform was agreed at the party’s November national conference and has now been approved by all its state branches.
The document still makes it clear that the Greens want to increase the marginal tax rate for people earning more than $1 million, but no longer specifies that it should be raised to 50 per cent. It advocates increasing the mining tax and applying it to more commodities, but no longer proposes a rise in the company tax rate to 33 per cent.
The platform says the Greens want tax reform that improves housing affordability by no longer rewarding speculation, but it does not specifically call for an end to the concessional arrangements for capital gains tax. It no longer specifies that the Greens support death duties or an ”estate tax”.
Frankly I find this as bizarre and desperate as another Green of my online acquaintance who having been outed and forced to delete his blog then decided to try and claim that he was anonymous … As the old adage says, a leopard can’t change its spots and this attempt by the Greens to hide their pustular lesions with weasel words and euphemisms is not likely to be successful because the voting public are not stupid enough to be fooled by this political myth making.
- Greens ease policy stand (theage.com.au)
- A new nation wide “plant a Green” campaign (iainhall.wordpress.com)