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Nice piece here by the American writer Paul Berman, with strong resonances for the ALP and Open Labor supporters, on why Bernie Sanders should now join Hillary's campaign, stop the war, and bring some old-fashioned fire and poetry to Hillary's worthwhile but prosaic -- read stodgy -- effort so far.
Let me put my politics out front. I am a member of the Labor Party actively supporting the return of a Federal Labor Government. In particular I support Anthony Albanese, to be returned as the member for the Federal seat of Grayndler. Recent adjustments to the seat's boundaries mean possible Greens inroads. But I want to vote for a Party that has some chance of forming a Government, not to register a PROTEST.
As I canvass support in the electorate a number of people have said, 'I am voting Green because I cannot abide Labor's policy on asylum seekers.'
If there is time I point out that my branch, Leichhardt, has both voted for motions to National Conference and conducted stalls indicating our opposition. Anthony Albanese, made clear his opposition to the Party's platform by voting against it very publicly at that Conference.
But I want to encourage those who plan to vote for the Greens because they approve of their policies on asylum seekers to think again.
There are two issues on which to test the best way to vote: policy on asylum seekers and on climate change.
In the grand scheme of things which is the greater existential threat? How did the Greens balance these issues?
In August and December 2009 the Greens TWICE voted against an Emissions Trading Scheme. It can be argued that vote led directly to the election of the Coalition Government opposed to any sane policy on climate change.
In May 2011 the Greens moved in the Senate to oppose the, regional, so-called 'Malaysian solution' in which orderly arrangements would be made to bring ﬁve recognised asylum seekers from Malaysia for each person who arrived by boat being sent back into the 'queue' (4000 for 800).
What is their latest policy position on asylum seekers? A regional solution.
I won't go into the support just given to reform of Senate voting after which the Greens were played for mugs. They didn't see Malcolm's ultimatum to the cross bench to commit hara kiri coming.
Nor will I mention the planned preference swaps designed, not to knock off Coalition MPs, but to be able to spend huge sums of public money on seats held by Labor.
Secretary, Leichhardt ALP Branch
Friend of Open Labor, Maxine McKew, here argues that politicians on the election trail need to come clean about where their campaign funds come from:
"It's on again. The tin is being rattled and the begging letters are going out to all and sundry. Ah, what bliss it is to be alive in the days of the group email and the megaphone of Facebook. But like much else in Australia today, election campaign financing is a hierarchical business – decided by the few on behalf of the many." Read more here.