Your vote and the existential threat


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.

Phil Drew,

Secretary, Leichhardt ALP Branch