Skip to content Skip to main navigation

Opinion

Canberra’s Leading
Relationship Lawyers

Can the Greens push beyond Zed?

By Neil34 23 June 2016 24

Greens Federal candidates for the ACT with Greens leader Richard di Natale.

Election fever is on a soporific snail trail to double disillusion.

Despite all the whingeing or apathy, most voters stick with the two-party trick. The Lib-Nats bore us silly with their jobs-and-growth bleat and the Turnbull factor is a fizzer. Labor is a desperate wannabe full of promises. Are they ready to rule again? Is the newfound unity skin deep? Mediocrity rules in both camps.

What about the outsiders?

The Nick Xenophon Team (NXT) is an unknown quantity and is likely to have an impact, especially in South Australia, but not in the ACT.

So let’s turn to the Greens – the other most likely party to crash the two-party circus. Despite the major parties trying to scupper them, the Greens still have high hopes in the Reps and Senate, but they face another uphill battle in the ACT.

The double-dissolution set-up doesn’t help Christina Hobbs, the lead Senate candidate for the Greens, as the quota remains the same – about 34 per cent. Liberals’ Senator Zed Seselja was pushed a bit in the September 2013 election, but the Greens were still well behind at the final count. After distribution of preferences, the Greens had just over 21 per cent of the vote.

Hobbs believes she can beat Seselja, but it will need a small miracle. Hobbs has strong links with the city and an impressive CV. But she doesn’t have a high profile in the ACT. The lack of continuity is major drawback: Hobbs is the third face for the Greens in three successive Senate contests.

It’s a similar scenario in the Reps with two new Greens candidates: Patricia Cahill (Canberra) and Carly Saeedi (Fenner). It’s tough to boost your profile, hopes and votes in such a short time.

The Greens need more than a one-off effort – they can’t keep changing candidates, especially after losing ground in 2013. The Greens received 12.67 per cent of the vote in Canberra and 14.07 per cent in Fraser (now Fenner) – a swing against them of more than 5 per cent in each seat.

The ACT is a Labor stronghold with a token Liberal presence. Why does it always have to be this way?

A large boost in the Greens vote could start to make Labor and the Liberals stop taking the ACT for granted and help break the political duopoly. Most Australians are stuck in the two-party trap and seem to fear change. Scare campaigns from both major parties – the Greens, not the Reds, apparently are under our beds now – are working. But take a closer look. The Greens have fairer and far more visionary policies, especially on renewable energy, refugees and drug-law reform. It’s well beyond time for a different direction.


What’s Your opinion?


Please login to post your comments, or connect with
24 Responses to
Can the Greens push beyond Zed?
Filter
Showing only Website comments
Order
Newest to Oldest
Oldest to Newst
Mysteryman 12:19 pm 30 Jun 16

Dr_Hoon said :

Zed seems to have kicked a couple of own goals recently. His statement that he probably will not vote on the Marriage Equality issue if the plebiscite has annoyed many of the people I know. Their opinion is that Zed is supposed to represent us. If he refuses to do so, then he should resign.

If you want every Member and Senator who abstains from a vote to resign, you’ll have a very empty parliament.

Dr_Hoon said :

And then today someone probably thought it would be a good idea to park Zed’s promotional truck outside a very large office building in Greenway. It did indeed generate lots of discussion, with people complaining about his stupid truck taking up one and a third of the very scarce free all day car parks.

Good effort there Zed!

Was it parked legally? If so, then move on. You’re trying make an issue out of nothing.

Mordd 1:16 am 30 Jun 16

Mess said :

Post script, ABC radio news 1.00pm Caterina Hobbs stated that she was very much in favour of a coalition Greens/Labor govt in the assembly & that she would push the feds to back/help fund the next stage of the trams. She has been given a thorough backgrounding of ALL the transport options but has fallen into line with Rattenbury. Certainly lost my support & I hoped she could throw out Seselja, great shame. Apart from anything else we desperately need to become a swinging seat so we get some attention.

You seem surprised a Greens candidate would support a Greens policy. This surprises me to be honest.

Spiral 5:09 pm 29 Jun 16

Zed seems to have kicked a couple of own goals recently. His statement that he probably will not vote on the Marriage Equality issue if the plebiscite has annoyed many of the people I know. Their opinion is that Zed is supposed to represent us. If he refuses to do so, then he should resign.

And then today someone probably thought it would be a good idea to park Zed’s promotional truck outside a very large office building in Greenway. It did indeed generate lots of discussion, with people complaining about his stupid truck taking up one and a third of the very scarce free all day car parks.

Good effort there Zed!

Arthur Davies 4:52 pm 29 Jun 16

Post script, ABC radio news 1.00pm Caterina Hobbs stated that she was very much in favour of a coalition Greens/Labor govt in the assembly & that she would push the feds to back/help fund the next stage of the trams. She has been given a thorough backgrounding of ALL the transport options but has fallen into line with Rattenbury. Certainly lost my support & I hoped she could throw out Seselja, great shame. Apart from anything else we desperately need to become a swinging seat so we get some attention.

madelini 9:45 am 29 Jun 16

I do separate the branches, actually. I wouldn’t go to Katy Gallagher on matters for ACT local government any more, I’d go to Andrew Barr. It’s the same with the Greens. Isn’t that why we have separate local and federal elections? They’re related, but not the same, and deal with different matters of legislation.

They are so closely related, if not coupled, that people say that they will not vote Liberal in the upcoming ACT Legislative Assembly election because of the Federal Public Service cutbacks. They of course, conveniently ignore that it was disclosed in Senate Estimates that the (previous) Labor Federal Gov’t had planned as many, if not more, cutbacks.

Also, when they vote for Labor’s Katy Gallager in the Senate, they should also remember that as ACt Chief Minister, she supported increasing the GST to 15% (but now tows Federal Labor’s line opposing any GST increase), set in train (pun intended) the tripling of Canberra’s residential Annual Rates, brought in the $1.6b + tram and admitted that as ACT Housing Minister, was given independent consultants reports about the Mr Fluffy situation a decade before action was finally taken, but did nothing about it.

ACT voters need to very carefully think about that record before they vote in the Senate – as I would hope they also think about the record of the Liberal candidate and independents..

It is impossible to divorce Federal/Local ACT Legislative Assembly issues in Canberra in either election. They are related – they are the same in my view.

I don’t agree that it is impossible to divorce federal and local issues. All it takes is to pay attention to the various issues, and realise that the outcomes that occur as a result of your vote on Saturday’s election will differ from those at the ACT election. The tram should have no bearing on whether you vote Greens or not on Saturday. They’re different trees in the same forest, at best.

I would hope that people would seek to educate themselves on what the difference is between federal and local issues. I would hope that people would have more reasons not to vote Liberal than the public service cuts. I would hope that people would look at both the Coalition’s and ALP’s policies at the federal level before they vote on personality, regardless of whether or not they served in the ACT Legislative Assembly.

If they were the same issues and treated in the same way, we wouldn’t bother with local elections. It’s worth separating them to get the best result, rather than just complaining.

rommeldog56 8:58 pm 28 Jun 16

I do separate the branches, actually. I wouldn’t go to Katy Gallagher on matters for ACT local government any more, I’d go to Andrew Barr. It’s the same with the Greens. Isn’t that why we have separate local and federal elections? They’re related, but not the same, and deal with different matters of legislation.

They are so closely related, if not coupled, that people say that they will not vote Liberal in the upcoming ACT Legislative Assembly election because of the Federal Public Service cutbacks. They of course, conveniently ignore that it was disclosed in Senate Estimates that the (previous) Labor Federal Gov’t had planned as many, if not more, cutbacks.

Also, when they vote for Labor’s Katy Gallager in the Senate, they should also remember that as ACt Chief Minister, she supported increasing the GST to 15% (but now tows Federal Labor’s line opposing any GST increase), set in train (pun intended) the tripling of Canberra’s residential Annual Rates, brought in the $1.6b + tram and admitted that as ACT Housing Minister, was given independent consultants reports about the Mr Fluffy situation a decade before action was finally taken, but did nothing about it.

ACT voters need to very carefully think about that record before they vote in the Senate – as I would hope they also think about the record of the Liberal candidate and independents..

It is impossible to divorce Federal/Local ACT Legislative Assembly issues in Canberra in either election. They are related – they are the same in my view.

madelini 2:41 pm 28 Jun 16

I do not know how Christina can separate herself & her policies from Rattenbury, trams, bad governance, & the secrecy that came out of the coalition. I know a significant number of Green members have serious reservations on these issues but cannot speak out of course. I think she will have a big tram around her neck unless she can come out & address important transport issues, national & ACT, which have had very little exposure from polys or from the media. It is after all the AUSTRALIAN greens who are standing not a separate ACT greens party, most people, including me, do not separate the various branches in their heads. The whole organisation is responsible for the actions of all its representatives, in the same way large companies are responsible for the actions of all of their employees.

I do separate the branches, actually. I wouldn’t go to Katy Gallagher on matters for ACT local government any more, I’d go to Andrew Barr. It’s the same with the Greens. Isn’t that why we have separate local and federal elections? They’re related, but not the same, and deal with different matters of legislation.

Charlotte Harper 12:42 pm 28 Jun 16

devils_advocate said :

Mordd / Chris Richards said :

I think they’re all stronger candidates than Simon Sheikh, though, who gave the appearance of being flown in, and then spectacularly fizzed out. I’m undecided, but will probably vote Greens. I’ve generally voted Labor previously, but I want to live somewhere with progressive representation.

I don’t understand how Simon Sheikh forcing the Liberals to the closest they have ever been to losing their ACT senate seat could be called “fizzing out”.

He didn’t strike me as a solid choice at the time.
Christina Hobbs seems to me to be a quality candidate. Head and shoulders better than the incumbents, neither of whom have had a real job for over a decade, and neither of whom have had more than a few years working in a real job in their entire lives.

I am reluctant to help the Greens earn credibility by giving them my first preference, but I will be ensuring my vote redistributes early to Hobbs.
Probably something like 1. Secular Party 2. Hobbs.

Same as many others, I would have no hesitation in voting Xenophon if we had that choice.

Simon Sheikh’s credibility faltered when he went to sleep on the Q&A panel.

Simon Sheikh did not fall asleep on Q&A, dungfungus. He collapsed due to a combination of flu and overwork.

HenryBG 12:12 pm 28 Jun 16

devils_advocate said :

Simon Sheikh’s credibility faltered when he went to sleep on the Q&A panel.

justin heywood said :

Simon Sheikh never had any credibility.We went to sleep and turned off Q&A

I find it hard to believe that either of you would watch Q&A.

gazket 7:23 pm 27 Jun 16

devils_advocate said :

Mordd / Chris Richards said :

I think they’re all stronger candidates than Simon Sheikh, though, who gave the appearance of being flown in, and then spectacularly fizzed out. I’m undecided, but will probably vote Greens. I’ve generally voted Labor previously, but I want to live somewhere with progressive representation.

I don’t understand how Simon Sheikh forcing the Liberals to the closest they have ever been to losing their ACT senate seat could be called “fizzing out”.

He didn’t strike me as a solid choice at the time.
Christina Hobbs seems to me to be a quality candidate. Head and shoulders better than the incumbents, neither of whom have had a real job for over a decade, and neither of whom have had more than a few years working in a real job in their entire lives.

I am reluctant to help the Greens earn credibility by giving them my first preference, but I will be ensuring my vote redistributes early to Hobbs.
Probably something like 1. Secular Party 2. Hobbs.

Same as many others, I would have no hesitation in voting Xenophon if we had that choice.

Simon Sheikh’s credibility faltered when he went to sleep on the Q&A panel.

Fixed that for you
Simon Sheikh never had any credibility.We went to sleep and turned off Q&A

gazket 7:18 pm 27 Jun 16

Groucho Marx come on down .

A_Cog 5:00 pm 27 Jun 16

I’m calling this election the “Double Dis-Illusion” election, or, “Split the Indifference”.

And to answer the headline, I’m predicting “no” the Greens cannot tip Zed.

Arthur Davies 3:26 pm 27 Jun 16

I do not know how Christina can separate herself & her policies from Rattenbury, trams, bad governance, & the secrecy that came out of the coalition. I know a significant number of Green members have serious reservations on these issues but cannot speak out of course. I think she will have a big tram around her neck unless she can come out & address important transport issues, national & ACT, which have had very little exposure from polys or from the media. It is after all the AUSTRALIAN greens who are standing not a separate ACT greens party, most people, including me, do not separate the various branches in their heads. The whole organisation is responsible for the actions of all its representatives, in the same way large companies are responsible for the actions of all of their employees.

dungfungus 10:20 am 25 Jun 16

Mordd / Chris Richards said :

I think they’re all stronger candidates than Simon Sheikh, though, who gave the appearance of being flown in, and then spectacularly fizzed out. I’m undecided, but will probably vote Greens. I’ve generally voted Labor previously, but I want to live somewhere with progressive representation.

I don’t understand how Simon Sheikh forcing the Liberals to the closest they have ever been to losing their ACT senate seat could be called “fizzing out”.

He didn’t strike me as a solid choice at the time.
Christina Hobbs seems to me to be a quality candidate. Head and shoulders better than the incumbents, neither of whom have had a real job for over a decade, and neither of whom have had more than a few years working in a real job in their entire lives.

I am reluctant to help the Greens earn credibility by giving them my first preference, but I will be ensuring my vote redistributes early to Hobbs.
Probably something like 1. Secular Party 2. Hobbs.

Same as many others, I would have no hesitation in voting Xenophon if we had that choice.

Simon Sheikh’s credibility faltered when he went to sleep on the Q&A panel.

HenryBG 4:44 pm 24 Jun 16

Mordd / Chris Richards said :

I think they’re all stronger candidates than Simon Sheikh, though, who gave the appearance of being flown in, and then spectacularly fizzed out. I’m undecided, but will probably vote Greens. I’ve generally voted Labor previously, but I want to live somewhere with progressive representation.

I don’t understand how Simon Sheikh forcing the Liberals to the closest they have ever been to losing their ACT senate seat could be called “fizzing out”.

He didn’t strike me as a solid choice at the time.
Christina Hobbs seems to me to be a quality candidate. Head and shoulders better than the incumbents, neither of whom have had a real job for over a decade, and neither of whom have had more than a few years working in a real job in their entire lives.

I am reluctant to help the Greens earn credibility by giving them my first preference, but I will be ensuring my vote redistributes early to Hobbs.
Probably something like 1. Secular Party 2. Hobbs.

Same as many others, I would have no hesitation in voting Xenophon if we had that choice.

Arthur Davies 3:55 pm 24 Jun 16

In a previous election, when a Democrat stood in Canberra as a senator (a while ago I know), the Liberal candidate only just got a quota, very very nearly went to preferences. I was present during scrutineering for the initial count. Most of the electorate voted for the Democrat as their second choice, around 70%, so if one of the encumbants do not get a first preference quota, there is a good chance that they will not hold the seat on a preference count if a large enough number of Canberrans nominate someone else as their second person. There was another election in the 70s when one of the 2 reps lost his seat massively through not caring about his electorate. At least one of the present senators is fairly unpopular, and both of them seem too busy elsewhere to bother talking to mere constituents. So there is a reasonable chance that we could get that major prize of becoming a swinging seat and having some notice taken of us in future.

rommeldog56 12:42 pm 24 Jun 16

Mordd / Chris Richards said :

I think they’re all stronger candidates than Simon Sheikh, though, who gave the appearance of being flown in, and then spectacularly fizzed out. I’m undecided, but will probably vote Greens. I’ve generally voted Labor previously, but I want to live somewhere with progressive representation.

The tragedy for ACT Greens voters is that while Shane Rattenburry is a member of the ACT Labor Gov’t, they are actually voting for ACT Labor.

bikhet 12:34 pm 24 Jun 16

Whichever party or parties I vote for in this election, I’m voting below the line in the Senate so I can put Zed dead last.

TuggLife 11:44 am 24 Jun 16

I think they’re all stronger candidates than Simon Sheikh, though, who gave the appearance of being flown in, and then spectacularly fizzed out. I’m undecided, but will probably vote Greens. I’ve generally voted Labor previously, but I want to live somewhere with progressive representation.

Zed just gives me the pip – he seems to have led a very charmed life which has left him with little empathy for those as fortunate as him. Biology aside, I can’t imagine Zed being in a position where an abortion was the best choice for him, and it frustrates me that he’d deny others that right. Canberrans, by and large, are an affluent and fortunate lot, which makes me think it must be doubly horrible to be someone experiencing disadvantage in this city, without having someone trying to make your life harder.

Rustygear 4:56 pm 23 Jun 16

The problem is, Neil34, that when Australia signed on to being a ‘diverse’ country, there’s so many opposed value systems to accommodate that a middling compromise is quite an enviable feat. Yes, the one-eyed diehards scream and froth with absolute white-hot anger when this or that policy lever is handled by the other side, but personally I’ll take a ‘boring’ Australian election over an ‘interesting’ one from the rest of the world any day.

As to the Greens, all they have to do is convince enough voters that their idealism is also practical, and they can win. Not impossible, especially if you are prepared to *listen to alternative points of view*, *modify your convictions* and *compromise*. Or, if compromise isn’t an option, then just keep hoping that all the other diverse groups, from socially conservative African Christians to highly aspirational Chinese tradies, realise that they have been living under a wicked Western hegemonic something-ocracy all along, renounce forever their false consciousness, and reborn, join with the Green vanguard to create a newer, better world.

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2018 Region Group Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
the-riotact.com | aboutregional.com.au | b2bmagazine.com.au | thisiscanberra.com

Search across the site