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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?


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24 Responses to
Can the Greens push beyond Zed?
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.

Garfield 3:33 pm 23 Jun 16

My guess is that a lot of votes will exhaust before reaching Zed or the Greens and given that they overwhelmingly flowed to the Greens in the past, it will be that much harder for the Greens to win.

kincuri 1:15 pm 23 Jun 16

“After distribution of preferences, the Greens had just over 21 per cent of the vote.”

This is a bit of an underestimate, as the Greens were sitting at 21%, but a decent chunk of votes were being held by the Sex and the Bullet Train parties when Zed reached quota, but would have flowed.

Based on the final count given by ABC’s senate calculator, the Greens would have reached 31.62%, and the gap was just under 10,000 votes (or about 3.4%).
http://www.abc.net.au/news/federal-election-2013/results/senate/act/

Now the senate voting reforms very much change the game, but it is very much a contest.

dungfungus 10:09 am 23 Jun 16

The Territory cannot even afford one visionary, light rail fantasy in one millennium let alone another each new election term.

rosscoact 9:09 am 23 Jun 16

‘soporific snail trail to double disillusion”

Pay that one

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