Allan Takes Aim Blog

ACT Opinions

Posted on: 23 September 2012


Green Fugues

Having described Labor’s election promises as a symphony it seems fair the Greens should also be given a musical identity. In keeping with its minor party status and what seems an apt description of Greens policies, I’ve chosen to call them Fugues (a composition for two or more voices). That I describe them as policies is because it seems unlikely that, as a party, the time is far away, if indeed it ever arrives, when it will be in a position to make promises.

Nonetheless, it would be wrong to speak of the Greens as inconsequential politicians because, to some extent, they have made Labor and LIberal look at themselves and bring their minds to bear on issues that normally lie outside their vision. This can be seen in their election platform which identified 33 policies (read them at: http://www.act.greens.org) many of which are modified versions of Labor and Liberal policies, Labor’s in particular.

But credit where it’s due. Both Labor and Liberal use modified versions of some parts of the Greens environment policies. Unfortunately for them, climate change the one policy they hoped would move electorates to support them in greater numbers has not brought the result they hoped for.I suggest it never will.

It is also unlikely that they will ever succeed in attracting enough votes to give them the power necessary to make decisions that affect entire communities. True, they have achieved some limited success in the ACT Assembly perhaps because their policies have a heavy tinge of Labor philosophy. But as the ACT and the Assembly grows, the Greens influence will decline and so will its capacity to influence an ACT Labor government.

Reading their policies also gave me the feeling that apart from their environment policy they didn’t have a policy to begin with but realising they would need policies to get elected, they modified some Labor policies, added some thought of their of their own that sounded politically appealing which became a Green policy. Adding to that, I was confused by their statements of principles and goals. Perhaps the strategy is too clever for me but I have always thought principles and goals would be the same; apparently I am wrong. I also found the use of the words “The ACT Greens want” leading the specified goals section in their policy documents off putting. The phrase sounds Utopian even though everyone knows there never has been nor ever will be a Utopia.

Annoyingly too, the Greens seem to think that alone among political parties it is the only one whose members have common sense. Unfortunately, this thinking often translates into fervour akin to the fanaticism of religious zealots. One would have thought that by this time the wiser heads among would have found that zealots tend to frighten people.

I won’t attempt to cover everything in the Greens policy papers. You’ll find them all at the website I’ve mentioned above, but I will comment on “Disability.” As usual, all political parties promise the world to people with a disability the world particularly if they think it will be good publicity. One group of people with a disability that gets more than their share of promises even though the disability of many sportspeople with a disability allows them to participate in every area of community and social life. Too often, unfortunately, the less well blessed people with a disability get left out.

That said I’d like to pay two current MLAs and a hopeful Candidate a compliment. For years, Brindabella Greens candidate Amanda Bresnan, Molonglo Liberal candidate Steve Doszpot and Molonglo Labor candidate David Mathews have shown their support for people with a disability by their attendance at ACTAADS Inc a Canberra organisation that provides financial help to people with a disability regardless of their disability, sport included.

dca@netspeed.com.au

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