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Byron Shire
February 29, 2024

Greens not-so cynical

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Whilst I acknowledge the positive contribution of Fast Buck$’ cynicism on behalf of the community over the years ‘Green Cynicism’ (Echo 30/3) prompts me to provide another perspective.

I was one of two Green MPs who promoted changes to the NSW Legislative Council voting system after the notorious 1999 ‘table cloth’ election. At two elections I had to deal with the ugliness of back room deals. The Greens made preference arrangements according to other parties proximity of policy ideals.

Recent micro party preference deals are purely for the substantial chance of one getting elected without consideration of policy direction.

In NSW I believe the Greens lose electorally under the new laws and this will be reflected federally. It is because many ALP voters will not direct preferences to the Greens with what is now optional preferential voting. Just look at the Greens loss to the Nationals in Lismore due to a lack of ALP preference flows.

At both a state and federal level The Greens made the changes in an attempt to clean up the system and deliver power back to the voter. Naïve perhaps but not a power grab. Unfortunately, I believe destined to be a millstone delivering greater representation to the Coalition.

I agree with Buck$’ analysis of the major parties but I suggest that including The Greens is a superficial analysis.

Forest protection, Marine Parks, anti CSG campaigning, political donation reform, gay rights, threatened species legislation, container deposit legislation, drug law reform, euthanasia reform, Aboriginal land rights, anti genetically modified food production are but a few issues that have been driven by The Greens for decades.

Disparaging Richard Di Natale is a cheap shot. He is a medico, has worked on remote Aboriginal communities did an excellent job as health spokesman, was instrumental in pushing a national dental care system and walks the talk living on a sustainable farm in Victoria. I was personally delighted with his election to leadership because he was not a factional warrior as Buck$ suggests. There a too many of them even in The Greens.

Ian Cohen, Broken Head


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