Warren Kennedy, Mullumbimby
The ongoing bypass/Greens councillors controversy has reminded me why I don’t vote Greens even though their policies generally reflect how I think Australia should be governed.
Their rigid adherence to hard-line environmental ideals drives them to an intransigent position of never compromising and trying to save every last snail, which leads them to extremes. They have no prospect of forming government so it’s easy for them to stick to extreme positions because they know they’ll never have to act on any them.
The local Greens councillors, however, don’t have this luxury. They have to act for the benefit of all residents of the Shire. They inhabit the world of real politick where almost all action requires some compromise; politics being the art of the possible, after all.
What would be the effect of Mitchell’s rainforest snail joining the billions of other species in extinction? Well, nothing much. Climate change won’t suddenly get worse. Darkness won’t envelop Earth. A ‘fitter’ species will move over and the world will roll on without a hiccup.
What’s needed is a dose of reality. In the real world species go extinct all the time, with and without human assistance. It’s a natural process and it’s extremely unrealistic to imagine we can save every threatened species.
And in the real world councils sometimes have to make difficult decisions that require councillors to compromise their ideals. This requires some courage especially when the decisions provoke extreme responses from part of the community.
At the next council elections, for the first time, I’ll seriously consider voting Greens, because the Greens councillors have demonstrated a willingness to engage with reality in a way their state and federal colleagues never have.