On Saturday we will have a Victorian state election. As usual for state elections most people will vote on issues related to the federal government, the mainstream media has little coverage of state politics and people seem to vote on what they see on TV. Presumably that means we have a good chance of having a similar situation to the last Federal Election where the Labor and Liberal parties each won 72 seats in the lower house and Labor formed a coalition with the Greens MP and three independents.
The independent MPs didn’t give much explanation of the reasons for their choices. But it seems that a large motivating factor was the Greens success in the senate, as Labor was more willing to work with the Greens that meant that if a Liberal based coalition had won in the lower house there was a good chance of a Double Dissolution.
The Liberal party can’t make deals
In a world where sanity prevailed the result of this would be the Liberal party firstly adjusting their policies to appeal to Greens voters and secondly trying to make some deals with the Greens at a high level to allow the possibility of a Liberal/Green coalition government. While there are substantial policy conflicts between the Liberal and Green parties it does seem possible to get a coalition working if both sides accept that they won’t get everything that they want. Forming government and getting only some of your policy implemented seems like a better option than being in the opposition and getting almost none of your policy implemented. Also there is no reason why we couldn’t have a Liberal/Labor coalition government – in the next decade it seems unlikely that any election will deliver a result that doesn’t have Liberal + Labor comprising more than 50% of the seats in both houses.
But it seems that sanity doesn’t prevail. The Liberal party have put the Greens below Labor on their preferences for the upper house and on their How To Vote cards for the lower house . This greatly increases the probability of Labor scoring an outright win. It also seems likely to drive a wedge against the conservative voters who want to conserve the environment.
The Sad State of the Liberal Party
Kevin Andrews (Liberal MP and former minister) wrote a strange and amusing diatribe titled “The ideological drive behind the Greens” . Here is what I regard as the best part:
First, those who vote Green as their primary vote: “This is the Don’s Party group that used to be in the ALP in the ‘60s and ‘70s: young university students or graduates, frequently working or still studying in academia, no kids, often gay, arts and drama type degrees or architecture where they specialise is designing environmentally friendly suburbs, agnostic or atheist, often US or Canadian refugees from capitalism, but well paid in professional consulting or media jobs.”
According to the CIA World Factbook  the median age of Australians is 37.5, the majority of the population were born in 1972 or later. The film Don's_Party was released in 1976 and was about the 1969 election. While Kevin Andrews was old enough to remember the 1969 election clearly the majority of the Australian population weren’t even born before that election and isn’t old enough to have watched the movie when it was in the cinemas. Kevin is making it quite clear that he and his party represent a time that is past. The rest of that paragraph is filled with strangeness that is a good sample of the rest of his article.
The sad thing is that he seems to think that this appeal to the minority of people who are old enough to remember the 1969 election, bigoted enough to appreciate the discrimination against homosexuals (which is a long standing Liberal policy), and politically clueless enough to support McCarthyist policies against alleged communists.
We need a decent and sane conservative party to represent the decent and sane Australian citizens who are politically conservative. I am beginning to doubt that the Liberal party could ever be reformed enough to become such a party.