Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A favourite Labor furphy attacked

The Sydney Morning Herald has been kind enough to publish another of my letters, this one responding to a slightly strange attack on The Greens by Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner that ran nationally in the Fairfax press.

I didn't have the space to query his outrage that, in his electorate, The Greens outpolled the Liberals and a swag of Lib preferences went their way. Tanner frames this as some sort of unholy alliance rather than simply the swings and roundabouts of the preferential system.

If he doesn't like it, perhaps he would prefer a proportional representation system which grants parties the same proportion of parliamentary seats as the percentage of their vote. Under this system The Greens would have several seats in the House of Representatives whereas now they have none. Be careful what you wish for, Mr Tanner.

Another way to see the preferences swing is that there is so little difference between Liberal and Labor that people are voting accordingly.

Text of my letter:

No compromise on useless policy

Lindsay Tanner does himself no favours by repeating Labor's favourite furphy about the Greens opposing its climate change legislation ("Greens do nothing to bring about change", March 25). His criticism implies the legislation would have achieved something. But its targets were a joke and there were so many compensations to the big polluters that anyone serious about addressing climate change would have to reject it.

It's true that politics is about compromise, but Labor's scheme would have locked Australia into climate vandalism for decades. Better to have no legislation and the hope of some real improvement. Calling this "political posturing" reveals more about Labor's bankrupt approach to politics than any supposed Greens cynicism. 

Michael Gormly Woolloomooloo

No comments: