The Greens (in Tasmania) liberated from the constraints of reality

The Greens had their state conference this weekend just gone. And while they have always been whacky, it is getting pretty special now. It is as if any reality is up ended, gravity works upwards, and The Greens claim black as white, nonsense as rationality. We are in an alternate reality here in Tasmania.

As reported by “The Examiner” the Launceston daily paper…

“TASMANIA needs another four years of minority government to avoid returning to the ‘dark old days of division and conflict’, Tasmanian Greens leader Nick McKim said yesterday.

“The party has vowed to soften its anti-mining image, endorsing the need to develop a state-based mining policy and stressing that it supports mining in some limited circumstances.

“…Mr McKim predicted that it would hold its five seats. He warned voters that majority governments were unstable and divisive and said the party would be talking up the achievements of the past 3 1/2 years.

Where to start? Almost everything Nick McKim (the state The Greens leader) is reported as saying is the polar opposite of the actual situation. Noting this is a scripted speech at his annual conference. It is frustrating that The Greens, unlike the ALP or the Libs, run a closed to the media conference excepting the opening speeches.

In the Federal election just gone The Greens lost 1/3rd of their primary vote nationwide, in Tasmania they lost HALF their primary vote.

Tasmanian Voting IntentionsThis image shows Statewide public EMRS polling (4 times a year), since the last state election.

The Greens primary vote is shown down 1/3rd since the last state election. If that last poll was converted with absolute smoothness into an election across the five electorates which each elect 5 members there would be 3 Liberal and 2 Labor members in each electorate – not a single Green.

For non Tasmanians, or non politically tragic Tasmanians, the lower house electorates function (in an electing sense) a little like the Federal Senate. 5 members are elected, from each electorate, (5 electorates giving a house of 25) with candidates required to achieve a “quota”. The polling suggests that there would be elected 1st a Liberal, 2nd a Liberal, 3rd an ALP, 4th a Liberal and then for the fifth and final seat a run off between ALP/Grn with the ALP getting the final seat (their 2nd) on Liberal preferences.

Now this is not how its going to happen, identically across the 5 electorates, but there is no polling evidence, or serious commentary that The Greens will hold all 5 of their current seats. Something less than 5 is indicated – difficult to say more than that as EMRS have stopped showing seat by seat break up of the polling data.

There is also no polling evidence that it will be anything other than a Liberal majority government.

There is a lot of water under the bridge before we get to the next Tasmanian state election (March 2014).

On a policy, rather than polling, perspective, I look forward to The Greens producing a mining policy. The current non-policy is The Greens don’t oppose current mines, to their current extent. In practice they oppose ALL new mines, and ALL mine extensions.

I won’t be holding my breath. But as a party that has systematically stripped its “policy” back to virtually nothing beyond motherhood statements I expect any mining policy that actually supports new mines will be beyond the membership of The Greens – I look forward to being surprised.


2 thoughts on “The Greens (in Tasmania) liberated from the constraints of reality

  1. Minor points of order:
    1. This year’s (2013) Tas Greens Conference was open to he media in its entirety.
    2. The party actually released relatively comprehensive policy document, costed by PBO, ahead of the September Federal election. (Compare with the desultory effort put forth the the L/NP)

    re: mining policy; the Greens’ point regarding the need for consideration of cumulative effects in any/all statutory planning assessment is well made. Notwithstanding that, I cannot see the party supporting any new or expanded mines.
    I wonder if Nick might countenance it privately, but doubt it will ever happen.

    The irony of any such thoughts of (sensible) compromise is that McKim shoulders blame and vitriol from Labor and Liberal acolytes for being representative of the deep green (obstructionist) movement, whilst similtaneously being excoriated by those same green radicals who believe he has betrayed their movement and ethos. The joys of politics!

    As for March? 2 or 3 seats seems likely. 4+ is a miracle.

    • Simon,

      I stand corrected on the policy document – I checked before my web blackout (about 14 days before election) and it wasn’t there then. And didn’t recheck before the blog comment.

      I do know that the media always covers the leaders opening address – are you sure there was an “open” state conference beyond that? I saw no media reporting (anywhere) of any content – disappointing if the media had the opportunity and reported nothing. If The Greens ran an open conference they would match the ALP and Libs, it would be the first time, and it would be a good thing.


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