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.
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.