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A green senate? « Previous | |Next »
August 15, 2004

It looks like the Olympics have won out over the federal election:

CartoonRowe7.jpg
Rowe

I'm not suprised. Howard still needs to keep the momentum going in the crucial marginals in Queensland, Adelaide and Western Australia. However Chris Sheil agrees with Alan Ramsay's judgement that "the Government's hard-won political momentum has gone." Has it been lost over the doubts about the undermining of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme in the American free trade agreement?

Has Howard's momentum gone? The lost ground on health can be, and is being countered. Doctors in outer metropolitan and regional areas will be given extra bulk-billing rebates by the federal government to help make working in those areas more attractive. That is an important policy shift against the ALP. They are effectively countered on their own terrain.

Some are annoyed by all the speculation about the election date. Yet the way things are currently organized in federal parliament setting the election date is a part of the campaign tactics to gain advantage over the enemy.

It continues to look like the Democrat vote has collapsed whilst the Australian Greens are riding high enough to gain the seats they need in the Senate to be publicly funded as a political party. They need 5 seats. If the Greens gain those 5 Senate seats then this will make it hard for the whoever (Coalition or the ALP) gains control of the House of Representatives.

The Senate is the key, but few are thinking about the implications of that. Who is polling the Senate? My judgement is that the LIB LAB Coalition we saw around both the FTA and the same sex Marriage Bill last week is an indication of what is to come.

Now wouldn't it be nice if the Greens knocked off the ALP in a few inner city seats in Melbourne (eg., the seat of Melbourne) or Sydney?

August 18

From what I can gather the inner seats of Sydney that are under threat from the Greens are Grayndler held by Anthony Albanese and the seat of Sydney. I saw a media grab of Peter Garrett being used by ALP strategists to roll back the Green threat and shore up the ALP's left flank.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 6:19 PM | | Comments (4)
Comments

Comments

No, people in the 'minor' parties may gloat if the Greens won inner seat in Melbourne or Sydney, but it would be tragic if really good left leaning pollies who constantly struggle to pull the ALP to the left such as Tanner or Plibersek would lose. The Greens would make a splash but their voices would be wasted. Better for them to win a couple of seats in the Senate.

Guido,
I agree with your sentiments about Plibersek and possibly Tanner. However, it is not a question of gloating.

What I would like to see is the executive lose control of the House of Representatives to the independents or Greens.That would mean a break on the dictatorship of the executive and legislation no longer going through the House like a dose of salts.

What I would like to see is better democracy.

You might be right there. I thought that the Bracks government was more on the ball when it was a minority government.

An arrogant executive is undemocratic eg Kennett.

They increasingly see themselves as corporate executives and run the state as if it were a business.

Democracy is an empty ritualised form for them. It is has nothing to do with citizenship.

The only way that I can see this being countered is breaking the power of the major parties---independents gaining control of the lower house in the absence of proportional representation in the lower house.

Or increasing the power of the Senate through the committee system.

Howard is unaccountable--but then so would Latham. He has little time or respect for the Senate.