July 10, 2012
So the Labor Right has decided that their best strategy is to attack The Greens through caricature (the Greens are the bogey man). Apparently, it is The Greens that are the cause of Labor's current woes, not the actions of the right wing of the ALP. The Greens, apparently, are the most dangerous fringe group in Australian politics.
The tactic is to designed to appeal Labor’s traditional blue-collar base and suburban voters, who are now prepared to vote for a conservative government led by Abbott, by dumping on the left. In that way---eg., saying that the arrival of a few thousand asylum seekers would amount to a breach of Australia’s border security and threaten Australia---- the ALP will regain the momentum to become a majority party in their own right. This indicates that if Labor governs then the Green Senators are needed by Labor to pass its legislation.
They are dreaming. The ALP will only regain power with the help of The Greens because its primary vote is too low. That means some form of coalition, just like there is coalition on the right of centre between the Liberal and National parties.
To put it bluntly, Labor will have to get used to both dealing with the Greens in the Senate, regardless of who’s in government, and the big shift of Labor’s vote to the Coalition. It is the latter, not the former that is problem for Labor. The 2010 agreement between the Greens and Gillard has been a successful alliance--The Greens have ensure that legislation for the National Broadband Network, the mining tax, and the carbon pricing (and its associated tax cuts) have passed in the face of opposition from the Coalition.