I’m putting the Greens first on both ballots on Saturday. They are a rapidly maturing party and the only truly progressive, forward-looking voice for Australia. Here's 7 reasons that will guide my pencil.
The candidate in my seat is courageous
Jason Ball was the first Australian Rules player to come out as gay - a decision that shows courage and fortitude. He works in the mental health sector - a role that does not close its eyes to the problems people have, and helps those in most need. I saw him speak on Wednesday. He’s seemed honest, intelligent and would bring fresh eyes and youth into Parliament. Jason’s rival, Kelly O’Dwyer, has been a political advisor and NAB executive, managing wealth of people who have over $30 million in investments - a calling that undermines my confidence in her ability to understand and represent ordinary voters.
The Greens face the future with open eyes
Australia must confront massive 21st century challenges. Our economy will shift from its reliance on mining. Extreme weather, a dying natural wonder, inequality due to bite back hard as it just did with Brexit, desperate refugees fleeing war, climate chaos and terror. The Greens present a vision that confronts these challenges with realistic responses over timescales longer than the political cycle. They recognise that social justice is only achievable with responsible economic management and environmental protection. Company tax cuts and business as usual - the LNP’s choice - is less than shortsighted; it’s backward.
Major parties must be accountable
The behaviour of both major parties in Australia is poor. They jeer and argue like misbehaving teenagers. They callously scrap visionary, nation-building infrastructure to deny their opposition a legacy, at huge cost to the people who pay them (that’s Turnbull with the NBN, if that wasn’t obvious). More voices- be they Greens, Democrats (RIP), Xenophon Team, or independents - forcing the parties to justify their policies in Parliament, negotiate issues and show good faith is a good thing for us, the voters.
They care about the land we live in
The Greens recognise that once land is stripped bare, river basins concreted, reefs dead and covered in slime, when acid sludge leaked out of a mine, when forests are torn down by bulldozers with chains - that we all lose, and it doesn’t come back. Australia’s natural assets are beautiful, abundant, full of rich historic and cultural value - and fragile. Environmental protection is important. We have no society or economy without it (or wine).
It gives them money
Your first preference vote is worth $2.63 to the party (who knew?). Give it to the party who aren’t already bought by big backers - or at least an independent! If your seat isn’t marginal, your preference will flow to whichever major you prefer anyway.
They will try to end the absurdly wasteful Direct Action policy
You’ve probably heard of the much-derided Direct Action policy the LNP replaced the carbon price with. Today I found out that most of the $1 billion plus of tax money they’ve given out so far has gone to paying rural landholders not to clear forests. No major contracts have been awarded to pay energy or resources companies - our biggest emitters - to actually reduce emissions. The billions spent won’t even get us to meet the LNP’s pathetic 5% carbon cut by 2020. It’s shocking financial, environmental and international irresponsibility, and rank hypocrisy after their attacks on the Labour-Green CPRS suite.
They do not support torture
Indefinite detention of vulnerable humans in an appalling offshore camp, inflicting conditions that cause despair and suicide, is a black mark we are currently paying billions each year to daub on Australia’s history. The Greens oppose this. Is the issue complex? Yes. Will alternatives be flawed too? Probably. But ‘better the devil you know’ is a poor argument when people in our nation’s ‘care’ are killing themselves.
Thanks for reading this far. My reasons above sacrifice nuance for directness. Even if you don’t vote Green, I hope you’ll think hard about your vote, look for substance behind rhetoric, and stay engaged with how Australia is run. Agree with me? Disagree? Let’s talk about it!