Wellsy wrote:Perhaps we're of similar backgrounds if you are also an Australian raised in a city and got reasonable education.
Wellsy wrote:Do you think the Greens have been gaining momentum as a popular party in recent years under Richard Di Natale?
And that the Greens push social issues and policy response? That sounds a reasonable approach for a minor party that can't oust the two dominant parties.
I agree the Greens cannot succeed due to structural implications of our voting system which differs from say the Germans which allows representation for anyone who gets 5% of the vote.
People put far too much emphasis on which type of voting system is used, in my opinion. Certainly, it is telling that despite having approximately eight percent popular support, the Australian Greens only have one of 151 seats in the House of Representatives. However, if you look at New Zealand, which does use a form of proportional representation in their lower house, you will find that it doesn't change much, and that actually, the Canadian Parliament, which doesn't use proportional representation, has more variety in political parties than the New Zealand Parliament does, because the social divisions in Canadian society demand that.
The intention of my earlier post was to communicate that if cultural groundwork is what lays the foundation for social progress, it doesn't really matter whether the Greens have one seat or sixteen. If the grassroots support for their ideas isn't there, they won't get anywhere. Further than that though, they needn't get anywhere. Perhaps the Greens themselves don't understand this, but at the end of the day, the general public are not going to vote for what they perceive as the 'far left'. The job of the Greens is to make Labor look good. Think: around the West, Justin Trudeau was considered wildly progressive when he was elected. In Canada, however, he is still a moderate liberal, because Canada has two major political parties with more progressive platforms than his.
Wellsy wrote:I have some skepticism though without exploring it further, even in the case of Biden and Sanders. I've seen the assertion of Sanders pushing the Democratic party to the left because of the concerns he raised and the strong response he got.
I'm not yet convinced that is the case and wish to keep an eye on the claim. Because I've not heard actual concessions made on such a basis other then headlines asserting it but not anything specific. Which could just be my own media consumption as I don't read news all to often and don't need to at times because everyone else is so immerse it pops out just like I end up knowing what some celebrity is doing without any effort.
Well, I'll provide some examples, then. A decade ago, Barack Obama proposed a public health insurance option for the United States, which, despite Democratic control of the US Congress, did not pass into law. Consider also, by the way, that when he ran for president in 2008, he was described as 'the most liberal member of the Senate', and was presented by Republicans as some kind of radical socialist. Ten years later, you had Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez presented in that same light, and the public option is now considered the moderate, common sense option for healthcare reform, supported by Joe Biden along with nearly two thirds of Americans. Joe Biden supports a $15 dollar minimum wage, popularised by Bernie Sanders. Before Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign, no politician talked about student loan forgiveness. Now, the majority of Americans support this, and Joe Biden's campaign includes tuition free college. Only a third of Americans supported marijuana legalisation when Obama was president. Now, Biden is viewed as socially conservative because he only supports decriminalisation. This is what I'm talking about when I say that progressives pushing the envelope allow for the normalisation of certain ideas.
Wellsy wrote:I have been hearing some policy positions from Labor party MPs on FriendlyJordies youtube channel which has been the only time I've seen and heard extensive coverage of their policy views and find them quite agreeable to what a labor party is meant to be about, Australian workers.
Which makes me somewhat hopeful that they haven't entirely gone to shit by the weakening of modern day Unions to merely service providers rather than solidarity among workers.
Yeah, the weakening of the unions isn't the main problem. It's that union membership in Australia has gone from a half to a third. It's that Labor's traditional working class base has been carved up by tradesmanship and automation, and that many of its less devoted followers have switched to the Liberals or the Greens. And that's really what I want to talk about with this post, so I now turn to the rest of PoFo.
If you've read to this point, please read on. I promise it will become more relevant.
In 2010, in Australia, the Australian Greens gained their first seat in the House of Representatives, the lower house of the Australian Parliament, with the Prime Minister and whatnot. That election, they had 12% of the primary vote. In the three elections since, they have gotten under ten percent of the primary vote. Notably, the conservative Liberal/National Coalition have also been in power since the 2013 election. Now, I can't pretend I pay much attention to the Australian media, but I'm under the impression that a combination of Rupert Murdoch owning most of the private news outlets and the government constantly threatening to end funding to public ones have meant that the Australian Government have gotten off fairly lightly with regard to their record. There also seems to be less and less coverage of either the Greens or the Labor Party.
From what I know of the new leader of the Greens, Adam Bandt, I actually quite like the political platform he's running on. But what I know of Adam Bandt, I know because I've specifically sought out that information. The average Australian woudn't know that information, I don't think, because the media ignores the Greens and hopes they'll go away. Of course, very country's political situation is distinct. In the United States, until this year, the ideas of Adam Bandt were represented by Bernie Sanders. In the United Kingdom, until this year, they were represented by Jeremy Corbyn. But there is a common thread here.
In 1947, President Truman launched the United States' First Red Scare, with an executive order screening people associated with socialistic organisations. The anti-socialism promoted by Senator Joe McCarthy over the 1950's took a while to crystalise, but oh boy did it work. In 1979, Margaret Thatcher was elected Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and Ronald Reagan President of the United States at the start of the eighties. Inspired by Chicago School economics, those two presided over the liberalisation of the economies in the Anglosphere. Before then, Fabian Socialism was the driving force of the British, Australian and kiwi Labour parties, but since that happened, not a socialist prime minister ever has graced us. They were all replaced by centrist Keynesians: Bob Hawke and Paul Keating in Australia, Bill Clinton in the US and Tony Blair in the UK.
I watched on, as for four straight years, Jeremy Corbyn was maligned by the British Media as a fanatical Stalinist, all the while only putting forward policy which would've been perfectly acceptable fifty years ago. As Bernie Sanders was purposely ignored and left out of conversations on American Television, so that the discussion was always centred around Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden. And in Australia, of course, the unnecessarily moderate Labor Party lost last year's election purely for suggesting that they would implement policies that would raise taxes, while the Greens were dumped in the gutter and forgotten about entirely.
As I said earlier, labour unions are losing ground. The (in my view inevitable) processes of offshoring and automation have rendered them increasingly irrelevant, and this has a negative effect on the electability and platform of labour parties, who must necessarily attract new voters who do not necessarily have the best interests of the working class in mind. Hundreds of thousands of people are homeless across the developed world, and this only increases as the rich get richer, yet people below the poverty line can be convinced to vote for Boris Johnson because apparently free healthcare equals Mao Zedong. What is the future of the labour movement which propelled the British Labour Party into power in a matter of decades?