The Greens experiment

Since the federal election where the Greens picked up the seat of Melbourne they haven’t done well in state elections. At both the Victorian election and the NSW election the Greens have massively under-performed their stated goals of winning seats in the lower house and they have lost ground in the upper-house.

I have long argued that Liberal voters should preference the Greens in the seat of Melbourne ahead of the ALP for strategic reasons. Lindsay Tanner is out of the parliament* and the ALP have had to go into coalition to form government. This makes life difficult for them. It has also had the effect of concentrating attention on the Greens. Malcolm Farr explains

A second factor in NSW probably was the seeping secret that not all Greens are like that nice Bob Brown. Some are tending towards the loonier edge of town.

Economists differentiate between information goods, experience goods and credence goods. Information goods are those that we can discover the important characteristics about the good by seeking out more information. Experience goods are those goods that we can only discover the important characteristics by actually consuming the good, while credence goods are those we cannot be sure about the important characteristics even after we have consumed them. As a political party the Greens are experience goods. Many voters seem to the like the fuzzy hippy approach to public policy that the Greens seem to advocate without looking too closely that their actual policies. Having the Greens in the thick of things is working well and will continue to provide a valuable experience for some time.

Another might be that the Green experiment in influencing government federally has not impressed voters and they do not want it repeated in NSW.

The Greens have worked closely with major parties in other state governments, notably Tasmania, but it could be the exercise in federal politics has not been seen as a triumph by mainstream voters, or [b]y so-called progressives.

* Tanner didn’t run, probably because he knew the writing was on the wall.

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80 Responses to The Greens experiment

  1. I know it’s been said before, but I think the Greens have peaked, federally and in NSW. (Tasmanians are different and I can’t predict them.)

    There is an optimum level of voter knowledge of candidates and parties needed to maximise votes. Too little or too much and votes go down.

    As the Greens become better known they are no longer being seen as nice hippie tree-huggers, but silly control freaks who don’t care if they put people out of work or increase the cost of living.

    Labor is starting to realise this and will attempt to distance itself.

    It won’t be easy though – there is a significant faction within Labor that is equivalent to the Greens. It’s going to be an interesting few years watching Labor work out what it now stands for.

  2. Jeremy says:

    Given that apart from on social issues the Greens are about the opposite of you Libertarians – the only party seriously advocating more public spending on things that you lot would prefer private enterprise to do – it’s hardly surprising that you deride what they stand for and assume that anyone who supports them must be ignorant of it.

    As noted in another Catallaxy post today – the NSW election was simply a case of Labor voters wanting to thump Labor, and most Labor voters think that you have to have a big party in government, and therefore naturally went to the other one.

    The interesting election will be in 2015, when voters have remembered why they kept the Liberals out for 16 years, but haven’t yet forgiven Labor – and when, because of Saturday, Labor won’t have as much money to throw at smearing the Greens. Obviously there’ll still be the News Ltd campaign to “destroy” the Greens, and they’ve still a great deal of influence, but I suspect the Greens will do much better next time.

    Not that NSW, a state so conservative that the ALP believes in privatisation, is ever going to be particularly rich pickings for a genuinely left-wing party.

  3. JC says:

    David

    I have to disagree and it concerns I am because I’m worried about the country.

    There seems to be a serious misanthropic/environmental streak running through this country that I am not sure exists elsewhere to the extreme it does here.

    Perhaps we really have to have a few more years of hard left/green governing before this scourge is finally repudiated for the irrational ideology it is.

    Tt’s hip to be saying your vote green in a large number of circles here and the nonsense about the love of environment etc oozes out everywhere.

    You can’t watch an Australian program without words like “sustainable”, “protecting delicate species” and crap like doesn’t hit you in the first few minutes.

    I think it’s a national psychosis that will take a long time to weed out.

  4. they have lost ground in the upper-house

    That’s not necessarily true. They will definitely retain their existing two seats and there’s a fair chance they will pick up a third, giving them five in total. That would be an overall increase of one.

  5. daddy dave says:

    Perhaps we really have to have a few more years of hard left/green governing before this scourge is finally repudiated for the irrational ideology it is.

    Unfortunately, all that does is entrench it as the new normal. It becomes the starting point for discussion rather than a loopy extreme alternative.

  6. Infidel Tiger says:

    Given that apart from on social issues the Greens are about the opposite of you Libertarians

    I’m glad you said this, Jeremy. Many leftists here love to tell us that the Greens are actually a libertarian movement.

  7. JC says:

    Jeremy

    Not that NSW, a state so conservative that the ALP believes in privatisation, is ever going to be particularly rich pickings for a genuinely left-wing party.

    Say what you think, but labor is a leftwing party and they’ve run NSW for a good portion of the past 40 years or so. You can’t just dismiss labor’s time in office and suggest NSW has been a conservative state.

    I think Labor is far left, but some people would be satisfied just referring to it as a center left party, which is about on par with most large center left parties around the world.

  8. I think it’s a national psychosis that will take a long time to weed out.

    There is a psychotic element, I agree. But elections have been lost on the cost of living, inflation and interest rates. I can’t ever see Greens policies replacing those.

    As Clinton said, “It’s the economy stupid.” And the Greens are stupid.

  9. Sinclair Davidson says:

    David – my understanding of the number was that the Greens were net one down (admittedly off very early figures).

    Jeremy – I’m not suggesting that Greens voters don’t know what they stand for, I’m suggesting that a lot of other voters don’t and don’t like what they see when they do find out. I would have thought that a lot of libertarians would like many aspects of Greens social policy but, as you suggest, very little if any of their economic policy.

  10. daddy dave says:

    Not that NSW, a state so conservative that the ALP believes in privatisation, is ever going to be particularly rich pickings for a genuinely left-wing party.

    Well, not exactly. The party leadership came to realise that privatisation was the only sensible course of action; but the Neanderthal union thugs destroyed them in a hail of stone axes and rough-hewn clubs, shouting “Ugh! Ugh! Ugh!” and stomping in the dust; before running off on a mammoth hunt in the lower Blue Mountains.

    So, given that history, it’s not at all clear that the NSW ALP supports privatisation.

  11. Peter Patton says:

    Jeremy

    Actually the REALLY interesting election was the one held yesterday. And the Greens need no help from News Ltd, they destroyed themselves by revealing the truly vile anti-Semitic international socialist vermin they are. Thank god that pond-life Fiona Byrne has been bicthslapped back to her basket-weaving and studies of The Protocols. Now the rest of the country will finally wake up to the reality of the Rhianonists who now make up the majority of Greens.

  12. Chris M says:

    The whole democratic electoral process is demeaning for Greens, humiliating even.

  13. David – my understanding of the number was that the Greens were net one down (admittedly off very early figures).

    They had two positions up for election. They’ll retain those easily and might pick up a third.

    The counting is far from finished but you can watch progress here. There are 21 seats to fill, with the last couple based on who has the highest share of a quota.

  14. Tim Quilty says:

    David – I’m presuming off the numbers so far that ORP isn’t really in with a shot?

  15. David – I’m presuming off the numbers so far that ORP isn’t really in with a shot?

    Afraid not.

  16. Rafe says:

    So the last couple with the highest share of a quota are the Nile group and the Shooters.

    Many people who support the Greens on the basis of selected items of their platform will have second thoughts when they become aware of the whole of it. Especially when the cost of living implications become clearer.

  17. So the last couple with the highest share of a quota are the Nile group and the Shooters.

    No, they will be easily elected. There are two more seats to come after them.

    At the moment it looks like Hanson, and the Greens will get a third seat. Family First has an outside chance, depending on postal votes etc.

    The media are so dopey they aren’t even vaguely aware of this.

  18. Yobbo says:

    I would have thought that a lot of libertarians would like many aspects of Greens social policy

    For example? Green social policy is uniformly meddling, and in no way reflects the views of libertarians. Greens do not even support drug legalisation, they support treating drugs as medicine so we can give them to welfare recipients for free.
    They have no interest in breaking up the black market, which is the main reason that libertarians are opposed to the drug war.

    Additionally, the greens support significant additional restrictions on drugs that are currently legal, like Alcohol and Tobacco.

    Sinclair if you really believe this, perhaps you could offer an example of a policy of the Australian Greens that a libertarian could agree with, because I’ve gone over their policies many times and haven’t found any.

  19. Michael Fisk says:

    There is this great myth that the Greens support drug liberalisation. In fact, they just want the state to take over the provision of all drugs, including currently illegal ones. If they ever seized power, they would create a nightmarish totalitarian state with no social or economic liberties. They want to shut down Australia’s carbon-intensive industries, such as coal and gas, for which there is no substitute and probably never will be.

    That alone would necessitate the destruction of every social advance of the last two centuries, partly because most of the “rights” that we have invented are dependent on rising prosperity created by cheap energy, partly because the middle class would be massacred and returned to medieval serfdom, and partly because the Green State will be forced to create a police state to contain the massive outbreak of civil violence that will follow any sustained reduction in living standards.

  20. JC says:

    …..because I’ve gone over their policies many times and haven’t found any.

    This is coming from me now, possibly the biggest disser of the greens in the country.

    Here’s one and I can say Jeremy and one of the senators in the Green party also was dead set against. that was the internet filter.

    However about 12 months later the same party also fielded Happy Hamilton as a candidate in Higgins and their entire position on the filter etc was put into question as no party could support Hamilton and still believe the stuff about no censorship.

    Jeremy did oppose Hamilton’s candidacy though.

  21. Jeremy says:

    Well, to cite a present example, I’d expect most Libertarians would have no problem ending the discrimination in the Marriage Act, for example.

    “Actually the REALLY interesting election was the one held yesterday. And the Greens need no help from News Ltd, they destroyed themselves by revealing the truly vile anti-Semitic international socialist vermin they are. Thank god that pond-life Fiona Byrne has been bicthslapped back to her basket-weaving and studies of The Protocols. Now the rest of the country will finally wake up to the reality of the Rhianonists who now make up the majority of Greens.”

    That’s insane. Are you suggesting that criticising – or campaigning against – the policies of the government of Israel is “anti-semitism”? Is criticising or campaigning against the policies of the government of Australia “anti-Australian”?

  22. daddy dave says:

    Okay, I went hunting for their drug policy, thinking I’d agree with them on something. I like to find common ground. I was disappointed. This is the number one item on their page on drugs:

    1.The Australian Greens do not support the legalisation of currently illegal drugs

    It got worse from there. Just a laundry list of increased regulations for currently legal activities; weird, mandatory re-education programs for people caught doing the wrong thing as well as government sponsored re-education programs for those not yet caught; and other hair-raising stuff.

  23. daddy dave says:

    Are you suggesting that criticising – or campaigning against – the policies of the government of Israel is “anti-semitism”?

    Yes.
    Since the states that border Israel are worse in every concievable regard. The Syrian regime is murdering its own people as we speak. Not a peep from the Greens. Iran sentences homosexuals to death. Where are the Greens? etc. ( the list gets very long very quickly, so you’ll have to excuse the mere two examples)

  24. JC says:

    Well, to cite a present example, I’d expect most Libertarians would have no problem ending the discrimination in the Marriage Act, for example.

    I’m not sure ending that would make gays better off. Why drag them into the current quagmore of the marriage/family court which is fast becoming the biggest socialist redistribution machine since the sovs closed down their operation.

    Marriage ought to be deconstructed with the state completely out of the marriage business.

    I’m not entirely sure if most gays really understand what they are getting themselves into by supporting state sanctioned state marriage and if they really understood they would run a mile.

    That’s insane. Are you suggesting that criticising – or campaigning against – the policies of the government of Israel is “anti-semitism”?

    But, but what she said was virulently anti-Semitic. referring to Israel as a apartheid state is singling out for special mention of Jews and Israel by placing them/her under different standards than others.

  25. daddy dave says:

    Is criticising or campaigning against the policies of the government of Australia “anti-Australian”?

    If we were surrounded by nations that wanted to commit genocide on Australia, and in fact if a murderer slit the throat of an Australian baby and eveyrone in those countries celebrated; if we were trying to stop importation of rockets to those countries that wanted to genocide us; and some tin-pot council on the other side of the world decided to criticise us, you’d have to wonder about their motives.

  26. Michael Fisk says:

    However about 12 months later the same party also fielded Happy Hamilton as a candidate in Higgins and their entire position on the filter etc was put into question as no party could support Hamilton and still believe the stuff about no censorship.

    That’s the problem with the Greens. Occasionally they come out with a principled stand on something, but then they backflip and support a fascist like Hamilton. You never know what they are really angling at.

  27. Michael Fisk says:

    Jeremy, singling out Israel as an “Apartheid state”, while ignoring the fact that it is surrounded by advocates of gender and religious apartheid, as well as record-breaking practitioners of ethnic cleansing such as Sudan, is anti-Semitic.

    The Greens want to destroy centralised electricity generation without having a viable alternative, promote candidates who support the suspension of our parliamentary system, whilst reviving the oldest and most enduring hatred – Jew-hatred. They are by far the most evil, reactionary party in Australian politics. Association with these people is a non-starter.

  28. THR says:

    Since the states that border Israel are worse in every concievable regard.

    None of your points, or Jc’s, or Fisk’s, have anything whatsoever to do with anti-semitism. By your own definitions, any criticism of any sort of Israel is ipso facto evidence of Jew-hatred. If a Zionist Israeli criticises his nation’s traffic laws, he is, by your definition, an anti-semite. Obviously, this is a ludicrous position, and should be abandoned.

    Whatever one thinks of the Greens, there is no more evidence of actual anti-semitism within their party than their is proof of the existence of Yetis and Loch Ness Monsters. If you want to know what actual anti-semitism looks (and smells) like, take a look at much of the contemporary right’s views on Muslims. (For local examples, see Patsy or MarkL, for instance). Take their belief system and, mutatis mutandis, apply it to Jews, and you’ll see what actual bigotry looks like.

  29. JC says:

    None of your points, or Jc’s, or Fisk’s, have anything whatsoever to do with anti-semitism. By your own definitions, any criticism of any sort of Israel is ipso facto evidence of Jew-hatred.

    I don’t think that’s true at all THR.

    One could criticize Israel from the stand point of a liberal democracy and say we should expect better from Israel because it is in fact a liberal democracy. (That’s just hypothetical from my perspective by the way and in not any way suggesting I know of any criticisms on that score to throw at her.)

    However to say Israel is an apartheid state without even taking a looksee to see what’s in her neighborhood and the treatment of people in that region is placing Israel in a different plane and therefore can easily be construed as anti-Semitic.

  30. THR says:

    However to say Israel is an apartheid state without even taking a looksee to see what’s in her neighborhood and the treatment of people in that region is placing Israel in a different plane and therefore can easily be construed as anti-Semitic.

    Sure, it can be construed as anti-semitic, but it clearly isn’t. Whether the IDF/settlers/Israel government engages in acts of brutality is a question that can be settled without any reference to the neighbours. These are questions of fact.

    Now, why might somebody in Australia ‘single out’ Israel for criticism? (In reality, almost all critics of Israel attack a number of other countries also, but for the sake of argument…).

    Well, Israel is, like apartheid South Africa before it (and unlike its ‘neighbours’ today) a throwback to European colonialism. This alone makes it rather different to Libya or Yemen. Second, its probably the most militarised state in the world, and has an appalling track record of killing and terrorising civilians. Third, its engaged in an economic boycott that goes well beyond weapons. Fourth, its directly bankrolled by the US, to serve the regional interests of the latter. Fifth, both major parties in Australia are unequivocal in their support of successive Israeli governments, and even of the actions of the settler movement.

    These reasons, in a nutshell, should make it clear why Israel is a somewhat different case to Zimbabwe or Saudi Arabia (though nobody is suggesting that you can’t criticise/boycott them too if you wish).

  31. Jarrah says:

    ” If you want to know what actual anti-semitism looks (and smells) like”

    ..have a look at some attending the recent anti-CO2-tax rally that Abbott addressed.

    Daddy dave, your position – that criticism of Israel is de facto antisemitism – is illogical and impossible to sustain.

  32. JC says:

    Oh please… It’s a throwback to European colonialism? Please.

    Again applying a special standard. If you wish to apply this rule then Australia, NZ, Canada, South America would all fall into this camp.. including the fast moving borders in Europe too.

  33. JC says:

    Daddy dave, your position – that criticism of Israel is de facto antisemitism – is illogical and impossible to sustain.

    Bullshit. It’s basically anti-Jew and it’s as obvious and punch.

  34. THR says:

    If you wish to apply this rule then Australia, NZ, Canada, South America would all fall into this camp.. including the fast moving borders in Europe too.

    But they (and we) do fall into this camp. We have Aborigines instead of Palestinians. Thankfully (and unlike the IDF), we don’t murder them any more.

  35. JC says:

    .have a look at some attending the recent anti-CO2-tax rally that Abbott addressed.

    Of course, abbott would know the league of rights people attended, just like the Greens/ALP know hate-filled communist party members attend left wing rallies..

    Oh hang on… the greens selected a full on retarded commie to take a senate position.

    You’re such a metrosexual, Keyze.

  36. Gabrielle says:

    .have a look at some attending the recent anti-CO2-tax rally that Abbott addressed.

    People from all walks of life attended a rally, including a LOT of people who were staunch ALP supporters. Some of them were even union reps.

    So?

  37. Jarrah says:

    “So?”

    So, if you think the Greens are antisemitic, you ain’t seen nothin’.

  38. JC says:

    But they (and we) do fall into this camp. We have Aborigines instead of Palestinians. Thankfully (and unlike the IDF), we don’t murder them any more.

    We don’t fall into this camp at all as no one that has ever accused Israel of being an Apartheid state has ever connected those dots. They simply make the case it is by itself.

    If Indig weren’t 2% of the population but 50% and were basically walking into inner coffee shops and blowing people’s limbs apart they wouldn’t be so critical of Israel.

  39. Michael Fisk says:

    Sure, it can be construed as anti-semitic, but it clearly isn’t. Whether the IDF/settlers/Israel government engages in acts of brutality is a question that can be settled without any reference to the neighbours. These are questions of fact.

    Now, why might somebody in Australia ‘single out’ Israel for criticism? (In reality, almost all critics of Israel attack a number of other countries also, but for the sake of argument…).

    Oh really? Where is the Sudan Divestment Campaign? Better not hold our breath waiting for that to get moving.

    Well, Israel is, like apartheid South Africa before it (and unlike its ‘neighbours’ today) a throwback to European colonialism. This alone makes it rather different to Libya or Yemen.

    No it doesn’t. You haven’t actually made an argument here. So what if Israel is a product of “colonialism”? Ever wondered how Egypt switched from speaking Coptic to Arabic? Yes, that’s right – invasion and colonisation, the effects of which are still being felt today in the form of systematic violence, both applied by the state and society at large, against a religious minority. Again, you are applying standards to Israel that you would never do with regards to its neighbours.

    Second, its probably the most militarised state in the world, and has an appalling track record of killing and terrorising civilians.

    So do Algeria, Yemen, Syria, Libya, Sudan…but no Divestment Campaign for them! By the way, by what measure do you call Israel the most militarised state in the world? Do you have any evidence whatsoever for this claim?

    Third, its engaged in an economic boycott that goes well beyond weapons. Fourth, its directly bankrolled by the US, to serve the regional interests of the latter

    Gosh, really? You mean like Hezbollah, which is bankrolled by Iran to serve its regional interests? Shit happens. Next.

    Fifth, both major parties in Australia are unequivocal in their support of successive Israeli governments, and even of the actions of the settler movement.

    Where have Julia Gillard or Tony Abbott endorsed the actions of Israel’s settler movement? This posting is getting rather long. Can we please have at least one verifiable fact every 1,000 words?

    These reasons, in a nutshell, should make it clear why Israel is a somewhat different case to Zimbabwe or Saudi Arabia (though nobody is suggesting that you can’t criticise/boycott them too if you wish).

    Actually, you haven’t provided ANY reasons why Israel should be treated differently to its neighbours, or any other countries. The “colonial” argument is a joke (and is not applied to Arab countries), the human rights argument is a howler, and the rest are either similarly untrue or irrelevant.

  40. Michael Fisk says:

    Daddy dave, your position – that criticism of Israel is de facto antisemitism – is illogical and impossible to sustain.

    I can’t speak for anyone else, but I have never claimed that criticism of Israel is anti-semitic. What is anti-semitic is applying different moral standards to different people according to race or religion. Calling for divestment from Israel is, and will be, called anti-semitic until the same people run the same campaign with equal vigour (and no backsliding allowed) against any country with a worse human rights record than Israel’s.

  41. THR says:

    Where is the Sudan Divestment Campaign?

    Nobody is stopping you from starting one up. There would, of course, have to be something to divest.

    Again, you are applying standards to Israel that you would never do with regards to its neighbours.

    Which of Israel’s neighbours are ongoingly engaged in colonialism, as Israel is?

    So do Algeria, Yemen, Syria, Libya, Sudan…but no Divestment Campaign for them!

    So you think it’s unfair to pick on Israel, because they’re no worse than Algeria and Yemen? You’re not really making a strong case here.

    You mean like Hezbollah, which is bankrolled by Iran to serve its regional interests?

    Who in Australia buys Hezbollah products? How many US tax dollars fund arms for Hezbollah? Which Australian politicians openly support Hezbollah? Now ask the same questions WRT to Israel. You get the picture.

    Where have Julia Gillard or Tony Abbott endorsed the actions of Israel’s settler movement?

    They don’t directly support the actions of settler’s, bt they support Israel’s ‘right’ to settlements, which amounts to much the same thing.

    Actually, you haven’t provided ANY reasons why Israel should be treated differently to its neighbours, or any other countries

    On the contrary, I’ve provided several such reasons. You, on the other hand, are engage in hypocrisy and special pleading. Your basic argument seems to be that nobody is permitted to criticise Israel because somewhere, another country is worse. Well, that’s no argument at all. It is you who is asking for Israel to be treated differently.

  42. Jarrah says:

    “Calling for divestment from Israel is, and will be, called anti-semitic until the same people run the same campaign with equal vigour (and no backsliding allowed) against any country with a worse human rights record”

    No, it’s just selective outrage that is indicative of an underlying ideology. Like the US embargo on Cuba, or – if we want to compare apples with apples – Marrickville council’s boycott of Burma.

  43. JC says:

    You heard it here from the Keyze… It’s just “selective” outrage and not anti-Semitic at all.

    Hey Keyze you dummy, Antisemitism IS “selective” outrage by definition.

    Please…how you compare the US actions against Cuba to Marrackville council is ROTF kinda stuff. You’re being truly stupidly oppositional now for its own sake.

  44. Gabrielle says:

    Marrickville has sister city relations with Cairo and Bethlehem. But this probably has nought to do with the boycott. I guess.

  45. Michael Fisk says:

    Nobody is stopping you from starting one up. There would, of course, have to be something to divest.

    No, THR, the point is that there is nothing stopping THEM from setting one up, either, which of course leads us to question their motivations vis-a-vis Israel. THEY are the ones who support divestment campaigns, not me. Australian companies operate all over Africa, and I’m sure we wouldn’t take very long to find somewhere to divest from.

    Which of Israel’s neighbours are ongoingly engaged in colonialism, as Israel is?

    I’m not sure what you mean by “engaged in colonialism”, but if you mean systematically repressing an indigenous population and depriving them of equal rights, de facto and de jure, then the obvious contenders are Egypt and Sudan. No divestment campaign there.

    So you think it’s unfair to pick on Israel, because they’re no worse than Algeria and Yemen? You’re not really making a strong case here.

    That is precisely the case I’m making. I strongly disagree with Israel’s actions in the West Bank and advocate their immediate withdrawal from that territory, but it is by no means the worst human rights violator in the region, nor the world at large. To single out Israel, whilst ignoring other equally-or-more-pressing cases, is extremely suspect, and probably based on bigotry.

    Who in Australia buys Hezbollah products? How many US tax dollars fund arms for Hezbollah? Which Australian politicians openly support Hezbollah? Now ask the same questions WRT to Israel. You get the picture.

    My point about Hezbollah was in response to the trite statement that the US funds Israel. Big deal. They also fund Egypt, a very serious human rights abuser, while Iran sponsors Hezbollah. China props up North Korea. Lots of countries do this sort of thing – including trade partners of ours – and it doesn’t support your argument in favour of divesting from Israel in the slightest.

    They don’t directly support the actions of settler’s, bt they support Israel’s ‘right’ to settlements, which amounts to much the same thing.

    Where? The last statement I can find of the Australian government’s on settlements is an article…where they oppose settlement-building!

    On the contrary, I’ve provided several such reasons. You, on the other hand, are engage in hypocrisy and special pleading. Your basic argument seems to be that nobody is permitted to criticise Israel because somewhere, another country is worse. Well, that’s no argument at all. It is you who is asking for Israel to be treated differently.

    My argument is not that people should refrain from criticising Israel – it is that they are running a divestment campaign (which is a very serious form of criticism) against Israel while ignoring far worse violators of human rights. They need to explain why Jewish states should be held to different standards than non-Jewish or Muslim states.

  46. Yobbo says:

    That’s insane. Are you suggesting that criticising – or campaigning against – the policies of the government of Israel is “anti-semitism”?

    It’s anti-semitic purely because by calling Israel and apartheid state and “imperialist” is effectively saying that they have no right to defend their own lives, and that they should just stand around and allow themselves to be killed by arabs that have been killing them for 2000 years, and show no signs of changing their mind.

    That’s why it’s anti-semitic, because you are saying that Jews have no right to self-defense, and therefore they don’t deserve the full gamut of human rights.

    Is criticising or campaigning against the policies of the government of Australia “anti-Australian”?

    If you were campaigning against policies that were put in place to protect Australians from being murdered by terrorists, then yes, it would be. Because you’d be effectively barracking for their deaths.

    One of the policies that caused the biggest outrage lately was the IDF storming the “peace flotilla”. The peace flotilla consisting of ships stuffed to the brim with RPGs, Weapons, and terrorists. This is the sort of thing that the hard left routinely campaigns against, because they want Arabs to win the war.

    I mean let’s face it, the greens aren’t campaigning against the Israeli government’s tax policy or the Israel government’s policy on Porn are they? No. They are campaigning against their right to keep terrorists out of Israel.

  47. Gabrielle says:

    Bob Brown agrees, the Greens anti-Semitic stance lost them the seat of Marrickville.

    He said there was no doubt the controversy surrounding Ms Byrne’s comments and support for Israeli goods to be boycotted ruined their chances in the seat.

    “I think it [the call for a boycott] had an effect on it and that’s my feedback from the electorate.

    “It [a boycott on Israel] is not national Greens policy. It will be up to NSW Greens to have a look at Marrickville.”

    Tim Blair:

    Brown knew about the Israel-shunning way back in January, if not earlier. It’s only an issue for the Greens now because they lost.

  48. Jeremy says:

    “Jeremy, singling out Israel as an “Apartheid state”, while ignoring the fact that it is surrounded by advocates of gender and religious apartheid, as well as record-breaking practitioners of ethnic cleansing such as Sudan, is anti-Semitic. “

    I don’t think they do ignore that. The Greens condemn the human rights abuses in those countries as well.

    The only reason there’s more action on Israel is that we do actually trade with them, and that there are many here in Australia who actually support what Israel is doing. Hence there being a debate. In contrast – we have little interaction with Iran, and everyone agrees that they’re pariahs, so there’s no debate.

    But don’t mistake a lack of discussion – because it’s generally agreed in Australia that those states are rotters – with support or indifference.

    Israel is the subject of more debate and criticism-that-you-hear precisely BECAUSE there are plenty of people here in Australia who support its policies against the Palestinians.

  49. JC says:

    Jeremy

    This isn’t a pox on all houses thing, as though any reasonable person could possibly group Israel with such shining lights on the hill countries like Syria, Saudi Arabia and Iran.

    The council never suggested they embargo say oil from the Arab world, but specifically targeted Israel for special treatment. So your examples about the Greens not ignoring those other places kinda falls dead. If they were really not seeking out Israel for special treatment, they would have at the very least called for an embargo of those countries with appalling human rights records. Yet they didn’t.

  50. dover_beach says:

    The only reason there’s more action on Israel is that we do actually trade with them, and that there are many here in Australia who actually support what Israel is doing. Hence there being a debate. In contrast – we have little interaction with Iran, and everyone agrees that they’re pariahs, so there’s no debate.

    There are far more grounds for a divestment campaign based on human rights abuses to be launched against China then against Israel and yet this is absent. And this comparison avoids the excuse about absent trade or investment between Australia and country X or the absence of a constituency supporting countries other than Israel.

  51. Jarrah says:

    “f you were campaigning against policies that were put in place to protect Australians from being murdered by terrorists, then yes, it would be.”

    So any and all policies that are labelled ‘protection’ are beyond reproach on any grounds.

    That is going to lead you down a dark path.

    “The peace flotilla consisting of ships stuffed to the brim with RPGs, Weapons, and terrorists.”

    RPGs? Can I have some of what you’re smoking? Because all I saw were kitchen knives and slingshots.

  52. C.L. says:

    Until Isarel’s neighbours in such places as Lebanon and ‘Palestine’ renounce exterminationism (which they utterly refuse to do), all apologists for Hezbollah, Hamas and their supporters are, ipso facto, anti-semites. We all know the lefty trick is to airbrush that description away in favour of ‘anti-Zionist’ or ‘critic of the State of Israel.’ But in fact moral equivalency in this situation constitutes acceptance of the Goebells-like propaganda of the exterminationists themselves, which is designed to mainstream their exterminationism. Anyone who adopts this view of things (and that means most people on the left these days) is an anti-semite like David Duke. The consequences have been appalling: hate crimes committed by leftist extremists in Europe and the United States have risen dramatically in recent years.

  53. Peter Patton says:

    Jeremy

    Are you suggesting that criticising – or campaigning against – the policies of the government of Israel is “anti-semitism”?

    As I said nothing like this, I have to wonder what has motivated you to suggest I had? I don’t think naice bourgie little Melbourne Grammar boys are quite aware of the Useful Idiot role they play to the large rump of The Greens that is merely rebranded Communists and International Socialists. This is particularly the case in NSW, where the party is definitely watermelon and very ugly.

    Whenever you hear an Australian organization bang on about “Zionists” you know it’s a marxist of some hue who is sock-puppeting. The vile Marrickville woman is a cookie-cutter example of them. Good riddance to her.

  54. Peter Patton says:

    THR

    If you want to know what actual anti-semitism looks (and smells) like, take a look at much of the contemporary right’s views on Muslims

    Ah, hah. The alliance between the marxist left and the Islamists keeps getting stronger. Sadly, it has done nothing for your analogical reasoning ability. Dude, by definition, views on Muslims have nothing to do with anti-Semitism.

  55. Peter Patton says:

    Jarrah

    1. Whether or not the League of Nations is anti-Semitic is completely irrelevant to the rank anti-Semitism on which International Socialists and Communists are weaned.

    2. Nobody is arguing that criticism of Israel = anti-Semitism. Whether or not it is, requires an examination of the critic. It is more than a safe bet than whenever you hear some Australian group banging on about Zionists, a scratch of the surface will reveal some Marxist filth, whose ideology is crippled by malignant anti-Semitism.

    The fact that the ideologue might be a Useful Idiot, and completely unaware of the deeper political history and trajectory of the ideology s/he has been baptised in, is unfortunate.

    Note this leaves open the possibility that a critic of Israel might not be involved with Marxist sects, and indeed might not be an anti-Semite. For example, I don’t think one could fairly accuse the Bob Brown faction of the Greens anti-Semitic. But tragically, the Bob Greenie faction is losing ground to the Lee Rhianon Red faction, which is run from NSW, and particularly Marrickville.

  56. daddy dave says:

    Nobody is arguing that criticism of Israel = anti-Semitism.

    The total media blackout when Palestinians celebrated the murder of an Israeli baby in its sleep by a Palestinian – is anti-semitic.

    Differential targeting of Israel is anti-semitism.

    The UN Security Council getting together like a gang of playground bullies and passing a never-ending stream of motions against Israel, while ignoring more serious problems, is anti-Semitic.

    Get it now?

  57. daddy dave says:

    Israeli apartheid is a lie.

  58. Gabrielle says:

    here are far more grounds for a divestment campaign based on human rights abuses to be launched against China then against Israel and yet this is absent.

    Not that long ago Byrne threatened to boycott China in support of Tibet. However this was hastily dropped after objections from Labor, and Randwick council threatened to boycott Marrickville council.

    eejits.

  59. Michael Fisk says:

    I don’t think they do ignore that. The Greens condemn the human rights abuses in those countries as well.

    Yes they do, but they aren’t calling for boycotts or sanctions, are they?

    The only reason there’s more action on Israel is that we do actually trade with them, and that there are many here in Australia who actually support what Israel is doing. Hence there being a debate.

    We trade with practically every country in the Middle East, including Iran, Sudan, Egypt, Libya, even Syria, and our trade with Saudi is larger than our trade with Israel. The fact that some people agree with Israel’s actions in no way informs us about the merits of a divestment campaign – it merely suggests that those people could be misguided.

    In contrast – we have little interaction with Iran, and everyone agrees that they’re pariahs, so there’s no debate.

    Our trade with Iran is still over $200 million in spite of sanctions. There are lots of Iranians in Australia. Unfortunately NOT everyone agrees the Iranian government are pariahs. There are quite a few Lebanese Shiites who support Hezbollah for instance, Iran’s foreign mercenaries. Just because they are Muslims and/or immigrants doesn’t mean that we should ignore their opinions.

    But don’t mistake a lack of discussion – because it’s generally agreed in Australia that those states are rotters – with support or indifference.

    To the extent that some of these states are rotten due to their advocacy of sharia, I’m not entirely sure that there is a consensus on it’s awfulness. A solid fraction of the Australian Muslim community like sharia, and some liberals (such as Kim from LP) have even run interference for sharia. This is the same Kim who was more opposed to the opposition to female genital mutilation than the practice itself.

    Israel is the subject of more debate and criticism-that-you-hear precisely BECAUSE there are plenty of people here in Australia who support its policies against the Palestinians.

    There is nothing wrong with Israel being the subject of debate. There IS something wrong with boycotting or divesting from Israel while ignoring much bigger human rights abusers. China, another colonial settler state (at least in Tibet and Xinjiang), is our first or second trading partner. Are we going to boycott them too? Or are we going to run the “engagement is the best answer, not sanctions” line, which is what Leftists like to do when they are caught out advocating hypocritical policies towards human rights abusers?

  60. Michael Fisk says:

    Here is former Egyptian President Sadat, an anti-war hero who signed a historic peace treaty with Israel, which the pro-war Far Left are itching to tear up for, talking about the aims of the Muslim Brotherhood:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLe3c5QM010

  61. Jarrah says:

    Peter
    1. Comparison of antisemitism fervour was brought up by someone else. I just gave an example.
    2. Daddy dave is arguing precisely that. And ” Whether or not it is, requires an examination of the critic” is ad hom. Even Jew-haters can have valid points about government policies.

  62. Jarrah says:

    “Yes they do, but they aren’t calling for boycotts or sanctions, are they?”

    Yes, but not consistently.

  63. Peter Patton says:

    Hilarious advice from the Sparts!

    We Said: No Vote to Labor! No Vote to Bourgeois Greens!

    http://www.icl-fi.org/english/asp/index.html

  64. Marks says:

    I guess that while I agree with some of the original post’s observations, given that the vote for the Nationals was of the same order as the vote for the Greens, those same comments are probably true for the Nationals as well. (10% vs 13% at the present state of counting).

    The only reason that the Nationals got more seats is that their elector base and the system is more concentrated in their favour. However, in terms of numbers of voters, Nationals have little to crow about. Indeed their onward march to electoral oblivion over the past forty years should be of more concern to those on the right, than the Greens.

  65. Peter Patton says:

    Jarrah

    Yes, I’ve just noticed that dd does precisely that. He is clearly wrong.

  66. daddy dave says:

    The Nationals have a long standing and stable geographic base.
    The Greens have got Tasmania, but no stable base in the mainland.

  67. . says:

    Marks – you cannot be serious. The Nationals were close to being the opposition to a Liberal Government.

    If you accept the set up of the lower house, you cannot possibly complain about the results, unless you want to unfairly rig it for the Greens.

  68. daddy dave says:

    Yes, I’ve just noticed that dd does precisely that. He is clearly wrong

    Peter, “He is clearly wrong” is not a refutation.

    Even Jew-haters can have valid points about government policies.

    Jarrah, this is true. But the endless barrage of bullshit anti-Israel propaganda that we get through various channels shows that something is broken.

  69. The latest count suggests Pauline Hanson is likely to take the 21st seat in the Legislative Council, denying the Greens an additional seat.

    Do I prefer her to the Greens? Well, she’s ignorant and an economic nationalist. But compared to socialist control freaks? Yes, I do.

  70. Peter Patton says:

    DL

    How “recent” is that prediction?

  71. Jarrah says:

    “Peter, “He is clearly wrong” is not a refutation.”

    Some things are just self-evident, daddy dave, your rhetorical gymnastics notwithstanding.

  72. Jarrah says:

    “Do I prefer her to the Greens? … Yes, I do.”

    A pity, and revealing. One Nation has basically zero in common with the LDP (or ORP), far less than the Greens. I know I won’t convince you on that point, but it’s objectively true.

  73. entropy says:

    Blair’s law would predict there is not that much difference between the greens and one nation policies on many matters.

    small population
    protectionist industry policy
    price controls
    etc etc

  74. JC says:

    Yep… One Nation and The Greens should amalgamate, as they essentially have the same ideas on the economy etc.

  75. C.L. says:

    I think the Greens should invite the League of Rights to join them. They share the same view of Jews the state of Israel.

  76. Jarrah says:

    “there is not that much difference between the greens and one nation policies on many matters”

    Sure, but you only list some specific economic principles. Even there, ON and the Greens diverge only a few lines away from your “etc etc” (which falsely implies they agree all the way).

  77. JC says:

    Sure, but you only list some specific economic principles.

    just some..

    small population
    protectionist industry policy
    price controls

    And Keyze thinks they really don’t matter much anyways.

  78. Jarrah says:

    “protectionist industry policy
    price controls”

    Apparently Labor and the Liberals are the same as ON, by this standard.

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