An easy life

GreensProtestHow easy my life would be if I were a Greens supporter. I’m not saying this in a sarcastic way. I’m deadly honest. Life would  be so much easier if I just gave up on Labor and  became a Green instead.

Think of all the challenging conversations I could avoid if I chose not to debate a topic, and instead just stuck with the same argument, the same opinion, no matter how situations changed around me. Imagine if I no longer had to worry about pesky policy challenges like how on earth revenue could be found to fund my ideas. Or if my answer to everything was ‘more tax’ regardless of how the electorate and the business community would respond?

As someone in my early 30’s on the left of the political spectrum, I would no doubt be far more hipster and fashionable if I did hold up a green triangle whenever politics was mentioned. I could get up on my high horse and never get down. I could demand one outcome and refuse to consider all others. I could cry when I wanted to show how much I care, and the argument would be over and I would feel I had won. I could accuse everyone else of being heartless. Of being evil. Of being a sell-out to political reality. I could be a sell out to political reality. Even better, I could become a professional complainer and even take a little bit of anticipated joy out of the prospect of an Abbott government, because it would give me more reason to complain, more reason to stamp my feet, more reason to take to the streets in protest. Protests are fun! And when people asked me what the Greens policies were, I could send them to a web address where dollars and cents aren’t mentioned, like a wish list for Santa, and then I could expertly draw the subject back the asylum seekers, gay marriage and the environment whenever I felt the conversation was moving elsewhere.

When the nasty bad bad man Kevin Rudd dared to suggest an alternative to an asylum seeker policy which has seen over 1,000 people drown at sea, I could refuse to acknowledge anyone has drowned. I could argue that we should encourage anyone who has enough money to pay for a seat on an old leaky boat to make the treacherous journey to Australia if that’s what they want, and damn the people who don’t have a cent to even think about making this decision. I could say any policy which wavers even fractionally from my ideal situation –  where there is no limit to the number of asylum seekers either drowning or being resettled in Australia – is evil and unconscionable. And when people try to talk about these other policy suggestions, and the outcomes of these policies, and even mention the word drowning, I could get angry, confrontational and upset, then go on a protest march to make myself feel morally superior. When Tony Abbott suggests an unworkable policy that is far worse than that suggested by Labor, I could whine even louder that this is a race to the bottom, but refrain completely from actually talking about the problem, and practical solutions to fix it. And I could commit to my plan to attack Labor as the worst of the worst, while ignoring the alternative problem of an Abbott led government and what this outcome would do to the country in many policy areas, not just my favourite one.

If I didn’t get the climate emissions reduction policy I wanted, I could completely withdraw from the debate and sit on my hands while someone else fought it out on by behalf. And if I did manage to get my policy onto the government’s agenda, I wouldn’t dare stand next to the Labor party and help them to sell it to the electorate. No, that sort of ugly political contest would be way below me if I were a Green.

Of course, in this easy world where I’m a Green, I wouldn’t care about industrial relations. I would pretend not to notice that an Abbott government, given the chance, would completely destroy unions and the workers rights they fight for. As a Green, I could remove myself from the messiness of having to fight for nation building reform, like the NBN, Paid Maternity Leave, the National Disability Insurance Scheme and the National Plan for School Improvement. Of course I’d privately relish the outcomes of these policies, if they were successfully implemented, but I would never get my hands dirty actually supporting the Labor party to pass these reforms. And I’d avoid sounding like a hack by actually praising the Labor party for transforming their ideas into reality.  That would take far too much of my time and effort away from talking about the environment, gay marriage and asylum seekers.

No, if I were a Green, I could have it all. I could argue for every ideal I wanted without ever having to actually fight for anything to be done. I could hold my nose and vote for Labor and say I preferenced them second to last and oh how high and mighty that would make me feel. Or I could do a donkey vote and laugh and laugh about it with my friends, while we toast democracy and the amazing opportunity it gives us. I could keep my idealism in tact, without actually having to reason with a voter who disagrees with me to sell a policy. I could be the world’s most annoying back-seat-driver when it came to the Labor party – telling them how to run government when I’d had no experience doing such a thing. I could be pure. I could pretend factionalism didn’t exist in the Greens, and that their grubby purpose isn’t in fact to replace the Labor Party as the left-wing alternative. I could opt-out of any debate I didn’t want to have. I could take no pleasure and no pain from what happens to the government that I will never belong to. I could be an activist instead of a political realist. I could chain my identity to the brand of a party that never has to make a tough decision. I could be above it all.

But of course, if I took the easy path, what on earth would I achieve? I might be young but I’ve learnt enough to know that nothing worthwhile was ever easy. Hence why I’ll stick with Labor.


  1. Well said again Victoria. You have expressed my frustrations and disgust with the greens admirably. Thank you.

  2. This is what my Greenie daughter and I are often have words over. I like the Idea of the Greens, but often they do not have life reality and balance in their policies. So it does look like I will have to vote krudd. I really do not want to but T.Abbott no way…

  3. It’s the intransigence and………dare I say it………the self righteousness that gets up my nose. I just want to deal with the most pressing reality…….stop any more children from bloody well drowning ……..instead of listening
    to people ponticate about compassion !

  4. Well said. A voice of sanity Victoria. As a 70 plus year old who is often in despair you give me at least faint hope for the younger generation!

  5. Where is Bob Brown now – we need his sensible balanced viewpoints. Think the current Greens leader is not up to the job.

  6. The Greens do have the habit of letting the best be the enemy of the good but Labour let the LNP set the terms of the argument rather than assert the ultimate primacy of community over the market.

  7. I think the shade of green has too much black in its pigment in it. If wanting to live in fairy land, then albeit, but don’t take me there with your Green-eyed- flying-people-eaters. Tasmania has the highest unemployment rate in Australia due to that black stain, dribbling down those trees and onto the forest floor from green infestation. Don’t get me wrong I love trees but I do believe the Australian Aboriginals had the right method always. Clear some areas for new growth, while maintaining balanced growth production by planting triple the amount of trees that have been cut down. Forest management for the future generations needs and supply creates jobs.

    Same with our fishers. It has been controlled and managed by Australia’s fisherman or should I say fisherpeople to be political correct by rigorous catch limits over the last couple of decades. Yes they have come to terms with balance fisheries and protecting their future needs to supply a limited supply.

    While the above rationale proves there can be balance debate on subjects, that the Greens lack any problem inspirations solving. I do believe in global warming and the effects from pollution has proven itself to be the biggest destroyer of this planet earth than radiation from nuclear fuel exposure or contamination, although I am not in favour of the latter either and prefer renewable energy wherever possible. Base power will always be needed to a degree. So the only way is to be able to stop the carbon emissions from leaving the smoke stacks and have this carbon sifted into and through the green algae growth pounds is the only way to go. Hello then the algae when dried and process can be used for fuel too.

    There is this Queensland scientist, who has been working on this algae method for years and lacks the forthsight of many past and present governments including the Greens.

    Great article Vic and cheers.

  8. Victoria,

    thank you for saying what just about every single person I know has expressed – but doing it so well:) The Greens have not occupied the position of the late Democrats (well, pre implosion, back when they actually played a realistic balancing act in politics), but are very much a one note party, reducing everything to a petulant toddler like whine. Even when I agree with them about the issue, (usually an aspect as issues are often complex, whereas they tend to find them ever so simple), I find myself disagreeing with their response. They want all their wish list, with not a care for how this is to be achieved. It makes anything they argue for thus tainted by their approach, which is more than a pity.

  9. Thank you Victoria on an informative and well written article on the Greens. I must admit i dont understand what kind of message they are trying to convey any more. The only conclusion i can come to is they are trying to be the alternative to the Labor Party but if that is correct then they hav’nt got a hope in hell,they will never gain more than one or two seats in the lower house,and if their not careful they may lose seats in the Senate if they dont change this crazy path they have taken. Having said that i will still give them my second preference as the alternative is just to awful to contemplate.

  10. You have articulated my thoughts precisely, I was even a little timid to voice them, thank you
    Victoria Rollison, you have made me stronger.

  11. How easy life would be if I could ignore Labor’s immorality and abandonment of all their principles! Then I could continue to blindly support Rudd and the tattered remains of a party who wil do anything, anything at all, for the chance to retain power. I could rationalise support for someone who said he would never lead the party again, and mere weeks later, sunk the knife into his leader’s back. I could fantasise about the wickedness of the horrible Greens, who supported the Gillard government for three years, and whose input led to better legislation and better outcomes for Australia. I could demonise them in fact. I could ignore the fact that Labor has turned from an experienced, principled possibly losing team to a panicked, talentless and unprincipled losing team.
    However, I prefer to lend my support to the good guys. Go the Greens!

    • Are they the same greens who blocked the original carbon pricing scheme? Are they the greens who decided that it would be far better to have people drown than to support the suggestions of a group of people who had the best interest of asylum seekers at heart when they decided that a deterrent such as the Malaysia solution would stop people putting their lives at risk?

      Yep, the’re the greens, who cry their faux tears while babies drown because, like a petulant child stamping it’s feet they couldn’t get their own way.

      For shame.

      • Are they in fact the very same Greens who voted down Rudd’s first scheme, because it was actually WORSE than doing nothing? Are these the very same Greens who supported a better ETS, and will continue to push for improvements? The same Greens who actually care about the environment, and the people who depend on it?

        Why yes, in fact, those are the very same Greens, and thanks for asking so much 🙂

        Is this the same Labor Party who decried Little Johnny’s Pacific Solution as inhumane? The same Labor Party who recently excised the entirety of Australia from the migration zone? Well, not exactly. Many of the talented and principled members have exited from the government, leaving behind a panicked rabble who aren’t quite so worried about ethics.

        Shame on them.

        Still, I’m sure they still have many rusted-on adherents, who are quite willing to turn a blind eye to the most outrageous violations of human rights and international law, if only they can cling to power for a little while longer. To each their own.

      • Yes. That would be the same Greens that voted against the original dud carbon pricing scheme that gave back to the big-polluters everything it originally took away. The same scheme cooked up by Turnbull and Rudd because the ALP would not negotiate with the Greens. It seems that Rudd had/has more in common with the LNP.

        When Turnbull got shafted the ALP then expected The Greens to support their pathetic ALP/LNP non-scheme.

        On everything else I tend to agree. I started voting Green in the days of “No Dams” and when none of the other parties gave a flying f..k about the environment. Unfortunately they are now preoccupied with alienating potential environmental voters with their holier-than-thou “social policies”. I miss my Greens.

        SHY is the slippery slope that will finish the Greens politically.

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