Continuing in the spirit of Cate Speaks

The Greens

Summary

Website: greens.org.au
Social Media: FacebookTwitterYouTubeInstagram
Slogans: The Time Is Now
Themes: Socially progressive, economically left wing, pro-environment. Urgent need for climate action.
Electorates: Upper House: All states
Lower House: Many electorates
Preferences: The preferences of the Greens are fairly unsurprising: a grab bag of other left-leaning parties with the ALP bringing up the rear. In between them, there’s the Victorian Socialists, the Animal Justice Party, Legalise Cannabis Australia and Reason, in that order. It’s not hard to look at that list and wonder if this isn’t organised in increasing order of electabililty, trying to ensure that the preference travels as little distance down as it has to.
Previous Reviews: 20192018 (VIC) — 2014 (VIC) — 20132010 — all these are on Cate Speaks

Policies & Commentary

A heads-up: this is the party I’m going to be voting for. I agree with almost every part of their platform. So take what follows with as much salt as you deem necessary.

The Greens are finally, I think, beginning to shed the idea that they’re a single issue party, but just in case, their website contains many, many policies. There are, in fact, 98 individual policy areas in their handy A-Z list, most of them divided into further subsections. And while there is some overlap between them, it’s still a very wide offering – by comparison, the Liberal Party’s site lists 18 such areas, and in less detail.

I’m not going to go in and out of every policy here, since (a) you already know who the Greens are, and (b) I wouldn’t be finished before election day. There’s a lot here, and it’s all the kind of lefty progressive stuff you’d expect to see from the Greens. There’s a lot here about the environment, but there’s also their plan for the Federal ICAC (the one that almost every minor party wanting an ICAC is supporting), a tax on oligarch’s assets and income (which will help to fund a lot of their promises), support for the arts, health and education sectors, dental care in Medicare, increases in Centrelink payments, closure of corporate tax loopholes, cannabis legalisation, a lot of support for first nations people and institutions (and a lot of first nations representation among their candidates, too), and so much more. I’m just going to pick out a few things that strike as not offered by anyone else.

There’s $68.5 million to provide free period products in all schools to improve students’ health and wellbeing, reduce period stigma, and ensure that no student has to skip school during their period, a compensation scheme, providing each survivor with a $200,000 payment to support them and their families for descendants of the Stolen Generations, a promise to look after people working in the coal, oil and gas industries, with a Job for Job Guarantee and financial security for coal workers based on scheme with which Germany was able to successfully phase out their coal industry without a single worker losing their job. There’s – and damn, this is a good enough policy that I think I’d vote Green solely on the basis of it – a Royal Commission in the Murdoch media empire to look into its market dominance and its impact on democracy in Australia, a first home buyer’s plan that’s even more generous than the ALP’s, high speed rail from Melbourne to Brisbane (just when they were looking so good), and a plan to restore public ownership of essential services and fund our public services properly, instead of giving billions to big corporations.

And then, of course, there was the inevitable question “how do they plan to pay for all of this?” Generally, the question is asked by someone who intends it to be rhetorical, but the Greens actually have an answer for it, right here. In case you don’t want to read the whole thing, the key summary is: The Greens will tax oligarchs, require big corporations making excessive profits to pay a ‘corporate super-profits tax’, axe billions of dollars in handouts to the coal, oil and gas giants that are driving the climate crisis, and make profitable big corporations pay back the JobKeeper they pocketed. All of which sounds eminently sensible, and to forestall the equally inevitable next objection, the Greens state: Calculations independently confirmed by the Parliamentary Budget Office.

Well, I already told you that they have my vote. I think they should have yours too, but that’s your decision.


Just a reminder that Maz and I lack the necessary Eurovision knowledge to choose the songs that Catherine liked to include, but we’d love to see what you suggest in the comments below 🙂

13 Comments

  1. AA

    I can’t find it now I’m looking for it again, but a few weeks back I saw a website with a chart showing which party won all the federal elections since my electorate was formed. It was all one colour. And not green. I shall be voting for Greens and independents, but I am fully aware (and rather depressed) that it will make zero difference. Why is “caring about people and the planet and our collective future” such a vilified, minority set of values?? Why do politicians think the best way to appeal to the majority is to be so nasty? This hurts today. Maybe I shouldn’t be listening to Del Amitri while I read the news.

    • Loki

      You could do worse than listen to Del Amitri. Who knows, maybe this time, something will happen 😉

      What electorate are you in?

    • Alex

      I assume your statement “that it will make zero difference” is alluding to the fact that your area is a majority voting for a party you don’t favour. The other way to look at this, is that you’re positioned in an electorate where your vote matters to swing the tide. Once a particular electorate has a majority vote for your party of preference, you could argue that they don’t need your vote adding to that, they already won..

  2. DS

    Based on above, is HSR the one part of the Greens’ platform (pun not intended) that you don’t support? Curious as to why / why not.

    • Loki

      Not the only part, but the only one I mentioned in the article. I would actually love it, I just don’t think it stacks up financially as a project.

      • DS

        Fair enough. For what it’s worth, Beyond Zero Emissions looked at the issue about a decade ago and found that it would take about forty years to pay for itself before generating profits. The report is probably out of date by now: https://bze.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/high-speed-rail-bze-report-2014.pdf

        One of my issues with the report is that they specified curves larger than strictly necessary, increasing the costs and affecting the route, so a cheaper option is probably workable. I don’t recall if that’s enough to make Canberra a through stop instead of a branch though.

        • Loki

          Longer curves could be intended as future proofing – who knows how long the wheelbase of the carriages of the future will be?

          • DS

            They used a radius of ten kilometres, when (IIRC) 2.5 to 3.0km would be sufficient for the listed speeds.

  3. Christina Flann

    Thanks to Loki and Maz for this fantastic information and homage to Cate, who I wish I had known.

    I suggest that Latvia is the perfect Eurovision match for the Greens. Their wigglesesque coloured suits and song title ‘Eat your salad’ are pretty funny. But it’s their lyrics that makes them match the Greens. “Be green, it’s cool, being green is sexy as”.

    Hopefully this should be the link to their semi final performance: https://youtu.be/TM0_0WfuxSk

    • Loki

      Thank you Christina. For what it’s worth, I think you and Catherine would have liked each other.

      And yes, that is absolutely the perfect song 🙂

  4. AMB

    Hi Loki. Firstly, thanks so much for what you and Maz are doing here. This is a really helpful blog and a terrific legacy to Cate. I have 2 questions: 1. Do you know what the Greens policy is on taxing churches? I have looked but cannot find anything, but as you say, there are many, many policies and documents to access at their site so I may have just missed it. At the very least, I would like to see churches and religious organisations taxed like the rest of us are, and more when they are amassing a lot of wealth as many do. And 2, Do you know why only one senate candidate is on the Greens website for Victoria? Lidia Thorpe is the only one I can see and there’s no sign of Adam Frogley, Sissy Austin or Zeb Payne.

    • Loki

      I haven’t heard or seen anything about the Greens taxing churches – but I’m inclined to think that if they did have such a policy, the media would be full of pearl-clutching about it. There are other parties that do have this policy, but only the more minor ones.

      I’m afraid I can’t really help you with why the Greens list people the way they do – that’s really a question that only they can answer.

  5. AMB

    I contacted The Greens today, initially via email, and they confirmed that they agree with me that religious institutions should not be tax exempt, and apprently, this has been part of their Economic Justice policy for some time. This is really good. However that policy cannot be accessed on their website. You have to google it, open the Economic Policy and then it’s listed at AIM 3G.
    When asked why the other Victorian candidates were not found at their website, they said the states elected to mostly only promote the lead Senate candidates as apparently most people vote above the line (I don’t) therefore few people would be interested. I find this curious, especially as they are running an all indigenous Victorian senate group this year, which is a real positive and sets them apart from others, and something I would expect them to put front and centre on their website. Anyway, I was directed to contact the Victorian office about this, which I did and spoke to David who was very helpful. He sent me the link for the Victorian senate. For anyone who is interested, when at the Greens website, click on Greens movement, then news and then at the search icon, type in Victorian senate. The first article that comes up provides the information I was looking for. It is titled: Victorian First: Greens Announce First Nation Ticket. I also suggested that they need to revamp their website and make it less cluttered/chaotic and easier to find information such as the Victorian senate. David was accepting of this and said he would pass this onto the IT people.

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