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Liberals and Greens in Cahoots? What the F@^k?

August 18, 2010 – 12:54 pm33 Comments

By Anthony Frosh

When I saw the full page advert in the Australian Jewish News (August 13 2010) that shouts “Why are Tony Abbott and the Liberals backing the Greens Party?” I thought, Wow, Todd Sampson from the The Gruen Nation would have a field day.  Never has an advert had a more confused and illogical message.

Presumably this scare-mongering advert was paid for by the Australian Labor Party (ALP), although all it says is that it was authorised by B.Cohen (who we must assume is former Hawke government minister, Barry Cohen).

The first things I notice is that they’ve got Tony Abbott’s photo shaded in green.  What are they trying to tell us? Don’t vote for Abbot, he’s too green? This is the man with no apparent environmental policy whatsoever.

Then the advert slams the Liberal Party for not putting the Greens last, but instead preferencing the Greens ahead of the Labor party. This despite the fact that it is the ALP (and not the Liberals) that has a preference deal with the Greens (and the advert even admits this!)  The advert then tries to justify the ALP’s deal with the Greens by saying it is ok to do a deal with senate preferences, but not in the lower house.

The reality is that whereas people can easily ignore the how-to-vote card and select their own preferences in the lower house, it is in the senate where most people vote above the line and thus defer their preferences entirely to the selections of their first chosen party.  Thus, if one were to accept the advert’s scare-mongering that the Greens are terribly anti-Israel, a preference deal in the senate is in fact far worse than giving deferential treatment on a lower house how-to-vote card.

Making the advert even more bizarre and absurdly hypocritical is that on many ALP candidates’ how-to-vote card, they’ve put the Greens second.  This includes the how-to-vote card of Michael Danby, arguably the ALP’s most staunch supporter of Israel.  I guess that’s all ok though, since Danby, while unlikely to lose his seat at all, is far less likely to lose his seat to the Greens than to the Liberals.

Finally,  not only is the message of the advert confused, illogical, and hypocritical,  but it is poorly targeted.  The ultimate aim of the advert is to convince Liberal Party-voting Jews who live in seats that the ALP could lose to the Greens (Melbourne, Sydney, and Grayndler) to put the Greens last. The problem is that there aren’t that many Jews who live in these seats.  And of the Jews who do live in these areas, not many would read the Australian Jewish News, nor be Liberal voters.

So insulting did I find this advert to my intelligence, that I dropped Labor down a few more notches on my below-the-line senate ballot.  But let’s hear what you think about this advert.

Anthony Frosh is not affiliated with any political party.  This election, he put the Carers Alliance first on his senate ballot.

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