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This is my essay question '' Examine the core beliefs and support base of the Australian Labor Party and the Australian Greens. Are the Greens a genuine threat to Labor’s traditional position as the key representative of the left in Australian politics
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From the early 1980s some of the political importance that environmental candidates have enjoyed has also had an influence on the ever increasing importance of how the Australian green voters allocate their preference during election (Corcoran & Dickenson, 2010). One of the most remarkable occasions is the 1990s commonwealth election when it was established that the Australian labor party had more green vote preferences than did the coalition, this trend has been observed up to this moment as we are nearing elections (Hughes, 2009). For example, during the 2004 election, the Australian Greens preference contributed highly to the election of 21 Australian Labor Party electorates, which included the Lowe and New South Wales electorates, Isaacs, Melbourne ports, Victorian electorates of Bendigo and Ballarat and the Western electorates of Swan and Cowan. On the other hand, it is reported that the coalition only lost four electorates in which the net preference flows from the Australian greens to the Australian Labor Party was greater than the two party preference margin of victory (Burgmann & Milner, 2011). They were the new electorates of Richmond and the South Australian electorates of Adelaide and Hindmarsh.
Even though the Australian greens in 2007 house of representative votes were lower than the one the part had targeted, the movement played a very great role do to the relatively low vote that was achieved by the Labor Party at 43.6 %. In regard to these results, 79.7 % of the Australian greens preferences were chosen for the Labor with the highest results moving to 82.9% in Victoria (Black, 2008). All of these votes are said to be important to pushing the Australian Labor Party two party preferred vote to 52.7% higher than it was in 1993. In addition, when looking at electorates like Richmond (NSW), Leichardt (Old and Tasmania Franklin, it was under the Australian Greens that the confirmed Labor Party candidate first preference lead and enjoyed from the first count. With regard to other electorates, however, the labor candidates were always trailing the coalition candidates after the penultimate count (Green, 2016).
It is said that only the Australian Greens preferences were able to secure electorates of the Labor Party. Some of the electorate included the Australian Prime Minister Howard Bennelong, and Robertson and Page from News South Whales, Hasluck (WA), Corangamite and Deaking (Vic.) and Braddon and Bass both from Tasmania. In Bass, Jodie Campbell from Labor was her part preference sharing a fall by 2% to 37.2% however was still 6% behind the sitting member with the Green Party preferences being distributed. At the end of the day, the 74.1 percent of the preferences pushed her to 51% of the coalitions preferred vote (Green, 2016).
What the Green Movement Means for Australian Labor Party
By looking at the above trends, the Australian Labor Party may not have won the national elections without the allocation of such preferences this is because it made their final seat tally and strong that it would have been.
It is also important to note that since the year 2000 the Australian greens have been winning seats in most of the Australian legislative bodies. For example, in the 2002 Cunningham by election, produced the first ever Greens MHR and Bob Brown was joined in the senate by 2002 and 2008 elections, Rachel siewert in WA 2005, Christine Milne in Tasmania 2005, Scott Ludlum (WA 2008) and Sarah Hanson Young SA 2008. The country has also witnessed members of the legislative council have also been elected in West Australia, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. Three ACT members from the Green movement have been elected in this line (Green, 2016).
The Greens Prospects in 2016 Elections
a). Impacts of the liberal Party on preferences
As much as there are continued talks of the preference deal that should occur between the Labor Party and the Greens, the previous elections show that it even though the other liberal party is bound to make their own decisions on recommending preferences to the Greens over Labor selected contests (Banes, 2016). And even if the greens may not reciprocate the same action, there is a more positive advantage for the liberal party to give the Greens more leeway in defeating the labor partly especially when looking at the traditional labor seats. But for the greens the have much better prospects, it calls for the liberal party to recommend preferences that are based on an election strategy than mere thought ideologies which they party should object to. With the exception of the party’s Tasmania Branch, this part has traditionally recommended preferences to the Greens before labor (Fenna, et al., 2013).
The position however changed in 2010 Federal elections. In November of 2010 liberals from Victoria listed the greens after the Labor party, the decision was also adopted by both the national and liberal parties in the 2013 national elections. The impact of preference became very dramatic when in 2010 with the recommendations from the Liberal, the Greens where most preferred, in this sense the liberal preferences were distributed at 80% to the Greens while only a mere 20% to Labor. In 2013 recommendations again reversed with the flows and liberal preferences ran 67% to the labor party and 33% to the Greens. If the 2013 preferences would have been applied in 2010 then Adam Bandt would have won the Melbourne for the Greens, this also means that the Greens would have won the Melbourne seat of Batman (Green, 2016).
It is also possible that the liberal party may adopt labors traditional position in the three cornered contests that can recommend preferences to maximize disharmony on the different sides of politics. The main tactic has always been by the labor party which directs against the coalition part that held the seat. The liberal part is also bound to continue adopting the same tactic in inner Melbourne to the Greens in Wills and batman. It can also force the Labor to devote their resources to seats that liberal party rarely make need to contest and pulling resources away from other marginal seats (Anon., 2012).
The above analysis of the liberal preferences depict some of the seats where the Greens prove to be major threats to other parties in the coming elections. The other main example would be in Melbourne where according to available statistics, it is very clear that the Green movement has highly come through becomes of the decline in the first preference of the labor vote. In the year 2007, the Greens narrowly finished third before they were able to pass the liberals on preferences and finished second to labor due to the fact that the liberal support continued to be below 25%. With the retirement of the long serving labor Member of Parliament Lindsway Tanner in the year 2010, there was a final major switch in the first preference support and the greens finished at 1.9% short of Labor on the first preference guaranteeing them a win of 80% due to liberal preference (Green, 2016). If the labor leaning liberal preference flow at the 2013 election would also apply in 2010, then it means Adam Bandt would not have won Melbourne. Also the Green re-election in 2013 was due to further desertion of labor voters where the Green first preference vote up seven percent votes (Cunningham, 2014).
The current prospects for Greens over Labor in 2016
The main challenges for the Labor party goes far beyond the people in leadership even though it might have been seen to enjoy functional years in 2010 when it replaced Rudd with Gillard, however as the 2016 elections are nearing it can be predicted that the party is heading for more hard times (Hughes, 2009). This is not to argue for a new leadership reversal since it is hard to repeat the same mistake twice, having a third prime minister in 6 years will make the party seem crazy and incompetent. Recent polls show that the labor party has been losing a lot of cultural debates more sensibly also when it comes to progress policies of the government are easily demonized by the current opposition and more so in the social media platforms. The main social democratic belief calls for a strong state that is able to manage a complex society and provide goods and services to people at a more affordable price (Burgmann & Milner, 2011).
These may not provide a clear solution on employment, land degradation, decline in infrastructure and urban movement, but will provide the citizens with the market to exercise their fundamental freedoms. For many voters, the labor government has found it so difficult to even justify issues such as taxation of mining profits in the interest of the Australian people as it becomes more fixated on the budget surplus which is against the advice of many conservative economists (Fenna, et al., 2013). Actually most people in Australia feel that the party has lost directions and are not embracing the rhetoric posed by smaller governments about the cost of losing government services and inequality that is constantly growing in the country (Corcoran & Dickenson, 2010). There is a growing inequality in terms of the wealthy and the middle class in the country which some see is not good for the growth of the country’s economy and nationalism. This is where the other parties are building their strengths on, especially the Green Party which is now seen as the most preferable choice for the coming elections. Labor party will thus have to take battle with its opponents of the green left and the populist right (Cunningham, 2014).
Much evidence show that the green party is the main enemy for the labor party will be the Greens especially in the labor thinking. The greens have at times been labelled as the irresponsible voices which have lost seats in Melbourne before, however with a major preference coming from the liberal party over the labor part, the party has a lot to think about in the coming elections. Also history shows that the greens have been a main support for the labor party in the last two decades and now that they are willing to take a shot on the seat independently might leave the labor part in a much more fixed position than before (Banes, 2016). Also as the labor party continue to put abusive attacks on the Greens might affect the voting especially for the labor part.
The future of the Greens over Labor Party
As not surprising as it may appear, the current politics in Australia concur with what the supporters of the Greens had over the labor party for quite a long time. There is a growing belief in the labor party for most people living in Australia. This is the same view for an Australian Green activist, Drew Hutton who states that he may be able to build a constituency slightly above 57 percent. He also spoke of a core environment constituency that is beyond the 3 percent. In the same year, Nick Economic speculated that the Green party is likely to gather more votes from voters who are disillusioned by the labor party, however this kind of support might be fickle (Banes, 2016). With regard to the labor party policies and their leaders, this might change and we are likely to observe voters returning to the Green movement since this is where they are most comfortable. With this regard, the core AG constituency may remaining small barring a huge burst from that will see the fallout of major players.
In conclusion, there is a much more possibility that the labor party may not be able to return to the Australian administration in the coming elections. Other issues such as the strong immigration policies, unemployment, taxation laws and land degradation continue to play in the mind of the major parties. Also with the preference of the liberal party for the Greens more that it would be for the labor party come this time, there is a possibility that the Green party will become the flag bearer of the Australian people in the next elections (Cunningham, 2014). Other factor that will also play will include the democratic policies that the green movement has always stood by, the shift of green supported who have always backed up the labor party in the past, who will now come in large numbers to support the green movement.
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