One other line that Miranda indulges in in that column is this week’s favourite News Ltd line on the Greens: they have only one seat in the House of Representatives! Why should they have any power at all! As Bolt puts it:
Third, to please the Greens extremists who hold just one of the 150 seats in the House of Representatives, rather than appeal to the voters who chose the other 149, not one of which campaigned for her tax.
How dare the Greens use that one vote! That one vote that represents the 11.76% of Australians who voted for them.
You might have noticed that 1/150 is not 11.76%. In fact, it’s two thirds of one percent. If we had a genuine representative democracy, on those votes the Greens would have seventeen (17) seats in the House of Representatives. But, because of the single member electorate system that ignores voters if they’re not concentrated geographically, they only have one. Where did the other sixteen seats’ worth of Greens votes go? They went to the major parties in preferences.
Which highlights the deception in the second half of that sentence. Many of the voters represented by those 149 non-Green MPs – more than 1.4 million Australians, all the Greens voters who didn’t live in Adam Bandt’s electorate (like me, as it happens) – actually did vote for the Greens. They did vote directly for a party that unequivocally supported serious action on climate change. Rather than the 72 Labor MPs generously letting the Greens have a say, it’s more like Greens voters generously preferencing those MPs and getting 16 of them over the line.
News Ltd may wish to conveniently forget this, and ignore the million and a half Australians who resisted its relentless smearing of the Greens and voted for them anyway – but it’s a nonsense to imply that their support is as low as one in 150. The Labor party would be absolute morons if they allowed themselves to swallow the News Ltd line and forget how many of them owe their seats to the preferences of Greens voters.
As we pointed out in the podcast, Gillard following News Ltd’s advice would be like the Liberal Party following ours. Julia, they are not your friends.
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