Jun 23, 2016

Care about asylum seekers or climate change? Don’t vote Greens

Razer responds to her critics.

Helen Razer — Writer and Broadcaster

Helen Razer

Writer and Broadcaster

When this election was called back in what now feels like 1986, I wrote a short piece for Crikey detailing some reservations I had about the political usefulness of the Greens. In the decades that followed, many persons contacted me both privately and publicly to call me, inter alia, an idiot.


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48 thoughts on “Care about asylum seekers or climate change? Don’t vote Greens

  1. Simon Wells

    Mmmm, I think the previous commenters have said it all. Not one comment in support.
    Luckily Greens voters will not be persuaded by what you said.It would be hard for anyone to be persuaded, ploughing their way through such tortured prose. Proto-marxist drivel.
    You can do better, Helen. And as for Chris Bowen as a poster-boy !! Words fail me

    1. Simon Wells

      Sorry, helen. Drivel was unfair. You were obviously having a hard day.

  2. EdoaurdE

    This is a bit of a one-note samba, Helen, on a repetitive chord. Please make up your mind as to whether you’re writing satire or serious commentary . Until you do, it’s not engaging with your strange fantasies about Greens voters.

  3. Matt Davis

    Does Helen water-board her ideas, or is it a car battery and set of electrodes that she employs in their torture?
    Be honest Razer. “I don’t like the Greens because, politics.”, is all you needed to say here.

  4. CML

    Well…the Greens apologists are out in force today…surprise, surprise!
    You are all living in cloud cuckoo land. The Greens can have all the ‘nice’ policies on the planet, but they will never be in government with the power to implement them, so what is the point?
    And even if they do make it in 2050 or so, it will all be too late. Better to stick with the better of the two majors…Helen is right about that!!

  5. Robert Beverley

    For those of us with a worldview outside the political mainstream the important question is how we can best move the Overton window toward where we want society to be.

    Labor over the last few decades has steadily moved to the right. Strategically positioning themselves slightly to the left of the Liberals was smart politics, gaining votes in the centre while keeping their base on the left.

    By placing our vote with the Greens we disrupt this model forcing attention back to the left. This encourages progressive economic and social policy from Labor.

    Not perfect, but perhaps the best we can do.

  6. wakeup

    I’m getting a bit sick of these long meandering diatribes against the greens that appear to be the norm from Razer in her crikey interation (being someone who always enjoyed her TBI articles). They aren’t fun, they serve to deepen divisions between the Australian left for no reason, and they don’t really offer any solutions. If the Labor party offered the sort of policies that the attract parts of the left to the Greens, then they wouldn’t have to worry about their left flank. They’ve made the strategic decision to move to the center, and that’s their choice. But you can’t have it both ways. You can’t leave a whole cohort of voters in the lurch and then hang shit on another party for attempting to fill the vacuum.

  7. Teddy

    Whenever anyone points out the bleeding obvious – that’s Greens voters tend to be rich or come from affluent areas, Crikey readers and party true believers go ballistic – furiously in attack mode.

    I’m curious as to why this is seen as a problem? Why? Is it guilt? A case of serious self-delusion? So a section of educated and socially aware who’ve had all the benefits (earned or inherited) capitalism so bountifully provides (for some of us) vote for the Greens. What’s the problem? Being called well-off isn’t an insult, is it?

    Greens party strategists have certainly taken those facts on board, and are targeting this demographic. Most affected seats are held by Labor, but not all (e.g. Higgins, Page)

    My electorate of Grayndler, seen as a possible Greens win, is one of the wealthiest area in Sydney. Our local newspaper has just been proudly trumpeting all the suburbs within it whose median property values are over $2m.

    And while it may be “ironic” that an area with so many property millionaires vote Greens, it is a fact (inner ring Melbourne too). It’s something worth discussing seriously, and maybe if Helen’s piece had stayed on that topic, it would have been a better read. But just taking offence hurling abuse around – as so many of the contributors to this thread have – is pointless and pathetic.

  8. Matthew Harley Coc

    Thanks Helen for telling it like it is.
    Fair trade is obviously wrong, wrong wrong. More prepubescents should be working for their upkeep.
    Now Helen, tell me what social class I belong to. I work for wages and I have superannuation so my retirement income will largely come from investments in capitalism. At $45000 per year I’m not wealthy by Australian standards but I’m in the top few percent on a global scale. Class more complicated than it gets represented in your piece of comedy gold.
    I’m so bloody rich why the hell is the ALP even contesting my electorate?

  9. Nicholas

    There is no coherent case in this piece for favouring Labor ahead of the Greens. If you think Australia is too neoliberal and insufficiently Marxist, why on earth would you support the party that introduced neoliberal economics to this country, and that continues to support this failed economic framework? The Greens advance policies that make more vigorous use of the fiscal powers of the federal government to promote public welfare. The Greens’ policies would result in less inequality of wealth and income than the polices favoured by Labor. Helen Razer’s rant is just a seething welter of prejudices and absurd caricatures of Greens voters.

  10. dogspear

    Trololol. Are you there Bilge Shchrutnel? Here’s your campaign strategy. Five stars.

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