Richard Di Natale Samantha Ratnam Greens Victorian Election 2018

As the Victorian state election begins to ramp up, readers have questioned the Liberal Party’s choice to effectively phone-in their campaign (leaving the door open for the Greens to challenge Dan Andrews’ Labor government). Is it a strategy, or simply a lack of will? Elsewhere, readers responded to Damien Kingsbury on the continued rise of populism across the globe, questioning the political backdrop by which such a system could rise. And a concerned reader follows-up on the state of climate coverage in Australia.

On the Greens filling the Liberal vacuum in Victoria 

The Curmudgeon writes: Interesting test of ideology versus strategy for the Libs. They’re bound to be raving on about the evils of a possible minority Labor government supported by the Greens, but if they help elect Greens in Brunswick and Richmond, wouldn’t they be partly responsible for that outcome?

John Kotsopoulos writes: A Liberal decision to forfeit is like going into a soccer final hoping for a draw. In the event of a minority government allowing the Greens a free run will skew policies even further to the left regardless of which major party gains the most seats.

Gumshoe writes: Who could not and did not foresee this likely outcome from as far back as two or three years ago? A jaded electorate will go to the polls with these fundamental cerebrations: 1) Matthew Guy is despised because of his hypocrisy, his disingenuity, his naked zealotry, and his conceited on-air and on-screen presentation… and his party likewise; 2) Labor is acknowledged for (finally, thanks to the sale of the port) awakening to the political advantage to be gained from being seen to be doing something about public transport, but Andrews’ imperious and often dismissive on-air and on-screen manner grates with people, and; 3) the Greens are perceived as a receptacle-of-last-resort for those desperate voters who know not what else to do. “They won’t get into government, so it can’t hurt, and it’ll teach those other bastards a lesson”.

On the continued rise of populism

Graeski writes: I think it’s time that we all recognise that there’s a structural problem with so-called modern democracies as exemplified by countries such as Australia. Elections may still represent the will of the majority but increasingly, policy is determined by minorities. I believe it is this failure of fundamentals that is the primary cause of so much disenchantment, not higher-order issues such as globalisation. People are exhausted by the constant battle to achieve even the most basic standards of decency and morality across so much of our politics. Is it any wonder that some are turning in their desperation to other political systems, such as fascism, in order to have their needs and desires recognised?

ruv draba writes: Given that social change and economic insecurity are recurring conditions in a swelling global population with rapidly changing technologies, what do you see as possible ways to inoculate populations against populism? Are there data or models to predict how effective these methods might be?

fairmind writes: Simplistic solutions for simple minds. The folly of man is only trumped by his propensity for violence (well in sufficient numbers to cause serious problems for the rest of us).

A note on ignoring advice on climate

Charlotte writes: Dear Crikey, I am a year six student. I think that we should all listen to what the WWF has to say. I am worried for our environment, and I think that if we ignore the professionals, then it will only get worse. We can do better, Australia!

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