Tuesday, 24 August 2010

An Open Letter To The Greens

Dear Green Party,

Firstly I want to congratulate you on the success this election. Gaining the balance of power in the senate puts the party into a new position of power, and to add to that a candidate in the lower house too. Add to that nearly securing one of the two senate spots in the ACT, it's been an impressive election.

Yet this does not constitute a mandate. While there has been an increase in voter activity, the overwhelming majority didn't vote for you. The party is still seen by many as being filled with left-wing idealists, people who favour ideology over results. The ETS is a good example of this, yes it was insufficient policy but as a result there's no action at all being taken at all.

On the issue of climate change the belief in it is split down political affiliations. This is a shame that what should be a scientific issue has turned into a political one, but this is the reality that you have to deal with. Are you going to be able to work to a solution when many people don't see a problem to begin with?

Climate change is a great example of the need for pragmatism. Right now both major parties aren't going to do anything practical to address the problem, and the fear campaigns about the cost of action will prevent many from wanting there to be action at all. People will take the undesirable implications of anthropogenic climate change as seeking out whatever they can that will claim those undesirable implications as unfounded.

Same goes for policies concerning gay marriage and refugees. There's no point in being idealistic if that's going to stand in the way of making progress on both issues. Both major parties have similar policies on both issues so fighting for them on idealistic grounds isn't going to make much headway. There's no point in token symbolism if it doesn't actually create change.

And creating change is what as the party with the balance of power in the senate you are capable of. Not radical change, but incremental change. As the expression goes, Rome wasn't built in a day. It might mean somewhat isolating a percentage of your base, but it's the only way to really get things done at all.

Right now we need some action, any action really. Because trying to find the perfect solution means inaction. Nuclear has its problems, but is it really worse than pumping CO2 into our atmosphere as we currently are by burning coal? GM crops have some issues, but if it's a technology that can lessen the environmental impacts of farming then why wouldn't it be something to look into?

Again I applaud you on the election result, and hope that you strive to look at solutions that are going to help with a prosperous and sustainable Australia. Because having ideals are useless if they don't translate into positive outcomes. Seatbelts do save lives even if they can't save everyone in a car crash...

Best regards,

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