This post grew from the comments section of a piece that @Drag0nista ran on the Guardian today, titled Time is up for the Australian Greens, in which she contends on the basis of polling data from Essential Media that the Greens are pretty much a spent force in Australian politics. Her argument is that the Greens reached their nadir in the 2010 election with a primary vote of 11.8%, they haven’t been able to grow their vote within this electoral cycle so it means that it is all downhill from here, evidenced by the fact that as Labor’s stocks have declined the lost votes have cleaved predominantly to the Coalition and that ground claimed as key battle territory for the Greens – from taking ownership of carbon pricing to forging alliances with regional Australia over coal seam gas – have not translated into positive polling data.
This kind of argument is entirely typical of the 4th & 5th estate’s obsession with the short term political spin cycle. Absent of any attempt at long term vision it is, to paraphrase Keating, all noise and no signal.
It was a delightfully frigid winter’s evening when I rugged up under two jackets and braved the Antarctic winds to hear Bill McKibben speak at the Melbourne leg of 350.org’s Do The Maths tour, the kind of night cold enough to send certain cretinous News Ltd. trollumnists into paroxysms of self-congratulatory glee at the thought of Melbourne having turned on to greet a global WARMING activist (because, like, it’s cold in winter, hee-haw!)
Winter in Melbourne generally means one thing: football. Melbournians in their tens of thousands routinely endure the most bracing of conditions to watch their beloved teams slug it out and, if the saturation-level promotion of the betting odds are anything to go by, quite a few of them like to take a punt on the results. Australia has always had an ingrained gambling culture, many would say it’s in our blood, so had these keen punting minds been at the Athenaeum Theatre and not the footy on Friday night they would be appalled at the bet they’re unwittingly taking with their future retirement savings.