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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-23-10 01:48 AM
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There's a new light on the hill, and it's bright Green

Bob Brown (right) and Adam Bandt.

JULIA Gillard may have claimed she was too humble to compare herself with Ben Chifley, but there was no stopping Victoria's first Greens senator Richard Di Natale in this sweet, long-savoured moment. ''There is a new light on the hill and it's powered by renewable energy,'' he thundered at the Greens election night party in Melbourne, almost drowned out by foot-stamping and ear-perforating whistles.

The hyperbole can be explained - not only had Di Natale, a veteran of eight election campaigns, finally tasted victory, but the Labor citadel of Melbourne, held by the ALP since 1904, had just toppled to the Greens. The battle for Melbourne had been won by Adam Bandt, a former industrial lawyer who had just become the first Greens candidate to be elected to the lower house at a general election.

inally, it seemed that social researcher Hugh Mackay had been correct with his assertion that the Greens' message had moved from the ''eccentric fringe'' to resonate with voters on a very large scale.

''What's happened is that the world has caught up with the Greens,'' Mackay said in The Guardian, which became one of the most retweeted articles during the Greens campaign. Nationwide, the Greens won 14 per cent of the vote in the Senate and 12 per cent in the House of Representatives, mostly at the expense of Labor, to snatch 10 seats. Leader Bob Brown declared it a ''Green slide''. His party had won the highest vote in both houses for a minor party since World War II.

... political scientist Nick Economou said that suggesting the huge swing to the Greens was merely a protest vote would be to demean the outlook of those who voted Greens.

''I think they take their vote very seriously - it's not simply a case of 'I'm really pissed off with Labor, therefore I'm going to vote Greens.' ''

Having said that, he said he believed Labor's attempts to appease ''blue-collar, conservative voters'' in Queensland and New South Wales with its populist refugee policy and delay of an emissions trading scheme cost it the seats of Melbourne, Denison and possibly Grayndler.

Economou said he was blown away by the size of the Greens' vote.

''The success of the Greens in the Senate has been phenomenal. Not only did they pick up a seat in every state, in some instances they got a quota in their own right, which is very rare. The Senate has taken quite a move to the left after years and years of being dominated by the right - that to me is the Greens' biggest achievement.''


Greens took the New South Wales Senate seat thanks to Sex party preferences. I scruniteered for Newcastle Green's candidate Michael Osbourne at the Hamilton South booth (where we took 18% of the primary vote).

That pile of Sex party Senate ballots cracked me up- I wouldn't have expected so many- came out to be around 5%! Many more than the CDP and Shooters combined.

It was also impressive that some people took the time to actually order so many preferences below the line- with most ballots nearly numbered with no mistakes or cross outs!
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