Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Election: the Green Scorecard

The Australian Conservation Foundation has released a green Election Scorecard. Their press release headline is that both major political parties failed.

The score is:
Liberal/National 21%
Labor 49%
Greens 93%
Democrats 90%
Family First 31%

Now it might seem a tad unfair to say they both failed when Labor is streets ahead of the Liberals. But it should be borne in mind that the election is the only real, major opportunity to have any effect on environmental issues. It's a stepwise change only, with few supsequent gains possible. So it pays to put pressure on Labor while there is that opportunity.

The Greens' score is unsurprising - the difference between 93% and 100% can be ascribed simply to difference of opinion between environmental groups. That the Democrats scored 90% may be a bit surprising. But then, I recall somewhere around 1991 helping out the Democrats (scrutineering for them, even) through The Wilderness Society, who felt that neither main party had sufficient integrity on the issue. This was not too long before the enviromental movement coalesced into the Greens as an actual political party.

That the Scorecard is intended to goad Labor more than anything else can be gleaned from the stats. Although a Newpoll showed that more people were aware that Labor was better at managing the environment than Liberal (39% to 25%), it still means that 61% don't really have a clue. In fact, an earlier poll of marginal electorates showed that those swinging voters who will decide the election aren't actually aware at all which party is better for the environment. And if the political processes haven't filtered through to them by all this time, then they're hardly about to notice a headline lumping togerther the Liberals and Labor on the issue.

Thus, the best tactical move is to put the frighteners up Labor at a time where they should be most amenable to the electorate's concerns.

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