From the Editor

By Nahan, Mike | Review - Institute of Public Affairs, December 2002 | Go to article overview

From the Editor


Nahan, Mike, Review - Institute of Public Affairs


Caveat emptor should be the rule in politics as it is in other spheres of life. Yet people seem to treat politics as if it had no risks or consequences.

Witness the recent Victorian State election where, across the State, 9.2 per cent of voters cast their primary vote for the Greens. Richmond, which is filling with aspirational, young professional types moving into trendy apartments, recorded a vote of 27 per cent for the Green candidate.

Of course, the concerns people have about environmental degradation are both understandable and justified. Many of our most difficult problems emanate from our misuse of the natural environment and, as we become wealthier, we value the environment and its attributes highly. The problem lies not with concerns about the environment, but with the downright silly policies that the Greens put forward to deal with it.

For example, according to their Website (www.green.org.au), the leading economic policy of the Greens in the last election was `the abandonment of economic growth (as conventionally measured)'. Given that the apartment boom on which the lifestyle of the young things in Richmond depend is the single largest contributor to our recent high level of economic growth, it is extremely strange that they would vote in droves for a party that is serious about stifling their lifestyle.

Of course, most people who voted for the Greens did not read the policy documents. Moreover, they voted Green with the knowledge that the Greens would not win government. They probably assumed, too, that successful Greens would, as Bob Brown recently admitted, be more 'realistic' than promised.

The confidence in the impotence of the Greens is, however, misplaced. The Greens mean what they say.Their policies are being implemented, if not by them, then by erstwhile more sensible governments seeking the green vote. And the damage they are doing is large and highly visible.

Young people are fleeing Tasmania-the home base of the Greens-for a reason. After IS years of Green NIMBYism, the competitive base of the State is in tatters. Not satisfied, the Greens are now working to stop Basslink-the $200 million investment that will connect Tassie to the national electricity grid.Why? Because they do not want `dirty electrons' polluting their 'clean electrons'. …

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