Call on Greens to change preference decision

Socialist Alliance calls on Greens to change preference decision

22 November 2006

Socialist Alliance Victorian election candidates Margarita Windisch, Vannessa Hearman, Rowan Stewart and Sue Bull have called on the Victorian Greens to change their decision to issue split preferences in 17 seats and open preferences in four seats.

Windisch said “The advertisement published by The Greens in today’s Age is deceptive. It says that the Greens ‘have not preferenced the Liberals in any seats.’>>

“This is deceptive because the nature of a split ticket means that The Greens are saying to their voters that they are ambivalent as to whether a Labor or Liberal government is elected in Victoria. We think The Greens need to provide political leadership.”

Hearman said that “Socialist Alliance is giving second preference to The Greens in all of the seats where we are standing but we think it is important to indicate to voters which of the two major parties is the lesser evil. That’s why we are preferencing the Labor Party ahead of the Liberal Party in all of the seats where we are standing.

“Socialist Alliance is extremely critical of the pro-big business policies of the Bracks Labor government, however it is preferable to have a Labor than a Liberal Party government. The anti-worker, anti-social justice and anti-environment policies of the Kennett state government and the Howard federal government mean that we can’t be ambivalent about this,” she said.

Windisch added “The people who vote for parties like the Greens and Socialist Alliance, vote for us because they see us as progressive alternatives to the left of Labor who don’t do grubby and unprincipled preference deals like the major parties do.

“Progressive voters don’t want alternative parties like The Greens engaging in these sorts of preference deals to win seats. The Greens suffered negative consequences for several years after the 1995 Queensland state election when they awarded preferences to the National Party in four marginal seats, helping ensure a Coalition victory for the Borbidge government,” said Windisch.

Sue Bull said “The only guarantee of progressive policies, regardless of whether a Labor or Liberal state government is elected, is to build mass public campaigns in support of progressive policies. Preference deals in order to win seats are not the path to progressive policies

“That’s why Socialist Alliance puts so much effort into building the union movement and the anti-war movement. The path to social change doesn’t just come from the elections.”

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