I’ve decided to support the Greens, even though I’ve been a conservative voter for the last 30 years, own a small business, and care about our economy.
I could give you a long manifesto about why I’ve come to this decision, but I’ll keep it simple:
For the last six years I’ve immersed myself in the environment of South East Queensland. My bicycle tyre tracks are all over it. You can read more about that here. That experience has changed me. To misquote the old hymn,
When through the woods and forest glades I wander
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees,
When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur,
And hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze:
…. then I must do something about it. I can’t stand idly by and let property developers and miners consume it all.
I love where I live. I don’t want to see it destroyed in the name of profit.
The “conservative” me from a few decades ago would probably quip – “But what about the cost? Don’t you want lower taxes and less government intervention?”.
In short, the answer is “No”. I think from a tax perspective, we get an absolute bargain for the life we live. We have awesome hospitals, great public schools, and a great way of life. I’d be willing support higher taxes if that mean protecting this way of life. And to ask for “less government intervention” is naive. One of the responsibilities of government should be to protect what we have. Reducing the influence of government on corporations makes it easier for those corporations to gobble up our environmental heritage and convert it into profits.
So the bottom line for me: I love this place, and I want to protect it.
I have one request of the Greens: Get more involved with local politics. I understand your desire to elect members to the Senate. But much of the damage to our environment is done because of State and Local Government laws – not Federal laws. Voters might feel “tribal” about Federal issues, but they quickly drop their political affiliation when a state or local government decision affects bushland in their street, or a CSG site on their farm.
The most powerful politics is local – because that’s where we live.