On day three of the 2010 Federal Election the Greens Party did a preference deal with Labor. It was widely reported as some kind of master stroke, or devil pact.
According to the Greens Party, the decision was made on the basis of climate change policy:
The government’s campaign spokesman, Chris Bowen, said the deal showed Labor’s climate change credentials were greater than those of the Opposition.
“They show that the Greeens recognise that the Labor Party is a party which accepts that climate change is real, unlike Mr Abbott,” he said.
However, Bob Brown, who was not involved in the decision, threw a grenade into the deal after it was announced:
‘‘You can make up your mind up about where you’re going to put your number one vote, and I hope that’s for the Greens, and then you make your mind up about who you put second and who you put third,’’ he said.
Tim Dunlop has written about this over at the ABC Election Website. Tim is generally widely respected in progressive politics as being very even handed. I was certainly a regular reader when he blogged regularly. His contribution is worth quoting in its entirety:
But this is par for the course. The Greens like to pretend that they are above politics as usual, a point I have made elsewhere.
I’m getting a bit tired of it. The Greens are a political party like any other. They leverage matters in order to maximise their vote in the same way as any other party. The fact that they won’t admit it makes them as disingenuous as any other party.
Doesn’t mean I wouldn’t vote for them in the Senate. But let’s not kid ourselves.
Tim Dunlop has also written about the Greens Party’s pretenses of being “above politics” here.