Christine Milne is 100 days into her leadership and shows little evidence of filling the large shoes left by Bob Brown. This period coincides with a deep split in the Labor alliance and could mark the beginning of the end for the Greens’ influence.

Said she was headed to the bush… Picture: Dan Himbrechts

And to make things even more difficult, the ongoing and unseemly stoush between Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott deprives Ms Milne of the crucial oxygen she needs to give life to her leadership.

The transition from Bob Brown to Christine Milne preceded a number of events which are central to the Greens’ agenda, but none of which she has been able to exploit for political advantage. The Greens-backed carbon tax and mining tax became a reality. The asylum seeker debate continued its death spiral while the Greens stood by and arrogantly argued only they were in possession of the real facts and hence the correct solution.

The end of the marriage of convenience between Bob Brown and Julia Gillard left Ms Milne with the fallout.

The foundation of high level leadership is found in Triple A Leadership: the effective integration of authenticity, authorship and authority. Looking at Christine Milne from this perspective raises concerns about her future. But the situation is not terminal, and can be turned around relatively easily at this early stage of the game.

There is little doubt about Ms Milne’s authenticity. She knows what she stands for and lives according to a deeply held purpose. She demonstrates a long and consistent commitment to core values, which connect with the Greens’ agenda.

Whether one agrees with Ms Milne’s values or not, the societal trends towards caring for the planet, gay marriage, and embarrassed apologies for the errors of the past, mean that she is well positioned to become a conviction politician and a suitable successor to Bob Brown.

But in the nexus between authorship and authority, which builds on authenticity, she is falling short.

What is Christine Milne’s story, how does that link to the Greens’ narrative and - more importantly - how does that tap into and align with the Australia of today and tomorrow? Can Ms Milne tell a story that captures the imagination of a sufficient number of people and so contribute to her standing in the electorate, and translate into more Greens in Parliament? Very little in the first 100 days suggests a positive answer.

Her first initiative to ‘start a conversation’ in rural Australia showed great promise. This was an inspired effort to weave her own story, being a fifth-gen child of a dairy farming family, into a wider narrative and away from inner city urbanites. Unfortunately the conversation has shrunk to a whisper.

Whilst Julia Gillard accuses Tony Abbott of saying no to everything, the story of “no” really belongs to the Greens. No carbon. No growth. No offshore processing. No compromise. And all couched in the language of care compassion and justice under a narrative developed and finely honed by Bob Brown, but which Christine Milne is struggling to make her own.

The story of no could become the story of no relevance.

Unlike Julia Gillard who has never recovered from seizing authority in a backroom coup, Christine Milne enjoyed a smooth transition to power. Genuine authority is not given by the title on a business card however, but by the strength of character and leadership that one brings to the role. Only time will tell if Ms Milne has what it takes, but the first 100 days do not bode well for the future.

It appears she has not yet fully embraced her authority, has chosen to say little and keep to the familiar. In so doing she continues to project an image of a deputy leader, not the leader. This tension between the role she has and the role she embraces subtly undermines her authority with the public. The solution involves finding a way to integrate her authentic self - the female leader, the environmentalist, the farmer and gardener, the mother, the social activist - with a consistent narrative which bridges both her own and the Greens’ past present and future.

This will lay a foundation for inner authority, enabling her to grow in stature as the leader of the Greens and a politician of influence.

If Ms Milne continues on her current trajectory she risks leading the Greens back to the wilderness, rather than to a central place in Australian politics.

She needs to navigate a difficult path as she grasps the leadership baton, embraces her authority, finds her voice, and stays true to her values. Welcome to the world of high level leadership, lived in the glare of the media, with little room for error.

Most commented


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    • Kurisu Sonsaku says:

      06:14am | 19/07/12

      “and shows little evidence of filling the floppy clown shoes left by Bob Brown.”

      There, fixed it for you.

    • Babylon in Canberra says:

      07:51am | 19/07/12

      Good riddence, they are all clowns. I’m not impressed by their knowledge of extraterrestrials or their claimed ability to play God with the planet.

      In European countries the Greens are seen as a step above a terrorist organisation and are often infiltrated by Secret Service. Isolated on the underside of the world we are a little naive on what is really going on in the world. Green is a toxic colour.

      The phrase “seizing authority in a backroom coup” is that a polite way of saying Backstabber?

    • Huey says:

      08:38am | 19/07/12

      THERE’S MY LAUGH FOR THE DAY!...Thanks Kurisu.

    • Cry in my Gin says:

      10:44am | 19/07/12

      Yep. Piss funny.
      Painful in its honesty.
      But piss funny.
      Thank you Kurisu.

    • Brad Coward says:

      01:52pm | 19/07/12

      Well….when ya gotta go, ya just gotta go !

      For Christine Milne and the Greens….their time has come.

    • Gregg says:

      06:20am | 19/07/12

      There is no doubting Milne is different to Brown but they have in common their preparedness not to acknowledge reality, the reality of increasing population and the need to find effective affordable employment and that power generation in much bigger quantities than alternatives can provide is required for that.

      The media seemed to always accept Brown in his way of brushing detail aside and then the other thing Brown and Milne have in common is the policies they either support of not with Labor and people realise what a mess the government is getting the country into and that if the Greens are a part of that, this will be the cause of their demise as much as anything and it will only be offset by some Labor supporters becoming Green.

    • Old Geeser says:

      07:18am | 19/07/12

      The media left Brown alone was because he was “old” and deadpan and “queer” in thought.

    • Old Geeser says:

      06:45am | 19/07/12

      Milne has the same problem Gillard has, when she talks she drones, to the point it is virtually impossible to listen to her so it doesn’t matter what she says, how much conviction she has or how she lives her life, only 12% are listening. H-Y needs to leave the angry pills in the cabinet and Rhiannon needs a sixty year make over. The only chance the Greens have is Larissa Waters.

    • Against the Man says:

      06:55am | 19/07/12

      Gillard said no to Rudd, Australia, Wilkie and compromises to border policy. She did say yes to the Greens and sold out Australia smile

      ......She did say yes to Thompson and Emerson yucky-yuck-yuck!

    • nihonin says:

      09:18am | 19/07/12

      As long as Labor MP’s keep providing the numbers, Milne will be the PM and the Labor party her mere puppet.

    • booh ha says:

      10:54am | 19/07/12

      Gillard clearly couldn’t say no to Emerson’s physical advances or his outright manliness thus became his lover - Sadly, ending yet another working families future

    • Dolly says:

      01:31pm | 19/07/12

      It was Emmerson’s singing that won Gillard over. Have you seen the way his head bobbles when he serenades. Attractive wink

    • Gary Cox says:

      06:57am | 19/07/12

      Not sure who has the most annoying voice, Milne or Gillard. Also I loved the Kath and Kim analogy with Milne and Hansen-Young on here the other day. Saw them doing a press conference together two days ago and couldn’t stop thinking about it

    • Stone Temple People says:

      08:09am | 19/07/12

      Bringing Australia down one day at a time.

      The Gillard/Milne motto!

    • Dr B S Goh, Australian in Asia says:

      07:03am | 19/07/12

      As an old environmental warrior I think the Greens movement in Australia must re-capture its soul and focus on key environmental problems. It should stop worrying about political power and social issues which are not linked directly to the Environment.

    • M says:

      08:03am | 19/07/12

      You know that the greens environmental credentials is a cover of the fact that they’re communism 2.0, right?

    • daniel says:

      08:16am | 19/07/12

      As an environmental-centred party, it wouldn’t be able to position itself as an alternative to the ALP. I agree that that’s the area where they’ve lost ground; however, there primary goal is to be an alternative party for ALP voters so have to move into social, political and even economic issues.

    • DexteR says:

      08:33am | 19/07/12

      This is something I have often wondered about.  I think protecting the environment is an important issue, but on economic and social issues I tend to be more to the right.  Are the two mutually exclusive?

      If there was a green party that wasn’t full of far left policies I would even be inclined to give them some support, or in the least listen to them.  But the Greens seem so far away from any practical solutions on anything that there is no point in listening to them at all and their far left political views make them just plane dangerous to this country

    • Knemon says:

      09:29am | 19/07/12

      “focus on key environmental problems”

      ...and what is climate change Doc?

      The carbon tax legislation is the greatest reform we’ve seen in this country in relation to tackling environmental problems, it is Green policy, don’t worry Doc, the Greens are focused.

    • Borderer says:

      09:44am | 19/07/12

      The Greens signed their own commitment papers when they formed their own mini-cabinet after the last election. At the time I thought it was just being showy, then I realised they actually think they should govern… Bob’s “get rid of coal mining”, earthians and global government speeches wrote them off from having any mainstream acceptance. Like the ALP they’ve lost their way and present nothing workable, they will decend into a refuge for anarchists and fringe looney’s as the mainstream supporters they gained no longer suport the direction they’ve taken.

    • daniel says:

      10:36am | 19/07/12


      The carbon tax legislation is not by a long shot Greens policy and “tackling environmental problems” when it compensates heavy polluting industries. If it were ‘real’ Greens policy then everyone would be paying for it - it’d be a more punitive measure to addressing “carbon” pollution.

    • Dr B S Goh, Australian in Asia says:

      10:52am | 19/07/12

      @ Knemon. I believe in the threats of global warming. There are truly effective methods to fight it.

      But you have been conned big time by the carbon tax in Australia.

      Global warming is a GLOBAL problem and not an Australian problem per se.

      300,000,000 Indians do not have electricity and when they do Australia’s carbon tax is even more irrelevant.

      Australia has the largest deposits of Thorium which can provide SAFE nuclear energy. India a poor country is spending billions on Thorium Nuclear Research. We must join and help the big naughty boys of global warming, China and India, by working with them on Thorium Nuclear Energy

    • Dr B S Goh, Australian in Asia says:

      11:02am | 19/07/12

      @ DexteR.  I agree with you. Protecting the environment is a very important issue for ALL Australians.

      I am in favour of same sex marriage. But I think many people are against it for cultural or religious reasons. In Iraq and Iran the Govts there kill people who are gay. Do not talk about Talibans in Afghanistan on gay people.

      So it is best if the Green Party stay clear of same sex marriage.

    • M says:

      11:26am | 19/07/12

      I actually didn’t think the earthian thing was all that bad. Have a look at the speech. Until he starts rabbling about the environment, he makes a good point, in that it’s unlikely that we are the only life form to ever have evolved in the universe.

    • Knemon says:

      12:44pm | 19/07/12

      @ daniel - “The carbon tax legislation is not by a long shot Greens policy” “If it were ‘real’ Greens policy then everyone would be paying for it”

      True, I was only parroting conservative rhetoric which is posted every other day on The Punch, but what we now have in place is at the very least a step in the right direction.

      @ Dr B S Goh - “Thorium Nuclear Energy” - We won’t see this in your or my lifetime in Australia and it won’t be the Greens who stop it. I actually agree with your sentiment in relation to such.

    • Borderer says:

      12:48pm | 19/07/12

      Yeah, the problem is not his moments of clarity, rather his moments off with the fairies. It doesn’t make his good point invalid, just his ability to be a national leader. Consequently the greens need to be an angry minority and not speak for the majority, we need to only take the good things they suggest and leave the rest if they are to have any influence on government.
      In short they can only function if the incumbent government can aford to ignore them.

    • Dolly says:

      01:28pm | 19/07/12

      I’m with you DexterR. I’m definitely concerned about environmental issues but don’t like the Greens far left social policies.
      @M. I read the Earthians speech. What intrigues me is, if a fundamentalist Christian talks about the threat of a One Workd Government they are howled down as being lunatic fringe. Yet in that speech, the leader of the party that held the balance of power in the Senate, advocated, wait for it, One World Goverment.
      Scary stuff

    • P. Walker says:

      07:08am | 19/07/12

      The ganGrenes will be dead under this woman.  Poor Pauline got a bucket load, but this woman’s striney whining mouth will no doubt sink her and the party.  At least Bob’s monotone morgue like dulcet tones had a “calming effect” much loved by the commos.
      Fast track policies to destroy civilisation.  I’m so over that red head and her constant carping of blaming the opposition, no a mention of the destructive ganGrenes though.

    • PonderingLink says:

      11:43am | 19/07/12

      Quite so!

    • Jay says:

      07:12am | 19/07/12

      The Greens should have promoted Adam Bandt as he represents the new modern face of the Greens. Christine Milne lacks the class to articulate a policy without shrieking when someone dares to disagree with her. The Greens had an opportunity to once again steal the agenda by agreeing to a temporary agreement with respect to the boat people.Their intransigence has made them look amaterish. It is the beginning of the end for the Greens as both Party’s will turn on them and ensure they are nutured as a political force and despite what the Greens may believe they only appeal to a very small portion of the electorate.

    • Emmy says:

      08:43am | 19/07/12

      @ Jay….. He is a Bandtem rooster. Research them and you will find Waters is the only one who would be a credible leader. Brown and Milne have stated they want to REPLACE Labor, well they won’t unless they move to a leader who is moderate and has intelligence and NOUS.

    • Knemon says:

      09:42am | 19/07/12

      Jay - “The Greens should have promoted Adam Bandt”

      There’s a chance Adam may lose his seat at the next election, I assume they went with Milne because her Senate term doesn’t expire until July 2017.

      “The Greens had an opportunity to once again steal the agenda by agreeing to a temporary agreement with respect to the boat people”

      “steal the agenda”  “temporary agreement” - WTF are you talking about?

    • Babylon in Canberra says:

      04:03am | 20/07/12

      Bandt is leading the reduction of car parking spaces for apartment blocks and in parking lots in the CBD. He says it will force people out of their cars. Whilst it delighted the Developers, it will not force people out of their cars, rather it will cause traffic chaos and increase parking costs for lower paid workers.

      And where exactly are we to park our Green cars in the future?

      We are talking about a man who went on national television and praised the commitment of the USA to Electric car development. He thinks building 1 million cars for a population of 280 million is serious commitment. It won’t even cover the novelty market.

      As I said before Good riddence to the Greens.

    • Seamus says:

      07:27am | 19/07/12

      Goose that he is, Bob Brown was smart enough to see the eventual demise of the barking mad Greens and bailed out just in time.

    • Brad Coward says:

      03:56pm | 19/07/12

      Yes.  And he’s bailing out with 100 grand a year for life, courtesy of the Australian taxpayer !

      I would have bailed out too !

    • Alfie says:

      07:59am | 19/07/12

      Milne will get what she deserves along with Gillard.

      The good thing about the current regime is that people have now seen the Greens for what they are - loopy extremists.

    • Knemon says:

      12:52pm | 19/07/12

      “Milne will get what she deserves”

      ...and what would that be Alfie?

    • Tom says:

      08:20pm | 19/07/12

      ...and what would that be Alfie?, The rest of us have a fair idea, Knemon. Try harder to think about it.

    • Sam Sammy says:

      08:02am | 19/07/12

      The Greens are dangerous. Gillard who was willing to but did not have to partner with the Greens is dangerous. The future of Australia does not need dangerous people with no sense of leadership and understanding of the nature of global politics.

    • stephen says:

      08:14am | 19/07/12

      Bob Brown is in his canoe, right now as we speak, trying to save a humpback spawning ground where the 30 Billion dollar Woodside Gas Hub is to be built, and I think that every serious Greens Member, paid up or not, should be by his side, treading water.

      But The Greens are not there, and maybe that is because the environment and other green matter was and still is only a step to political ambitions of another sort : the purely left wing of social change, a destroying force of the Middle Class.
      The Environment Movement is a smoke screen ; the members are too angry at their own misfortune to really give a fig for turtles and whales and other such innocents ; it is only themselves they want to save, and I think that their Idealism was always a psychological misnomer : it was a way of drawing attention to an unhappy people.

    • PonderingLink says:

      11:47am | 19/07/12

      Hmmm me thinks Woodside gas would cook whale beautifully.

    • Daniel says:

      12:36pm | 19/07/12

      stephen, You are so far off the truth its not funny mate….

    • Barry says:

      08:34am | 19/07/12

      The Gang-Greens don’t represent environmentalism; they represent the socialist redistribution of wealth, and only want to punish those that pull their finger out and are hard-working. Similarly, Labor has sold its soul to the Gang-Greens. The Tree of Knowledge and the ghosts of those shearer’s must be wilting/hanging their heads in shame. All I can say is, good bloody riddance to the left. You have screwed Aussies for the last time. The sooner Abbot takes the reigns, the better for everyone.

    • L. says:

      08:43am | 19/07/12

      “I think the Greens movement in Australia must re-capture its soul and focus on key environmental problems”

      Why..?? Single issue political parties are useless.

      If you want power, then you have to embrace all the issues, which the Greens have done… badly.

    • Craig says:

      08:47am | 19/07/12

      There is a reason the Labor party picked this time to wage war on the Greens.

      They smell weakness in the replacement of Brown with Milne and are testing how far they can push things.

      Remember that Labor falls from power if the Greens withdraw from their partnership.

      Labor is testing how far they can push before the Greens threaten to withdraw.

      Milne is facing her own trial under fire.

      (also note the curious split - females leading Labor & Greens, males leading Nationals and Liberals).

    • Bob Stewart, the Elder says:

      08:52am | 19/07/12

      It is undesirable for any of us out here to believe a political proposition of any of the Greens when there are clearly no grounds whatsoever to imagine or suppose it be true or of any benefit to the Nation.

    • Daz says:

      08:52am | 19/07/12

      If the LNP think tank had to come up with an organisation designed to undermine and steal votes from Labor and destroy its credibility with middle Australia they couldn’t do better than the greens.

    • Burn your bra's says:

      08:57am | 19/07/12

      With the likes of Milne, Hansen Young, and Lee Rihannon at the forefront of green politics, they will be joining the democrats very soon in political oblivion. The women of aussie politics have a terrible record when it comes to destroying their own party….the 3 clowns i mentioned above will ruin the greens, keneally for nsw labor, bligh for qld labor, stott-despoja the democrats, and the biggest goose of all, gillard for the federal alp. What a history. Well done, you have all done the female cause enormous damage.

    • The Old Man says:

      08:58am | 19/07/12

      I belong to a blog site where a number of politicians have a page. A number of them occasionally actually put up a post themselves. On Christine Milne’s page I have NEVER seen a post from her personally, despite the fact that members have, on occasion, posted a question for her to answer.

    • jg says:

      09:07am | 19/07/12

      The Greens lost me when they moved away from their core policies of protecting the environment and replaced it with an agenda of social restrucuture with little regard for people.

    • Suzanne says:

      09:11am | 19/07/12

      Milne is the BEST thing to happen to the extreme Greens.  Like grease on a pole or poll to be precice

    • Joel B1 says:

      09:17am | 19/07/12

      The Greens are smarter than they look, that doesn’t mean they’re right however.

      Despite being deeply anti-science the Greens support AGW totally. And they know that they will win.

      If AGW is true then the Greens get to be sanctimonious high-moral-ground creeps for ever. But when AGW is discredited (as it will be) they get to say “See, we told you western, male dominated science is bogus, we really believed in Gaia all along” and get to be sanctimonious high-moral-ground creeps for ever.

      Don’t forget that us Tasmanians have been dealing with these double-thinking, group-thought, very loud yet minority party for a lot longer than you mainlanders. But it’s hard to get the rest of Australia to believe, after all everyone loves trees! And those ancient forests…

    • Fred says:

      09:19am | 19/07/12

      Bob Brown has done a Bob Carr, and jumped of the sinking ship just before he and his reputation go down with it. Milne has been given the ultimate hopsital pass and will be the one taking the fall at the hands of the aussie voter. Not that i have any sympathy for her…i will enjoy watching milne, SHY, Gillard all leading their parties to political ruin.

    • Charles says:

      09:40am | 19/07/12

      Milne is an ideologue and has no capacity to process information or facts that do not fit with her ideology.

      The good news is that by dragging the Greens further to the Left, they will ultimately experience the same fate as the Democrats.  So, stand by for the demise of a a party which could be enhanced by both the ALP and the Libs to put them last on preferences and that reduce them to Milne and one other Tassie senator in one election flat.

      Quite an enticing prospect.

    • Hamish says:

      09:56am | 19/07/12

      The Melbourne by-election could be a big deal for Milne…If the Greens don’t win then I reckon SHY will start getting her ducks lined up for a tilt. Milne’s public persona is like a boring version of Gillard.

    • Fred says:

      11:23am | 19/07/12

      SHY has had a few cracks at the green leadership and failed miserably. Her political career is effectively over. Milne will thrust her into the public arena and sacrifice the young and naive SHY who will spend the rest of her life chasing ambulances for boat people in adelaide.

    • Ms says:

      09:57am | 19/07/12

      @DexteR I call myself a conservative conservationist. I want to protect the environment I just don’t trust the Greens to run the Country.  I like some of their ideas but wouldn’t trust them with the Countries economy.

    • BruceS says:

      10:23am | 19/07/12

      We have not had a revoltion in this Nation State of Australia, yet. If the Greens are able to hold the power they have, or increase it, anything is possible, considering the amount of seething anger amongst the salt of the earth citizens.

    • Cry in my Gin says:

      10:49am | 19/07/12

      United Australia Party.
      Democratic Labour Party
      Australian Democrats.
      One Nation.

    • poa says:

      11:22am | 19/07/12

      Better add ALP.
      Thats all the political parties that Australia has seen go extinct.

    • Daniel says:

      12:41pm | 19/07/12


      Greens are going nowhere…

    • Carl Palmer says:

      11:11am | 19/07/12

      I agree with the authenticity – core values, authorship – deep thinker / philosopher and authority leader.  I think the Greens fail miserably in Authorship. As far as I can tell, they have a myopic – simplistic view of life as opposed to a holistic view which I think the majority of Australians subscribe and embrace.

      As for authority - I saw an interview a few days back with Milne and SHY and I couldn’t work out who the leader was. I don’t recall seeing the same sort of behavior when BB was in the chair. So she gets one out of three. Oh well, annihilation awaits and they will be firmly told to pull in their heads.

    • Daniel says:

      12:40pm | 19/07/12

      Carl, The figures don’t reflect that though. As most people are now waking up to the fact that the major parties are just treating politics as a career and nothing more. The Greens are now standing out as being the only political party looking after working and vulnerable Australians. You are totally out of touch.

    • Carl Palmer says:

      09:59am | 20/07/12

      @ Daniel, I agree with you when you say “….people are now waking up…” – to the fact that the greens are just that – green, naïve and politically inept. The ALP debate on their relationship with the greens has and quite rightly so begun and whatsmore, in the public area. The guillotine will come down on that relationship leaving the greens impotent.  Now that BB is gone, their crazy policies will percolate to the top led by crazies like Lee Rhiannon and a very young and immature SHY. And as for “..only political party looking after working and vulnerable Australians.” LOL - one thing is for sure, the Greens policy will see more unemployed and more social welfare ie free handouts from a socialist party. If the Greens had the steering wheel of our nations, we would be another Greece –basket case. I think you have your head buried in the sand or up your …..

    • Burp! says:

      11:18am | 19/07/12

      Australians culturally have an issue with being told what to do, we fight authority even if authority eventually wins ( Yes, I stole that line somewhat from one J Mellencamp ). That is the big problem for both Milne and Gillard, they talk down to us mere mortals like we are their children and in tones reminiscent of being told off for running around the school yard at playtime by the school prefect or headmaster - On top of that they both offer up piss poor policies and governance for the wider community, Milne even more so because of that foil hat she sees as being fashionable - and it may just be if she were playing the part of Tin Man in Wizard of OZ but she isn’t.  Maybe on a dairy farm on the outskirts of civilisation tin foil caps are fashionable, I wouldn’t know I’m a city lad. I do know however in the big smoke tin foil caps are a sign of a troubled mind and usually worn solely by those who are usually on high doses of medication - Thats MIlnes major problem so also Gillards, in the real world decisions effecting everyone and not just daisy the milk cow have to be made for the benefit of all,  not just the 12% of loons they both now stand for and represent - Cue the theme from jojos circus!

    • Beverley says:

      11:27am | 19/07/12

      Ignorant people always resort to name calling.  The weapon of bullies.  Spare me this “reds under the beds” and the” turning back” of refugees politics. Australia tops the list in turning back the Jewish refugees in 1939 prior to the
      2nd world war..  That was based on what - I wonder how many of your voices protested about that?

    • Lord Stark says:

      12:49pm | 19/07/12

      Ummm that was fifty years before I was born….

    • Daniel says:

      12:14pm | 19/07/12

      News Ltd once again are obsessed with “Authority” If they knew anything about Greens and Greens members they would know that Authority doesn’t go down well with Greens members. Her rural tour was a success. The foundations have been built by Bob Brown. Christine cannot forge a path overnight the same as Gillard cannot either.

    • stephen says:

      07:47pm | 19/07/12

      The ‘Authority’ of the Greens, Daniel, (and why capitalize the word, too ?) is related to the Party as a whole and not, admittedly, to a single Head.
      It is the Greens’ reluctance to compromise, (as the other Parties have done with the possible introduction of both Malaysian and offshore processing centres) that makes it obsolete : it is stupid to retain, in the face of the best evidence and in the best spirit of a good outcome for this country, to cling to Policy that is in reality, so important for this Party because there are not independent thinkers amongst them ... quite an ironic situation, actually.
      And such Policy becomes a reason for existence ; the Greens become one whole attitude, every member is rigid, there are no other opinions within the Party considered that is not bound to a platform of a severe anti-social type ... almost pathological, really.

      Indeed, the vocabulary of any member I have listened to is very limited.
      Ideology has trumped all common sense, and for that I hope any Green’s member fails miserably at the Melbourne by-election.

    • Last man standing says:

      12:14pm | 19/07/12

      Bob Brown came out one day on television stating that no fishing closures to millions of square kilometres of ocean would save Whale sharks, Whales, Sharks, Marlin and Tuna.

      Fortunately Australia has fully protected Whales for decades inside Australian waters which is the ball park the 200 nautical mile zone around our coast.  That 200 nautical mile zone is also the protection of all the other fisheries in Australia.

      The Great White shark has been protected for decades now which is the reason more and more swimmers are being eaten each year.
      Yes I disagree with a cull, but are all for capture & tag tracking.  Western Australia has a full tagged shark shield which records the movement of White Pointers in the zones of Perth Metropolitan area.
      Loads of other species are protected inside Australian waters from Australians under complete protection through to TAC (Total allowed catch).
      The flaw with Bob Browns Greens policy theory on protecting Whales, Sharks, etc by closure inside Australians waters is that they are highly pelagic, hundreds of kilometres travelled a day.

      They are ‘already’ protected inside Australian waters. When the sharks etc travel outside Australian waters they are quickly massacred. There in lies the total useless punishement of Australians.

      The Greens policy is totally incompetant. Even ALP Tony Burke put a whale sanctuary in a navy sonar submarine channel where mainstream container ships travel yet they are not included in the exclusion.

      Australia already has protection.

      These people are dumb and incompetant, loonie even.

    • Robert S McCormick says:

      01:19pm | 19/07/12

      Let’s face it! The fact is that Bob Brown WAS the Greens. Why else have they dragged him out of retirement to support the Greens candidate in that Melbourne Bye-Election this week-end?
      Though his policies (such as they were) were pie-in-the-sky & never had a hope of being implemented people actually liked & respected Bob Brown. People simply don’t like Christine Milne. Any time she has been mentioned in conversation since she took over the response has always been a sneering “Oh! HER!”  It seems she commands about as much respect as that other political leader with the red hair!
      The same thing happened with the Democrats & before them the Democratic Labor Party. Once the founders left the scene they sank into oblivion.
      The reason people voted for the Greens as they did was because they were/are thouroughly pissed off with the ALP & the Coalition Parties. We are now getting every bit as pissed off with the Greens for they are proving to be no different.
      Maybe the way to get the message through to our parasitic politicians at the next State and/or Federal Elections is for people to deliberately make their votes Informal. “A wasted vote” you might say & in many ways I agree BUT why should we cast votes for people for whom we have no respect & distrust?Why should we cast votes which will enable someone we would never vote for in a million years to take her/his seat in any Parliament? Why should we vote for people we regard as being liars, cheats, corrupt, obsessed with themselves rather than Australia?
      If enough people cast Informal votes isn’t it possible some electorates will end up without an MP, some Senators spots will remain vacant?
      When all is said & done the Federal, State & Territory Parliaments belong to us. We should have the right (& exercise it) to determine who, if anyone, should be allowed to sit in those Parliaments. We should also have the right to refuse to allow anyone to do so.

    • Last man standing says:

      12:42am | 20/07/12

      @Robert S McCormick

      Wasted vote = Donkey vote = vote goes to current government

    • Phillb says:

      02:31pm | 19/07/12

      The rise of the greens owes more to the failure of Labour and Liberal then anything the Greens have done.

    • Dino says:

      03:04pm | 19/07/12

      Don’t drag the Libs into this ALP mess!

    • Mr. Jordon says:

      03:42pm | 19/07/12

      @ Dino

      Adam Bandt is in Parliament purely on Liberal Party preference.

    • Pebbles says:

      04:34pm | 19/07/12

      What mess?

    • the moor says:

      02:43pm | 19/07/12

      The Green’s will take a big electoral hit at the next election thanks to Milne’s pig headed stubbornness.  Her refusal to act humanely on Oakeshott’s refugee bill will almost certainly deliver the Liberals control of the Senate and that will mean everything they fought so hard for will go and the draconian refugee policies of the Howard government will be back in spades.  I hope she thinks it was worth it because I don’t. They won’t be getting my Senate vote this time round.

    • mikem says:

      04:12pm | 19/07/12

      The Liberals would have banked on the Green’s stupidity and when they came in hook, line and sinker celebrated long and hard.

      If the Greens really want to achieve something then they need to get real about their politics.  As history shows minor parties who get ahead of themselves and or become arrogant don’t last.  eg.  Democrats, One Nation and DLP.

    • KimL says:

      02:53pm | 19/07/12

      Come the next election, they will just be an after thought for now we have no choice but tolerate the silliness. I find Milne to be very boring and her attack on Therese Rein, who is a private citizen, was uncalled for.

    • Tony Marphis says:

      04:02pm | 19/07/12

      The standard of debate on The Punch is certainly degenerating, as the following excerpts taken from comments on this article alone shows, in my day, conservatives were somewhat smarter, what the hell happened? What happened to education in Australia? Apart from the vitriol and childish remarks, the spelling alone is simply appalling. Is this the best that the right side of politics can offer? Educate yourselves, please. I so hope people from overseas don’t read The Punch, they would be truly gobsmacked and left wondering how intelligent are Australians.

      “filling the floppy clown shoes left by Bob Brown, Good riddence, they are all clowns, the Greens are seen as a step above a terrorist organisation, Green is a toxic colour, Rhiannon needs a sixty year make over, the greens environmental credentials is a cover of the fact that they’re communism 2.0, they will decend into a refuge for anarchists and fringe looney’s, moments off with the fairies, The ganGrenes will be dead under this woman, this woman’s striney whining mouth, Bob’s monotone morgue like dulcet tones, much loved by the commos, policies to destroy civilisation, Christine Milne lacks the class to articulate a policy, made them look amaterish, He is a Bandtem rooster, Goose that he is, the barking mad Greens, Milne will get what she deserves, loopy extremists, The Greens are dangerous, You have screwed Aussies for the last time, the 3 clowns, an agenda of social restrucuture with little regard for people, Milne is the BEST thing to happen to the extreme Greens.  Like grease on a pole or poll to be precice, sanctimonious high-moral-ground creeps for ever”...and on it goes.

      It’s all rather sad really.

    • B J says:

      04:40pm | 19/07/12

      Ahhh Tony M, maybe the commenters are the smart ones and not you.

    • M says:

      04:44pm | 19/07/12

      Tony Marphis // Now that was just weird. I suggest you pick the dummy off the floor and pop it back in you’re mouth, after that go get a life you arrogant sanctimonious fool.

    • Tony Marphis says:

      05:15pm | 19/07/12

      Thank you M (whoever you are!) for clarifying and supporting my claim.

      “The standard of debate on The Punch is certainly degenerating”

      Does hiding behind a nom de plume and hurling abuse make you feel better?

    • M says:

      06:24pm | 19/07/12

      Tony Marphis // Make that weird and hypocritical!

    • Tony Marphis says:

      07:14pm | 19/07/12

      I do not deny being weird but how am I being hypocritical M?

    • Fred Bloggs says:

      06:32pm | 19/07/12

      I think it’s about time we recalled Pauline, she’d very soon sort out this whining Milne creature

    • johnoadelaide says:

      10:06pm | 19/07/12

      Your comment: johnoadlaide
      The deal that the Democrats had with the Howard Government passing the GST was the death-knell for the Democrats. One that was clearly in , hindsight what brought them down. I can see the Greens heading in the same direction, which from what I believe will be no great loss unlike losing the Democrats was a huge error in hindsight. The Democrats did a fine job until Meg Lees undermined the leadership for Ms Natasha Stott Despoja Hopefully one day they might return to Parliament.

    • Johnno says:

      08:20pm | 19/07/12

      My prediction is that CM will stand aside for ‘health reasons’ by the end of the year and SHY will then run the show herself - which is what she wants!

    • Jay says:

      11:25am | 20/07/12

      SHY! What a Diva. Cries crocodile tears about illegal immigrants and rather than vote with the coalition and their policy she votes to keep the status quo. Come September, Julia will be gone and then we will probably have to put up with another union hack in Shorten. Labor will break a new record in the next election. The quickest time that a Party has conceded defeat after the polls have closed.


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