Will a Change in Greens Leadership make the Nationals Redundant?
Wednesday 6 May 2015
With the moderately surprising news that Christine Milne had decided to step out of her current political life, Dr Richard Di Natale moved into the driver's seat for the Greens. And I flag that this spells trouble for the National Party because this shift, this change in voice and style, connected to similar passions, will offer the traditionally National voting rural constituent, the 'go signal' for change. And here's why:
- The high level of disenchantment with the national's support for mining over farming particularly across NSW and QLD;
- The ongoing saga of perceived practises of the #Duopoly, Coles & Woolworths, and their treatment of farmers;
- The threats posed to rural and semi rural communities through Coal Seam gas fracking and threats to fresh water supplies from the chemicals used in that process;
- The perceived collapse in 'independent voice' at the Federal level with too many coalition aligned policies seemingly out of whack with rural concerns.
- And into that mix, the support many rural communities received from the 'feral' green types trying to stop Maules Creek and other mining projects.
What those protests enabled for perhaps the first time, was a realisation on the part of the rural communities, that the people they thought were merely tree huggers, actually shared a similar concerns and passion - love for the land, the environment and the future. When you have a local farmer coming out publicly and saying that 'I would have lost my farm if not for these people' then you have a shift in awareness. That message, that impetus was clearly shown in state voting patterns, especially in NSW where inroads into vote % were significant. This was no protest vote, it was a fundamental shift in thinking of large sections of country Australia.
And now, with a new face at the helm of the National Greens, someone who has worked in the rural sector, who has seen the plights of people some distances from the cities, is a messenger that could parlay that growing Greens/Rural alignment into a significant shift in political representation. For over a decade I've suggested that the natural political alignment is between the Greens and the Nationals. It's not yet a comfortable fit, but it is a natural one. This new Greens leadership could well make the Nationals (at least the current group) redundant, for if all they do is represent non rural sector interests over those of their constituents, those same constituents will find voice through those who do.
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Monday 27 February 2017
It's been a significantly busy couple of months looking at how Industries and Government Agencies are preparing for change. The Companies versus Climate Change conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in November/December, and a meeting with the Political Science Department at the University of Hawaii (Manoa) in January show that positive action is happening, despite some of the headlines
Saturday 31 December 2016
Many of you know that each year I make an observation about what I think the year will bring. The track record suggests I'm usually a couple of years ahead of the curve. With that said I'm calling 2017
Monday 12 December 2016
In Ft. Lauderdale USA I recently attending a delightful provocatively named 'Companies Versus Climate Change' conference. And the message is clear - companies, BIG well known companies are tackling the issues of climate change, sustainability and their carbon footprints and both making and saving VAST sums of dollars. The simple take away message from the presentations over the three days could not have been more explicit - tackling climate change pays off big time!