There was once a time when a vote for the Australian Greens Party equated to the protection and preservation of the environment at number one in the ballot box. By masquerading as the forest-saving, anti-mining, pro-renewable party of choice, while supported by friendly-sounding conservation groups, the Greens grew to capture 10 per cent of the vote. But those days are clearly numbered.
Recent reports exposing an extreme communist faction within the party, along with public spats between former leader Bob Brown and current serving New South Wales Senator Lee Rhiannon, has catapulted the party’s divisions into the spotlight. While gun owners have long been wary of the group due to its ideological hatred of firearms, the latest news should cause concern for all voters.
Federal leader Richard Di Natale, who replaced Christine Milne after her abrupt resignation in the lead-up to the 2016 Federal Election, was widely seen as an attempt to portray the Greens as more moderate and a real alternative to the two major parties. The smooth-talking farmer and doctor from Victoria pledged to lead the team to another Lower House seat, to join left-wing inner Melbourne representative Adam Bandt, and aggressively challenge marginal Labor seats.
However, the results from the July 2 poll show that the aim to substantially increase the usual 10 per cent of the vote fell well short. Now, the party will have to contend with the rise of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation, which is already on par with the Greens in the opinion polls.
For shooters, the recent Western Australia election reiterated the Greens’ anti-firearms views. A blunt statement to SSAA WA from Greens MP Robin Chapple noted that “one of The Greens WA core policies is Peace and Nonviolence in which we are committed to real conflict resolution through the empowerment of people and the proliferation of nonviolence.” In a salute to the ethereal, Mr Chapple went on to say: “We also have a principle in which we reject the development, manufacture, sale, storage, transport and use of land mines, chemical, nuclear, biological and other weapons systems including weapons designed to induce damage or destruction upon a target on earth or in space.”
At time of writing, the votes tallied from the March 11 poll so far indicate that the Greens vote has stagnated in WA. Mr Chapple’s seat in the Mining and Pastoral region is in doubt with Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party candidate Stefan Colagiuri a real contender. It is also predicted that animal rights campaigner and Greens member Lynn MacLaren will lose her Upper House seat.
So why is the Greens movement flailing? The reality is, some members of the party harbour extreme views shared by the likes of Mao Tse-tung (Chairman Mao) and Karl Marx. The faction, known as the Left Renewal, promotes a set of principles that are simply out of touch with modern society.
Along with rejecting “state-mediated oppression” and labelling our current capitalist system of government as “violent and antagonistic”, the group singles out the police as “violent apparatuses...(who) do not share an interest with the working class”. The faction’s social media presence, which includes pictures of protest signs bearing the terms “Liberty, Ecology, Disarmament”, clearly displays its similarities with extreme communist regimes.
While Bob Brown has publically labelled the faction as “a joke” that embraces a “litany of anti-Green policies”, its very existence goes against the party’s claims that “watermelon Greens” - who are green on the outside but red (communist) on the inside - do not exist.
Apart from these worrying views, broader issues raised by many experts include the party’s lack of economic credentials, unsustainable refugee policies and overall shift away from original environmental values. For shooters, the party’s general opposition to hunting and culling as a conservation and pest management tool creates a divide, although Victorian Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham has acknowledged that the use of shooting is sometimes necessary.
The financial standings of the party also came into question this year, with reports that the NSW division is in dire straits. On a federal level, sitting member Scott Ludlam forked out $6200 to the party in his home state of WA, although it is becoming more common for candidates to contribute to campaigning.
Ultimately, it is the Greens’ refusal to accept shooting as a legitimate recreation that has resulted in a breakdown in any working relationship between the firearms fraternity and the group. However, SSAA National does not support one particular party - we support those who support our recreation and contest those who seek to further impinge on our freedoms, particularly in the absence of any plausible evidence or valid reason.
Perhaps Queensland One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts, who actively uses Twitter to blast the party, has best summarised the Greens in 2017: “The Greens are the most destructive force in our country - scientifically, environmentally, socially, educationally and morally. They are anti-human and anti-environment.”
While these sentiments might seem extreme, there is now no doubt that the rise of underlying extreme Socialist views in the Greens is an unwanted threat to Australia’s political future. And while that threat remains, the party, in its entirety, cannot be trusted.
The final count from the March 2017 Western Australia election resulted in no representatives from the Australian Greens Party WA Branch elected to the serve in the state’s lower house, the Legislative Assembly. A total of four Greens were elected to serve in the upper house, the Legislative Council. Robin Chapple only just managed to secure the sixth spot in the Mining and Pastoral Region, edging out the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party by a mere 128 votes. Former Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren was not re-elected.