Elections come and go — but usually all too quickly for many of us to stay up to speed. With Greens (WA) pouring almost equal endeavor into both state and federal elections, it means we are into campaign mode every 1-2 years or so. For the state election purpose we focus efforts on electing members to the Legislative Council, that is the Upper House, regions. However, we maintain a full complement of candidates in the lower house seats to try and boost the overall and longer-term Greens vote. But winning in one or more Lower House seats is not off the radar.
In this Green Issue, we outline the major campaign issues of the Upper House regions. As sitting members, Lynn MacLaren and Robyn Chapple outline their campaign priorities for South Metro and Mining and Pastoral Regions, respectively, in the regular ‘From our MPs’ section.
The previous state election, in 2013, saw a ‘conservative tsunami’ reduce us from four to two seats in the Upper House, but Lynn and Robin have by no means buckled under a doubled workload over the last four years. However, we must ensure that they will be sitting with a few more colleagues this time around. Although the Liberal tsunami has withdrawn out to sea, leaving a little more space for progressives, a tide of xenophobic populism is sweeping in across the whole world, locally manifesting in One Nation. The current challenge for The Greens is to demonstrate that they are an antidote to this.
Rather than being just a ‘party of protest’, as some like to label us, we now have a better chance than usual to present to the public our carefully crafted, comprehensive, coherent plans in areas such as social welfare, employment, education, urban development, environmental protection, energy, transport, and many more. Probably we are a little biased, but stepping back, we don’t see any other parties matching us in this regard.
However, realistically, we remain relatively limited in numbers and resources and we need all members and sympathizers to pitch in to the campaign to the extent that they can manage. The most effective vote catching activity is direct contact with voters and particularly via doorknocking – see the are two articles herein on the joys of this. To update on and sign up for upcoming activities in your region go to the Greens (WA) webpage.
Photo: Rachel and Scott with our six Upper House candidates; from left, Tim Clifford, Robin Chapple, Lynn MacLaren, Ian James, Alison Xamon and Diane Evers. Jacqueline Jane