The slow but steady progression of Green politics
The Greens emerged as a party from the grassroots environmental movements of the 1970s and ’80s. Their vote has risen slowly but fairly steadily since its formation, so that now it has a share of about 13 percent of the primary vote. The party was traditionally controlled by its right faction, but the left faction seized control for the first time in 2017, and leader Adam Bandt has since entrenched a fairly bold social democratic line. Their 2022 campaign was centered around public ownership and control of industry and services, and the expansion of housing and health infrastructure. Invoking the language of a Green New Deal, the Bandt leadership has been explicit that climate action will require a confrontation with the superrich. The party’s candidates spoke throughout the campaign of how “people have lost faith in a political system that puts the interests of a few big corporations ahead of the rest of us,” and of “making the billionaires and big corporations pay their fair share.”
While the party’s only federal MP up until now was based in Melbourne, the biggest new surge for the party has been in flood-ravaged Queensland, a state stereotyped in the media as being wholeheartedly in favor of new coal projects. Now with four potential seats, the Greens could find themselves in a kingmaker position, and could be invited into some kind of governing arrangement with the Labor Party. Even if Labor somehow manages to get a majority of seats, the Greens will still most likely hold the balance of power in the Senate.
Reflective of how the world, yes, is gradually going green: