I find it very hard to come out and say that I support the Greens, it’s not that I am ashamed or that I am not sure of what political party to choose. I probably more sure than ever before the advent of vote compass that the Greens is the party that has the policy and leadership I most adhere to.
The thing that makes me fearful of admitting my green political leanings is the response that others have to the Greens. I rarely hide being a Green, but every time I do come out and talk about my support for this party I just am faced by the oddest reactions by those around me.
I work around plenty of tradesmen many of these men (mostly men) like to think of themselves as tough ordinary blokes who support a fair go. The political opinions with those I have worked with come in three types.
The passionately conservative, the unionised labor ‘workers’ and the totally apathetic. The first camp are so opposed to the Greens party it has become part of their genomes, mainly they think that I am just a little misguided and spend plenty of time trying to ‘point out the error of my ways’.
Mostly I find it very difficult to get these people to admit they are actually conservative, I guess it’s a conservative trait to not want to admit that you are totally conservative. (Is that a kind of paradox?) Once the conservatives come to the realisation that I really do support the Greens and I am not just misguided, I get the same kind of reaction I would if I were in the Taliban.
The unionised Labor supporters tend to illicit a similar response as the conservatives with the exception that they are actually a little bit more educated about the Greens and realise their policies are very similar to Labors. There is a deep distrust of the Greens and they often bring up fishing laws and other forestry issues and label them as extremists. Many of this group worry that the Greens will take all their jobs away by opposing coal mining.
The last group the apathetic are surprisingly high in number, they usually start a political conversation with ‘Whats the point both party is as bad as each other’, they have a sort of Marvin the Robot attitude to politics. Many have very conservative opinions but are deeply distrustful of all politicians. These people are the swinging voters of Australia and the ones that can change an outcome in an election. What is scary about this group is they often cling onto a rather small and insignificant issue and vote on that not knowing or caring the impact their decision causes.
All three groups dislike the Greens and they often ask me if I am about to climb up a tree or stand in front of a bulldozer, but mostly they refuse to admit that the Greens are a political force at all.
Maybe I am just very unlucky to be working around these kind of people, there are other Greens voters but they are like small underground rodents in hiding and very difficult to find.
It would be nice if people understood that the Greens are not blowflies, the Greens is a global movement and is slowly gathering strength. Germany had a Greens coalition and was in Government in Germany from 1998 to 2005. (hardly a fringe party). The Greens poll at around 3-7% of the vote in Australia, not huge amount but they roughly get about 3 or 4 seats every election, when you watch an election most electorates have a little green bar.
It isn’t easy being Green and Green supporters are forced to grow a thick skin to take all this garbage people throw at them, and I think this only makes the Greens and Greens supporters stronger.
Be seen be Green!