First of all let us assume that the Greens has indeed any clear “green” ideological agenda, that they will stick to it to get directions in taking any decision or when conducting any campaign. This assumption is very important to compare it with the reality of this “opportunist” party.
If this assumption is true, even for less extent, we would have expected that the Greens party would have taken major disciplinary steps against Greens councillor in Auburn, Ms Malikeh Michaels. So far during this term of the council she committed the followings:
1- She supported proposal to approve high-rise building in Queen St, Auburn (against her election campaign promises, and the Greens clear policy in opposing such buildings).
2- She supported the demolition of heritage-listed building in Harrow Rd, Auburn (again against the Greens clear policy on this issue)
3- She did not initiate any initiative to promote environmentally sustainable proposals to be implemented in Auburn development proposals.
4- She campaigned against the Greens candidate in First Ward during Auburn council election, September 08.
5- She attacked the party and encouraged members to defect to rival parties (including myself since 2005), as she labelled the Greens as “White Anglo middle class people’s club with no place for multiculturalism).
6- She built very close relationship with the highly regressive Liberal party and voted in block with them on EVERY proposal since last September.
Let me tell you the truth: I was not surprised on this as I did not expect the Greens to take any step against her for many reasons:
1- The Greens has no clear political agenda based on ideology. The Greens is punch of opportunist people who failed to secure any position in any different political parties. All what they are after is to increase votes and get themselves elected to parliament or any public office (or to secure staffer position) with some power and money, to secure comfortable retirement. Please read what another Greens councillor, Irene Doutney, on 31 Oct 07, had to say on this issue: “I think there are a couple of things about the greens that need to be explained. The Greens unlike other parties are more a group of individuals that work collectively. For better or worse there is no overarching ideology that informs policy decisions ….”
2- The Greens infact wants to get rid of the wrong label of being “Left” they were given because of the lack of real left.
3- The Greens are happy for Malikeh to break the ice with the far right Liberal party (enforced on them because of the label mentioned above). By doing this they can achieve many goals in one shot:
- They can wait until Malikeh establish good relationship with the Liberals to use the excuse of “not to be monarchist more than the king” to publicly announce deals with the Liberals. This would happen by saying: here is Muslim representative who have good relationship with Liberals, despite all Anti-Muslim sentiments mounted by that far right party. So why we should not enter any deal?
- The relationship will allow the secret negotiations between the Greens and the far-right Liberals to see the light just in time for the next Federal and State elections.
But how can any political party trust lady that attacks her own party, stab its candidate in the back and make secret deals with rivals?
But the more important question here would be: how would the community and progressive people of Australia support and trust such party that is waiting at the doors of the most regressive far right party to make “preferential deals” with?
The answer is not easy. And we would not know the answer right now. We should wait to see how the community (not only Muslims, but the progressive mainstream community too) will react to these dirty deals and assumptions. And clearly this is the main reason why the Greens hierarchy is very patient with Malikeh, if not supporting her. They clearly did not learn from the huge backlash when the community discovered similar deals during Victoria state election, 2006, and then NSW state election, 2007. Or maybe they are gambling that the community had forgotten all what the Liberals had done and stand for. Again they are clearly did not analyse closely the results of the recent Queensland state election (I will post our analysis very soon, as it gives good indication about what to expect in the next Federal and NSW state elections)
The Greens wants her to make all these mistakes, dirty deals and wrong assumptions, until the next election. Then if the community would show strong dissent and threaten to send strong protest message, the Greens would act at that time by putting all the blames on her (Malikeh). At that time and if the community’s reaction will be so loud, the Greens will easy say: we did not agree with her on this. Then they will blame her for all the dirty deals and tricks, and they may take strong disciplinary actions then.
But this step is very big gamble. Firstly, the community’s backlash could be so huge that it will not accept any justification. At the end of the day, Ms Malikeh is not new Greens councillor. She was on council for more than 5 years.
Secondly, the Greens hierarchy cannot guarantee Malikeh. She can cross the “floor” at anytime she will get “better deal” and better conditions of employment.
I think that the time ahead would be very interesting. But for now I should mention one thing at the end of this piece. When I urged Malikeh to run for council, I did not ask her to become “representative” of the community. I indeed urged her to run to become good example for Muslims’ participation in this society to demystify all ugly Liberals campaigns to stereotype our community. It is very clear that I made the wrong choice. And for this I do apologise deeply, to every Australian.