Greens’ kingmaker hails `historic result’

NICK McKim recognises he has an “awesome responsibility” on his shoulders. As the leader of the most successful Greens election team since the party was formed in 1972, he has been dubbed the “kingmaker” because the major parties will have to deal with him to govern Tasmania.

The former advertising man — whom Premier David Bartlett, with limited success, labelled “a wolf in sheep’s clothing” during the election campaign — has changed the party and shifted policy goals to more mainstream issues such as health, education and reducing the cost of living.

The move to moderate the Greens has clearly worked, as the party recorded a 5 per cent swing in the election with a sizeable chunk of dissatisfied voters who turned away from Labor after 12 years of majority rule.

But the true test of the new “lighter shade” of Greens is how they work in a minority government and negotiate with the major parties, and what policies they will pursue.

Mr McKim, who calls federal Greens leader Bob Brown his mentor, said yesterday it was a good day for the Greens across the country.

“It’s a record green vote in Tasmania and it’s the largest Greens vote in any state or federal election in Australia,” he said. “It is a historic result for the Greens.”

He said one key factor for its success was listening to people and using that as a basis for forming policies.

The former anti-logging protester said the decision by voters not to give one party complete control of parliament and instead opt for power-sharing was significant.

“It is important that we can demonstrate that not only can a power-sharing parliament work but . . . it can deliver stability, accountability and good outcomes for Tasmania.

“We take our responsibilities in this situation very seriously. The Tasmanian people have conferred an awesome responsibility. And not just on the Greens, but on all MPs, new and old, and all political parties.”

MILANDA ROUT Original article Link.

03/29/2010 – 14:31


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