With the decline of the trade union movement (primarily due to the acquiescence of its bureaucratic caste leadership to the 1980s Prices-and-Incomes Accord and consequent demobilisation) and the connected decline of ALP activist membership, there are few (if any) mechanisms to know clearly the political thinking of the “public”, the working class, who make up 80% or more of the population. In the past, mass organisations’ activity meant that there was a way to know what people actually thought without having to rely on what the corporate owned media and polling companies (and the corporate co-opted ABC) say about what the majority of us think. Constant pronouncements of what majority opinion is, unchallenged by any ongoing, organised mass activity, such as by trade unions (limited as they may have been), has a 1984-like self-confirming impact. What they poll is turned into reality, backed up and echoed those views may be by now a monopolised media (with the co-option of the ABC.) If current poll predictions by the corporate owned media (and co-opted ABC) are correct of a big win by the reactionaries, they will have helped create that outcome – facilitated by the ALP’s own moral, political and intellectual bankruptcy. If current polls by the corporate owned media (and co-opted ABC) are correct and the ALP suffer a severe defeat, and given its bankruptcy and absence of any talented opportunist politicians among its ranks, its historical role as the ‘natural party of opposition’ (except when needed by the ruling class) may be ending.
It is increasingly clear – especially now with the Liberals openly talking about their coming ten year rule – that Abbott will claim a mandate for most conservative set of policies and continue to drive home their attacks on the ALP.
If this turns out to be the case, in the immediate term, there will be enormous pressure on the Greens to fill this vacuum. And enormous efforts by the reactionaries to destroy the Greens as a new option.
This pressure will amount to an objective demand on the Greens to abandon the current anemic past. The Greens will not be able to survive as just an anemic electoralist minority party. It won’t be enough.
Meanwhile, given the Greens own anemic politics (see Greens anemia), how will their leadership, membership, supporters and sympathisers respond?