Greens' big test in art of politics
Have you got a tip for Tuesday, Alistair?
Someone should ask Alistair Coe for a tip on the Melbourne Cup.
Here's what the Liberals Ginninderra MLA had to say about the ACT Greens in the Assembly in March last year while having a laugh at the expense of the crossbenchers.
''You should look at the supply curve which relates to peak oil,'' Coe advised the Deputy Assistant Speaker.
''That supply curve could also be likened to the vote curve of the Greens. We have peak Greens and they are cruising on downwards.
''I think next year, come October, we might see something which looks very similar to this notion of peak oil being reflected in the ACT Legislative Assembly election.''
OK, you didn't have to be Nostradamus to foresee a bit of a kicking for the Greens in last month's territory election, but nobody predicted the extent of the hiding they copped.
This might be one for the trivia buffs, but it must be pretty rare for a party to get slaughtered like that and still hold on to balance-of-power status.
The territory's kooky Hare-Clark electoral system has that much going for it; you can endlessly pick over various aspects of an election and everyone has an opinion.
But there's something that everybody agrees on - the ACT Greens are undergoing a serious crisis and whether it kills them or makes them stronger remains to be seen.
When Shane Rattenbury made his decision about who to usher into the Chief Minister's job, he had to consider something he and his three colleagues didn't need to worry about back in the heady days of October and November 2008 when they were first elected; their party's survival hingeing on the choices they make.
For Rattenbury, who announced his decision to support Labor on Friday, there was danger everywhere.
Support the Liberals and alienate, perhaps forever, much of his left-leaning base. Go with Labor, and reinforce the view that the Greens are the left wing of the ALP and, well, what's the point of them anyway?
And does a bloke want to be associated with a 15-year-old Labor government when the next election rolls around in 2016? We've seen what happens around the states when ALP governments outlive their use-by dates. It's not pretty.
Rattenbury now faces the dual challenges of getting policies up and running, something he and his party have been good at, while managing the politics of the thing. They haven't been great at that.
Many have said that this election was a bitter lesson for the Greens in the brutal art of campaigning and two internal Greens' reviews are under way into last month's debacle.
The future of the party rides on its ability to learn its lessons.
The good news for the Greens is that they don't have to rebuild their vote by that much to be competitive again in the seats they lost in Brindabella and Ginninderra.
It's not much, but it's a start.