The Victorian election campaign is in full swing and Labor Premier, Daniel Andrews has levelled a pointed and emphatic message to the Greens:
“I will not sit down, never sit down and negotiate with people who refuse to call out denigration of women.”
His comments come after Greens candidate for Footscray, Angus McAlpine faced heat last week for previously releasing misogynistic rap music, including lines about date rape.
Greens leader, Samantha Ratnam defended McAlpine, claiming the lyrics were actually about drug use despite the phrase; “it ain’t nothing for me to choke a bitch”.
She also claimed she and the party would be open to working with Labor in government.
“All options are on the table, we would enter the negotiations with all those options on the table and we would see what would deliver us the best policy for the state,” Ratnam told the ABC.
“It’s very hard to imagine us working with the radical right wing, working with the Liberal party whose policies seem to be moving more towards the right wing every single day, they are fanning the flames of division, hatred and fear.”
But Andrews was quick to shut the possibility down. Speaking to reporters on the weekend’s campaign trail, the Premier said:
“For eight years I have been very clear. No deal will be offered and no deal will be done” if Parliament is hung. He added that the Greens had a ‘toxic cultural problem’ when it came to women.
As Premier, Andrews has been consistent in his advocacy of women including a current election promise to spend $100M to transform Geelong Private Hospital into a public facility for women and children.
He also issued an emotional statement on Facebook following the unprovoked murder of 22-year old Euridice Dixon, saying “women don’t need to change their behaviour. Men do.”
At present, Labor holds 45 out of 88 seats in the Victorian parliament, the coalition holds 37, the Greens 3 as well as two independents. Polling has shown Labor marginally ahead, however the party will face a challenge in retaining both left and right seats at Saturday’s election.