The de facto Deputy Prime Minister Bob Brown has taken offence (or at least a gate) at Julia Gillard suggesting that the Greens were are party of protest, and unlike the Labor Party they would never share the values of everyday Australians.
Trouble in paradise? Julia holds office in a makeshift coalition involving the Greens, and some disquiet troubled ex-nationals. It was never going to make life easy for her, and for a great deal of the time it has looked like Bob has her over a barrel and loving it.
There can be no doubt that there has been a leakage of traditional Labor voters to the Greens, believing the party to have a vision for the future and a genuine to sustain the planet that sustains us. Logically if this continues, as is entirely possible in the Australian Political Landscape, it is highly likely that we will arrive at a choice of coalitions, Labor/Green to the left of centre and Liberal/National to the right of centre.
Superficially one may think that the remarks from Julia were a little not thought out, on the other hand she also has to shore up support within her own party and lead rather than rule them. If she fails here, then there are no doubt a number of others who may be prepared to have a go at the job and certainly opinion polls of late have suggested that K Rudd may not have been so bad after all. The remarks may well be posturing for her own party, or they may be a veiled threat to the Greens to keep them in line.
The unhappy alliance with the Greens has lead to a level of compromise where a number of things promised not to be, will be and a number of things promised will not be delivered. This seems to be the way of compromise. The Prime Minister and the Labor Party will always have to choose between power and principal. The Liberals know all about this and have made it work over a long period. Labor and the Greens are still on courtship, perhaps even sharing the house before the relationship was properly worked out.