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Its not easy being Green

Written By: - Date published: 12:39 pm, January 11th, 2014 - 175 comments
Categories: climate change, greens, labour, Left, national - Tags:

Julie Ann Genter Greens

There have been a couple of recent contributions to the debate about whether Labour should adopt an aggressive or a cooperative strategy with respect to the Greens this election year.

Stuart Nash suggests at the daily blog that the Green’s polling will decline back to historical levels this election day.  He does not provide any reasons to show why and to be frank I doubt that this will happen.  I have been really impressed by the Green’s discipline and sense of purpose this term and I believe that they have established a new band of support which will not drop without something unusual happening.

He theorises that after the election Labour could go into coalition with NZ First instead of the Greens which is always possible depending on the numbers after the election.  He also does not rule out the Greens going into coalition with National.  I suspect that hell would have to freeze over before the Greens would even think about this and past refusals to rule this out as a possibility have had more to do with the need to preserve their options than anything else.

He states that the only way for the Greens to grow their vote is to cannibalise Labour’s vote and here I disagree with him.  They are well placed to persuade a portion of the 800,000 who did not vote last time to vote this time and even a modest reduction in the non vote could pay significant dividends for the Greens.

He thinks that a too close coalition with the Greens before the election will harm Labour’s prospects.  Again this is only true if the only votes Labour is seeking are those of people who voted National before.  The non vote provides fertile territory for Labour to improve its support.

He concludes that the battle this year will be between Labour and National and again I disagree.  The Greens performance this year will be vital and for the left to win both Labour and the Greens will need to perform well.

Josie Pagani has also joined the debate.  She has tweeted that the real action this year will be between the “major” parties and not the “small” parties.  She obviously thinks that the Greens are “small” despite their having polled over 10% for a considerable period of time.  Her accumulated wisdom on the matter is behind Listener’s paywall.  My objection to enriching the owners of that once liberal but now challenged magazine has meant that I have not been exposed to the full intricacies of Josie’s analysis but I suspect that her tweet says it all.

With the greatest of respect their analyses are misguided.  This is MMP and every vote counts.  The next Government will be formed by the biggest block as long as they can get confidence and supply.  If the Greens maintain their current polling and Labour gets to 37% or above then it is likely that there will be a Labour Green Government at the end of this year.

And the recurring problem is that by expressing these views Nash and Pagani are adding to National’s framing of the issue.  Barring some major catastrophe it is likely to again be the highest polling party this year and it will probably seek to intimidate NZ First into giving it support because of this.  But under MMP if the left block can garner more support then it should have first run at forming the new Government.  The individual support that a party has is irrelevant and this has been shown by how every single MMP Government has only been able to form a Government with the support of smaller parties.

National will try and tie the Greens and Labour together and suggest that the Greens are an extremist party.  I have never thought of them as extremist, their only sin is that they are ahead of mainstream thinking on many issues and it takes a while for mainstream opinion to catch up.  For instance they have campaigned on climate change issues for years.  It is only now that arch tories such as David Cameron and John Key accept that climate change is real.  It is a shame that they cannot show the political bravery needed to actually do something about the issue.

So I don’t think that this election should be, at least in terms of the party vote, a battle between Labour and the Greens for party voters.  I hope both parties put their full efforts into growing the left vote.  I do believe however that for the electorate vote there may be occasions where progressives should think about voting strategically.

175 comments on “Its not easy being Green”

  1. Paul 1

    Doesn’t Josie Pagani ever take the argument to National?
    Or is she just their poodle?

    • Murray Olsen 1.1

      It could be that Pagani doesn’t take the argument to National because she doesn’t want to risk offending a potential coalition partner in a government of national unity/stability. There seem to be many in the Labour caucus who would be more natural bedfellows of NAct than comrades of Mana/Greens.

    • dave 1.2

      800000 didnt vote to reach those people we have all got a part to play so if a green gets a protest vote great if cunliffe/labour grads a few great that means no more donkey theres only 2 percent needed to send smile and wave to the exits so to hell with arguments we have an election to win !!!

  2. geoff 2

    Looks like there’s too many chiefs and not enough indians surrounding the Labour party.

    I hope Cunliffe gets Labour’s messaging sorted otherwise all the wannabes like Stuart Nash and Josie Pagani will be defining Labour in the public eye.

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    He also does not rule out the Greens going into coalition with National. I suspect that hell would have to freeze over before the Greens would even think about this

    Does Stuart know that the Green membership has to approve any coalition deal? Unless he thinks that the membership is going to tick going into bed with Key and English, this is a no-go.

    Labour…it’s an MMP environment now…

  4. infused 4

    Lol greens and national

    • McFlock 4.1

      true – national will go into coalition with fraudsters and liars, but I think the Greens might have a bit more class than that.

      • weka 4.1.1

        Not to mention that they would gut the membership. I’d resign if they did. Esp this particular National Party.

  5. blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 5

    I was prepared to accept there might be some research backing Nash’s stance in that Greens are some type of threat to Labour’s ‘brand’, however having received no reply to my comment on the Daily Blog and noted the time taken by Mr Nash to reply with pathetic ad hominem attacks toward other commenters – all bar one who were disagreeing with his article – I have to conclude Labour still has a lot of work to do re connecting with their audience.

    I can’t think of anything more stupid than what Nash wrote yesterday.

    Can Cunliffe not haul in his rabble and get some discipline in the message they are presenting to the public? – because I really think that the decision to present an article dissing Greens on a left-wing blog site – gives a very strong message that Labour hasn’t ‘got it together’ at all.

    Voters need to see that the parties on the left can work together.

    Is that so very difficult to understand?

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      There’s this weird idea going around that if the Greens weren’t on the scene, Labour would automatically grab the lions share of the Greens 12% or whatever, for themselves.

      • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 5.1.1

        Yes, CV, apparently this is so and it is very distressing to observe.

        I have been watching parliament channel over the last few years and have viewed with great relief the clearly research based, solid & consistent opposition that the Greens have conducted toward this horrible government. This was occurring throughout the time when Labour were a completely disorganized mess and providing no effective opposition to this rotten government.

        I have been extremely delighted to see more focus from Labour under Cunliffe and love it when all the opposition parties work together to cut down on the nonsense that this useless government bring to parliament time – [reflecting what they are bringing to NZ – yet my comment is on my observations of parliament time] – this cooperative approach is usually where they have the most success at driving home a point.

        It is really very disheartening and unbelievable after such observations, to then read the idiotic message that Mr Nash was attempt to propagate – it is an insult to the readers, to the Greens good efforts and I do believe a very real undoing of the good work Mr Cunliffe and others who support him are putting in to getting this ridiculous right-wing government elected OUT.

      • SHG (not Colonial Viper) 5.1.2

        But… but… those Green votes are Labour’s votes by right. Clare Curran said so.

    • weka 5.2

      Is Nash speaking on behalf of the Labour Party? What exactly is his relationship now?

      • Saarbo 5.2.1

        His wedding in 2012 was on the same day as the Labour Party Conference…I don’t know if this shows his commitment to Labour or not, but if I was as involved as him I would have set the date differently (refer 7th paragraph from the bottom)…surprise, surprise…Josie attended the wedding. ABC’ers perhaps.

          • weka 5.2.1.1.1

            Bad look, although I suppose it’s possible the wedding date was set before the Labour Party conference?

        • Stuart Nash 5.2.1.2

          Happy to take criticism myself, but leave my personal life out of things please. FYI After determining the date of the Labour Party’s annual conference, I set my wedding date two weeks later. The party realised they had stuffed up and so changed the date. I wasn’t prepared to change my wedding day (preparations well under way at this stage) to accommodate the party. The sad thing was a few of my friends (Shearer for one) were unable to attend due to the change in the party conference date.

      • Anne 5.2.2

        Is Nash speaking on behalf of the Labour Party?

        No weka he’s not. Neither is Josie Pagani. They’re still living in the past both of them. Have yet to catch up with the present and the future. I would expect as much from Josie Pagani, but I thought better of Stuart Nash.

        Remnants of the ABCer thinking still hanging on for dear life.

    • Bill 5.3

      Isn’t Nash simply a Labour Party member at the moment – same as whoever? I mean, the Party can’t dictate what members say and shouldn’t even try. Maybe Nash is being afforded far more prominence in peoples’ minds than he deserves? I mean, if he is simply a member at present and being a wanker, then afford him the status of wanker – not that of unofficial spokesperson for the Labour Party. Same for Pagani or anyone else who assumes to elevate themselves to be Party mouthpieces and gazump the role of the elected mp’s.

      • Macro 5.3.1

        The problem is Bill, these two do more harm than good with their irrational musings. They say they are left but in reality – although they wouldn’t admit it – they are National lite. I use the “lite” on purpose, full of sugar and corn starch, and little substance.

        • weka 5.3.1.1

          Yes, but Bill’s point (which is where I was heading) is why are we treating them as if they are Labour?

          • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 5.3.1.1.1

            I thought Nash was a candidate for Labour in Napier. I could [easily!] be wrong.

            • weka 5.3.1.1.1.1

              I looked at his wikipedia page and it’s a bit unclear.

              • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                What Bill is saying is correct, though – it doesn’t matter whether they are members, or candidates – if the public perception is that they are connected with Labour or Leftwing and they are spouting rubbish the ‘shit still sticks.’

                It is better if they are not candidates or connected to political parties – but still there is a massive problem.

                • weka

                  If they are just a member then Labour has nothing to do with it. If they are a candidate, then don’t they have to fit in with wider Labour party policy and strategy? Wouldn’t the LEC and/or the wider party be involved? Or can a candidate say whatever they want? (oh, right, Shane Jones…never mind).

          • Macro 5.3.1.1.2

            As a Green member I don’t! Left Labour a long time back. Have hopes they will again see the light, but …..

        • Bill 5.3.1.2

          Yeah Macro – I know they’re full of shit and cause harm. So…what would the reaction be I was saying what they say? I’d be ignored and given shit – the shit probably being given just for the hell of it ;-)

          The problem then, is that they have a prominence that others don’t have. And when they spout their shit, it’s assumed they’re somehow speaking for Labour or for a majority view within Labour – which they aren’t.

          So, how to take their platform away? They are members, no? So if every time they opened their fucking mouths on radio or wherever….and unless they were being explicit on the reality that they do not represent anyone bar themselves… then a follow up cascade of ‘corrective’ texts, emails or whatever from Labour Party members might just see the msm remove them from the platform they have so far afforded them.

          Any other suggestions for the pot?

          • Macro 5.3.1.2.1

            Yep I’ve been thinking something along those lines myself.. msm get these so-called experts and that is their “go too” always . It’s the msm who need to be educated that these people do not represent the thinking of the left anymore (if they ever did.)

    • Bearded Git 5.4

      +1 bl

    • Murray Olsen 5.5

      I found it rather ironic that contributors to TDB love suggesting that The Standard is a Labour vehicle, while they think of themselves as the “wider left whanau” but are happy to give space to Nash’s pathetic rubbish. So far, they haven’t posted a different view to counter his attitude that Labour owns the left vote as if we are nothing more than Russian serfs. I don’t think I’ll be holding my breath.

  6. lurgee 6

    I would be surpised if the Greens went into a coalition with a factionalised, squabbling Labour party that barely musters 33% of the vote. The consequences for the greens could be devastating. They would risk becoming the NZ equivalent of the Lib Dems in Britain, loathed and (unfairly) blamed for everything. If Labour can not get to within touching difference of National, then the greens might well decide to provide ‘constructive opposition’ to either a Labour or National minority administration. It might be the better option for them, strategically.

    • RedLogix 6.1

      As a probable Green voter myself, I’d prefer them to form a coalition with National. At least in that arrangement there would be clarity about whose policy is whose.

      A coalition with a closet neo-liberal Labour party would be a disaster.

      To my mind that has to be Cunliffe’s defining task in the next 9 months, re-shaping Labour so that it is a valid coalition partner for the Greens.

      Because there is a reasonable chance that both Labour and National will need the Greens to form a government in 2015.

      • Macro 6.1.1

        No Red – look at what happened with the Libs, in UK. It would be a disaster.

      • weka 6.1.2

        Red, care to flesh out how you would see a Nat/GP coalition working?

        • Macro 6.1.2.1

          Before the last election the Green’s posted a comparison for their policies alongside those of National and Labour, where there were policies ennunciated by these two parties. There was almost no alignment with National, while there was some alignment with Labour. Can’t find the link now, but it was a graphic and had sign posts as I recall.
          As usual National fly by the seat of their pants, with no real policy guidelines bar, will it accumulate wealth for the rich? So I fail to see any occasion in the near future when the Green’s would be remotely interested. That National has on occasion adopted Green Policy vis Home Insulation, is all to the good, and more is to be encouraged. The more enlightened the right become, the better it is for us all. But I don’t hold my breath.

      • karol 6.1.3

        The Greens couldn’t even negotiate a memorandum of udnerstanding with the Nats this parliamentary term.

      • RedLogix 6.1.4

        My thinking is this.

        If the numbers fell out right BOTH National and Labour could well need the Greens to form a government. If the Greens can hold on to 13-15% it is quite possible that there is no possible government without them. This time I think NZ1 and the Maori Party will fold. It’s too soon to tell how Mana or the Conservatives will do in a real election,

        That leaves only three significant players left. Lets assume the Greens have 15% of the seats necessary to form a government.

        If the Greens go with a Labour Party in the range say 35-40% it will be branded a ‘coalition of the losers’, but more importantly my instinct is that there will be a lot of internal tension between the Greens and the closet neo-libs left in Labour. In the media everyone will try and play nice, in the Beltway it will be knives at half-a-pace. While the two parties do have considerable policy alignment, there is a lot of mis-matched expectation.

        What happens when Labour wants to back new jobs in the oil and gas industry, and the Greens want to hold back over climate change concerns? Very hard to reconcile that while staying good mates. The first time the Greens get into government could end very badly for them.

        By contrast the Greens and National will never be good mates- everyone knows right from the outset that they hate each other and that a coalition with National would be a rat-swallowing, gritted teeth hard knuckle negotiation affair. Which policy compromises the Greens win, and which ones National get will be plain and obvious.

        The Greens couldn’t even negotiate a memorandum of udnerstanding with the Nats this parliamentary term.

        But in the scenario I’m suggesting, the Nats would have far more motivation to succeed.

        More importantly the Greens will get their chance to prove they can be 'responsible' partners in government. That's crucial. Because somewhere down the track in some future election they will get to form a effective left-wing Labour/Green coalition. And at that point National will have no ammo to fling at the ‘cazy’ Greens, because they themselves will have already been there.

        • McFlock 6.1.4.1

          all very well recognising that they’ll never be good mates, but why on earth would the greens go into government with the drill-baby-drill, fire-at-will brigade? Frankly they’d show better principles if they forced a re-election immediately.

          • RedLogix 6.1.4.1.1

            Fair enough on principle McFlock, but I’d imagine that the media would certainly find a way to punish the Greens if they forced another election.

            Of course in an ideal world Labour would be reliably polling over 40%, and Cunliffe would have the closet neo-libs in his party closed out. If both parties carefully did the ground work well before the election, went to the polls as a strong viable coalition, and combined could show a decent 55% plus majority then it would work. I’d be delighted.

            Meanwhile back in the real world …

            • weka 6.1.4.1.1.1

              Ah, election by media then.

              I also can’t see how the GP would coalesce with the bunch of scumbags that make up National currently if they also couldn’t be in govt with a Labour party that has a fair amount in common but wants more jobs via big oil.

              “More importantly the Greens will get their chance to prove they can be ‘responsible’ partners in government. That’s crucial. Because somewhere down the track in some future election they will get to form a effective left-wing Labour/Green coalition.”

              If the GP went into govt with the National Party (as it is now), the membership would crucify them. No left-wing govt later on down the track after that.

            • McFlock 6.1.4.1.1.2

              punish the greens more than the membership would if the greens supported the nats? Doubtful.

              Actually, don’t the greens put agreements to the membership anyway? Vaguely recall soething like that

              • weka

                “punish the greens more than the membership would if the greens supported the nats?”

                What?

                • McFlock

                  sorry – meant whether the media could punish the greens for acting on principle more than how badly the membership would punish the greens for going with the nats.

                  • if the greens went with national..

                    ..the party would implode..

                    ..this is fanciful nonsense..

                    ..not worth wasting time/energy on..

                    phillip ure..

                    • lurgee

                      If the Greens go with Labour, it is likely they would also suffer. Look at how many minor parties in coalitions have survived and thrived.

                      I repeat – the Greens will probably not enter a coalition with a feeble Labour Party, and almost certainly not enter into a formal coalition with National, but might seek to play the party of the constructive opposition to a minority National government – at least giving the country a breather between elections (so Labour can elect another leader …)

                    • @lurgee..there is so much wrong with yr comment..

                      ..with the broad environmental movement that underpins the green party..and the environmental pressures building on us..

                      ..i think yr thesis/comparisons to other parties is flawed..

                      ..and it’s not just greens/labour..mana is also in in there..

                      poss peters..poss dotcom..

                      ..so really..anyone telling you how it is going to pan out..

                      ..is just blowing smoke..

                      ..the only qualification i wd make on grns survival..is if they propped up a rightwing govt..

                      ..a new green party wd then form before the ink was dry on their ‘deal’..

                      ..but that ain’t gonna happen..

                      ..and as for yr relaxed attitude to a third term key govt..?

                      ..do you know what they will fucken do if they get a third term..?

                      ..they will go gangbusters..

                      ..that is why this election is so important..

                      ..phillip ure..

                    • lurgee

                      No-one has ‘told’ me how things are going to work out in the election. I’m simply making a point, based on my own branes, about what the Greens might decide to play the results if they hold the balance of power.

                      Where did you discern a ‘relaxed attitude towards a third term Key government’?

        • Pasupial 6.1.4.2

          If the numbers fell out so that it was; National + NZF + CCCP, within a couple of seats of a majority. I’d fully expect the rats in Labour to jump ship in the style of; Alamein Kopu from the Alliance, and her ilk from NZF back in those dark Shipley days. Such waka-jumping would truly be evidence that the Labour party had jumped the shark though.

          Then in 2017 (or earlier with such an unstable clusterfrack of a government), we might see something like; Nats on 35%, Labour on 30%, and Greens on 25%, Mana 5 %, plus various parties of one. In such a scenario, I wouldn’t be surprised if Labour went into coalition with National rather than the Green party (especially if Cunliffe had been stabbed in the back for his “failure” in 2014, and someone like Parker was holding the reins).

          I not saying I want this to happen; just that it could, and I wouldn’t even be that surprised.

  7. Will@Welly 7

    So, if we believe the “pundits”, its likely to be National 50-55%, Labour 45-50%. Interesting.
    I still find the best politicians are heavily stacked in the Greens, but we can’t mention them, because, theoretically, they won’t rate – LOL!!!! I’m also a big fan of Hone and the Mana Party, I expect him to pick up one other seat this year. But we can’t mention that either.
    Its a pity that some see their natural allies as being the “enemy”, instead of focusing on the truth.

    • Bearded Git 7.1

      Labour 36% Greens 13% Hone 2 seats and it’s goodbye Shonkey. (Or 35/14)

      IMO joint strategy needed between Labs and Greens in Epsom and Ohariu and between Labs, Greens and Mana in the Maori seats.

      Ignore the crap that Pagani and Nash are spouting (don’t give them the oxygen) and talk policies and election strategy.

      • McFlock 7.1.1

        Agreed.

        Epsom – I reckon it would be funny to see both labour and the greens campaigning for the nat candidate :)

      • Lanthanide 7.1.2

        Yeah, that’s my feeling on it too BG.

        In reality, Labour only needs to poll slightly ahead of where they are, and Greens stay where there are, and they have a very good chance of winning the election, based on Mana and Maori Party results.

        NZFirst is the spoiler really, if they weren’t in the picture at all, on the current polling the situation is pretty clear.

        • Bearded Git 7.1.2.1

          Winston can’t stand Key and might enjoy keeping the Greens out of government by joining with Labour so long as the baubels are on offer.

          • Chooky 7.1.2.1.1

            @BG…Winston might ….but on the other hand the Greens are more established as the third party and popular now… and Green issues eg climate and environment are urgent ….so Winnie doing this would not make him popular!…..also I don’t think Labour would wear excluding the Greens, the third party ….Labour is going to need the Geens in future and their policies are not that different…for Labour to exclude the Greens would be very unpopular

  8. Michael 8

    I wouldn’t put it past the Nats (Crosby Textor) to incite a shitfight between Labour and the Greens. After all, divide and rule always works well for the Right. It appears that there is plenty of incendiary material on the Labour side anyway.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      Sure I agree but that hardly explains Pagani and Nash firing off bullets from the hip.

      • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 8.1.1

        Yes, who needs Crosby Textor propagating right-wing dividing-of-the-left tactics when we achieve such all by ourselves! :|

        • Macro 8.1.1.1

          Exactly!

        • weka 8.1.1.2

          “Yes, who needs Crosby Textor propagating right-wing dividing-of-the-left tactics when we achieve such all by ourselves! :|”

          Who’s this ‘we’? Pagain and Nash ain’t on the side I’m on.

          • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 8.1.1.2.1

            ‘We’ are the people who intend to vote this government out.

      • Olwyn 8.1.2

        That thread of Nash’s has more than 70 comments, most carrying the same message that people have been sending to Labour since the 2011 defeat. What must it take for Labour’s thin blue line to pull its horns in? Not the greatest defeat Labour has ever seen, not their failure to sell their chosen leader to the membership and public, and not their failure to influence the choice of a new one. After such general rejection, they still seem to think, OK, they want Cunliffe. Well he can do the rhetoric while we keep hold of the steering wheel.

        • Draco T Bastard 8.1.2.1

          What must it take for Labour’s thin blue line to pull its horns in?

          Actually, I think it’s time to ask:? What does it take to get Labour to kick it’s thin blue line out of the party?

          • Olwyn 8.1.2.1.1

            As I have said recently, I would like to see the LP principles treated as a standard they must adhere to, if they are to stand for Labour, or be regarded as spokespersons for Labour.

      • QoT 8.1.3

        My theory: distraction. The options are either treat the Greens as Labour’s true enemies, or have a good hard look at why Labour has failed to rebuild support since 2008. And the names that might come up during that process … well we know who they are.

        • McFlock 8.1.3.1

          “Rebuild support”? To what level?

          To me, the big numbers difference between Labour and National is because the nats are literally the only significant party on the right. That’s the team with regular MSM support.

          The other side consists of Labour, Mana and the Greens.

          MaoriParty can go either way (individual pride notwithstanding). As can NZ1.

          Even assuming another 5-10% of DidNotVotes return to voting and vote Labour, that will only increase labour’s vote by a fraction of that.

          Labour need to get used to the idea that in a diverse political left environment, labour getting 40% by itself will be an exceptional election result. National do it because they have no friends. A good defeat and they will be out for another three terms.

          • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 8.1.3.1.1

            +1 McFlock

          • karol 8.1.3.1.2

            Middle of the Clark terms of government, weren’t National polling down int he 20% range and Act up much higher than it is now?

            Nats and Labour pollling so low indicates lack of support for each parliamentary party, their policies, and/or their leaders.

            • McFlock 8.1.3.1.2.1

              Not sure how often ACT polled double digits, if ever. Certainly never achieved 10% of the vote this millenium.

              Nats vote in 2002 went to 20.9%, but ACT only got 7% (with ~16% for the parties that could go either way). So basically the tories went down to 28.

              Lab in 2011 went down to 27%, greens on 11%, mana on 1%. With another 8% for the parties that could go either way.

              So my guess is that if the nats can’t scrape though this time, they’ll look like perennial losers because they don’t have a viable coalition partner for “the right” – the hopeful replacement are the conservatives, but they look as nutty as act. Basically, the nats will be perceived as unrealistic until they can consistently poll 45% again, and that is what will retard their recovery.

              • Bearded Git

                “…but they look as crazy as ACT.”

                Surely Colin Crayfish has shown himself to be far loonier than ACT?

                • McFlock

                  I dunno – they’re both so far into fairyland it’s difficult to gauge their relative depth :)

          • Naturesong 8.1.3.1.3

            I don’t agree with you about Labour being on the left.
            Their policies and rhetoric indicate them to be dead centre (as are the Maori Party and NZ first)

            The Green are centre left, ’cause they’re basically a Social democratic party that understands finite resource limits, and none of their policies are extreme. Mana would be left.

            National during their first term were a centre right party, during this term they’ve been sprinting as fast as they can to the right.

            • McFlock 8.1.3.1.3.1

              Seems to me that if we put all the parties on a table in left-to-right order, we’d broadly agree, but the overlay for the “left-right” labels would be on a slightly different scale.

              • Naturesong

                I’d agree with that.

                But, I do see this constant shifting where what would broardly be percieved as centrist orthodox policies now protrayed as “far left”.

                Not having done papers in political science I see the scale as going from Marxist Communism on the left, through to Autocracy on the right.

                With the margins thus defined, we can see that there is actually no extreme right or left in New Zealand.

                That said, there is very clear corruption in the Right (or Centre Right) in New Zealand, so instead of driving toward an Autocracy, we get a Corporatocracy and with it, the very real risk of a Kleptocracy forming.

                I have made in the past the odd crack about National headed towards facism. It’s mainly been toungue in cheek, however a number of the signs are there.
                Of the 14 signs. the ones missing are; Powerful and Continuing Nationalism, Religion and Government are Intertwined (or complete destruction of religious power), and Fraudulent Elections.(though there has been a distinct strategy for this government to undermine democracy)
                The other 11 signs are there to larger or smaller degree.
                It would not take too much to stoke latent xenophobia and racism within the populous.
                If National did actually push for facism, I suspect that there would be enough principled souls within the National party to prevent it.

                Mostly I see the next election as Centre and Centre Left parties vrs Corrupt Centre Right.

                • karol

                  The corporate plutocracy is transnational (though grounded in one or two (main countries) and thus it has a diffferent set up from a nationally/geographically situated autocracy. Thus, nationalism and religion are not part of it – it covers diverse countries and a diversity of religions.

                • Lanthanide

                  Ok, here’s my take on that list:
                  #1 – no
                  #2 – very very minor
                  #3 – no
                  #4 – no
                  #5 – very very minor, we just passed marriage equality
                  #6 – a moderate amount, but I don’t believe it’s anything particularly directed by the government
                  #7 – not really
                  #8 – no
                  #9 – moderately, although more in terms of favours for corporates than outright power plays
                  #10 – somewhat
                  #11 – somewhat
                  #12 – a moderate amount, but not excessive
                  #13 – not really, using the definitions in the list
                  #14 – no

                  Overall, I’d say you sound like a conspiracy theorist by suggesting that NZ is on the path to fascism based on that list of signs.

          • Psycho Milt 8.1.3.1.4

            Labour need to get used to the idea that in a diverse political left environment, labour getting 40% by itself will be an exceptional election result. National do it because they have no friends.

            Exactly. Beautifully summed up – this is exactly why all the “National consistently polling 10 points clear of Labour” triumphalism from right-wing bloggers is pointless.

  9. um..!..i wd like to carry off the conceit that i have ‘seen off’ nash..on that thread..

    ..he has now gone to ground..answering none of the questions still hanging in the air..

    ..(he resorted to kiwi-swamp-stylings/ad homs..’dot’-criticisms..heh..!..

    ..so i gave him some right back..he doesn’t appear to have taken it well..)

    ..and as already noted..nash must be dismayed at the serious trouncings he received from all but one commenter..

    ..yesterdays’-man/a man out of time/a man on the wrong side of history..

    ..and the sad thing is..he isn’t alone in labour..

    phillip ure..

  10. chris73 10

    Its simple really, the Greens have thrown in their lot with Labour so Labour can say and do anything it likes because the Greens have nowhere else to go

    Had the Greens acted more like WinstonFirst or Peter Dunne it would be a different story so Labour should try to take as many votes as it can from the Greens because what are the Greens going to do about it, go to National?

    The Greens are Labours doormat.

  11. Stuart Munro 11

    It seems that Labour, having failed to thrash these matters out in private, are forced to reveal their inconsistencies in public. It’s damaging.

    Nash’s presumption, that in the absence of the Greens left voters would fall back to them is demonstrably wrong, both Labour and Green support have declined since the leadership contest.

    For myself it might well be Mana if the Greens left the field – certainly a Labour party that rejects the Greens for the reasons that Key does is not remotely trustworthy.

    Nash reads too much marketing material – political parties are not soap. The person matters because it is their commitment to a policy that determines whether it will be implemented effectively and constructively.

    Martyn Bradbury has taken a vow of equanimity, which is responsible, but I’m afraid Labour needs someone to read the riot act to these entitled neo-liberal party princelings. Do a little history and see how Kirk would have handled his cabinet blues.

    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 11.1

      +1 – with emphasis on reading the riot act

    • Anne 11.2

      Labour needs someone to read the riot act to these entitled neo-liberal party princelings.

      He’s back in town next week. Watch the ABCer media commentators inside the Labour Party slowly lose their influence.

      • Sacha 11.2.1

        When idiots like Nash and Pagani publicly have their party memberships revoked, you’re talking. Anything less exemplifies the lack of basic discipline that cost the left the last election.

        • newsense 11.2.1.1

          What makes Curran, Pagani, Nash and Jones ever think they’d have a shit hope in hell of getting people who voted Green to vote for a party with them in it? It is getting harder and harder to think about voting Labour as I’d normally do, when you look at the actual MPs who ran vicious campaigns against Cunliffe and then the rest.

          There need to be more decent Labour candidates in Labour. It seems odd that there have been a string of people from Fran Mold’s partner, all of the above who seem hell bent on sending the bullets at their own followers and supporters.

          If a Labour-Greens coalition or arrangement can present a stable serious government- and frankly with talent such as Julie Anne Genter in the Greens they seem to have a lot to offer in the way of expert and experienced ministers. Scoffing voters are echoing people like Brownlee in the chamber- they write them off because they simply don’t know them. What on earth could someone from that bunch of weirdos know about traffic planning? It’s not like they’re an expert or anything….oh? they are…oh? ah, right…well.

          Stability, discipline and good management looks much better to conservatives than an unprincipled coalition of the conservatives, Act, UF, NZF and perhaps the Maori party thrown in for good measure. That’s why it could be a good idea to present a stable Labour-Greens coalition government up front. Labour leading a working coalition is much better than Labour trying to find ways to work with Winston. Or taking one from the Stuart- Never rated Shearer- Nash play book perhaps even the Conservative party. After all there values are quite close to NZ First…

          • Sacha 11.2.1.1.1

            “it could be a good idea to present a stable Labour-Greens coalition government up front”

            You’d think.

            • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 11.2.1.1.1.1

              + 1

            • Jim Nald 11.2.1.1.1.2

              “it could be a good idea to present a stable Labour-Greens coalition government up front”

              From what have been on record, the successful presenters for that would likely not include Shane Jones, Pagani or Nash :-(

  12. McFlock 12

    Good post, mickey.

    It appears that some in Labour still need to realise that MMP has made monolith parties a dying breed. If they don’t embrace the concept of playing well with others, they’ll be gone in 50 years.

  13. One Anonymous Knucklehead 13

    Same old same old. “Those are our votes, you stole them! Give them baaaaaccccckkkkkkk!”

    Nash wastes the opportunity to talk about his own policy preferences, wastes the opportunity to stick it to the Nats, in favour of a tea-leaf reading session based on his personal opinion.

    Newsflash, Nash, lift your game or get out of the way.

    • Paul 13.1

      Yes Pagani and Nash never seem to take the fight to the Nats and instead turn on their natural allies within Labour and the Greens. Pagani slags off the Standard publicly and Nash attacks
      the Greens.
      I won’t be voting Labour until they rid themselves of their neo-liberal wing. There are better progressive parties about.
      I don’t think I am alone in that view.

  14. Steve Alfreds 15

    Going by the results of the last few Roy Morgan polls there’s no way Labour could govern without the Green Party’s share of the vote. I was speaking to a well known unionist the other day about this very issue and he was saying that to win it’s important that Labour and the Greens are seen to be working together as a team before the election. It doesn’t have to involve cups of tea and pre-arranged photo shoots, but the left will remain on the opposition benches if the parties just cannibalise each others votes. While some people have said in this thread that Labour could form a coalition with Winston, it wouldn’t be able to going by the Roy Morgan poll numbers. But Winston could still be be king maker.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 15.1

      Plus one.

      Labour/Green need to be aiming for 55% of the vote (what? It’s aspirational, OK?). To do that they’ll need to cooperate, or at the very least look like they are.

      The good news is, when they play tag-team in the house against Shonkey, Joyce, Collins et al, they rule. Note: most of the pratt-falls come from Labour at the moment, but the Greens will discover that the talent pool is shallow once they get a few more MPs.

      • McFlock 15.1.1

        Actually, 55% is a realistic target (esp. incl mana).

        Labour did run a pretty solid campaign last time, and I think they will again. They also realised that the ony way to differentiate themselves from national was to put themselves so far left that nats can’t pretend to be “labour lite”. The Greens are routinely at >12%, and the drilling will help with that.

        Even with Labour on 30%, labgrn are head to head with the nats. And I think the nats are out of campaigning ideas.
        They’ll probably resurrect the dancing cossacks.

      • middxkea 15.1.2

        but the Greens will discover that the talent pool is shallow once they get a few more MPs

        I think that you will find the Greens Talents pool is extremely deep actually.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 15.1.2.1

          Full of people with the necessary skills to be effective politicians actually? Yeah that’s a nice thought.

          • McFlock 15.1.2.1.1

            I reckon they’re expanding at about the right rate. The real problem is when a growing party jumps so much in a single election that the partially-vetted seat-fillers and passed-over nutbars are unexpectedly MPs – both United and NZ1 spring to mind. I think the greens are doing well at avoiding that syndrome.

        • SHG (not Colonial Viper) 15.1.2.2

          Yep, that Green Talent pool sure looks deep all right.

          “Sure there are still some members who are opposed to immunisation. We’re a diverse party!”

          https://twitter.com/KevinHague/status/323343707187322880

          HERP A DERP CLETUS, WE DON’T NEED NO SCIENCE, WE GOT MAGNETS

          • karol 15.1.2.2.1

            I’m sure you’ll also find a similar spread of views on some issues among Labour Party members – only a very small number of such party members become MP candidates.

          • McFlock 15.1.2.2.2

            Name me a party that doesn’t have idiotic or fantacist members.
            The point about depth is that it describes the number of competent members on the party list between current caucus members and the place where derpy-derp nutbars start to appear.

            • SHG (not Colonial Viper) 15.1.2.2.2.1

              Science, Green Party style.

              Metiria Turei’s tweets on CERN’s attempt to confirm the existence of the Higgs Boson:

              “I was pretty sure they were recreating the Big Bang, so irresponsible. But thankfully they failed.”

              “(…) the cost is depressing, $4b or thereabouts. only if it makes a real difference #notconvinced”

              I’m just so glad that the World-Wide Web exists so Metiria can use it to explain why nerd projects at CERN are useless.

              • McFlock

                slight difference between that and the medicinal water crowd.

              • karol

                You got links for that SHG, so we can see the context?

                Can’t have been a recent tweet as I can’t see it in metiria’s stream.

                Turei on Twitter often has a sense of fun. She is usually quite well informed on science matters.

                • SHG (not Colonial Viper)

                  Turei’s twitter feed, 4 July 2012.

                  • karol

                    Oh. Right – some real cherrry picking then?

                    • McFlock

                      ha – This link should help.
                      The “big bang” comment appears to have been in response to a tweet from someone else saying

                      what’s going to happen? Is the world exploding? Can we live in space? #higgs

                      #MuchAdoAboutBullshit #ToriesNeedSarcTags

                  • McFlock

                    how does one backtrack threads on twitter, w/o holdng the scroll button for half an hour? Must be a direct link or something

                    • karol

                      Nope. You can only keep scrolling down – and with as many tweets as Turei has made, just in the last month, it’d take forever to scroll back to July 2012.

                      If you see a tweet you may want to quote at a later date, best to save it and the URL immediately – or favourite it.

                    • karol

                      Your link doesn’t work for me unless logged in to twitter. Try this one.

                      No, this one.

                    • felix

                      There is an advanced twitter search function somewhere that allows you to search for specific words and phrases in someone’s feed history.

                    • McFlock

                      #AnnoyedAtThis

                      #OOS

                      #NotSureWhenToStopUsingHashtags

                    • McFlock

                      lol your first one was pretty funny, too.

                      Still, I don’t think I’ll bother with twitter. Except for #ToryLieChecking

                    • QoT

                      I use Topsy.com. Allows you to search for specific words in a specific user’s feed.

                      You have to pay for the geo-targeting search though so it’s not as useful for more general stuff.

                  • karol

                    So as far as I can see, Turei expressed some concern about the spending on the Higgs Boson project, as she thought that amount of money could usefully be spent on poverty.

                    But she also tweeted something about some of the findings related to Higgs Boson could be useful.

                    So no relation to people challenging the science, or seeing some science projects as a major conspiracy.

          • felix 15.1.2.2.3

            Can you name a political party with no members opposed to immunisation?

          • Sacha 15.1.2.2.4

            Nice try. You may have missed Kevin Hague on the tv news attending the last NZ Skeptics conference.

      • Bearded Git 15.1.3

        “…but the Greens will discover that the talent pool is shallow once they get a few more MPs.”

        That’s what people said before the Greens got the current 14 members-and IMO they have all acquitted themselves well in this parliament, with the odd hiccup.

        Plenty of talent out there for a Green Party like this one that selects people on merit.

  15. Wayne 16

    Well if you are Green, as it seems many commenters here are, clearly it is not in your interest to see the Labour vote grow relative to Green. But if you are Labour, you will want to grow the Labour vote.

    Whilst it is true that in MMP coalitions are the name of the game, the composition of them matters. The Nats clearly have a cleaner message for voters since voters know that a center right coalition is 90% Nat. Therefore Nat promises can be relied on. If they say 49% privatization of SOE’s that is what you get.

    For Labour this is more difficult if only 66% of the potential coalition is Labour. What will a centre left coalition be like?

    That was the point of my comment on Shell and oil exploration. What would the coalition policy be? Can anyone really answer that at this stage? This is why Labour/Green are going to have to spell out a minimum of agreed policies. Otherwise what are the voters voting for.

    • mickysavage 16.1

      If that is the case Wayne then why did National go with one of ACT’s more extreme policies of Charter Schools. National could have told John Banks to get lost but it went with this policy despite all the evidence suggesting that it would be a disaster.

      • Macro 16.1.1

        Well we all know the answer to that Micky..
        “Why persist with John Banks?” might be more pertinent.

      • Wayne 16.1.2

        I would say 5 charter schools is a fairly small concession. They seem to be fairly common in many other OECD countries, but they have sure excited the Left in NZ. Are they really an extreme right policy?

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 16.1.2.1

          Yes. A cat’s paw, Dr. Mapp, as you very well know.

        • mickysavage 16.1.2.2

          Are they really an extreme right policy?

          If not then why didn’t the National Party adopt them as part of its policy?

          I presume that you classify National as being centre right rather than extreme right?

          • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 16.1.2.2.1

            Nevermind what Mr Wayne defines National as

            The level of hardship being faced by citizens of our country,
            the rights we have lost,
            the retrospective legislation approach that has been pursued,
            the losses of jobs,
            the education opportunities that have been destroyed,
            the tax benefits to the wealthy that have been put in place in a recession,
            the punitive measures toward jobless people in a recession,
            the privacy breaches that have occurred,
            the democratic bodies that have been interfered with,
            the informative TV channels that have been taken away,
            the income generating assets that have been sold off,
            the agreements that have been made with Sky city,
            ….. the list goes on…..

            ….the consistent lack of addressing New Zealanders’ interests has been blatant and is the handiwork of extremists who cloak themselves with a veneer of ‘reasonableness’ solely consisting of smoke and mirrors, and this is the sum nature of this horrible government.

            Anyone with any decency and self respect wouldn’t argue on their account.

        • Draco T Bastard 16.1.2.3

          They seem to be fairly common in many other OECD countries,

          and they’re failing miserably in all of them.

          Are they really an extreme right policy?

          Yes they are which is why they’re failing miserably.

          • QoT 16.1.2.3.1

            Silly Draco, they’re not failing at all by the criteria the right apply, i.e. more money for their mates.

        • Will@Welly 16.1.2.4

          Wayne – didn’t the MOE announce before Christmas that it had put out/received tenders for the year beginning 2015? on top of the 5 already let.
          If the Nats get back in, watch them ratchet up the implementation of Charter Schools. Easy money for its mates. So where does that leave you Wayne – between a rock and a hard place, or what ??!!

      • greywarbler 16.1.3

        Well if you are Green, as it seems many commenters here are, clearly it is not in your interest to see the Labour vote grow relative to Green.
        Nothing is simple in politics Wayne, and there is no clear path. I think it is important to think strategically to go beyond surviving to winning and getting the best government we can muster to roll their sleeves up and work for NZ best interests and future of all not just past money and the nouveau riche.

        What are the voters voting for? According to Key the reality doesn’t matter, it’s what they think they are voting for.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 16.2

      “Centre right”.

      Depends which policy. WFF, sure. Employment law, hate-speech masquerading as policy (cf. Paula Bennett), military (spying) action against civilians, selling legislation to campaign donors (Sky City et al), “Charter” schools, National’s “Standards” not so much.

    • McFlock 16.3

      If nat promises can be relied on, where the fuck are the surplus, the jobs, and the brighter future?

      • Draco T Bastard 16.3.1

        Well, the surplus is in corporate hands (where it’s supposed to be according to RWNJ ideology).
        The rich are doing really well
        And the governments rich mates are getting great jobs paid for by taxes

    • Anne 16.4

      Charmingly deceptive Wayne at 16

      First we have the cliche:

      If you are Green, … clearly it is not in your interest to see the Labour vote grow relative to Green. But if you are Labour, you will want to grow the Labour vote

      Well I never… who’da thunk it.

      Then we have theoretical percentage arguments which mean nothing to those with their feet firmly planted on planet Earth. The voters get what they ask for, and if they decide – when all is said and done – that they want a centre-left government again they’ll bloody well vote for a centre left government. They won’t be going into the polling booth with the latest list of percentages.

      Labour/Green are going to have to spell out a minimum of agreed policies. Otherwise what are the voters voting for.

      Already answered that question unless of course the real motive is for Lab/Green to reveal the outcome of their negotiations nice and early so that Crosby/Textor can rip into them with lies, deceit, misinformation and a massive propaganda offensive aimed at frightening the bejesus out of the more gullible voters.

    • Sacha 16.5

      “This is why Labour/Green are going to have to spell out a minimum of agreed policies. Otherwise what are the voters voting for.”

      Why, a brighter future. :)
      Two can play that game..

  16. karol 17

    Very good post, micky. Well reasoned. Hopefully the likes of Nash and Pagani will take note.

  17. Philj 18

    Xox
    MS
    National went with Act’s Charter Schools because it was their own inclination, a hidden agenda. National wanted charter schools, and Act gave them the perfect justification, to take the flack when it failed. Smart, but devious. If it succeeded as a policy they take the credit.

  18. Philj 19

    Xox
    ‘ NASH for NASHIONAL ‘

  19. He theorises that after the election Labour could go into coalition with NZ First instead of the Greens which is always possible depending on the numbers after the election.

    He did – for all the world as though it wasn’t something to be deeply ashamed about. Leaving aside the fact that he’s dreaming if he’s imagining Labour having the numbers to govern without the Greens after the next election, what the hell is he thinking referring to NZ First as though it were the kind of party Labour has something in common with? Sure, a coalition with NZ First is a possibility for Labour, just as it is for National, but it should be a desperate, last-resort possibility, not the kind of thing you trot out as some kind of tempting prospect. NZ First is a party of small-town conservative bigotry, and is left-wing only to the extent that old people favour universal taxpayer-funded services if they directly benefit. Labour is only harmed by association with it.

    • George D 20.1

      Worse than that – the evidence from the last Government was that they are very likely to pull Labour towards bad decision-making, worsening both policy and electoral sustainability.

  20. felix 21

    “But under MMP if the left block can garner more support then it should have first run at forming the new Government.”

    What does this mean, micky? What is “first run”?

    If you can form a govt you go ahead and form a govt, there’s no waiting for your turn. Or have I missed something about this process?

    • mickysavage 21.1

      I am presuming Felix that Labour+Green do not have more than 50% of the MPs and some negotiation with Mana or Maori Party is required. If they get over 50% then it is job done.

      • karol 21.1.1

        micky, I think you are missing felix’s point. No party or alliance has right of “first run.” If/when a party or alliance of parties can form a government, they can go to the governor general.

        • mickysavage 21.1.1.1

          Agreed karol that they (pollies) do tend to unduly complicate it. Whoever has 50+% of MPs becomes Government.

          • Lanthanide 21.1.1.1.1

            I re-iterate felix’s point.

            Please don’t repeat this ridiculous MSM simplification of “first choice at forming a government” being it’s complete twaddle that all too easily can be mistaken for some sort of process that happens in practice, when really it’s just low-brow sloganism by the MSM.

    • Ad 21.2

      Check the Governor-General’s speech to the Parliamentary Press Gallery last year.
      No text of the speech was released, but Armstrong and Trotter commented on it.
      The GG will clearly favour the grouping proposed to him which is simplest to operate because it has more inherent stability.

      Very interesting contitutional move that I know both Key and Cunliffe took note of.

      • felix 21.2.1

        ” inherent stability” is wide open to interpretation. Perhaps even wide enough as to be meaningless.

        Or worse, wide enough to be interpreted arbitrarily.

        It could mean to exclude specific people or parties considered “unstable” in the opinion of the GG.

  21. bad12 22

    Reading the tea leaves would have me suggesting based upon the growth trajectory of the Green Party through the last 3 elections that there is no reason that the ‘Greens’ will not take 13% of the vote in November 2014,

    My view, admittedly garnered from only reading part of the picture of the 2011 election, is that National has as much to worry about vis a vis the Green Party as opposed to Labour’s supposed blues,(how could i resist),about the growing Green Party vote,

    Have a look at the 2008 and 2011 election figures for the Green Party vote in the deep blue Auckland electorates, the Green Party across all of these electorates mostly doubled and at times tripled the Green Party vote in these National electorates,

    Every one of those Party Votes, lost to National and picked up by the Green Party, are in reality worth 2 votes for the ‘left’, should the same % of rising Green vote within safe National electorates continue at the 2014 election this alone will probably be enough to cause a Tory defeat,

    As a Green Party member i choose to in the main ignore as irrelevant the comments of the Pagani’s and Nash’s of this world, their words seem from where i sit to be those of a dying branch of Labour, something David Cunliffe has as yet seemed not to have come to grips with considering both Goff and Parkers statements made while He was absent from the country,(another matter already well canvassed),

    Generational change i would suggest will see the Green Party share of the vote grow to 20% by 2020 and while many see that share of the vote being ‘damaged’ by a hasty move into coalition with the present brand of the Labour Party i do not believe this is necessarily true,

    The reverse may in fact be true where if Labour are seen to be obstructing Green Party moves in any future coalition Government to in effect hold Labour to what are in effect the Labour core values,(many shared by both Parties),it may not be the Green voters, most of whom approach politics with eyes wide open who revolt, something that Labour strategists should have a deep think about…

  22. George D 23

    I came to offer a comment similar to bad12’s.

    Each party seeks to maximise its own share, and a successful Green Party will attract people who have voted for Labour. It will also attract people who have voted for National in either of the last two elections. There are a number of segments of the electorate in which National are vulnerable to the Greens, and they would be aware of this. Perception and reality are two different things, and the perception of the electorate of Labour vis a vis National, and the perception of the Greens vis a vis National provides for a considerable amount of fluidity.

    If I could, I’d ban the words ‘Labour/Green/National voters’. While there are a number of people will only vote for one of these parties and would never switch under any conceivable circumstance, the reality is that the large majority of the electorate is not aligned deeply with any party (especially when those parties disavow ideology, at least in public). They’re amenable to any party that can broadcast messages that appeal to their sense of the world, present ideas and policies they think are good or reasonable, and paint themselves as highly competent managers of government.

    I know very few Labour people who don’t get on well with at least some Greens, and who don’t consider them allies rather than competitors. If Labour do the work of National in attacking a Green Party that threatens National’s own percentages, then it will be to the detriment of both parties.

    • Pascal's bookie 23.1

      This.

      Voters are not politicians. Not even if they are activists. Not even if they are party members.

      Political parties are, to voters, policy delivery devices. You vote for the one that you think most likely to increase the chance of the sorts of policies you want being implemented.

      That will mean thinking about it in ways very different from politicians, and journalists, and academics. These types are thinking about politics from the point of view of the politicians, usually. It’s the big draw back to ‘horse race’ style analysis. “Who is winning? The one attracting the most votes.” That’s a second order thing for engaged voters. Who is getting the most votes affects what you might do, but what really matters is ‘do you think they are getting votes from people who agree with you?’

      If a party you usually like is saying things you don’t like to get votes, and it is working for them, then that’s a sign you should reconsider your support. They don’t own you. A voter’s support is in constant negotiation. If you want a certain type of coalition, then voting to make such a coalition more likely is what you might want to think about.

      If you don’t want Lab to coalesce with NZF, for example, then just ‘not voting for NZF’ will not be enough.

      Just as if National voters really don’t want a L/G govt, their best bet might be (if a lab govt looks likely) voting NZF, so too left wing voters should be thinking about how they ought to vote to get what they want in parliament, and forestall what they don’t want.

      It’s not up to politicians to be sorting this shit out. It really isn’t. Though they’d like us to think so, and probably think so themselves. It’s our job. Citizens elect parliaments to get what they want.

    • The Fan Club 23.2

      the reality is that the large majority of the electorate is not aligned deeply with any party

      This simply isn’t true. Most of the voting electorate posses clear and stable partisan identities.

      Roughly, you can add the ’11 Labour vote to the ’02 National vote to find the bedrock Lab/Nat support (around 50%), and then there’s another 10% or so who are pretty stably attached to one minor party or the other, so you’re looking at 60% of the voting population who are reliably voting in one way or another.

      The number of voters who are truly “swing” voters is simply not that large.

  23. Sacha 24

    I’m looking forward to seeing Kevin Hague as Minister of Health and Julie-Anne Genter as Minster of Transport in a left government. If Labour can’t get their own shit together to be viable coalition partners then heaven help them.

    • QoT 24.1

      Julie-Anne Genter as Minster of Transport in a left government.

      *drools*

    • Murray Olsen 24.2

      And Hone Harawira as Minister of Police. It’s about time we had someone in charge who is prepared to do more than clean up the messes left by the boys in blue. From my observations, there is a lot more talent among the Green members of Parliament than there is to be found in Labour at the moment. Cunliffe is obviously very capable, but not many others spring to mind. They are the most mediocre Labour caucus in my memory. As far as ability goes, the first ACT government had far more talent, although they used it to help the dark side.

    • Pasupial 24.3

      Meteria Turei as deputy Pime Minister, Russell Norman minister for the environment.

      • Pasupial 24.3.1

        Turei as Deputy Prime Minister! I’m sure she’d do a good job as ministerial representative for “pimes” too, but I have no idea what that would involve. It was late and I’d been typing a lot over on Open Mike.

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    2 days ago
  • Time for NZ to prohibit the killing of great apes
    That ban was widely hailed, and spurred efforts in other countries to get similar bans. However, apes are still being exploited, abused and killed, both in captivity and in the wild. Examples of cruelty, neglect and abuse abound. Apes are… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    5 days ago
  • Auckland building consents: Tragic
    The only word to describe the latest building consent figures for Auckland is ‘tragic’, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Whatever the Government is doing to address the Auckland housing crisis, it is clearly not working. ...
    5 days ago
  • A whiff of a new biosecurity scandal?
    A pest which could create havoc for New Zealand’s horticulture and agriculture sector must be as much a focus for the Government as hunting out fruit flies, Labour’s Biosecurity spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “While the Ministry for Primary Industries is… ...
    5 days ago
  • Government shrugs off health sector crisis
    Despite new evidence showing that cuts to health spending are costing lives the Government continues to deny the sector is struggling, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Health services in New Zealand are in crisis. ...
    6 days ago
  • Parata lowered the bar for failing charter school
    When Hekia Parata became aware that the Whangaruru charter school was experiencing major problems her first action was to drop standards by reducing the number of qualified teachers they had to employ, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins has revealed. “Hekia… ...
    6 days ago
  • National not being straight about the economy
    John Key and Bill English need to be straight with New Zealanders about the damage their failure to diversify the economy is doing, after new figures show export growth plunged due to a collapse in dairy exports, says Grant Robertson.… ...
    6 days ago
  • Mind the Gap
    This week the International Monetary Fund released a report on the wider economic value in closing the gender pay gap. When even the bastions of free-market economics start to raise concerns about gender pay gaps, we have to realise how… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    6 days ago
  • Labour will hold National to parental leave promise
    Labour will hold National to its promise to increase the support given to new parents of premature, multiple birth and babies born with disabilities, Labour’s paid parental leave campaigner Sue Moroney says. "I am naturally disappointed that after battling for… ...
    7 days ago
  • It was all just pillar talk
    Steven Joyce’s confession that he can no longer guarantee a pillar-free design for the New Zealand International Convention Centre shows the Government has abandoned its dream of creating an ‘iconic’ ‘world-class’ structure, says Labour Economic Development spokesperson David Clark. “Steven… ...
    7 days ago
  • Australians move on offshore speculators
    John Key might want to have a quiet word with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott about Canberra's just-announced crack down on offshore speculators when he visits New Zealand this week, Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says."Tony Abbott's centre right government… ...
    7 days ago
  • Government at odds on overseas driver crashes
    National backbencher Jacqui Dean has spoken out about overseas driver crashes, putting herself at odds with Prime Minister John Key who is on record as saying it’s not a big issue, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “I’m not surprised… ...
    7 days ago
  • Human Rights and the Palestine Crisis
    Last week I heard two Palestinians speak at Wellington events about the ongoing crisis in their country. Samar Sabawi spoke to a full house about the history of Palestine and gave us a lucid and disturbing account of the situation… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    7 days ago
  • Time to take real care of our kids
    An Amnesty International report has once again criticised New Zealand’s track record on looking after our kids, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. The annual report, which looks at global human rights abuses highlights not only the fact that high… ...
    7 days ago
  • John Key wrong about Labour’s war vote
    John Key’s desperate claims that the former Labour Government didn’t put combat troop deployment to a Parliamentary vote are simply wrong, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says. “It was disgraceful that the Prime Minister ran rough shod over democracy and… ...
    1 week ago
  • Māori language bill needs work
     It is clear that the first draft of the Māori Language Bill was about structures and funding rather than the survival of te reo Māori, Labour’s Māori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says.  “Labour is pleased that the Minister of Māori… ...
    1 week ago
  • Manus Island and the New Zealand Government
    This week the Greens have participated in awareness activity about Manus Island, the refugee camp on an island in Papua New Guinea where Australia dumps asylum seekers. John Key says that he has every confidence in the Australian Government’s claim… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Election Inquiry – Getting accessible voting on the agenda
    James Shaw has been doing a series of blogs on the Election Inquiry into last year’s general election.  I thought this was a great opportunity to raise an issue very dear to me – accessible voting. Last year’s general election… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    2 weeks ago
  • RMA changes no solution to Christchurch housing
    Housing will continue to be a big issue in 2015. The latest Consumer Price Index, released last month, shows both good news and bad news on the housing front. After years of being the most expensive place to build a… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Saving kokako in South Auckland’s Hunua Ranges
    It is amazing that you can hear the song of the endangered North Island kokako in South Auckland’s Hunua Ranges, less than 50 kms from the central city. A heavy schedule of policy workshops at the Green Party’s Policy… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Let’s not turn a blind eye to human rights
    The Cricket World Cup has just opened in New Zealand, and it’s an opportunity for us to shine on the world stage. International sport can be a chance for us to build relationships with other countries, and examine what it… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Its Just Not Cricket
    This week it was my privilege to work with Sri Lankan Tamil communities in this country and host Australian journalist and human rights advocate Trevor Grant. I knew a bit about Trevor from his biography but I didn’t know just… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    3 weeks ago
  • Time for NZ to #BeCrueltyFree
    The Government is about to progress the final stages of the Animal Welfare Amendment bill. This will be our last opportunity to get changes made to improve the bill to ensure a better outcome for animals. I have put forwards… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    3 weeks ago
  • We want access!
    Access to buildings is a big issue for many New Zealanders. It looks like that, due to the hard work and persistence of people in the disability community, the Government may finally be starting to take access to buildings seriously.… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    3 weeks ago
  • Greens call on Super Fund to divest from fossil fuels
    The Green Party today called on the New Zealand Superannuation Fund (the Fund) to divest from fossil fuels, starting immediately with coal. The call was accompanied with a new report, Making money from a climate catastrophe: The case for divesting… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    3 weeks ago

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