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NRT: Unsurprising

Written By: - Date published: 2:52 pm, April 10th, 2014 - 17 comments
Categories: greens, labour, MMP - Tags:

no-right-turn-256No Right Turn has a different viewpoint on the proposed Green-Labour pre-election coalition proposal.

So, Labour has rejected an offer of a formal pre-election coalition and joint campaign from the Greens. Sadly, I’m not surprised. In the past, they’ve shown a preference for going right rather than left, and Labour’s second-raters (who will lose out under any proportional Cabinet) have a strong reason to oppose formal power-sharing. But on any realistic numbers, its unthinkable for a future Labour government not to include the Greens, and as Gordon Campbell points out, by refusing to define their relationship themselves, Labour has given National a free hand to do it for them – and in undoubtedly negative terms. That won’t do the Greens any harm: every time National says “the Greens will make Labour ban mining” or “the Greens will make Labour stop irrigation”, its free advertising for them. But its unlikely to be good for Labour.

17 comments on “NRT: Unsurprising”

  1. Awww 1

    Labour aren’t clear on their support for welfare. Until they make it really clear a vote for them is a vote that isn’t against National.

  2. Ron 2

    “Labour would rather go right than left”‘. If you are opining that the Green Party represents left wing politics then in my opinion you are dreaming. I can see the Greens working very comfortably with a National Act government given the opportunity.
    Time will tell which of us is correct but given recent activities with Greens I think that their final list will exhibit a much more centre right focus.

    • Naturesong 2.1

      Given that the Green party at it’s core is conservative I would agree.

      The issue is that they are also pro-democracy, pro good governance and anti-corruption – which makes them diametrically opposed to both National and ACT

  3. Richard@Down South 3

    I’m a die hard Labour voter, nearly 40, but the last election, I voted Labour locally, and Greens for the Party vote…

    Why? I know where the Greens stand on things… like

    Welfare – (not a life of luxury, but not the farcical ‘fail to one thing we tell you, even if you miss a phone call and you get punished’ structures National has brought in, which lets face it, may puff up the stats a bit to show you’re tough on welfare abuse, but lets face it, if you were serious about welfare abuse you’d fix the tax system and go after tax cheats, both corporate and family trust exploiters)
    The economy – Investing in industries, instead of cutting research spending, and praying that ‘Dairy will save all’
    Health – Its common sense that healthy people cost the taxpayer less, both directly, and indirectly through lost productivity… I know a builder who has a bung shoulder… ACC would rather retrain him/put him on the benefity than pay for the surgery
    Housing – The Greens want to build a lot more housing, which will both reduce demand, and create a lot of jobs… those heavily invested in rentals probably don’t want to see this. Also they want a WOF style scheme for rentals to show the houses are healthy… makes sense, NZ’s housing, especially older ones, are woefully short of suitable when it comes to warmth/suitability

    Until Cunliffe starts talking sense, I’m not voting Labour for my party vote…

  4. fambo 4

    The public will be asking itself, if David Cunliffe can’t even successfully manage a relationship with the Greens, how can he be expected to successfully manage running the country. (even though he is infinitely preferable to John Key)

    • DJ 4.1

      “(even though he is infinitely preferable to John Key)”

      Haha ….. in whose eyes? Certainly not the majority of the public of NZ!

  5. Tamati 5

    The problem for the Greens is they have no BATNA (best alternative to a negotiated agreement). Given this, they could potentially end up with two three portfolios outside of cabinet. No wonder they are trying to negotiate before the election!

    • Naturesong 5.1

      You never know – they might play hardball after the election.

      Cunliffe: we’ll give you some scraps …
      Metria / Norman: Proportional representation in caucus and bottom line policies or no deal, and you can kiss your political career goodbye …

      Greens really need to sit down and talk with Peters before the election – most of NZ Firsts Fifteen Fundamental Principles are in alignment with the Greens.
      Issues of difference appear to be the ones where Peters panders to the racist rump of his party’s members, and the xenophobia card he regularly pulls.
      Elderly voters eh. Like fish in a barrel.

      • Tamati 5.1.1

        No they can’t play hardball. They’ve got nothing to play hardball with.

        Cunliffe: we’ll give you some scraps …
        Metria / Norman: Proportional representation in cabinet and bottom line policies or ……
        Cunliffe: Or what.? You’ll support a National Government? Go on, ask Judith Collins if she would like to negotiate over a glass of milk. I dare you.
        Metria / Norman: Ummmmmm, Okay we’ll take the associate conservation portfolio.

        • Naturesong 5.1.1.1

          You’re probably right.

          If they don’t accept whatever Cunliffe offers them, the public will blame Cunliffe for not stopping National privatising the New Zealand Education system.
          But the Green membership (and significant sections of the New Zealand electorate) will not forgive Turei / Norman for everything else that National will do.
          Weirdly, National will not get so much of the blame, because everyone knows what they stand for.

          It would be the end of Cunliffes political career though.

          Oh, Genter would be given the transport minister role.
          The Greens wouldn’t even need to fight for that. She’s so overqualified it’s ridiculous.

          • Tamati 5.1.1.1.1

            I can’t see how Cunliffe would lose his job if he wins the election. The Greens will be forced to support him and receive next to nothing in exchange. Time and time again the minority party in coalition government gets fucked over.

            Even if Cunliffe loses but get Labour’s vote up to c. 35% he could very easily hang on until 2017.

            I don’t see Cunliffe appointing any Green ministers to portfolios where Labour has significant policy differences with the Greens. Genter is well qualified, but Labour won’t want to axe RONS, so she’ll probably miss out. Qualification matter little in assigning ministerial portfolios, all that matters is politics.

            Kevin Hague for health though. I’m certain on that one.

            • Naturesong 5.1.1.1.1.1

              My point is, if Cunliffe is in a position to lead a put together a government and fails to do so, he will be toast – happy to put money on it.

              Iain Lees-Galloway is not too bad, and has himself advocated for a rethink on the RONs.
              It may be that Genter would be made associate, and have Lees-Galloway be the front man for her work – but you’d only need to read the policy to know who wrote it.You can spot someone who really knows their shit a mile away.

              Hague is excellent, but pretty sure the Greens would be cautous about taking on such a hospital pass. Tony Ryall has been one of the best performing National ministers in that he’s been able to strangle the DHB’s with little public fuss, unlike Parata.

              Keneddy being associate to Phil Goff in foriegn affairs that would be an obvious missmatch. But Goff needs to be put somewhere where he is happy and won’t be bored enough to cause mischief.

              A bit of a generalisation, but I see it as follows.
              – National thinks as far as the next quarter – did I, or my dept, win politically this quarter? (the folks driving policy though, are orientated toward very specific goals)
              – Labour thinks as far as their individual pension (3 terms as an MP, opposition or govt doesn’t matter, and I’m sorted).
              – Peters in looking at his last term, so he wants a legacy – what will I be remembered for.
              – The Greens think intergenerationally – will my grandkids children and all their friends be better off? And does getting in govt really matter if the policy objectives are achieved?
              – Cunliffe may think longer term than the rest of his caucus, but he has to deal with the real politik of the caucus who are mostly in it for themselves.

              Those dynamics will be present during all negotiations post election.

              • Tamati

                Your main point makes no sense. There is essentially no need to negotiate with the Greens, they’ve already ruled out National, so by default will support Labour. Even if they sit on the cross benches they’ll have to back a Labour government on confidence and supply, TINA.

                If David Cunliffe is in a position to form a government he will. End of story.

              • Tamati

                Of course Kevin Hague would take up Health if he was offered.

                The Greens have spent the best part of 20 years in opposition and not a single day in Government. By that measure, they are the least successful in Parliament!

                • George

                  They’ve been in opposition forever because your lot locked them out, so you could go with Peter Dunne and then Winston.

  6. whatever next? 6

    National’s basic (and only) tactic of divide and rule, why even honour it with an answer?

  7. weizguy 7

    Campaigning together would be bad strategy by the Greens. Labour can’t afford to be seen as part of a package deal. They need to soak up votes from the centre.

    Formally aligning with the Greens would alienate those swing LAB/NAT who see the Greens as a little wacky. Forming a coalition with the Greens post-election would enable Labour to tack left, but without losing centrist votes. You don’t think the Tories and LibDems will be campaigning as a bloc come 2015 do you?

    This Greens proposal has given the media another opportunity to look like a rabble.

    Then again, if I’m being really cynical, maybe it wasn’t such a bad thing for Labour to be seen to be distancing itself from the Greens – perhaps this was a “convenient” opportunity for Cunliffe to tack to the centre… But then I don’t really think the Greens are quite that Machiavellian.

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