A good week for Labour and Greens

Written By: - Date published: 12:27 pm, February 4th, 2017 - 25 comments
Categories: election 2017, greens, labour, leadership - Tags: , ,

English and the Nats have had a shocker of a week. A lame “state of the nation” featuring watered down Labour policy. English roundly criticised for his supine stance on Trump’s Muslim ban. The Thiel citizenship story breaking. A range of bad economic news.

In contrast, following on from their joint “state of the nation” it’s been a good week for the political left in NZ. Here’s a roundup.

The Press:

Editorial: Labour-Greens off to a strong start

…The two parties presented their State of the Nation and a buoyant mood of mutual support and progressive solidarity seemed obvious. Even the clash of Labour and Green candidates in the upcoming Mt Albert by-election appeared to be an opportunity to present a united Left rather than a strategic mistake. Shared ideas and policies have been less widely reported as the event was more about spectacle than manifestos. The Labour-Green alliance could still win the image war. …

Vernon Small:

Labour-Greens carry off State of the Nation double-act

For an hour or so in Mt Albert something almost unnatural happened on Sunday. A wary love all but broke out between two political parties. …
The Mt Albert memorial hall was jam-packed and hot, the crowd were enthusiastic for both leaders and the symbolism of the leadership, candidates, and hand-picked “diversity”, on the stage as a backdrop, sent the right message of two parties prepared to work together to change the Government.

As election year symbolism of their closer cooperation it was all they could have hoped for. …

Patrick Gower:

Labour-Green combo best Left vibe in years
If it is “all about the vibe”, then the Labour-Green alliance has nailed it from the outset of election year. … The vibe at the Mount Albert War Memorial Hall was the best I have seen on the Left for years.

The leaders gelled, and so did the crowds. Labour benefited from the Green energy. And the Greens benefited from the extra size of Labour. They both looked better together. But the most important thing was that it felt real. The Green supporters liked Andrew Little. The Labour supporters liked Metiria Turei. They clapped each other like they meant it. …

Audrey Young:

Double billing at ‘state of the nation’ rally gives Labour and the Greens double the attention

Little shone. He looked sharp, in a new dark suit from Hugo Boss and new black shoes. He sounded confident and polished. His message was a mix of oppositional attack and inspirational rhetoric. And the crowd went wild.

The backdrop for the speakers was a tiered mini-grandstand holding people of many ethnicities, mainly Pakeha, and of many ages, mainly young, presumably symbolising inclusiveness and hope. …

And so on:
Labour and Greens create history with joint state of the nation
Labour-Greens launch blitz on ‘failing’ Bill English
Labour leader Andrew Little attacks Prime Minister Bill English in State of the Nation speech
Andrew Little uses own cancer battle to highlight Labour’s health policy
Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei champions ‘fierce women’ in State of the Nation speech
Highlights: Labour and Greens’ State of the Nation speeches
Labour aims to turn gaming sector from $90 million to $1 billion industry
Labour and Greens won’t cut deals in marginal seats That last one surprises me I must admit – seems like a wasted opportunity.

Let’s have a few more weeks like this one please!

25 comments on “A good week for Labour and Greens”

  1. weka 1

    Excellent.

    Re the cutting deals thing, Shaw and Little said this,

    Labour leader Andrew Little said that following discussions between the parties, both Labour and Greens had decided they would back themselves “with our own electoral commitments”.

    They had various reasons for running their own candidates in all the electorates, he said. The Greens did it to campaign for the party vote, and Labour always planned to compete in every electorate because it was one of the two big political parties, he said.

    Withdrawing candidates altogether would have been a step further than the 2014 election, when the Greens made it clear to supporters that they should vote for a Labour candidate.Green Party co-leader James Shaw said today a similar strategy could still be employed at this year’s election: “Nothing is off the table.”

    However, if the Greens decided to pull a candidate from a marginal seat or direct their supporters to vote for a Labour candidate it would be on their own initiative, not as part of a formal arrangement with Labour.

    Sounds like a good plan to me. It’s not about deals, which are manipulative unless totally transparent, it’s about individual parties making strategic decisions based on their own needs.

    • Leftie 1.1

      Agree +100 Weka.

    • The Chairman 1.2

      So while the Greens may possibly stand-down and back Labour, Labour in return won’t accommodate, planning to compete in every electorate.

      That’s a disappointing stance from Labour.

      • Nordy 1.2.1

        Read the text again – each party takes responsibility for its own decisions – and doesn’t ‘spit the dummy’ because of the decisions the other makes – quite mature and sensible.

        • The Chairman 1.2.1.1

          Are you sure?

          He also said Labour ALWAYS planned to compete in every electorate.

          Therefore, it sounds like that’s what Labour has decided.

          If not, then Little needs to be more clear.

          • weka 1.2.1.1.1

            What advantage is there for Labour to not stand in an electorate? What makes you think the Greens not standing someone is an accommodation? That sounds like a deal to me.

            • Cricklewood 1.2.1.1.1.1

              It could be a bit of a risk for the greens given that that they wont have a candidate in some electorates to campaign for the party vote, it will be interesting to see if it makes a difference. I guess the risk for labour is that on current polling is that if they win a few more seats they wont have any or very few list mps. Ohariu would be a possiblity for example.

              On second thought that may not be a bad thing given Willie Jackson seems likely to be parachuted in…

            • The Chairman 1.2.1.1.1.2

              There is an advantage for Labour not standing in Epsom.

              And there was also some talk about Nelson.

              Additionally, any other electorate where polls/history indicates the Greens are more likely to win or at least out perform Labour.

              ‘What makes you think the Greens not standing someone is an accommodation?”

              Not standing and/or telling their supporters to vote Labour assists Labour.

              Which can also possibly strategically assist them (the Greens) into power. Therefore, it doesn’t necessarily require to be a deal. It can also be a strategic move.

              • weka

                That’s right, the Greens make their own decisions based on what they perceive as the best thing for them to do. It’s not about accommodating Labour.

                You are basically arguing for reciprocity, which would obligate Labour to act against their own best interests.

                “There is an advantage for Labour not standing in Epsom.”

                What advantage?

                “And there was also some talk about Nelson.”

                What advantage?

                “Additionally, any other electorate where polls/history indicates the Greens are more likely to win or at least out perform Labour.”

                What’s the advantage to Labour?

                • The Chairman

                  “That’s right, the Greens make their own decisions based on what they perceive as the best thing for them…”

                  However, in the process they are clearing a path for Labour, thus helping to accommodate their win, if they win.

                  Moreover, while it may also help them (the Greens) get into power, it’s not so cut and dry. They could potentially help Labour to increase its seats (giving them more dominance) while Labour could turn around, drop the Greens and do a deal with Winston.

                  Therefore, the best thing for them to do could end up backfiring. But either way, it benefits Labour. So while the intention may not be to solely accommodate Labour, it can end up working out that way.

                  It’s not against Labour’s best interest to help its potential coalition partner to take a seat off the opposition.

                  Labour not standing in Epsom while encouraging their supporters to vote National has the potential to keep out ACT.

                  As for Nelson and other regions, the advantage for Labour is strategically working together can potentially take seats off the opposition, potentially gaining them power.

                  • weka

                    “So while the intention may not be to solely accommodate Labour, it can end up working out that way.”

                    Of course, but it’s not an accommodation. There is no problem for the Greens in their coalition partner benefiting from their actions. If the Greens decide that supporting Labour in a seat is a good thing to do, all power to them.

                    Accommodate is when you do something to benefit someone else or help them out or change your plans so that they are taken into account. You are saying that there should be an obligation. I’m saying that it’s fine that the parties have chosen to focus on their own needs during the election campaign and that that doesn’t preclude making strategic decisions that may also benefit other parties. The Greens didn’t stand in Te Tai Tokerau. No accommodation, no deal with Mana, just a decision that they made of their own account. As soon as you put an obligation on it, it’s wheeling and dealing, and at that point it either had to be transparent or it’s manipulating the electorate. Personally, I have no problem with parties doing deals if it’s upfront, but I also thing this way is useful for the left too.

                    “Labour not standing in Epsom while encouraging their supporters to vote National has the potential to keep out ACT.”

                    What does that have to do with an accommodation for the Greens?

                    “As for Nelson and other regions, the advantage for Labour is strategically working together can potentially take seats off the opposition, potentially gaining them power.”

                    You’d have to be more specific. How would Labour not standing in one of those electorates benefit the Greens?

                    • The Chairman

                      “Of course, but it’s not an accommodation”.

                      It is when in the process they clear a path for Labour, thus helping to accommodate their win.

                      “There is no problem for the Greens in their coalition partner benefiting from their actions”

                      There is a risk they may be dropped, hence don’t become their coalition partner.

                      “You are saying that there should be an obligation”

                      No. I’m saying it seems the Greens are being shortchanged. The Greens have openly stated nothing is off the table while Labour don’t seem to want to bend. One would expect Labour to be a little more forthcoming and not preclude making strategic decisions.

                      “As soon as you put an obligation on it, it’s wheeling and dealing, and at that point it either had to be transparent or it’s manipulating the electorate.”

                      I agree. But here’s one for you to ponder. Will the strategy behind these strategic moves be made behind closed doors? And if so, how is that transparent?

                      “What does that have to do with an accommodation for the Greens?”

                      Nothing. It was the answer to your question – what advantage is there for Labour to not stand in an electorate? As was the following comment regarding Nelson and other regions.

                      “How would Labour not standing in one of those electorates benefit the Greens?” It could potentially keep the opposition from winning the seat.

                • mikesh

                  Generally speaking it is the party vote which determines the make-up of parliament, so deals have no particular value unless they affect the chances of smaller parties which have no chance of reaching the 5% threshold, and which provide support for one or other of the major parties. On this basis deals may be useful, for the Labour/Green combo, in Mt Eden and Ohariu if they resulted in getting rid of David Seymour and Peter Dunne, and in Te Tai Tokerau if the helped elect Hone Harawera.

                  • weka

                    Quite. Another reason why I think TC is wrong on the accommodation thing.

                    Although, no deal is needed. The Greens didn’t stand in TTT last time. Nice and quiet, just made the decision themselves. Labour could have made a more strategic decision there, but as far as I can tell they decided that they couldn’t accept Harawira’s support to form govt /shrug. Plus it’s a core Labour value to stand in every electorate. Plus Kelvin Davis was high profile anyway so it was probably useful for him to be the MP there and to bump their party vote (haven’t looked at the results).

                    The Greens not standing in Ōhāriu (again no deal needed) might be useful to the left, but it might not either if National just tell their voters to vote Dunne, or National voters might do that off their own bat. So I’d guess the Greens will be weighing up that against the value of getting their party vote from that electorate. I’d like to see someone make the argument that the Greens could still campaign for the party vote in an electorate without standing a candidate and whether that would work. This is the one electorate where I wish the Greens would take the risk and not stand.

                    Epsom, the only thing that could be done there is to get L/G voters to vote National. I think both Labour and the Greens would consider that playing dirty. They could not stand a candidate there and let voters figure it out for themselves, but again, Labour stand in every seat.

                    Ōhāriu http://electionresults.govt.nz/electionresults_2014/electorate-36.html

                    Epsom http://electionresults.govt.nz/electionresults_2014/electorate-12.html

          • Jenny Kirk 1.2.1.1.2

            Labour has traditionally always stood a candidate in every seat – even in absolutely no-hopers for Labour, staunch National seats. Not only does standing in every seat give Labour the opportunity to talk about its policies everywhere, but it also allows Labour loyalists to be able to vote for their own candidate – just as important in MMP as it was under FPP.

            • The Chairman 1.2.1.1.2.1

              And by that, can we take it my take on the above text is correct. While the Greens may possibly stand-down and back Labour, Labour in return won’t accommodate?

        • weka 1.2.1.2

          “each party takes responsibility for its own decisions – and doesn’t ‘spit the dummy’ because of the decisions the other makes – quite mature and sensible.”

          +1 Nordy

        • Leftie 1.2.1.3

          +100 Nordy.

  2. Yes a great week. Also I’m sure there is more to come. Obviously many behind the scenes activities and actions have produced this result, not luck. Some very wise and wily people have done us supporters proud. Hats off to all those talented people who have achieved so much. Now its time for us foot soldiers to all do our bit.

  3. Cinny 3

    Good vibes out there, momentum is building, more than it has in over a decade and it’s beautiful to witness and be part of.

    So many strong voices out there publicly supporting Labour and Greens. Public figures and identities, signing up to join the parties and indicating their interest in wanting to stand for Parliament. Haven’t heard even a whisper of any public identities wanting to sign up with the outgoing government, rather have seen a large volume of blue Mp’s exiting asap.

    Will be an exciting year, I’m excited. So proud of all the action from these parties as well as their supporters, haven’t heard bugger all about the blues, apart from a photo of a bruise on a large girls arm. NZ knows who is putting in the work, about time too.

    Keep it growing, public are so hungry for change, let’s make it happen.

  4. Enough is Enough 4

    Yeah a brilliant week r0b [sarc]

    The Willie Jackson cluster fuck just shows how much Little has to learn. Working around democratic processes to parachute Jackson in to the horror of current MPs does not demonstrate the skills of a Prime Minister in waiting.

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