- Date published:
8:32 pm, September 16th, 2010 - 104 comments
Categories: accountability, activism, democracy under attack, greens, labour - Tags: christchurch earthquake, gerry brownlee enabling act, goffice, russel norman
The Labour and Green parties’ activists are in uproar over their parliamentary wings’ decision to abdicate their responsibilities and vote for the Gerry Brownlee Enabling Act.
If you don’t believe me, just check out the comments on our post from yesterday, the fiery reaction from Labour’s activists to the Red Alert posts, and the damning response to Russel Norman’s post – his own comments are getting four thumbs down for every thumbs up.
It was a gutless and frankly astonishing failure of our Parliamentary representatives to do their job and act as a check on Executive power. As with the Rogernomics revolution in the 1980s, I don’t think we can blame all the MPs. The blame lies with the ‘pragmatic’, valueless leadership of the Norman-ites and the Goffice.
This is not some one-off issue where one doesn’t necessarily agree with the party but their support for the party in general remains solid. Labour and the Greens voted to make Gerry Brownlee our effective dictator and that’s not something that most people can look past.
A lot of politically active people are saying they won’t campaign for these parties and talking of voting for a minor party or independents. Someone even suggested a Standard Party, based on the simple and solid values that we have been discussing and articulating over these past three years. I reckon it could almost fly. 🙂
Don’t under-estimate what a big deal this is. If even just half of the activists wash their hands of Labour and the Greens, they’re screwed come election time. Activists are worth their weight in gold because they deliver the leaflets, attend the rallies, spread the messages – they’re vote multipliers.
Is it time to damn them and leave them? No. We’re going to win our parties back. The Parliamentary wings aren’t the parties, they are our representatives. And the leaders’ offices certainly aren’t the parties.
Now is the time to join the party you most support, if you’re not already a member, and have your say in the candidate selection. Greens members have a greater say in this than Labour members because they get to rank the list. Challenge the nominees, and don’t vote for anyone who supports the Enabling Act to be a party candidate.
We’ve got to play the long game. Continue to support our parties and work to return them to their true values. In the cold light of day, it’s still better to have them in power than abandon the fight to the Right.
Something that I remember an old Labour warhorse saying when someone asked how he could stand to stay in Labour during the Rogernomics years seems apt now:
‘A lot of people did leave but I didn’t because I believe it is our party. I was determined that we would win our party back from the f*ckers. And we did’