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Do I stay or do I go?

Written By: - Date published: 8:32 pm, September 16th, 2010 - 104 comments
Categories: accountability, activism, democracy under attack, greens, labour - Tags: , , ,

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’

104 comments on “Do I stay or do I go?”

  1. BLiP 1

    In a post entitled Earthquake Fascism and Prostitution Madness, Sue Bradford says:

    I am beginning to wonder what is going through the minds of some of my former colleagues, and of Parliament itself, in its acceptance of totalitarian rights for the state and – apparently – of the right of a local council to formulate its own criminal law overriding national legislation.

    What happened to you, Greens?

    • QoT 1.1

      *may be a little pissed off, still*

      But BLip it was tooooooo haaaaaaard and the meeeeeedia would’ve been meeeeeeeeean to us and look, look, we totally made really stroppy speeches in the House about how much it sucks! And then we voted for it but only to Send A Signal which just happened to also grant Gerry extreme, democracy-fucking powers and make us look like complete fucking hypocrite power-playing assholes but waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

      • Ari 1.1.1

        Don’t forget that they also made an inexcusable law into a merely terrible one by ensuring it sunsetted in 18 months instead of 5 years, lol.

        The excuse-mongering on this has been so incredibly feeble.

        • QoT 1.1.1.1

          I mean come on, Ari, what can Gerry Brownlee possibly do in 18 months? It’s not like anyone in Cabinet keeps a list of “stuff we totally wish we could push through without oversight” or anything.

    • the sprout 1.2

      Good post Marty, agree entirely

  2. just saying 2

    Except they didn’t, Marty G.

    I won’t be voting Green or Labour, and I have, in the past, done the rallying, and leaflet dropping, and the rest of the donkey work (including the absolute nadir -scrutineering). And fully intended to this time, for the sake of the lesser of two evils. But there is a limit.

    I won’t be complicit in what has become of the left’s “representation” this time around.

    • Marty G 2.1

      they did, for a time. clark and cullen were not rogernomes, not perfect of course but they achieved a hell of a lot by combining big reforms with length of time in office to cement them.

      I respect your choice and it speaks to how disconnected the leaderships have become that they are losing people like us. But my way of thinking is we change the parties, we don’t chuck it all in and cede power to the Right.

  3. QoT 3

    Oh please GOD let there be a new left party. I am so, so averse to putting my vote on a no-chance party but at this stage I simply cannot vote Greens or Labour without, at minimum, a leadership change if not a complete reshuffle (and fucking Brendon Burns fucking off with his bullshit fucking Y DONT U CARE ABOUT TEH BAYBEES OF CHCH??? bullshit). Help me, General Marty G, you’re my only hope.

    • Marty G 3.1

      only if you’re information minister.

      seriously though, better to take back our parties than try to build new ones.

      why the hell someone in labour hasn’t told burns to stop burning off the base i don’t know

      • QoT 3.1.1

        Ha! I am SO holding you to that when we rule the world.

        And that of course is simultaneously Red Alert’s greatest strength and greatest weakness. They can’t tell Brendon to pull his head in because then they undermine the entire “real voices of your MPs” value proposition.

        … Okay, if I’m using the phrase “value proposition”, it may be time for bed.

      • Juan Manuel Santos 3.1.2

        The stupid, it Burns.

        • Tigger 3.1.2.1

          A new left party? Oh yes, that’s sensible.

          FFS. Perspective here please. The hysteria on this issue is embarrassing.

          Let’s keep our eye on how the govt uses their power, slam them when they misuse it and leave the infighting to Act.

          • Juan Manuel Santos 3.1.2.1.1

            The point of this post was quite explicitly that the answer is not a new left party, Tigger. But I think the outrage at Labour and the Greens’ cowardice and betrayal on this is due to the fact it’s the final straw for a lot of people. In one act these parties have confirmed every nagging suspicion they’ve had about the leadership and direction of these parties’ parliamentary wings.

          • QoT 3.1.2.1.2

            I can’t believe I have to keep explaining this.

            Labour and the Greens cannot slam Brownlee for misusing this power. Because Brownlee and Key will turn around and say you voted for it. And every even slightly-right-leaning journo will have only one question for Goff or Norman, “But didn’t you vote for this?” and you know what, whinging about having no time and being under urgency and needing to act quickly just sounds a bit bloody pathetic when you’re trying to release strong, assertive media statements about the primacy of democracy and Parliamentary oversight.

            • Anne 3.1.2.1.2.1

              @ QoT
              Don’t accept your scenario will necessarily play out the way you describe. Let’s wait and see. There will be many journalists – some slightly right-leaning too – who will be feeling very uneasy about this legislation.

              • felix

                “There will be many journalists – some slightly right-leaning too – who will be feeling very uneasy about this legislation.”

                Doesn’t that make them more likely to want to hold to account those who voted for it?

                • QoT

                  “You know, Duncan, I’m feeling a little squiffy about Generalissimo Brownlee’s new powers.”

                  “Me too, Guyon.”

                  “Still … he basically has supreme power. Not someone we want to fuck with, really.”

                  “Heck yes. But we’ve got to rake someone over the coals for this, it’s just not cool and some people who actually give a shit about politics aren’t happy.”

                  “You’re right, Duncan. Say, Labour voted for this, didn’t they?”

                  “And the Greens! Tell you what, let me corner Goff and I’ll get my lighting guy to show your lighting guy how to make Norman look like a stunned possum.”

                  “Done.”

                  Exit left, pursued by a bear.

          • Anne 3.1.2.1.3

            Thanks Tigger. I know there are many activists who are very angry, but there are just as many (like me) who actually try to put ourselves in the place of both the Greens and Labour over this issue. The reasons have already been canvassed by mickeysavage and (like him) it seems to me they found themselves between a rock and a hard place – dammed if they did, dammed if they didn’t.

            The largest percentage of folk in this country don’t even know what you’re on about! All they see is a city of people, many who are without sanitation or a roof over their heads. At this point they want to see action and they don’t really care about the niceties of democratic governance. If the govt.colour was Red/Green then we would not be facing this dilemma because they would have found a way to introduce a measure which would have been less draconian.
            As Tigger says:

            “Let’s keep our eye on how the govt uses their power, slam them when they misuse it and leave the infighting to Act.”

            You can be damm sure that Labour and the Greens will be down on them like a ton of bricks the moment they overstep the mark. If they don’t, then that’s when we start shouting…

            • Bright Red 3.1.2.1.3.1

              Better to be ‘damned if they didn’t’ than vote for a dictatorship.

              And with the online polls (which lean right) showing the public is split on the Bill, I think it’s wrong to assume Labour would have gotten its arse kicked. Not if they had put up sensible alternatives that don’t make Brownlee a dictator.

              • Anne

                Someone can correct me if I’m wrong because I didn’t hear the debate, but my understanding is that both Labour and the Greens did put up alternative amendments but they were voted down. I don’t know what more they could have done in the circumstances.

                Anyway, if it it turns to custard as you fear Bright Red, I’ll be out there… shouting from the roof tops with the rest of you. 🙂

                • Lew

                  Labour did some good by limiting the term of the bill from 5 years to 18 months, and then proceeded to crap all over the eminently sensible amendments proposed by the Greens by voting them down (the Greens then voting for the non-amended bill themselves). It was idiotude compounded by fuckwittery in there on Tuesday night.

                  L

                • Richard

                  Yes. The Greens (and maybe Labour) put up some amendments.

                  However, once their amendments were voted down, neither party was compelled to vote for the unamended version.

                  In fact, you would think, that if their amendments had been voted down, that would give them a bloody good reason to not vote for the unamended version.

  4. Draco T Bastard 4

    Something that I remember Mike Smith saying …. I was determined that we would win our party back from the f*ckers. And we did’

    Except that we didn’t get Labour back – we got a centre-right party that called itself Labour but was still, essentially, a party of business and dictatorship. I cannot vote Labour or Greens again.

    • Juan Manuel Santos 4.1

      I think the point was they removed the Rogernomes and returned Labour to some semblance of social democracy. A weak, timid compromised version with deep roots in neoliberalism, but it did return to being a centre-left party.

      The ACT Party is what Labour would have looked like if people hadn’t got involved and turfed the Rogernomes out.

    • luva 4.2

      Draco

      If Labour or the Greens were taken over by people with your political and economic views they would die forever.

      Labour was elected and held power for a decade because they were a centre party. If they go to far to the left they will never ever be elected.

      I respect you for having strong principles but you must accept that 90% of the population finds your fringe far left views unpalatable.

      • Richard 4.2.1

        Wanting your parliamentary representatives to not vote in a dictatorship is a “fringe far left issue”?

    • r0b 4.3

      I cannot vote Labour or Greens again

      Crikey! Who does that leave?

      • comedy 4.3.1

        I hear there is a free range hen running on the ticket of “I hate capitalism they is all RWNJs” that should fit in with DTBs political leanings perfectly.

    • Adrian 4.4

      If Labour had not been a centre-left party after MMP there never would have been a Labour govt elected. Helen Clark opposed to MMP in 1998… paraphased..” proportional representational systems tend to elect right wing governments”. In all of the rabid crap written about the Chch rebuild bill one thing has clearly been forgotten …..all politics is pragmatism..or you are left sitting on the sidelines powerlessly wailing and gnashing your teeth. Really, how big at any time is a true left wing constituentcy ? About the size of ACT, or to be more exact, the 6 or 7 drivel-dribblers in this post and if you can’t see that the idiot righties extolling democratic sympathies that they themselves don’t believe are winding you up, then it’s obvious you couldn’t run a penny in the slot shithouse let alone a political party.

  5. It seems as though it was a pragmatic decision under exceptional circumstances. Probably the wrong decision but it happens.

    Unfortunately for potential Greens members you need to be a member for 6 months prior to electing the list but you can still help influence Green policies by being a member. For Labour I just don’t know.

    I guess the fundamental point is which PM do we want controlling the lord of Christchurch??? certainly not John Key.

    • QoT 5.1

      I really do not see this as “pragmatic” at all. Yes, sure, NACT would have been all over the left not supporting the Valiant Survivors of Canterbury. But what happens in a year when it all goes to shit? Sorry, left, you voted for it, bit late to start objecting. In the meantime, local body elections are literally around the corner and the activists are feeling fucked off. Come to think of it, I haven’t had a Labour flyer in my mailbox yet …

    • Marty G 5.2

      I don’t think you understand the issue, james

  6. The really odd thing is that it could have been five years, had not amendments been sought by Labour.

    Actually the media would have been all over the left for not supporting this bill. The most which I have seen on TVNZ’s website is a small non-video thing (which scarcely explains the problem). Shows how focused they are on the Garrett issue and personal interest stories. Surely one could picture how “Labour and Greens stalling earthquake recovery” would look on a newspaper?

    I’m not supporting the move (I think I’ve made that clear). I’m just saying there are many reasons why it was supported (some better than others).

  7. Jum 7

    captcha: transfers

    Don’t transfer your affections lads and lasses. Labour/Greens is still better than NActMU. All lefties will achieve by that is to cement NActMU into place for another 3 years and that is when they will be at their nastiest. We haven’t even scratched the surface of their devilry yet.

    So what’s the current status – Labour has no funds; it has no leaflet deliverers; it has reached rock bottom; yeah right!

  8. mcflock 8

    ahem – I don’t suppose anyone wants to join the Alliance Party?

    Good solid old-school Labour principles for the workers, with some nice social and environmental policies for the disillusioned Greens.

    Yep, small and beaten down at the moment, but it’ll only stay that way if people keep compromising their beliefs in favour in the hope that maybe the party you voted for might do what you want.

  9. Rex Widerstrom 9

    No. We’re going to win our parties back… Greens members have a greater say in this than Labour members because they get to rank the list.

    Yeah, good luck with that, Marty. Becasue as you’ve gone on to note in your very next paragraph, “your” parties (i.e. all parties) have sets of internal rules than ensure the perpetuation of the elites.

    And while the activists are a wakeup to the bullshit, the average member (again, I’m talking of any party) confuses blind, dumb loyalty with principle.

    Just look at the Actoids standing by Garrett. They’re patting themselves on the back for “refusing to accept the liberal MSM spin”. Most parties are full of such people, which is how you’ve ended up with Norman, Goff and the rest of those arrogant buffoons in the first place.

    Stay and fight and, in the best traditions of the left, schism. Or accept the very structure you’re trying to rebuild has been consumed from the inside out by self-interested elites till only the label remains and start something clean. I know which I prefer.

    • artist not on the dole 9.1

      Independents are the only way that the parties will ever begin to revert to representing the electorates.

      If they ALL lose a few dozen seats then perhaps, perhaps things would begin to improve.

      Taking their toys away is the only option left

  10. Carol 10

    Independents will never be able to challenge the big economic power blocks that are undermining our democracy. We need one, or maybe two strong opposition parties. Last night, for the first time in a couple of years, I was contemplating NOT giving my party vote to the Greens. But don’t know what other party I could give it to right now.

    I DO agree that it comes back to the leadership, and also agree that it is Norman that is the weakest link in The Greens leadership. I’m not sure what male Green could replace him. Maybe they should contemplate having two female leaders?

    I still have some faith in my electorate MP, Cunliffe, but I would like to see him showing some guts & principle and standing up to the inadequate Labour leadership. So far, I have reserved my judgement on Goff. But after he lead the party in voting for the outagreous enabling act, I think it’s time for Goff to be rolled, whatever the consequences for the next election. I want to seem some democratic principles, conviction of aims (other than just gaining power) and guts in the left parties. Time to re-build parties that are worthy to support left wing policies for social justice, and green new deal and anti-neoliberalism.

    • Bored 10.1

      Carol, I could not agree more with you, I feel totally unrepresented, without a place, party or person to entrust my vote. Cunliffe unfortunately may be just another “suite”, I for one would like him to show his true mettle but I dont have much faith.

      • rosy 10.1.1

        Can you vote for an electorate MP that you think is representative of your views and leave a blank for the party vote? What effect will that have on overall representation on parliament?

        • Bored 10.1.1.1

          I like the idea of some independence of thought and initiative, like Waring showed years ago crossing the floor on principle. The real issue here is the power of the party machine and whips to prevent this, and the lack of debate both within parliament (a farcicial name calling exercise with stacked select committees) and within caucus (poll driven populism). We the people want more and deserve more.

    • Richard 10.2

      Yes, Goff and Russell certainly need to go. Brendon Burns needs to go too.

      Nothing wrong with the Greens having two female leaders. They need competent leaders. I don’t care what sex they are.

      However, all the MPs voted for this. They are all responsible. They all need to go.

    • Rex Widerstrom 10.3

      Independents will never be able to challenge the big economic power blocks that are undermining our democracy. We need one, or maybe two strong opposition parties.

      I’m sorry Carol but I think that shows considerable naivete as to how Parliament works. Every party is controlled by sub-groups. In some parties there may be many, in others only one. Generally speaking, the larger the party the more sub-groups.

      But the point is the individual MP – let alone the individual party member and still less the individual voter – is given the information they need to make a decision. At best a pre-ordained policy, constructed by one of the sub-groups, is put before them for a vote.

      But then policies themselves are no longer worth the paper they’re printed on… MMP has given parties the perfect excuse to abandon commitments in the name of “stability”.

      All that’s needed to capture this process is astute lobbying of a handful of people. “Whipping” and “party loyalty” takes care of the rest. Lobbyists (me included) absolutely love it… we know that, depending on how deeply the issue resonates, we may need to capture as little as one MP (the MInister) to make something happen.

      Think, instead, what it would be like if “the big economic power blocs” of which you speak had to convince 120 skeptical independents (or at least a majority thereof) to enact their preferred legislation. The whole way we do politics would change. And change is what we need.

  11. Jenny 11

    Change the leadership of both parties immediately and I might be interested. Then they must both fight to replace this Act with a new much more limited one.
    Officials are protecting their jobs as opposed to doing them. And that applies to officials in every walk of life. Its every man for himself which is no help to the rest of us as these people, polititions and officials, are meant to be there for us.
    The independants in Australia have done very well for their electorates and hopefully will keep some sanity in their parliament.
    Hey this has left me even more determined to leave then country and head to OZ. I don’t think the Ozzie Labour party would put up with this but they too are being constantly pummeled by Murdock’s media.
    Our Labour/Green polititions will sacrifice their parties and constituants to keep their cushy jobs but we need to let them know that we wont let them do it.

    • Bored 11.1

      Trotters blog sums it up beautifully today, the real issue is the inculcation throughout the whole of parliament of non thinking acceptance of the ideology of the executive, as executed by the public servants. I dont think we can change this short of a total revolution within the parties of the left. We (the left) need to rethink the whole parliamentary process and rebuild our parties on our principles, not just suck up to those of the right in the hope of better poll ratings.

    • Bill 11.2

      If Metiria was out of the country then she didn’t vote which gives her the ability to speak up without being branded a hypocrite. But will she?

      And with Sue Kedgley announcing her resignation, it would seem that the Greens can regain some degree of relevance by simply jettisoning the snotty nosed kid who was always a liability anyway and making sure that….nah, know what? The Greens lost the plot when they didn’t vote for and support their class concious MP’s who ran for leadership.

      And Labour are dead ducks.

      But that’s okay, because the machinations of the left and of the right only matter in a robust and contested social democratic environment. And in wondering about such things I forgot that both the left and the right don’t give two hoots about that environment and have just handed it over to an unaccountable individual…silly me.

  12. Richard 12

    Fuck them.

    We need new parties on the left.

    These ones suck.

  13. ABC 13

    Cowering over poll ratings really is an indication of no direction in political parties. NZ needs a third option (no reference to Blair’s dreams with that phrase). We are a two party state and that is no way to have the people in control. From my perspective, a third party that stands firm on basic issues that are so easily traded away by Nat and Lab could hold the middle ground. Isn’t that what they presently battle for? Helen’s Labour never repealed the problems brought in by the Rogernomics era. She was a minister in that governement for goodness sake. And everytime National talk of a Decent Society or dreams for the future, somehow education, industrial relations and health fall apart within a year and anyone unfortunate enough to be on a benefit or low income gets hit the hardest.
    It’s madness. Why will people not see it? Anyone over 30 must know it.
    Retaking the leadership of the Greens and Labour is a good idea, but by leadership, it’s not just Goff and Norman, it’s the factions, history and mindset they represent. Career politicians are there for themselves – their career – and right now, anyone who can balance a household budget or keep three siblings from fighting each other could do a better job.
    I was an ACT voter. Now I’m concerned only for the stability of NZ and no existing party can offer that. I don’t care whether they call it left, right, up ‘n’ over or centre politics. I will not vote again until there is real choice: End the adversarial worker vs employer, worker vs beneficiary mindset and stabilse health and education. Then you’ll win my vote.

    • Bored 13.1

      Cowering over poll ratings really is an indication of no direction in political parties. Could not agree more, stuff the polls, the questions are already “framed” so why take any notice of what they say.

      • ABC 13.1.1

        Polls are pointless distractions in an environment where public protests, direct communication with MPs and referendums are still an active, meaningful and viable alternative. Look, if someone calls you up on the phone after a bad day’s work, you feeling a bit under siege; maybe your wife left you, or maybe your favourite TV show just got canned; what do you think the answer to “How is the government doing?” is going to be? And then some populist no-direction career pollie adjusts policy to suit the unexamined whimsical mood of 100-500 people? This scenario doesn’t even take into account official distortions such as push polls.

  14. Meg 14

    Seriously though Marty? Who has the fricken time? Some of us have given years and time and money and votes and by now are thoroughly disallusioned. We are struggling to stay afloat in a NZ that is about to face GST rises, terrifying changes to employment laws and massive increases to childcare costs while the leader of Labour writes in the Herald about how manly he is because of his chainsaw. This patronsing crap from Burns is the last staw in a long line of actions from the parliamentary wing that demonstrate they have little or no respect for their grassroots activists. It is a joke.

    It just means we are damned if we do, damned if we don’t cos the others are even worse. But at least I’m not helping to fund the others.

  15. happynz 15

    The Alliance party? Are they worth supporting?

    • Draco T Bastard 15.1

      Really don’t know – every time I’ve looked at their website they seem to be just as delusional as the NACTs in thinking that the world is limitless.

  16. Sigh 16

    What would Rod Donald do?

    Let’s make some WWRDD bracelets.

  17. deemac 17

    some rather overheated comments here IMHO. I am unaware of this huge grassroots discontent. Most people take the view it’s an exceptional situation and that until the govt actually abuses the new powers it’s a bit premature to get hysterical.

    • Bright Red 17.1

      yeah, bet there were people saying that in 1933 too. You don’t take that kind of risk.

      • comedy 17.1.1

        Godwin

        • Rhinocrates 17.1.1.1

          Well let’s say “boiling frog” instead of “1933”, then.

        • Blighty 17.1.1.2

          It’s a legitimate comparison – the 1933 Enabling Act gave one person dictatorial powers that were justified by ‘crisis’ and meant to expire. So does this law.

          • felix 17.1.1.2.1

            Yeah, but the right wingers around here get very upset when anyone speaks ill of the nazis.

            • comedy 17.1.1.2.1.1

              Left right up down out of it for them all.

              Theys am Nazis youse is communists fuckity fuckity fuck round in circles we go your honour case dismissed in favour of the sick 120.

              • felix

                Oh I didn’t really mean you, c. Just an observation that it’s usually the righties who cry “don’t mention the war”.

                I tend to think of you not so much as a right-winger but more of a back-winger.

    • BLiP 17.2

      Its too late for hysterical – its time to take the power back.

  18. just saying 18

    I’m amazed at the level of arrogance that this isse has brought into sharp focus. Two days out and the penny still hasn’t dropped.

    Do they really expect that come the election campaign, those that turn up to all the rallies, listen to the same old speeches and stay till the bitter end even through monsoon level rain, use their ‘spare’ minutes folding and stuffing envelopes, trudge around for hours posting leaflets, are on every other roster, and on top of all that, receive those personalised pleas for more money with their oh-so-peruasive rhetoric more and more frequently, and are guilted into ridiculous budget decisions until they literally can’t afford to open the envelopes anymore, do they expect these people will turn up like pathetic lemmings No Matter What They Do? I’m not talking the politically-aspirational or the high-profile wanna bes, or the “management”, I’m talking about the (unpaid) staff. Do they really believe that these people really are that thick?

  19. Bright Red 19

    I’m sticking with Labour because they have a national organisation, some really good people, millions in capital (including voter databases), and about 500,000 votes that will never go elsewhere.

    But make no mistake: win or lose in 2011, the Goffice is over the Tarpeian rock in 2012.

  20. Carol 20

    Well Kedgely has just announced she’s going and not standing for the next election. Interesting timing, but it probably is just a coincidence.

  21. Outofbed 21

    I make a compromise and support the Greens because Labour are a centrist party
    Inow have to make another compromise and continue working hard for the Greens Because if I don’t the right, have have no such scruples , will be in forever. We can’t afford to split the left.
    We have to hold our noses and work for change from within. If we don’t we are fucked

  22. just saying 22

    http://pl.ayli.st/The+Mutton+Birds#35

    “There’s a limit” The Mutton Birds.

    Been going round in my mind of late

  23. comedy 23

    Do the people squealing blue murder on this thread think they’re representative of the majority of people that will vote for Labour or the Greens at the next election ?

    • Blighty 23.1

      they’re the activists.

    • Bill 23.2

      It’s not about Lab and Greens except in a very narrow sense. It’s about our democratic representation and it’s about power being subject to some form of democratic accountability.

      It’s about the fact that even the very nominal and basically inadequate democratic traditions that we have had at our disposal have been disposed of by the very people who we voted in to positions such that they would act as vectors enabling us to exercise our very nominal democratic rights.

  24. If you want any more proof that the whole left right paradigm is a past bridge and that the whole political top is bought and paid for (or blackmailed and pressured to be kind) than look no further. Fucking hell. Just like that we give all that hard fought power to one little fat geezer who wants to dig up NZ for his overseas interests.

    You want your party back? Better start digging in for a real revolution. Not a left and right one but most of us against the ruling rich elite and that included Greens and Labour.

  25. Richard 25

    It would be quite interesting if Greenpeace NZ, for example, stood as a party. They already have much of the campaigning apparatus for a political party in place.

    I do know Greenpeace is full of screaming crazies. I’m a member of both Greenpeace and the Greens. I would definitely vote for Greenpeace over the Greens.

  26. comedy 26

    “I do know Greenpeace is full of screaming crazies. I’m a member of both Greenpeace and the Greens. I would definitely vote for Greenpeace over the Greens.”

    WTF ??

    • Richard 26.1

      Read in context.

      If Greenpeace NZ reinvented itself as a political party (which I know will never happen) then I would vote for them over the Greens. Despite that fact that Greenpeace is full of lunatics.

      At least they are lunatics with principles.

      • Patr 26.1.1

        That still doesn’t make any sense.

        • Richard 26.1.1.1

          The Greens are lunatics who don’t stand by their espoused principles.

          Greenpeace are slightly different lunatics, who do actually stand by and act on their principles.

          Greenpeace would make a better political party, and they already have an organized activist base. Although I know that they won’t reinvent themselves as a political party.

  27. mcflock 27

    C’mon guys, join the Alliance Party (alliance.org.nz)!

    The socialist values of old-school Labour, with the social and environmental concern of the Greens.

    And the best bit is that if you join the Alliance you’ll have just as much effect on Labour or Green parliamentary activities as you ever did, but didn’t give your vote to a thin shadow of your political principles!

    • rosy 27.1

      Now there’s a thought 🙂

      • mcflock 27.1.1

        I’m actually serious, even if my expectations are realistic.

        The big problem today is people choosing to fight only those battles that they can win, and being under the impression that they’ll lose most of them:
        Labour (/Green) doesn’t whimper about the emergency powers act because they think they’ll be painted as not caring about chch;
        Labour (/Green) activists stick with labour because they don’t see any other option that will succeed;
        Swing voters ignore the Labour (/Green) activists because National are more likely to win in a race between two nearly identical horses.

        If Labour (/Green) parliamentarians showed some balls then they’d keep more activists (and it’s not just which party they might jump to, but how involved and active they’ll be in that party) who would be able to demonstrate a principled point of difference to voters who would then have a genuine choice.

        But that isn’t going to happen – the voters will still have to choose between focus group A and focus group B.

        There are a lot of smaller parties (and local body groups) out there – not just the Alliance. They have all sorts of flavours. If you’re going to achieve stuff all , at least choose one group that you agree with. Otherwise you’re achieving stuff all for a party you don’t believe in (or worse – your help will let the party achieve their objectives, ones that you disagree with).

        Oh, it sucks not being listened to in the media, or laughed at when you say “join the Alliance”, but after a while you figure out that those are unimportant. Are you being true to your own beliefs, or are you just helping dickheads puff themselves up?

        Several years ago I decided that I’d work towards what I believed in, and that didn’t include sucking up to superpowers and international corporates. Now the corporates are running thecountry with the option of absolute power. I\’m actually serious, even if my expectations are realistic.

        The big problem today is people choosing to fight only those battles that they can win, and being under the impression that they\’ll lose most of them:
        Labour (/Green) doesn\’t whimper about the emergency powers act because they think they\’ll be painted as not caring about chch;
        Labour (/Green) activists stick with labour because they don\’t see any other option that will succeed;
        Swing voters ignore the Labour (/Green) activists because National are more likely to win in a race between two nearly identical horses.

        If Labour (/Green) parliamentarians showed some balls then they\’d keep more activists (and it\’s not just which party they might jump to, but how involved and active they\’ll be in that party) who would be able to demonstrate a principled point of difference to voters who would then have a genuine choice.

        But that isn\’t going to happen – the voters will still have to choose between focus group A and focus group B.

        There are a lot of smaller parties (and local body groups) out there – not just the Alliance. They have all sorts of flavours. If you\’re going to achieve stuff all , at least choose one group that you agree with. Otherwise you\’re achieving stuff all for a party you don\’t believe in (or worse – your help will let the party achieve their objectives, ones that you disagree with).

        Oh, it sucks not being listened to in the media, or laughed at when you say “join the Alliance”, but after a while you figure out that those are unimportant. Are you being true to your own beliefs, or are you just helping dickheads puff themselves up?

        Several years ago I decided that I\’d work towards what I believed in, and that didn\’t include sucking up to superpowers and international corporates. Now the corporates are running the country with the option of absolute power. I’m glad I made the choice I did – at least I didn’t vote for the fools who kneeled at the first excuse.

        • Richard 27.1.1.1

          I agree.

          We should each vote for a party that actually stands for what we believe in, and for parliamentarians who act on those beliefs.

          Of course, there must be compromise sometimes. No party can satisfy everyone.

          However, “parliamentary democracy” is not something that should ever be compromised on. Especially not in these circumstances.

  28. Lefties should remember what H.G.Wells said in the 1930s when a member of the public asked what he was doing in the Labour Party(UK) when he claimed to be a Socialist. The reply “The Labour Party is not a Socialist Party , but, its the only one Socialists can belong too. Interesting is it not?

    • Richard 28.1

      “The Labour Party is not a Socialist Party , but, its the only one Socialists can belong to…

      That might be true, but a party that voted for this shambles is not one that anybody who believes in parliamentary democracy and the rule of law can vote for.

  29. nzfp 29

    Maybe it’s time to vote for the policies you believe in as opposed to voting for a colour. There are many choices to suit the needs, requirements and desires of all New Zealanders.

    What about the New Zealand Democrats for Social Credit (NZDSC)?

    Check out their policies
    For those of you who are former greens or – like me – have a desire for our nation to become socially, economically and environmentally sustainable, the check out the NZDSC’s environmental policies. While you’re at it – ask the Green Party how they intend to achieve environmental and Social sustainability from within a neo-liberal monetarist economy.
    The NZDSC (Social Credit) are best known for their financial and economic policies.

    And before anyone asks, the only institution in New Zealand that can create money is the Reserve Bank of New Zealand. The Private Banks in New Zealand can create bank credit against loans – otherwise called debt. This is not real money and should be regarded as “Funny Money”. Any political party that advoocates for the Government to privatise the right to create a nations money supply to private banks – such as we have now – is advocating for “Funny Money”.

    NZDSC Policies include:

    • Make the Reserve Bank the sole provider of new money.

    • Abolish GST and replace it with a Financial Transactions Tax which would mean the currency speculating “financial sharks” would pay their fair share of tax.

    • Make the Reserve Bank responsible for seeing that foreign debt is repaid, and overseas transactions are in balance.

    • Establish a social credit economy where people will be able to use the country’s resources without mortgaging their own or their children’s future.

    • Replace local body and D.H.B. debt with interest-free community credit.

    • Recover effective control of New Zealand’s economic affairs and establish greater political independence.

    • Ensure a property-owning democracy, in which the ownership of assets is spread as widely as possible amongst individuals

    • Promote the right of every New Zealander to have an adequate basic income

    • Provide the guaranteed basic income free from tax

    • Pay this guaranteed income to every resident New Zealander as a right of citizenship

    • Progressively replace all current benefits and allowances with a guaranteed basic income regardless of employment, marital or gender status

    • Retain supplements for the disabled, their carers and housing

    You don’t have to vote for NZDSC, but you don’t have to vote RED or BLUE. There are many other political parties in New Zealand (Alliance, Progressives, NZ First, United, Act, etc…) and it is time their voice accurately represented ours.

    • mcflock 29.1

      true – what I like about a lot of the nonparliamentary left parties is the differences in emphasis they might have, so there’s the exact flavour for everyone.

      DSC were in the Alliance for a while, and we therefore share quite a few policies (e.g. FTT). I suppose the biggest difference is the DSC emphasis on social credit (funny, that) for financing public projects.

      Even so, I’m sure we all look alike to the likes of Hide 🙂

      • nzfp 29.1.1

        “DSC were in the Alliance for a while” which means a DSC / Alliance / Greens / Progressives MMP political alliance would probably work very well. The Maori Party would be better served in a mix like this as well.

        • mcflock 29.1.1.1

          lol –

          The NLP was the only party, ISTR, to dissolve itself and join those folk who joined the Alliance proper (not one of the constituent parties).

          Almost everyone on the list was a constituent party at one time or another.

          I don’t think the Greens or Maori party need to ally to get into parliament in the next few elections – I reckon the greens will get in again on list votes and the MP will have electorates. Progressives will probably wind up (personality driven).

          I do think a couple of elections down the line we might have a party working its way up to 5%, be it Alliance or [shudder] ACT. After that happens I think the “vote for a winner” mentality might become less popular.

  30. felix 30

    All those who doubt what QoT and others have been saying should have a look at this comment at kiwiblog.

    Note DPF’s response, you’ll be hearing quite a bit of that for a wee while.

  31. Jeremy Harris 31

    I think it’s time to organise and beat the feet, please join this facebook group to allow us to do just that:

    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=140135796031103

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