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Greens join call for referendum

Written By: - Date published: 4:44 pm, April 24th, 2009 - 65 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, democracy under attack, greens, mt albert - Tags:

democracy-under-attack1

The Greens have joined Labour and an array of groups calling for Aucklanders to get a referendum on the supercity. Great stuff.

Sue Kedgley points out that much of the Government’s proposed structure was not recommended by the Royal Commission and Aucklanders have not been consulted on them.

‘Rodney Hide effectively threw the Royal Commission’s report in the bin, meaning the Government’s proposed restructuring is radically different from the Royal Commission’s recommendations,’ said Local Government Spokesperson Sue Kedgley.

‘The Local Government Act stipulates very clearly that before any significant local body reorganisation can be made, an extensive public consultation process must take place.

‘This must include consultation with stake-holders, notification of the draft proposal, a public submission process and a poll of electors to determine by simple majority whether the proposal should proceed or not.”

With both the Greens and Labour arguing for a poll and National refusing to let Aucklanders have their say, this is looking like it will be a major issue in the Mt Albert byelection. National would be wise to take a step back and reconsider its position.

Speaking of the byelection. Interesting choice for the Greens to go with Russel for their candidate (it’s not official yet until the local party makes its choice but even in the Greens the leader gets what the leader wants). It will be an opportunity for Russel to increase his profile and it will be interesting to see how he campaigns on the streets.  He’s obviously not a serious contender for the seat and I don’t think he will split the Left vote to any significant extent. Labour would never have counted on the Greens to give them a free ride or expected it.

Now we’re just waiting on the Maori Party to call for a referendum too and we’ll have a truly broad-spectrum campaign on our hands. Perhaps they could ask National some tough questions on the issue in the House next week, rather than more patsies.

[Hat tip: Rich in the comments.]

65 comments on “Greens join call for referendum”

  1. toad 1

    Tane said……it’s not official yet until the local party makes its choice but even in the Greens the leader gets what the leader wants

    No, it’s not official yet. There were actually originally 3 nominees. When the others realised Russel had nominated, they quickly (and without persuasion) withdrew their nominations, realising the the Greens would be massively advantaged by Russel being the candidate.

    And as for “He’s obviously not a serious contender for the seat …” Tane, well, let’s see! The Greens are dead serious about this. We realise we are underdogs, but I’m not sure the electorate will buy into a Labour candidate, skilled and politically savvy as he is, flown in from overseas to avoid the debacle of Judith Tizard sneaking back on their party list.

    BTW, if Russel Norman gets elected, that brings Dave Clendon, who lives a few hundres metres outside the Mt Albert electorate boundary and who lived within the electorate for many years, into Parliament. So Mt Albert would effectively get two MPs for the price of one.

    • Tane 1.1

      Well, anything’s possible. I just don’t think it’s very likely. What’s more likely is Russel draws centre-left votes away, hands National the seat with a plurality of the vote and further emboldens their right-wing agenda. But hey, that’s democracy (well, FPP anyway), and I don’t think it’s a likely outcome in any case.

  2. outofbed 2

    Yes good on Russ for standing I am sure he will do well, the party vote was around 10% in Mt Albert wasn’t it ? so up around 15% would be good result
    And yes, it would be great to see Dave Clendon in

    • lprent 2.1

      Have a look at the electorate vote for the greens. Something closer to 1%. They voted green for the party and Helen for the seat. It is likely to be a lot closer on the electorate vote in a by-election. Russell could cause enough to split the vote to national..

      It is going to be interesting to see..

  3. outofbed 3

    On balance there right wing agenda is going to happen Mt Albert or not
    If the Govs maj was one or two it would be a different ball game.
    This is a great chance for us “the Greens” to lift our profile
    And who knows he might win although I don’t thing I’d wager any money on it
    STV would be good though in Electorates

    • Tane 3.1

      It would be a major PR victory for National, just as the MoU was. When you’re dealing with a Government that’s based almost entirely on PR that’s quite a big deal. Make no mistake, a win for National in Mt Albert will be seen as an endorsement of their hard right agenda and it will embolden them.

      I’m not saying Russel shouldn’t stand, it is a democracy after all. It’s just I don’t think anyone who considers themselves Left should vote for him if it means increasing the likelihood of the National candidate winning. In an STV system sure, but not under FPP.

  4. toad 4

    Tane said: But, hey, that’s democracy (well FPP anyway)..

    And that is a big part of the problem. People whose preference is Green can’t default to Labour if Labour get greater support, and vice versa. So we have to act as competitors, because the electoral system requires this. I actually thoink this impacts more adversely on the Greens than it does on Labour,

    The Nats have promised a referendum on the electoral system. One thing I think we shoudl be pushing for is the electorate vote beign selected by STV, rather than FPP.

    That would ensure we don’t get people elected becasue they get 35% of the vote, while the other 65% of the vote is sahred around several candidates, none of whose voters would have had the candidate with 35% as their first default preference.

    • Tane 4.1

      Ha! That’d be nice, but I really can’t see the Nats voting to make our electoral system more democratic…

      • Monty 4.1.1

        You mean like repealing the disguisting Electoral Finance Act that even the architect Helen Clark voted to repeal?

  5. outofbed 5

    The Greens to be effective have to appeal a wider group of electors then the core 5 % that we currently attract. I don’t think the MOU cost us anything
    and I think that it shows the Greens coming of age and playing the political game (lets face the greens would self destruct if they ever gave The Tories confidence and supply)
    and I don’t think splitting the vote in MA will harm the Greens
    Yes one more Tory is a pain but “embolden their hard right agenda”
    I don’t think so . So yes pain for Lab but fuck they need to get their act together and this might help.
    Mind you having said that, if the by election were in Nelson ,fuck the Greens I would vote for Maryn Street every time if there was a chance of keeping Smith out
    Hypocritical Green eh ?

    • Pascal's bookie 5.1

      Like Ralph Nader in the states you mean?

    • ak 5.2

      Nah, just a green Green. Another PRiceless birthday present for biketrack boy, and didn’t ‘e look happy on ‘telly tonight, wanking up a Lab/Green split….
      Never mind, the higher he gets, the harder the fall; heavy footsteps drawing closer, Billy trembling in his gummies already….

  6. outofbed 6

    The biggest birthday present for bike boy is the continuation of the insipid Labour party in opposition. I don’t think Phil cuts the mustard.one IOTA
    Oh for a proper Left wing Labour party leader I might even vote for them

  7. toad 7

    Tane said: It’s just I don’t think anyone who considers themselves Left should vote for him if it means increasing the likelihood of the National candidate winning.

    I think everyone who considers themselves Left shoud vote for Russel, and actively campaign for him, because he is far more left than Shearer or anyone else Labour will select.

    And it doesn’t really matters if the National candidate wins. With or without the Mt Albert seat, NACT can railroad anything they like through Parliament. It is all about symbolism, rather than balance of power. About building the Left vote, and dimisishing the vote of those who want to submerge our democratic and social rights to the interests of big (and especially transnational) business.

    If you don’t agree with National’s staye sector cuts, privatisation plans, roading development at the expense of public transport, anti-environment gutting of the Resource Management Act to favour developers, introduction of private competitors to ACC (Labour already went half way down that track with their “accredited employer” programme, anti-demcratic local governement reforms in Auckland (which is a trial run for the rest of the country), the way for Mt Albert voters to give a clear signal is to vote Russel Norman, Green.

    • RedLogix 7.1

      In the 2008 election the right voted tactically for Hide in Epsom, to give a Party with about 3% of the vote, 5 MP’s and a Cabinet post.

      In the same election the left failed to avail itself of the opportunities to:

      1. Labour/Green voters in Epsom could have voted for the National candidate, preventing ACT from entering Parliament at all.

      2. Labour/Green voters in Tauranga could have voted for Winston Peters, giving a potential left wing bloc 6 more MP’s.

      3. Green voters in Ohariu-Belmont could have given their electoral vote to the very good Labour candidate, removing Peter Dunne from Parliament.

      If all three of these options had been used, as the right used their opportunity in Epsom, the Greens would not be in Opposition right now.

      • jarbury 7.1.1

        Well how about Labour instruct their supporters to vote for Russel Norman then? It gives the Greens an insurance policy if he becomes a long-standing local MP – something which is likely to benefit Labour in the future, especially if the Greens end up hovering around 5% (which hopefully they won’t ever).

        Not likely? Didn’t think so.

        • lprent 7.1.1.1

          It is difficult if not impossible to ‘instruct’ voters. For some reason they don’t like it.

          Besides, Norman doesn’t impress me as being good electorate MP material.

      • Rich 7.1.2

        Winston Peters isn’t left wing, unless you believe that racist bigotry and corruption is a left-wing characteristic.

        It’s almost worth having 3 years of the Nats to throw NZF out of politics.

    • Pascal's bookie 7.2

      I understand what you are saying, and I list voted Green, but what is the symbolism of a National win in this election?

      Yes, in reality the Greens are to the left of Labour on many issues, but so what?

      It’s just as likely that the symbolism of a National win will be that Key is striding like a colossus and Labour suck so hard they lost Helen’s seat, a strong green showing will be put down to approval of the Greens MoU with National.

      Tell me that’s unlikely to be the media narrative, and what the alternative one is, because I’d like to be wrong…

      • jarbury 7.2.1

        Good point PB. That’s probably why I will end up voting Labour unless the polls show Russel Norman has a real chance.

  8. As I said in another thread, I think quite a lot of people went Party Vote Green, Electorate Vote Helen Clark. I know everyone in my flat did.

    This time around it will be different though. Greens co-leader up against a comparatively unknown Labour candidate. My worry is that the centre-left votes will split enough for National to win the seat. But I guess the Waterview Connection issue, along with a disgruntled electorate over the super-city could mean a reasonable centre-left shift in this electorate.

    Regarding the referendum, I’m starting to come around to the idea. Commit to one now, go through the select committee process, come up with something, pass all the necessary bills and then require a referendum to ratify it. Perhaps put in a clause that would allow another referendum in 3 years time (and further refinement of the SuperCIty concept) if a No vote wins.

  9. Nick 9

    In the 2008 election the right voted tactically for Hide in Epsom, to give a Party with about 3% of the vote, 5 MP’s and a Cabinet post.

    No. They did in 2005. In 2008 Hide won it fair and square increasing his majority by 9,000 or about 300%. And Act got about 4% of the vote, not about 3%.

  10. Doug 10

    The latest Roy Morgan Poll does not show much hope for Labour.

  11. toad 11

    jarbury said: This time around it will be different though. Greens co-leader up against a comparatively unknown Labour candidate. My worry is that the centre-left votes will split enough for National to win the seat.

    Hey jarbury, been to your blog and to your site and it’s great stuff, I really admire you for your dediction to transport issues.

    But how could you ever contemplate voting Labour, given that thay progressed the same roading dominated agenda in their 9 years in power as National is continuing?

    All we got from Labour was a coupleof dead-end branch lines to Manukau City (that Manukau City has to significantly fund) and to Onehunga, No connection to the airport (which is essential) and no Southdown (or Onehunga) connection to Avondale, which was first proposed 89 years ago, but has never been progressed at all.

    You’ll never get that by voting Labour. But by voting Green, you will, because Green Policy ist o put a moratorium on all new roading proposals and divert funding to public transport until the rail links to the Airport and the Britomart-Mt Eden loop are completed.

    Tactically, I think the best approach for Mt Albert residents is to vote for Russel Norman. Even if he doesn’t win the electorate (and he himself acknowledges he is an underdog) a strong vote for him will send a mesage that Mt Albert resident want better public transport,

    And even if National were to win the seat, politically it would make no difference – they have the numbers to govern until the next General election whatever the result in Mt Albert.

    But a strong showing from the Greens (even if we don’t win) could improve the Greens’ national polling and give Green/Labour wavering voters (like you) who prefer Green policy but consider voting Labour the confidence that a Green vote will best serve their aspirations at the next General election.

    So, jarbury, and I’m sure there are others with similar misgivings, I hope you’ll get in behind Russel’s campaign.

    • jarbury 11.1

      Ah yes transport-wise I’m definitely a Greens supporter and because that issue is so important to me it was the one that really made my mind up with regards to my party vote last year.

      In a vaccum, I would vote Greens at the byelection. However, if it seems like a vote for Greens would have the likely result of National winning the seat then I would feel more torn.

      In the end, my dislike for National is greater than the difference between how much I like Labour and how much I like the Greens. It’s a tricky situation I know!

      It’s not just me grappling with this issue. My Dad has voted Greens since forever, and hasn’t voted Labour since their late 80s screw-ups. Yet he realises that a vote for Greens could split the centre-left vote and make it more likely for National to win the seat. I don’t think he, or I, or many other centre-left supporters, can handle the idea of a National MP for Mt Albert.

      Let’s wait for a few polls I guess.

      • lprent 11.1.1

        Mt Albert has been changed a lot over the last few decades (but then it always did according to my grandmother). The demographics are a lot harder for Labour than they were 28 years ago when Helen got in. National is in an ascendant phase (although losing it rapidly). I’m pretty sure that we will retain the seat and a lot of effort is going into that from myself and a lot of others, but by-elections are notoriously fickle. Ask me what I think the result will be after the final poll on election day.

        I know what you mean about having a National MP. Just at present I live just over the border from Mt Albert since the 2007 boundary change. I have a National MP, something I intend to help correct between now and the next election.

  12. Tom Semmens 12

    Actually Toad, it is quite simple. If you want a Labour member, you vote Labour. If you want a centre left government next election, you return a Labour member.

    If you enjoy high falutin’ political games and like the idea of having an Australian who, unlike Jenette and Rob Donald, has no sympathy for New Zealand and New Zealanders, you’ll vote Green.

    The simple choice is simple. Vote Labour.

    • Ari 12.1

      Personally, I’m of the opinion that people who want a centre-left government should get to choose what to do with their own vote, no matter what you or Toad or I think is tactically or strategically wise for them to do.

      For some people that choice will be Russel. For some it’ll be the Labour candidate. We shouldn’t fight among ourselves just because the left has real choices and the Right doesn’t. We should be making clear what an advantage that is to everyone else.

      • blacksand 12.1.1

        We shouldn’t fight among ourselves just because the left has real choices and the Right doesn’t

        but you’re talking MMP logic in an FPP world; take a look at the election results across the last 5 or 6 decades. There isn’t a page I know of that illustrates this point, but if you look at each election’s results, it’s clear why National was held to be the ‘natural party of government’ (a phrase we’ve heard again recently…). Two things contributed to National’s stronger tenure until the MMP era – greater concentration of Labour’s vote in the urban electorates, and the fact that while the right had a single party to represent them, the left in so many cases had two or three (mostly Labour, Social Credit and the Values party), with only one party likely to win seats. The only time anything like this happened to National is Bob Jone’s party in the ’84.

        The picture that stands out to me from this, is that the left was consistently split, and with very few exceptions formed a larger bloc without any mechanism to give voice to this diversity. It’s also apparent given this that Labour would a strong history as a ‘centre’ party rather than the ‘left’ party that people seem to expect it to be. Perhaps that’s why it’s never held up well as the ‘left’ party some expect it to be; all that vote splitting let National govern, dragging the centre ground so far to the right.

        And I’d agree with the point others have made; a strong showing for Russel Norman leading to a victory for National would be a PR victory for them, no doubt whatsoever. They gained power through effective PR, and winning a seat vacated by Helen Clark would effortlessly spun as a show of support for ‘all that they’ve achieved’ since ousting her; the fine details (like what the hell have they achieved?) don’t really matter.

        I’m habitually a Green voter, but this just seems stupid. I don’t really see how either a good showing (that could cost Labour the seat, and prolong the Nat’s PR mirage) would be worth the negative outcomes. Does anyone recall the bad blood between Labour and the Alliance? My home electorate was held by Ian Revell (Nats) for years because the Alliance candidate had a good showing. And as someone else has noted above, look at Ohariu-Belmont; all those Green electorate votes let the Peter Dunne hold the seat. Great one Green supporters, that’ll show ’em!

    • Rich 12.2

      Worst case, how would a NACT majority (excluding the Maori Party and Dunne) of 4 instead of 3 change anything?

  13. IrishBill 13

    Mr Norman believes the Greens have a wider appeal than just centre-left voters.

    That’s from newstalk ZB Somehow I don’t think he’s talking about those to the left of the centre-left.

    Like Ari says people are entitled to vote for who they want but when the choice from the “Left” is (likely to be) someone parachuted in for Labour or this pillock it’s not much of a choice.

    Good lord I miss the alliance.

  14. Felix 14

    Greens, greens, greens.

    Learn how the fucking electoral system works please. Please read Red’s comment above three times out loud. I know you think you understand it but you don’t. So shut up and read it again.

    Please note that Green voters in all three cases would still have cast party votes for the Greens and returned exactly the same number of Green MPs as we have now. Green government MPs in all likelyhood.

    You have two votes each. Why are you only using one?

    Toad and others, if you’re going to be retards about this and encourage your members to waste their votes then I, for one, won’t be delivering your fucking leaflets next election. I didn’t campaign for you so you could cuddle up to National and Act and I certainly didn’t campaign for you so you could piss people’s votes away for no return.

    • ak 14.1

      (thanks Felix, hard to be harsh to such lovely kiddies but someone had to say it….they gotta face the real world one day)

    • Rich 14.2

      You don’t think we’d have would up with a National/ACT/NZF government in that case? I do? Or a Labour/NZF government with the Greens expected to support Peters’ poisonous shite rather than “siding with the Nats”.

      • Felix 14.2.1

        There wouldn’t be any Act MPs in parliament for the Nats to form a government with if Epsom Greens (and Labourites) had got their shit together and voted for Worth. That’s the point. Once more, aloud please.

  15. Andy 15

    Russel Norman’s skills as an operator appear to be incredibly overblown. I thought Anita’s comparison of him to Murray McCully was apt. His disastrous management of the party’s grassroots and his abysmal handling of the 2005 election campaign should have been career-ending in themselves.

    Norman seems to think he’s some kind of game-playing master operator but all he’s done so far is provide greenwash for National in exchange for a handful of policies that were either going to happen or didn’t matter anyway.

    Now he’s going to try and actively split the Left vote in Auckland. And for what? To prove to National and the wingnuts on the Kiwiblog Right how ‘independent’ he is? Word of advice Russel, if the neoliberal fanatics in National are praising your strategy it doesn’t make you an operator, it makes you a sucker.

  16. BLiP 16

    Its ironic that democracy allows Norman to assist his partners who are themselves seeking the wreck democracy.

  17. outofbed 17

    Fuck up you lot
    At the last Election we increased our vote by about 40% over 2005

    The reason National are in is because the Lab party fucked up big time
    Mike Williams, Winston Peters ring any bells ?

    We got fuck all from Labour , the home insulation scheme that Labour bleats on about had to dragged kicking and screaming during negs on the ETS
    If you can’t see the real reason why the Greens have a MOU with the Nats you need your heads examining . So often we are accused of being politically naive well things have changed we are looking after ourselves
    But that doesn’t mean abandoning our core principles (one of which is social justice btw).
    Fuck you want a left wing Government
    Do you think that Phill Goff is going to deliver for you ?
    we in the Greens have got our act together, its about time Labour did too

    • BLiP 17.1

      OOB

      So often we are accused of being politically naive well things have changed we are looking after ourselves

      Been picking up some National Party mantras during the MoU negotiation process, have you?

      • Andy 17.1.1

        This was my point. They think they’re operators now (Norman especially). But while they think they’re ‘playing the game’ the truth is they’re being played for suckers by National.

        Oh, so you won a few policy concessions? Well whoop-dee-fucking-doo, the fact is you’ve turned yourself into the Greenwash Party in the process.

        I hope you’re enjoying your thirty pieces of silver.

  18. RedLogix 18

    OOB,

    Politics is about what can be achieved. If the Greens had two more MP’s in 2005 the make up of the resulting govt would have been quite different. Instead Helen Clark had to form a coalition with NZ1 and UF, and had to negotiate with them…

    The hard reality is that as long as the Greens remain outside of a coalition govt, no-one else is beholden to deliver you anything. Saying that Labour delivered you nothing is pointless. Being in govt is all about the art of the possible, not what you would like or would dream about.

    And the hard reality is that the S59 repeal debate represented the single major turning point in the polls from which Labour, and the left in general, never recovered. Don’t get me wrong here. I died in a dozen metaphorical ditches defending the repeal in many blog threads… yet all along in my heart I also knew it was going to cost us the election. This was one thing Chris Trotter was right about, that South Auckland was not going to forgive Labour over this particular issue, and they would stay away from the polling booths in retaliation.

    This combined with a failure to vote tactically, to form intelligent alliances and work constructively, in a disciplined fashion towards achievable goals is the constant Achilles Heel of the left everywhere.

    And I’m not talking at you from a “Labour Party” perspective here. In case no-one has worked it out, I’m a paid up member of the Green Party and I donate regularly. I do this because I believe in what the Greens are trying to achieve, even if they sometimes screw up the methodology… I still back the horse I believe in.

    Yet the Greens often seem to have their eyes so firmly entranced by a fine and very wonderful vision of the future, that they trip over the simplest snares under their very noses.

  19. outofbed 19

    The problem with 2005 as I saw it was the Lab party’s treatment of the foreshore and seabed issue and the inability to countenance working with the MP
    The Greens and MP had the numbers if i recall.
    A agree about sect 59, i spend half my time defending it but the reality is there was an are much more pressing issues .to deal with.
    That social justice/environmental split is a difficult one to get right

    • Andy 19.1

      In case you weren’t aware, the Maori Party had given its numbers to National in 2005. Labour had no choice but to go with NZ First and United Future and neither would countenance the Greens. It’s not pretty but that’s politics, something you lot are going to have to learn if your new co-leader wants to continue ‘playing the game’.

  20. outofbed 20

    Re l”ooking after ourselves” was probably not the correct terminology.
    But it pisses me of being accuse of cuddling up to the Nats,
    Fuck i moved here because of Thatcher and the Tories, I hate the bastards
    The reason I joined the Greens was that Labour was too right wing
    Things like not repealing the ECA in nine years shows me where they are at.
    I am Ok with the MOU it positions us more of an independent party and that can only help. with our brand whoops, cause,

  21. outofbed 21

    I wasn’t aware that the MP had given its numbers to National in 2005.
    but seeing the anger over the F &S it doesn’t surprise me
    It also does get away from the fact that lab fucked up with the MP

    • Andy 21.1

      It’s not something that’s been broadcast for obvious reasons but it’s common knowledge in Wellington. Brash had all the parties sewn up except NZ First. It would have been a messy coalition but the right was desperate.

      Labour did fuck up with the Maori Party and with the foreshore but that’s the problem when you’re a major party, you have to keep 40-45% popular support or you’ll see yourself turfed out. They made the right choice to win in 2005 and in many was I’m glad for it. The foreshore wasn’t worth having Don Brash as PM and besides, he would have just repealed it anyway.

      It’s the Greens’ inability to understand the basics of real politic and the trade-offs that are required to retain power that make people call you folks naive. It’s easy being holier-than-thou when you only poll 6-8%.

  22. outofbed 22

    it’s the Greens’ inability to understand the basics of real politic and the trade-offs that are required to retain power that make people call you folks naive.
    Which is why they have A MOU with the Nat party for fucks sake

    • Andy 22.1

      And I’m saying the MoU is an example of that idiot Norman thinking he understands the game when he’s being played like a sucker. National desperately needs some green cover while it fucks the environment. You guys just provided the greenwash for this project and for what? A home insulation fund that was going to happen anyway and some stupid new age herbal remedy bullshit.

      And now you’re deliberately splitting the left vote in Mt Albert. It’s a pattern of damaging behaviour and it’s hurting the left. As a (now former) green supporter I’m thoroughly fucked off by it. This is not what I voted for.

      • BLiP 22.1.1

        Me neither.

        • RedLogix 22.1.1.1

          Basic problem. Neither the Greens nor Labour have particuarly impressive leaders right now.

          Goff is deeply competent and I highly respect him, but he is very conservative. I’m not sure just how very different to John Key he would be as PM.

          Norman has fine left wing instincts and his heart is in the right place, but his judgement and competence invites unhappy comparisons with his predecessor.

          Solution. Stop bickering over the fuck up, plan for the fix.

  23. outofbed 23

    I can’t understand why you think this is down to Russel I f you know anything about the Greens you know that its a grass roots movement . The decision would have been made by the policy committee which is fed into by the membership. Also we ( the greens) said before the election that we would work with any party over things we agreed on.
    The greens to a person and by thier very nature abhor what the tories stand for , they are Green for fuck sake diametrical opposite to most of nationals agenda.
    You have to ask yourself then why the MOU, and the answer is obvious
    do I need to spell it out ?

    • BLiP 23.1

      The Greens said they would not be part of a National led government. The MoU is provides the codicil to that promise. And, worse, it lends the National Party legitimacy. Norman puddling about in Mt Albert is vanity.

  24. outofbed 24

    BLIP how would you increase he Greens levels of support without splitting the left vote?

    • jarbury 24.1

      Good question, perhaps by shifting to the centre a bit more and trying to steal some of the “blue-green” brigade that supposedly exists. Perhaps that’s what the MoU is actually about – positioning the Greens as a party that people who voted National in 2008 could consider voting for in 2011.

      Perhaps Labour should encourage that, as it gives the Greens some room to grow in a way that won’t steal votes from Labour. It also means some real borderline Labour/Greens supporters might feel a bit hurt by the whole thing and shift their support back to Labour.

      In the end, I think it’s advantageous for Labour if the Greens are not seen as to the left of them. If we ever want a Labour-Greens government in NZ then both parties need to gain voters from National and not from each other.

    • Tane 24.2

      Hey oob, I’d actually try to win people over to Green arguments and shift the centre in your direction rather than selling out to win centre-right votes.

      This isn’t about whether people vote Labour or Green using their party vote at general election time, in theory (before the MoU) that would only change the balance of power within any post-election Left bloc.

      This is about the Greens choosing to stand their strongest candidate possible in order to split the Left vote in an FPP by-election. And for what benefit? So National can win the seat?

      Of course the Greens are free to do this, I just don’t think it’s very smart and coupled with the MoU it’s making me seriously reconsider my support for them.

  25. the sprout 25

    You do understand what Labour will do to the Greens if they cost Labour the Mt Albert By-Election, don’t you? These are not people I’d want to get into a 20 year blood feud with.

  26. outofbed 26

    Obviously The Greens are not standing a strong candidate in MA to split the left vote they are standing a high profile candidate in a a high profile seat to get a higher profile and get some of the Greens core policies across like the “Green new Deal”

    We are the third largest Party in parliament
    What would be the message if we didn’t stand and let Labour have a free hit
    .
    There are a couple of people here, who have said that they would reconsider supporting the Greens because of the MOU and the Mt Albert by election

    I would like to know what you would do to lift the Greens from the 5% – 7%
    range they are in now It not about moving to the centre the whole left/right political struggle has not worked witness at the mess we are in now

    We need to implement value based policies not the never ending struggle from both sides to grow the pie.
    They have the same goals just squabble who best to divide that pie

    We the Greens have a much different approach to the economy and politics.
    One could say that labour should not field a candidate in Mount Albert as a strong Green party with an electorate seat would be the best thing if they are interested in Social Justice.

    Don’t give up Tane et el things are shifting and we the Greens are not selling out our principles

  27. IrishBill 27

    I know the Greens aren’t selling out their principles but they are harming them with their political amateurism. That’s the same amateurism that has stopped them growing.

    OOB, somebody needs to tell Russel that he is not the great operator he thinks he is and that his “clever” plays are harming the party and the left.

    One of Clark’s biggest faults was that it she made it very hard for the party to criticise her or her decisions. From what I’ve seen over the last few years the Greens are falling into that same managerial method of operating.

    When a leader is as experienced and intelligent as Clark and the party is as big and connected as Labour that model can work for a couple of terms but with a new and unsophisticated leader like Norman and a party continually on the cusp of 5% it has the potential to be devastating.

  28. outofbed 28

    You must know something I don’t, what are these clever plays by Russell
    At the end of the day the Green caucus are directly answerable to the membership we put them there.afterall if you have ever been to a Green AGM you would understand that
    If you know of “clever plays” decided by just by Russel tell us because I don’t. and be fucking unhappy if that were so

  29. gobsmacked 29

    I don’t think this is as big an issue as some are suggesting.

    Unfortunately the media are more interested in the “game” (horse race, marriage metaphors etc) than policy. That’s very sad but it can’t simply be wished away.

    Minor parties need the oxygen of publicity. A hundred press releases won’t get it, but a by-election campaign will. So of course the Greens will want to take this opportunity.

    Politics junkies like us on blogs like us tend to equate voting with clear ideological positions, because we’re accustomed to thinking that way ourselves. But a large number of voters like to vote “protest”, or “a plague on both their houses”. Or, in by-elections, “playing” with their vote (because they know the gov’t will not change). They have been doing this for decades now, right back to Social Credit.

    Peters, Dunne and Anderton have all picked up these voters at various times. Now there is nowhere for the voters to go. It is fertile territory for the Greens, and it makes sense for them to try and exploit it. (Yes, you might think that nobody could possibly vote for Winston Peters and then Russel Norman – but they do).

    Labour just have to pick the right candidate and run a smart campaign, focus on their own agenda and not let themselves get distracted by other parties. Then they will win. If the Greens come a good third – or even second – so much the better.

    PS FWIW … I am not a member of any party, always vote Labour, and want a Labour/Green gov’t in 2011.

  30. gobsmacked 30

    And on the subject of vote-splitting:

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO0904/S00241.htm

    The Kiwi Party won’t get many votes but they will put the “good parents smack” referendum on the agenda. That’s the last thing Key wants.

    Let’s see how National’s candidate deals with that issue. Should be fun.

  31. jarbury 31

    You make some good points gobsmacked. It will be interesting to see how polling for the Greens fluctuates over the next month or two. I’m still amazed that someone could hover between voting National and Labour, but clearly a huge chunk of the country flip-flops between the two quite regularly.

  32. outofbed 32

    During the campaign i had people voting a Green/National ticket
    What’s that about?

  33. DeepRed 33

    Thoroughly agree with the Ralph Nader thing. The real problem is First Past the Post’s vulnerability to gerrymandering and spoiler effects, not the strengths or weaknesses of the candidates.

    If anyone wants an example of what we don’t want, it’d have to be the Auckland local body elections of 2001. The CitRats took back their majority on the Auckland City Council after a bust-up between City Vision and the Greens in the Eden-Albert ward.

  34. outofbed 34

    Fuck i agree with Larry Baldrick who it appears is now supporting the GREENS

    “We intend to campaign hard to make Mt Albert voters aware they have the choice of supporting a candidate representing values based policies,’ said Mr Baldrick.

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