Greens set their standards for coalition partners

Written By: - Date published: 11:34 am, October 9th, 2008 - 43 comments
Categories: climate change, election 2008, Environment, greens, labour, national, Social issues, transport, workers' rights - Tags:

The Greens have announced that they will choose their preferred coalition partner based on their commitment to 12 criteria. I’ll just look at 5 (not that the others are less important, just space):

reduce New Zealand’s oil dependence and climate change emissions;
– senior Nats don’t even think climate change is happening and the Party opposed every climate change policy in the last 9 years. Labour has been disappointing but they are finally taking action, especially around more fuel-efficient transport.

improve the public transport and the rail system;
– National opposed the buyback of the railways and the regional fuel tax to fund public transport. Their infrastructure program consists entirely of building more roads. Again, Labour has been disappointing but is now making progress, especially around rail.

reduce child poverty and violence against children;
– Labour’s record in this regard is excellent but not complete. It has reduced poverty and the conditions for violence with its low unemployment, higher wage, and Working for Families polices and focused on more reporting of family violence but it has left the children of beneficiaries out of the WfF benefits. National created poverty and the conditions that breed violence through its high unemployment/low wage policies. It is running on the same policies again.

protect our national sovereignty from overseas ownership and keep New Zealand out of foreign wars;
– John Key wanted us in Iraq, as did other senior Nats. They would lead us into the US’s next military adventure. One can argue over Afghanistan but Labour’s use of the military in the Pacific has been principled and restrained.

protect workers’ rights and raise the minimum wage;
– National would weaken workers’ rights and attack their unions. They have no commitment to the minimum wage. Labour is making progress on improving workers’ rights and have a strong commitment to the minimum wage.

Seems like the choice is pretty clear.

43 comments on “Greens set their standards for coalition partners”

  1. Joker 1

    “Seems like the choice is pretty clear”

    that choice will bring at least three years on the opposition benches

  2. Monty 2

    All irrelevant as the Greens will be shunted to the opposition benches – National will have no need to talk to them – and just as well with these economically damaging and stupid failed socilaist policies.

    National Party supported will be waking up one month from today with a real spring in their step and happy in the knowledge that National have an absolute majority.

    These policies of the greens more than demonstrate that they really are a bunch of ideaoligically drive commies and completely economically illiterate.

  3. QoT 3

    I certainly don’t think it in any way puts Labour on the same level as National when it comes to being abysmal, but it’s important to note that not only are beneficiaries denied WfF benefits, some families are worse off since some benefits were dropped/cut after the introduction of WfF.

    Still, I do trust the Greens to honestly evaluate their two coalition options; I just really wonder what it would take for National to have any kind of shot at forming a government dependent on the Greens.

  4. Pat 4

    The biggest load of bollocks in this election is that the Greens have “yet to choose” their preferred coalition partner.

  5. Gustavo Trellis 5

    The regional fuel tax punishes motorists for previous government’s decades of underinvestment in rail infrastructure. You can’t really victimise the Nats for keeping people’s costs of living down by refusing to artificially inflate fuel prices.

  6. John Stevens 6

    They forgot to mention the party that will legislate for the lowest flow of shower heads.

    They are a bunch of idiots that will send NZ plummeting down the world pecking order faster than the falling NZD.

    Who is going to pay for all of these new inititives when Cullen has left the cupboards bare? Probably the car driver.

  7. Quoth the Raven 7

    Gustavo Trellis – As opposed to the futures market or oil companies. Define artificial, is it only artificial if the government does it, but not if the market does?

  8. MikeE 8

    Sounds like their preferred coalition partner is New Zealand first?

  9. higherstandard 9

    No 12 is a hoot

    “How will they protect democracy and civil rights?”

    Didn’t the Greens vote in favour of the EFA ?

  10. Dock 10

    I have periodically been watching this site over the last few months and have noted the amazing way that both left leaning voters and their counterparts on the right can spin the same story around to their way of thinking.

    What I fear the most out of this election is that somehow the greens become Kingmakers.

    Helen will prostitute herself to any degree to creat an historic 4th term and I shudder to think what the Nats would have to do if they had to talk to them.

  11. higherstandard 11

    Unlikely Mike WP’s carbon footprint would be higher than the entire green party and their families combined. 🙂

  12. higherstandard 12

    Dock

    Nope I disagree. I predicted some months ago that National will not be able to govern alone but that they would form the next government with the support of other parties one or two of whom will be a bit of a surprise to the NZ public and many of the Nats themselves.

    Even if the Nats get over 50% of the vote which I believe is highly unlikely I expect certain other parties to be invited to the table.

  13. Pat 13

    “…reduce New Zealand’s oil dependence…”

    Great idea, Greens!

    Build 100 new platforms and drill, drill, drill!!!

    Creates jobs, and will make NZ self-sufficient.

    And anyone not involved in the new oil industry could work in the growing, distribution and export sectors of the legalised cannibis industry.

  14. Ari 14

    QoT- Practically speaking, given that social responsibility is a quarter of the Green backbone right now, National would pretty much have to give the Green Party free shot at all of its environmental initiatives in order to trump all of the social policy advantages Labour has, or offer up a serious try at the various eco-tax reform policies that’ve been some of our biggest wishes since before some bloke drove a tractor up to Parliament.

    Pat… it says oil dependence, not foreign oil dependence 😉

  15. Pat 15

    Ari – wouldn’t Bradford have to be dead, before the Greens could go with the Nats?

    I’m pretty sure that was her bottom line. She looks pretty healthy, so the Nats won’t get a look in for the next 30 years at least.

  16. insider 16

    Sound like they are going with Winston and Jim Anderton. Xenophobia and nanny statism

  17. higherstandard 17

    Pat

    “wouldn’t Bradford have to be dead, before the Greens could go with the Nats?”

    Indeed, but I think there would be many voters in NZ that would vote for a National/Green coalition on the condition that she was guaranteed to pass away into obscurity. 🙂

  18. Ari 18

    Pat- If us members voted to go with the Nats, Bradford would have to either swallow her medicine or resign. A lot of Greens think of both National and Labour as two different factions of the “free market party”, so to us it’s genuinely about who is willing to concede on policy we think will be beneficial for New Zealanders.

  19. Stephen 19

    ” reduce New Zealand’s oil dependence ‘

    Great idea, Greens!

    Build 100 new platforms and drill, drill, drill!!!

    That actually increases dependence.

  20. burt 20

    Pat

    Having a legalised cannabis industry is a silly idea.

    Approx 10%-15% of police and court resources would instantly become available for dealing with more serious crime. Gangs would see severe reductions in their income and their influence over young people. The cost of cannabis would plummet leaving more money in “nasty drug users” pockets. All in all just madness. Next thing you know people will be talking about drug education rather than prohibition… No good will come from this just ask Jim Anderton he will tell you it is easier to ban something than it is to educate people to be responsible with it.

  21. Pat 21

    “Having a legalised cannabis industry is a silly idea”.

    I absolutely agree. But Russel Norman was still trying to defend the idea on Radio Live today. This is the Greens own “secret agenda”.

    I wish they would go back to saving the whales, and leave the social policy to the centre parties.

  22. Daveski 22

    SP has a problem given his fixed position on every issue.

    Regardless of the question, the right answer is always Labour.

    The problem for the Greens is that Labour has treated the Greens appallingly yet they continue to come back for more.

    More difficult for the left to somehow justify is how Labour can justify the alliance with NZF given Winston’s clearly racist and xenophobic views.

    As for the Greens, they appear to have backed themselves into the same position – they might be the first cab on Labour’s rank, but they’re not going to get any favours.

  23. Stephen 23

    They support it Pat, but they’ve barely done a thing on it, and it certainly isn’t a priority. They get a lot of grief from a, er, representative(?) of the ALCP on FrogBlog for their inaction. Nothing doing there. ALCP might be able to convince you it has environmental merits though.

  24. randal 24

    this is thread is so interesting because it tries to ignore the realities of a world gone mad in favour of cuddly toys and bribing grandchildren to love them. I mention grandchildren because most kiwis are so horrible that the only people they can possibly effct are helpless dependents. anyway. the greens are th eonly ones that are trying to do anything when we are in a hopless situation. if you all think everything is going to become hunkydory in a years time after the fianancial correction and everyone can go back to ticking the boxes on your achievement scores then think again. the tragedy of the whole commons is nearly upon us!

  25. burt 25

    Pat

    If alcohol was not already legal and established as a socially acceptable drug in out society do you think that if it were discovered today it would be made legal or do you think it would be banned quicker than you could say ‘Cullen spent all the money on old trains so we need to borrow for welfare’?

    Status quo is always an option when it comes to social policy but the question that needs to be asked is how well is the status quo achieving our goals?
    Like prohibition of alcohol in the past did nothing to stop consumption of alcohol other than increase it’s price and make ‘bootleggers’ filthy rich, prohibition of cannabis simply gives us more powerful gangs. Do you really want filthy rich powerful gangs or do you really want to reduce the social consequences of drug use?

    Which is the bigger evil people who want to smoke weed growing a few plants in their back yard or powerful gangs selling weed to people who are not allowed to grow a few plants in their own back yard?

  26. Pat 26

    Burt – Lets pretend it is legalised. Which of these things can I do?

    Farm it.
    Import it.
    Export it.
    Sell it online.
    Sell it via party-plan.
    Sell it via mail catalogue.
    Wholesale it to dairys etc.
    Open my own chain of specialty stores.
    Put vending machines into pubs.
    Sponsor charity events.

    Because unless you allow me to do any of the above, you will not stop Gangs maintaining their current monopoly on sale and distribution.

  27. Tim Ellis 27

    I don’t think the Greens’ criteria is very surprising. They are deliberately setting criteria before the election that will lock them into opposition with Labour. I think strategically this is a very poor move on their part. Even if Labour do come close to having negotiations in government with them, the Greens are cutting off their negotiation options post-election. This means that they are destined to be taken for granted by Labour, yet again.

    If the Greens really did have the environment at the forefront of their thinking, they would say:

    “We are committed to advancing our environmental goals with whoever is the government. If Labour is the main governing party, then we will support them on confidence and supply if they moderate their environmental policies towards the Greens. If National is the the main governing party, we will support them on confidence and supply if they moderate their environmental policy towards the Greens. If both Labour and National have the chance to form a government, we will support whichever party best accommodates our criteria during negotiations.”

    Instead they are confining themselves to political irrelevancy. By effectively nominating Labour as the only party they will work with before the election, they will be bleeding many moderate voters with environmental sympathies who don’t want to see Labour returned.

    As much as some in the Labour Party would like to claim, not everybody who cares about the environment is on the Left. There is a chunk of voters who believe that environmental goals can be advanced with either the Left or the Right in power. The Greens are locking out a big chunk of potential supporters.

  28. Stephen 28

    Why wouldn’t you be allowed to say…farm it? Some economies of scale, efficiency = cheaper prices = no one going to dirty old tinnie houses. Unless you wanted to sell out of a dirty old tinnie house of course.

  29. Stephen 29

    Yeah Tim I said something like that at Frogblog – if you look at the full list, the majority of those policies are NOT environmental policies. Odd. Unless they’ve weighted them, but I don’t think so.

  30. r0b 30

    I think strategically this is a very poor move on their part.

    TE, consider just for a moment that The Greens might be driven by principles, not by thoughts of strategic advantage. Crazy I know, but there it its. I put it to you that the Greens are not like other political parties, and you make a mistake if you try to evaluate them in the usual terms.

    Go The Greens I say – parliament needs you.

  31. Phil 31

    Import it.
    For reference, the appropriate code to record on your customs import documentation would be; 1404.90.00.28 – Vegetable products not elsewhere classified, or maybe 5302.10.00.00 for Hemp.

    Sell it via party-plan.
    Tupperware containers keep your reefer fresh 30% longer than other brands!

    Sell it online.
    #@!*** $1 RESERVE!!! CHECK OUT MY AUCTION!!! ***!@#

    [lprent: ummm is that advertising?
    Racks “If god smoked cannabis” up on the playlist.]

  32. Ari 32

    Tim Ellis- I wouldn’t count Labour out just yet. National’s cuts to Kiwisaver could prove VERY unpopular.

    You also seem to know very little about how the Greens operate. Principles trump “tactics”. It’s about being honest, open, and transparent. You know, all those things people say are missing from politics? If you aren’t willing to sacrifice tactics for that, it’ll never happen.

    The environment is very important, and I don’t doubt serious environmental policy concessions would turn our heads. But, all the other policy derives from the principles that lead to our environmentalism. You can’t take one result of your principles in isolation- all the social stuff is important too. Next you’ll be telling us to butt out of animal welfare, or queer rights, or race relations.

  33. Tim Ellis 33

    r0b and Ari, I understand your point about the Green Party’s principles. I would have thought that first and foremost would be to work with any government to improve New Zealand’s environmental performance. Sadly, by locking themselves at the hip to Labour and NZFirst, they’re going to prove again that they’re unable to significantly influence Labour’s environmental policies, and will exclude any ability to influence National’s environmental policies when it is in Government.

  34. Pascal's bookie 34

    Tim, I’m not sure you’re getting it. As far as greens are concerned, these are environmental policies.

    Holistic, it’s not just a word.

  35. Matthew Pilott 35

    Tim, isn’t this exactly what the Maori Party is doing, Maori seats being a bottom line for them. Are you saying they’re playing the game poorly, by ruling out working with National?

    Or are both of these parties spelling out what they want, and post-election they will get together as required and negotiate based upon these policy positions…

  36. Felix 36

    Pat, you missed one:

    Grow it.

    Get it?

    Hey burt it’s nice to finally agree 100% with you on something 🙂

  37. Quoth the Raven 37

    I certainly agree with burt, that should be entirely clear from my past comments here.

    Pat a visit to one of these websites:Law Enforcement against Prohibition, NORML.

    Here are some facts Tim, no one has ever died of an overdose of marajuana, it’s simply impossible as it is not toxic enough. Many, many people die each year in this country from drinking too much alcohol. As to the effects on your brain, well there are a lot of contradictory studies on it, but the damage that alcohol does is well established. Every time a study comes out that says it’s bad, another comes out contradicting it.
    Here’s part of Pen and Teller’s Bullshit, on Drugs.

  38. Ari 38

    Sadly, by locking themselves at the hip to Labour and NZFirst

    Whoah there. As far as minor parties go, I believe the only one we’ve really got any degree of “official” support for is the Maori Party. NZ First can go do a loop around the racetrack, to be euphemistic.

    As for influence on National’s environmental policies- they’d have to make some first. What we’ve seen so far is basically a promise that they’ll have some environmental policies, eventually, perhaps in a couple years’ time.

    Quoth: While certainly not a study, I’ve seen plenty of anecdotal evidence of dramatic personality changes and memory damage from dope use. The reason I support decriminalisation isn’t because dope isn’t that harmful, (although there are certainly much worse drugs, like P) it’s because the black market AND dope at the same time are quite harmful taken together, and they get in the way of treating drug addiction like the (mental) health and social problem it is.

  39. Quoth the Raven 39

    Ari – Obviously correlation and causation are very difficult to pick apart. I think if we’re working on anecdotal evidence, the time that people start trying drugs, early-late teens, is the same time that their personalities start changing. We all know this from experience. Memory damage, I think is a myth, have a look at the guy at the end of the youtube vid I linked to, he should have the memory of a goldfish, no? This is certainly not a scientific study, but have a look at this.

    Obviously marajuana is harmful in some way, my point is we all know the harm alcohol can do, yet we still drink. We can’t spend our whole lives trying to avoid a little harm, like that. Tell me who seems worse a wino or a stoner?

  40. Colin 40

    Monty, – Econonomically illiterate as opposed to the usual variety? Spell checks work pretty well and might get you’re post a little more respect. That socialistic stuff always makes me smile. NZ politics probably hasn’t seen one since, let me think now,- John A Lee maybe? And I honestly don’t think you would recognise one if he sidled up and Roger Douglassed you. 🙂

  41. I don’t know Monty, Colin, but I enjoyed reading your last comment because I’m pretty sure of a lot of the uppermost Comments to this particular list.

    I have a question, however, which asks whether the ‘requirements’ are geared.? Do they hold some kind of order.? Whereby some rank more than others. And two weeks out from the Election how might one rate their decision based on an interpretation of answers received..

    also any folks waiting try click my name above for an update the Skinny

  42. Nick C 42

    Scoop: Greens add 13th criteria to list!

    I can exclusivly reveal that the green leadership just minutes ago added a new desision criteria to their test.

    The criteria is: Reduction of water usage through lower pressure on showers.

    Labour somehow had gained early warning of this (perhaps through a young labour supporter with a recording device) and earlier decided that if re-elected will limit water usage to 6 litres per minute, down from the 19 litre per minute average. This is their first policy release of the election.

    National have yet to put in a competeing bid.

  43. Felix 43

    Colin:

    “Spell checks work pretty well and might get you’re post a little more respect.”

    You did this on purpose as a joke, right?

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