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Greens stand aside in Ōhāriu

Written By: - Date published: 8:47 am, February 14th, 2017 - 114 comments
Categories: greens, labour, peter dunne - Tags: , , ,

Bravo to The Greens:

Greens step aside in Ohariu to help Labour’s O’Connor – despite misgivings

The Greens have dropped any plans to run a candidate in the Ohariu seat in a move aimed at giving Labour’s Greg O’Connor a better chance of winning the marginal seat – despite Green misgivings about his past views.

Green co-leader James Shaw said the decision was taken in the interests of changing the Government, which was the party’s priority.

“We have been very clear with our supporters and the public about that since we signed the Memorandum of Understanding with Labour last year,” he said. …

Putting aside misgivings for the sake of the greater good is a mark of political maturity which many politicians and commentators could learn from. And in the interests of reciprocity, hey Labour – ball’s in your court.

114 comments on “Greens stand aside in Ōhāriu ”

  1. Nick 1

    Quite agree…. The ball is in Labours court. Let’s hope they demonstrate the same team approach.

  2. Infused 2

    Dirty deals are ok when the left do it then? That’s pretty funny.

    • r0b 2.1

      And once again Infused pretends not to understand the difference between gifting a seat to a loser to create a pretend support party, and standing aside in a seat you can’t win to strengthen a formal coalition. That’s pretty funny.

      • AB 2.1.1

        Quite. The test for the ‘dirtiness’ of any deal is whether, if successful, it will distort the proportionality of parliament and violate the principles of MMP.

        The Labour/Greens stand aside has no effect on the proportionality of parliament. Both parties still end up with exactly the same number of MPs as determined by their party vote.

        The Epsom deal on the other hand gifts a seat to a bogus, micro-party that would not pass the party vote threshold and would not otherwise make it into parliament. National therefore get the number of MPs determined by their party vote PLUS one additional MP (David Seymour) from a bogus, micro party that exists solely as a vehicle to violate the principles of MMP.

        Infused knows this – but continues to repeat the same lie that National and its media enablers will feed to the public

        • Psycho Milt 2.1.1.1

          I’d go further: if the Labour/Greens deal does get rid of Dunne, whose party has 0% support, it will actually improve the proportionality of Parliament.

        • NewsFlash 2.1.1.2

          +1

          Thanks for the clarification, rw’s have a tendency of trying to put a spin on their own corrupt activities, they honestly believe that their honest, lol.

      • Richard McGrath 2.1.2

        There’s nothing dirty about either deal.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.2.1

          From the link in the OP:

          Labour leader Andrew Little said the Green move would be very helpful to O’Connor but he said the Greens had not consulted with Labour before making the decision, though they had told Labour before making it public.

          Shaw said the call was made “after many discussions” in the party, which would still campaign strongly for the party vote in Ohariu.

          So either there was no deal, in which case there was nothing to be dirty, or both Party leaders are lying, which would be dirty.

          Did you mean to accuse them of lying or did you simply not read the article?

          I’m picking both.

    • Bearded Git 2.2

      @infused
      Crusher had the chance to get rid of the “one-seat gives you a political party” rule a few years ago but chose to ignore the many public submissions and the recommendation resulting from these.

      It is Ms. Collins’ fault, so tough bikkies.

    • weka 2.3

      Where’s the deal exactly? Looks like the Green Party making a unilateral decision for the good of the party and NZ. If you think there is some kind of trade being done here between Labour and the Greens I’d like to see how that is happening.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.3.1

        +1

      • adam 2.3.2

        Most green party members I know have been quite vocal on this happening for some time. Well before the last election I recall, shorty after the one before, if my pub conversations are to be remembered.

    • adam 2.4

      From a party supporter of Dirty politics, the giggles are rich today infused.

    • reason 2.5

      Poor ol Infused has the workings of MMP and Hagermans donations to the national party mixed up ………

      my own judgement of this MMP maneuvering …. based on being mature enough to know the past actions of both the Ohariu contenders …..

      I think voters there have been given the choice between a pig and a rat

      …..a boar and a hair-piece

      An Overt Authoritarian and a sneaky submissive authoritarian

      Almost the only good thing I can say about Greg O’connor ……./ is at least there are no question marks hanging over his head about abusing or torturing prisoners in Iraq ………….. unlike nationals police representative …. mark ‘bite em till they scream’ mitchell

      And Sabins stains are still there with the nats ……… in their housing corp eviction progrom

    • Gabby 2.6

      Who’s the nats candidate?

    • Sally's Husband 2.7

      “Dirty deals are ok when the left do it then? That’s pretty funny.”

      Not very funny at all. It seems “dirty deals” are fine for the Right, but not for the Left. That’s what you’re really saying ‘Infused’?

      So when we’re play by the same rules your side has adopted, that’s “pretty funny” to you? Ok, noted. Let me look up the definition of hypocrisy, just to make sure it applies to your side as well as us. Ok by you, sunshine?

  3. Anne 3

    Putting aside misgivings for the sake of the greater good is a mark of political maturity which many politicians and commentators could learn from. And in the interests of reciprocity, hey Labour – ball’s in your court.

    10/10 to the Greens.

    Lets hopes some in Labour who have been crowing loud and long in recent times might learn a lesson from them.

    • Leftie 3.1

      Indeed +1000 Anne, and well done to the Greens, they are working strategically to change the government.

  4. roy cartland 4

    I/S won’t be happy:
    http://norightturn.blogspot.co.nz/2017/01/if-greg-oconnor-is-answer-wtf-was.html

    Gotta say, I’d find it hard to vote for him, even to change the gov.

    Polite request for further comment: Is winning with less than desirable candidates all that better than losing with ideal ones? And why is it hard to have both?

    • weka 4.1

      The Greens have zero control over who Labour chooses as candidates. Given that is true, what do you think the Greens should do? Personally, I think I/S is being more idiot than savant if he thinks it’s worth losing the election over one candidate. If that was my electorate I’d vote for whoever was going to get Dunne out. That’s a big service to do for the left and for politics in NZ in general.

      What I like about the MoU between the two parties is that they kept their independence. Labour are still free to act in the ways they see fit. They’re not a left wing party. So WJ and GO are intentional plays for certain kinds of votes, both of which are problematic for those of us further left than Labour, but will probably help Labour win. The great thing about WJ is that more people will vote Green. Let’s hope that lefties in Ohāriu don’t squander that by gifting the seat to Dunne.

      • roy cartland 4.1.1

        Thanks, good answer. I remember during the Epsom debacle wondering how horrified I’d be at having to vote for Goldsmith (over LAB or GRE); only for it to become clear afterward that they could have gotten rid of the ACT party by doing so. Hindsight, etc etc.

        After all this time, the ‘tactical’ option still tastes funny.

        • weka 4.1.1.1

          It is odd. I know that I probably wouldn’t have to think too hard about voting GO to get rid of Dunne. But if it was WJ instead? Or maybe David Shearer and he was campaigning on his bash a disabled person platform? It’s hard to say, but I’d probably suck it up and still vote strategically. I’d probably write posts on TS about what a fuckwit Shearer was being but how we should still vote for him 😈

      • mosa 4.1.2

        Couldn’t agree more Weka.

        This is a prime example of the MOU in effect and is a tactical necessity and just plain common sense.

        Green voters in Ohariu will ‘hold there noses’ and vote for Greg knowing that it will help “change the government”.

        United Future is close to death and just waiting to be put out of its misery.

        • Leftie 4.1.2.1

          “This is a prime example of the MOU in effect and is a tactical necessity and just plain common sense.”

          “Green voters in Ohariu will ‘hold there noses’ and vote for Greg knowing that it will help “change the government”.

          Spot on Mosa, this is the strategy, this is what it is all about!!

          There is no deal, there is no dirty deal. The MoU gives transparency. The Labs/Greens working together, whilst remaining independent of each other, have a common goal of changing the government, and this has been well publicized, particularly by the recent joint held state of the nation.

          Whether people like the selected candidates or not, whether a candidate stands or not, the point is, is that Labour and the Greens are working strategically to kick out National. And I am all for that!

          • mosa 4.1.2.1.1

            Yeah Leftie the key word is “transparency”.

            And that will make a massive change to what we have been getting under the tories and should be a campaign issue going into September about what transparent government will look like.

    • Bearded Git 4.2

      You have a choice of voting for O’Connor or 3 more years of this lot. Not a tough choice really.

    • bwaghorn 4.3

      ” Is winning with less than desirable candidates all that better than losing with ideal ones? ”
      maybe you should ask voters who didn’t vote clinton because the didn’t get Sanders who now have trump

      • Incognito 4.3.1

        If the question boils down to just winning vs. losing and the required sacrifices then that would be a fair answer but if it is about comparing the quality of the candidates it is a false equivalence to juxtapose the US Presidential Election with our General Election IMO.

    • Andre 4.4

      If I were an Ohariu voter faced with that unpalatable choice, I’d take a good look at O’Connor’s statements since leaving his Police Association role, and think hard about whether I’d prefer him to Dunne. Because those are by far the two likeliest winners.

      Chances are I’d be less unhappy voting for O’Connor. That O’Connor winning the electorate helps change the government by denying an overhang seat to Dunne would just be a bonus.

  5. Cinny 5

    MMP for the win 😀 Clever, clever Greens 😀 THANK YOU LEFT IS BEST

    I firmly believe the Greens will get their greatest party vote ever this election, and it is well deserved.

    • James Thrace 5.1

      Not really that clever imo.

      This announcement gives Nats and Dunne plenty of time to play chicken. Nat + Dunne candidate vote (13569 + 6120 = 19689) still easily bests L+G candidate vote (12859+2764 = 15623).

      The smarter move would have been to agree behind close doors and kept everyone guessing right up till after nominations closed.

      Now the Nats will feel more comfortable about not standing a candidate, so they can keep Dunne in.

      Bloody amateur hour in LabGreen camp. Has anyone there ever seen House of Cards? Muppets.

      • weka 5.1.1

        In other words, you want the Greens to do dirty backroom deals like NACT. I think you missed the point. This isn’t an announcement from the G/L camp. It’s the Greens doing what is right.

        It will be interesting to see if National don’t stand anyone, or if they stand someone and tell their voters to vote for someone else instead.

        • Infused 5.1.1.1

          The deals already done.

          • weka 5.1.1.1.1

            What deal?

            • James Thrace 5.1.1.1.1.1

              the “dirty backroom deal”

              By not standing a candidate, it’s a backroom deal. MOU or not.

              Should have kept it silent rather than trumpet from the rooftops.

              Amateur hour.

              • weka

                I think you are confused about what the word ‘deal’ means.

              • Leftie

                Panicked much James Thrace? This is not National and Act. There is no dirty backroom deal.

              • mikesh

                I would be splitting my vote anyway, not because of any “deal”, but because a Green candidate would have virtually no chance of winning the seat. This is different from Epsom where the National candidate would probably win if National’s supporters had been instructed to vote for him.

      • Cinny 5.1.2

        James, National are standing a candidate there, Brett Hudson. Will they be instructing their party faithful to vote for another candidate, like they did with Epsom?

        There is no deal, Greens made a choice, they want change and are pro-active about doing so.

        James with around ten Nat MP’s not seeking re-election this year, have there been any announcements on who will be standing to replace them? We’ve heard many stories in the media about the candidates for Labour and Greens, but hardly even a whisper about new nat candidates. Is that because they have none?

        • James Thrace 5.1.2.1

          Cinny, the nominations for Ohariu haven’t even opened, much less closed.

          The point remains:

          By giving National some 6 months to formulate how best to respond to the fact only one challenger is up against Dunne, gives them far more leeway to work out how to minimise the threat posed by GOC.

          That remains the sore point. Rather than keep National guessing which electorates are going to be left to Labour or Green or Both, the “left” are shooting themselves in the foot by publicly announcing their tactics giving the hard right more time to beat it.

          You don’t go all in at the beginning of a high stakes poker game – that’s what Lab/Grn are doing with this type of carryon.

          Ohariu is now Labours to lose.

        • Leftie 5.1.2.2

          +1000 Cinny, good points.

        • mikesh 5.1.2.3

          In 2014 Brett Hudson was telling his supporters that he was only interested in the party vote.

  6. tangled_up 6

    Green co-leader James Shaw said the decision was taken in the interests of changing the Government, which was the party’s priority.

    This.

  7. Tarquin 7

    It’s a funny old world when the Greens support someone who they disagree with on so many subjects. Particularly in a seat they did so well in last time. I don’t agree with the Greens on a lot of things, but I have voted for them in the past and have always admired them for sticking to their principles. Clearly they don’t count for much anymore in the pursuit of power.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      And another RWNJ comes in with the concern trolling.

      • Tarquin 7.1.1

        Shooting the messenger is easier than being honest, long live the echo chamber.

        • weka 7.1.1.1

          And yet you ignore the two comments that critique your comment. Funny that.

          • Tarquin 7.1.1.1.1

            I have no problem with the critique, other points of view are what it’s all about. Calling me a RWNJ is insulting and adds nothing to the conversation.

        • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.2

          I didn’t see the Greens supporting the Labour candidate. In fact, they specifically said that they had issues with him.

          So, that makes what you said a lie.

          The Greens did quite well in Ōhāriu but not as well as Labour. The two combined would not have unseated Dunne last election.

          The Greens are sticking to their principles. It’s National that doesn’t actually have any and will do anything for power. Unlike National, they’re not telling their voters to vote for the other party.

          So, yeah, you were concern trolling with all the standard lies that come from National’s spin doctors.

      • Richard McGrath 7.1.2

        So a Greens voter is a “RWNJ”?

        • Draco T Bastard 7.1.2.1

          He didn’t say that he was a Green voter. He said that he’d voted Green in the past in amongst a standard set of RWNJ lies so I took that as just another lie. And that’s what made his comment concern trolling.

          • Tarquin 7.1.2.1.1

            Draco, I have voted for the Greens several times because I like their environmental ideals. I don’t agree with their socialist agenda. Believe me, I may not be an ardent left winger but I am definitely not a RWNJ! Life would be much easier if you could cherry pick policies and make up a composite party.

            • Draco T Bastard 7.1.2.1.1.1

              Life would be much easier if you could cherry pick policies and make up a composite party.

              Participatory democracy where the people choose the policies that parliament then write up would be much better but can you imagine the present system, that’s actually been designed to prevent that, allowing it to happen?

              • Tarquin

                I agree, but as they say our system may be awful but it’s the best around. I think a lot of people go in to politics with the best of intentions and then lose their way. Maybe a two term limit – probably a bit simplistic but time limits tend to get things done.

    • Bearded Git 7.2

      So who are you going to vote for? National uses the quirks in the MMP system to further its ends; why shouldn’t the Greens? O’Connor will be better than Dunne.

      I am a Green voter with reservations about O’Connor but my guess is O’Connor and Jackson are smart picks by Little in terms of gaining votes, and Labour needs 35% not 25%. The fact that the Greens are being logical in trying to get rid of the awful Dunne strengthens their appeal to me.

    • weka 7.3

      I’m curious then, if it was a choice between not standing in Ōhāriu, or the Greens standing a good candidate in a seat they can’t win and Dunne regaining that seat and holding the balance of power and choosing a 4th term National govt in part because he wants to keep the Greens out of govt, what do you think the Greens should do? What do you think Green voters should do?

    • Scotty 7.4

      Cheer up, Tarquin – You’re right the Greens do not share your principles – you’re probably best to keep voting for the National party – Tarkwin – oops sorry Tarquin Nth –
      sorry I keep getting you mixed up with another highly principled National Party voter, that has similar concerns to you.
      Funny world indeed.

  8. Ad 9

    It’s a seriously unenviable task for the Greens to be designated as Labour’s conscience and guide.
    I sincerely hope that they are ready for that role, not only in the tortuous path to election 2017, but in government. They will need intestinal constitutions made of solid stainless steel.

    • weka 9.1

      Yeah, that’s the big one for me. Whether they’ve got their internal shit sorted out so that they don’t just do the same old when it comes to coalition formation but instead bring MMP to a new level. There will be enormous pressure on them, from all over the place. Maybe we can think about how to support them to do well.

      “They will need intestinal constitutions made of solid stainless steel.”

      Bamboo perhaps. Tensile strength but flexibility.

      • Ad 9.1.1

        I think steel, to stop penetration and corrosion.

        A hard metal handshake inside a green velvet glove.

        If the Coalition wins, Labour will be so focused on housing and infrastructure that there will be more scope for Green Cabinet members at 13-15% to be broader and bolder in their policy targets.

        This is the logic that will peel disaffected Labour activists to change allegiance and voting in 2017.

        • weka 9.1.1.1

          “If the Coalition wins, Labour will be so focused on housing and infrastructure that there will be more scope for Green Cabinet members at 13-15% to be broader and bolder in their policy targets.”

          That would be ideal. Best scenario is a high GP vote to get more Green MPs in positions where they can use their talents.

        • David C 9.1.1.2

          AD.

          You forget one small but important item.

          Anything Greens and Labour want to do are going to need to get Winstons approval first.

          Good luck with that 🙂

          • weka 9.1.1.2.1

            How so?

          • Robert Guyton 9.1.1.2.2

            David C’s conceding the election to the Left.
            Noted.

            • David C 9.1.1.2.2.1

              RG.
              A realistic (but bad for the Right) scenario would be Nat gets 43%, WinstonFirst 12% , Greens 12% , Labour 27% and others and waste 6%.

              Winston has stated he will deal first with the largest , so Nat, and they tell him to take a flying jump as Winston demands deputy PM. (which IMHO is a 50 50 call)

              So then what path do Lab/Gree have but Winston?

              • Brutus Iscariot

                You missed the part where they offer him Deputy instead of deliberately consigning themselves to opposition for 3 years.

                If that’s the scenario, he’ll get what he wants – no ifs, buts or maybes.

                • David C

                  Bullshit.

                  and I have a quality bottle of single malt riding on this.

                  Its my bet Nats will let Winston hold hands and sing songs around the camp fire with Labour and Greens…

                  It wont last a year.

              • Sacha

                Deputy? With his ego and awareness of limited time remaining, he’d demand PM for at least part of a term. #bauble

          • Enough is Enough 9.1.1.2.3

            I am still very concerned about that David.

            It is an entirely foreseeable outcome from the election that the Greens will have to choose one of two bad options.

            Firstly, a choose minority Labour/NZ First government which is supported by the Greens on confidence and supply; or

            Secondly a majority National/NZ First government.

            If Winston hold the balance of power he has the ability to go to the Greens and say:

            “the only way that the government will change is if the Greens support NZ First/Labour from outside of government. If you don’t support that, we will back Bill English.”

            • David C 9.1.1.2.3.1

              Enough.
              You think Little will shaft the Greens the way Helen did?

              • Enough is Enough

                When you have a gun to your head your options are limited.

                The choice for Little is take the deal, or sit in opposition and get rolled as leader…

                The choice for the Greens, is give your support to Labour/NZFirst, or watch National destroy the country more.

                • David C

                  I cant imagine the Greens supporting Labour if Lab went with NZF.
                  It would be the second time of being ignored and the Greens would have to ask them selves why do they exist if they are never going to get into power.

                  Better for Greens to block Lab/NZF and force a new election.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    That’s what a right winger would like? Duly noted 😆

                    • David C

                      OAB.
                      If there was another election after say 18 months both Little and English would be looking for new jobs, and likely Winston would be gone.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Then you should campaign for one if that’s what you want.

                  • weka

                    “the Greens would have to ask them selves why do they exist if they are never going to get into power.”

                    They already know. They want change not power.

                    “Better for Greens to block Lab/NZF and force a new election.”

                    How would that even be possible, and if it were why would the Greens risk the anger of the electorate?

                    • David C

                      weka.

                      list for me what the Greens have achieved for “change’ in the last 30? years while out of power.
                      You will only need a small postage stamp to write it on.

                      If you are in the tent you get stuff done. Out of the tent you are just there to eat your taxpayer funded lunch.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      So apart from renewable energy, recycling, home insulation, energy efficient appliances, action on CFCs, air and water quality standards, riparian planting, permaculture, water conservation, DOC-maintained campsites, organic produce niche markets, nascent carbon markets, and Sea Shepherd, what have environmentalists ever done for us?

                      Too easy.

                  • Enough is Enough

                    David that is the issue that needs to be confronted, and a strategy needs to formulated to deal with it.

                    Winston is the issue and if he has the balance of power he can unleash this pretty uncomfortable scenario upon us.

                    How do the Greens influence a NZFirst/Labour government from outside of cabinet?

                    • David C

                      Enough.
                      The Greens cant get anything done if they are not at the cabinet table.
                      Will Winston let them be there?

                    • Enough is Enough

                      Agreed.

                      That is why we need to get Labour/Green to position where Winston is not needed.

        • Antoine 9.1.1.3

          Assuming Labour offers one or more Cabinet posts…?

  9. xanthe 10

    well it looks like by putting up greg, labour was able to get the greens to eat a rat.

  10. The Chairman 11

    Considering their “nothing is off the table” stance, one can’t say this announcement comes as a surprise.

  11. saveNZ 12

    Bravo to the Greens. Not a fan of O’Conner but someone has to get an enabling leech-like single cell organism out of the swamp.

    I just hope of O’Conner wins he keeps to Labour values and does not take them down the ‘more guns to police’ brigade but instead more Labour traditional values like support police, support community, support justice, PREVENT social crime not be the ambulance at the bottom of the prison system.

  12. For some reason I have a sense of foreboding about this. It seems like everyone is expecting something and that something is different for everyone. Sure the meta – get rid of the gnats will do – but I sense dissapointment in the air for pretty much everyone.

    • weka 13.1

      Too may wild cards for my comfort. I do like what Labour and the Greens are each doing, even with the fuck ups.

    • McFlock 13.2

      After the last couple of elections, I’m determined to try to zen this one out, expect nothing, dread nothing, hope for nothing, fear nothing, merely adapt to what is, lol

    • bwaghorn 13.3

      remember the ‘paddling in different directions meme ‘ last election , the greens and labour seem to have a great counter meme ”change the government’

  13. The obvious answer to David C is to make sure NZ first do not have enough votes to hold the balance. Make sure Labour and Green voters get out .I for one do not want Peters and his bunch of xenophobic populists anywhere near a Labour /Green government

    • David C 14.1

      TPP.

      I dont seem many Greens crossing over to NZF but some Labs will, more than a few Nats have and will.

      I think NZF will go far better that ’14, with both Lab and Nat slipping back a bit.

  14. Bearded Git 15

    Ben Thomas on The Panel (RNZ) is praising the Green’s decision to the rafters right now saying finally the opposition parties are getting their act together.

    • Ben’s got it right. David C’s got it wrong and will rue the loss of his whiskey. He’s filling the “Labour will lose” role for a few days, till we tire of him and his programme. He’s just one of “those” confidence trolls.

  15. Michael 16

    What concessions has Labour ever made for the Greens? Or is it political maturity only when the Greens give way to Labour?

  16. tuppence shrewsbury 17

    Can I please ask the difference between this being ok for the greater good of the left and the willie jackson fiasco? is it because this displays external solidarity with potential coalition partners and the willie jackson fiasco was an internal issue? or am I missing something?

  17. The Green’s decision was the Green’s decision, made by themselves for their own reasons. That’s political maturity; they’re that confident in themselves that they can play the game their way. Great moment in time, this.

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