Labour and the Greens

Written By: - Date published: 9:12 am, May 31st, 2015 - 199 comments
Categories: Andrew Little, greens, labour, sustainability - Tags: ,

James Shaw

Congratulations to James Shaw.  I understand that he ran a really impressive campaign and although he started as an outside chance he persuaded Green Party delegates that he was best skilled to advance Green Party interests.  There are interesting comparisons with Andrew Little’s successful election campaign because Little also started as a rank outsider but ended up being the logical choice.  Shaw won slightly more comfortably, having achieved 54% of the vote on the first ballot.

The right are talking Shaw’s success up and trying to give the impression that he is the person most likely to get the Greens to go into coalition with National.  He is part of a new breed of MPs who are younger, highly educated and appear to be more conventional.  The chances of a Nandor Tanzos and Sue Bradford type candidate appear to be on the decline.  But the choice of coalition is I understand one for its members and most of the Greens I know would rather gnaw an arm off than go into coalition with National.

The other narrative the right is trying to build is that Shaw is the person most likely to get the Greens to eat into Labour’s vote.  Obviously their preference is that Labour and the Greens fight it out and forget about taking the battle to National.

Danyl Mclaughlan helped Shaw with his campaign and offered this justification for doing so.

The key role of a leader in a modern political party is to be the public face of that party, to front to the media and the public, and to win new voters. Maybe I’m just blinded by partisan bias, but I think James is going to be a lot better in that core role than the other candidates.

That doesn’t mean he’ll win. Kevin Hague also has a lot of great qualities, and they make him one of the most beloved guys inside the Green Party – which gives him a big advantage in a contest to become leader of it. But being the leader is about connecting with the public, not just the party’s own membership. The best thing for the future of the Green Party is to elect a leader who can grow it.

Shaw was quick to distance himself from the suggestion he may be willing to negotiate with National.  From the Herald:

[Shaw] said the members had seen that the Greens needed to expand into a broad-based party and he was the best person to do that.

But the party already had solid foundations, he said, and he did not plan to make a drastic change in direction. He reiterated his opposition to forming a Government with National, but said that would ultimately be decided by the party’s members.

Mr Shaw said both Labour and Greens were in good shape, having changed leaders, and were looking ahead. He noted that the two parties polled highest when they presented themselves as a unified, alternative government.

Mr Shaw has only been in Parliament since October, but said: “I wouldn’t have stood if I didn’t believe that I was ready.” He added that he was a “fast learner” and “a pretty safe bet”.

He repeated this comment this morning on Q&A saying that he could not see how a National Green economy could functionally work.  He also said that he wanted a pre coalition deal ironed out.  He did offer however an invitation to National to try and form a cross party consensus on climate change.

Shaw’s talk about sustainable business is not something to be afraid of.  Short of revolution if we are going to save the planet we will need to get business onside.

So what direction should the Greens take?  My personal belief is that Labour and the Greens need to publicly sort out how a future government would look and the sooner the better.  Last election National had a rock solid no doubt focus group generated campaign that a left Government would be too unstable.  Their rowing boat analogy hurt.  It is hard to understand how the Greens and NZ First can exist in the same Government.

The UK election result undermines how important the concept of stability is to many voters.  Labour’s inability to forge a proper relationship with the Scottish Nationalist Party meant that the Conservatives could play up on latent anti Scottish feelings amongst part of the electorate drain Labour of vital votes in marginal seats.  The rest is, as they say, history.

What should a Labour Green relationship look like?  First of all it needs to be a respectful one.  This sort of Shane Jones type lunacy should not be repeated.  Secondly if there is to be a Labour Green coalition then the likely portfolios and identities need to be known beforehand.  I for one would relish Julie Anne Genter being Minister of Transport.  And as a general rule cabinet positions should reflect the proportions of Parliamentary seats that each party has.

Thirdly, and this will be the most difficult job, there needs to be a public understanding of commonly held positions on policies and a way to resolve disagreements.  I suspect that a major reason the electorate does not like instability is that, unlike us political activists, they tend to not like election campaigns.

Of course the important thing is to get into a position there a progressive Government can be formed.  Both parties would need to improve current polling by up to 40% which will be a stretch.

And New Zealand First will again be a likely holder of the balance of power.

199 comments on “Labour and the Greens”

  1. weka 1

    Thanks micky, that’s a constructive and thoughtful opening post, and I completely agree that Labour and the GP need to start working on this now, and publicly.

    The right are talking Shaw’s success up and trying to give the impression that he is the person most likely to get the Greens to go into coalition with National. He is part of a new breed of MPs who are younger, highly educated and appear to be more conventional. The chances of a Nandor Tanzos and Sue Bradford type candidate appear to be on the decline. But the choice of coalition is I understand one for its members and most of the Greens I know would rather gnaw an arm off than go into coalition with National.

    Here’s how I understand it.

    The membership developed the current position, which is here (2011 version, there is a more recent one that is worded slightly differently). Please note that the GP use the term ‘work with’ to mean work on policy. They don’t mean support formation of govt or support on C and S.

    1. Overall political positioning

    Agrees that, until such time as we are in a position to lead a government, the Green Party will campaign on the basis of the following political position:

    (i) The Green Party is an independent and distinct party, which in order to urgently advance Green Party policy goals, will attempt to work constructively with, and challenge, whichever party leads the government after an election;

    (ii) To enable any party or parties to form a government, we would need significant progress on Green Party environmental, economic and social policies and initiatives that would give effect to the Green Party Charter.

    2. 2011 election positioning

    Agrees that for the 2011 general election, the Green Party, as an independent party, will campaign on the following political position:

    (i) Based on current Labour and National Party policy positions, the Green Party has a preference to consider supporting a Labour-led government in the right circumstances, ahead of a National-led government;

    (ii) The Green Party could work with a National-led government to progress particular Green Party policies as we have over the last three years; but based on current National Party policy positions and track record it is highly unlikely that we could support a National-led government on confidence and supply.

    https://home.greens.org.nz/press-releases/independent-greens-could-support-labour-national-unlikely

    That is how the position stands, and it was developed over time and voted on by the delegates representing branch members at the AGM. It can’t be changed by the leader.

    Yesterday Matthew Whitehead outlined the process of entering into a coalition,

    …the leaders literally do not have any power to make coalition agreements, or to veto them. All they have is influence within the party in this regard, and the delegated power to negotiate on behalf of the members.

    The delegates at the AGM have to agree to any coalition arrangement proposed by the leaders or by caucus, and they are instructed on how to consider their vote by the members they stand for. It is the delegates who are (currently) opposed to any arrangement beyond the MoUs on agreeable policy areas like insulation.

    New Greens male co-leader: James Shaw

    I have a feeling there is an override somewhere by the Exec, but it’s not something that would be done lightly or routinely.

    One of the challenges for the GP is how to simplify the above for the media and public, and have it in an easily explainable form. There was much confusion about this at the last election and it wasn’t communicated clearly.

    • Thanks for that, weka. I think a problem for the Greens in the past has been being tied to that “highly unlikely” phrasing, which the more anti-Green elements of Labour (they certainly exist) seize on because it does, technically, mean a C&S with National is theoretically possible.

      In the last election this ended up with Green MPs seeming to sing from different songsheets with Russel and Metiria sticking to “highly unlikely” and people like Julie Anne Genter on Twitter saying “of course we’d never do that”. If you’re not already a member of the Greens, with detailed insight into the party’s policy processes, that can unfortunately look like flip-flopping.

      • weka 1.1.1

        It didn’t help that Norman in the week before the election didn’t clarify this. I still don’t know if he was trying to woo soft National voters or if he was too burnt out to control the story.

        I suspect also that the leaders are acutely aware that they can’t change the remit and so stuck to the actual wording (although I think Turei did later clarify).

        Someone with good communication skills could rewrite the above into a couple of sentences that communcate the intent in an accessible way. The big sticking point I see is that the public, media and other politicians use ‘work with’ = support formation of govt. Either the GP need to change the remit, or they’ll have to repeatedly clarify what they mean until it sticks.

      • Karen 1.1.2

        I think you have Genter and Turei the wrong way round. I remember those tweets very well as I had a lot of discussions about them at the time but your point is absolutely correct – most people have no idea about party processes so both Labour and the Greens have to be really careful about any public statements that could be used to mislead positions. I personally know of votes the Greens lost because of those musings about working with National.

        I also agree with Mickey about sorting out ministerial roles before the election, and Genter would be an outstanding Minister of Transport.

      • Anarkaytie 1.1.3

        The interesting thing about this point is that “highly unlikely” was clarified multiple times – National had to dump their opposition to climate action, for one thing – but it was never published in MSM.

        I don’t count myself as high in the party membership hierarchies, but I saw that clarification go round multiple times, on multiple platforms. The stranglehold of Key’s PR machine on editorial content kept it out of the papers.

        Journalists pretending not to understand that position are merely venal lapdogs of the Nat machine – I’m thinking Cathy Odgers/Whale rather than Tracy Watkins, here, in case anyone is confused.

      • Yeah, as Katie points out, there was a big scramble to try and clarify that no consideration was being made of a coalition with National before the last election. Various different parts of the Party were looking to get it cleared up, but the media didn’t want to help out at all. (of course)

    • mickysavage 1.2

      Thanks Weka. A very democratic measure! Labour can be to top down sometimes …

      I agree with simplifying the language down. Otherwise the right will do what it always does and misrepresent the situation.

      The most difficult area could be the reconciliation of conflicting policy areas although there is nothing stopping them from at least working out areas where there is agreement and publishing these.

      And the parties will need to retain their distinctive features at the same time.

      I suspect this will not be an easy job.

      • weka 1.2.1

        “I suspect this will not be an easy job.”

        True, and it’d be great to see it being thrased out in the left blogosphere as well as the parties doing the work. I thought your post was a good start.

        “Mr Shaw said both Labour and Greens were in good shape, having changed leaders, and were looking ahead. He noted that the two parties polled highest when they presented themselves as a unified, alternative government.”

        Do remember what the two parties were doing last year when that happened? Was it joint policy announcement?

      • Tracey 1.2.2

        Labour can be slightly Right as they want to attract the voters they think being right attracts and then use the Greens as an “excuse” to go left on some things or not be in government at all…

      • Draco T Bastard 1.2.3

        Otherwise the right will do what it always does and misrepresent the situation.

        The right-wing need to be called on that in no uncertain terms and that means calling them liars to their face in public and on screen. If we don’t do this then the right-wing are going to go on dominating the news cycle with their lies.

        Time to stop being ‘nice’ and to call a spade a spade.

    • Cheers for the repost. 🙂

  2. Kiwiri 2

    My personal belief is that Labour and the Greens need to publicly sort out how a future government would look and the sooner the better.

    Indeed. Thanks for that and your whole post, mickysavage.

    My comment yesterday stands unless if both Labour and Greens are very clear and upfront about forging a real, respectful, equal partnership. If that does not happen, Nats will be looking at using James and the Greens to lock out alternative, progressive policies (involving Labour) out of government for another term.

    • Clemgeopin 2.1

      What do you mean by equal partnership? Do you mean 50-50, even if say, the vote proportion was L= 35% and G=15%?

      Remember last time before the election the Greens were saying they wanted the Finance portfolio for Norman and to have two Deputy PM posts for both their co-leaders? Remember that? I think such silly/greedy talk was one of the reasons that the voters deserted the two parties which were at one time polling at 49.5% in the polls!

  3. Jenny Kirk 3

    I, too, think this is a good post, MS – and along the lines I hope will eventuate with Labour and the Greens being onside with each other, and hopefully NZ First also playing a part. That’s the only way I can see us toppling the Nats – along with some decent environmentally-sustainable people-caring policies, of course.

    By the way, Frank Macasey has interesting comment on budget-time polling – in the sidebar feeds – which suggests we don’t become too down-hearted at the recent polls. As I’ve said before we all need a bit of time to get things straightened out in our respective Parties – not too much though, because we need to be action ready for 2017

    • mickysavage 3.1

      Thanks Jenny. I understand TV one has a poll out tomorrow night. I am bracing myself …

    • Sacha 3.2

      “we all need a bit of time to get things straightened out in our respective Parties”

      We do not have that luxury. You will note the end of James Shaw’s victory speech – 2017 campaign starts *now*. If that is too much for some comfortable Labour insiders, I suggest getting out of the way and letting more capable hands in your party take charge.

  4. Tracey 4

    “The right are talking Shaw’s success up and trying to give the impression that he is the person most likely to get the Greens to go into coalition with National.”

    IMO that is a subtle, planned smear because they didnt want Shaw in the spotlight. I think they have some worries that some of their softer voters would go Green rather than Labour?

  5. Colonial Rawshark 5

    Labour and the Greens have to prove to the electorate over the next 18 months that they can work together flexibly, productively and effectively. They have to present serious and bold alternatives to the electorate – some initiatives separately but some as joint (or complementary) policy.

    National will once again attack a LAB/GR coalition as unstable, chaotic and radical. They will also position the LAB and GR leadership as risky, hopelessly untested and inexperienced in Government.

    Strategies need to be found to counter these weakneses, and thoroughly implemented over the next short period of time.

    Lefties who think that the coming global+dairy economic meltdown is going to hurt National, think again. It will hurt the prospects of LAB/GR more as National will again position themselves as the safe proven set of trusted hands during a financial crisis.

    Again, I see the next two Roy Morgans as pivotal to the tone of the remainder of this pre-campaign period.

    • dukeofurl 5.1

      Unfortunately the polls have become ludicrously wrong when it comes to measuring what they say the are measuring: Who would you vote for.

      The experts say the ‘herd instinct’ for pollsters is very strong and overrides statistics.
      The back room shuffling of the numbers combined with over the top reporting of minor changes ( ie margin of error) means the public cant see a trending movement.
      Obviously in NZ national is well ahead ( as its crushed its allies underfoot) and Labour has a minor constellation of allies.
      The Australians have long had a simple method ( partly because their preferential voting allows for it) of putting it in Two Party Preferred final numbers.

      • Colonial Rawshark 5.1.1

        Unfortunately the polls have become ludicrously wrong when it comes to measuring what they say the are measuring: Who would you vote for.

        Roy Morgan was able to be fairly indicative of last years election result.

        • dukeofurl 5.1.1.1

          Yes its easy to see afterwards who was closest.

          The range we had was national 52.8 to 44.5 ( result 47.04)

          labour was from 22.4 to 26.1 ( 25.1)

          Greens were miles out 16.0 ( Roy Morgan!) to 11.0 ( 10.7)

          NZ First 8.0 to 4.4 ( 8.6)

          These were the last weeks of campaign.

          So is the Rule, take out nationals highest and average the rest, average is Ok for Labour, Greens use only lowest, NZ First use only highest ?

          • Colonial Rawshark 5.1.1.1.1

            We know Green self identified supporters get into the polling booth, get anxious about their choice, and last second swap to one of the major parties.

          • weka 5.1.1.1.2

            “Greens were miles out 16.0 ( Roy Morgan!) to 11.0 ( 10.7)”

            That was a rogue poll, obviously. It happens.

  6. Ad 6

    +1000 mickey and cv

    I will vote and donate for those most likely to change the government.

    I hope this change within Greens increases those chances.

  7. David Bachman 7

    Great post/conversation starter. I think it throws a spotlight onto a key ingredient of a Green/Labour win in 2017. I really like that democratic charter of the Greens you posted Weka, I think a majority of Kiwis would.

    I believe most of us lean towards the left side of politics, we do care about the family over the fence. We’re advocates for equal opportunity. I’m sure we’ve all heard “I voted for the best of a bad bunch” many times from folk that voted National over the last few elections. “I’m strongly against asset sales, it pained me to tick the blue box.” That sort of thing.

    A very important component that prompted those people to vote the way they did was National presenting as a united team with a plan. Whether accurate or not, I think these reluctant Nat voters envisaged scenarios like a Financial Portfolio slug-fest between Norman and Parker rather than getting on with the job.

    No matter if it’s in our family, kids painting a mural, on the footie field or at work. Every single one of us is intimate with the power of a unified team with a plan. We all know it’s the best path to reaching our objectives. I feel presenting a detailed picture of who is doing what, how, when, where will need to be a component of any occupation of the Hive Hotseats in 2017

    • Colonial Rawshark 7.1

      the remarkable thing is that the NATs convinced NZers that they were the team with the plan when in fact they announced next to no policies or plans in the run up to the elections. They did however convince NZers that they could be trusted as a governing team – which is an emotive and non-rational calculation that LAB/GR lost out on.

      • David Bachman 7.1.1

        Perception is everything. We all make our judgements on what we perceive. These judgements are largely emotionally based. I could of bought a new fishing reel for half the price, my emotion prompted me to buy the one promoted with the button-pushing advertising and all the bells and whistles I rarely use. So yes, a good pantomime performance will win an election. Perception is everything. The Nats won 10% of the vote by merely posing the question ‘Steady hand on the tiller or squabbling? You choose.”

  8. Sanctuary 8

    Two best things that could ever happen for Labour:

    1. Greens sucking up to National
    2. Judith Collins becoming leader of the Nats.

    Both these things came closer this week.

    • David Bachman 8.1

      I think the best thing that could happen to Labour is for the voters of NZ perceiving a vote for them as a viable way to create more opportunities for all Kiwis to run down their goals and aspirations.

    • weka 8.2

      lolz, nice wishful thinking there Sanctuary, but you’re not paying attention (or you have your own agenda on sharing the right wing narrative about the GP).

    • the pigman 8.3

      +1 sanctuary, anyone here who doesn’t hear the dog whistle in shaw’s essprayshuns to position the greens as a more “broad-based political party” is kidding themselves. The level of self-denying and spinning here is extraordinary.

      They might have their cloth ears on, but let me say, the Right hear those dog whistles loud and clear.

      • weka 8.3.1

        go on then, explain how Shaw is going to do this.

        • the pigman 8.3.1.1

          Sorry weka, I don’t have a mind evil enough to imagine that. But it’s extraordinary, isn’t it? Commenters who are so prepared to read subtext into standard comments can’t read the basic subtext of shaw’s selection.

          Party selects most cis-normative white guy who likes talking up his business credentials as leader. Basically the most similar to Russell, with apparently stronger business background.

          Leader spends his first day on the job talking about more working together/collaboration with the government on environmental issues.

          What next?

          • weka 8.3.1.1.1

            Sweet, you have no evidence at all that the GP are going to be sucking up to National, but you are reading a whole bunch of subtext that you won’t share with us.

            “Party selects most cis-normative white guy who likes talking up his business credentials as leader. Basically the most similar to Russell, with apparently stronger business background.”

            Duh, of course. Do you think those things are incompatible with GP values and policy?

            “Leader spends his first day on the job talking about more working together/collaboration with the government on environmental issues.”

            Lolz, that’s a big fat lie (link or it didn’t happen).

            We heard it all the first time, when Norman was elected. The GP will go right and implode, end of the world!!!! It was wrong then and it’s wrong now. People can spread this speculative shit all they want but all you are doing is undermining the left. Sanctuary’s motivation I understand, yours I don’t.

          • maui 8.3.1.1.2

            I somehow don’t think a guy who has been a Green Party member since 1990 and doesn’t drive due to his concern about climate change is going to be shifting the party right.

      • Draco T Bastard 8.3.2

        The Green Party can only go where the Green’s members let them. The leaders can’t change that.

        • weka 8.3.2.1

          I’m starting to think that some people literally can’t understand that.

          • felix 8.3.2.1.1

            There are very, very few examples of democratic organisations in our society when you think about it. No wonder people have trouble understanding them.

      • Clemgeopin 8.3.3

        I think it is a little premature to cast a judgement on Shaw so early. We will only know for sure closer to the 2017 election.

        If he can get the soft blue green voters from National to Greens and motivate the non voters to support greens, that will be a very good thing.

        I still maintain that the Greens should concentrate less on social issues and more on environmental issues, leaving Labour to worry about social and economic issues.

        The name is the ‘Green party’. Stick with that. And another thing is that they should soften their extreme stands on mining, deep sea drilling, fracking etc. We could/should work towards those goals but gradually, rather than abruptly with blanket bans when much safer modern methods are now available, thus preventing loss of economic growth, revenue, jobs and wages.

        • marty mars 8.3.3.1

          Your last paragraph gave me a sardonic lol there clem. The extreme stand is the exploiters who will use whatever means necessary to get a bit of dosh for themselves.

          • Clemgeopin 8.3.3.1.1

            Personally, I am not an exploiter nor am I after a ‘bit’ of dosh. I am being pragmatic so that people are comfortable to give their votes in sufficient numbers. Without that, one could as well throw the unsupported inflexible hardcore polices in the rubbish and bring them out fresh again and again term after term until lots of voters agree in the NEXT 25 years or so, but wait, that may be too late anyway! But hey, no worries at all, because, in the mean time, you (not you) were so powerful with MOU that you managed to twist the government’s little finger to give cycle ways, cannabis, meals on wheels, pink bats, smaller shower heads and stuff like that. Cool bananas.

        • maui 8.3.3.2

          The Greens are against the exploitation of the environment and the humans within that environment, both driven by our current economic ideas. Sounds good to me to tackle both issues at the same time.

  9. Atiawa 9

    The logical next step is for local members of both parties to come together and have a grown up conversation about common policy agreement and disagreement.
    If there is more that unites us than divides us what would be the harm? The olive tree grows in all our electorates.
    As I’ve commented in a previous post, we don’t all agree with each other within the Labour party.
    Life must be so much simpler for the Tory party members. There conversations would have a personal responsibility flavor and a whats in it for me focus.

    • Colonial Rawshark 9.1

      I agree with your “logical next step”. Labour Party members would have to be willing to take the initiative, organise and participate in this process without any support form caucus or head office, however.

      • weka 9.1.1

        Wow, that’s a radical and very interesting idea Atiawa. Makes me nervous too, but I guess the people that would go to the meeting would be the ones committed to working together.

    • mickysavage 9.2

      Yep. In Auckland Istmus and out west there has been cooperation at a local level for many years and I am convinced that this has helped with relationships. Out west for instance the Waitakere Ranges has two greens on the Local Board (Saffron Toms and Steve Tollestrup) as well as three Labour members and an independent progressive.

      Relationships are very cordial and positive and we are working on many local environmental issues. And we managed to get a full slate of progressives elected.

      • Atiawa 9.2.1

        Next years Local Body elections would be the ideal opportunity to enhance our relationship AND there is already a model in place. Thanks MS.
        No top down. Grass roots bottom up.

      • RedLogix 9.2.2

        Congratulations to all those who make are making that excellent model work mickey.

        If the two parties could go the public with a clear message of policy and electoral level cooperation – and demonstrate a positive engagement with each other … then at least one of the big problems on the left would be hugely reduced.

        It wouldn’t be too hard to simply brand one party pro urban, enviro and ethnic – the other standing for rural, small business and workers. All these groups actually have far more in common than not, but from a communication perspective there are specific things that need targeting to each group.

        Most interestingly is the overlap in Maori interests. Both parties have considerable mana and history in this respect and damn well should be working a lot harder to unify their approach on this.

        • mickysavage 9.2.2.1

          Thanks RL.

          I suspect the membership discussions will be easier than the caucus discussions …

  10. Jenny Kirk 10

    Yes – we’ve been thinking along similar lines here in the north …… and there have been a couple of “incidents” where Labour and Greens have coincidentally come together – opposing a Govt-imposed Unitary Authority on the north, and objections to mining.
    So Atiawa’s idea is certainly worth exploring further.

  11. DH 11

    Defeatist talk like this is a guaranteed way to lose the next election.

    Either Labour want to govern the country or they don’t. If they do then they should act like a Government in waiting and stop talking about coalitions.

    • Colonial Rawshark 11.1

      It’s an MMP world mate, leave your FPP concepts behind last century.

      • Dh 11.1.1

        You’re an amateur. Forming coalitions before an election is admitting you can’t win by yourself. That’s loser talk and no-one likes a loser.

        Labour may well need to form a coalition after an election but they sure as hell shouldn’t act like they’ll need to. They need to act like a Government because that’s what people want to vote for.

        • mickysavage 11.1.1.1

          Que?

          Every MMP Government so far has had to form a coalition. Telling the electorate who you are willing to go into coalition with is the minimum a party should do.

          • Dh 11.1.1.1.1

            You don’t get it either do you?

            Whether you need to form a coalition after an election is irrelevant. You don’t do it before an election. Elections are about winning and admitting beforehand that you can’t win is well…. pretty much a guarantee you’ll lose badly.

            Discussing coalitions before the election is just feeding the media knocking machine and killing your own election chances by displaying a distinct lack of confidence in your own party.

            Labour don’t need to kowtow to or do anything to appease the Greens or Green voters. What will the Greens do if Labour ignore them, form a coalition with National?

            There’s no point in it anyway. No-one knows what future election results are going to be, it’s all speculation, so why waste time blathering on about something that may never happen.

            • mickysavage 11.1.1.1.1.1

              So Labour should be quiet about the subject and let the Nats plant and seed the stories.

              Labour in NZ and the UK were punished because of these stories.

              All parties apart from Peters do it more or less.

              What experience do you have which allows you to tell the rest of us we do not know what we are talking about?

              • Dh

                Ahem. You’re the one in the twenty percent party that once was a fifty percent party. You’re not exactly qualified to tell us how to win an election either are you?

                What I’ve said is common sense. You don’t need to take my word for it, ask anyone in advertising how destructive a defeatist attitude is.

                • mickysavage

                  What again are your qualifications?

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  LOL “advertising”

                  Did anyone in Advertising tell you about how important trust and credibility and branding is in advertising?

                  The product you are trying to sell is a Labour/Greens government. Tell me – what in advertising principles tells you that the product should be hidden from potential consumers?

                  • Clemgeopin

                    The product you are selling is the principles, policies, programmes, candidates and leaders of the Labour party. Full stop. Nothing else.

                    It is for the smaller parties to state which major party they may support after the election.

                    National understand this better.

                    • Facetious

                      I must agree with Clemgeopin. Labour first, the Green Party second. working together but under Labour leadership. No compromise on that.

                    • mickysavage []

                      But you hate the Labour Party. You would prefer they never gained power.

                  • Clemgeopin

                    No, Labour is NOT selling a Labour-Green Government at all. It is selling a Labour government or a Labour-led government. As to what that government will look like will only be clear AFTER the voters have indicated their party preferences. Labour should not second guess what might happen.

                    When Clark needed NZF, they hadn’t made any pre-election deals, yet were able to form a coalition government with policy concessions and the government worked very well. Same was the case with Labour and Alliance (or UF), or, National and NZF (or UF).

                    National does not give a damn if ACT or Dunne or the Maori party does not win at all or gets wiped out. National is primarily after their own party vote. If they do not get enough votes, they offer concessions to the other parties adter the election depending on the numbers. They do not stupidly make pre-election policy concessions, because that could be electoral suicide for the larger party.

                    Labour should too should be concerned primarily with its own party votes and only worry about any possible coalition deals after the voters have given their preferences.

                    The only point that Labour should indicate before the election is to say that, if necessary, they will talk to any interested party to form a coalition, except the right wing rogues, National and ACT.

                    If Labour tries to make coalition deals before the election, more, lots more party votes from Labour supporters will shift to the Greens while the candidate votes from Labour and most Greens will go to Labour, but not necessarily for a winning position. So, the Labour candidates will have to be exceptionally popular with the voters who will be naturally distributing their votes to so many candidates in the electorates, making it easier for National to get not only a good amount of their normal party votes, but also most candidate votes.

                    Labour will end up getting a double whammy for both the party votes as well as the candidate vote.

                    So, if any pre-election deal is made with the Greens, Labour will be first cutting off its own legs and then possibly committing an election hara-kiri on top of it. The only beneficiary will be the Greens who will live on their own party votes, as well as many Labour’s party party votes too.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Then Labour will continue its decline as National continues to frame Labour and Greens in the media as being unable to work together in Opposition, and therefore on no account should be let near the levers of Government.

                    • Clemgeopin

                      No, all that Labour has to say is that they are happy to work with the Greens or any other party too if necassary, (except Nat/ACT), but will decide only after the election.

            • Colonial Rawshark 11.1.1.1.1.2

              Like I said, you belong in a previous political century DH. We are in the age of MMP. Your “acting like losers” diatribe is the diatribe of political loss.

              Voters know very well that a Labour government is going to be a Labour-Green coalition. Don’t treat voters as stupid. They want to see proof that Labour and the Greens can work together flexibly, productively and confidently before 2017.

              Your wanting to deprive the electorate of that demonstration will deprive the electorate of proof that Labour and Greens can get together and be dynamic and trustworthy.

              • Dh

                Stop talking shite. You’re the man who wants to print money. That would be against the wishes of at least 80% of the population yet you’d still do it, so spare me the crocodile tears that you care about voters or anyone else.

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  Getting back to advertising principles – in which Advertising firm did you learn that you need to mis-represent the product to consumers in order to sell it?

                  Every NZ voter knows that Labour and Greens have to prove their ability to work closely and co-operatively together, before they – as a team – can represent sufficient value worth “purchasing” in 2017.

                  Tell me, why would you want to hide that from the consumers in our democracy?

                  • Dh

                    How can you misrepresent something that doesn’t even exist yet?

                    Think about it for a while. Any coalition deal typically requires a sacrifice of some policy. The junior partner wants something in exchange for their support, that something usually being a policy concession or two.

                    If you announce all that shite beforehand then you’re completely undermining your own policy announcements and election campaign. And its pointless.

                    The level of sacrifice required to form coalitions is entirely dependent on the results of the election; no party can make coalition deals before an election because they don’t have final say – the voters do.

                    All Labour need to tell voters is that they’ll talk to the Greens, and others, if they don’t win enough of a majority. Voters already know that so there really isn’t any need to tell the public much at all.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      If Labour and the Greens cannot demonstrate to the electorate that they can work together tightly and effectively in Opposition, voters will never let either of them near the Treasury Benches.

                    • DH

                      I think you just need to look at it from the statistical viewpoint.

                      It’s reasonable to state that Labour are seen as being only marginally to the left. Greens are seen as being very much to the left. A Labour/Green alliance would be viewed as more left than Labour only.

                      Pretty much every person who would vote for a Labour/Green Govt would vote either Labour or Green anyway.

                      On the other hand there are people who would not vote for a Labour/Green Govt but who might vote for a Labour Govt.

                      Promoting an alliance is reducing the possible votes. Doesn’t make a lot of sense does it.

                    • Clemgeopin

                      @DH : “Pretty much every person who would vote for a Labour/Green Govt would vote either Labour or Green anyway.
                      On the other hand there are people who would not vote for a Labour/Green Govt but who might vote for a Labour Govt.
                      Promoting an alliance is reducing the possible votes. Doesn’t make a lot of sense does it.”

                      Excellent point. I hope EVERY Labour member and EVERY Labour supporter and EVERY ex-Labour supporter will read your wise words and understand the issue clearly and not make a serious mistake on a false premise.

                      Personally, I would prefer the Labour leadership to come out and state in no uncertain terms, ‘that they (Labour) is going into the election with a well thought out set of social, economic and environmental policies that are doable and non extreme. The policies are pragmatic, practical, meaningful, fair and good for the immediate and the long term well being of all the people.

                      We hope you will carefully consider all our policies and give us a strong mandate to govern New Zealand to make it once again a fairer, a more decent and a more just place.

                      In order to do that, we need to defeat the RW National and ACT who primarily are working for the corporates and for their wealthy donors while plagiarising many of the Labour policies designed to hoodwink the people. Don’t let them continue to fool you any more.

                      Labour will not be entering into coalition talks with any other party before you the voters, our ultimate masters, have cast your votes at the election and indicated your preferences.

                      If you like most of our policies, then please give your PARTY vote for Labour in droves so that we are able to implement our great policies for you and the country.’

        • tracey 11.1.1.2

          I wonder why the Nats do tea cups and stuff like that then… the losers… oh wait

  12. David Bachman 12

    A chink in the armour of a unified shop-front will be policy clashes. Matters that will require putting to bed before any campaign gathers a head of steam. Only then will a coalition be widely perceived as potentially harmonious.

  13. Lets be honest. What kind of LABOUR leader is Andrew Little when he thinks that means testing superrannuation might be necessary – does he not understand that he is handing Winston Peters ammunition on a plate, and that Winston will probably use it?

    • weka 13.1

      True, but (a) does Labour need another leadership challenge at this point, and (b) how does that fit with this post?

      • Craig H 13.1.1

        Andrew Little doesn’t believe means testing will be necessary at this stage or any time in the short to medium term, or hopefully ever if the funding gap is closed. The confusion was a media beat-up based on him not categorically ruling it out in response to a question at a Q&A.

        To explain, he was at a business group’s Budget brunch, and gave a speech, following which he did Q&A. In the speech, Andrew made the point that by not running a surplus, National has not committed to continuing contributions to the Cullen Fund, and that generally, National have their heads in the sand regarding future affordability of NZ Super, and a future government is going to have a large hole in finances as a result.

        In the Q&A following the speech, questions were asked of options for plugging the future gaps in the Super, and he didn’t categorically rule them out since a) policy is matter for the Labour Party as a whole, not the leader and b) the financial hole is quite a long time in the future, so how any gaps are plugged depends on a lot of factors and policy options between now and then.

        He didn’t even state what the options were, they were asked of him by the questioners and were means testing, not paying it while people continue working and/or lowering the percentage of average wage paid out.

        He did say to us in the Q&A that he’ll have to watch that like a hawk in the future since obviously the media will do anything to put words in his mouth.

        • weka 13.1.1.1

          Thanks Craig, I suspected as much, that it was a gotcha politics moment, and yeah, they all need to be very careful, it’s only going to get harder for the next few years.

        • Anne 13.1.1.2

          Craig H. Like many other people I suspected as much. But this is where Labour (and its leaders) annoy me. They let the bastards get away with it. Why did he not say:

          “You bastards have misrepresented my answer to a question. I call that dishonest. You are well paid so its time you did your job properly and reported answers in the proper context”.

          Sock it to em. Strong language is the only way to get through to these arrogant TV media types. I know. I worked with them once many years ago.

          • Clemgeopin 13.1.1.2.1

            I don’t understand why the so called reporters misrepresent! Why not give the context of the answer or right of reply if the leader (of whichever party it is) is not happy with the misrepresentation? After all, it is not of much importance to the journalist, but very unfair to a party or its leader who have a heavy responsibility.

    • Atiawa 13.2

      What kinda Minister of Finance is Bill English who last weekend denied there was any need for the government to do anything about superannuation and then said future governments were free to have any discussion with the people of NZ about superannuation they wished? Yet he talks about tax cuts rather than restart contributions to the Cullen fund whilst knowing that in the 2020’s super will cost $15 billion and by 2030 $30 billion.

  14. Craig H 14

    The leadership issues in the last election were a real problem, and that’s definitely acknowledged internally. I doubt I’m the only one, but I definitely had work colleagues and acquaintances (my friends and I all kept the faith, as our belief was that regardless of leadership ructions, voting National was worse) who were scared off Labour by the leadership issues. Some voted NZ First and some Greens, but I’ve got no doubt some voted National as well.

    It was clear from the MPs (including Andrew Little) and party president at the recent Region 5 regional conference that they are working hard to not do that again – the theme going forward is unity, discipline and WINNING. The MPs also said that the unity in caucus is really strong under Andrew, which is a good sign. Let’s hope it stays that way!

    I am a Labour member who wants a Labour/Green coalition. Something I believe (although without stacks of money to do research on it, it’s hard to prove) is that some potential Labour voters vote National because they can’t stomach the Greens in government, so that’s something to work on to get them to vote Labour. IMO, the best way to get round that would be to agree to a Labour/Green coalition beforehand, but make it clear that Labour will provide the PM and ministers of finance, foreign affairs and trade (this should help keep the business community onside), while the Greens will provide ministers of conservation, environment, transport and housing (fits well with their strengths and perceptions of the party policy areas). There may be some other obvious portfolios to agree to beforehand, but those should make it easier for potential swing voters to return to Labour and the Greens.

    • Colonial Rawshark 14.1

      Oh very logical and sensible.

      However, MPs like Twyford and others won’t be happy with your suggestion of portfolio splits and will resist.

      • felix 14.1.1

        Then Twyford and others need to be sat in a small room and given remedial maths lessons until they can count to 61.

    • felix 14.2

      “the theme going forward is unity, discipline and WINNING. “

      Andrew Little has tiger blood.

  15. Charles 15

    “He repeated this comment this morning on Q&A saying that he could not see how a National Green economy could functionally work. He also said that he wanted a pre coalition deal ironed out. He did offer however an invitation to National to try and form a cross party consensus on climate change.”

    It’s almost as bad as “highly unlikely”, but marginally better, and at this stage “marginally better” is as good as anything gets. A pre-coaliton deal with National on environment issues would be a lot like negotiating a deal with a team of wild beavers in an attempt to save your forest during dam building season. The Greens know this, they aren’t dumb. It’s an unenvious postion: On one side they have a reluctant, easily embarrassed and defensive Labour Party; on the other, an aggressive National Party, going in completely the opposite policy direction; and all this happening inside a proudly irrational, wilfully uniformed and stridently conservative majority constituency. I hope it works.

    • weka 15.1

      The pre coalition deal being referred to is with Labour.

    • Macro 15.2

      Yes! Look at what happened when Labour and the Greens had an “agreement” on a Carbon Tax. The Greens only found out that the Tax had been watered down to an ETS when (the then co-leader Jeanette) saw a paper prepared for Labour which recommended an ETS in 2007. The Greens reluctantly had to agree with and ETS simply to get something in place wrt putting a price on Carbon. We can see now just how ineffectual that ETS was. It was just one example of how disrespectful Labour have been towards all their previous partners in government, and it is no more different now. I might say that Green MPs (and the Green Party in general) were particularly offended when Little overlooked the obvious candidate to replace Russell Norman. That sort of bully behaviour is not forgotten easily.
      As far as Parliamentary Labour are concerned, they still think in FPP mentalty, wishing only to have – if not a total majority – only a handful of others at their beck and call. That’s not going to happen.

      • Chooky 15.2.1

        +100 Macro…the Greens have to strike out on their own

        ….Labour is a totally unreliable partner…with delusions of grandeur … and a good neolib seasoning of betrayal of its own grassroots and history ( I hesitate to say corruption…more like self interest)

        …if a coalition happens it will only because Labour’s numbers are so low they are forced into it

        ….So GO GREENS for a mass movement including Mana/Int

        • marty mars 15.2.1.1

          yes labour would do it for labour’s reasons – like survival for instance. But willingly come to the table, with humility – nah I can’t see it – too many in that tent think the cyclic nature of politics will naturally bring them back

      • dukeofurl 15.2.2

        Thats a lovely lot of passive agression you show there.

        Since you remember 2007 so well lets look back at the numbers shall we.

        labour and its support parties 61 . Greens 6 – Remember they lost 3 seats as they slumped to just above the 5% mark.

        Greens had 10% of the votes of the rest the Government and they were going to dictate the final policy.?

        me thinks you are tad over indulged about what you were due !

        And ‘Little overlooked the obvious candidate to succeed Russel Norman’ ?

        You seem to find the need to have slights everywhere you look. WTF ?

        • weka 15.2.2.1

          Yeah, because point scoring was way more important than setting up systems to push society to take AGW seriously.

          /sarc.

          • dukeofurl 15.2.2.1.1

            Perhaps, but it was a compromise the get something done.
            Macro is the one who thinks a few Mps get to dictate to the rest of the government.
            Words used were ‘disrespectful’
            This person is complete doctrinaire , who if involved with the Greens leadership would be a prime factor to keeping them out of government.
            As has happened since the first green Mps were elected.

            • Macro 15.2.2.1.1.1

              It is disrespectful to those (whom you wish to support you in achieving change) to keep them in the dark as to what you intend to introduce! Remember that Clark had to have the support of the Greens to introduce any form of legislation wrt pricing Carbon -which she had indicated that she intended to do at the start of her administration. The Greens were in full support of that, and totally endorsed the introduction of a Carbon Tax that was proposed in her first term. But then it all changed within Labour – but they never aquainted the Green Party with the substantial changes until so late in the piece it became a toss up as to whether or not the Greens would support them.
              If you don’t keep the people you are working with in the loop then don’t expect to garner their respect.

  16. coaster 16

    i watched the nation this morning, as usual only half watching as getting things done takes precedence (probably like most politically uninformed people in nz) and i got the feeling that the new leader implied that the greens could work with national (im sorry i took it to mean go in coalition with) and the presenter said one his party said that would never happen and it was later implied that now could.

    maybe it was the way the interviewer skewed her qhsstions mixed with not realy listening, but i lokked up and thought holy hell, thats a kick in the teeth to labour.

    i cant be the only one here who got that impression.

    • dukeofurl 16.1

      You can bet tomorrows papers will spin it that way too:

      “Greens leaders big stumble” Or “Green leader leaves labour out in Cold”

      As you all know for some reason John Key and Stephen Joyce are allways consulted by the media on what Greens are thinking or where they are heading.

    • weka 16.2

      I just watched it coaster, and I think you’ve been left with the wrong impression. Shaw was very clear. This is what I heard from him

      1. protect the GP base

      2. grow the vote

      3. the issue isn’t values or policy (he states clearly he doesn’t think policy needs to change), it’s about whether the swing voters trust the GP to be competent in govt (he doesn’t use the term swing voter, but names current National voters for whom the GP would be second choice).

      4. his job is to convince those voters that the GP are credible and competent. He’s after the National vote.

      5. he personally, categorically rules out a coalition with National

      6. he does however want to work with them on policy, esp CC

      7. he acknowledges it’s not up to him, it’s up the members.

      8. the members don’t want a coalition deal with National either (that’s implied).

      It was a good interview. The above should reassure many people assuming they trust him and the party. Interesting to see how many people don’t (and I’m not talking the NACT spin crowd here).

  17. Michael 17

    Very nice post.

    I think Labour and the Greens need to work together and figure out how to position themselves to attract the highest collective vote: basically, minimize competition over votes on the left. The left should attempt to have an overall vote share higher than the right – how many of the left votes go to Labour and how many to the Greens shouldn’t be as much of an issue.

    But how far in cooperation should they go? Just cooperation on what a government would look like, or perhaps a clear political alliance?

    • dukeofurl 17.1

      If there is a clear alliance it would mean that the Greens accept the minor role and realise they are essentially labour voters with better jobs and houses. Dont kid themselves about being Minister of Finance

      Some of their platform areas are grandiosity and ignored by the voters they are aimed at. Thinking here of poorer people and maori/ polynesian.

      • Colonial Rawshark 17.1.1

        If the Greens get half the votes that Labour does, they should get half the Cabinet seats that Labour does.

        • weka 17.1.1.1

          +1

          One of the things that’s going to happen over the next few years is that some people are going to be confused because the GP doesn’t do macho politics. Lisa Owen struggled a bit in that Nation interview (or played devil’s advocate on behalf of the people struggling), she couldn’t get that the GP can rule out National and that be a good thing in terms of political strategy. Implication is they just gave up their leverage on Labour. But that’s not how the GP work.

          Labour now know they’ve got a choice. Shaw was really clear, we don’t want a repeat of 2014. Labour have a choice, they can hedge their bets on Peters and not do any coalition building until the election and take the risk (one they would almost certainly lose IMO), or they can use this opportunity to build a good working relationship with the Greens and have several years of presenting as competent and able to work together going into the election and both parties pick up the vote from people who just want a competent govt..

          • the pigman 17.1.1.1.1

            Sorry weka, but until you have Shaw publicly ruling out a confidence and supply agreement with National, you really have nothing solid to go from. Stuff like:

            “I have been clear on the campaign trail that while I don’t support a formal coalition with National, I am very open to working with National where there is common cause. Let us build common cause on climate change.”

            does nothing to counter that impression.

            • weka 17.1.1.1.1.1

              Sorry, but you don’t know what you are talking about. Even if Shaw did want to support formation of a National govt, Shaw doesn’t get to choose, the membership does. I’ve posted the relevant evidence for this in one of the leadership threads. Look it up.

              Further, when Shaw says ‘works with’, he is talking about on policy not C and S. He has repeatedly stated that he opposes the GP supporting formation of a National govt. You should know better than to rely on the MSM. Do your homework.

              • the pigman

                But leaders lead. You don’t think they are capable of taking their membership with them?

                How about a (not especially unlikely) scenario where Nats can’t reach 50% on their own, or with Winnie, but could with the Greens. Labour need both to form a government. Winston refuses to enter a LW coalition with a green deputy PM.

                Leaders put it to the Green membership. Ministerial spots outside cabinet in the offing, a lofty carbon reduction goal: “Come on, put the environment first”, urges Shaw.

                As the decision is made (and I don’t get to vote in GP leadership selections), we might as well leave it here. But if I were a green member, I would be watching his political positioning closely…

                Here’s a FIFY:

                “Further, when Shaw says ‘works with’, [I believe he is] he is talking about on policy not C and S.”

                • weka

                  “But leaders lead. You don’t think they are capable of taking their membership with them?”

                  You are really not paying attention. That is not how the GP works. If you think that Shaw can sway the membership in such a situation you are grossly ignorant of who the membership actually is, what they do, and how deepl involved they are in the party (and btw, it’s not a one member/one vote process).

                  (besides, your scenario is fantasy land. National will never offer the GP something that would tempt them, because such a Climate Change deal is so against everything they are doing. A lofty carbon reduction goal is only possible if you change the economy. Which is what the GP have been saying. National would have to change multiple policies including economic policy. Ain’t gonna happen).

                  “Further, when Shaw says ‘works with’, [I believe he is] he is talking about on policy not C and S.”

                  That tells me that you’ve not been listening to what Shaw says. I’m sick of explaining this. It’s been said more than enough in the past 3 days, with back up, so here’s my synopsis for anyone wanting to understand what the actual position is,

                  Labour and the Greens

                  • the pigman

                    This is an amazing example of how exactly the same words can mean different things to different people. If you would take off your green-tinted spectacles for a minute, we could always engage in some objective analysis of the very material you, yourself have cited.

                    If you were to do so, you would see clear as day there is nothing indicating the ruling out of a confidence and supply agreement. Nothing at all. In fact, arguably drawing the focus to opposition to a coalition is merely a fig leaf, and to a Tory MSM as you say, a dog whistle.

                    Lisa Owen gets that. Why don’t you I wonder?

                    Since you seem to feel comfortable speaking to/for a position he has not actually expressed, why hasn’t Shaw offered personal opposition to a C+S arrangement? Anyone’s guess.You can’t claim he is not saying anything because he’s ruled it out entirely. Maybe because it is sensible political positioning to use weasel words in the hope you can shave off 0.5% of the green-minded National vote.

                    • weka

                      It’s not about green tinted glasses, it’s just that I trust Shaw and I trust the GP. That’s based on experience with the GP over a long period of time, understanding hte kaupapa, and from following Shaw since he came into parliament (in other words, I’m not just watching a few MSM perspectives). I know this is hard for some people to accept or even believe any more, but there are still politicians out there with integrity.

                  • the pigman

                    Basically weka, if Shaw wanted to counter a misrepresentation by the Tory media, he would categorically rule out a C+S agreement with National.

                    You have to put aside what you may consider intractable policy differences (just look at Sir Pita Sharples’ Maori Party), and view this like the public watching a Tory MSM.

                    Tory MSM suggests you may work with National in a C+S agreement, you have two options:

                    a) categorically rule it out; or
                    b) don’t categorically rule it out (and at least dog whistle to the Right that you are open to it).

                    No sign that Shaw has chosen option a) to date.

                    • lprent

                      …he would categorically rule out a C+S agreement with National.

                      Why?

                      The role of the Green party is to get Green policies implemented. If they can do that with National, ie by having National break their back bending over backwards on their intractable policies, then they should allow themselves the freedom to do that.

                      If coming up to an election year, National indicates that they aren’t doing any such thing – then it is time to indicate that to the voters.

                      But I suspect that Shaw is way way less interested in going with National than he is with building a better relationship with businesses.

                      But think of it. National has managed to constrain Green vote several times by using “be scared of the Greens” tactics with the employed and employers. This is why their vote appears to be so soft between what the polls say (high at ~16-17%) and what the voters actually say (~10%). Moreover the gap is widening each election. It is like a brake on their ability to get anything done.

                      Some of that falloff can be attributed to their younger polling profile, which means they intersect MUCH more with enrolled non-vote. BTW: personally I’m inclined to not waste canvassing or polling resources on under 25 year olds. Sucks up time with very little return.

                      But I’d say that most of the support drop at the polling booth these days is from pocket book scare tactics with employees and employers. The best way to get around that is to get business people to stand up and say what Russell Norman was trying to get across. Being green doesn’t mean worse business. It just means you have to seek higher profit niche products sold worldwide – because they are green.

                      There are only so many voters who want to think about their children’s children until they are grandparents, or even their children until they have them. That limits Greens vote until they can convince voters of more immediate advantages.

                      From what I understand from listening to James Shaw – that is is his argument.

                      It is sensible. In fact it is basically the same argument that can and has been used by Labour in the past and probably in the future.

                      Unless you are a crony of National, almost all NZ businesses generally do better over the medium to long term with Labour. It isn’t hard to see that. The economic record of NZ shows that quite clearly. When Labour are in power for a few terms – productivity and economic activity go up. Generally government debt goes down despite increased expenditures on infrastructure (the 4th Labour government was an exception – however Muldoon really did leave a massive economic mess). Profits and real economic value per capita rise. Labour are far better managers of our societies economic management than National are.

                      This is all pretty easy to show. Just look at the revenue gathering accounts since the 1930s. Look at the stats that the stats department produces.

                      Of course the right wing idiots who will rush to rubbish these claims will do so without bothering to produce any credible figures. I have come to the conclusion over the years that they lack the basic honesty to do the basic numerical analysis that refutes their personal bigotries…. Lets watch them.

                    • weka

                      “No sign that Shaw has chosen option a) to date.”

                      Probably because no-on has asked him directly as everyone assumes “we will not go into govt with National” = no formal coalition agreement and no C and S agreement.

                      The only way your argument makes sense is if Shaw is deliberately misleading the GP, the MSM and the public. Which would be very stupid for any politician in his position.

            • Colonial Rawshark 17.1.1.1.1.2

              The Parliamentary Left must be able to present a united co-ordinated front against National, and must also be able to offer a clear alternative vision which puts significant daylight between them and the approach that the NATs are taking.

              Failing to do that means that National remains favourites to win in 2017.

              • weka

                Yep, and next time someone puts up a post about that I hope we can discuss how that might happen instead of getting distracted into myths about the GP and National.

            • maui 17.1.1.1.1.3

              Look what he says at 7:47 in this Q+A interview with Corin Dann:
              http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/james-shaw-wants-woo-business-leaders-green-policy-6326998

              Dann: “And no confidence and supply deal with National?”

              Shaw: “Uh, no I can’t really imagine it, I can’t see how it would work.” (and starts chuckling)

              *Even Dann doesn’t believe there’s any chance of it from his wording.

              • weka

                thanks!!! Will add it to my synopsis below.

                Of course to the pigman, that won’t be seen as an unequivocal assertion, Shaw is being sneaky etc 🙄

        • Clemgeopin 17.1.1.2

          Only if they go it alone and not expect a pre-election understanding or coalition deal with Labour first, because that takes votes away from Labour to the Greens.

  18. Facetious 18

    The Greens must start by accepting their junior role in any coalition. Labour should
    always be the main player. Mr Shaw knows it full well.

      • dukeofurl 18.1.1

        25% is the worst it ever gets, 10% is the best it gets.
        You tell me how that will play out.

        • Colonial Rawshark 18.1.1.1

          Labour arrogance served Labour so well in Scotland, didn’t it?

          • dukeofurl 18.1.1.1.1

            I think that in Scotland you will find that Labour thought SNP lacked Solidarity

            Im sure you know what that means in the labour movement. You are a living example of it.

            • Colonial Rawshark 18.1.1.1.1.1

              I see the authoritarian left still has some life to it. But still tone deaf to what voters have been saying.

              • Facetious

                Not authoritarian but realistic. Mr Shaw must moderate the extreme faction of the Green Party if he is going to succeed forging a partnership with Labour.

                [I will let this one through but I wonder what you are talking about Facetious. What is extreme about the greens? – MS]

                • dukeofurl

                  Isnt one extreme green view that Coal Mining must cease ?

                  The moderate green view is no new coal mines ?

                  • You’ll find that the Green Party policy is no new mines, 100% renewable energy by 2030.

                    That’s not radical, it’s just part of what we need to do in order to;
                    a. meet our international commitments
                    b. set a leadership example to the world
                    c. pull our weight when it comes to addressing ongoing climate change which then leads to
                    d. returning some pride to NZ

                    Continuing to burn coal in order to generate power is more than radical, it’s suicidal.

                    • David Bachman

                      I think coal mining is an area the Green Party could broaden their appeal with compromise, stay true to their course and make a fiscally biased decision.

                      There are grades of coal, they fetch a scale of prices on the world market. At the bottom is the muck they shunt through power stations. The most expensive stuff is used for a purpose that we currently have no other viable way of doing. High grade coking coal is used to turn iron ore into steel.

                      We’ve got quite a bit of this Champagne Coal in NZ. Lets mine coal for a while, but only this high margin coking coal, best coal in the world. The Brits loved it so much, for a while they freighted Westcoast coal around the world to power their Navy.

                    • Why would we not use that coal to support the development of high tech engineering here in NZ?

                      Digging up our finite or limited resources and giving them to other nations so they can benefit from their use is just plain dumb.

                      And leave most of it in the ground, mining it slowly.
                      Because that’s all we have of it for the next forever.

                    • weka

                      Agreed. Trading it for ones and zeros is very short sighted, we should save it for essential post-carbon infrastructure building.

                  • maui

                    I know what I’d pick between stopping all coal mining and risking the lives of the next generation.

                    • dukeofurl

                      You do know that coal is essential for steel making.

                      I suppose we could go back to wooden nails

                    • maui

                      Well if we screw it up for future generations at least they’ll be able to say that we risked their lives on the important stuff…

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      There are some moral uses of coal and oil left. Making steel for diesel SUVs is not amongst them. Making steel for a nationwide electric rail network is.

                • Oh No!

                  Rabid social democrats!

                  We must take a stand against those ideologies who believe in democratic process, quality education, and infrastructure that serves the communities of NZ.

                  Their speeches on ethics, rule of law and good governance assault the senses. How dare they!
                  Throw the savages out!

  19. Mike the Savage One 19

    Reality is, the Greens will first need to internally sort out, what their policy priorities will be for the future, and what will be non negotiable, sort of. James Shaw is talking about discussing policy, direction and approach, I understand.

    Looking at the votes for the male co-leader, there appears to be a split within the member base, that is the ones that were entitled to cast their votes.

    As I remember 44 percent wanted Hague to take over from Russel, and 54 chose James Shaw. Yes, James got the job, in the first round, and with a clear enough majority. But see, there were 46 percent preferring another male co-leader, of them 45 percent to go more along the left of centre direction, as I would describe it.

    Of course James Shaw is not “right” of centre as such, but he is perceived as such by some, especially the media and those in the public, given his “business” background, and being an urban professional who worked for PWC.

    James’ mention that there will be much discussion about policy and new approaches means simply, that the Greens first need to agree to a joint policy program and direction, before Greens and Labour can even sit down and talk about how they will work together, to fight the next election, and form an alternative government.

    I am surprised that few if any here discuss the actual vote result, and what it actually means (54 against 44, two candidates being “out” on just one percent each). It seems as if many younger, newer Green members want a new direction, but the older, more traditional members may feel a bit less comfortable about changing too much.

    Perhaps consider Kevin Hague’s great disappointment, at not getting the vote he needed, it says more than just being disappointed about not getting the position and failing in that one voting process. He does appear to stand for a certain direction, which would represent only a gradual, moderate change from what the Greens stood for so far.

    And forget not, what is happening within Labour, they need to get their act together, what is happening with their “review” of policy and priorities? Soon we will be one year into the Nats’ third three year term, and within a year they need to get ready for an election again, still not having much of clear policy, which most in the public cannot see or grasp.

    Heaps needs to be sorted out, within Greens and Labour now, right now.

    • weka 19.1

      James Shaw is talking about discussing policy, direction and approach, I understand.

      Nope. On The Nation he baldly stated that GP policy doesn’t need to change.

      Looking at the votes for the male co-leader, there appears to be a split within the member base, that is the ones that were entitled to cast their votes.

      As I remember 44 percent wanted Hague to take over from Russel, and 54 chose James Shaw. Yes, James got the job, in the first round, and with a clear enough majority. But see, there were 46 percent preferring another male co-leader, of them 45 percent to go more along the left of centre direction, as I would describe it.

      That’s not a very good representation of what happened. There will be a big chunk of voters who put Shaw first, Hague second, and vice versa. The people who voted were delegates, on instruction from members in their area. We have no idea what the spread of preference was at the membership level. I think there will be a hard core of members who wanted Hague, but I think that is more about Hague as a person than the politics (he has loyal supporters).

      I think you will find that many long term members supported Shaw. The idea that Shaw is taking the party in a certain direction away from GP values does not match what I am seeing at all.

      “It seems as if many younger, newer Green members want a new direction, but the older, more traditional members may feel a bit less comfortable about changing too much.”

      I’m going to ask you to provide some evidence for that. Thus far I see a lot of speculation, and much of it off base.

      • Mike the Savage One 19.1.1

        “Nope. On The Nation he baldly stated that GP policy doesn’t need to change.”

        Surely must be a typo, as James did not look that “bald” to me.

        But getting onto the policy matter, he said things on The Nation this late morning, that gave me, and I am sure many other viewers, the impression, that he wanted more discussion about policy. That is what he basically said, I do not remember the exact words though.

        It sounds as if changes will be suggested to be made, which will be discussed, so I would not simply rely on policies remaining as they are in the present Green Party program.

        http://www.3news.co.nz/tvshows/thenation/interview-greens-co-leader-james-shaw-2015053110#axzz3bgampxaP

        • weka 19.1.1.1

          No, you are wrong. Lisa Owen pushed quite hard on the policy issue, and he was very clear. Policy doesn’t need to change, and he then outlined how he believes they can grow the vote (without sacrificing policy or values). He was very clear. Go back and watch it again, and if you disagree, post the time in the interview where you think he claimed what you are saying and I’ll take a look.

          • Mike the Savage One 19.1.1.1.1

            Sorry, it was on Q+A on TV One after all, where James conceded, “we are obviously in conversation about policies”, after Corin Dann confronted him with questions about Green Party policies, which he claimed were not appealing to business:

            http://tvnz.co.nz/q-and-a-news/fresh-green-co-leader-first-live-tv-in-depth-interview-video-6326982

            Listen especially from about 1 minute and 15 seconds onwards into that video!

            All I hear is endless talk about “economic credibility”, also in the interview with Lisa Owen on TV3 today. As mentioned earlier, our economic system is undeniably capitalist, and to a fair degree free market, indeed one of the “most liberal economies” to do business in.

            So the message is clear, this means, that James Shaw, although defending existing policies at the same time, is actually admitting that he wishes to discuss policy, and that suggests changes in policy, so they will appeal to more voters, who have in the past voted National.

            What is the main difference in appeal between Nats and traditional Greens? The Nats believe in free market enterprise, and capitalism, and to convince former (possibly swing-) voters of National to turn to the Greens, this will necessitate making the Greens a sustainability promoting, somewhat environmentally concerned free market, business friendly party.

            I cannot believe it is that hard to comprehend. James Shaw clearly intends to propose policy changes within the party, that will of course be discussed by the members, but he seems intent on generating debate, and on bringing in his “experience” and views, thus hoping to convince and achieve changed policies.

            Yet some within the Greens, and other progressive forces, would blame the existing capitalist system for being to blame for the environmental disaster. Unless I am wrong, we can expect changes in policy, to “tweak” the existing system, and get a great experiment of a “new” system, which may be good and deliver, but will that appeal to voters, I wonder?

            Anyway, I have to do other things and will follow the further developments with interest.

            • weka 19.1.1.1.1.1

              “So the message is clear, this means, that James Shaw, although defending existing policies at the same time, is actually admitting that he wishes to discuss policy, and that suggests changes in policy, so they will appeal to more voters, who have in the past voted National.”

              No, as I have already explained, on The Nation he explicitly said policy wasn’t an issue, that he wants to get the Nat votes by changing how people trust the GP on economics etc.

              On Q and A he says:

              “We are obviously involved in a conversation about policy” and then goes on to talk about how the real issue is that part of the electorate having confidence in the GP’s ability to govern (which is what he said on The Nation). It’s unclear who he means by ‘we’, but I’d take it as the GP and the business community (Dann had asked him specifically about them). He’s using a politician tactic to avoid saying that business needs to change.

              At 2:25 he says “we will be going into 2017 with a new set of policies, a more fleshed out programme”, but when Dann questions him on that, he says it’s not up to him to review policy, it’s up to the party. I take that to mean he wants to make the policies more robust and presentable.

              But let’s say you are right, and he intends to shift the party right. Can you please point to 3 specific things that indicate that, policy or values or beliefs that he holds?

              btw, Vernon Tava was the one that campaigned explicitly on moving the party right (he doesn’t call it that though). The party roundly rejected him as leader.

              • Mike the Savage One

                “At 2:25 he says “we will be going into 2017 with a new set of policies, a more fleshed out programme”, but when Dann questions him on that, he says it’s not up to him to review policy, it’s up to the party. I take that to mean he wants to make the policies more robust and presentable.”

                You choose to believe what you wish, and have faith in what you prefer, that is ok.

                To me it all means, James Shaw is keen to bring new ideas into discussion within the Green Party, and given his background, he believes we can solve the issues of climate change and environmental degradation and destruction by simply using market forces and a business approach.

                It all depends on how that will look like and will be done, but I do not for one moment believe, that a small party, led by an idealist, business friendly new co-leader, will change the financial and economic system dominantly ruling the affairs of humans on this planet, by tweaking it a bit here or there.

                I have given up on this approach, I think something more radical will need to be done, and it can only be done by having forces operate in a well coordinated strategy on a global scale.

                As to what party can get this moving, I am starting to doubt more and more, whether there is any party in the NZ Parliament, that is up to this.

                • Colonial Viper

                  if we want to avoid disaster in the next 20-30 years, a radical change agenda is required. Better than National and better than Labour is no longer good enough, by far. We are out of time.

                  • weka

                    I also agree that a radical change agenda is needed. However I remain unconvinced that the GP should lead the charge at the risk of losing their ability influence. None of us are putting our money where our mouths are, why should they? I also think that the GP will follow if a radical movement arises outside of parliament.

                    “To me it all means, James Shaw is keen to bring new ideas into discussion within the Green Party, and given his background, he believes we can solve the issues of climate change and environmental degradation and destruction by simply using market forces and a business approach.”

                    Yes, we are both entitled to our beliefs, but I haven’t seen what you say about Shaw and I’m challenging you to give examples. He has plenty if himself in the public domain. Otherwise it looks like you projecting your own pessimism onto him and I think it’s unwarranted at this stage.

                    As Naturesong says, policy gets worked on all the time within the GP. But that doesn’t mean that Shaw is intending to turn the GP into a market economy flag bearer (in fact he is saying the opposite). And even if he did want to do that, he can’t (getting sick of having to explain this).

                  • maui

                    We’re not going to avoid disaster, western society is drunk on oil and behind the wheel. But the Greens will be there to pick up the mess or another party with similar goals. Whether things are recoverable from there who knows. The Greens at least will put us on the right path, by that stage at least people will be voting for radical change to stay alive.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      If we don’t change our ways soon then by that time we’ll be having a bloody revolution and the people that caused it will still be selling rope.

                    • Yep – everyone will claim to be a green voter then and the bonfires of documents implicating the truth will light the sky red.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      The Greens at least will put us on the right path, by that stage at least people will be voting for radical change to stay alive.

                      The Greens will get us on to a better path, but that path will still lead into tragic climate and resource disaster. I find myself dissatisfied with that.

                • You do know that the Green party has developed and revised its policies continually for the last 25 years?
                  We’re starting to get the hang of it now

                  With Shaw stating his intention to work toward two main goals for the 2017 election (growing the membership and using GW as the spearhead policy) it makes sense to revisit those polices again with fresh eyes.

                  I advocated for Hague, but I’m not upset Shaw won, in fact I’m cautiously optimistic.

                • Atiawa

                  I never heard him say he wants to be the PM.

                  Which co leader carries that aspiration for the GP?

            • felix 19.1.1.1.1.2

              mike, I watched the Q+A interview and was left with the distinct impression that:

              1. policy is not the issue,

              2. lots of kiwis actually like green policies but don’t vote green,

              3. getting those people to vote green is more about showing them that the greens are competent and ready to be in govt than it is about changing policies.

              I thought he was very clear.

    • Craig H 19.2

      The Labour internal reviews are either done or nearly done, so they will be complete and any action agreed on by September (and probably before that), which is 1 year out from the last election.

      Policy work is being done – Policy Council is currently being elected, policy remits were sent by the regional conferences to the national conference to decide on/select from, and national conference is soon.

      I assure everyone here that Labour is highly aware of needing to start the election cycle ASAP, so we did.

      • Mike the Savage One 19.2.1

        Thanks for that info!

        Let us hope that some good stuff comes out of it, after all.

      • Colonial Rawshark 19.2.2

        I am predicting that the more mainstream and broadly acceptable the Green Party now projects in appearance, policy and comment, the weaker they will get.

        I suspect that the old Values Party were economic and social revolutionaries in comparison to the current GP.

        • weka 19.2.2.1

          And yet the GP has been getting more mainstream over its life and is getting stronger and stronger.

          • Colonial Rawshark 19.2.2.1.1

            I’m not talking about strength in terms of votes and money.

            • weka 19.2.2.1.1.1

              “I’m not talking about strength in terms of votes and money.”

              Neither am I?

              “Although having said that, in 2002 the Greens got 7.0%. Last year 2014 they got 10.8%. How do you reckon that mainstream traction going for them”

              Says the Labour party member 😉

              The GP are doing pretty good for all things considered (you just demonstrated a 50% increase over 12 years). We’ve already had the conversation about their effectiveness. How about you say what you think will weaken them and how, put it out there so we know what you are actually talking about.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                In the 1970s the Values Party was talking about the need for a steady state economy. It was radical, it was edgy, it was far outside the mainstream.

                The Green Party of today would never dare push such a thing.

                • weka

                  Ecological Sustainability: Economic activity occurs at a rate and at a scale that provides quality of life over generations, maintains the capacity of global and local ecosystems to sustain themselves, and protects valued natural environments. Climate stabilisation is an overarching policy goal that all policy needs to support.

                  https://home.greens.org.nz/policy/economic

                  Tell me how one could achieve the above without a steady state economy?

                  From the Green Charter,

                  Ecological Wisdom:
                  The basis of ecological wisdom is that human beings are part of the natural world. This world is finite, therefore unlimited material growth is impossible. Ecological sustainability is paramount.

                  Social Responsibility:
                  Unlimited material growth is impossible. Therefore the key to social responsibility is the just distribution of social and natural resources, both locally and globally.

                  And this from 2008,

                  https://blog.greens.org.nz/2008/10/27/daly-and-suzuki-on-the-folly-of-growth/

                  I think you are confusing pragmatics around transition with watering down or something. You can’t get from where we are now to a steady state economy in one leap, you have to transition. That’s what the GP policies are about.

                  I’m starting to find it funny the people here who are making out that the GP is something its not. Getting a bit tedious too though.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    if the Greens back a zero growth steady state economy they have not said so. And i am betting that they won’t.

                    • weka

                      You appear to be having trouble understanding what I am saying. You can talk in absolutes if you want, but you still haven’t demonstrated how the GP will get weaker becoming more mainstream..

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Just watch and see

                    • weka

                      🙄

                      (I’ll file that under making shit up).

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      You are welcome to be dismissive and I welcome you coming back to me in 18 or 24 months demonstrating how you knew best and I was “making shit up.”

          • Colonial Rawshark 19.2.2.1.2

            Although having said that, in 2002 the Greens got 7.0%. Last year 2014 they got 10.8%. How do you reckon that mainstream traction going for them?

      • Sacha 19.2.3

        “Policy Council is currently being elected”

        What, you haven’t had one since before the election? With respect, that aint asap. Pull finger.

        • Colonial Rawshark 19.2.3.1

          Policy Council was elected many many weeks ago, as far as I know.

          • mickysavage 19.2.3.1.1

            Aye

          • Craig H 19.2.3.1.2

            Nominations were extended, and closed May 15. Labour had a Policy Council prior to the election – elections are held following each General Election.

            That said, Policy Council doesn’t set policy – it drafts and consolidates policy proposals from the regional conferences, and develops new polices, but policies must be adopted by national conference into the policy platform and manifesto.

            I note that bottom-up policy stymies the media quite badly, because they can’t get their heads around the concept that policy isn’t set daily or weekly by caucus, it’s approved annually by the members.

        • Jenny Kirk 19.2.3.2

          We always have a Policy Council. And it regularly gets re-elected. That’s what’s happening now. Its just part of the process. And the process is being reviewed to make it more in sync with what is happening elsewhere – ie changes within Labour. That has been on-going since the 2014 election, and is in completion stages now. Along with everything else the Labour Parlty is doing internally.

          • Colonial Rawshark 19.2.3.2.1

            It’s a year of inward looking. And there is an implicit assumption that inappropriate or unsuitable processes were central to Labour’s defeat in 2014.

  20. David Bachman 20

    All fulfilling and mutually beneficial relationships embrace compromise. Husband and wife or 2 political parties.

  21. Thinker 21

    Greens don’t just have to pinch votes from Labour to grow.

    People from all political persuasions care about green issues.

    I’m not talking about greens ‘cosying up with National’ but rather being there when some National voters realise that their concern about NZs environmental future, legacy of this generation on future generations, etc is more important to them free trade deals and such like.

    With careful planning, it could happen, in my opinion.

    • Clemgeopin 21.1

      Don’t you think that the REST of the wide world should be doing stuff much more than NZ to really make a meaningful difference?

  22. David Bachman 22

    Winston has the luxury of: “We’re telling you nothing prior to the vote count.”

    The left do not. I believe an election winning Left will have to have a clearly defined offering. The votes that need to be won back won’t buy into:

    “You might get that joker and his party persuasion running the finances of New Zealand or you might get this other guy and his party.”

    Based on a hypothetical outcome, prior to a campaign cranking up, major portfolios will require allocating within the incoming Lab/Green coalition. The minor portfolios allocated once we have an election result.

    Going alone with full shadow minister duplication is of course an option, I think it’s a path that will leave us with a Nat Government.

  23. weka 23

    Re the Green Party supporting the formation of a National government (either formal coalition or via Confidence and Suppy). Both James Shaw and the Green Party itself have repeatedly stated that they will not form a government with National.

    The membership developed the current position, which is below (2011 version, there is a more recent one that is worded slightly differently).

    Please note that the GP use the term ‘work with’ to mean work on policy. They don’t mean support formation of govt or support on C and S.

    1. Overall political positioning

    Agrees that, until such time as we are in a position to lead a government, the Green Party will campaign on the basis of the following political position:

    (i) The Green Party is an independent and distinct party, which in order to urgently advance Green Party policy goals, will attempt to work constructively with, and challenge, whichever party leads the government after an election;

    (ii) To enable any party or parties to form a government, we would need significant progress on Green Party environmental, economic and social policies and initiatives that would give effect to the Green Party Charter.

    2. 2011 election positioning

    Agrees that for the 2011 general election, the Green Party, as an independent party, will campaign on the following political position:

    (i) Based on current Labour and National Party policy positions, the Green Party has a preference to consider supporting a Labour-led government in the right circumstances, ahead of a National-led government;

    (ii) The Green Party could work with a National-led government to progress particular Green Party policies as we have over the last three years; but based on current National Party policy positions and track record it is highly unlikely that we could support a National-led government on confidence and supply.

    https://home.greens.org.nz/press-releases/independent-greens-could-support-labour-national-unlikely

    That is how the position stands, and it was developed over time and voted on by the delegates representing branch members at the AGM. It can’t be changed by the leader.

    Yesterday Matthew Whitehead outlined the process of entering into a coalition,

    …the leaders literally do not have any power to make coalition agreements, or to veto them. All they have is influence within the party in this regard, and the delegated power to negotiate on behalf of the members.

    The delegates at the AGM have to agree to any coalition arrangement proposed by the leaders or by caucus, and they are instructed on how to consider their vote by the members they stand for. It is the delegates who are (currently) opposed to any arrangement beyond the MoUs on agreeable policy areas like insulation.

    New Greens male co-leader: James Shaw

    Q and A 31/5/15 (the day after Shaw is made co-leader), starting at 4:46

    Dann: what is your position on working with National?

    Shaw: what I have said is that my personal preference is that we do not consider a coalition with them, I just can’t see how that would functionally work. But that is a decision for Green Party members to make as we approach the 2017 election. Having said that I do think we need to revive the Memorandum of Understanding that we’ve had with National. I think New Zealanders really want their politicians to work together on the big challenges in between elections even if we compete like crazy at election time for votes.

    http://tvnz.co.nz/q-and-a-news/fresh-green-co-leader-first-live-tv-in-depth-interview-video-6326982

    The Nation 31/5/15, starting at 11mins

    Shaw: What I said is that, if it was up to me, I would rule out a coalition with National at the next election, and I think that we should go into the next election presenting an credible alternative government to National. But that actually, there are some areas of common ground, that we should seek to find those areas and work together.

    Lisa Owen: But even that’s a bit of a shift isn’t it because at the last election it was ‘highly unlikely’.

    Shaw: Well it was highly unlikely. I would say it’s even less likely now.

    Owen: But you’ve said ‘not ruling out’.

    Shaw: No, I think I’ve said that if it was up to me I would rule out a coalition with National.

    Owen: Yes, so that in itself is a shift.

    Shaw: Yes, yes it is.

    [bit about relationship with Labour]

    Owen: So just to be clear, you are ruling out entirely, in your view, any kind of coalition deal with National?

    Shaw: Well, yeah, personally, but you have to understand that is actually a decision that the Green Party members will make. They will decide.

    http://www.3news.co.nz/tvshows/thenation/interview-greens-co-leader-james-shaw-2015053110#axzz3bmvB20Kd

    Shaw’s first speech as co-leader,

    I have been clear on the campaign trail that while I don’t support a formal coalition with National, I am very open to working with National where there is common cause.

    https://www.greens.org.nz/news/speeches/james-shaw-speech-2015-green-agm

    And finally, because it needs to be stated baldly as often as possible, this from leftwing blogger/activits Anarkaytie,

    The interesting thing about this point is that “highly unlikely” was clarified multiple times – National had to dump their opposition to climate action, for one thing – but it was never published in MSM.

    I don’t count myself as high in the party membership hierarchies, but I saw that clarification go round multiple times, on multiple platforms. The stranglehold of Key’s PR machine on editorial content kept it out of the papers.

    Journalists pretending not to understand that position are merely venal lapdogs of the Nat machine – I’m thinking Cathy Odgers/Whale rather than Tracy Watkins, here, in case anyone is confused.

    Labour and the Greens

  24. David Bachman 24

    The contributors to these threads are not the hearts that need to be won, they’re won. I don’t think rumours of a Nat/Green romance, regardless of how unfounded will do too much harm to the Left cause. The task at hand is: Seducing as many as possible that ticked blue last time into ticking Left next time. The Green line fed to Nat supporters has been ‘Impossible dreamers with their heads in lala land.’

    Is a slide towards ‘Phoar, they’re a bit of alright, we could hop into bed with them’ so bad? The Green Crew may very well feel “Ewww, no way stinky.” But is it detrimental to the ultimate aim for such a rumour to be circulating out there? I think it helps pull the Greens into the soft Nat voter’s radar.

    • weka 24.1

      There were people here on ts at the last election who said they weren’t voting GP and instead voted Mana, because of the fear that the GP would go with National (despite it being explained well to them). Lost votes. I’m sure some went to Labour as well.

      • Clemgeopin 24.1.1

        I don’t think you had me in mind, did you, knowing that I voted IMP?

        I voted Mana (IMP) but not for the Green reason you have stated.
        Mine was a lost vote to Labour, but again, not for the Green reason you have stated.

        • weka 24.1.1.1

          No, it was people I had conversations with at the time about the National/GP issue.

    • Clemgeopin 24.2

      May be the Greens should try and persuade Bridges to cross a bridge or ten, and defect to the Greens asap. What a miraculous scoop that would be!

  25. David Bachman 25

    If the mission is to topple Key. Allegiances moving around between the parties on the left is noise, a diversion. Governing draws no closer. Painful as it may be to the staunch left, election winning policy/campaigns won’t make those that vote left regardless, delighted. Political success is all about sculpting compromise to suit a party’s best interests. eg: Nationals slide to the left. They know we’re all lefties at heart, pocket the silver spoon and break bread.

    I don’t think the Nat voter that could vote Green warms too much to: “Stop all Mining now.” But I do think hot buttons could be pushed by “Nice catch mate, but I’m sorry you can’t eat that salmon, too much mercury.”

    I think it’s great that a person that has been a global business consultant is now a Green co-leader. I think James will entertain the sorts of things I’m talking about. That said, I think it’s even better that Green leaders are merely influential spokespeople for the members of the party. In this electronic age, a situation/proposal/idea/direction could be presented to the faithful and after an online discussion, a democratic decision arrived at promptly, a few days. I think the potential for expanding that idea is large. An attractive point of difference. ‘Join the Greens and have a real say.’

    • Colonial Rawshark 25.1

      The mission is a two parter. Neither part has much value unless they come together.

      1) To topple Key and his Government, as you say.
      2) To replace it with something much better and very different.

      Otherwise we will simply get rid of Key and have in power Red Tories with a splash of Greenwash. Why would you bother?

      • David Bachman 25.1.1

        Perception is everything. Love em or hate em, the Nats have been quite successful over the last while. They’ve got a shop-front featuring Florence Nightingales and a backroom of Gordon Gekkos.

        So why not campaign on ‘Not holus bolus mining, we’ll export high quality, high margin coking coal for the manufacture of steel when the world market strikes price X.’ Fiscal and Green sense. But not Gordon out the back, a backroom that is trialling equipment, methods and opening up markets for a ‘Give a Damn’ future. Then the miners will have a job/future to slide over into when the pits close. A viable way forward, not: ‘Shut all mines now.’

        • weka 25.1.1.1

          I think current policy is no new mines, no mines on conservation estate, no lignite mines, and withdrawing investments from coal. The ‘no mining at all’ thing is a media and/or Nact beat up. The GP do want NZ to transition to post-carbon, but that’s a process backed up by replacing jobs over time (and we don’t need to sell high quality coal to do that).

          Why are you so keen that we keep selling this finite resource for short term monetary profit?

  26. David Bachman 26

    Coal, trees, milk powder, no matter. I’m suggesting a paradigm slide in the shop-front. I think it is what is needed to win over enough blue tickers to win an election.

    Yes, I think you’re right re: current Green policy on mining. Joe Blue Voter’s understanding of the policy is: ‘Concrete em all over.”

    We’re just winning an election here, the blue voter sexy stuff may never happen.

    18 months in….”Great news and greater news we’ve got 3 mines that are returning 700% on your investment underway but we’ve got something better coming online.”

    A winning Labour strategy would be different again, targeting the same species with different bait.

  27. David Bachman 27

    Done right, maybe I’m just wishful thinking, it would be great for a hot Lab/Green combo to pull it off without having to dance with the Silver Fox.

    NZ needs to know what that combo looks like before the organ grinder starts. I think portfolios should be allocated to those deemed most likely to woo the blue. Green or Labour, no matter. Surprise changes may happen post election.

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