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1:42 pm, April 11th, 2014 - 162 comments
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So the Greens want a pre-election coalition deal and a formal working together for election.
And Labour don’t.
That doesn’t mean that there’s a big split between the 2 parties, any more than different policies on Deep Sea Drilling do – if they agreed on everything, they’s be the same party.
It’s simple – there’s advantages for the Greens, so they want the pre-election deal. There’s not for Labour, so they don’t. It needs them both to agree, so it won’t happen, and the Greens will live with it – it was just a proposal.
They and the public all know that after the election Labour and the Greens will have to come to an agreement to govern. If there are Labour ministers, there will be Green ministers. Nothing promised from either side beforehand, as that weakens the negotiating hand – but it will happen. What gets negotiated will depend on what numbers each side gets.
Advantage for Greens: First in, best dressed; guaranteed alliance, ministries, equal partnership.
Disadvantage for Labour: Added complexity in coalition negotiations (trying to fit others into a pre-ordained agreement); lose ‘big party’ status (the 2 are seen as equal if it’s described as “Labour-Greens” instead of “Labour-led”); some loss of interest from centrist voters.
So Guyon on Morning Report this morning, desperately trying to get Cunliffe to say something to put the Greens nose out of joint – let it rest. Everybody knows the position, let’s move on.
And to all those who think coalition agreements should be done beforehand so voters know what they’re getting? It’s just not practical.
You say who you’re likely to work with, who you can work with, and who you can’t. But until you know the hand voters give you, there’s no way you can say what the agreement will be. You don’t know what other sides will insist on, how much of your manifesto you can negotiate in. Even a percentage point or 2 can change your hand drastically if it tips the balance. And how many ministries you need to trade for how many policies…
Labour and the Greens have said they’re likely to work together – they’ll need to, and their policies are very similar. Labour’s said they can work with NZ First, Mana and even the Maori Party; they can’t work with National or Act if it still exists. That’s all they can give you pre-election, and we shouldn’t expect any more.
thanks …very succinct…and it needs to be broadcast repeatedly to the public by both Labour and the Greens
Two totally different Parties, Bunji. Their projectories are entirely different. Perhaps pointing in the same direction but at very different angles and speeds.
Labour under Cunliffe will become the party that represents growth, opportunity, safety and sustainability for the workers, the families, the ethnic minorities and the marginalised.
The Greens are a group of comfortable middle class pakeha who would rather love everything to change a little bit in a somewhat better direction.
Cunliffe job and the job of every Labour member is to maximise the vote for Labour. He made the right call. Keep it up David.
Meteria Turei… “comfortable middle class pakeha” 🙄
“Cunliffe job and the job of every Labour member is to maximise the vote for Labour”
I agree. So why isn’t he doing that?
Cunliffe is probably busy having to respond to the politicking around the Green’s bad faith proposal and consequent fallout from them leaking the response.
I doubt it would have been the Greens that leaked it. Plenty of precedents of leaks in the Labour caucus though.
Yeah, it just happens that everything from the form of the proposal (that Labour obviously wouldn’t buy in a million years) to the leaking of the rejection completely benefits the Greens to the detriment of Labour.
But of course, nothing to do with the Green Party.
Plenty of precedent of stupid short-sighted own-goal leaks in the Labour caucus too.
At least one Green MP I know was happily talking about it at a party I attended recently. They’re humans not saints.
“Cunliffe is probably busy having to respond to the politicking around the Green’s bad faith proposal and consequent fallout from them leaking the response.”
Doesn’t explain his behaviour for the previous 6 months though. Why is he still not making the move that established Labour as a left wing party again, and bring back the lost non-votes?
It is clear that Labour is not a right wing party based on the debates in parliament, the statements from its leader and MPs, and looking at the POLICIES announced so far.
In reality Labour policies encompass a broad spectrum from the so called
Far Left ( e.g, buy back assets) to Left (e.g, control power prices) to Centre (e.g, tax regime)
By the time of the next election in Sept, after all the policies are announced and discussed in the election campaign proper, I think lots of the non voters from both left and right will drift in back towards Labour.
“By the time of the next election in Sept, after all the policies are announced and discussed in the election campaign proper, I think lots of the non voters from both left and right will drift in back towards Labour”
That’s just not going to happen. Labour led by Cunliffe is a magnitude better than that ‘led’ by Shearer, yet here we are months out from an election and no traction, no momentum and clearly no headway being made to catch up and overtake the national party and it’s crony coalition partners.
Only way Labour could ever win back another 10% of the party vote is to get rid of the old guard that have failed since 08, grow a pair and commit to policy that’s radical, equitable and sustainable. This sadly, they are unable or unwilling to do.
I don’t really blame DC, he’s hamstrung by the failed and doesn’t own the parliamentary caucus, and it shows. I think what he needs to remember is that he won’t get another chance post election defeat, so if he’s got the gonads, now is the time to give them an airing. Again, I don’t think this will happen.
Me, I was a life long Labour voter (here and GB), yet now I have no qualms in voting Green.
I don’t think of it as deserting or abandoning my past or letting go of tradition, more like deciding to party vote to get the best left government available, and the more than do likewise, the louder the left voice being heard.
The dinosaurs can’t be trusted, and to borrow a tory slogan – Labour isn’t working.
I think from the moment he took the reigns DC has been under attack by the msm. Some on the DB have talk about the smear campaign against Dot Com, but I think it has been just as bad for DC, (remember that crazy story about him helping his friend buy a house as if it was all very suss).
I don’t know what’s going on in the Labour Caucus, but if anyone doubts DC wants to take Labour to the left, I have two things to say, policies to date (excepting super) and Matt McCarten. My impression is that the Labour Caucus appear to be firing. Jones, Robertson against Collins, even Trevor Mallard over the PGA contract being terminated. Hipkins too.
My hunch and my hope is that National are starting to unravel and it will continue and get worse and Labour/Cunliffe, like the horse a little behind in the race is going to gain that momentum and cross the finish line.
DC has not got enough media coverage and exposure yet. Often it has been for negative reasons, some legitimate, but many for unfair reasons. The so called political commentators or journalists have been quite often unkind unnecessarily without merit.
The treatment they mete out to Key is different and favourable.
The media makes or breaks politicians. But in the end, I think people will slowly see through the media tricks and bias.
So, even if Cunliffe’s personal rating goes even lower, one must not worry too much at this stage. It will go up by Sept by when he and the policies would have got more exposure
What about pushing the pension age further away? Is that Far Left, Left or Centre? Or ACT?
Far left, centre or act, I couldn’t say, but with an ageing population it’s a common sense policy, just like means testing eligibility is.
It’s Act policy. It is common sense to neoliberals to create a pool of older desperate workers to keep wages down, and increase inequality.
I think we have to remember who will be footing the bill for the people who retire and get a pension at 65……………..yes the younger people. The people who got student loans and were in the past charged interest when many of us got free tertiary education, the people for whom buying a house is almost an impossibility, unless they have very rich parents. The people now who have a deregulated employment market.
Indeed, don’t want to create a pool of younger desperate workers overly burdened by taxes, ensuring lower take home pay, and increasing inequality.
OK, lets fix the deregulated employment market, the education loan system, and the overpriced housing market, instead of attacking older people and forcing them into an overcrowded labour market or making them go cap in hand to seek early pensions.
Oh, and most of the baby boomers who got the free education and low cost first homes will not be affected by the change under the proposed timeframe anyway.
And you aren’t helping the young by increasing the labour pool.
“attacking older people and forcing them into an overcrowded labour market or making them go cap in hand to seek early pensions”
25 years in the future 😆
‘Indeed, don’t want to create a pool of younger desperate workers overly burdened by taxes, ensuring lower take home pay, and increasing inequality.’
Wrong. There will be more jobs if the pension age stays at 65, which increases wage rates.
Plus, most elderly people spend all their money on goods and services helping the money go round. You assume the young stand to benefit from lower taxes because of a higher retirement age, but it is the rich who will reap any benefits through NZ’s regressive tax regime.
’25 years in the future….’
Raising the pension age is ‘common sense’ to you, but it’s not necessary to consider possible consequences and outcomes?
Even though you raised the spectre of a bleak future for young people in the counterfactual scenario. Odd.
“Wrong. There will be more jobs if the pension age stays at 65, which increases wage rates.”
Surely the number of jobs is finite, the variable, using your argument, is whether they are done by the ‘young’ or 65 and 66 year olds.
“You assume the young stand to benefit from lower taxes because of a higher retirement age”
I assume that the tax burden on all workers will be greater if they have to pay for an ageing population, who live longer, who retire at 65. Not paying those increased taxes will of course be a benefit.
“it’s not necessary to consider possible consequences and outcomes?”
I don’t think raising the pension age to 67 in 25 years is as much of a drama as you are believing it to be.
But it doesn’t bother me, I’m a worn out manual worker with f all savings, so I’m getting my bus pass early any way by all accounts. 😉
Nothing wrong with looking at different outcomes, but the consequence, if left the same, will prove a costly burden on the workers of the future. It might not be a vote winner, but many here will see the need for it.
Ideally Id like a few green Labour governments to sort the economy out and we’ll all retire at 50 on 2/3 the average wage, so let’s cross our fingers and hope for the best.
That I think is centre and being pragmatic for today’s world in terms of longevity, health conditions, better medical facilities, work necessities, aging population etc provided the option is left for people to retire at 65 if they choose it for defined legitimate reasons.
Do remember that if there is a pension age change it will come into play many years from now, 20 or 30 years later, but will be signaled now so that people may make suitable adjustments to their future planning.
Labour has also signaled that they would bring in compulsory Kiwi Saver which should complement the pension age change from 65 to 68 which will be introduced slowly, a few months extra each year, over time. It won;t all happen suddenly.
What is your opinion?
Like it or not George is right that the “comfortable, middle class voter” is the Greens voter. There is many a working class, plain living Labour voter who would rather not vote than vote Green and they’ll hoping that Labour picks up momentum on their own I am sure.
It would have been political suicide for Labour to be on a joint ticket with the Greens
“Labour under Cunliffe will become the party that represents growth, opportunity, safety and sustainability for the workers, the families, the ethnic minorities and the marginalised.”
Labour might (and hopefully) will become that – the Greens already are that
The Green party works with their hearts and sentiments.
Labour party works with their head, heart and practicalities.
FGS what piffle.
Politically correct piffle.
kind of interesting seeing Labour supporters coming out with slurs against the GP though.
yes. they sound like national.
what has gone on this week wont deter me from viting green. I gave them my party vote in 2011 and will do so this year.
Thats OK. Lots of Green voters at 21 will be ACT voters at 41. You will probably follow suit.
From my observations it usually works the other way around. Randian nonsense appeals quite strongly to the selfish teenage mentality.
The Greens have four groups of constituents:
Communists, generally older
Environmentalist extremists (Greenpeace et al), generally older
The Young and Confused
Urban middle class prosperous people who are apolitical but think the Greens make the flowers grow.
Some of the old, some of the young, and some of the urban middle class? Pretty broad church.
ACT have two groups of constituents:
Three unclecousins who think they’re the future leaders of the nation, and epsom national party members who blindly follow dunnokeyo.
I think Greens come in two flavours: Old Greens (aka the Hippies), and the New Greens (aka the Liberals). The latter, which have become the dominant force over the last decade, are urban, well-educated, and comfortably off (poor people don’t vote Green – they either vote Labour or don’t vote). This New Green base is socially liberal and empathetic, but in terms of demographics, is not dissimilar to a sort of “ACT with a conscience”.
This isn’t to say that the Greens aren’t the good guys (Labour and Greens are both fighting the same enemy), just that the two parties don’t represent the same sort of people.
For all the stereotyping that goes on to explain the Green demographic, it just doesn’t match with what I see on the ground.
I guess it depends where you look, but this “middle-class urban liberal” thing is only part of the picture. It probably seems true if you’re in central Wellington.
It matches the voting patterns. Greens do well in the likes of Wellington Central, and Dunedin North: well-educated voters. They do terribly in South Auckland.
Yeah but it’s a massive leap from that to “Greens come in two flavours” et al. I know plenty of Green voters who aren’t old hippies or middle-class urban liberals.
Anecdata of course, but so is yours.
Yeah the pattern is pretty clear – you’ve got that 15% of Greens – double that in the youth demographic, and as they age the shift starts to show up as that surge in ACT’s 0%. Oh, wait…
speak for yourself. I’m well past 40 and still vote Green.
I remember one of my conservative friends tell me at 18 that I would turn by 40.
No chance mate.
Labour supporters or NZFirst supporters, weka?
The Green leadership did not use their HEAD properly in their IMPRACTICAL and politically damaging Labour-Green pre-election SENTIMENTAL alliance idea AND damaged Labour (and the Greens too, a little) by making it known to the media too!
So what I sated IS not rubbish at all. Quite accurate, actually:
The Green party works with their hearts and sentiments.
Labour party works with their head, heart and practicalities.
Or maybe the GP just gave a very clear signal to voters. Here is where we all stand.
repeating your opinion doesnt make it anymore factual.
Well, I have defined Greens and Labour as I see them.
How would YOU define the two parties from your point of view?
I still find this stereotypical. I have worked within the Peace Movement and encountered a diverse, effective and democratic community. It was an honour to work with them.
So…we’re back to selling the “growth” snakeoil panacea?
Look around you. The only economic “growth” happening anywhere in the world is happening courtesy of environmental destruction, fossil fuel depletion, greenhouse gas emissions, and money printing to QE-infinity.
Unless we find politicians who are willing to talk about achieving a steady state economy or achieving humane, civilised ‘de-growth’ we’re going to keep inviting our “leaders” to lie to us with fairytales of the happy ever after kind.
+100…you are sounding like a Greenie…it also means keeping our population down or at least steady in order to protect the environment and std of living
“keeping our population down”
By “our” do you mean the west? I ask because it is the rich developed nations which have the population growth problem, the worst being the United States.
The west is actually at zero or negative population growth. One reason immigration is an issue
The US would have to be at negative population growth for a long time to curb their consumption of resources. For example the average American uses 30 times more resources than someone from India over a lifetime. So India would need a population of somewhere near 15 Billion people just to be on a par with the USA in terms of resource consumption.
The problem being that what CV is suggesting (but, one suspects, not following himself) is democratically unpalatible and contrary to all humanist principle.
“The only economic “growth” happening anywhere in the world is happening courtesy of environmental destruction, fossil fuel depletion, greenhouse gas emissions, and money printing to QE-infinity.”
Plus natural disasters….(without which GDP growth under National at the moment would be SFA)
It will all come out in the wash.
Labour and the Greens will form the next government and in the meantime the National party who are totally bereft of any meaningful policies are spitting venom.
Suck it up you losers.
The Greens need to have sort of formal arrangement otherwise they’ll been seen as sellouts following any coalition talks. If they continue with “No bottom lines” policy up to the election, what is the point in them releasing any policies or a manifesto?
They have effectively said they are willing to compromise anything, and are promising nothing!
On the other hand, I can see entirely why Labour has rejected this idea. They Greens have already pledged to support a Labour government, so why do they need concede anything? The Greens are stuck in a corner, with nowhere to go. They’ll soon come to relize that MMP is great for taking principled stances, but near on impossible for them to achieve anything.
They’ll be fucked over more than Nick Clegg was.
Tamati, Russel has been right when he has been interviews on this issue, bottoms lines are hollow statements unless there is the strength of votes to support them. We Greens will announce our policies (as we have been doing) and the voting public will respond in the numbers related to the support that exists for them. The more support we get, the more likely our policies will be acted on.
Bottom lines only practically happen during negotiations when the two parties must prioritize their policies to see what is possible and what they may have to give up. Negotiating strength is dependent on the % of the vote. If the Greens got 8% then we would have to seriously think if a coalition is worthwhile because we would end up supporting a raft of policies that we just couldn’t be associated with. If we got 20% and labour got 35% then negations would be far more balanced and there is no way that Labour could completely dictate terms, it would have to be a fully function coalition. Your Nick Clegg analogy would only really apply if the Greens went into coalition with National and that is highly unlikely
Agreed Dave and your comments reinforce why it is important for both parties to campaign hard, increase turnout and then negotiate after the results are known.
But Russel is clearly uneasy about having no bottom lines. Why would he go out of his way to propose a pre-election coalition?
As I’ve said before, what value are policies if you are unwilling to stand up for them? If everything is negotiable, what are the Greens principles?
I also reject the notion that negotiating strength in dependent on number of seats. Labour will be able to dictate terms unless they actually surpass Labours vote, or consider working with National. What threats can the Greens make to David Cunliffe? They’ve promised to support him regardless. If its 33% to 14% or 38% to 10% or 16% to 31% will make no difference.
There are countless other analogies where the minor party has been fucked over by the electorate, Nick Clegg is just one example. Ask Nick McKim of the Tasmanian Greens, or Bob Brown and the Australian Federal Greens, the Free Democrats of Germany, United Future in 2005, NZ 1st in 1999 or 2008, the Alliance in 2002, …I could go on.
I think what ‘negotiating’ means is that some policies will not be able to be pursued during that particular term of office.
For example, say if the two parties, Labour and Greens are able to form a government on their own with Labour at say, 40% and Greens at 12%, obviously, more of the policies of Labour will get implemented and fewer of the Greens policies as that is the verdict from the voters. The parties could negotiate to see which are the prime policies that they would prefer to be implemented and both parties are in agreement with that.
There can not be bottom lines especially with parties which have similar policies. Otherwise no government can function.
Bottom lines make sense if a left party is in coalition with a right wing party.
For example, for the Maori party it was the repeal of the foreshore and sea bed legislation. But to achieve that, the Maori party swallowed many other ratbag right wing policies of National and ACT
Correct. Labour if ever in government will give the Greens the bare minimum. The only way for the Greens to get their fair share is to get more votes than Labour. The only way to do that is to get Labour voters to change to Green.
Yes, that is the correct situation.
A formal alliance before the election, if at all desirable, can only be considered if the current polls suggest the two parties have pretty close proximity in party vote figures such as 20 to 30 (or 25 to 35). At the moment that is not indicated as it is around 33 Lab to 11 Greens.
It is also possible that NZF may win around 7 to 10% and Mana.Dom around 5% This complicates pre election alliances between Labour and Greens as the alliance will favour the Greens far in excess to Labour.
Since there is very little chance of the Greens winning an electoral seat, it would make more sense if the Green voters who constitute about 11% of voters, vote for the Labour candidates and give their party vote to the greens Greens. Greens voting for their own candidates will be a wasted vote from practical purposes.
In the case of the Labour voters, it will be sensible for them to give both votes to Labour : Candidate and party, in order to ensure Labour has sufficient MPs in case there are some (or many) candidate electorate defeats by stronger National candidates.
I think that if the strategy I have suggested above is not followed, it will be harder to form a Labour led left government that many of us want and we may actually end up with a National lead coalition government.
sorry, but i am struggling to follow your agument?
what was uf, nz1, act, national and the maori party’s bottom line prior to the election in 2011?
-The Greens have already ruled out supporting a National government. Thus by default they have promised to support a Labour government. (Those on the crossbencher still need to pick a side for confidence in supply.)
-They’ve also said they won’t make any pre-election commitments.
-My question, is what the point in voting Greens if they have already committed to supporting Labour and won’t commit to any policies?
-People voting Greens will essentially be voting on personality and ideology. They don’t really have policies, just aspirations and ideas.
In terms of 2011 and minor parties on the right. UF and ACT had already committed to support a National government so supported Key with virtually no policy concessions. Key only engaged with Maori party to improve his own image. And NZ 1st promised to go into opposition and did!
they have committed policies they just wont be the tail that wags the dog that so many in this thread seem to be supporting.
No they don’t Russel Norman has said he is willing to compromise on anything. And if he is willing to compromise on anything, how can he have any principles?
Because “compromise” does not mean “surrender”.
I think the Greens have learned how to work in an MMP environment. If they compromise on mining, they won’t have to compromise on fishing. Alternatively, if they compromise on fishing, they won’t have to compromise on mining. And compromising on mining doesn’t mean opening up all national parks to strip mining, and compromising on fishing doesn’t mean removing all quotas and marine reserves.
And declaring bottom lines simply allows the nats to use those declarations to try to drive a wedge into negotiations.
Because it’s a pretty arrogant attitude to hold against your own voters. It’s basically saying we’ll make all these promises before the election, but only stand up for some of them afterwards.
What makes you think Labour will concede anything to the Greens anyway?
No, it’s saying “this is what we want to do, but in the real world we’ll have to see because this is a democracy, not a dictatorship”. Non-national voters are grown up enough for that.
If labour don’t want to make concessions to other parties, why should those other parties give labour confidence votes – or even merely abstain? That’s why labour or the nats will need to compromise with other parties after the election.
The Greens have already given Labour their confidence vote. There’s no other option, they’ve painted themselves into a corner by ruling out working with National. The options for the Greens are either the scraps off David Cunliffe’s table or siting down for a glass of milk with Judith Collins.
Norman knows he has nothing to offer in the negotiations, hence why he was so keen on a pre-election deal.
Not supporting national does not equal supporting labour.
Like everyone else, I expect they will. But if labour go all neolib and refuse to compromise a little bit on that, then the greens should bring down the government and force either labour to go with national or a snap election.
Yes, unfortunately it does. The Greens effectively have choice between Labour, Labour and Labour. If they played anarchist and forced another election they would be out of Parliament for good.
I really don’t see a Labour/National coalition as viable. But we should really be open to it. It happens all the time in Germany. (Who we copied our electoral system off)
Or they’d get more support from people who think that the two main parties are too similar for comfort.
Maybe even hit 25%.
The only question is whether Labour refuses to compromise and thereby forces the Greens’ bluff. Is it a bluff? Who knows…
The problem comes when the compromises are simply not in New Zealand’s interests. For example Green agricultural policies are not capable of compromise. Rather than compromise with minor parties, New Zealand would be better served by another election, and even a third of a fourth until the voters elect a workable government.
This will eventually happen if we keep MMP. If we are stuck with it the best outcome would be the re-emergence of a prominent neoliberal faction in Labour so we could have a Labour-National coalition. This is my pick for 2020 if Labour loses the next 2 elections.
Remember both National and Labour are left parties. This is the best solution,
Only a complete idiot, a half wit or a right wing crooked propagandist will say that National is a ‘left’ party!
Yes, Clemgeopin, sspylands is the voice of the <1% idiot-fuckwit vote.
next to Who?
Hitler? Pinochet? ACT?
“re-emergence of a prominent neoliberal faction in Labour so we could have a Labour-National coalition.”
that would be the death of Labour after the last one.
Labour don’t need to go with the Greens because the Greens have nowhere else to go which is why HC treated them like dirt (good on her for that) and instead courted P Dunne and W Peters
The Greens have no one else to blame but themselves (though no doubt they’ll try)
Their problem is they have no fall back on their negotiating position. Their option is to be DC’s lap dog, or have another three years in opposition.
Exactly, does anyone think they’d go with National? So Labour can keep them in the cold while negotiating with WinstonFirst knowing that the Greens have no choice but to take whatever Labour give them
They could offer them associate minister of dog catching and they’d probably take it.
Do not underestimate or demean Labour or Mt Cunliffe. They have enough sense and values to support Greens with some or many of their policies, not as their ‘lap dog’ but as good left wing friends and partners.
oops, Mr Cunliffe.
I’m sure he wouldn’t mind being called Mt. Cunliffe. Maybe he’ll rename Mt. Cook that if he is elected.
Its already renamed Aoraki/Mt Cook
Come to think of it, it could actually mean, ‘Mt Cunliffe’, Cunliffe the leader who ‘mounts’ a relentless attack on National and this evil government!
Mt Cunliffe, all high and mighty until the top fell off.
High and Mighty? No way!
For high and mighty, Try Collins, English, Brownlee, Nova Joyce, Ryall, Finlayson, Bennet, Parata, Tolley and Key.
Oops! I forgot the mightiest of them all: Simon Bridges!
“Everybody knows the position, let’s move on.”
I don’t think that’s fair.
YOU might know the position, but it doesn’t mean the average punter in the street, who Guyon is supposed to represent and be doing his job for, does.
Except Guyon wasn’t trying to establish the position (which was well-established yesterday, and indeed prior to the Greens’ proposal), he was trying to get DC to diss the Greens: “so you’re going to sacrifice the Greens…”
It sounded to me that he was trying to make it clear that Labour would be working with the Greens and make sense of Cunliffe’s/ Labour’s prevarication on the matter.
I simply don’t agree with that portrayal at all.
Guyon was trying to get DC to give his position on it. Because this was actually his first media interview since the story had broken.
so winston, who rules out saying who he will wotk with post election, is chastising and ridiculing labour for not working with the greens before the election.
if reported in a particular way, winston has just indicated he will go with national post election. if i heard correctly winston he couldnt work with labour greens in a govt if they cant work together now.
i understand people find it hard to fathom how the greens stick to their principles rather than sell their soul for power, funnily enough, some of the very same people who have a go at the maori party for doing just that with national.
If the Greens had principles, wouldn’t they have bottom lines?
you mean like fixed and unmoved… makes for very workable negotiations.
Yes, that’s entirely what principles are. Fixed and unmovable beliefs.
right. so if labour has some fixed and unmoveable beliefs that oppose greens fixed and immoveable beliefs you dont have a coalition you have N impasse.
I think you misunderstand the difference between prinicples and beliefs.
you might believe in god but that is not a principle.
Because if the Greens have no principles or bottom lines, they’ll end up with nothing. Can you imagine the hypocrisy of Green government allowing more offshore oil drilling!
As I said before, the Greens have nothing to negotiate. They’ve already pledged to support a Labour government, so why would Labour concede anything to them?
Because Labour is an honourable party with values of head and heart with principled leaders and is not a double crossing ungrateful crooked untrustworthy rat bag of a right wing party?
Lol, you keep telling yourself that.
Tell me which one of the Labour front bench would be happy to forgo a cabinet seat and a $100,000 pay rise to make way for one of the Greens?
“so winston, who rules out saying who he will wotk with post election, is chastising and ridiculing labour for not working with the greens before the election.”
Say what? That’s not what I garnered from Winston’s comments here:
He seems to be quite supportive of Labour’s position and very critical of the Greens..
Also, I think he said that NZFirst won’t work with the Maori party so I guess they possibly can with all other parties?
The problem with Winston is that he never gives a straight answer to anything, it’s very easy for different people to come to exact opposite conclusions from anything he’s said.
Also when confronted later, he’ll just deny whatever interpretation is being presented to him that he finds inconvenient at the time.
If the Greens really wanted to demonstrate good faith, they would have first floated their proposal with Labour behind closed doors. If successful, a joint announcement could have been made.
Doing it the way Norman did was always either going to force Labour’s hand or embarass Cunliffe in having to shoot the proposal down. It wasn’t a friendly gesture.
The New Zealand First leader, Winston Peters, has questioned why his party would want to be part of any post election deal with Labour and the Green Party, if the two cannot co-operate in the run up to polling day. winston april 2014
“In the ensuing months you’re going to hear all kinds of commentators tediously making all kinds of predictions about the formation of the next government.
Where New Zealand First is concerned, the smartest thing you can do is to treat those comments with total ignore.
We are not going to be pre-programmed or pressurised into any coalition arrangements before the people of this country have voted. What we are preparing for is to do whatever it takes to hold the other parties to account on the issues, some of which have just been mentioned. If that means that we may have to do that from the cross benches, then that is exactly what we will do.” peters dec 2013
this means winston has just called himself tedious
Up until now the hopes of the left have been on an Election result of roughly the following outcome:
Mana + 1 seat
The achilles heel in this scenario is Winne ‘I love my baubles’ Peters.
He has historic ties with National and has never been in a government where the greens were involved. He has also indicated that he doesn’t want to be in a government with the greens and probably less with Mana.
So what is Labour’s plan B if Winnie and John Key seem likely to hold hands on Sept 21 which could be enough to hit the magic 50% mark? (Not including I’m Dunne for, and ACTivate)
Two scenarios that I can see:
1 Tell the Greens to stay out in the cold but still provide confidence and supply to a Labour NZ First Government (A bit of a cheek if NZ First only have half the MP’s of the Green party)
2 To entice Winnie to Labour’s camp promise him the earth – several cabinet posts and Himself back to Foreign Affairs?
In either case the Greens get shafted badly, no policy gains and no cabinet seats but are still expected to cough up their support for confidence and supply.
Or is David Cunliffe going to try and get Winnie and Russell Norman to hold hands together? Will Winnie be allowed to veto which green policies can be implemented?
Gona be very interesting to see the outcome……and also if JK forms another government will Labour give Cunliffe another 3 years to have a crack in 2017?
What happens to the ABC club – surely they have to be dealt to at some stage – a cancer left grows.
What’s very interesting is last week’s Horizon Poll showing that while 66.5% of those polled think National will lead the government after the next election, 51.5% would prefer to see a Labour led government. Turnout is going to be so important.
Just not this one and especially this one with Cunliffe in charge.
I haven’t heard any one, apart from his idolaters say anything remotely positive about the man.
Everyone seems to hate him.
Everybody I’ve met thinks John Key’s a complete dick. One of the reasons why we have opinion polls is so that people can be provided with information that doesn’t reflect the biases that they surround themselves with in everyday life in the form of friends, publications and personal interpretations. Of course, that doesn’t stop fools like you reading information into such polls when it isn’t there.
I agree. Everyone I know hates John Key with a passion. In fact I haven’t met anyone who likes him at all, which leaves me bewildered when I see poll figures.which always show him as being so popular.
It doesn’t bewilder me at all. Most people I talk about politics with are a bit like me in some ways. However, the evidence of my own eyes tells me that most people in general aren’t much like me at all. Therefore polls that do not reflect my opinion are to be expected.
So why doesn’t Labour attract 51.5% of the vote?
Because of reading comprehension.
A Labour led government and a Labour majority are two different things. 😀
Because Labour is not National-no-mates (credible mates, that is).
As regards the possibility of NZF going with National which is a real possibility, it is relevant to recall what Key said of Winston’s supporters in his secret tape during the Banks-Key cup of tea shenanigan that the NZF voters are a dying lot. Not sure these supporters will be thrilled with such a coalition deal.
From what I understand, and please give me a link that shows I’m wrong, the only ‘coalition deal’ being talked about was that ‘the executive would reflect the votes of the coalition’.
This means that if it was more than just Lab+Greens, then that’s already accounted for. NZF, for eg, would be entitled to their share. I’ve seen a lot of talk from Labour people saying this was about locking NZF out or locking down ministries, or whatever. I’ve seen no evidence of this though.
Sounds good and fair PB however Winnie’s view of what ‘entitled to his share’ means may be entirely different to yours – think Helen Clark in 1996. Peters has stated he doesn’t want to be part of any government where the Greens are involved and will likely have a veto over what Green policy is implemented.
If Labour and the Greens don’t like this he will quite easily say I’m with the blue camp.
So would Labour prefer to be in Government by snubbing their green mates and letting Peters have free reign or tell Winnie First to piss off and staying in opposition for another 3 years?
Rock and Hard place scenario
Right, so contra what Labour peeps have been saying, this isn’t about ‘arrogant greens’, but about Winston wagging the dog.
That C&S isn’t the end game. Governments have to pass legislation. (This factors in when we start talking about parties, (NZF or The Greens), sitting on the cross benches. They don’t have to vote for legislation, which is all that matters.)
That Labour should be doing all it can to emphasise that a vote for Winston isn’t a vote to change the government (this means never, ever, describing him as an ‘option Labour has’. He isn’t, Labour is an option Winston has).
That increasing the Greens vote, (by suggesting to Labour friendly voters that Labour might sideline the Greens), makes the LP more beholden to the Greens, not less. It reduces options, rather than increases them.
I suspect some of the comments are from the right just stirring it up
“the proposal had largely been about the language they used to describe their relationship.”
Greens wanting to define it as a “Labour-Green” or “Green-Labour” government, Labour wanting it to be a “Labour-led” government. One putting them on equal footing, one making clear that one party would be the predominant force in the coalition.
On top of that, yes, ideally NZ First isn’t needed – but if it is, does NZ First want to be the bridesmaid at a pre-arranged Labour-Greens wedding, or does it want to participate in a “Labour-led” government. One of these will be much more palatable to Winston…
Labour can campaign against Winston, but when he still turns out to be the kingmaker – what then?
Nailing things down in a formal arrangement reduces options, not waiting to see the cards voters deal and negotiating things then.
“Labour can campaign against Winston, but when he still turns out to be the kingmaker – what then?”
Winston will do what Winston will do. It’s a crap shoot. If it comes down to it, he will probably go with National instead of being a third fiddle. Or maybe not.
But saying Labour led, instead of Labour/Green will have so little bearing on it that I don’t even know what the hell y’all are talking about.
Personally, I’d advise Cunliffe to wait for Winston’s next racist outburst, or Grosser, or whoever, and use it to announce that NZF may be necessary to get rid of National, but they are the last cab off the rank, because they are inherently unstable (Horan!) and are just as likely to go with National anyway.
The point being to signal loud and clear to everyone who wants to get rid of National, that they should not vote for Winston. Voting for Winston is not voting to change the government. It is voting to have Winston in government.
Winston would huff and puff and say Labour will come crawling when Labour wants to escape the Greens. Let him. Every vote Winston gets from National helps. Every vote he gets from Labour, hurts.
And none of it change the fact that if Winston holds the ballance of power, he will decide what to do based on what he wants to do then, not on what happened during the campaign.
The One News story from last night had the proposed deal, 3 main points; campaigning as a Labour/Green government, posts dictated by percentages, and one other thing I can’t recall.
Not much enlightenment from the commenters here. Still at chewing gum stage. Baby steps yet to come.
Labour and National are more suited
centre and centre right
if you want a centre party vote Labour
If you want left ,Vote Green or Mana
Read the policies of all parties on their party websites and vote for the party that suits you and the country best overall.
However, it is a little premature to read all the policies yet because the all the policies will only be revealed a few weeks before the election and not before due to busy people’s short memory span as well as to ensure maximum exposure in the media just before the elections.
actually, i would not mind to know more on the things that Labour and the Green Party can or can not work on.
What are the differences and why? Who can not work with whom and why?
I, the Voter would very much like to know just how far centrist right Labour is going to move to appease the National voter who does not want to vote National, but might vote labour just to get rid of Key.
I, the Citizen, would very much like to know what Labour believes it can achieve, and no, I am not really interested in Education and housing only. I would like to know what Labour is going to do to revive rural NZ, what Labour is going to do to reduce Unemployment, what Labour is going to do about the consequences of the Beneficiary Bashing, and how they are going to re-educate Winz staff so that their Clients may be treated with respect.
I, the women would like to know if Labour is going to address Pay Equality – this one i really would like a Party to finally stand up and explain to the men of NZ how much money they don’t get because their Wifes are not paid full fare. and while Labour is at it, announce that you will just raise the friggen minimum wage to something like 16$, and don’t back down.
and so on and so on.
I really don’t care anymore of the Antics of Mrs. Bennett, Mrs. Collins, Mr. Bridge and the likes. I want to know what Labour is going to do, and I want them to be loud, proud and brash about it, and I want them to speak to all their potential Coalition Partners, discuss their agreements beforehand and make these discussions and their content known.
We the Citizens, the Voters and their dependent should know just what we are voting for. You think not?
And if Labour is busy trying to be the mirror to Winston’s chameleon no-one is going to have any idea what Labour stands for beyond ‘trust us’ – a very big ask from the party of Douglas & Prebble.
There is much work to be done and no excuse for dissembling.
It makes absolutely no sense to negotiate and discus AGREEMENTS for a coalition deal before an election, unless the polls show close proximity in support. Labour at 33% and the Greens at 11% is not close enough.
The ONLY way for you is to not worry about coalition policies but to concentrate on the policies of each party and see which overall you like better.
Simply go to their party websites and study the policies and vote for the party that suits YOU best without second guessing what the other voters are thinking..
After the votes are in, we will all know what the voters have dealt. It is then that common or suitable policies that they can live with could be negotiated between parties.
We have no idea if Greens get 4% in which case they are gone or 11% as the polls now suggest. There are still 5 months to go and all policies are yet to be announced.
If we go into an election on common platform, we might as well make it a single party!
The same applies to other possible coalition partners such as NZA( possibly 7 to 10%), and Mana.Com ( Possibly 5%)
Why should the Greens get an advantage over the others before the voters have shown their preferences?
The last time I saw Winston preaching to the oldies, he gave the triumvirate (Key, English, Joyce) both barrels in terms that a lawyer might have found interesting. Certainly didn’t seem like a friend of the National Party. As per usual he utterly rubbished the Greens. Fundamentally I don’t think Winnie cares about birds and snails, or indeed anything much but a handsome salary with expenses, baubles and foreign travel with photo opps. And oddly enough the Labour party didn’t rate a mention whatsoever. There was no mention of his successor as leader of the Winnie First League.
Winston cares about stuff that at least 8% of voters care about, and no other party does this policy combination:
– people over 65
– people worried about immigration
– an export-led economy
– too much land owned by foreigners
– horse racing and gambling
– smoking and drinking
I think he’s going to do 8% this time.
Watch him work the magic.
even greens and NZ policy isn’t that different lets take kiwi saver ,labours work with private providers the current system .NZ first and the greens nationalise kiwi saver funds same general idea.
there is a lot more in common than you think ,some NZ firsts policy and greens and labour ideas are very very good affordable housing ,stop corporate rorting of ordinary citizens and best of all three parties is to turn there backs on neoliberalism.
Don’t know if anyone else has mentioned this in the comments. I agree, it’s not that complicated. But it’s also not about the Green Party or the Labour Party. It is, or should be, about us. That’s how simple it is.
Each party simply present it’s leaders, candidates and policies to ‘us the people’ as well as they can and let us judge them via the ballot box? That would be a bit too radical.
Wheeling and dealing and squealing rules.
The Greens made a mistake in not going into government in the past as now they are unable to point to any experience or ability at being in government, right when they need it the most. And conversely, this lack of experience and proven ability makes it very easy for the right to paint them in the light they do.
Best acknowledge the mistake and remedy at next available opportunity.
Yep if they worked with national they’d have some political track record by now.
Also they would get more concessions from labour when the red team gets a shot.
This is basic stuff but some how overlooked by all the big brains in the green camp.
They have worked with National you idiot. They still are working with National wherever possible.
They work with National on any policy goal that’s common to both parties, which is exactly what any party should do. It’s a pity most of National’s policy goals are inhuman and stupid, but that’s not the Greens’ fault.
Another good week, if nothing else Labour/Greens have had plenty of air time, the more the public hear Cunliffe and Norman speck before the election the better, yes it wasn’t the greatest of issues but that’s not the point, the point is to get people interested, talking and familiar with them so they feel they know and trust them before the election.
Found this list on DPF’s blog
If you want to know why The Cunliffe does not want to be joined at the hip with The Greens. The Greens are fanatics. They are not normal people. They are zealots who want to impose their beliefs on us all. They truly want to
1.Ban fizzy drinks from schools
2.Ban fuel inefficient vehicles
3.Ban all gaming machines in pubs
4.Ban the GCSB
5.Ban violent TV programmes until after 10 pm
6.Ban feeding of antibiotics to animals that are not sick
7.Ban companies that do not comply with a Code of Corporate Responsibility
8.Ban ACC from investing in enterprises that provide products or services that significantly increase rates of injury or illness or otherwise have significant adverse social or environmental effects
9.Ban commercial Genetic Engineering trials
10.Ban field testing on production of GE food
11.Ban import of GE food
12.Ban Urban Sprawl
13.Ban non citizens/residents from owning land
14.Ban further corporate farming
15.Ban sale of high country farms to NZers who do not live in NZ at least 185 days a year
16.Ban the transport by sea of farm animals, for more than 24 hours
17.Ban crates for sows
18.Ban battery cages for hens
19.Ban factory farming of animals
20.Ban the use of mechanically recovered meat in the food chain
21.Ban the use of the ground-up remains of sheep and cows as stock feed
22.Ban animal testing where animals suffer, even if of benefit to humans
23.Ban cloning of animals
24.Ban use of animals in GE
25.Ban GE animal food
26.Ban docking of dogs tails
27.Ban intrusive animal experimentation as a teaching method in all educational institutions
29.Ban advertising during children’s programmes
30.Ban alcohol advertising on TV and radio
31.Ban coal mining
32.Ban the export of indigenous logs and chips
33.Ban the use of bio-accumulative and persistent poisons
34.Ban the establishment of mustelid farms
35.Ban new exploration, prospecting and mining on conservation land and reserves
36.Ban mining activities when rare and endemic species are found to present on the mining site
37.Ban the trading conservation land for other land to facilitate extractive activities on.
38.Ban the further holding of marine mammals in captivity except as part of an approved threatened species recovery strategy
39.Ban the direct to consumer advertising of pharmaceuticals
40.Ban sale of chips and lollies on school property
41.Ban any additional use of coal for energy
42.Ban fixed electricity charges
43.Ban further large hydro plants
44.Ban nuclear power
45.Ban further thermal generation
46.Ban private water management
47.Ban imported vehicles over seven years old
48.Ban the disposal of recyclable materials at landfills
49.Ban the export of hazardous waste to non OECD countries
50.Ban funding of health services by companies that sell unhealthy food (so McDonalds could not fund services for young cancer sufferers)
51.Ban healthcare organizations from selling unhealthy food or drink
52.Ban advertising of unhealthy food until after 8.30 pm
53.Ban all food and drink advertisements on TV if they do not meet criteria for nutritious food
54.Ban the use of antibiotics as sprays on crops
55.Ban food irradiation within NZ
56.Ban irradiated food imports
57.Ban growth hormones for animals
58.Ban crown agency investments in any entity that denies climate change!!
59.Ban crown agency investments in any entity that is involved in tobacco
60.Ban crown agency investments in any entity that is involved in environmentally damaging oil extraction or gold mining
61.Ban non UN sanctioned military involvement (so China and Russia gets to veto all NZ engagements)
62.Ban NZ from military treaties which are based on the right to self defence
63.Ban NZers from serving as mercenaries
64.Ban new casinos
65.Allow existing casinos to be banned
66.Ban promotion of Internet gambling
67.Ban advertising of unhealthy food to children
68.Ban cellphone towers within 300 metres of homes
69.Ban new buildings that do not confirm to sustainable building principles
70.Ban migrants who do not undertake Treaty of Waitangi education programmes
71.Ban new prisons
72.Ban semi-automatic weapons
73.Ban genetic mixing between specieis
74.Ban ocean mineral extractions within the EEZ
75.Ban limited liability companies by making owners responsible for liability of products
76.Ban funding of PTEs that compete with public tertiary institutes
77.Ban the importation of goods and services that do not meet quality and environmental certification standards in production, lifecycle analysis, and eco-labelling
78.Ban goods that do not meet quality and sustainability standards for goods which are produced and/or sold in Aotearoa/New Zealand
79.Ban new urban highways or motorways
80.Ban private toll roads
81.Ban import of vehicles more than seven years old unless they meet emission standards
82.Ban imported goods that do not meet standards for durability and ease of recycling
84.Ban new houses without water saving measures
85.Ban programmes on TVNZ with gratuitous violence
The problem here is that several posters will hail this list as wonderful news. It actually explains why the Greens have and never will be in government.
Thanks for that exhaustive list!
I am not a Green voter and I did not know all their policies you have publicised. I actually like many of those policies. Sure, a few are debatable, but most are very very good! You have perhaps inadvertently put in a valuable plug for the Greens even though you seem to be a hardened extreme right wing nutter going by some of your posts!
It DOES NOT explain why Greens don’t get elected. It actually does explain why at least 11% of the population SUPPORT them!
Labour gets more support because Labour has policies that are doable without extremism.
It explains why 8 out of 9 people realize they are nutters
Please provide evidence that that last comment of yours was not completely made up by you. I will take no reply as proof that you made it up.
8 out of 9 people are sane.
psst [ but if it said ‘yes’ would you believe it – it seems to be making things up a lot]
“sure, a few are debatable, but most are very very good! ”
All of them are very very bad.
This is my problem with you. You are looking at policy making through an irrational lens.
“Ban new urban highways’? We need hundreds of kms of new motorways. We are the way behind other OECD countries on motorways.
Ban cellphone towers near homes – not based on science.
Ban private toll roads – hurts the poor – greens forcing poor to subsidise people who drive a long way.
Ban new casinos – not a role for government.
Ban private water management – irrational.
Ban imported goods that don’t meat recycling standards – breaches WTO rules.
They are nearly all nutty. But they are also damaging , and would especially hurt those on lower incomes. That is the perversity. The Greens purport to have the interests of the poor in mind, when their policies will be most damaging to those on lower incomes.
Ban people who are unable to think outside their plastic buckets made in China.
So tell me fisiani, which policy on that made-up list do you object to and why?
Be specific please, pick any one and give the reason you think it’s a bad idea.
I’m actually surprised by the number of those I agree with.
There are a few I’m on the fence on, and a bit more that I’m against. But overall it’s good policy.
Yeah me too, a lot of it just seems like sensible and pretty moderate mainstream stuff for a modern progressive society.
And that’s supposed to be the right’s “shock horror” list, which really says more about how radical and extremist Farrar and his drones are.
I had to look up “mustelid” though. We have ferret farms in NZ?
4.Ban the GCSB seems a bit silly – put controls on it by all means, especially in terms of domestic spying, but let’s not pretend the world is all unicorns and rainbows.
5.Ban violent TV programmes until after 10 pm – don’t see the point of this at all.
8.Ban ACC from investing in enterprises that provide products or services that significantly increase rates of injury or illness or otherwise have significant adverse social or environmental effects – in principle I agree, practically I would like to see a structured plan.
9.Ban commercial Genetic Engineering trials – yet to see comprehensive scientific evidence that all GE is bad, and why rule out possible medical applications.
14.Ban further corporate farming – ban affordable food while you’re at it.
22.Ban animal testing where animals suffer, even if of benefit to humans – nope, if it benefits humans it trumps animal rights.
23.Ban cloning of animals – what, even if it can be done without harming animals? What’s the point in that?
24.Ban use of animals in GE – depends if it can be shown to benefit humans or not.
27.Ban intrusive animal experimentation as a teaching method in all educational institutions – Not sure I agree, especially in medical and vet schools.
28.Ban smacking – somewhat redundant as it is already dealt with in legislation.
30.Ban alcohol advertising on TV and radio
31.Ban coal mining
40.Ban sale of chips and lollies on school property
41.Ban any additional use of coal for energy – I would support in principle
43.Ban further large hydro plants – no.
44.Ban nuclear power – It’s already banned.
45.Ban further thermal generation – I can’t even think why.
50.Ban funding of health services by companies that sell unhealthy food (so McDonalds could not fund services for young cancer sufferers) – well that’s just stupid.
53.Ban all food and drink advertisements on TV if they do not meet criteria for nutritious food – fuck off. By all means keep it out of children’s TV hours, but otherwise that’s just fascist.
55.Ban food irradiation within NZ – no science to back this
56.Ban irradiated food imports – no science to back this
61.Ban non UN sanctioned military involvement – no, we are a sovereign nation and no other UN member would agree to this.
62.Ban NZ from military treaties which are based on the right to self defence – WTF?!?!
65.Allow existing casinos to be banned – excessive wowserism
71.Ban new prisons – not sure this is practical as our existing prisons age.
72.Ban semi-automatic weapons – I was under the impression they were effectively controlled anyway
79.Ban new urban highways or motorways – really not sensible, especially if there is an earthquake or something
82.Ban imported goods that do not meet standards for durability and ease of recycling – that will be a rather expensive stance
83.Ban landfills – not practical at all
85.Ban programmes on TVNZ with gratuitous violence – paging Mary Whitehouse. So no Sopranos, no Game of Thrones, no Walking Dead, no anything really.
You do realise this is just David Farrar’s list, don’t you?
even so, it’s funny to see some of the things that farrar thinks would be nightmarish policies 🙂
It explains why 8 out of 9 people will never vote for them. It explains why The Cunliffe does not want to be linked with them. It is an exhaustive list of why they will lose. Let me patiently explain. 8 out of 9 voters do not want these extremist nutbars. Get Labour get The Greens thus less votes for Labour/Green axis of fanaticism.
So what is your explanation of the results of this poll saying 52% (approx. 5 out of 9) of eligible voters would prefer a Green/Labour government over a NZFirst/Labour government – and only 6% (half a person out of 9) said they wouldn’t want either choice?
Also, just because someone votes for one party, doesn’t mean they are not o.k about another getting in. I realise this will be a difficult concept for you to grasp but on the left we have lots of good parties to choose from.
And great policies.
Sad about the ‘Nigel-No-Friends-National’ and ‘Zilch %, no-problemo-with-insects, ACT!’
+1 good points
Here’s an overview of how social democratic/green/anti-market populist party coalitions have worked out from an international perspective (an excerpt from a forthcoming Gaynz.Com article on the issue):
I must also admit that frankly, I find remarks from some political commentators that a Labour/Green coalition would be unstable or unworkable either woefully ignorant or highly selective in terms of their awareness of overseas centre-left social democratic/green coalitions that have worked well. In Germany, Social Democrat Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder led a successful and effective Social Democrat/Green coalition (1998-2005) for two Bundestag terms. In Finland, Social Democrat Prime Minister Paavo Lipponen’s government included Cabinet minister representation from both the Green League and Finnish People’s Party (akin to New Zealand First), so it might be interesting to focus on how that worked (1995-2002). Iceland saw (out lesbian) Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdasdottir lead a ‘red/green’ coalition in power for four years (2009-2013). There are therefore ample examples of functional and stable social democratic/green coalitions in place within Western Europe should anyone wish to consult them for precedents. In Canada, the centrist Liberal Party and Green Party of Canada also have an informal ‘red/green’ relationship in the House of Commons. I would suggest that instead of unsubstantiated and subjective opinion, television news and current affairs programmes research these prior instances, as indeed should Labour and the Greens themselves. Germany, Finland and Iceland suggest that a red/green coalition is stable and workable.
What about ‘traffic light coalitions’ that might conceivably include Labour, the Greens and New Zealand First? These have existed overseas. In particularly, the Czech Republic may offer some interesting insights into how this might unfold. Rather like New Zealand First, the Czech Peoples Party is predominantly targeted at elderly voters and its political existence is marginal, depending on whether or not it is acting as a protest vote or taking advantage of the cyclical weakness of one of the major Czech political parties. However, in Denmark, the Danish Peoples Party has aligned itself with the centre-right Conservatives and Liberals in government over the last decade, which might hearten New Zealand First (and National?), or not. Similarly, in 2007, the Polish Peoples Party formed a coalition with the centre-right Civic Platform, the major winner in that year’s national election. However, again, in Slovakia, its Peoples Party formed a coalition with the centre-left Social Democrats (2006-2010). Thus, if Winston Peters chose to play a more constructive role in current New Zealand electoral politics, he would have precedents on both sides of his prospective balancing act. The Czech Republic and Slovakia offer one set of examples, while Denmark and Poland offer the other option. However, the Czech Republic seems to be the only example of a ‘traffic light’ coalition arrangement. Winston could go either way, judging from the behaviour of his counterparts and closest political equivalents elsewhere.
Recommended Further Reading:
Charles Lees: The Red/Green Coalition in Germany: Politics, Personalities and Power: Manchester: Palgrave: 2000.
Werner Reutter: Germany on the Road to Normalcy: Politics and Policies of the Red/Green Federal Government: 1998-2002 Manchester: Palgrave: 2004
Franko Zelko and Caroline Brinkman: Green Parties: Reflections on the First Three Decades: Washington DC: Heinrich Boll Foundation: 2006.
Elizabeth Bomberg: Green Parties and Politics in the European Community: London: Routledge: 1998.
Tad Shull: Redefining Red and Green: Ideology and Strategy in European Politics: Albany: State University of New York Press: 1999