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Left/Green/Indigenous

Written By: - Date published: 12:32 pm, October 18th, 2020 - 135 comments
Categories: election 2020, greens, labour, maori party, MMP - Tags:

Incredible, historic election night. Well done everyone, and congratulations to Labour, the Greens and the Māori Party. Head over to Matt’s post on the probable make up of parliament if you want to see who is in, who is out, by electorate and list.

Labour members must be feeling pretty stoked. Really good results, including with the electorates, where seat after seat fell from National last night, including Ilam (Gerry Brownlee), Nelson (Nick Smith), and the big shift in the rural seats.

This is also the first MMP election where a single party has gained a majority to govern alone. Not sure that is a good thing. The shift from FPP to MMP was meant to diversify representation not consolidate power to one party, but given that Labour no longer have NZ First as a square wheel I’m excited to see the changes that happen next. It means that we now can see exactly where Labour sit on each piece of legislation and policy and hopefully this will make (centre) left wing politics cleaner and clearer.

The Greens have also made history by becoming the first smaller party in government to survive to a second term, and they increased their vote. No small achievement this, and my feeling is this is largely due the Greens doing their thing in their Green way despite it not being the received wisdom. Marama Davidson said last night that the Greens brought out their fully costed Poverty Action Plan early in the campaign and then stuck to it all the way through. This is part of their success.

Then there’s Chloe Swarbrick! As it stands she has won Auckland Central against most pundits’ predictions. There are the Special votes yet to count, but it’s still a mighty achievement by Swarbrick and the power of the Greens’ Auckland Central campaign team. Also historic, James Shaw pointing out last night that this is the first time a third party has won an electorate seat under MMP without a major party ‘cup of tea’ type deal.

The Greens are crediting on the ground, grass roots campaigning as the reason for the win. It will be interesting to see the final numbers and subsequent analysis, including the age range of voters. Previous estimates suggest that less than half the potential youth vote was enrolled in Auckland Central. I’d like to see just where the swing to Swarbrick came from, because there are lessons to be learned here for the left about green as distinct from left politics,

This from @LeftieStats on twitter,

Result of the New Zealand election in the constituency of Auckland Central:

Green: 35% (+25)

Labour: 33% (-7)

National: 29% (-16)

Others: 4% (-1)

Green GAIN from National.

Where to now? Post-election process will become apparent in the next few days as Labour makes decisions about whether and who to enter in negotiations with. Looking at Labour/Green for a moment, there are a range of options,

  • coalition agreement, Green ministers in cabinet and bound by Cabinet rules
  • confidence and supply, Green ministers outside of cabinet with the same kind of leeway to be part of the government, and also critique government policy, as they had in the first term
  • Greens agree to abstain on confidence and supply, sit on the cross benches, and are able to critique Labour policy freely as well as vote on each piece of legislation as they see fit.

Of note is that the Greens have a specific negotiation process that includes consulting with the membership. In other words, the co-leaders and caucus don’t get to decide, members do. There’s an explanation of how that worked in 2017 here. I’m in three minds about what I’d like to see, each have their up and down sides for the Greens and NZ’s ability to make progressive change.

Both Jacinda Ardern and Grant Robertson talked last night about how Labour will be governing for all New Zealanders, a fine piece of rhetoric which will appeal to many new and seasoned Labour voters, and which prompted a number of responses on the left along the lines of this is Labour manufacturing consent for continuing a centrist agenda.

Robertson said they now have the mandate to look at climate and inequality. What will convince me of Robertson (and Labour’s) sincerity on this is not just spending another length of time looking, but taking action this year. We will see this in how much of the social security portfolios Labour will share with the Greens or the Māori Party, and whether Labour offer anything substantial in the way of commitment to raising benefits and enacting the WEAG report. Or whether they defer, again.

Ardern said something else that meant more to me,

We are living in an increasing polarised world. A place were more and more people have lost the ability to see one another’s point of view. I hope that this election, New Zealand has shown that this is not who we are. That as a nation we can listen, and we can debate. After all, we are too small to lose sight of other people’s perspective. Elections aren’t great at bringing people together, but they also don’t need to tear one another apart.

And in times of crisis I believe that New Zealand has shown that, so again, I say thank-you.

National suffered a massive defeat and need to go away and have a long hard look at themselves. But we still have the issue of the harm done by Dirty Politics and the degrees to which we can and can’t talk with each other across difference. Looking at what is happening overseas, we can’t say we weren’t warned. The relief at having Ardern as PM shouldn’t make us complacent either, there is work to do.

The stand out for me last night in terms of our best potential were the voices of Māori women talking about what progress looks like from their perspective. Marama Davidson absolutely shone in her speech (all the Greens looked like they’d won the election). She said that Wahine Māori have the solutions. I agree, we should be listening to and amplifying them more, because they hold the confluence of wisdom on social and economic wellbeing, equality, culture, climate and ecology.

Laura O’Connell Rapira has been calling for the Māori Party and Greens to work together,

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I would love to see the Māori Party and the Greens take the lead of @tautokai and work more strategically together. I think both of your voter bases are more ready for it than you realise.

A final note. Russel Norman tweeted this last night about the probable new Māori Party MP.

Rawiri Waititi still ahead in Waiariki. Be so great to have this climate warrior in Parliament.

Maybe this was the climate election after all. I know next to nothing about Waititi yet, but this is huge: we have Ardern, Shaw and the rest of the Greens, Waititi now leading the Māori Party with it strong pro-environmental position. Three progressive parties in parliament, all strong on climate. What we also need is strong voices outside of parliament holding Labour to the nuclear-free moment promise.

135 comments on “Left/Green/Indigenous ”

  1. Alan 1

    the greens are superfluous to requirements

    • weka 1.1

      Only if you believe the climate and ecology crises aren't real.

      • Alan 1.1.1

        Labour is highly aware of and deeply concerned about both those issues already, you know that Weka, why pretend otherwise.

        • weka 1.1.1.1

          whatever Labour's awareness and concern, their action is way too slow. Which imo translates as not really aware.

    • riffer 1.2

      I do believe you underestimate Jacinda Ardern.

      • greywarshark 1.2.1

        I do believe you underestimate the force of inertia (in the physics sense) of those who are satisfied with the status quo and have no interest in other people. That is the nature of those who are in positions of power and wealth beyond our understanding.

        Their strength is in the control of the international monetary system, and, to back up that power are trade sanctions, and armaments of new design, drones, facial recognition etc. It pays to keep these monsters at the back of our minds as we make hopeful plans for improved ways of being and extending these to the whole of the country.

    • Gabby 1.3

      Whose requirements?

      • Enough is Enough 1.3.1

        Labour's requirements. Labour does not need them to govern

        • greywarshark 1.3.1.1

          edit
          Labour's requirements when considering their safest route to harbour in 2023, making sure their choices were right for this purpose of implementation of popular government policies during this term. FIFY.

          Labour does need Greens if they are to show they can govern as a strong, invigorated party able to cope with our crumbling set-up and the demanding future. Or they will show themselves as just a bunch of big-talking pussy cats liking a comfortable seat and a purr over whatever drink is fashionable in their circles these days.

          Perhaps we should look at the ancient Greek classes and see where modern Labour pollies fit.

          The Upper Class/ Athens: The first and the topmost class in Ancient Greece Hierarchy was the Upper Class which was also symbolized as the Leisure Class. They possessed the maximum power and topmost position in the society. One has to be born in Athens to be a part of the Upper Class. The Upper Class handled the government work, literature as well as the philosophy department and also the war…

          The Middle Class/Metics: The people who were not born in Athens but came in Athens and settled there for earning their livelihood and spent their entire life, were eligible to be a part of the Middle Class – means become a Metics and this was also the next class in Ancient Greece Hierarchy. They were free men means they were not slaves but they possessed very little rights as compared to the Upper Class…

          The Lower Class/Freedmen: The next class in Ancient Greece Hierarchy was Lower Class. Lower Class included those people who were once slaves in their past and were somehow freed by his/her owner. They were also referred as Freedmen….

          There was also the slave class, but politicians don't usually sink that low, or rise from that level.

          https://www.hierarchystructure.com/ancient-greece-hierarchy/

          • Enough is Enough 1.3.1.1.1

            I hope they bring the Greens into cabinet, but put quite simply, they don't need to bring them in to govern now, or to win in 2023.

            Lets fast forward 3 years. Labour has just governed for three years alone. On election night Nat+Act has 43%, Labour has 45%, Green has 8%.

            Green holds the balance of power. Do they punish Labour for not including them in government in the previous term and go with Nact, or give their support to Labour to give Jacinda a third term?

            Labour does not require them

            • froggleblocks 1.3.1.1.1.1

              Yip. So long as National + Act are around the 43% or less mark, Labour will win elections going forwards.

              So Labour need to straddle the center.

              • Sacha

                Those with an interest in things not changing much will make the centre a well-rewarded, comfortable place to be.

  2. Robert Guyton 2

    Labour/Green/Maori Government. It has to be.

    • weka 2.1

      I'm going to be really interested to see what the Greens' negotiating team presents. Seats in cabinet weighed up against the ability to speak out boldly on climate and equality.

      • Robert Guyton 2.1.1

        Sue Bradford says, "don't go into Government, Greens" and while I greatly respect her opinion, I want to see a team working together on our challenges; especially climate change and inequality; Greens must be in the place that brings rapid action to those vital issues. Whether that's inside or outside of the tent, I don't know, but I hope for inside, working in unison, rather than from the outside, pressing for action.

    • Alan 2.2

      why? the electorate has given Labour a mandate to govern alone.

      • Gabby 2.2.1

        That's the kind of awesomeness that gets governments chucked out on their arses.

        • Alan 2.2.1.1

          no, that is doing what the electorate has voted you to do.

          • WeTheBleeple 2.2.1.1.1

            You fail to read the room. I know a lot of older laborites, well off ones, who voted Green for the sake of their children and grandchildren.

            Let those whose bread and butter has been climate and ecology sit at the table. And kaitiaki. This is how we build for all NZ, though it sounds you'd like to be in an exclusive club moaning about the poor.

            Your comments are superfluous. Greens and Maori are an integral part of NZ.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 2.2.2

        My preference would be for a continuation of the previous arrangement, i.e. a (now) Maori & Labour party coalition entering into a confidence and supply agreement with the Green party, plus ministers outside cabinet.

        While such an agreement (call it something else if you like) would be unnecessary, under MMP it's important to foster positive political relationships between Labour and the Greens – the electorate doesn’t get to dictate what Labour does with their current mandate, and National will be back.

      • weka 2.2.3
        1. Labour will need a coalition partner in the future, eg in 2023.

        2. Labour probably won't want the Greens outside of govt and able to criticise their very move and non move. Lots of eyes watching to see if Labour lives up to its promises.

        No idea what Labour will actually do about forming govt though, but expect we won't know until the Specials are counted.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.2.4

        No they haven't. If they had there wouldn't be more than one party in parliament.

        Can they govern alone? Yes.

        Should they? No.

        Can you image what would happen if they go all dictatorial as they did in the 1980s?

      • Phillip ure 2.2.5

        I think the electorate has also given the green party a clear mandate to play an effective/important role in the upcoming government…those single voters weren't to know that they were voting for a single-party/f.p.p. throwback/hybrid…I think that many of those labour voters..even if they didn't vote green..voted for labour with the unspoken assumption they were voting for a labour/green partnership of some ilk…labour would do well to not ignore this green-mandate…and if labour think that all those who voted for Chloe swarbrick in ak central also voted for the greens to be frozen out of any real power ..they are deluding themselves…and while I can sympathize with the views of sue bradford..I feel her stance was best for the past…now is the time to get cracking on the solutions..and that means ministerial roles…..labour should deliver what the voters expected/voted for…eh..?

    • Stuart Munro 2.3

      It's certainly desirable – and LGM is a good fit for Jacinda's brand, but Labour have been known to put their electoral interests ahead of broader representation.

  3. observer 3

    I don't think the Maori Party should put themselves back in the binary "either/or" box (i.e. if you don't back Labour you're National). Nothing wrong in opposing the new government formally (on conf & sup) while maintaining a constructive relationship. The "rules" of the 2008 deal meant Hone Harawira had to support Key on conf & sup and it was painful to watch him squirm, until he'd had enough.

    As for Labour and the Greens, why not have the best possible negotiations? Instead of "give us A, B and C or else" (because the numbers are needed) the 2 parties can sit down and agree on what they genuinely want to do. That makes for better policy outcomes than "you don't care about cash for horse racing but I do so you'd better cough up".

    The Greens should simply negotiate in good faith, and if they feel they have enough common ground, take the portfolios. I hope that happens. But if not, then they will be in a strong position come 2023, picking up disappointed votes on the left and with an electorate anchor to encourage wavering voters that it's not a wasted vote.

    2023 government: Labour 39 plus Greens 10 = majority.

  4. georgecom 4

    my views re Greens, at a minimum, are as follows

    look for some policy wins – funding for sustainable farming*, state/social housing, accelerate implementation of electric cars, lift benefit levels, change employment relations to allow fair pay agreements

    some ministers/associate ministers – climate change, conservation, environment, transport, maybe health or social welfare

    *https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGGzmKPimq8

  5. RedBaronCV 5

    While I'm pleased that Chloe has the seat the stats above are the candidate %'s.

    The Auckland Central actual party vote was 45.1% labour and 21.8% nat. Greens were third. The RW candidate and party votes (Nact) were pretty much the same so looks like the labour voters made it a 2 for 1 by giving Chloe the candidate vote and party voting labour.

    The heavy lifting seats where the greens came 2nd in the party voting are the usual suspects around Wellington and Dunedin.

  6. AB 6

    If Labour think they can retain their broad centrist coalition over the long term by keeping the Greens at arms length, they just might. If they don't unduly scare farmers on carbon emissions and water quality, save business from the Covid recession and don't load them with many more costs, and keep the investor/rentier class happy by keeping house prices up – they might hold that coalition together. Essentially they'd become a kinder, gentler National Party – one not doomed by the demographic change to a younger & browner population. If you could become a 50% centrist behemoth with 10-25% parties to your left and right, why wouldn't you? And what if you genuinely thought that was a better path to long-term change than blowing yourself up by being too radical and letting the Nats back? I have no idea if Labour are thinking this way, but I feel it's not impossible.

    • veutoviper 6.1

      “If Labour think they can retain their broad centrist coalition over the long term y keeping the Greens at arms length, they just might.”

      I think that is probably exactly what Ardern and her Labour colleagues are thinking from Ardern's press conference at 2pm this afternoon – see my comment here https://thestandard.org.nz/labour-crushes-election-now-what/#comment-1760610

      Here is the link to the press conference. The actual conference doesn't start until 15 mins in as it started late and Ardern hands over to Hipkins on Covid and the one hew case of community transmission at about 33 mins.

      https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/428621/government-will-be-formed-within-the-next-two-to-three-weeks-jacinda-ardern

    • greywarshark 6.2

      That's a good summation AB but it's wrong, so wrong. Labour take a big breath now, hold it, now let it out slowly, and go ahead and think how best you can cope with the demanding world for the next three years. Greens are staunch and experienced and will make even less boo-boos than you. We are counting on you with your great margin to roll back your sleeves and go for it, along with the Greens, and the Maori Party too. They are staunch and adaptable and have their eyes fixed on good outcomes that will be good for all the country, they are a show-in. Go for it, you guys and girls and free-thinkers.

  7. Scott 7

    If Whangarei flips Labour with the specials, only 162 votes, then the only provincial "centres" that National hold is Invercargill, Blenheim, Taupo, Rotorua and Tauranga – only 5!

    Compared to Labour now holding Timaru, Nelson, Wairarapa, Hastings, Napier, Palmerston North, Whanganui, New Plymouth, Hamilton, Whakatane, Gisborne and potentially Whangarei.

    It looks like we've grabbed a whole of heap of blues seats, and in some context we have. But Timaru used to be a red seat; New Plymouth, Gisborne, and Whanganui have spent long parts of its history in Labour's hands. Hamilton is must if we want to be able to take the country.

    Labour should be able to get these centres, and while I'm looking forward to real change in welfare, housing, employment and social services (unfortunately not tax), I don't want Labour to take advantage of the votes given to them by these centres.

    The flipping of so many provincial centres suggests that voters still like to punish candidates in an old-fashioned first-past-the-post system.

    These voters want to know how the government is going to make their lives better off.

    I want to lock National out of those centres which does mean keeping its distance from The Greens. I think there is still room for them to work together, especially making use of the work that Shawm Genter, Sage and Logie have done in the last term.

    But how is the government going to improve the lives of those who have been left behind in the past 30 years of technocratic governments? A big chunk of those people are in the provinces and they just voted for Labour in a big, big way.

  8. Jester 8

    Its bloody great that Chloe won Auckland Central, but the Greens really do not have much bargaining power given Labour/Jacinda's dominance.

  9. froggleblocks 9

    There's a 3rd option between confidence and supply w/ ministerial posts and sitting on the cross-benches, which appears what Labour is angling towards at present: a 'consultation agreement'.

    I think Labour is actually becoming a centrist party now, and they won't want to pass left-wing policy (which the Greens would require of them) that would scare off their new National converts – unlike 2002 this time they won a bunch of electorates and will want to try and bed that in. That means moving into the center and stopping National from becoming electable – if they can be boxed into the right wing with Act at 43% or less, then Labour are set to win as many elections as they can keep it up, until it dawns on National that the politics of old won't cut it any more.

    If this is actually what Labour are strategising, then the Greens need to focus on moving a little bit more towards the center, to consolidate themselves as a solid left of centre-left party. If Labour do move to the center, there's no reason the Greens couldn't have short to medium term aspirations of hitting the 12-15% mark, something no 'minor' party has managed to do consistently in NZ under MMP, maybe even moving up to the ~20% range.

    In one of the debates Jacinda said if she were able to poach an MP from another party it’d be Tracy Martin – who herself said she’s never seen herself as a Labour MP but an NZ First one through and through. But if Labour are becoming more of a centrist party, then there’s potential scope for Tracy to move to Labour, assuming she wants to stay in politics, in much the way that Shane Jones jumped to NZFirst.

    We could be witnessing the start of a new stage / party realignment in NZ politics, brought about by COVID, climate change and inequality and growing dissatisfaction with neoliberal politics.

    • Devo 9.1

      I think Labour is actually becoming a centrist party now, and they won't want to pass left-wing policy (which the Greens would require of them) that would scare off their new National converts – unlike 2002 this time they won a bunch of electorates and will want to try and bed that in. That means moving into the center and stopping National from becoming electable – if they can be boxed into the right wing with Act at 43% or less, then Labour are set to win as many elections as they can keep it up, until it dawns on National that the politics of old won't cut it any more.

      If that is their strategy then they are being incredibly foolish. You don't think other parties around the world haven't tried to hug the centre to keep power? It doesn't work. In free, democratic countries opposing parties will always adapt into a form that becomes electable and the public eventually become unhappy with the governing party and give the other side a go. History tells us that National will be back in fighting shape in 1-2 terms so if Labour want to make the transformational change they promised then they need to start passing some left wing policy otherwise they will lose their chance for another decade

      • froggleblocks 9.1.1

        I think you need to appreciate how sticky voters can be for parties and candidates. Also whatever has happened historically overseas may not be a good guide for what will happen in this next decade with climate change and other international pressures.

        Megan Woods on the radio right now, pointing out that there were only 4 electorates in the whole country where they lost the party vote.

        Labour could ride this result into 2023 and 2026 (not suggesting they'd govern alone after those elections).

        • Stuart Munro 9.1.1.1

          I don't think the logic holds.

          For all that the media loves the concept of personality cults, Labour's popularity doesn't stem from one – they were quite marginal before Covid, even though they had Jacinda.

          What the public approved was a robust intervention in the public interest. A party returned for that, that ceases to act, will shed that unusual level of support.

          And it's not as if there aren't problems to address – housing, inequality, AGW for starters.

          Nor is it enough to simply wave a chequebook, or Shane Jones would have fared better. Government must see things through to completion – not abandon their responsibilities to the Malthusian processes of the market.

          • froggleblocks 9.1.1.1.1

            With a majority, Labour now can act, and act quickly. National's going to be struggling for talent in the interim.

            • Stuart Munro 9.1.1.1.1.1

              True.

              But I think their problem lies deeper. They need an ideological base that is somewhat coherent, but not manifestly against the public interest. They don't have one at present, and until they do even a strong charismatic prospect will fade quickly. This appears to be Jacinda's strength, that she has a solid grounding for her decisions. Even a talented Gnat won't save them.

  10. observer 10

    Thing is, it's not just an abstract exercise. It's about real people getting up in the morning and going to work. And if you're a Green MP, especially one who has spent 3 years being a Minister, you really don't want to give that up and go back to asking supplementary questions in the House as your day job. So the Greens might be willing to swallow some rather plump rats, to stay at the table.

    It's not venal, or careerist, it's just human.

  11. Koff 11

    Probably not wise to get too excited about a more progressive government arrangement. yet. It might just turn into a mushy centrist LP only government with some "consultation" with other parties from time to time. Jacinda has already hinted at tilting towards the new former National voters who have switched to Labour. Presumably, most didn't switch because of progressive policies, but because of effective Covid elimination. The LP may think that to keep the converts in their fold,they won't want to be too progressive, i.e.keep the Greens at arms length. Thomas Coughlan's article (link below) explores this line of thinking. Guess we will all have to wait and see what happens over the next 2 weeks.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/300135845/election-2020-greens-could-be-cut-out-of-government-as-jacinda-ardern-charts-course-for-political-centre

    • Devo 11.1

      The LP may think that to keep the converts in their fold,they won't want to be too progressive, i.e.keep the Greens at arms length.

      Hopefully they won't be that foolish. Those National voters who gave their vote to Labour will happily go back to voting National once they sort out their infighting and get a leader who can take on Ardern. Might as well take the majority they were given to implement the left wing program they set out on 3 years ago or they'll lose their chance once the public inevitably get tired of this government and National are in a state to actually fight a competitive campaign

      • Tricledrown 11.1.1

        Dream on Devo that could be 9 yrs considering Nationals lack of candidates.

      • Robert Guyton 11.1.2

        I agree with your assessment, Devo.

      • SPC 11.1.3

        This election reminds me of 1987, but despite all those safe National seats that Labour did well in that year, they were always likely to lose in 1990 once the impacts of Rogernomics came in.

        While this Labour government will not go through the same internal division at Cabinet level as that government, the three years will be difficult ones in which to retain that breadth of support.

  12. Gristle 12

    I presume that Green's will be oferred a role outside of cabinet.

    But what sort of relationship should the Maori and Green parties create? Being a single MP makes it hard to muster resources effectively. Is there an opportunity for the two parties to work together in Parliament on some issues?

    • Robert Guyton 12.1

      That's a good question/proposal, Gristle.

      • SPC 12.1.1

        The difficulty with forming a relationship is that it would involve Greens not standing in Maori electorates and the MP no longer leaving itself the option of supporting a National government.

        Is either prepared to do this?

        • Robert Guyton 12.1.1.1

          I believe the Maori Party have already articulated their rejection of the National Party.

        • Gristle 12.1.1.2

          My question is more focused on how to work together in parliament rather than at elections.

          • SPC 12.1.1.2.1

            With a new MP (Taika W with a moko) it's more a matter of induction to the House support – maybe including services Greens provide for their own MP's.

            Their party can do the same by having their co-leader become leader outside of parliament and take on some the workload while the MP is fitting in – Select Committees and electorate workload.

  13. SPC 13

    It will be an all Labour Cabinet – no coalition (it is what some in Labour want and what some of their new centrist supporters want).

    And they do not need the Greens for confidence and supply.

    The options left are a support agreement leading to some Ministers/Associate Ministers outside of Cabinet and some leadership of Select Committees or just the latter without a support agreement – Greens as part of the Opposition.

  14. Ad 14

    Depends if Greens have figured out how to negotiate better than last time.

    • Robert Guyton 14.1

      The Greens, James Shaw in particular, are/is far cannier than you probably imagine. Pause for a moment and consider how well the Party was placed over the past 3 years, and how successful they were in this election, despite predictions. Smart operators, The Greens.

      • Ad 14.1.1

        Getting one seat is a thing.

        But it's nothing right now.

        Shaw needs to keep his media profile really high this week and sound like has has some wag in the tail.

        • Robert Guyton 14.1.1.1

          Shaw doesn't need to convince the country of anything. He's already done that and his party was successful on election night. He is a respected and very able Minister. He will not be discarded (imo).

      • The Al1en 14.1.2

        Remember during the campaign how some people would come on here and tell the greens they need to sort their shit out and get the numbers to make it back to parliament?

        So now they've not only upped their party vote, they won an electorate seat, without a cup of tea deal, and it's still not enough to satisfy.

        It really is hard to be green.

    • SPC 14.2

      I'll use short words and one sentence paragraphs.

      Last time Labour needed NZF and Greens and NZF point out refused a coalition including Greens.

      It's only because Greens accepted that reality that Ardern became PM and Labour are now in the position they are in.

      As they say – behind those who achieve things is a great support partner.

      While Labour should be grateful, this is politics and the Greens have no leverage.

      • froggleblocks 14.2.1

        It seems like a lot of people voted Labour specifically to keep the Greens out of a position of power – figuring that Winston wouldn't make it this time.

        So unless Labour wants to really piss those people off, they better keep the Greens out of a position of power.

        • Robert Guyton 14.2.1.1

          Some may have, but that action is finished. Success at he next election will not depend upon the votes of those who want to keep the Greens out (nor did this one, imo). The Greens didn't inflame anyone during the last term and there's no reason to think they will this time around. Another successful term with Green ministers serving the country will grow the Green vote and settle the timorous middle-voter further; the so called anti-Green vote will not factor in the next election. That old paradigm is all but extinguished.

      • weka 14.2.2

        "While Labour should be grateful, this is politics and the Greens have no leverage."

        Sure they do. Sitting on the cross benches and challenging each piece of legislation and policy where Labour fails to do what is needed on poverty or climate. Relentless for 3 years. Lots of lefties and greenies want the Greens to chose this option.

        Also an opportunity to court voters for the 2023 election. By which time Labour may well need a coalition partner.

        • SPC 14.2.2.1

          No they do not, and what you have outlined is in fact a role they can fulfill.

          A few advise them to choose it, however they seem inclined to want Ministerial positions (albeit outside Cabinet). If they are outside formal coalition, they can do both.

          This would seem to require some sort of policy agremeent in the porfolios where Greens have Ministerial responsibility.

    • RedLogix 14.3

      Well the question boils down to this; what do the Greens bring of potential value to a Coalition govt? If the answer is not 'seats in the House' then it must be something else.

      The Greens need to be offer a political role that Labour is not able, or willing, to readily do for itself.

      The best answer I can think of is that if Labour is going to form a broad 'centre left' party, then it will need a friendly to absorb and represent the inevitable harder left types who will be unhappy with this. The next question is, how should the Greens best do this without necessarily becoming a party of unelectable, toxic extremists?

      Ask the right question, and some of the answers become clearer.

      • SPC 14.3.1

        Sure, back in 87 Labour got National voters, and then New Labour was formed.

        • RedLogix 14.3.1.1

          Exactly.

          And this is why, despite their weak negotiating position in the next week or so, that in the medium term this scenario presents a solid opportunity for the Greens to expand their base.

  15. Pat 15

    Everything else aside, who is a potential candidate from within the Labour caucus for the role of climate change Minister?

    • Robert Guyton 15.1

      There is no-one more suitable than James Shaw.

      • Pat 15.1.1

        indeed…though hes not in the labour caucus

      • weka 15.1.2

        This is the one that makes me wonder if they are better off partly inside the tent. All that work that Shaw and his staff have done, seems a waste to choose another climate minister at this point.

        Otoh, will Labour go hard on climate? Will they jump left or put a centrist stake in the ground? Will the Green negotiating team be able to tell?

        • Robert Guyton 15.1.2.1

          James established a concensus between disparite parties and pathways to agreement on the most difficult of issues. He won respect across the board. If Jacinda/Labour intend to be effective around climate change, they will re-appoint James; not to do so would expose their insincerity, imo, and damage their future prospects significantly. Even the right-wing would recognise such a cynical move. Jacinda won't do that.

          • Pat 15.1.2.1.1

            that would require some form of accomodation and precludes the cross benches for the Greens then

          • weka 15.1.2.1.2

            I agree, it would be bizarre for Labour to do that. The issue is more in or outside of cabinet. But, let's not forget that there is form for Labour pushing the Greens out. And, the Greens still have to decide if they want to be in and how.

            • weka 15.1.2.1.2.1

              eg what if Labour say, you can have climate and nothing else? What happens to the Greens' high priority on inequality?

            • Incognito 15.1.2.1.2.2

              Somebody did an analysis of Ardern and IIRC they concluded that Ardern is not an ideologue but her politics are relational.

          • SPC 15.1.2.1.3

            The appointment of Green Ministers outside Cabinet (not being part of a formal coalition) might/would/could require policy agreement in those portfolios.

    • Ad 15.2

      The systems and the commission are already set up. It's not necessary.

      In fact making it a portfolio just weakens its cross-government interest.

      • Pat 15.2.1

        on that argument why have ministerial portfolios at all

      • greywarshark 15.2.2

        Just because you notice some work already done Ad doesn't mean it will be effective, or be physically done in a timely fashion asap. For a tough thinker Ad you sometimes seem charmingly hopeful. I hope you are right about action on inequality going-forward. At the end of the day it is one of the most important matters the government faces etc etc

  16. ianmac 16

    Fed Farmers and Judith's lot have terrified the farmers. They over-reached I think because on Nat Radio this morning the farmers claim that the voted Labour to keep Greens out because the Greens would "devastate" farming deliberately.

    Farmers who I have known over the years were pretty well grounded reasonable people. Where do they get the gullible ones from?

    • Robert Guyton 16.1

      Southland.

      • Pat 16.1.1

        Pah…you cannot claim them all for yourself…theres plenty to go around (and plenty of reasonable ones too as Ianmac notes)

        • greywarshark 16.1.1.1

          Just remember the saying that it is the unreasonable person who gets things done Pat.

          The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” ― George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman

          https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/536961-the-reasonable-man-adapts-himself-to-the-world-the-unreasonable

          This sounds interesting – I haven't read yet but throw it into the pot to thicken the soup!

          The Progress Paradox — Matt Church
          http://www.mattchurch.com › the-centre › progress-paradox
          That being said Goethe the 17th century German philosopher said: “Seldom should we let the urgent take the place of the important but oftentimes we do.”

          This very quote prompted the late Dr Stephen Covey to pen his landmark book First Things First, a must read for those interested in getting stuff done.

          • Pat 16.1.1.1.1

            may have a look later but would suggest motivation is all important…it is possible to be 'unreasonable' for either altruistic or self serving reasons.

            • greywarshark 16.1.1.1.1.1

              True the point he makes is how adaptable the reasonable person is, and to be different takes energy, takes away from just fitting in, going along with whatever, raising questions, analysing. Reasonable is a good word to me, but in this context, some unreasonableness is essential, it opens up an edge to unroll the comfortable covering and look at what's under – probably rust!

          • Stuart Munro 16.1.1.1.2

            Covey's good value – may have had some influence on JA's thought too – a former co-religionist.

      • Sacha 16.1.2

        Southland.

        heh

  17. mosa 17

    Nandor Tanczos tweeted at the weekend that they should stay out of the tent ”

    Yes that is my view given the NZLP has a workable majority. The Greens will be pissed on inside the tent so that leaves the option of supporting reasonable legislation or voting against or abstaining. I am sure they will be there for confidence and supply but that won’t be necessary given the configuration of parliament with the results being confirmed on November 6th. 2023 will be a different prospect entirely and the Greens need to keep that in mind going ahead. There is a big difference between being needed and being surplus to requirements.

    • weka 17.1

      • Robert Guyton 17.1.1

        "Let's see what JA really stands for."

        While I admire Nandor's work, I don't think this statement is sound: we aren't in a position to rely on one party and their leader to manage the coming challenges, we have to combine our talents and achieve all that can be achieved with a shared pool of abilities and views. Commentators are talking tough, in absolutes, but this is a time for nuance and heart-centred decision-making, not old-style competitive political behaviour. The feminine aspect must be at the heart of our collective decisions now; would a mother, seeing approaching trouble, seperate her children into groups, isolate some of them from taking part in the action needed, or would she gather them together, build the family spirit and trust?

        • Incognito 17.1.1.1

          yes

          • greywarshark 17.1.1.1.1

            One commenter's opinion about coalition – valid.

            The last thing Jacinda and Labour needs is a Green Party, positioned well to their left and feeling morally obliged to criticise every move Labour makes for the entire term. Better by far to slap them in the handcuffs of Collective Cabinet Responsibility – the doctrine which requires cabinet ministers to defend even those government policies they have argued and voted against. The Greens should therefore be very wary of smiling Labour leaders bearing gifts of ginger cake and kindness!

            https://bowalleyroad.blogspot.com/2020/10/jacinda-will-keep-us-moving-to-same.html

            Confidence and supply agreement?

    • Incognito 17.2

      I disagree. The Greens worked hard to get & set a foot inside the tent and used it to implement or at least influence decision-making and policies in spite of the NZF ‘handbrake’. Supporting “reasonable legislation or voting against or abstaining” is nowhere near being actively involved in shaping policy.

      My view is that in areas where they can work (well) together Labour should share some power & responsibility with the Greens. How much and in what form/arrangement is the tricky question. They won’t want to scare the ‘centre’ and I’d expect the attack lines from the Right to start soon.

      Ardern is for an inclusive multi-cultural society so she can show us what she means by that. You cannot govern for all New Zealanders from a non-inclusive position of power & leadership, IMO.

      • weka 17.2.1

        I'm reasonably persuaded by the argument that if this kind of mandate isn't the time to go left then there is no time. Which is the dilemma.

        Tending towards not in cabinet, maybe ministers outside, but ok for no support at all so the Greens are free to speak up strongly on all legislation.

        • weka 17.2.1.1

          and going left doesn't mean radical left. It just means things like honouring the WEAG report. Putting regenag first. Climate action upped. Taking on some more progressive approaches to the housing crisis. Imo this can be done without freaking out the centrists.

        • froggleblocks 17.2.1.2

          I'm reasonably persuaded by the argument that if this kind of mandate isn't the time to go left then there is no time. Which is the dilemma.

          Labour clearly won this election at the centre, so going left is not appropriate.

          • Incognito 17.2.1.2.1

            The ‘centre’ may not realise it (yet), but the whole Government response & package to Covid was a huge jump to the left!

      • SPC 17.2.2

        My view is that in areas where they can work (well) together Labour should share some power & responsibility with the Greens. How much and in what form/arrangement is the tricky question.

        Maybe policy agreement where Greens have Ministerial responsibility outside of Cabinet is where this is leading?

    • Koff 17.3

      Gordon Campbell at Werewolf has a similar position. Think there has to be a big discussion within the GP membership before rushing to accept a token agreement.

      http://werewolf.co.nz/2020/10/gordon-campbell-on-why-the-greens-shouldnt-join-the-government/

  18. infused 18

    Labour would, imo, be stupid to form a coalition with the Greens.

    There is no need to. Why put on the handbrake

  19. McFlock 21

    I'm mulling over the idea that the Greens might actually increase their pull by showing NZ how an effective opposition operates.

    National will be distracted by infighting for a while.

    Labour will have its tory section pushing for "centrism" ("soft right", from my perspective), essentially filling in the vacuum left by NZ1.

    ACT will be nutbar right, Seymour's feigned liberal heart will be offset by the gun lobby and whatever libertarian zealots got elevated into parliament.

    So the Greens could have a wider field as a legitimate opposition, a left wing opposition to a lethargic but kindhearted Labour government. Asking real questions, not gotchas. Giving honest credit where credit is due. Trying to build cross-party support on specific issues.

    It might be good, trying that with a government that actually operates within the bounds of good faith.

  20. Maurice 22

    Perhaps our Green MPs may be well out of the inevitable tsunami of economic mayhem that is rapidly approaching? Let Labour try and sort out the mess of high "aspirations" and inevitable low delivery mandated by our straightened circumstances?

    Time to observe and critique?

  21. Corey Humm 23

    Its a tough one, Labour needs to figure out where it's votes came from, was it for transformational change or strategically for centerist pragmatic govt that keeps the greens out of cabinet cos I think most of nz wants the greens and act outside any govts cabinet.

    HOWEVER. It's better for both labour and the greens to be in the same tent because if the greens spend three years attacking the greens they will never be seen as reliable team players to labour and we'll probably have a Lab v alliance in 96 style war in 2023, I say give them a confidence agreement let eugene and James keep their portfolios and give some two Marama and Chloe, make some policy concessions and call it a consensus agreement because there is a supermajority for environmental reform that we may never see again. This also keeps the greens from attacking Labour non stop and shows they can work well,it also won't spook the horses or people who voted labour to keep greens out of cabinet.

    The Maori party wont be called till the specials are counted because it's 50/50 if they are still there, the majority of specials is going to Labour noones voting anyone but labour overseas this election and anyone with less than a thousand vote majority will be losing sleep till then. If the Maori party is still there after specials let's do a memorandum of understanding and extend an olive branch, he is a former labour candidate after all and Maori don't want labour and the Maori party at war with each other.

    • Sacha 23.1

      Labour needs to figure out where it's votes came from, was it for transformational change or strategically for centerist pragmatic govt

      We are hearing the PM and Finance Minister state that pretty clearly already. Was the platform their party took to the election 'transformational'?

  22. DS 24

    I really don't understand the love affair with the Maori Party on the Left right now. They were established with the twin goals of championing Iwi Corporate Interests and screwing over the Labour Party. They backed John Key for years, to a degree where they basically became the Maori wing of the Nats, before they got thrown out on their arses in 2017. Maori voters rejected them for a reason, and it really grates to see nostalgic wistfulness about how important the Maori Party somehow is to the New Zealand political system.

    Three years and a "Leftie" makeover really shouldn't be enough to suddenly treat the Maori Party as being as trustworthy as the Greens.

    • froggleblocks 24.1

      They've said they wouldn't go into coalition with National because they're racist, and that they agree with the Greens on most things.

      I mean you can refuse to take them at their word if you want.

      • DS 24.1.1

        National is no more racist now than when the Maori Party were actively supporting them.

        • Leapy99 24.1.1.1

          I think you meant to say –

          National is no more or less racist now than when the Maori Party were actively supporting them.

          🙂

        • froggleblocks 24.1.1.2

          Yes, so what you seem to have missed, is that the Maori Party now have fundamentally reformed themselves, and are saying they would NOT go with National because they are racist.

          They never made such statements previously, and in fact did go with National, which is clear evidence that the party now is not the party that it once was. As far as I've looked, all of the candidates for this past election were entirely new.

          You seem to basically be saying “who cares what this entirely reformed party SAYS they’re going to do, lets judge this entirely reformed party which is using the same name, as if it is identical to the party that fought the 2017 election, and judge this entirely reformed party by their actions from 2017 and earlier”.

          The party hasn’t existed in its reformed state long enough to actually rack up any actions on which we can judge them, so we need to judge them on what they say their principles are. Later we can see if their actions betray that.

          Your misunderstanding of this situation explains why “I really don’t understand the love affair with the Maori Party on the Left right now.”.

          Hopefully you now have a better understanding.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 24.2

      Aotearoa needs a forward-looking Māori party in parliament representing the interests of all Māori, IMHO.

      "The Māori Party was formed in response to the 2004 foreshore and seabed controversy, a debate about whether Māori have legitimate claim to ownership of part or all of New Zealand's foreshore and seabed."
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C4%81ori_Party

    • PsyclingLeft.Always 24.3

      " They backed John Key for years, to a degree where they basically became the Maori wing of the Nats"

      Exactly !….The brown 1% is just the same as the white 1% (kinda Animal Farm like) Poor Maori still at the bottom with other poor NZers….

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