Political positioning

Written By: - Date published: 10:18 am, October 11th, 2007 - 19 comments
Categories: greens, national, nz first - Tags: , ,

And so it begins. First we have Winston saying he could work with the Nats “if its policy was [thrown out] adjusted” and most recently it’s the Greens extending the leafy hand of friendship.

I would have thought that all the Nats’ recent talk of selling off state assests would have seriously put the brakes on these kinds of gestures. After all it was National’s privatisation of Auckland International Airport in 1998 that was the catalyst for Winston’s departure from the National-led government in 1998. And presumably much of the Nats’ policy is pure poison to the Greens.

Tracy Watkins has been giving potential coalition arrangements a little thought over at her shiny new blog too – concluding with a question about whether we’re ready for a situation where the party that wins the largest share of the vote doesn’t have enough friends to be able to put together a government, but one or more smaller parties does.

I can’t see that we wouldn’t be accepting of such a setup. After all isn’t this precisely the kind of thing that a proportionally representative electoral system like ours aims to make possible, thus giving meaning to votes that in the bad old days would have been wasted? Think of the Alliance’s 18% back in 1993.

National appears to have recognised since the last election that shafting all your potential partners isn’t a smart strategy, though it’s hard to imagine that Steven Joyce would ever admit it. Key’s ‘changing their tone but not their policy’ might work with some of the electorate, but I doubt that it will be enough to court a coalition partner.

19 comments on “Political positioning”

  1. Sam Dixon 1

    I think both NZF and the Greens have said there would be potential to work with any party, including National if they change their policies.

    Well, its a tautology isn’t it – like saying ‘would you eat dog if you were hungry enough?’ well, obviously the key word is enough – ‘we could work with National if they stop being tories’, it ain’t going to happen.

    For the Greens especially, National is simply too different to ever work with in a governing relaitonship – it would also be poltiical suicide,

  2. tom-tom 2

    I think the Greens have been looking very closely at the National Party policies that are most important to the Green Party and to the country – hence the presence of Metiria Turei at the Bluegreen AGM last week – but her comments to the Herald (I think it was) about the significant absence of any mention of policy on the agricultural emissions issue gives an indication of where they might stand. Given the number of farmers attending the conference, the omission of talk on emission was key.

  3. thomas 3

    Smith was NOT invited to the Greens conference He invited himself as the local MP
    It was more trying to get himself on the front page of The Nelson Mail rather then the Greens
    He is a self serving GIT

  4. gobsmacked 4

    Apart from the distant dream of single-party govt, what are National’s options? In order of (their) preference:

    1) ACT and United Future. Can only last one term, because a) the govt will be too right wing and b) the two minor parties have no future (sic), except at National’s expense, therefore self-defeating. Still the preferred option, but National will need 46/47% or so, and even more if there’s an overhang.

    2) NZ First. May not be there anyway, and if there, will provoke a National caucus rebellion within months.

    3) Maori and/or Greens: will provoke a National caucus rebellion within days.

    One other option worth considering: to detach a few individual MPs from their parties, Alamein Kopu style. Ron Mark and Tariana Turia spring to mind. Dangle the baubles, and who knows?

  5. thomas 5

    So in fact we will have another Clarke Government
    or a National Government that will probably self destruct into factionalised bitter infighting and be out of power for another 9 years
    Seems like a win win to me

  6. Nick C 6

    This political analysis is crap. Both United Furture and Act will be around at the next election as they have safe seats. And there is absolutly no proof that National would ‘rebel’ in a coillition with NZ first. There’s a reason you guys are only writing on your own petty communist blog instead of a newspaper or a decent blog like kiwiblog. You can reassure yourselfs all you like with your rubbish, but it will do no good when New Zealand chooses National in 2008

  7. Tane 7

    Nick C, since when has the level of a blog’s political analysis been judged by the standard of its comments? By that measure Kiwiblog should be judged by the insane ramblings of Dad4Justice and Redbaiter.

    But for what it’s worth, I think you’ve misunderstood what gobsmacked meant by “the two minor parties have no future (sic), except at National’s expense, therefore self-defeating.”

    Because the fact is ACT and United don’t have a future except at National’s expense. Sure, they might be able to hang onto a single electoral seat and maybe get one or two others in, but any future beyond that is unlikely, and can only come at National’s expense. It’s also a fact that the last National-NZ First coalition was a debacle, and any future coalition would likely be even harder given NZ First’s strident opposition to almost all of National’s core economic policies.

    As for this ‘petty communist blog’ (nice spin there mate, did Whaleoil think it up for you?), a quick look at the stats suggests there are thousands of New Zealanders out there who would beg to disagree. But hey, I understand bro, it’s not very nice having your safe little right-wing monopoly in cyberspace broken is it?

  8. gobsmacked 8

    “collition” – excellent coinage there. They would certainly collide more than collude.

    Re: UF and Act … you might want to read the comments above a bit more carefully, Nick.

  9. Well, since the Greens have been taken for granted in the past by Labour, and rewarded accordingly, (the support for recent private members bills may have changed this to some extent), they really have no option but to explore all their political options. Let’s not forget that although there are substantial differences between Labour and National, they both rely on essentially the same neo-liberal models of economic growth, which are opposed to the philosophies of the Greens.

  10. Robinson 10

    I agree. I’m hoping “time for a change” translates into time to vote for more Greens in parliament. Won’t hold my breath on that one though. Sigh.

  11. ahod 11

    ACT went to Ireland (I think it was Ireland??) quite a few months ago to find out how their Irish counterpart managed to be so successful while they have fallen well below the Realm of crapville (population: 2 – Hide and what’s-her-name). I’ve neither seen, nor heard of them doing anything constructive or worthwhile of being in Parliament.. The ACT party has only done two things this term, dance on ‘Dancing with the Stars’, and drop on ‘Dancing with the Stars’. Whatever pointers Hide got, he hasn’t done a great job of implementing them. When he used to spend his time muck-raking about everybody else, at least he got mention on the news. What does he have now? Half the weight and half the presence. Political positioning, more like political disappearance!

    HEATHER ROY; That’s he name!

  12. Lee C 12

    So, here it is:

    The Labour Party are broke. They need anonymous donations so they do not outlaw them. They need third-party assistance so they don not outlaw it. They need unlimited tax-payers money to finance Government publicity in election year, so they propose a Bill to stop everyone else from expressing their opinions. They also need to ratify the emergency law about the Pledge-card overspend so they hide it in the small print of the EFB.

    The Greens need Labour, and they want revenge on a section of the EFB because they are nasty homophobic, mysogynistic paternalistic and rich and they had the temerity to criticise the Greens in the last election.

    United Future need Labour and they owe money for the overspend. If they support the EFB, it will be a small step to writing off the outstanding money owed, which Labour paid back ‘voluntarily’.

    New Zealand first ditto. Plus everybody is stuck with Winston, who comes across like the creepy uncle at your daughter’s twenty-first, yo had to invite him, but boy is he uncomfortable to be around.

    The result, the above parties get together in secret to produce a badly=cobbled together Bill which takes a cross-section of other electoral reforms and tries to mate them in the hope that its off-spring will look vaguely – well vaguely not like a mutant. But it fails to do so.

    Meanwhile the supporters of the Bill still are going on about the EB.

    This is because they are either too partisan or too stupid to realise the number that is being done on them.

    The irony of it all?

    National have more to gain by letting it through than they do by fighting against it!!

    You have to ask why are National resisting this Bill.

    And the poor deluded fools’ chorus will all chant;

    “Because of the EFB!”

    Jeez, It’s like taking candy from a baby.

  13. Lee C 13

    erratum – the last bit shold have read “because of the EB!”
    Jeez, it’s like taking candy from a baby…

    Seriously though, are you guys so hung up on the Labour Party that you cannot even conceivably imagine, for a parsec, that you are being taken for a ride with the EFB?

    I invite you to get past that ‘it can be amended at Select Committee’ line and examine what is being proposed.

    No change to third-party donations
    No change to anonymous donations
    No definition of ‘election spending’
    an extension of the limit on political expression to a year

    A situation which will encourage, even incentivise covert political rorting – the very thing it is designed to stop!

    Seriously, think about it.

    If national do win the next election and this bill is intact – all you idiots will think your paranoia about the EB to be laughable. You will start to realise how much yo have been taken in/
    (cue dismissive remarks about ‘right-wing paranoia from the gallery)

  14. Robinson 14

    I don’t think your comment is right wing paranoia at all Lee, but I do think it’s not the huge issue you make of it. I mean what we’re looking at according to you (and most of the people I’ve talked to who are in the know) is a bill that will be business as usual with an extended campaign period. In truth I’m not happy with that but I don’t think a minor (but positive) change to the status quo is worth getting your knockers in a twist over. Unfortunately the parliamentary process is reformist in nature and that means you are not going to see the over-spun scenarios of the right ever come to fruition. Please Lee, you’re an intelligent woman, recognise the fear mongering you’ve bought into and get over it. And anyway don’t we have a dinner date to plan?

  15. burt 15

    I would have thought that all the Nats’ recent talk of selling off state assests would have seriously put the brakes on these kinds of gestures. After all it was National’s privatisation of Auckland International Airport in 1998 that was the catalyst for Winston’s departure from the National-led government in 1998.

    It’s was Labour’s initiation of selling state assets that ultimately put the National Govt that you denigrate into power with the legal framework required to do what it did. The failed policies of the past started where???

    Best not to make the sale of state assets a partisan point scoring device, some skeletons are better left locked up.

    Attack the policy if you like, but best to admit your own mistakes as well rather than try and thumb them off onto the “opposition” as National’s failed policies of the past.

  16. Mike 16

    Burt, as far as I can see Helen Clarke isnt campainging on selling SOE’s

  17. all_your_base 17

    burt, I stand by my analysis. With an extreme privatisation agenda like the one the Nats are proposing I don’t think a deal with NZF is on the cards. Winston didn’t like it back then and he doesn’t appear to like it now.

  18. Peak Oil Conspiracy 18

    All Your Base:

    …an extreme privatisation agenda like the one the Nats are proposing…

    Could you clarify this statement please? You strike me as someone who sees privatisation as an extreme concept, so what’s the point of saying “extreme privatisation agenda”? And what exactly is it about National’s announcements (which are too woffly for my liking) that you find objectionable?

  19. ahod 19

    Mike, her name is Clark, not Clarke.. Sorry, it just annoyed me. 🙂

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