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Replacing Russel

Written By: - Date published: 3:47 pm, April 19th, 2015 - 48 comments
Categories: greens, MMP, political parties - Tags:

The Greens have closed their nominations for male co-leader, and are running a number of provincial meetings. I went to the second one in the data starved bowels of the OGGB4 at Auckland Uni. 

Province

Date

Time

Venue

Top of the South – Nelson

18 April

1.30pm

Victory Community Centre, Totara St, Nelson

Auckland

19 April

1.30pm

Owen Glenn Building, OGGB4, University of Auckland, Auckland

Waikato –  Hamilton

21 April

7pm

The Meteor Theatre, 1 Victoria St, Hamilton

North-East – Tauranga

22 April

7.30pm

Wesley Centre, 100 13th Avenue, Tauranga

Central

23 April

7.30pm

Teleconference meeting

Wellington

26 April

2pm

Shed 6, Queens Wharf, Jervois Quay, Wellington

Deep South – Dunedin

2 May

1pm

Bart Winters Room, St Patrick’s Community Centre, 32 MacAndrew Rd, South Dunedin

Aoraki – Christchurch

3 May

2pm

The Oak Room, The Atrium (Netball Centre), Hagley Avenue, Christchurch

Northern – Whangarei

9 May

10.30

Northland Youth Centre, Bank Street, Whangarei

 The male candidates are (in alphabetical last name order1) :-

  • Kevin Hague
  • Gareth Hughes
  • James Shaw
  • Vernon Tava

Metiria Turei is the sole nomination to be re-elected as female Co-leader.

I don’t get to many Green meetings. They are usually either members only or full blown public events done cooperatively in conjunction with parties and organisations and targeted to a cause. So they are relatively new to me.

Like the Labour leadership meetings last year, this one had the candidates doing short prepared pitches. The welcome addition of a few selected questions collected earlier. Then the the media were excluded as the candidates answered ad-hoc questions from the floor including ones related to internal organisation of the party.

The Greens have a electoral problem. It is just different from Labours current one. From Wikipedia

House of Representatives
Election year # of
overall votes
 % of
overall vote
1990 124,915 6.9 (#3)
19931996
Part of the Alliance
1999 106,560 5.2 (#5)
2002[19] 142,250 7.0 (#5)
2005 120,521 5.3 (#4)
2008 157,613 6.7 (#3)
2011 247,372 11.1 (#3)[31]
2014 257,356 [32] 10.70 (#3)

Clearly the Greens have transitioned from the 5-7% band that they (probably) spent from 1990 to 2008 in. However it was a disappointing election for them in 2014 gaining slightly less than the percentage vote from 2011 on less than 10k more votes. 

Despite all of the support in polls prior to the election and even after the election. For instance the Roy Morgan poll just before the 2014 election showed them at 13.4% dropping from the 17% earlier in the year. Immediately after the 2014 election Roy Morgan (and other polls) showed them with 17.5% support – nearly 7% above what they actually gained.  Clearly the Greens have issues transitioning poll support to actual voting support.

 

This is my first real look at these candidates. But I’m sure that everyone who reads this site is aware of my biases when it comes to party leadership candidates. I prefer strong parliamentary and party experience. I think that leaders in political parties need to be able to drive and deal with their party and caucus, even if they do it more by a consensus approach than a autocratic one. I like candidates who are not pure animals of the “beltway” coming up through the nepotism of who they know rather than experience grounded in the society of NZ.

Ultimately politics for politicians is about getting people out to vote for their party, then being able to change society. Like it or not, party leaders are critical to the public face of political parties. But they are typically voted on by much smaller microcosms of the fishbowl microcosm of a parliamentary caucus and/or the slightly larger cohort of faithful members.

To a lesser extent they are presented to the public by the remaining journalists and non-journalists like me.

In this case for the Greens, they are elected indirectly by members sending delegates with voting instructions to the Queens birthday conference.

I’ll write my impressions of the candidates later. 

48 comments on “Replacing Russel ”

  1. Maui 1

    To be shaw, to be shaw – That’s just my irish accent.

  2. 257 thousand – just doesn’t sound like many but dramatically 100k up from 2008.

    Good luck to all the candidates – I really hope the game-changer is elected because time is ticking…

  3. Murray Rawshark 3

    Kevin Hague is the only one I know. I think he’d be good. One reason for wanting a stronger Greens is to help keep Labour honest. I’m quite happy that Labour is not likely to be strong enough in the medium turn to do something like Rogernomics again.

  4. Stuart Munro 4

    If UK Greens and the SNP can bring Miliband to heel, the chances of a united left alliance here in NZ will grow appreciably. The SLUDing collapse of the rockstar economy myth under the wheels of Auckland property juggernaut should also reduce neo-liberal enthusiasm – optimistic of course – but if Labour remains trenchantly anti-Green I certainly don’t want them.

    • Clemgeopin 4.1

      Labour is NOT anti-Green. Labour is pro-Labour, just as the Greens are pro-Greens, and every other party is pro their own party. It is irritating and wrong to the opposition aims if such harmful claims are made. It is up to each party to try and grow their own solid support. It is disingenuous, untrue, childish and frankly quite stupid to indulge in such blame games.

      • gnomic 4.1.1

        In my humble opinion Labour has been consistently anti-Green Party and soft on green issues. As they obviously would be since the Labour Party still believes in infinite growth, snuggles up to neo-liberalism and monetarism, is in bed with the powers that be, and so forth. And the Greens taking Labour voters will be making them bitter as well. However sucks to them, ie Labour, as they failed to evolve in the green direction when any fool could see that needed to happen.

        Alas Labour may have no reason to live aside from personal identity politics since they have abandoned socialism. Why vote for NatLites when you can have the real thing? As you do, you lucky lucky people.

        • Clemgeopin 4.1.1.1

          “In my humble opinion”

          Your opinion is more arrogant, unfair, wrong and stupid than ‘humble’.

          • Matthew Whitehead 4.1.1.1.1

            Labour is as fundamentally incompatible with green (small G) values as National is, they just don’t go out of their way to prioritise anything at all over them the way National will wreck the environment to chase even small change. No, for Labour, it’s about whether it creates dirty jobs to destroy our future.

            I remember listening to a speech from a Green MP back at the old Drinking Liberally events where Trevor Mallard attended, and when they talked about how unlimited growth wasn’t a practical possibility and we would have to find a way to make resilient growth instead, his response was: “But that would cost jobs!”

            As if “jobs” are possible without an environment to support them, or the wellbeing of the people who are to work those jobs.

            A lot of Labour supporters focus on their emissions trading scheme being better than National’s in terms of their party being green. However, they don’t seem to remember that even Labour’s scheme was of such marginal benefit that the Green Party had to seriously debate voting against it, in case it killed the opportunity of something better being proposed in the future.

            Another great example is Labour’s approach to offshore drilling- which has very clearly been demonstrated to not be safe all over the world, no matter what measures are taken. However Labour’s stance is that with world-best safety standards, (Which don’t account for how they would stop a spill, isolate the spill, or clean it up in any acceptable manner) the risk of a devastating spill is somehow acceptable as a tradeoff for the jobs provided. It’s amazing how they justify this.

            Labour may not be as hostile to environmental interests as National is, but it’s laughable to claim that they’re friendly to any significant degree.

        • Murray Rawshark 4.1.1.2

          Your humble opinion makes a lot of sense to me.

        • greywarshark 4.1.1.3

          @ gnomic
          I’ll stick up for your strong opinion as being right gnomic. Times are serious and we have to sometime be prepared to sort out the sheep from the goats, and decide which of the two is the best lot to go into the future with to ensure we have something worth having.

          Both goats and sheep have something to offer, but one has been genetically altered I fear and is no longer robust enough to handle the vicissitudes of our future, having a limited vocabulary as well, preferring simple solutions to nation building, and capacity building in anything hard to explain to the people.

      • Stuart Munro 4.1.2

        I think the refusal to make a proper pre election alliance cost Labour about six points, and the Greens about three. I’d’ve preferred that they had won.

        • Clemgeopin 4.1.2.1

          No, I don’t agree. A Labour-Green alliance BEFORE the election would have strengthened the Greens, NZF, the conservatives and above all, National and weakened Labour the most.

          • Stuart Munro 4.1.2.1.1

            I’m talking about what happened, not what might’ve. Dissing the Greens was followed by massively worsening polls.

            • Clemgeopin 4.1.2.1.1.1

              “Dissing the Greens was followed by massively worsening polls”

              How can you ascribe the ‘massively worsening polls’ to what you refer to as ‘Dissing the Greens’? As you are aware there were a myriad of issues and varied unpredictable factors that worked against the opposition parties and in favour of National before the election.

          • Matthew Whitehead 4.1.2.1.2

            You don’t have to agree, it’s very obvious that the impression that the opposition parties couldn’t co-operate cost them at the polls, regardless of what your given stance is on pre-election coalition. Like this site has pointed out in the past, the highest polling for the Left was during the NZ Power policy announcement. If that co-operation with differing interpretations could have continued, we could have had a new government now.

    • dukeofurl 4.2

      Total nonsense.
      It looks like the dreamers and waffle heads from the last election have decided to pontificate on the UK election.

  5. saveNZ 5

    I’d like to see their meetings videoed and online. That way you can get to see their views and know more about them.

  6. outofbed 6

    James Shaw would be a good leader

    • Pasupial 6.1

      Shaw is very inexperienced within parliamentary politics. Whereas this is Hague’s third term, and Hughes second and a third (as he came in at the end of 49th parliament), Shaw has not yet served even a year as an MP. My preference would be for Hughes for male coleader, but I think Hague is more likely.

      That said; Tánczos, and Ward, both had more parliamentary experience than Norman back in 2006.

      • Colonial Rawshark 6.1.1

        If Shaw was smarter than he was ambitious, he would wait until his political stars were properly aligned to take the leadership.

        • Clemgeopin 6.1.1.1

          But by then, what if the Greens poll rating falls to 5% or below? Could be too late to make a quick turn around. But Metiria Turei and Kevin Hague will be good for Labour in a way.

        • Pasupial 6.1.1.2

          CR

          I think that the prize that Shaw has his eye on is the; Finance/ Economics spokesperson role. At present that is Norman’s turf, but if he is going to resign from parliament after May that will be up for grabs. So running for co-leader is a smart way for Shaw to raise his profile, even if he is unsuccessful.

          Of course, Norman may stay on till the next election, but young children are a handful – two are four times as hard as one, so three might be nine times that. However his resignation (or anyone else’s; I’ve heard rumours that two others are considering it – but that may just be gossip), would at least bring Marama Davidson in on the list.

          • Ron 6.1.1.2.1

            I agree that Norman will resign and we will get a new person into the House before 2017.
            If it turns out that way how much better would it have been to step down and resign at same time and let the new person join their MP’s Who Knows they may have wanted to stand for Leader.
            By the way why was Holly forced out at last minute of Green list. She would have been an MP if she had stayed

            • Pasupial 6.1.1.2.1.1

              Ron

              Walker was already an MP, but found the juggling of family life (having an infant) with parliamentary commitments too difficult. She chose the wellbeing of her family over the paypacket, trusting that her replacement would be able to represent the party better at this time. I can’t say I blame her – either is a lot of work.

              Hopefully she’ll back on the list next election once her unpaid labour of being a parent settles down a bit

      • To be fair, people had the same comments about Russel. If Hague is as good a leader as Shaw is, his better experience is a good argument for him. If you believe Shaw is a significantly better leader, he can always enter parliament later like Russel did.

  7. les 7

    Norman is a hard act to follow.None of the candidates from what I have seen can match him.Hopefully Shaw has some charisma and oratory skills.

  8. Chooky 8

    Being somewhat of a risk taker and an outsider observer to inner party politics i would punt on James Shaw ( and trust him not to be a rightwinger and betray the Greens)

    Experience is all very well ….but if it comes at the expense of a candidate who is truly brilliant , can inspire the electorate , win the youth vote as well as the more seasoned….and swing it in the ring for the Greens with the big boys…..then my bet has to be on Shaw

    …desperate times call for desperate measures…brilliance over experience I say… (this is why Norman was voted co-leader)….all the old hats can swing in behind Shaw and Turei and play very valuable roles in their own right

    …..and it is important to remember that the leader is not the most important role in a political party …but it is a STAR Salesman role and it is important to get the best salesperson for the job

    • Clemgeopin 8.1

      Whenever the time comes, Julie Anne Genter will be an excellent replacement for Turei, I think.

    • Maui 8.2

      +1 Chooky, you need an inspirational leader if you want to win votes from the other parties. Hughes is a great spokesperson for the party, but I can’t see him being someone the masses will want to follow. Hague is very capable but very dry, and I can only really see people over 50 wanting to get in behind him. We are in the age of personality politics and I think Shaw brings that exuberance, charisma and smarts that people will want to follow and listen to.

      • Chooky 8.2.1

        have to agree Maui….and we sure as hell need a very strong Green Party …preferabley to lead the Left coalition

        ….because thus far the Labour Party has been a disappointment imo

  9. fisiani 9

    I reckon Shaw and Genter would be a dream team for the Greens come 2017. Two eloquent speakers. My saying so is probably the kiss of death to such an idea.

  10. Thanks for the post, lprent, and thanks everyone for the feedback in the commentary.

    I just wanted to jump in on this thread to remind any Green Party members that, as this is a delegated vote, you’ll need to go to your local branch meeting to participate in the decision about how your branch wants their delegates to cast their votes.

    Also, if anyone’s got any questions or concerns about my candidacy, please feel free to get in touch via my website or Facebook page.

    • Chooky 10.1

      can you provide links

    • dukeofurl 10.2

      Doesnt sound very democratic?

      membership consensus to guide delegates who make the actual vote.

      Whatever happened to one member one vote.

      Not something dating from the property owning aristocracy who travel by horse to a party convention.

      • Pasupial 10.2.1

        duke

        From what I recall (not currently a member, so I have not got the incentive to sift through the procedural rules), the party positions (eg coleadership, coconveners) are voted on annually by the delegates to the AGM. I can’t think of an instance when an incumbent coleader has been voted out rather than retired. A coalition with National might do it though.

        The list rankings are determined more by member vote, though very much guided by delegate recommendations. If a coleader was unable to be removed through the AGM process, the membership could always give them such a low list ranking that their position would become untenable.

        • dukeofurl 10.2.1.1

          Direct Democracy its not.

          Even Labour had a direct vote by members/ Mps/ Unions

          Is this too hard for the Greens to be a party of the future and not stick with something that was relevant in 1985 or so.

          Even the number of delegates seems slanted:

          “(a) The following number of delegates shall represent each electorate:
          (i) electorates having 19 or fewer members shall have one delegate;
          (ii) electorates having 20 to 99 members shall have two delegates;
          (iii) electorates having 100 to 199 members shall have three delegates;
          (iv) electorates having 200 or more members or more shall have four
          delegates.

          • Pasupial 10.2.1.1.1

            I don’t know that Labour is the best example to use, as their; “direct vote”, gives the 32 MPs 40% of the weighted vote – equal to that of all other LP members, except affiliates who get half that to be allocated as determined by their union representatives. Democracies take different forms, and the GP’s method certainly could be improved; as could all party’s.

            However the pre-election list ranking vote is an expensive exercise for a party that is chronically skint. The funds that would be spent on having a similar coleadership vote every year can be better spent elsewhere. Yes, it does take a large amount of trust in the AGM delegates – but they are elected at branch level themselves. It’s all a balancing act, and there’s been no sign of excessive discontent thus far. Well,.. Bradford did storm off out of the party when; Turei beat her for the female coleadership, but she did that with MANA when she didn’t get her there way too.

      • Ron 10.2.2

        It’s not democratic and I have no idea why they are so resistant to having a proper vote. Voting by delegate is open to all sorts of rorts. Anyone who was a union member that used delegate voting can attest to that.
        After watching Labours STV vote for leader using a proper voting company it seemed to work very well.

    • lprent 10.3

      Good point. As was pointed out by many people yesterday, this is the one time that it is worth turning up to branch meetings in the Greens (and renewing your membership)

      I also have a post that was half written last night about my impressions of yesterday afternoon (and another about the Fabians the day before). But it got written off by Netflix and Lyn taking over my computer screens last night 😈

      • Ron 10.3.1

        I am sure Netflix was more interesting. Any chance of your resurrecting from memory. I was at Fabians and was most unhappy with Cullen’s stance on things

        • Kiwiri Raided of the Last Shark 10.3.1.1

          Oh, do tell. About Fabians. And Sir Michael C.

          • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 10.3.1.1.1

            Oh, do tell. About Fabians. And Sir Michael C.

            (Hmm, I’ve got pluses included in my handle!)

            • Ron 10.3.1.1.1.1

              Just his whole attitude. It seemed to me that he was still living in the past. A small instance when TPPA was raised I would say everyone in audience was anti TPPA and the feeling was that like Greens, Labour should come out and either support or not support the whole thing. Cullen definitely comes across as pro. He trotted out the line lets just wait till we see the appendices and then make a decision. I am sure most left wing voters are completely opposed to that. They would like Labour to say something like NO TPPA at all when it is structured like it is. It is obviously not a trade agreement in the normal sense of the word.
              With hindsight though how can you trust a Labour MP who voted for abolition of Titles and replaced them with honours that reflected NZ and as soon as National offered him the chance to take a knighthood instead couldn’t wait to grab one. A socialist he is not. The sad thing is that after he and Helen wrecked Labour in their third term by not planning proper succession and refreshing the ranks of MP’s etc I see now that he is on the committee over seeing where Labour went wrong. I have no expectations that Cullen will have learnt anything in his 40 months out of politics so don’t expect any great solutions to come out of the review. I hope I am wrong

  11. Rodel 11

    The selection of a co-leader is I guess based on lobbying , negotiations, consensus to a degree and voting.
    Sad to hear Kim Hill for whom I usually have the utmost respect, describing it as a ‘battle’ for leadership.
    FCS democratic selection should not be described in the language of war.

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