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Resistance is futile …

Written By: - Date published: 7:30 am, October 2nd, 2017 - 100 comments
Categories: Economy, election 2017, Environment, greens - Tags: , , , ,

This Guest Post is by The Standard regular commenter Incognito.

__________________________________________________________________________

This post is about the Green Party, mainly … (1)

It is written in a state of puzzlement by opinions I have read from both Left and Right. Opinions that suggest or strongly argue in fact that the Greens should do a coalition deal with National, that the Greens should go back to their roots and be again (!) a party for the environment only (!), that the Greens should split and their more socially conscious faction should go with Labour, etc.

None of these views make much sense to me.

The first counter-argument relates to diversity. Diversity is vital in many areas, e.g. in biology & evolution, for a properly functioning immune system, for balanced ecosystems, in psychological development, etc. Without diversity life is beige, bland, and boring and in a primitive state – imagine all the cells in your body being undifferentiated and the same; we would be less evolved than a jellyfish (the oldest known multi-organ animal).

Social diversity is also important. For example, immigrants bring different cultures and perspectives with them and cultural pluralism is a hallmark of a rich and diverse society. However, not everyone shares this view. A recent election survey suggested that quite a few Kiwis expect immigrants to assimilate and adopt the Kiwi way and lose their unique cultural identity rather than integrate into our society and add something new to the mix. Interestingly, there has also been a push for teaching a second language at primary schools and whilst language offers a window into a culture the reasoning behind this push is likely to be less cultural and more economic, i.e. speak the language of your customers which is good for business.

Politics should reflect and represent diversity in society. To me it seems counterintuitive to advocate mega-parties, i.e. one on the Left and one on the Right, or so-called ‘broad churches’. This kind of FPP thinking seems to be very resilient in NZ; the majority rule (‘tyranny of the majority’) does not justice to the democratic principle of equality. I would argue that we need more not fewer small political parties and that we much more adapt to MMP thinking (it is about time).

The second counter-argument is uniqueness. The Greens have a unique view of the world and this translates into a unique way of doing politics; even their internal party politics is quite different from other parties. In essence, this view is that environmental and social issues have a common root cause (i.e. humans and economic activity) and simultaneously have a huge impact on all humankind, i.e. they are inextricably linked, two sides of the same coin as it were. The main cause is economic and vice versa unfettered capitalism and the compulsive drive for economic prosperity and growth addiction through state-sanctioned if not state-protected (through regulation and laws) free markets. However, the impacts are not evenly distributed. For example, the social and economic impacts of climate change will affect the poor much worse. It is only logical, in this view of the world and the present and imminent global issues & dangers that we are facing, that any seriously intelligent attempt to address these issues follows a three-pronged approach; tackling only one at the time or a emphasising one over another is flawed from the outset and destined to fail – an exercise in futility and a waste of resources and precious time.

The Greens’ unique view & voice need to be heard. Not just because it is unique but because it currently offers the best if not the only way forward. Splitting the Greens will spell the tragic end of this voice with dire consequences for all of us. When going into a coalition with a much larger partner the danger is that the voice will become a quiet whisper or simply disappear into the background noise of a loud and domineering (macho) coalition partner(s).

National’s view of the world is diametrically opposed to that of the Greens. However, they think they can buy themselves a little ‘environmental conscience’ at an affordable price – everything and everybody has a price. Indeed, the Greens could fall for a tantalising offer(s) by National, but trading off social justice against environmental policy gains, for example – the horse-trading that National would propose in coalition negotiations – would be doomed as I have already argued. A tax cut of $20/week is not going to make any difference in the medium-to-long term. A water tax of 2 cents per cubic meter is not going to do much either – they are just little plasters. Even if any real gains were made in one area they would be off-set by deteriorating conditions in another and overall we would be no better and probably be worse off in the long run. (NB remember time is precious)

The Green Party is currently the only party that proposes a holistic comprehensive and integrated approach to the social, environmental, and economic issues of our time.  Other parties talk up their environmental policy platforms and their social justice ‘credentials’ but they all tend to be quite modular platforms, i.e. various policies can be deleted or bolted on like Lego pieces (or Minecraft blocks) that can be used inter-changeably. More importantly, other parties treat environmental and social policy platforms as largely separate modules too, like flat-pack homes that can be easily transported and constructed – the emphasis is on quick, easy, cheap (read: politically pragmatic and expedient solutions to a hugely complex set of issues). This is the fundamental point of difference with the Green Party policies.

It is essential that the Greens continue to develop their own unique narrative. Narratives do evolve unless they are dogma. The Greens, and other small parties with a unique voice, should resist calls to conform to expectations and political pressure from others with a competing or opposing agenda. If they do no resist they will be assimilated and we would all be the poorer for it.

(1) Disclaimer: these are my (personal) views & perceptions as an ‘ordinary’ voter with no connections to the Green Party. If I have misrepresented anything or anybody I apologise beforehand and will stand corrected.

100 comments on “Resistance is futile …”

  1. Zorb6 1

    National know/think,everyone has their…price.They may make an offer the Greens can’t refuse.

    • BlueSky 1.1

      For the National to make an offer that the Greens could not refuse would be the end of the National Party as it currently exists.

      • lprent 1.1.1

        I’d agree. I also suspect that the same applies to any realistic deal they make with NZ First as well. The policy position sof the parties are just too wide apart.

        In both cases the positions of the party members and supporters of National is such that any kind of deal with these larger coalition parties is liable to cause significiant splintering in the currently cohesive structure National maintains. I suspect that

    • Paul Campbell 1.2

      As I’ve said elsewhere I think that National should be encouraged to make their offers, publicly ….

      I think the Greens could happily troll the Nats into moving the whole environmental policy space in their direction just by getting the Nats bidding away …. then they can pull the football out and go with Labour

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 1.3

      In common with Oscar Wilde’s definition of a cynic, National “knows the price of everything and the value of nothing”

  2. Keith 2

    Apart from what the Greens supposedly stand for, what the Herald, who is so shamelessly pimping for the National Party, or all those corporate media opinion writers and so-called political journalists fail to see is, doing a deal with any partner requires honesty and a high level of integrity.

    You need to know that the organisation/entity/business/person/s you are about to enter a relationship with can be counted on to be trusted. National cannot, 9 years of twisting, cheating and lying prove it.

    From that Godfather of National Party duplicity John Key to Joyce, to Bennett, English, Coleman and so many others, possibly all of them, is they have what could be most politely described as honesty issues. You’d be waiting for a privacy leak if you didn’t play their game, a smear, a character assassination.

    They clawed back near 10% of the vote by bare-faced lies such as the $11 billion dollar hole to the voting public. They did it and laughed at the stupidity of voters. They, that is the National Party, will do and say anything to cling to power and don’t give a shit what they promised the following day. Imagine sharing office time with one of Nationals creepy MP’s!

    Our corporate media have never rated integrity with National, with a more recent coup d’etat bit of journalism being a glowing report on Joyce’s “Master Stroke” lie about the 11 billion dollar hole. They see winning as all that matters.

    But now at the pointy end of an election, the Green Party see it as important. And honestly, what thinking or even half awake person would do a deal with such a dodgy party as National?

    • Carolyn_nth 2.1

      Indeed. The National Party has been showing their ugly, lie-ing, dishonest, anti-democratic, bullying face during this election. They are certainly never to be trusted.

    • tracey 2.2

      ” You’d be waiting for a privacy leak if you didn’t play their game, a smear, a character assassination. ”
      Hear hear

      • Wayne 2.2.1

        It was the Greens that lost a quarter of their Caucus in the month prior to the election due to internal dissension, so it is really a bit rich to keep saying how wonderful the Greens all are and how bad National is.

        • Carolyn_nth 2.2.1.1

          And yet you, as an ex-Nat Minister, think the GP should go into a coalition with the National Party?

          PS: the loss of GP candidates was not due to leaks, lies, smears, character assassination and game playing by the GP.

          • Wayne 2.2.1.1.1

            Carolyn_nth,

            On coalitions, at least it is something the Greens should think about, rather than simply dismiss on the basis that “National is bad/evil”. I appreciate the point by Nandor that this might be more about a future view.

            In practical terms in my view the Greens would get a lot from National, much more than the Greens think.

            For an indication of what could be on offer, literally right now, have a look at David Farrar’s post on Kiwiblog from last night. Well, perhaps not Minister of Finance, but pretty much everything else.

            • Carolyn_nth 2.2.1.1.1.1

              Seriously Wayne. You are just showing yourself to be on the National Party anti-democratic bandwagon.

              You are joining in with the irrational bullying behavior. I had thought you were better than that.

              The reasons why the GP won’t go onto a coalition with National are well explained in the above posts and others. You, along with the National Party, do not seem to accept NO for an answer.

              Bullying is probably a polite word for what you all are doing.

              Edit: There are several very good, inter-related reasons as to why the Greens should not do a deal to govern with National. You have not addressed any of them. Have you actually read and understood the post?

              • I’m getting sick of all the gnat creepy pleading. I’m sorry if their behaviour is raising memories for some – should come with a trigger warning imo.

              • rhinocrates

                Sort of self-declared “nice guy” rhetoric. Certainly creepy, dripping with entitlement with a clear undercurrent of moral bullying.

                • tracey

                  And no desire to listen to the “why not” instead just repeats a few pointed “reckons” presumably until we all just suddenly cave and go ” e gad Wayne you were right all along” under the weight of his rhetoric.

                  There is no acknowledgement of understanding the why not which is fundamental to negotiating.

                  He is also making up things like “bad/evil National” which so far he is the only one espousing.

              • tracey

                He is repeatedly proving our points

            • Reality 2.2.1.1.1.2

              Wayne, it is only because no mates National is desperate that they are looking to bully the Greens. Matthew Hooton’s nastiness epitomises what National usually thinks of the Greens.

            • Andre 2.2.1.1.1.3

              Then maybe the National big cheeses should put together a proposal and actually present it to the Greens.

              But keep in mind that any Nat proposal truly needs to be vastly more attractive than what’s on offer elsewhere to even be considered. Because the worldview of Nats and Greens is so vastly different that any Nat-Green coalition will necessarily require Greens to choke down a lot more dead rats than a Lab/NZF/Green coalition would. Plus it would also need to overcome the history of the last nine years with the Nats running hard in the opposite direction to almost everything Greens hold dear.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2.1.1.1.4

              …simply dismiss on the basis that “National is bad/evil”.

              Are you trying to demonstrate that you cannot grasp the real reasons the Greens won’t do a deal that makes National the government?

              Or just trying to polish the National Party’s well-earned reputation for dishonesty?

              • IMO, he’s spinning and lying to bring about the idea that National and Greens could work together when anyone with any modicum of knowledge and logic will know that they can’t.

                National’s rip, shit and bust philosophy is in complete contradiction to the Greens one of sustainability.

                unfortunately, there’s people out there who will believe the lies.

              • Trey

                OAB, you can’t polish a turd

                • Once was Tim

                  Oh yes you can.
                  There’s one plated in fake gold with candles sticking out of it on top of a National Party blue column at the bottom of Cuba Street Wellington (opposite the MFC)

              • tracey

                I know. It is like he believes if he says it enough… or it is his subconscious unloading

            • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1.1.1.5

              On coalitions, at least it is something the Greens should think about, rather than simply dismiss on the basis that “National is bad/evil”.

              You still spreading that lie?

              We look at their actions and their policies and the results that they get. From there we realise that we don’t agree with them and can’t support them.

              There’s no ‘simply’ there. Simply is what National does as shown by your ignorant dismissal of everyone else’s concerns.

              In practical terms in my view the Greens would get a lot from National, much more than the Greens think.

              In real terms supporting National back into government will cause more damage to society and the environment thus we wouldn’t get anything that is needed – and a hell of a lot that is detrimental.

              • tracey

                Wayne forgets that his hero JK used to label Greens loonies… communists and the like… never heard a Green leader Label National evil or even facist

            • Once was Tim 2.2.1.1.1.6

              @Wayne. You (and your cohorts) keep assuming the Greens are dismissing National out of hand. They are not
              What you can’t seem to get through your fucking thick heads is that for THIS election cycle, the chances of some arrangement is mighty thin.
              And that would be because
              They campaigned on a change after 9 years of a National government that shat (in every way) on their core set of values. National COULD HAVE shown more concern and an interest in a set of compromises last election round – or the one before. They didn’t.
              National strove for growth at all cost – which is antithetical to what Greens stand for.
              And, they realise that their ability to moderate National in its current make-up with the MPs it currently has in a Green/Natzi coalition are very, very slim.
              You really are a silly duffer fuddyduddy at times.
              And if, as you pretend/purport/ you’re in with the GNat incroud – you’ll know there has been some really dirty, unprincipled, lying bullshit behaviour by Natzi MPs and their hangers-on, and its only their arrogance (or dimwittedness, or both) that makes them think nobody else is aware of it.

              • eco maori

                Yes Once was Tim all of nationals actions stand out like ——————–
                But the majority of our people can not see the bad behavior of the neo libreals national I think it is time to roll up ones sleeve and let the public no exactly the lows that national have stooped to try and steal this election.

                • eco maori

                  I’m not commenting on what’s happening in USA because my views won’t be helpful to anyone.

            • tracey 2.2.1.1.1.7

              Stop pretending your one sided repetitive memes ate to help Greens. You still wont address trust and why Greens should trust people who at best mislead and at worst lie. Who have 2 Cabinet Members who deliberately breached the Privacy Act. Have. PM who lied about the Todd Mclay thing or is so befuddled a statement to the police slipped his mind. Has 2 Ministers who confuse a zero budget with an 11b hole ( english ran zero budgets in 2014 and 2015). And finally who gave an election promise not tobform a government with a party it considers, and there is at least some evidence, ran down our environment and made life harder for our vulnerable cos the money was good.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2.1.2

          The actual allegation is that National has no integrity. It’s supported by a mountain of evidence, too.

          • Once was Tim 2.2.1.2.1

            Something that Wayne will never understand – and probably because they have that bad smell of exceptionalism about them that makes it impossible to consider anything that differs from their world view.
            Even Jim Bolger (who you’ll recall acknowledged neo-liberalism has been a failure) remains wedded to true blue National – as do one or two others – EVEN when they can see in amongst their midst that they have some really nasty pieces of work.
            It’s hard to know what it is about them at times – whether it’s arrogance or that (as you once said) its the difference between rat cunning and intelligence (or in cases like English, Finlayson, probably Mapp and others), just a blind bloody faith.
            Whatever it is – it runs pretty bloody deep.
            Currently this election result that sees them as a minority of the voting public (let alone those that didn’t vote), is EVERYBODY else’s fault but their own

          • tracey 2.2.1.2.2

            Probably why Wayne keeps avoiding this point in his respobses. Except that one time when he missed the point entirely and said he understood the Greens dont trust any business… which is another lie or lack of understanding

        • Keith 2.2.1.3

          And dissension is crushed in National isn’t it?

          Never question the company line, certainly not the rich men who run it and never hold an opinion that is outside Nationals groupthink. The image of unity within National is as unrealistic as it is dishonest.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2.1.3.1

            Not sure that’s true. Opinion and policy is handed down from above and authoritarian followers accept it uncritically.

            Here we provide empirical evidence for a gradual escalation of self-serving dishonesty and reveal a neural mechanism supporting it. Behaviorally, we show that the extent to which participants engage in self-serving dishonesty increases with repetition. Using functional MRI, we show that signal reduction in the amygdala is sensitive to the history of dishonest behavior, consistent with adaptation.

            Garrett et al 2016.

            That’s why the base arguments right wingers employ are a: identical and b: false.

            • Molly 2.2.1.3.1.1

              I wonder if there is a similar study regarding the use of honesty when it is not self-serving and how repetition makes it easier over time.

              The phrase “grace under fire” came to mind when Meteria Turei told the truth.

            • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1.3.1.2

              Opinion and policy is handed down from above and authoritarian followers accept it uncritically.

              And will defend it no matter how immoral it is.

        • marty mars 2.2.1.4

          Lol The desperate gnats don’t rate the greens but will use them and somehow THAT is a virtue for the gnats. No wonder the whole country is embarrassed and laughing at them. Stop looking at the phone bill it ain’t ringing lol

        • mac1 2.2.1.5

          I have a sneaking suspicion that should Bill English be again unsuccessful in his attempt to become an elected Prime Minister, that Wayne will understand fully the meaning of internal dissension.

          National has absorbed the Conservatives, most former ACT voters, and other footling minor right-wing aberrations, and most significantly the “Blue-Greens”. Any environment-supporting conservative has already had that shift across to National available.

          I believe that the Right will splinter again. National is still in many ways a FPP party, that tried to bully itself into full majority power using dirty politics and lies.

          National supporters of a more centrist and urban/e persuasion might well head for a ‘liberal’ TOP-like party and along with disgruntled far-rightists, leave behind the country rump. The centrists just might see post-election coalition with a moderate Labour Party as a better option in the future.

          Maybe so. But, watch the internal surgery as realisation dawns that they didn’t make it- and the desperation to try and make it.

          Playcentres throughout the country will be blessed with toys thrown from National cots and coteries besides.

          • ianmac 2.2.1.5.1

            And let us hope that amongst the possible debris of a reforming National Party, the decent fair-minded people who do exist within, will rise up and form the nucleus of a better conservative party. Might take a decade or two but it would leave the progressive ideals of Labour-Green to get on with the job.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2.1.5.1.1

              What, and watch all those bribes and directorships dry up? They won’t ‘reform’ as long as there’s money in it.

            • mac1 2.2.1.5.1.2

              That was, of course, why Winston left National. I have heard speeches from him excoriating the neo-liberal, elitist, corporate values which he loathed inside the National Party. Values like those hated by a local and successful farmer who contemplated voting Labour because of his concern at the growing inequality in New Zealand fostered by the National government and its cronies.

        • tracey 2.2.1.6

          Reading is a skill Wayne, so is listening.

  3. garibaldi 3

    Summed up well in your sentence “National’s view of the world is diametrically opposed to that of the Greens.” It is pathetic to hear all these commentators urging the Greens to cosy up to their nemesis.

    • gsays 3.1

      ‘Tis simple for me, is there anyone that isn’t a nat or dead keen on the status quo, pushing this green blue negotiation line?

  4. Carolyn_nth 4

    Well said Incognito.

    I think the Nats who devise this blitzkrieg, saturation bullying of the Green Party may well know the party’s not for turning. I suspect, they have short and long term aims for it.

    Short term it is a way of trying to weaken NZF hand in negotiation.

    Long term, they want to destroy the Green Party. As Incognito says, the GP policy framework has 3 main interrelated parts. And any selection of one element will be destructive of the whole. And splitting the party into an environmental party and a social justice party will leave too much weaker parties, dominated by, respectively, the Nats and Labour.

    But, also, as I understand it, the GP members have voted by over 75% in recent years not to go into an alliance with the Nats. The Green party promised GP voters in this election that a vote for the GP was a vote for a Labour-led/Green coalition.

    If the GP leader (because somehow many commentators seem to think the decision is for James Shaw alone to make) decided to go into coalition with the Nats many GP members and voters would never trust the party again. It would destroy the party.

  5. Pat 5

    “And the thinking in senior National Party circles is that everyone will be talking about the environmental issues at the next election.
    “National is completely aware – whether they think it’s fair or not – that the perception is they do not do enough for the environment and they will need to produce some big moves this term, with or without the Greens. ”

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/97367387/stacey-kirk-honour-above-the-environment-greens-hold-a-deck-of-aces-theyre-refusing-to-play

    With or Without…

    As is obvious this unacceptable offer will be used to beat upon the Greens in any subsequent election and it is a no risk strategy , which National are fond of adopting….it succeeds or not, sometimes over time but never at any cost.

    There is nothing for it but for the Greens to continue to do as they have been for now and examine the issue after the next gov has been formed as suggested by Nandor Tanczos

  6. tracey 6

    Great observations. However despite the accusations that Green and its voters are irrational it is the msm and Nats and cronies who ignore many of the points being made tonaddress the “why not” and choose to robotically repeat the same few points over and over. Were they to start addressing some of the points we and others raise, like, trust, maybe the groubd woukd shift.

    • ianmac 6.1

      The National intent is to undermine MMP with the long term view of returning to FPPP.
      English on Morning Report today did a great job of saying precisely nothing. Wouldn’t even admit that his call to Winston went unanswered. (Hey! Don’t you know I am the PM?)

      “Greens-National coalition a National voters’ idea – Tanczos
      Former Greens MP Nandor Tanczos believes the strongest push for a blue-green coalition is coming from those within National looking to weaken Winston Peters’ position as ‘kingmaker’.”
      http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/player?audio_id=201860741

  7. Karen 7

    “The National intent is to undermine MMP with the long term view of returning to FPP”.

    Exactly. Going back to FPP would suit the right very well.

  8. red-blooded 8

    I’m going to disagree with some of the comments being made above. I definitely don’t think the Greens should cosy up to the Nats – it would be a betrayal of their values and their supporters and would pull the party apart. It would also scupper the chance of a much better alternative (assuming that a reasonable deal can be made between Lab, NZF and the Greens – which, of course, remains to be seen). I don’t see all the recent commentary as “bullying”, though. What threats have been made? There’s been plenty of opining and even cajoling, but as much as anything the various opinion pieces and statements have been part of the Nat’s attempt to present themselves as a party with choices and the media’s attempt to fill dead air while we wait for the specials and for Winston to make his next move.

    • weka 8.1

      No means no rb. That’s not being respected.

    • Carolyn_nth 8.2

      It’s repeated, saturation media and social media coverage of a National Party line, meant to exert their power, and to drown out any counter-arguments. They are not using language as a way of debating or discussing an argument, but to exert influence over others, in order to achieve their aims. It is an intimatdaory technique: a propaganda technique, that if a lie is repeated often enough, people will start to believe it.

      It is above all, using a group of people with political and media power to exert their will over the opposition. They do not listen to any counter arguments, but just keep repeating their lines.

      Definitions of bullying include:

      Wikipedia:

      Bullying is the use of force, threat, or coercion to abuse, intimidate, or aggressively dominate others. The behavior is often repeated and habitual. One essential prerequisite is the perception, by the bully or by others, of an imbalance of social or physical power, which distinguishes bullying from conflict.[1] Behaviors used to assert such domination can include verbal harassment or threat, physical assault or coercion, and such acts may be directed repeatedly towards particular targets.

      Bullying is divided into four basic types of abuse – emotional (sometimes called relational), verbal, physical, and cyber.[8] It typically involves subtle methods of coercion, such as intimidation.

      Bullying ranges from one-on-one, individual bullying through to group bullying called mobbing, in which the bully may have one or more “lieutenants” who may seem to be willing to assist the primary bully in his or her bullying activities.

      Mobbing seems to be what the Nats and supporters are doing to the GP.

      From stopbullying.gov:

      Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time.

      Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.

      My bold.

      • red-blooded 8.2.1

        So, what force, or threat do you see being exerted? Bolding some words and ignoring others alters the meaning of the whole.

        No-one’s saying there aren’t attempts to persuade or apply pressure – clearly there are. The term “bullying” is emotive and should be applied sparingly, though.

        (BTW, feel free to try to persuade, pressure or even browbeat me into agreeing with you. So long as you don’t threaten, coerce, oppress, intimidate or tyrannise me, I won’t feel bullied. 😀 )

      • Incognito 8.2.2

        … meant to exert their power, and to drown out any counter-arguments. They are not using language as a way of debating or discussing an argument, but to exert influence over others, in order to achieve their aims.

        I completely agree and recently wrote something quite similar:

        The relationships you’re describing are based on power and ownership. When power is unevenly distributed it’s called an asymmetric relationship. Examples are master-slave/servant, boss-subordinate, employer-employee. The more asymmetric, the more ‘ownership’ is involved.

        Nats don’t understand a party of principle

        I’m writing another Guest Post on the different use of language by the Greens cf. other parties.

        • Carolyn_nth 8.2.2.1

          cool.

          I do think Nandor Santos, and those who say the Greens are beyond left and right, ignore the different ways language is used.

          To me right wing values are a hierarchal relationship benefitting a relatively small powerful elite. Left wing values are more collaborative, and against a power dominance by an elite group.

          The way the GP uses language, works with those with similar left wing values – but not with right wing ones. The right tend to use language more as a tool of propaganda, and as a means to exert power over others.

          I like a lot of Green politics values, but do think they are weak on issues of asymmetry of power. They do not have a way of dealing with power imbalances. The labour movement is stronger on combating power.

          • Incognito 8.2.2.1.1

            You make a very important point; as much as National cannot deal with power symmetry the Greens cannot deal well with power asymmetry. Indeed, Labour sits somewhere in the middle – TBH I cannot tell anymore what range they span – which is why Labour makes a better coalition partner for the Greens IMO. James Shaw must have some ideas on to tackle this issue, I hope … The only suggestion I have is that of being a “tempered radical” but this only applies when you’re already in a highly asymmetric relationship not to an outsider.

            Prefigurative politics: being the change you want to see

            • Carolyn_nth 8.2.2.1.1.1

              I was referring to the labour movement – which is broader than the Labour Party – and takes the idea of trade unions from a Marxist analysis of power – the collective power of workers to negotiate with the institutional power of the bosses.

              • Incognito

                My bad; your last sentence @ 8.2.2.1 was “The labour movement is stronger on combating power.” [my bold]

          • swordfish 8.2.2.1.2

            And when it comes to the all-important Green voters – they really do place themselves very firmly on the Left of the political-ideological spectrum & (during recent elections) overwhelming majorities have told the New Zealand Election Study they prefer a Labour-led Govt

          • Ad 8.2.2.1.3

            Ole! Nandor Santos their new Mexican Green MP. Ole!

    • Macro 8.3

      There is no way the Green Party Membership will have anything to do with National. I can say this with complete conviction. And remember that any coalition deal will require the agreement of 75% of members.
      The Greens have always been open to working with whomever wants to improve social, environmental, and sustainable policies, and have had MOUs with both Labour and National Govt’s in the past- but that is not the same as working with a bunch of lying bastards who will stab you in the back if they don’t get their way!

  9. Anne 9

    The National Party are playing their usual mind games with the general public and indeed both Labour and the Greens. If you say something often enough it will become a reality is the motto by which they conduct all their posturings. And it normally works as we have seen in the weeks leading up to the election.

    The reverse can also be true. I have not seen all of the political commentary in the past week, but it seems to me that the word “Labour” has almost entirely slipped from verbal discourse. So much so, you could be forgiven for thinking they plummeted so badly they are no longer in contention.

    As far as I can tell both the Greens and Labour are staying silent which, in the current hysterical media climate, is exactly what they should do.

  10. tsmithfield 10

    Could someone from the Green side please answer me a simple question:

    Do you think a NZ First/National coalition would be worse for the environment than a National/Greens coalition?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 10.1

      So it’s been over a week now and you still haven’t been listened to a word anyone from the Greens have said about what they stand for.

      If National wants to make policy that will be “worse for the environment”, why is your tongue hanging out for them?

      Edit: in other news, National offers to kill fewer hostages if the Greens will hold the gun.

      • tsmithfield 10.1.1

        You didn’t answer my question.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 10.1.1.1

          Yeah I did. You just don’t like the answer.

          The most obvious direct retort is: neither: the National Party will betray and corrupt any agreement they enter into because they are utterly destructive and untrustworthy.

          Exhibit a: fraudulent carbon credits: a classic example of why the National Party’s word is worthless.

        • weka 10.1.1.2

          I think a direct answer would be no, but what OAB says is more usefully true.

          • tracey 10.1.1.2.1

            It was supposed to be a clever “gotcha” question but we wont play

            • tsmithfield 10.1.1.2.1.1

              Is that because you don’t like the obvious “gotcha” logic?

              • weka

                No, it’s because you’re being disingenuous. If you were actually interested in why the Greens won’t support a National govt, including taking into consideration the environmental issues, then we’d be having a different conversation.

                What you are arguing for is for the Greens to abandon who they are, become bluegreen, and gain some beads and blankets from National. Most informed analysis suggests the blankets are invested with smallpox*, so any gains made from the deal is likely to be fatal anyway not just to the Greens but detrimental to green politics and the left in general. Handy for the right, but makes a nonsense of any argument that a N/G coalition would be better for the environment than a N/NZF one.

                *can’t remember who provided that useful analogy this week.

                • tsmithfield

                  Not at all.

                  In fact, I don’t think a coalition deal with National would be a good idea for the Greens. I think that would be a step too far at the present time.

                  However, I think a deal that allows National to be a minority government
                  should be quite acceptable to the Greens if the payoff is good enough.
                  On that basis, the Greens never have to vote for anything National stands for. They just have to choose not vote on issues of confidence and supply.

                  If National don’t play ball, then it is very easy to terminate the arrangement by voting against National on confidence and supply and sink them immediately.

                  • weka

                    Everything I just said applies to coalitions and C and S arrangements. It’s not about being in govt with National, so much as basically not supporting them to be govt in any way, shape of form, given National have shown no interest in stopping their pillaging of the environment.

                    “If National don’t play ball, then it is very easy to terminate the arrangement by voting against National on confidence and supply and sink them immediately.”

                    Except they also have NZF. Give it up mate. It’s a bullshit line from the right because it still requires the Greens to betray their voters, their members, the party, the Charter, and to turn themselves into something they are not.

          • tsmithfield 10.1.1.2.2

            If they were to be as untrustworthy as you say, then the obvious answer would be to terminate the relationship immediately, and toss them out of power. It is not like you have no options once in an arrangement.

            They have been able to work in constructive coalition arrangements for three terms now. If they were as destructive and untrustworthy as you say, I doubt they would have been able to do that.

            It seems to me that the Greens are prepared to sacrifice the environment on the basis of their hatred for National. If a National/NZ First deal is less beneficial for the environment than a National/Greens deal, then an arrangement between National and the Greens is one option for preventing a coalition that is more harmful for the environment than the alternatives.

            • McFlock 10.1.1.2.2.1

              So your position is that the Greens should support the nats in order to kick them out later?

              Why bother wasting time with the first step?

              • tsmithfield

                Not at all. Divorce is an obvious option always available in any arrangement if things aren’t working out the way one party would like.

                Do you not think it would be in the best interest of the Nats to ensure they are completely above board in any relationship with the Greens, given they are aware of the suspicion verging on paranoia that the Greens seem to have about any relationship with National?

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Bordering on paranoia? You mean like killing all the cows and depopulating the cities?

                • In Vino

                  I don’t see it as suspicion/paranoia. That is your wishful thinking. The Nats are basically the antithesis of Greens’ philosophy. End of story.

                • McFlock

                  Divorce is always an option, but the smarter move is to avoid a marriage of impulse and stupidity in the first place.

                  “The Odd Couple” might be a plausible scenario for a successful TV series, but it is not a realistic foundation for a government.

                  The fact you guys are suggesting it suggests blind desperation – you want people to believe that the party that believes water quality scientists are like lawyers has suddenly changed its tune? lol

                • Incognito

                  Not at all. Divorce is an obvious option always available in any arrangement if things aren’t working out the way one party would like.

                  To me, this typifies the pragmatism & expediency of the Right.

                  I could be completely wrong but I believe that the Green Party is not interested in a one-night stand with National or Labour for that matter. See https://thestandard.org.nz/dirty-politics-2017-style-2/#comment-1393803

                  The Green Party has made a real commitment to the environment and social justice and has realised that the economy is an integral part of the threesome/triad. Therefore, they are looking for a coalition partner(s) who is also committed to these and to the coalition as a relationship rather than a business deal and a means to an end.

                  I also believe that many National voters are genuinely concerned about social justice and environmental issues, just like the Greens, but that they keep voting National because “It’s the economy, stupid”. To reconcile the big three is what is needed; everything else will flow from there.

                  I see the problem not so much with National voters but with the (‘leadership’ of the) National Party. Ironically, there was (…) a similar disconnect between (traditional) Labour supporters and the Labour Party.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 10.1.1.2.2.2

              their hatred for National

              Projection again.

              The solution to National destroying the environment is for National to stop destroying the environment. Your feeble attempt to blame the Greens for that makes a mockery of “personal responsibility”. Raise the double standard.

              • In Vino

                As somebody pointed out in a letter to the Herald (I think) in 2014, 2011 and 2008 the Nats could have made the same appeal to the Greens to come and support them.
                But they didn’t.
                This time the media are supporting a loud ‘chorus’ of what the Herald today called ‘pressure’.
                Strange, huh? Now why this time, but not in the last 2 elections, nor any time before that?
                Desperation much??

              • rhinocrates

                Projection or gaslighting.

                Key was a money trader, so for him, the truth value of a statement was how many people you could get to say they believe it long enough to sell it to them and Wayne Blimp’s a lawyer, so for him truth is what you can get away with by bullying people into repeating.

                Neither can comprehend other people who actually believe in facts or principles and are genuinely confused by them.

    • Carolyn_nth 10.2

      I think the Green on the opposition benches to a Nat-NZF government, would result in a better outcome than trying to enter int a coalition with the lying, domineering Nats.

      The Green in opposition have presented a lot of the case against climate change, and that is now bearing some fruit.

      That and the fact a Nat-NZF government would be in danger of falling over in a year or so.

    • Robert Guyton 10.3

      It’s not all about the environment, ts. You sound like some sort of extremist .

    • tracey 10.4

      It is the wrong question. Accordingly just keep answering it yourself.

    • Robert Guyton 10.5

      I’m a greenie, tsmithfield and more than happy to answer your question, “do you think…” Yes, I do think. If The Greens are extinguished by entering a short term relationship with National, THE ENVIRONMENT WILL SUFFER!
      ‘kay?

  11. tracey 11

    Perhaps the Greens should email Bill their top 5 policies and details from the election as their starting demands… and when Nats say no…. “well we tried”. Then the overture will be leaked to the press by Nats to

    1. Prove they cant be trusted
    2. To try and break the Greens

  12. Pat 12

    I expect and fear that the Greens will never be a party that attracts much more than approx 10% irrespective of who and what deals they do.
    Events of late have amply demonstrated where their base support lies and the impact of relative popularity/strength of other parties. The wider electorate are not willing to support the Greens vision and wont be until its too late…as Kevin Anderson says, we will choose to fail because we are unwilling to accept even the slightest inconvenience from our comfortable consumer existence……a view underlined by the current election result.
    Lets face it, given all the evidence of the damage we are causing locally and globally and the increasingly devastating natural disasters, we barely survived meeting the 5% threshold….

    “Despite the enormity and urgency of 1.5°C and “well below 2°C” mitigation challenge, the academic community has barely considered delivering deep and early reductions in emissions through the rapid penetration of existing end-use technologies and profound social change. At best it dismisses such options as too expensive compared to the discounted future costs of a technology that does not yet exist. At worst, it has simply been unprepared to countenance approaches that risk destabilising the political hegemony.”

    https://www.climate-series.eng.cam.ac.uk/ccls-2017/lecture-3

    • Incognito 12.1

      I expect and fear that the Greens will never be a party that attracts much more than approx 10% irrespective of who and what deals they do.

      Lets face it, given all the evidence of the damage we are causing locally and globally and the increasingly devastating natural disasters, we barely survived meeting the 5% threshold….

      Hi Pat,

      I understand your frustration (despair?) but I for one no longer feel so depressingly pessimistic about the future. It does indeed seem like we’re a long way off but I ‘sense’ that pieces are moving into a position of emergence …

      The Green Party is not important but what they stand for is and right now they are our best shot at it …

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