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The bottomless Labour-Green divide

Written By: - Date published: 12:00 pm, August 11th, 2014 - 82 comments
Categories: election 2014, greens, internet mana party, labour, Left, Media, MMP - Tags:

(Posted earlier today at Boots Theory)

Mea culpa. It’s a bit of a Buzzfeed-style clickbait headline, but it’s also a political meme which I really wish we could put out to pasture.

It seems like every time Labour (or the Greens) announce a policy the first question (after “what does John Key think about this?”) is “But the Greens (or Labour) have a different policy to the one you just announced! How can you possibly work together in government?

Anything even vaguely associated with Internet-MANA gets it even worse.

It’s not a question you often see posed to National, and it’s tempting to make this a moan about media bias. But the simple facts are National isn’t in the same position as Labour or the Greens. The most extremist party on their side – Colin Craig’s Conservative Party – are very unlikely to get into Parliament unless there’s some fundamental[ist] shift in the polls which means National throws them a Hail Mary seat.

The two parties guaranteed to support National – ACT and United Future – have good steady records of rolling over and voting for whatever National tells them too.

And Winston, well. He doesn’t agree with anyone on anything if he can help it, but also has form for signing up to whichever side gives him a prestigious title and a single big policy which he can point to as a major concession (the Gold card being the canonical example.)

So let’s put aside the idea of media bias and consider ourselves lucky that on the left we have three genuine options to vote for, four if you want to ignore the Māori Party’s stated priority of doing what it takes to get “a seat at the table” and think they’ll get more than one seat.

The problem for the left is that, especially with the aforementioned total-lack-of-real-disagreement on the right, disagreement is being treated as antagonism*, and reconciling those disagreements is being treated as aproblem for MMP.

Having parties with different views forming a government is not a weakness of MMP. It is the strength of MMP.

The whole point of proportional representation is that each party has exactly as much power as the voters of New Zealand have given it. Instead of a winner-takes-all system where a party can do whatever it likes on the back ofonly 35% support, enough parties have to find common ground that you could reasonably assume the outcome is the best possible representation of the will of the people.

So it makes no sense at all for this constant pearl-clutching over the Greens and Labour having different policies. If they had identical policies they wouldn’t exist as two separate political parties. It makes no sense at all to keep demanding bottom lines and non-negotiables because we simply don’t know how the chips are going to fall. Where will Labour’s party vote end up? Will the Greens build on 12% or stay steady? How will Winston or IMP do?

It’s easy to be cynical and wonder if the constant highlighting of Labour/Green/IMP differences is part of a narrative to pre-judge any leftwing coalition as unstable and risky. But I think a lot of people are still stuck in a First Past the Post mode of thinking, where we have two major parties, they rule the roost, and the “minor” parties are mere annoyances who will fall in line with National or Labour as appropriate.

But the left’s diversity is a strength. We have more ideas to consider, more viewpoints in the mix, and our votes don’t just get a leftwing government elected, they determine what that leftwing government looks like – a strong Labour with several support options; a strong Green presence at the table; an IMP spoiler; even, if you want to take a risk on Winston’s whims and the randoms he’ll bring in with him, a New Zealand First to pull to the centre.

Labour and the Greens having different policies before an election is a good thing. After the election, when we’ve had our say, they can work out where there’s room to move and what mix of policies they can/want to implement.

It’s not like they’re going to sit back and say “Nup, not going to negotiate with you, going to give the Tories confidence and supply instead.”

… I mean, I can only hope!

*There is also actual antagonism between Labour and Green and IMP folk, no denying.

82 comments on “The bottomless Labour-Green divide”

  1. Pete 1

    “Labour and the Greens having different policies before an election is a good thing. After the election, when we’ve had our say, they can work out where there’s room to move and what mix of policies they can/want to implement.”

    And there in lies the oxymoron in all its glory – Kiwis want to know a-priori what policies will be implemented, not some post-election mish-mash of accommodations and trade-offs between vastly different left-leaning parties, each with a claim to holding the balance of power.

    Having different policies before the election is a truly awful thing for the average Kiwi, forcing them to guess and second guess the post-election outcome. Kiwis desire a degree of certainty that the left cannot currently deliver, either before or after 20 September.

    That is why the left are so mired in their respective stances with their support bases, and why National offers most Kiwi’s the only viable and trusted alternative this election.

    • Tracey 1.1

      no tax increases

      Up goes GST

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.2

      Pfft. What a lovely bag of air.

    • Tracey 1.3

      Please list the policies of ACT and UF which will be implemented post september 20 should they form govt with National.

      I assume you know.

      • veutoviper 1.3.1

        And also list National’s policies – waiting, waiting, waiting ……

        • Tracey 1.3.1.1

          and pete never said another word….

          • Pete 1.3.1.1.1

            Unlike many of your mates, some of us actually work for a living! Patience never was a virtue of the left, rant and rave at any moving target.

            • Tracey 1.3.1.1.1.1

              so thats a

              ” no I cant” then

            • Tracey 1.3.1.1.1.2

              Please list the policies of ACT and UF which will be implemented post september 20 should they form govt with National.

              I assume you know.

      • Clemgeopin 1.3.2

        ACT : More PRIVATE charter schools with PUBLIC funds!…and oh, sky rocketing of property values with some help from National and their ‘foreign’ friends!
        UF : Some more leakage. More BS. More Nat bum kissing!…And Oh, Free hairdos for all.

    • karol 1.4

      And yet we knew nothing about Charter schools being on the Nats agenda until after they formed a government in 2011.

      There’s a clear idea from Labour, Greens, IMP, etc, as to their policies, and their priorities. That informs voters as to what is likely to go down in post-election negotiations.

      From the Nats we have ……

      a hashtag and lots of complaints about the left.

    • It’s called compromise, Pete. And it often results in far better decisions than just letting the kid with the biggest stick decide who’s it.

      • Tamati 1.5.1

        It will be interesting to see how the Greens compromise on fundamental issues such as offshore oil drilling. Not much middle ground there…

        • Clemgeopin 1.5.1.1

          Good point! There are lots more extremist hardcore crazy positions that the Greens have taken, regarding banning various things and making drastic new changes. That does worry me if they were to be implemented in a quick revolutionary and disruptive way. I prefer the progressive government to last three terms or more and bring about lots of slower and steadier long lasting environmental and economic reforms rather than go all hung ho and get kicked out by the upset voters after just one. What use is that! Plenty of compromise, understanding , unselfishness, calm heads and wisdom will be needed in the coalition negotiations.

          • weka 1.5.1.1.1

            plenty of time for AGW later I suppose.

            • Clemgeopin 1.5.1.1.1.1

              New Zealand can and should make a limited, carefully thought out start and hasten slowly with a ten year non-economically damaging plan, to set a good example to the rest of the world, but would be very foolish to try to do everything in three years as if it would make any real difference to the real GW of the world, given our miniscule area on the global map. Hence my post about extremism in policies or coalition negotiations. That is my personal view.

              • weka

                Who said anything about three years?

                Yes, we can design the perfect process for humans, that will suit out agenda and keep us comfy and happy, and then our grandkids will burn (or our kids). The point about AGW is that we don’t have time. Even if you believe that NZ doing something about emissions is not going to make much difference to AGW outcomes because we are so small (debatable), there is still the urgent need to transition to a post-carbon economy.

                I get that you don’t like radical change, but AGW is about to force it upon us. Best we get ready. We don’t get to control the timeframe or what happens, but we do have some choices about how we respond (rapidly diminishing choices).

                • Clemgeopin

                  All good, but only IF you can be sure of educating and convincing at least 51% of the voting public to support, bear the quick changes, especially the economic and life style ones AND vote us back in or be prepared to get kicked out pretty quick. Lofty visions are all well, good and commendable, but the crunch point is getting ELECTED back! If not, we may probably end up having to wait another ten years or more to BEGIN the changes afresh all over once again when conditions may have deteriorated much further. Politics is the art of what is possible, what is wiser and pragmatic. We need to be smart, not smart arses riding arrogantly on high horses.

                  • weka

                    Maybe, but you are implying that the GP are pushing things too fast and I just don’t see the evidence for that. In fact, I would say by now they are experts in how to push the agenda forward in ways that the mainstream can cope with, skills they learned the hard way. They’re not particularly radical. What they are is much more aware of the urgency and scale of the problem, and when you put that alongside something like the National party, which is still largely in denial, then the gap looks wide. Would be better to talk about the extremism of National in that case.

                    • Clemgeopin

                      Correct me if I am wrong here with a few of the Green policies/wish list in brief.

                      The Greens want to ..
                      [1]Ban all off shore oil mining completely and immediately?
                      [2] Stop all kinds of mining of our lands?
                      [3] Remove ETS, and instead introduce a carbon tax to reduce GW?
                      [4] Encourage public transport by a range of measures including blocking current roading initiatives, introduce extra taxes on fuel, increase in city parking fees and stuff?
                      [5] Stop or Control forestry and dairy business?
                      [6] Immediately stop or reduce all sorts of fossil fuel energy generation and use only wind, sea and solar energy?
                      [6] Be in the cabinet in ‘NUMBERS’ and have coalition agreements with Comprehensive Coalition Agreement which covered ALL of the Green Parties policies, as stated by Meteria Turei?

                      I may be wrong in all of the above or on some. Please clarify honestly and accurately if you can.

                    • weka

                      “[1]Ban all off shore oil mining completely and immediately?”

                      No. See https://www.greens.org.nz/policy/sea-and-ocean-policy

                      “[2] Stop all kinds of mining of our lands?”

                      No. See https://www.greens.org.nz/policy/environment-policy#mining

                      “[3] Remove ETS, and instead introduce a carbon tax to reduce GW?”

                      Yes, but it’s a tax and dividend scheme, not just a tax. Hot-topic’s summary:

                      Overall, my impression is that this a carefully considered and constructed set of coherent policies that should deliver substantial emissions reductions without causing substantial economic dislocation. By adopting the thrust (if not the detail) of Jim Hansen’s tax and dividend approach, the Green Party has ensured that ordinary voters will benefit from reducing emissions. It will not be popular with the big emitters who have been profiting from a badly run ETS, but that’s probably a good thing

                      My emphasis.

                      http://hot-topic.co.nz/nz-greens-launch-new-climate-policy-replace-ets-with-carbon-tax-and-dividend/

                      “[4] Encourage public transport by a range of measures including blocking current roading initiatives, introduce extra taxes on fuel, increase in city parking fees and stuff?”

                      Not sure what you mean by block and current there. If you mean future, then I think you’d be better looking at specifics and asking the GP directly. Otherwise here is the transport policy https://www.greens.org.nz/policy/transport-policy

                      See if you can find anything in the policy on fuel tax and parking fees. I can see policy on investigations and reviews, no hard and fast policy on taxes.

                      “[5] Stop or Control forestry and dairy business?”

                      The GP are pro-forestry. With regards to dairying, they’re pro-sustainability ie they just have a different set of controls in mind than NACT do. They’re suggesting using resource consents as a major way of managing intensification.

                      https://www.greens.org.nz/policy/agriculture-and-rural-affairs-policy-towards-sustainability

                      https://www.greens.org.nz/policy/water-policy

                      https://www.greens.org.nz/policy/summary/forestry

                      “[6] Immediately stop or reduce all sorts of fossil fuel energy generation and use only wind, sea and solar energy?”

                      To avoid social, economic, and environmental disruption, the reduction of fossil fuel use needs to be planned, the burden shared fairly, and replacement energy sources need to have a low environmental impact.

                      Development of a fully renewable electricity generation system, except for dry winter emergency supply, by 2030.

                      The rest of the energy policy is worth reading if you want to understand context and how they would go about things.

                      “[6] Be in the cabinet in ‘NUMBERS’ and have coalition agreements with Comprehensive Coalition Agreement which covered ALL of the Green Parties policies, as stated by Meteria Turei?”

                      Can you please link to Turei’s statement, I’m not familiar with it?

                      btw Clem, I’m an inactive GP member. I don’t know the GP policy inside out and you could have gone and looked this up as easily as I did. It looks to me like you are getting your ideas about GP policy from the MSM, or perhaps various places online, but not the from the GP itself, and thus your comments on policy often come across as inaccurate. Can I suggest that whenever you come across something third party about GP policy that you cross check it with the actual GP policy on their website? The GP are one of the most transparent parties we have in terms of policy and making it accessible.

                      The other thing is that the things you are concerned about, the GP has thought about and worked through these things too. For a long time and with intelligence. I’d be interested in discussions about what they actually want eg how they would suugest we go about transitioning to a post-carbon economy, but not so interested in mainstream slogans about the GP wanting everyone to walk to work kind of thing.

                    • karol

                      Turei’s statement was in the Minor Parties debate on the Nation last weekend:

                      Turei: No, we’ve worked really well with Winston Peters on the manufacturing enquiry, which is a blueprint for jobs in manufacturing in New Zealand, and we have, you know, so I think time has moved on since 10 years ago. The Green party in government will be a very large part of that government, and we will have significant influence. We will expect to have a very comprehensive coalition agreement that meets a whole range of objectives – a cleaner environment, a fairer society and a smarter economy. And we will have—we won’t settle like other parties might for a single achievement. We want to see our whole plan, our whole agenda being rolled out.

                      Actually many of those key points are also in Labour’s policies – so there should be ample room for agreement.

                    • weka

                      Thanks karol. One of the interesting things is that the GP aren’t just a small minority party. They’ve not only got bigger numbers than other coalition partners in the past, but they have also been commanding a bigger media and public presence than would be expected from the third party. We’re in new territory I think. I’m not sure what I think about Turei’s statement, other than I can see that the GP has decided to go hard on the issue and I can completely understand why given how they’ve been treated by Labour and NZF in the past.

                    • Clemgeopin

                      @ Karol

                      So, where did the quote from BAD 12 come from? “Be in the cabinet in ‘NUMBERS’ and have coalition agreements with Comprehensive Coalition Agreement which covered ALL of the Green Parties policies’ ??

                      Was it Bad12’s immature imagination, mischievous misrepresentation and just stupid BS or is there any truth to that statement?

                      If not, WHO is lying here?

                    • weka

                      Is that a bad12 quote? Or did you mean this? /open-mike-10082014/#comment-863824

                      It would help if you linked to things you are quoting or referring to.

                    • Clemgeopin

                      @ Weka:

                      As you say, you are an inactive Green party member and not an expert and ask me to go and read long diatribe of the policies each of which are several pages long! Thanks anyway.

                      Here is one insight into one of their policies based on Norman’s statement: Here it is.

                      “A major split between Labour and the Greens over deep-sea drilling widened today.

                      Greens co-leader Russel Norman has revealed his party may walk away from supporting Labour if it doesn’t change its position.

                      Dr Norman has drawn a line in the sand – no more deep-sea drilling.

                      “The Greens in government will protect our beaches by keeping the deep-sea oil genie in the bottle,” says Dr Norman.

                      But Labour, like National, wants to release that genie; both support deep-sea drilling, although Labour is promising new rules to reduce the risk.

                      Dr Norman is furious Labour wouldn’t stop that, saying it could be a deal breaker after the election.

                      “It’s pretty clear National is pro-pollution,” says Dr Norman. “The Greens are pro-clean beaches and Labour are a bit of both, so it’s pretty classic Labour on this issue; they’re on a bit of both sides unfortunately.”

                      “I just think it’s another example of the disarray on the Left,” says Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce. “They don’t know whether they’re in favour of jobs or against them.”

                      Labour refused to be interviewed, saying it doesn’t get into negotiations before the election.

                      So the Greens have taken a stand of sorts, saying they may walk away from Labour if it doesn’t agree to put a stop to any potential deep-sea drilling. But Dr Norman wouldn’t commit to it being a bottom line, meaning to get into government he may still be willing to swallow that dead rat – oil-coated and all.

                      3 News

                      Read more: http://www.3news.co.nz/Greens-decisive-against-Labour-drilling-policy/tabid/1607/articleID/354315/Default.aspx#ixzz3A5Jm3X75

                      To be ABSOLUTELY clear about my position, from what I see and sense, I think the Greens are a bunch of party vote stealing parasitic wing nuts that will end up doing a LOT of harm with glee to Labour and the next government, all the while masquerading on their destructive high horses as a party of INTEGRITY and PATRIOTS as if the great Labour is NOT! I simply don’t trust the Greens, their motives and modus operandi.

                    • lprent []

                      You believe a reporter? The progeny of a National party MP Mike Sabin. Just mischief making for a good story. He learnt at the foot of his father and Farrar.

                    • Clemgeopin

                      @weka.

                      It was supposed to be Meteria’s statement on Q and A as quoted by Bad 12.

                    • McFlock

                      I think you mean this comment from a completely different post?

                      Buggered if I know it’s accuracy, but I know exactly how much I care either way. You could try watching the debate again to find the comment and debate the minutae, but I’m not sure it’s that big a point.

                    • weka

                      “I simply don’t trust the Greens, their motives and modus operandi.”

                      Well thanks for wasting my time. At least we know where we stand now. You are of course entitled to you opinion, but given you have no interest in reading actual GP policy I will have to consider your opinion ill-informed and probably skewed by the MSM. It also strikes me as such a strange opinion that I would guess there is some bigotry going on, although it’s unclear what. Or something is pushing your buttons. Hard position to be in given the party you support needs them to govern. I can’t see how slagging them off is going to help.

                      I don’t know GP policy inside out, but I understand much of what they are thinking. Like I said, the concerns you raise about timeframes and rushing things and impacts on economics and people’s lives are all things being considered. It’s a real shame you won’t look at what they actually want to do.

                      Re the bad quote, I can’t tell what are your ideas and words, what are bad’s and what are Turei’s. Please link!

                    • Clemgeopin

                      @weka.

                      The quote is the one in the link kindly posted by McFlock. Cheers!

                    • McFlock

                      fwiw, banning deep sea drilling does not equal “all off shore oil mining completely and immediately”.

                      It’s okay though – shouty bridges doesn’t know the difference, either.

                    • Clemgeopin

                      @weka.
                      I DID go to the Green party website and tried to read the long winded policy statements, but it was tedious and not clear.

                      I had put forward a specific set of questions expecting brief succinct clear specific answers in a few sentences.

                      Thanks for your effort. It wasn’t a waste of time, but the website wasn’t helpful for me to get clear quick answers to my questions. Not your fault. I do appreciate your interest and desire to be helpful.

                    • Clemgeopin

                      @ McFlock.

                      Ok, but how deep is too deep and how deep is ok?

                    • weka

                      Good grief that TV3 article is an appalling piece of journalism. The amount of manipulative editorialising hurts my brain. I’ll believe that Norman was furious when I see that from the man himself. I’ll also believe that the GP are ready to walk away from Labour when I hear that from the GP itself. What the video looks like is that Norman was at a beach event to launch the GP clean beach policy, got asked some questions by Sabin that were then cut and pasted to make out some huge gulf between Labour and the GP and how the GP would walk away from Labour but they might not really 🙄

                      honestly Clem, if this is where you get your political information from, you’re being duped man.

                      Here’s the policy release from the same day as the TV piece https://www.greens.org.nz/press-releases/green-party-launches-plan-protect-our-beaches-oil-spills

                    • weka

                      You could ignore the links and just read the bits I wrote. I answered quite a few of your questions.

                      What McFlock just said, the point is that there is a difference between deep sea oil drilling, and all offshore mining. The GP is opposed to the former, and has a range of different policy for the latter. Hence your statement about GP policy being incorrect.

                      Essentially what is going on with this is that the GP say don’t go after the risky, hard-to-get, expensive oil, transition to a post-carbon society now while we still have relatively cheap oil to help us do so. The deep-sea oil is considered high risk, for a number of reasons. They’re not suggesting that we stop using oil overnight but that we plan now for the transition. Allowing deep-sea mining discourages that transition, puts our environment and economy at risk, promotes AGW, and sends profits offshore.

                    • McFlock

                      well, to me it looks like a simple reversal of the exploration opened up by the nats in Deepwater Horizon-level waters. You know, what they’ve been protesting for three years.

                      To you it probably means the greens regard six inches of rain as too deep.

                    • Clemgeopin

                      @weka:

                      Did you watch the video? Norman, while responding to a question, did say very clearly that he is prepared to walk away from Labour on this issue! There ISN’T any ambiguity in his response, as far as I can see.

                    • Clemgeopin

                      @Iprent

                      I wish you were correct. Did you watch the video? Unfortunately, you can see Norman saying exactly what Sabin reported about the Greens being prepared to walk away from Labour on this issue!

                      Watch him here actually putting the boot into Labour! With friends like that…!

                      http://www.3news.co.nz/Greens-decisive-against-Labour-drilling-policy/tabid/1607/articleID/354315/Default.aspx#ixzz3A5Jm3X75

                    • weka

                      Yeah I did watch the video. What I saw was a sharp cut and paste by tv3. Norman looks like he was asked something more general about it, and then TV3 presented it as a Big Thing. Norman says “the short answer is yes” and is then cut off before we get to hear what he was really going to say. The question was “would you be willing to walk away?”. Even that question wasn’t presented in full.

                      My own reading of Norman’s response is that he is giving a clear indication to potential GP voters that this is a core issue for the GP, and that if they vote Labour they won’t see deep sea drilling prevented, so if that’s a core issue for the voter they should vote Green. Pretty clear messaging.

                      What I don’t see him doing is being angry with Labour and saying that the GP will walk away from them if they don’t get what they want on deep sea mining. The GP has always said there are no bottom lines. At least TV3 did put that in as well (which kind of made a nonsense of their story, but I expect they would get into trouble if they had left that out because it would have misrepresented the GP actual position).

          • Stephanie Rodgers 1.5.1.1.2

            As exciting as this thread has got, it really gets away from the main point of the post, which is that having a diversity of opinions and policies on the left, from which we get a consensus based on how the voters of New Zealand choose, is a good thing.

            And if we’re going to say it’s not because of “extremist” positions then the same must apply to the right, whose coalition options include Colin Craig and Jamie Whyte.

    • Pete 1.6

      It should be noted the Pete above is not me (also, I am not Pete George). Accept no substitutes.

      For what it’s worth, MMP was adopted – and then reconfirmed in a referendum 3 years ago – precisely because it serves as a check on the excesses of government power. Something that’s very important in a system that lacks an upper chamber, supreme law or a head of state who can veto a bill.

      • JanMeyer 1.6.1

        Yes, MMP has in effect served to cement in the reforms of the fourth Labour government and Ruth Richardson’s subsequent tweaks. Long may it continue! (no sarc)

    • weka 1.7

      “That is why the left are so mired in their respective stances with their support bases, and why National offers most Kiwi’s the only viable and trusted alternative this election.”

      Depends on what you mean by most I suppose. I think your argument is basically about the swing voters, or the mythical middle NZ, and perhaps some Labour voters who really want Labour to be National Lite. There are still Labour voters who want a left wing govt with Labour and a few tag alongs. Those days are past and it will take some time for some people to catch up with the fact the left is now made up the Labour and the GP, with support from IMP, but it’s unlikely those people will vote on the right (they might vote NZF and thus abdicate responsibility for choosing which side they are on). So really you are talking about the relatively small number of people who don’t know who they want to vote for, are scared of the GP and so might vote NZF instead of Labour, or even National instead of Labour.

    • Colonial Viper 1.8

      And there in lies the oxymoron in all its glory – Kiwis want to know a-priori what policies will be implemented

      So what are National’s 3 big policies for this election? Are there even any?

      • The Lone Haranguer 1.8.1

        The three big policies:

        1) We arent Labour
        2) We arent the Greens
        3) We arent IMP either

        I dont think they have released any other policies, but theres a chance they think those three big ones will get them over the line on 20 September

        • Clemgeopin 1.8.1.1

          They haven’t YET launched their election campaign. It is two weeks away. That is when you will see the RW Nat cunning buggers copy some of the Labour’s and other progressive’s policies, modify them and try to fool the public once more, but I doubt if the Hash-Key Nat gang can fool more than about 40% to 44% of the voters this time around. The times are a changing.

    • poem 1.9

      What a load of rubbish Pete, who in their right minds would vote for the continuation of the horrendous last 6 years? you would have to be crazy. Besides, a vote for national is an act of treason.

  2. Tracey 2

    Well said. Greens have never been in cabinet so how anyone can claim with any certainty trouble lies ahead if they help form a govt, is beyond me.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1

      Poor wingnuts can’t do substantive criticism to save themselves.

    • Pete 2.2

      “Greens have never been in cabinet” Long may that situation last!

      It does seem a lot is beyond you, your comment is akin to saying people don’t really know cancer is a nasty condition, and therefore they shouldn’t wish to be not be afflicted until they have experienced it first hand. No one wants that kind of experience, really.

      • Tracey 2.2.1

        Please list the policies of ACT and UF which will be implemented post september 20 should they form govt with National.

        I assume you know.

        • Pete 2.2.1.1

          See their respective websites for their wish lists; the reality is they are minor parties and National would be selective in terms of what is deemed acceptable by the public. I accept no party is innocent of after-the-election bombshell policies, and while National dropped Charter Schools in for Act last time, I can imagine the long list of bottom line compromises that Greens & IMP would expect, many of which are clearly economically destructive for most Kiwis.

          • Tracey 2.2.1.1.1

            pete, re read your first post. then tell me what policies of act and uf we can expect to be implemented. you wrote this is what average kiwis want. they like to know before the election. here is your chance to inform some average kiwis.

            ” Kiwis want to know a-priori what policies will be implemented, not some post-election mish-mash of accommodations and trade-offs…”

             "
            
            • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2.1.1.1.1

              What can a below-average Kiwi offer the rest of us? Pete will come up short I’m afraid.

  3. Kiwiri 3

    Great feeling to see Labour, Greens and IMP converging on many policy fronts – in specifics or direction. Their respective membership bases for those policies also draw in as well as reach out to the wider public, having broad public support and legitimacy.

    • Pete 3.1

      Great feeling, to see mud, then, as in mixing red, green and purple together. I’m getting the picture. There are clear bottom lines for Labour and Greens (I’ll ignore the Krim dot Con party as irrelevant like most will on polling day) that are incompatible, the necessary battles to resolve those would take months while the public sit back and wonder, who would steer the country? The left have demonstrated they are clearly incapable of unity, both within and between parties, and the public deserve better than that.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.1

        😆 at the self-serving conceit that you speak for the public, or have any idea what they’re thinking. Long may your arrogance continue to perfectly express National Party values.

        • Kiwiri 3.1.1.1

          OAB 🙂

          What he sees as mud, I see both the blending of the colours of shining light as well as the various components making that mix.

  4. At all the candidate meetings I have attended it has been noticeable that the parties on the left are in close agreement on what the key issues are and their policies are often complimentary. National always appears a little lonely down south they have no supporting minor party representation and may voters are feeling a little uncomfortable with the idea of ACT or the Conservatives having any influence in government.

    The Greens have a long track record of working with all parties to progress useful legislation and this isn’t likely to change when they are in Government.

    • Tracey 4.1

      in the colmar epsom poll Acts party vote was only a sliver higher than conservatives… both under 3%

    • Populuxe1 4.2

      Oh, that will be why the Greens blocked Jacinda Adern’s proposed amendment to the Adoption Act – becaus ethat was helping Labour so much more than supporting it and dealing with their issues at the consultation stage…

  5. Dialey 5

    “You don’t get to keep things in democracies, just because you got them, you get to keep them because you continue struggling and fighting. Democracy loves dispute, argument.

    The dominant system of power in the west has been Platonist — a system which functions on highly developed levels of structure and law. This is the school of pure rationality and fear of the undefined — fear of doubt.

    The minority system has been Socratic or humanist. It is interested in doubt and not overwhelmed by the Platonist-Hobbesian desperate need to tie things down.” (John Ralston Saul)

  6. Jimc 6

    I really like logging on to the standard as it has a family sort of feeling like a knitting circle where about say a dozen people gather and just sit around deluding them selves.

    [lprent: You aren’t logging in. That privilege has a pretty limited access. However since you don’t like it, we won’t keep you here. Banned permanently for stupidity, repetition and for being a jerkoff. You know the rules and the risks ]

  7. Jimc 7

    Tich tich
    Never mind .

  8. tricledrown 8

    jinc that would be the dirty dozen paid propagandists who can’t help but follow their leader brainFadeKey and lie a lot!

  9. Paul 9

    Clearly the government is very scared, as it launches vitriolic attacks against Internet Mana and Labour, with the help of the corporate media, which is now clearly acting as the propaganda machine for the National Party and its corporate owners.
    The Left must holds its discipline and be courageous.
    The neoliberal elite will stop at nothing to hold onto power.

  10. philj 10

    xox
    Thanks Dailey and Paul,
    Insight and information is dangerous. The left needs it’s own media channel in the MSM, if such a construct (MSM) exists any MORE.

  11. disturbed 11

    Every Nat simply presents as corrosive!

    These are a simply inhuman characteristics as they seem to despise other peoples opinions even when they themselves should be concerned.

    They combatant behaviour they are provoking all with can be responsible for the bad blood that is fast becoming a hallmark of this election cycle.

    First this Government seems to deliberately create a volatile situation like they have many times during their reign and then let the issue fester like a sore while not caring to fix the problem.

    The Lochinver scandal was the latest that has divided the country and many others before it.

    I think the people have had enough and will walk to the poll and vote this poison out come September.
    The pools are produced by Corporates so we cant get honest results there, so everyone vote on election day to rid the corrosive divisive lot out the door.

  12. disturbed 12

    Every Nat simply presents as corrosive!

    These are a simply inhuman characteristics as they seem to despise other peoples opinions even when they themselves should be concerned.

    They combatant behaviour they are provoking all with can be responsible for the bad blood that is fast becoming a hallmark of this election cycle.

    First this Government seems to deliberately create a volatile situation like they have many times during their reign and then let the issue fester like a sore while not caring to fix the problem.

    The Lochinvar scandal was the latest that has divided the country and many others before it.

    I think the people have had enough and will walk to the poll and vote this poison out come September.

    The pools are produced by Corporates so we cant get honest results there, so everyone vote on election day to rid the corrosive divisive lot out the door.

  13. RedbaronCV 13

    Well perhaps the left wing parties should make it quietly known around TVNZ that they are going to be taken over by Maori TV after the election?

    • lprent 13.1

      We really can’t threaten to improve TV by that much.

      I love having a broken TV aerial

      • RedBaronCV 13.1.1

        Every idea has a downside – oh dear – but perhaps they could make an in-house reality TV show of the clean out. Now that might be popular. “You are the weakest interviewer ‘ and hand them a black rubbish bag so we can then see the tearful clean out interview. I’ll be getting a scriptwriter job next..

  14. Populuxe1 14

    Out of curiosity are you saying that the Gold Card isn’t a major concession? And no mention of Hone’s concessions to National as part of the Maori Party to secure National’s almost entirely symbolic concession of overturning the Foreshore and Seabed Act?

    • The Gold Card is a great policy. But it’s only one policy, as opposed to a support party like NZ First having ongoing influence on the direction of a government. What the Gold Card policy allowed Winston to do was say “look! Look! I got a major thing, so I must be a serious player, now please ignore the fact I’m going to rubber-stamp everything National does from here on in.”

      The Foreshore and Seabed Act is another example of the same kind of thing.

  15. Sable 15

    Interesting how Labour are persistently and consistently described as a “left leaning” party on this site. Look at their track record over the last 30 or so years and its hard to see why anyone would apply this label.

    From Lange/Douglas’s neo liberal experiment to the controlling Clarke years, spy laws, retrospective legislation and quiet pro US toadying its hard to see how they are all that different from National.

    Oh but they are the Labour party. Well that means about as much in the NZ context as it does in the context of the UK. Precisely nothing.

    Time to wake up and acknowledge those parties who demonstrate genuinely left leaning policies and stop pandering to those who don’t. In other words Labour.

    The TPPA will pass under Labour, the neo liberal experiment will continue and there’s little chance our environment will improve. Its as simple as that.

    • Clemgeopin 15.1

      You are full of BS, lies and utter crap. A stupid selfish extremist type of Greeny, I suppose!

      You wrote 5 paragraphs with at least 15 lies within them! Read your diatribe of spin and untruths again and reflect on it honestly with some integrity and clear conscience. You poop peddling pathetic plonker.

  16. dave 16

    Yes yes there those dynamic national party policy’s errrrr what are they ah john key is great vote national john key is cool, vote team key key key
    There Superannuation policy john key
    Environment. John key
    Justice john key
    Unemployment. Doesn’t exist
    Poverty. No comment
    Housing. No problems
    Wage rises. I am all right jack
    Rock star economy well its over before it began and we don’t want to talk about it mve on.

    But we have got john key

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