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The Greens: solidarity and resistance

Written By: - Date published: 7:30 am, August 13th, 2017 - 102 comments
Categories: election 2017, greens - Tags: , , , ,

The Green Party is about to relaunch its election campaign. There will be a post up by 1.30pm for the livestream.

In the meantime I’d like to get this out of the way. The Greens are an enigma for some, and this is understandable because they don’t fit into the neat political boxes that the establishment deem real. They also are an inherent challenge to the establishment just because of who they are, so we can’t expect those part of the MSM invested in retaining the status quo to tell the story straight.

In my opinion it’s always better initially to listen to what the Greens have to say themselves. Here are the words of Green Party people speaking in the past few days,

Green MP Marama Davidson,

We will not forget the thousands of you who came to us with your stories of hardship.

This is just the start. All of your voices, the voices who came to us in trust and faith – are our priority. Ending poverty is a priority. We have the plan, and the political will, and most of all we have every single one of your stories driving us on.

We are 100% behind our sole co-leader James Shaw who will take us through the rest of this election. We are 100% behind Metiria who will continue what she started in her ongoing campaign for the party vote. We are 100% behind our strive to ensure that everyone can live dignified lives.

Green MP Jan Logie speaking on Back Benches,

I tell you something. We are going to NOT let (Metiria’s) sacrifice go for nothing. We are going to double down and do everything we can to make that worthwhile. To end poverty.

Green Party New Lynn candidate Leilani Tamu, writing about Machiavellian politics and why power isn’t the most important thing,

Machiavelli was the 16th-century author whose writing came to shape the way of doing politics in Western society. Because this system was introduced to Aoteaora, it is clearly not grounded in indigenous values or frameworks but rather in colonial ones. As a result, the way we describe how we do politics in this country becomes a conversation about power and control. The key question is: who gets to hold the pen and determine the rules?

I’d like to contend that yes, politics is a blood sport. But from here on, for as long as I’m involved in it, I’m going to redefine what that means. Because power isn’t everything. Standing up for what is right and what you believe in is what’s important. And for women—especially for Māori and Pasifika women—the significance of blood is much greater than war and violence on the battlefield. Blood is core to new life, to our babies, to our ancestral ties, and to the legitimacy of our values—where family and the environment are treasured and supported. And, most importantly, blood represents unity—a unified Aotearoa, where everyone who bleeds is represented and every voice counts.

Green Party Wairarapa candidate John Hart,

Green Party Te Atatū candidate and human rights lawyer Golriz Ghahraman,

Green MP Metiria Turei is still here, standing strong,

James Shaw, co-leader of the Green Party (video at 4 mins)

I am committed to ending poverty in this country.

We are the party that aims to end poverty. Frankly everybody else is interested in tinkering around the edges. We’re the only party that’s drawn a line in the sand and said we know what it takes to lift 212,000 children above the poverty line.

That was to be really clear that the Greens are still strong on the kaupapa of ending poverty. For people who think that this is the Greens ditching the environment for social justice, or that social justice isn’t something the Greens are meant to do, go read this piece by former Green MP Nandor Tanczos on what the party really stands for,

There’s a couple of points I’d make. The first one is that anyone who says that the Green party should stick to the environment fundamentally fails to understand what Green politics is by its very nature. The Greens aren’t the ‘environment party’, they’re the Green party. It also fails to understand what humans are. Humans are a part of nature and our social world is part of the environment as much as the native forest is. We’re part of this world, not some separate thing, and the relationships we have between one another and with the rest of life are all part of the same thing. Green politics has never been about preserving the environment, it’s always been about the relationships we have with each other and the rest of life on this planet. That’s the first thing.

The second thing is back in 1999 when the Green party was first elected, the caucus that I was in, the Greens have always had an extremely strong social justice focus. It’s interesting because back then the criticism was that we only thought about the environment, and it wasn’t even true then. In fact if you look at what the MPs in that first caucus campaigned on, there were more people working in the areas of social justice or social issues than there were people working on the environment. It’s never been true that that is what we did and that’s what we were exclusively interested in, and at the time we were criticised when people thought that’s what we did.

For the people on the look out for the environmental side, there’s a plethora of solid Green Policy already in place and based around NZ becoming world leaders on climate action, cleaning up our rivers, and ending poverty. I am sure we are going to see more of this over the next weeks. In the meantime check out their policy pages,

Environment Policies

Economic Policies

Social Policies



102 comments on “The Greens: solidarity and resistance ”

  1. Carolyn_nth 1

    Excellent post, weka.

    The linked article by Leilani MoMoisea is an important one: it explains what Turie’s stand with beneficiaries and against poverty meant to many Māori and Pacific women. This is not the end, it is the beginning. Turei will go on to participate in many more campaigns outside the House.

    The piece by Leilani Tamu is a very good explanation of the problems with western democratic political process. I really like her take on politics as “blood sport”.

    I have a slight quibble about Tamu’s piece. When she talks of “power” not being everything, she is talking about political and establishment power. She actually is also talking about another sort of power: the power of “blood” and the people as a collective. Tamu says:

    Blood is core to new life, to our babies, to our ancestral ties, and to the legitimacy of our values—where family and the environment are treasured and supported. And, most importantly, blood represents unity—a unified Aotearoa, where everyone who bleeds is represented and every voice counts.

    GO MARAMA Davidson! – out there daily engaging in South Auckland among many who are bleeding.

    • Bearded Git 1.1

      Agreed……great post Weka.

      For the good of the Left and the MOU I think we need to move away from talking about Metiria now and just talk about poverty.

      • CLEANGREEN 1.1.1

        100% Bearded Git. Social issues + also discuss about our relationship to the environment & how we can be improving our human & animal environment please.

      • weka 1.1.2

        +1 I’ve been wanting to write a post about the GP welfare policy since its release, hopefully there will be time now.

    • Jan Rivers 1.2

      To go further on your idea of “:another sort of power” there is another set of related ideas – of power for, power to, power on behalf of, power with – the forms of power that wisely used support empowerment and self-determination; the power to hold the space open for deliberation – these are aspects of this other kind of power that raises the many.

  2. Jay 2

    I understand the Greens feel MT has been terribly wronged, I understand that they feel very loyal to her, and I understand they feel the need to stand up for what they feel is right, but this is politics, and if they continue to beatify MT it seems to me that support for the Greens could drop even further.

    • Carolyn_nth 2.1

      Thanks for your reckons and concern.

      Now back to the actual content of the post.

    • AsleepWhileWalking 2.2

      People who support the principles of the Greens will draw closer, and others will step further back.

      It’s good to see a party walk their talk.

    • Immoral people will always find a way to justify immorality. For you that justification is this is politics.

  3. That interview with James Shaw has the most brass-necked concern trolling I’ve ever seen from Paddy Gower. At 6:30 he asks:

    …now where do they sit, those people that she tried to reach, or as you’ve argued, did reach? Now they’ve seen someone who stood up for them slapped down, and destroyed effectively. What message does that send to those people that you were trying to reach, that this is what happens when someone speaks up for you?

    Yes Mr Gower, they’ve seen how badly someone who stood up for them was treated – by you, to a great extent, if I recall correctly. Instead of asking James Shaw what message you were sending those people, Paddy, why don’t you start with your fuckin’ own self and see if you can answer that question?

    • weka 3.1

      Yep. It’s stunning that interview. I’m trying to decide whether to do a post on it. On the one hand, does the boy man Gower need any more attention? On the other, it was a delight watching Shaw sit in his own strength and the Green kaupapa, and neither right back nor acquiesce and keep on point in the face of some of the most blatant trolling we’ve seen so far . I was sitting here thinking that’s PM material. Not this time, but at some point he has the potential to be a serious level leader.

      • Psycho Milt 3.1.1

        I think you’re right – every interview he’s done the last few weeks shows he’s got what it takes (which is not “killer instinct” or “ability to dominate,” but “strength of character”).

        • weka

          I already liked him as co-leader, but I have to say this whole cometh the hour cometh the man thing he’s done is pretty impressive. I’m relieved and very glad for the Greens that he’s there.

    • Tony Veitch (not etc) 3.2

      A painful interview. If I were in James Shaw’s place I would have asked Gower if he could comprehend a simple and straight-forward answer.

      But, I suppose it doesn’t do any good to show how basically stupid an interviewer is, especially in an election cycle!

      Go the Greens!

      • weka 3.2.1

        I don’t think Gower needed much help there in showing what a stupid interview he is 😉 Or a number of other descriptors (I was thinking, what a little gripper).

  4. Katipo 4

    The idea that the Greens should just stick to one issue seems like sour grapes from their detractors as their own dinosaur neolib manifestos fall out public/academic favour.

    • Carolyn_nth 4.1

      What part of the last paragraph of the above post did you not read?

      I’ll repeat it for those with limited attention spans, and/or who can’t bare to think about the many people who are struggling in their daily lives, or that our social security system is inadequate and punitive:

      For the people on the look out for the environmental side, there’s a plethora of solid Green Policy already in place and based around NZ becoming world leaders on climate action, cleaning up our rivers, and ending poverty. I am sure we are going to see more of this over the next weeks. In the meantime check out their policy pages,

      Environment Policies

      Economic Policies

      Social Policies

      Links to the relevant policies in the post.

    • weka 4.2

      the thing I love is that they can’t make up their minds. Last decade it was all ‘too much environment’, now it’s ‘you should only do environment’. Which just shows them for the fools that they are.

      • garibaldi 4.2.1

        That’s right weka, they’re our enemy, the so called blue-greens… thinking they can have rampant capitalism and a clean environment to boot. Huh!

      • I see it as the RWNJ getting scared as the Greens become a fully functioning party that can go toe to toe with Labour and National. This oh, you should just be an environmental party is a way for these wimps to try to sideline us.

        • weka

          Yep. And watch what happens next as they realise that in getting Turei to step aside as co-leader, Shaw has stepped up as a competent co-leader in his own right, one that can fit comfortably in the corporate and political suit world, and who still backs ending poverty. That’s going to scare some of them, and others will get on board, but I expect there to be a new set of tactics from the dirty right soon.

      • CLEANGREEN 4.2.3

        1000% WEKA Bang on mate, as we need the greens to “Commit” to a set of core policies as NZF and others do.

        I was in 1999 a green Party member and it was solidly environment then to.

        Now I am Labour + NZF trending.

        Labour was always the Social investment Party for the weak, poor, and dis-affected since Michael Joseph Savage time forward.

  5. I was wrong – he topped it! Watch James Shaw’s face at 7:30 as Gower tries to tell him Turei was taken down by her own party because it failed to stand by her. I’m awesomely impressed at his skill in controlling his emotions.

  6. Bill 6

    So, so hoping they call it – put their finger on the trigger and the past 30 years of liberal experimentation and disaster in the cross-hairs.

  7. DH 7

    I’m not convinced weka. The Metiria business revealed the existence of a clique in the party who identify as centrist and care little about the disadvantaged. They’ve expressed a desire for the party to stick to environment issues and shown some disdain for their ‘leftist’ cohorts.

    A few of them started posting here and the media have made the odd casual mention of it too. This article was edited a few times by the look of it, original wording was a little stronger;


    On the plus side they appear to be outnumbered and resenting their relative toothlessness but it still hints at some ideological divisions in the party.

    • Carolyn_nth 7.1

      I think there has always been some tension between those more focused strongly on social justice, and those focused more strongly on the environment within the green movement, and probably within Green parties too. Though, on the left and in Green Parties, the environment and social justice are strongly interwoven.

      The GP did step left with Turei’s social security policy speech. Th NZLP then stepped right, with it’s change of leader. So, perhaps not a bad thing on the election landscape.

      I’d say any political party of any size has it’s spread of views and priorities. it’s how they are managed that influences the direction and following of each party.

      I’m glad that the GP has spoken up strongly on issues of the need for a less damaging, and more helpful social security system; and on the need for a system that improves life for those who are under-resourced by the system.

    • weka 7.2

      Not convinced about what DH? There’s always been conservatives in the Greens. There’s always been a range of people in the Greens. I was pointing to the caucus and experienced Greens to show where they were grounding the kaupapa and that with Turei stepping out of the co-leader roll there isn’t going to be a sudden abandoning of the welfare issues.

      As for the link, first, Tracey Watkins ranks very low on my list of journos I would trust. She’s an intermittent shit stirrer and it’s patently obvious she has little understanding about the GP culture and kaupapa (or doesn’t care). That’s the point of the posts, to present actual GP voices so that people can listen and learn what the GP are about instead of taking their information and messaging from people who are either clueless or have an anti agenda or both.

      Second, I wouldn’t even call Clendon and Graham as anti-social issues. I think what they did was a massive problem for the Greens and I am glad both are gone, but they’re senior politicians in the party that has been working on social issues for longer than they’ve been in parliament. It’s useful that they’ve stepped out at this point, it just makes the Greens stronger.

      • DH 7.2.1

        I’m not convinced about the solidarity.

        • Carolyn_nth

          The same could be said about the Labour and National Parties.

          Maybe it’d just be better to focus on the policies and values of each party, and let people decide for themselves which they prefer to vote for.

          • DH

            Yeah it could. I just have to admit to being a bit surprised at some of the angst expressed by (alleged) Green supporters. It was a little offputting to be honest.

            • Carolyn_nth

              I’ve seen some angst from NZLP supporters at the way the leadership was changed in the window when only MPs could decide, and the memebrship was excluded.

              No matter what the GP does, there will always be those looking to demean them, from left and right.

        • weka

          “I’m not convinced about the solidarity.”

          Do you mean you think what is quoted in the post isn’t genuine?

          • DH

            I think some of the comments made here tend to bear me out weka. Dennis Franks there has been pretty patronising and I’d think it unlikely he’d take such a position if he wasn’t confident he had at least tacit support from others of a like mind.

  8. UncookedSelachimorpha 8

    I’m thrilled that the Greens continue to prioritise social justice and ending poverty. You can’t have a healthy environment without a healthy society.

    This Green discourse is in stark contrast to the attitude of ex-Greens Graham and Clendon – two white wealthy males, demonstrating a complete lack of concern about poverty and injustice while wringing their hands over some behaviour by a poor person 20+ years ago. Any immorality of MT’s actions are many orders of magnitude less than the vile way we currently treat poor and vulnerable people in this country. Graham and Clendon remind me very much of the biblical Pharisees – super concerned with legal minutiae, while ignoring the basic command to love their neighbour… So a reboot of the Green campaign and leaving those two guys behind – sounds good to me!

    • weka 8.1

      Clendon is Māori. But yeah, they did unfortunately embody that part of the culture. I don’t think they are anti-welfare, so much as the boldness of what the Greens did wasn’t working for them and they reached their own limit of tolerance because of their personal values. I don’t have a problem with that. I do have a problem with how they did it. But I agree, it was good timing for them to leave and let the party refresh. I hope they both go and get good NGO roles in their respective fields and carry on the tradition of Norman, Hague etc of taking the fight outside of parliament.

  9. Richard 9

    Hardly a surprise many people don’t know where the Greens stand.

    Under Donald and Fitzsimons the mantra was that the Greens weren’t left or right. The most visibly left wing of the party (Locke, Bradford) departed. Previous campaigns have spoken pretty directly to affluent urban liberal concerns. They get a shed load more party votes in Epsom and Wellington Central than in Mana and Mangere. They’ve signed up to Cullen/English style fiscal constraint. Now, less than 2 months from an election, they pop out the most generous to beneficiaries policy NZ has seen under MMP, with the co-leader dying in a ditch over not conceding an inch that benefit fraud is in anyway wrong.

    You can’t blame the MSM for people being uncertain where they stand.

    • Carolyn_nth 9.1

      Is it any more confusing than a Labour Party, that is luke warm on supporting those being damaged by our social security system – the NZLP that set up the system to support workers in or out of work?

      Is it any more confusing than an ACT Party, supposedly for small government and free markets, etc, supporting authoritarian policies when it suits?

      Or a “National” Party that sells out the nation for the benefit of the corporate, international elites?

    • Maybe they should try putting their policies and some basic mission statements on their web site so people don’t have to rely on gossip and media opinion pieces to figure out where they stand, do you think?

    • weka 9.3

      That’s the problem though, if you try and position this in conventional left/right terms it doesn’t work. And given the Greens said a long time ago that Green politics sits outside that spectrum, you’d think some journos might have done the mahi to learn what that meant. Of course some journos have a lot invested in the status quo, so why would they bother?

      • CLEANGREEN 9.3.1

        100% WEKA,

        The whole Election cycle has been muddied by all these “Re-setting of policies since party leaders have departed.

        I and many others are confused to.

        Labour look very solid here and are heading for victory with NZF so far as I can see.

      • Bill 9.3.2

        Where have the Green Party ever announced that they are positioned outside of or beyond a left/right spectrum? And what did they base the claim on?

        The farthest I can see that take going is to debate whether environmental policies were ever outside such a spectrum, or whether they were merely a temporarily ‘forgotten’ or suppressed aspect of leftist political thought.

        As I wrote in another comment, I’m very much hoping the Green Party can now articulate its already existing opposition to liberalism. And I’m wondering if the departure of David Clendon and Kennedy Graham might make that more overt positioning possible. (I get the impression that neither of those men could quite grasp the inescapable fact that politics concerned with capitalism are oppositional – ie, they were quintessentially liberal in their perspective)

        Meanwhile, couching politics in some mystical context, that apparently only wiser or truer or more learned/aware people can grasp, is exclusionary, elitist and only strengthens the hand of those who would dismiss a particular expression of politics as irrelevant or flaky or whatever.

        The Green Party has a framework that’s somewhat a muddle of both liberal and social democratic components (so do other parties). That’s not hard to understand. The tracing back of how the different components came to be in place with regards the Green Party may be a bit more problematic or difficult, but there’s nothing mystical about any of it, and certainly nothing at all “outside” of the left and right, or right and wrong, of traditional politics about any of it.

        • weka

          I doubt that the party has ever ‘announced’ it, it’s just something that gets discussed within the culture.

          “Meanwhile, couching politics in some mystical context, that apparently only wiser or truer or more learned/aware people can grasp, is exclusionary, elitist and only strengthens the hand of those who would dismiss a particular expression of politics as irrelevant or flaky or whatever.”

          That’s your experience of it, but it’s no more elitist than say deciding that the word liberal should be used primarily in context of certain classical LW analysis of politics and bugger that most people in NZ use the word differently and don’t have a background in classical LW political theory (and I seem to remember you eventually got to the point of calling me stupid so I’m not inclined to take a lecture here about elitism).

          There are distinct things about Green politics that some traditional lefties and most of the mainstream simply don’t get. I’m really happy to talk about that from my perspective and experience, but I’m not sure how much point there is if you dismiss it at the start.

          Not sure what your mystical framing is about tbh. Am interested in how you got to ‘right or wrong’ though.

          “The Green Party has a framework that’s somewhat a muddle of both liberal and social democratic components (so do other parties). That’s not hard to understand. ”

          Sure, so when you frame it within conventional political analysis you can come to that conclusion, but you’re still missing important parts of the picture. It reminds me of when women politicised in the last 60s and 70s and were criticised because their politics no longer fitted into the traditional left frames that the boys had been using. It’s taken decades to shift the culture enough so that large numbers of men now just accept parts of women’s culture as normal. I don’t think we’ve seen the same degree of shift around green politics, although there has definitely been some.

          One way I might try and explain the L/R thing (my personal view), is that the L/R spectrum and subsequent analysis is inherently patriarchal and colonialist. So of course people working philosophically outside of that are going to want to subvert it and must inherently frame themselves in a different way.

          • weka

            That might have come across as a bit harsh. I’m interested in the conversation, but there’s a limit to how much I can be bothered pushing back against arguments that aren’t even taking the basics into account. Last time you asked about something similar to this, I took it in good faith, spent some time putting out some ideas, which basically got dismissed. Which is fine if you don’t like the ideas, but it won’t help in understand the underlying principles and beliefs in green politics.

          • Bill

            Aye well. there goes that potentially worthwhile discussion. Never mind.

            edit – then I saw your second reply. Marxism was as elitist for the left as any mystification that may go on around Green politics. And just as damaging.

            My left experience has been anarchist, not authoritarian. So the first names that pop into my head when thinking of leading lights are Emma Goldman, Lucy Parsons, Mother Jones….

            And I don’t have any ‘training’ in any ‘classical’ whatever. I just can’t be arsed with the obfuscation that the prefix ‘neo’ introduces to discussions around liberalism. I asked often enough for those upset or unhappy with the dropping of the prefix to explain or point to the difference they saw between liberalism and neo-liberalism. Still waiting.

            A right and wrong framework sitting alongside a left and right one seems natural enough to me. Left and right on its own can result in ideological purity or lock-down with pretty dire consequences. A sense of natural right and wrong is a broader and better political compass imo

            • weka

              “And I don’t have any ‘training’ in any ‘classical’ whatever.”

              I’m not saying you have training, but you are obviously self-educated. Pretty much the same for me with green politics and feminism.

              “I just can’t be arsed with the obfuscation that the prefix ‘neo’ introduces to discussions around liberalism. I asked often enough for those upset or unhappy with the dropping of the prefix to explain or point to the difference they saw between liberalism and neo-liberalism. Still waiting.”

              That doesn’t address the point though. I’m sure your reasons are sound within your own beliefs and strategies, I just don’t think the accusation of elitist is valid given you do pretty much the same thing you appear to be accusing others of.

              “My left experience has been anarchist, not authoritarian. So the first names that pop into my head when thinking of leading lights are Emma Goldman, Lucy Parsons, Mother Jones….”

              Would love to hear more from those perspectives at some point.

              I’m unclear who you think is mystifying green politics. Can you please point to some examples?

              “A right and wrong framework sitting alongside a left and right one seems natural enough to me. Left and right on its own can result in ideological purity or lock-down with pretty dire consequences. A sense of natural right and wrong is a broader and better political compass imo”

              that’s a whole different conversation (RW people who have a sense of right and wrong for instance). Seems like a non-sequitur.

            • Dennis Frank

              What about Murray Bookchin? I found the biography of his political evolution from anarchism & communism fascinating (written by his wife) and hadn’t known that he was such an early adopter of green politics.

    • BM 9.4

      Yeah, I don’t understand the complete 180, the Greens were steadily rising in the polls they were looking quite stable and ready for government,

      Then all of a sudden Turei admits benefit fraud with absolutely no remorse and comes out with this outrageous social policy that basically has everyone in the country going WTF at.

      The vote has now tanked and the Greens may be out of Parliament, you’re sort of left wondering what happened.

      • Psycho Milt 9.4.1

        Then all of a sudden Turei … comes out with this outrageous social policy…

        …that fits in with the Green Party’s policies on eliminating poverty that they’ve had for a long time now. It feels like “all of a sudden” to you because “all of a sudden” the media were actually reporting on it. If you think about it, you’ll be able to figure out why the media were “all of a sudden” reporting on it, and maybe from there figure out why the Greens agreed to let Metiria Turei take that risk.

      • garibaldi 9.4.2

        BM. The whole reason Metiria has been slayed was to mask the social policy she released which stabs neoliberalism in the heart. That is why the Right are trying to totally avoid facing the issue of “designed ” poverty in this country. Since “the mother of all budgets” it has not been possible to adequately survive on a benefit, and that was a deliberate step by National. This is what we are fighting for and why we support Metiria .Get it?
        Poverty is a cess pit of burgeoning social/personal problems which our society must start facing up to. It is far cheaper to show them empathy and fix the problem (Left) than to tell them get fucked (Right).

        • Draco T Bastard

          That is why the Right are trying to totally avoid facing the issue of “designed ” poverty in this country.

          Yep. The RWNJ have increased poverty in this country over the last thirty odd years solely for the enrichment of the already rich.

        • In Vino

          +1 to Psycho Milt and Garibaldi. I tend to come in late, and wish that I had written certain posts. Your 2 above qualify..

      • weka 9.4.3

        “you’re sort of left wondering what happened.”

        “I’m clueless” or “I’m a troll” Fify, take your pick.

        1. it’s not a 180, read the post.

        2. the Greens weren’t steadily rising in the polls, they were kind of static, and there was a very real chance that there would be no change of govt because of the overall positioning of the left.

        3. lots of people in NZ support the Greens’ welfare policy. But there hasn’t actually been much analysis or examination of it yet, because of those in the MSM who slavered after the idea of a political scalp.

        4. one poll said 15% the other said 8%, mostly likely it’s somewhere in between.

        5. What the Greens did with their welfare policy probably caused the 15% bounce, which led to the Labour Party change of leadership.

        6. The Greens want change not power.

        7. I know you want to put maximum spin on this but you aren’t stupid enough to believe that single polls mean anything. I’m happy to call you stupid though if that’s the argument you make.

        • Dennis Frank

          On Q+A this morning the poll in Ohariu has the Greens at 12%. They said it was taken saturday (yesterday ??) which makes it an interim verdict on the MT saga, and the leftists will be reassured. May reflect local strength of the GP rather than a nationwide indicator, but it does suggest there’s a bit of rebound kicking in.

          • Carolyn_nth

            It was a snap poll of about 500 people. But it does possibly indicate the GP bouncing back to closer to their core vote. Time will tell.

          • weka

            My understanding of polls is that it takes a few weeks for political events to show up in changes in vote. And that at the moment there are so many things happening that we’re not getting that space to see what affects what, so it’s probably not possible to draw conclusions about why the polls are the way they are.

            IMO the value in single polls is in how any groups of people can use them to their advantage. We need to be careful of that for lots of reasons.

            Shaw (and I think Turei) said that the polls will bounce around, that the Greens have been on 8% closer to an election and still got above 10% not the day. That’s far more meaningful to me than the bullshit manipulation going on by the likes of the TV networks.

            • alwyn

              “the Greens have been on 8% closer to an election and still got above 10% not the day”.
              Do you have any idea of where Mr Shaw may have got these figures from? I would love to see what his source for the claim is.

              I had a brief look at the pre-2014 election polls from Roy Morgan. That choice is purely for convenience as the numbers remain readily available on-line.
              There were 4 polls between 30 June 2014 and 31 August 2014. The Green Party numbers were 15%, 12%, 11.5% and 16%. That is an average of 13.6%. In the election they got 10.7%
              Thus the election numbers were a drop of about 21% from the pre-election polls, rather than a 25% improvement from 8% to 10%.

              I then did a bit of extrapolation as to what 12% in Ohariu might convert to on election day.
              I first corrected (fiddled if you prefer) to adjust for the fact that the Green Party tend to drop in the election from their pre-election polls as shown by the Roy Morgan numbers..
              This brings the expected election number down to 9.4% rather than 12%.

              However it must also be adjusted for the fact that the poll was only for Ohariu. The Green Party percentage there in the 2014 election was about 15% of the total party vote, compared to the national average of 10.7%. Adjusting for this drops the final Green vote in the election down to an estimated 6.7%. Well into the safe territory above 5% but still only 8 MPs.

              I realise that the calculation is rather hypothetical and probably has a very wide error range but I can’t see any really major logical flaws in the methodology.

              • weka

                Lol, so you took just one polling company and then you wonder where Shaw got his figures from? Didn’t bother reading the rest of your comment, because of your history of deliberately lying about the GP.

                • alwyn

                  “just one polling company”.
                  The figures between the companies don’t differ as much as you might think.
                  For example in the last poll before the 2014 election Colmar-Brunton (6-10 Sept) had the votes as National 46%, Labour 25% and Green 14%.
                  Roy Morgan (1-14 Sept) had National 46.5%, Labour 24% and Green 13.5%.

                  As for the idea of being “closer to an election”.
                  I looked at all the polls in 2014 for the numbers. They are on Wikipedia. There were a total of 54 polls. Of these only TWO had the Green Party under 10%.
                  They were 8% for a poll from the 15th to 19th Feb and 9% for a poll from 19 May to 1 June. That was quite a long time before the election wasn’t it?

                  You might get something out of the rest of what I wrote if you read it. I’m not saying you will like it but it should at least cheer you up that there is an excellent chance of the Green Party getting back into Parliament.

      • Bearded Git 9.4.4

        Remorse for highlighting the issue of poverty this government’s PR machine is sweeping under the carpet? Well done the Greens.

        Have you ever taken any untaxed cash or goods for work BM, or been party to a tax scheme which is supposedly “legal” but is morally bankrupt?

      • KJT 9.4.5

        Greens went up after Metiria’s stand. But don’t let that get in the way of a good story.

        Endlessly repeating bullshit doesn’t make it true.

        The Government and their tame “journalists” have shown they will lie, cheat, steal, misuse statistics and hound people to suicide, to win.

        You should have learnt by now that if Gower says it. It is a lie!

  10. Dennis Frank 10

    Your framing of the Greens position is okay by me, Weka. It’s value is limited only by the essential factors it leaves out. Primarily, the twin tribes dimension revealed in the Values Party schism, which the caucus fracture reveals is still the primary political fault-line in the green movement. Of all the comments before mine, Richard’s is the most accurate.

    Life inside the leftist bubble tends to warp the ability of those inside to see reality for what it is – which is why so much of leftist politicking over the past half-century has proceeded on a delusional basis. The twin tribes must continue to work together. One demonising the other is juvenile behaviour.

    • Carolyn_nth 10.1

      Do you seriously believe there’s not a schism within both the Nats and Labour?

      And with the change of Labour Leadership, the balance that Little held between factions has slipped to the right.

      Before the NZLP focus was mainly on work and jobs generally. There’s now been a strong focus on women, equality and gender pay equality.

      • Dennis Frank 10.1.1

        Neither of those is currently destabilising their parties Carolyn. My critique of the retention of the parliamentary leftist alignment long after it reached its use-by date is based on the failure of the leftists to extend consensus. The bubble warps their view so much that they either cannot see or don’t want to admit that our elections are won & lost in the political center. It’s also driven by the fact that it was my advocacy long ago that produced that alignment (nobody disagreed so the conference recorded consensus).

        • KJT

          Total bullshit.

          In fact, from your statements about what you support, you are more “leftist” than i am.

          Whats with the downing of “lefties”. Someone hurt your feelings?

          It is the “centralists” who are delusional along with NACT.

          Heading for social and environmental breakdown. All rowing confidently together for disaster.

          “Lefties’ gave New Zealand the highest standard of living in the world. Centralists, compromisers and the right wing, fucked it!

          • Dennis Frank

            Look, I get where you’re coming from KJT. I share your feelings but the fact remains that the change of government we both want will only happen if swing-voters drift slightly left of center. That’s the historical pattern. That’s why centrist voters are always the key to progress actually happening – regardless of leftist clamour for progress!

        • Stuart Munro

          And this is your fundamental flaw:

          “retention of the parliamentary leftist alignment long after it reached its use-by date ”

          The left position relates to poverty, which is rising spectacularly under the corrupt and benighted Gnat administration. Its relevance is rising as inequality rises. What bubble are you in that you think the fastest growing inequality in the OECD must be ignored?

          • Dennis Frank

            I don’t. Straw man.

            • Stuart Munro

              Ok smarty pants – so what is it that you’re recommending, that Metiria dump her principles and her most vulnerable constituency and climb aboard your centrist magical mystery tour? Sounds like planet Key.

              The Greens have always put principle ahead of mere power seeking but you’re advocating an exception.

              • Dennis Frank

                What part of centrism don’t you understand?? It derives from a natural reluctance to self-identify as neither left nor right. Simple. Even a novice ought to be able to figure that out.

                No, I’d never advise her to abandon her principles. That would be disrespectful, wouldn’t it? Political pragmatism has to kick in when principled behaviour becomes counter-productive. Greens often get that but the caucus behaviour suggests their tardy recollection of it came too late for her…

                • Stuart Munro

                  Well I don’t think you’re a Green at all – I think you’re just another ACToid Trojan horse – we get a lot of them. You have utterly failed to present anything that could be mistaken for a Green stance, and I don’t understand your ‘centrism’ because it seems to be designed to accommodate the failed policies of the far right and has no basis in sustainability.

                  It is your credibility that is on the line here – your ‘centrist’ fantasy that is leaking like the Titantic, and the onus is on you to present a credible defence of your anomalous and ill-timed criticism of Metiria. Don’t lay it off on the Green caucus – make a real case that you’re not just another sellout.

                  • In Vino

                    ” It derives from a natural reluctance to self-identify as neither left nor right. Simple. Even a novice ought to be able to figure that out.”

                    Classic concern troll. A reluctance to really self-identify at all. And all so simple!

    • DH 10.2

      Considering you’ve displayed an inability to grasp the reality of poverty I think you’d be wiser to minimise the sneering Dennis. Glass houses and all that….

      • Dennis Frank 10.2.1

        Don’t be silly, DH. I’ve supported our stand on poverty in online comments on various political blogs. Metiria wasn’t unwise to take her stand on that, and I explained why I supported her. I wrote that beneficiaries deserve to have someone in parliament supporting them. Metiria was unwise in her reading of the political consequences of how she framed her stand.

        • DH

          The wisdom of her actions is still an open question Dennis. It’s not over yet, the electoral consequences are yet to be revealed.

          Your opinion of the leftists as delusional is derisory yet I suspect the Green Party would be struggling to even pass the 5% threshold without them. Are you sure you’re not in the bubble you accuse others of?

          • Dennis Frank

            Yeah I’m sure. You’re correct that the leftist greenies are an essential part of the whole. I’ve always seen them as such despite their collective behaviour being so partisan. I talk to them individually and always get a conversation with rapport due to common ground. And I agree that the election result will tell us just how much damage they’ve done to the GP.

    • weka 10.3

      IMO that’s a false dichotomy Dennis. There are more than two positions here, and for those of us comfortable with both left wing politics and Green beyond L/R politics, we’re used to and not bothered by supposed contradictions. Yes, lefties need to broaden their definition of ally. But until the Greens who want to go right give it up, there will always be this distraction. That’s fine for now, it’s kind of where NZ is at too.

      It’s ironic that you both criticise lefties for being partisan but then also put such a stake in the ground around your own politics. Myself, I see one of the best things that Green politics brings is the genuine ability to work with non-tribal allies and people who want to do good things. It’s not something well understood in the mainstream culture.

      Calling natural allies delusional is a political cul de sac.

      • Dennis Frank 10.3.1

        You’re referring to the Bluegreens in the National Party?? I’m unaware of any bluegreens in our party currently. One would suspect Ken may be, but I’ve read the paper he circulated at our conference a couple of years ago co-authored with a couple of others reminding everyone that the green movement has always been neither left nor right and the party ought to reposition accordingly. So, in respect of identity politics, he thereby proved he doesn’t identify as blue-green.

        That’s not to say he won’t now join Gareth & reframe as bluegreen. It wouldn’t surprise me. Your comment ignores the fact that the few bluegreens who participated in the genesis of the GP soon got alienated & drifted off. Rainbow etc. I agree with you re working with others across the political spectrum. I’ve been able to work with leftists despite their natural inability to see the big picture.

        • weka

          No I’m not talking about the Bluegreens or National, at all.

          Some people take the ‘not LW’ thing to mean the Greens must be RW. Or that ‘not L/R’ means inclusive of the right. I don’t see it as either. The right in NZ is currently firmly neoliberal, so it’s pretty easy to dismiss it on the ground of the Greens’ principles.

          I don’t know what Graham’s position was, but I wouldn’t see saying ‘not L/R’ as making someone a bluegreen at all. Of course Tava muddied the waters on that by saying ‘not L/R’ and failing to be honest that he wanted to go actual right (as in National).

          This is why I don’t usually bother having this conversation. Too much miscommunication.

      • Dennis Frank 10.3.2

        Btw, the reason I call natural allies delusional is to help them become more aware of the ethical danger they are in when they allow the leftist belief system to cause them to misrepresent the entire party. Sectarianism. The broad church cannot be thus denied. Those who try to get aware with doing so make this mistake due to being delusional. It’s intended to alert them to the tacit factor driving their behaviour. You could call it applied political psychology.

        You may wish to point out that epithets are unhelpful. There’s merit in that. My conscience requires me to act politically to our mutual benefit, so when the situation requires an epithet to trigger a consciousness shift towards sustainability, I’ll always issue one. Mind Wars (McFadyen) is the best analysis of the part belief systems play in driving political behaviour via conformity – the book examines the deep psychology underlying collective motivations.

        • In Vino

          I think you need an epithet to trigger an antidote to your propensity towards obfuscation through excessive complexity.

          • Dennis Frank

            Political parties are complex ecosystems. Groups are complex systems. Human society is one gigantic complex system. To engage with it requires one to be adept at handling complexity. Politicos averse to complexity render themselves politically impotent due to their failure to engage the complexities…

            • In Vino

              Concern trolls are complex linguistic units. They like to complexify the things that it suits them to.. They are loquacious windbags full of a tale of sound and fury. “averse to complexity” How droll.

              • Dennis Frank

                Hey, when you grow up you may become sufficiently competent that you’ll be able to engage issues in an intelligent fashion instead of just going around insulting people. Something to look forward to.

                • In Vino

                  I haven’t much time left to grow up in Dennis – but I will admit that at least you are entertaining, as much as insulting. And if you weren’t a concern troll, you would not have made such a hostile response. Giveaway.

            • Incognito

              Politicians are reductionists par excellence especially the populist and pragmatic ones.

              • Dennis Frank

                And that too is part of the whole. The `kiss’ principle, the dog whistle, pushing buttons in the psyche simultaneously in the large target group. Democracy is a numbers game.

                Complexity starts to ratchet up when you target more than one significant group simultaneously. For instance, the twin tribes in the Greens, or the change of government scenario that we are currently looking at (three parties). That’s why Labour has to be ready to include both others, raising the vital question of Jacinda’s innate ability to juggle those three balls in the air simultaneously…

                • Incognito

                  Democracy is a numbers game.

                  Yes, it is, by necessity.

                  It has become the end instead of the means to an end.
                  In our contemporary version of democracy you have to be in power to get your things done in your way, simplistically speaking.

                  When in power you get things done and you represent your ‘electorate’, the people that voted you in (if you know who they are).

                  There are a number of problems with this version of democracy, one of which is who stands up for the silent people? (NB these people are not voiceless, they haven’t lost their voices, but they don’t speak in the mike, as it were, for various reasons)

                  There are many quotes that say the same thing: a healthy just society looks after the many if not the all.

                  This is not easy, it is impossible! And no democracy can achieve full representation. But what we’ve got now cannot be as good as it gets – this is my conviction. Fortunately, brave and smart people are looking for ways to move (us) forward and this gives me optimism and hope. This is also one of the reasons why I comment here and read the thousands of other comments here on TS …

        • weka

          not unhelpful, ineffective.

          • Dennis Frank

            Often true, but not a general rule. I’ve found they work when I use them (not that it’s much of a habit). People go away & mull it over. Next time, it’s almost always evident that they’ve modified their approach. I suspect that’s why epithets have a functional part to play in language.

            [lprent: Weka is getting pretty good at spotting the gormless fools. So I’ll trust her instincts on this and add my two cents worth about consequences.

            I’d like to point out that I have had now had 40 years on various types of social media, and 10 years being the sysop on this site. You could say that I am rather experienced at winding up fuckwits who like to play games. That is because I neither play fair nor do I allow you control any part of the debate. Any debate that I start moderating on will be about your personality flaws and disgusting weaknesses.

            This is your warning. I’m sure that in the 1.25 million comments on this site you will find a few places where I have been playing BOFH. Read the policy and confine yourself to robust debate without playing moron level games. After all weka might decide to get generous and leave you for my personal attention. ]

            • weka

              I suggest you read the site Policy. If it gets to the point where language and tone are exclusionary or where behaviour affects the site negatively and that ends up taking up moderator time, then a moderator will step in. You can think you’re teaching people whatever, whereas I look at the people who stop taking part in the conversations and tend to side with them. You could consider this a headsup to understand there are limits here and that it’s useful to learn how a place functions and where one fits into that.

              • Dennis Frank

                Okay, I’ve no problem with all that. Just note that I’ve played the ball, not the man, until someone reacted by attacking me personally. Every time. Initiating personal attacks is something I never do, but I reciprocate when I get one. So the fair moderator will nip that in the bud by warning the initiator, right?

                The ball, in this analogy, is the way that conformity to a sectarian view is harming the common good. I do try to explain how it’s doing so in each instance. This process is vital in making the Green Party successful, for instance. It’s also vital to getting everyone on the same page in order that a change of government does not just produce a whole bunch of infighting which would set the left back another decade (or another generation).

                [lprent: Personal attacks are usually in the eye of the beholder. The moderators will decide if it oversteps the bounds of robust debate. You don’t. This is pretty clear in the policy when it talks about the self martyrdom of guests idiotically trying to define the rules for the site.

                That is because you lack perspective on what this site is for. The site simply isn’t designed for fools who can’t argue robustly without having a glass ego. Which is what you sound like. ]

                [I’ll add that while fairness does come into it, far more of an issue for me is whether a commenter is causing problems for the site and moderators i.e. fairness to the time of authors is a much higher priority. At some point today I became less interested in the content of the comments than in the pattern of behaviour, and there was definitely enough there to start getting my attention as a moderator.

                My unbolded comment above really was a headsup that there is a culture here and people need to learn to fit into it. As Lynn points out, what you personally think should be happening isn’t the crucial point. I want to spend my time here writing posts and commenting, not having to track potential problems, especially under my own posts. There is far less leeway given at the moment because of the election and the extra workload in writing and moderating – weka]

                • weka

                  Would be good to know you saw this Dennis, thanks.

                  • Dennis Frank

                    Okay Weka, I take the point. Don’t want to make life hard for anyone. I was hoping it would be obvious that I was trying to help clarify issues, but I’m not the kind of person who sticks around when they’re not wanted. Over & out…

              • In Vino

                Thanks from me. Weka.

  11. esoteric pineapples 11

    One has to wonder why the Greens are being attacked constantly from a huge variety of angles over this. My feeling is that the Greens are being attacked in a way that no other political party has been in my memory. I think there is an broadly based desire to try and crush the Greens out of politics all together.

    • Dennis Frank 11.1

      Well the `holier than thou’ thing is relevant. Commentators like to pounce on hypocrisy. I agree with the leftist’s take in respect of residual class warfare. The idea that it’s okay for beneficiaries to game the welfare system was opposed by 74% of poll respondents. How could Metiria boost GP poll support by standing against the moral judgment of three quarters of the electorate? So the combination of all the disapproving classes was always going to defeat the class she stood for.

      Her lack of political judgment lay in not anticipating that result. I agree that the other classes ought to have more empathy for beneficiaries, but the Greens have to be pragmatic and ground themselves in political reality in order to achieve success.

  12. swordfish 12

    “… let’s get a few things straight about who and what the Green Party is.”

    The whole ethos of this post reminds me of this Gary Larson cartoon


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