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The Greens sticking to their guns (and their values)

Written By: - Date published: 10:57 am, September 11th, 2020 - 157 comments
Categories: election 2020, greens, james shaw, labour, marama davidson, nz first, tax - Tags: ,

The Greens just stepped up their election campaign. This is a bold move and suddenly I’m excited about the election again.

Jason Walls covered a range of things in the NZ Herald yesterday. On what a post-election deal between the Greens and Labour might look like with regards to power sharing,

The Greens are prepared to forego a coalition or confidence and supply arrangement and sit on the crossbenches if post-election talks do not go their way.

Shaw made the statements while visiting the Wellington City Mission, some of the poorest people in the country, and talked about the GP’s Progressive Tax Reform policy in its Poverty Action Plan.

More from Shaw on what could happen in government formation,

Co-leader James Shaw made the comments on Thursday, saying the only post-election deal that was off the table completely was one which would give National power.

(My emphasis so I don’t have to spend the next 5 weeks rolling my eyes every time someone trots out the right wing hand grenade meme that the Greens will/should support National)

However, he said if the Greens held the balance of power it was “always a possibility” that it would walk away from negotiations with Labour if they could not get the gains they wanted.

If there was no coalition or confidence and supply agreement, that would force a minority Labour government to seek the Greens’ support for legislation on a case-by-case basis.

That presents a few options (leaving aside NZ First for the moment):

  • A majority Labour government, with or without the Greens
  • A Labour-led government, with Greens as a coalition partner
  • A minority Labour government, with Greens giving Confidence and Supply
  • A minority Labour government, with the Greens on the cross benches.

It’s worth adding here that in that last scenario it’s extremely unlikely that the Greens would refuse to support Labour to the extent of an election being needed. I’m sure the Greens have bottom lines, but they also have a high commitment to relationship and working things through. Likewise Labour aren’t stupid and aren’t going to want to force an election either. There is significant overlap in policy and values between the Greens and Labour, enough to make such a fall out unlikely.

Also worth noting is that the Greens will want to be in government, with Ministerial portfolios and seats at the Cabinet table.

What I’m seeing here is Shaw saying that the Greens aren’t a pushover, and if Labour are ruling out certain policies and positions with regards coalition partners, ahead of the election, then the Greens are signalling  to Labour and the electorate that they can’t be taken for granted.

Shaw said a new Labour-led government would need to be in partnership with the Greens for it to be truly transformational.

“I think, in the next Parliament if Labour and the Greens are able to form a government together, then you will see a truly progressive government for New Zealand.”

Great signalling. The lefties, including Labour voters, who are upset about Labour’s steady as she goes instead of transformation approach now have a choice.

The ball’s in our court, lefties. We have a rare chance at an election almost certainly to lead to a Labour-led second term, so what kind of Labour-led government do we want?

On Labour’s announcement that there would be no more taxes other than Labour policy in the next term (and effectively trying to rule out the Green Party’s wealth tax),

He wouldn’t say what the Greens’ bottom lines in those talks were, but said a “wealth tax” was a “top priority”.

He would also be pushing for co-leader Marama Davidson to be a minister and suggested a Green MP hold the agriculture portfolio.

Perfect. Davidson should be a Minister, and the Shaw-doubters should take note of Shaw fronting the Greens’ social justice platform and advancing his wahine Māori co-leader in an environment that too often focuses on the business suited co-leader. There’s a reason why the Greens have co-leaders.

On working with NZ First,

But Shaw said the Greens would struggle to work with NZ First, adding that the Greens’ preference was “clearly” a government without that party.

Shaw renewed his criticism of New Zealand First, saying the party has been “extremely difficult, quite chaotic and not a force for moderation inside the Government,” during this term.

One of the biggest problems of the current government has been the degree to which we, the voting public, are not allowed to see what is really going on. The Greens being honest about the relationship with NZ First is useful, would still love to know how much NZ First has had power in vetoing Labour and Green policy and development., and really hope we can see some reform of how coalition governments are done.

It’s important to note here that the kind of relationship that the Greens have with Labour post-election is in the end decided by the members. It’s the members who get to say whether to go into coalition or C/S or cross benches.

157 comments on “The Greens sticking to their guns (and their values) ”

  1. Ad 1

    Before Greend start naming Davidson or anyone into Ministerial seats, first achieve 5%.

    Keep tracking hard left Greens, you're on a winner.

    • weka 1.1

      Hard man centrist Labourite either can't read the room, or is being disingenous.

      Talking about MD as a Minister is a message to the parts of the left (ie. voters, activists and potential campaigners) that want more than Labour is offering on welfare reform (which let's face it, is nothing at this stage), as well as to Māori, including those that vote in Tāmaki Makarau where MD is standing in the Māori electorate. Maybe to the underclass as well, god forbid someone should represent them inside govt.

    • Incognito 1.2

      To win more votes, they have to track hard centre.

    • mickysavage 1.3

      The problem is that the Green policy proposal will appeal to left Labour voters. There are a few to pick up. Centrists can flock to Labour but if enough lefties go Green …

  2. Reality 2

    Worth reading Daily Blog's latest on the Greens, where Martin Bradbury gives his assessment of why many have turned away from the Greens as being too scary and extreme.

    • The Al1en 2.1

      That's the same arsehole who was a consultant to mana until 2013 and provided a draft strategy for dot com and the internet party.

      Sure, he'd know all about extreme and scary, just not hypocrisy and memory loss.

      Ignore. I do.

      • Andre 2.1.1

        Oh I dunno. Now and then there's some amusement in a ranting buffoon. Today's splurt that Reality pointed at certainly qualifies.

      • lurgee 2.1.2

        I didn't regard Mana as scary or extreme. I voted for them.

        • The Al1en 2.1.2.1

          The point being the greens are definitely not more extreme or scary to the general electorate than the parties formerly connected with the blowhard over at the daily blog.

          Who you wasted your vote on is of no concern to me.

  3. Grant Insley 3

    Counting chickens before they're laid, let alone hatched, methinks. Greens are not currently in a position to bargain or demand from. In fact the selective targeting against Labour instead of National is not doing themselves any favours either!

  4. Andre 4

    It very much looks like green issues are being shoved to the background and the "lefter than Labour" issues are front-stage. Which looks to me like repeating the 2017 mistake.

    • weka 4.1

      Lots of the environmental issues are integrated into other policy eg their economy platform is a green economy. Rather than the environment being an add on, it's part of everything they do, including their social justice policies.

      The Greens are lefter than Labour on the environment too. Like other parties, the Greens release their policies over weeks in the election campaign. I'm expecting the strongly focused environmental ones to be rolled out over the next weeks.

      I hear what you are saying about positioning, but they're damned either way. If they go centrist, they'll be attacked by the activists and look like Labour small (why vote for the Greens when you can have Ardern is the policies are the same).

      What's on the table already,

      https://www.greens.org.nz/ourgreenvisionforaotearoa

      https://www.greens.org.nz/clean_energy_plan

    • McFlock 4.2

      The 2017 mistake was not realising some of their senior MPs were closet tories.

      But going for agriculture balances the perceived equity focus, I think.

      • Andre 4.2.1

        The 2017 mistake was not realising some of their senior MPs were closet tories.

        That's not a bad thing if you're seriously trying to be green. Incorporating perspectives from the entire range of political thought gives a better chance of robust policies that can at least be swallowed by a larger portion of society. Otherwise, the "watermelons" trope becomes fair and accurate.

        • McFlock 4.2.1.1

          I mean, I know I'm biased, but modern tory socioeconomic policies are incompatible with any but the most limited and ineffectual environmental policies.

          e.g. fisheries cameras. Water quality. Mining on "conservation" land.

          • Andre 4.2.1.1.1

            There's plenty of right-wingers in occupations that aren't wanton resource exploitation that are disgusted with those things too.

            • McFlock 4.2.1.1.1.1

              Not the NZ1 crowd.

              Not the nats.

              Otherwise attempts at blue-green parties would thrive, rather than being essentially stillborn.

              • Dennis Frank

                attempts at blue-green parties would thrive, rather than being essentially stillborn

                I've been pondering this. Best guess: better things to do. They would vote for one that got up & running & looked credible. They lack time &/or motivation doing the hard work to make it happen themselves.

                I recall you once replied here to me that you'd done time in the NLP back when I was in the Greens, and we agreed on the pros & cons of Anderton that day. You may have been one of those who put in the hard yards to make the NLP successful (or you may have just gone along for the ride). If the former, you know what a drain it is on your energies (physical/mental/spiritual).

                It's why I avoided being a joiner & just flew solo through the '60s/'70s/80s. But I'm glad & tried the self-sacrifice thing for a few years because it gave Aotearoa a green political option that works (in a schizoid kinda way). I reckon most rightists are just too individualistic to make that collective effort required.

                • McFlock

                  "Better things to do".

                  That's just saying that voting nat and putting up with their environmental activities is easier than finding electoral support for a party that wants to protect the environment without changing the economic system.

                  You avoided being a joiner. But between the greens, social credit/dems, NLP, and a few others on the leftish, and ACT/United/a few other tory parties on the right, MMP has helped a number of new or smaller parties get somewhere.

                  But left greens do seem to be significantly more electorally popular than any attempt at blue greens.

                  • Dennis Frank

                    left greens do seem to be significantly more electorally popular than any attempt at blue greens

                    Yep, the historical consistency of that pattern over quarter of a century is dramatic. I just wonder if it's due more to rightist political incompetence. If they got serious & threw people & money at the opportunity things could change…

                    • Andre

                      Nah, there really aren't enough of them to make a 5% threshold. If the threshold were 2% – maybe. To even get that, though, they'd need someone a lot better than Vernon Tava or Nick Smith fronting it.

                      But when serious credible ones do make the effort to be serious with the Greens to the point of doing the work to get high on the list and even into parliament, then it's worth taking on board what they have to say. What might come out of that then has a much better chance of not just getting biffed out by lunchtime the day the next lot get in.

                    • McFlock

                      While the Turei/Graham thing might have been ameliorated by some closer talks within caucus about direction, I don't think it would have been avoided.

                      A key part of environmentalism is sustainability. Applied strictly to the environment, this comes into conflict with capitalism.

                      And if you take that sustainability framework and apply it to wider society in order to eliminate the conflict between environment and socioeconomic system, then the likes of Graham will always eventually come into conflict with that framework.

                      Things like social equity and "identity politics" are attempts to lessen the exploitative and destructive structures within society. Attempts to accept and preserve the diversity of society, like preserving forests to prevent erosion and desertification.

                      I suspect that is why there are more red greens than blue greens.

                • solkta

                  The more obvious answer is that they just don't fly – that you can't have your cake and eat it too. The Progressive Greens got 0.26% in the 1996 election.

            • weka 4.2.1.1.1.2

              And the Greens will work with them. Problem is those people aren't making up Nat and NZF.

  5. Robert Guyton 5

    I love this positioning. James is front-footing. Those who want the Greens to be reactive, cautious, modest and retiring, should be kept well away from strategy sessions for this election. Faint heart never won fair lady. James is spot-on to take a lead on the makeup of the next Government. His claim that the party would walk away from negotiations with Labour if they could not get the gains they wanted is the soundest position to take and shows where the spine of the party is. Good work, James; you weathered the rain of nay-say from the rank and file over the green school, so this latest flapping-about will barely dimple your pond's surface.

  6. Ad 6

    After 3 years of getting thrown around Parliament like a rag doll, Shaw wants us to believe he's grown a spine.

    You guys are just toast.

  7. Reality 7

    Marama Davidson as Minister of Agriculture? Now that is scary and off the planet and any wavering Green voters from a rural base will take to the hills.

    • Incognito 7.1

      Stampede and gridlock traffic!

    • Robert Guyton 7.2

      The rural base is already in the hills, isn't it?

    • bwaghorn 7.3

      Just spied a very pro labour farming 70 something lady's post on my fb page .

      Simple said in large letters .

      The greens are dangerous!!!

      Not sure I agree but I cant help feeling many greens have fds. (Farmer derangement syndrome)

      • Robert Guyton 7.3.1

        If she said, "the greens are dangerous", she was probably referring to some vegetables outside of the 3 she's traditionally served up to her husband. Kale, maybe, or, God forbid, bok choy!

      • greywarshark 7.3.2

        Sheep can be dangerous. A ram managed somehow to cause the death of an old lady crossing its paddock. It's important to keep the mind alert to what is really dangerous, and what is disturbing. The Greens are definitely that. And when you live in Rip Van Winkle country you need to disturb strongly or everyone will sleep through. Perhaps the Greens should wear small ornamental cowbells based on the Swiss ones. Instead of cycle bells when out walking it would be the Greens out and about, 'ware a live person approaching!

        • bwaghorn 7.3.2.1

          Na they dont need bells they can smell a green for 40 passes

          Shit I'm not sure what I am but the fuckers pegged me for different around here as soon as I moved here ,

      • Draco T Bastard 7.3.3

        The greens are dangerous!!!

        To the unsustainable life that she represents.

    • weka 7.4

      "Marama Davidson as Minister of Agriculture?"

      You misread.

      Eugenie Sage is the current GP spokesperson for Agriculture. She'd be a good choice, has ministerial experience, and the ability to cross the conventional/regenag divide.

      • Binders full of women 7.4.1

        But sadly the best environment MP has been demoted on the list and will be less likely to get in than Chloe.

      • bwaghorn 7.4.2

        Not a good idea ,I like Sage shes got guts and is the best green I can see .

        Big But though is shes already loath by many out here and you cant change anything if you cant take people with you .

        Her or Shaw as associate maybe but O'connor should have the job for as long as labour is in .

  8. Sabine 8

    It’s the members who get to say whether to go into coalition or C/S or cross benches.

    really?

    • solkta 8.1

      Yes. The negotiating team will present a recommendation but the decision is made by branch delegates.

      • Sabine 8.1.1

        Yes, that worked well a few weeks ago. Did it not? And is this not the reason for this post today, namely that J.Shaw going it alone did so much damage that the Greens are now going on this 'we happy in opposition' tour of the faithful?

        So, color me skeptic.

        • Robert Guyton 8.1.1.1

          I've coloured you dyed-in-the-wool skeptic.

        • solkta 8.1.1.2

          What are you talking about? There was no delegate decision a couple of weeks ago.

          It did work well last election though.

        • Incognito 8.1.1.3

          Completely different situations. The GP membership has no say in Government and Ministerial decisions (e.g. Green School) but they do have a say in post-Election talks/negotiations.

        • weka 8.1.1.4

          "Yes, that worked well a few weeks ago. Did it not?"

          Do you really have to keep displaying your political ignorance Sabine? Matt and I have both written posts and many comments on how the Green Party works. There are Green Party members and activists here who know who likewise explain how it works. A few weeks ago it was explained in public that Shaw was bound by Ministerial confidentiality and wasn't allowed to take those decisions to his own party's caucus. And so on.

          Your ignorance is looking decidedly willful.

    • Incognito 8.2

      Do you find it hard to believe or hard to accept?

  9. gsays 9

    I think you are on to something here Weka, mention Greens and the levers of power and all the centrists and conservative lefties rush in with their doubts, concerns and reckons.

    My 2¢ worth: if the Greens stick to the principles they may find themselves out of cabinet but Rome wasn't built in a day, nor one election cycle.

    I would love to see Marama Davidson as a minister as well as Chloe Swarbrick.

    I was originally attracted to the Greens for their social justice platform, nowadays not so much.

    The environment must be front and centre. Social reform matters little when the crops have failed, sea water laps at your ankles and you have no fresh water to drink.

    • greywarshark 9.1

      My 2¢ worth: if the Greens stick to the principles they may find themselves out of cabinet but Rome wasn't built in a day, nor one election cycle.

      How often do people calmly going forward have to be reminded that we are running out of time, species, regular climate patterns etc, and can't be casual about leaving things to future election cycles. The illustration here is be like a duck, calm and unruffled on the surface and paddling like mad underneath.

      • gsays 9.1.1

        Stretching your water fowl analogy, the serene, visible part of the duck is the Greens in Wellys @ the Beehive. The kinetic, propelling, working department would the green-minded rest of us, Growing, sharing, organising, teaching, learning, blogging…

    • weka 9.2

      one of the reasons I like what Shaw said yesterday is it reminds me that the Greens can do their work in a number of different ways. Being in cabinet is one way, but being on the cross benches means they can speak up more strongly on climate esp. We need a voice to push Labour on climate and I can see the Greens doing that in a number of different ways.

      • Robert Guyton 9.2.1

        100+++, weka. Winston used to threaten to occupy the cross-benches and wield power that way and we cursed him for his cunning and clever strategy. Here, James is indicating that The Greens could employ the same strategy/ exploit the same weakness, and his own team are, once again, headless-chickening it! He must have the patience of a saint; in fact, reports from inside of Parliament indicate that he has!

        • weka 9.2.1.1

          It's not only having a spine, but also having a heart and brain working together on the bigger picture. The Greens want change not power and there is more than one way to skin that possum. NZ politics and the left still don't really get this about the Greens.

          Are there GP members stressing about this position?

      • gsays 9.2.3

        It can be a bit to get the head around, having power or influence without being on the government benches but that is last century politics.

        • Grafton Gully 9.2.3.1

          Having power or influence without being on the government benches is what social media propaganda is all about and weakens democracy, which is great if you want to weaken it. The alternative is some kind of big boss surveillance system where gsays and a to z minus g responds

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7H8tux-Dk5Y

      • Chris T 9.2.4

        As much as I kind of still trust Shaw, even after the "Green School". They have tasted the baubles and pay packets of being ministers now, so I am thinking cross benches would be a last resort.

        • solkta 9.2.4.1

          It will not be the MPs choice. MPs will not be the majority on the negotiating team. There will also be another team advising the negotiating team, and then delegates from branches will make the decision.

          • Chris T 9.2.4.1.1

            True.

            Tbh, I am just one of those people who don't trust any politicians to act above it all, what ever their chosen colour scheme.

        • Incognito 9.2.4.2

          You do know that all Green MPs donate 10% of their gross income to the Party, don’t you?

          • Chris T 9.2.4.2.1

            Yes I do

            Not sure what difference this makes.

            They were doing it before my point.

            • Incognito 9.2.4.2.1.1

              It puts your premise under a different light, a green rather than blue light. Don’t you appreciate the nuance and context of this fact?

              • Chris T

                No I don't

                I don't trust politicians.

                Just because they are in the Green Party this does not make them moral heroes.

                I am sure a lot of Nats and Labour MPs donate 10% of their wages to other causes given the money they earn.

                • Incognito

                  I’m sure you cannot back that up and do you really believe that?

                  You raised a nice strawman there. It goes like this: ‘the father of five was lauded a moral hero because he did not once hit his wife during a heated argument’. Get it?

                  Just because you don’t trust politicians doesn’t mean you have to portray them all as weak greedy power-hungry egotists. You confirmation bias is showing.

                  • Chris T

                    Completely disagree with your analogy.

                    And I am not portraying them as all as weak power hungry egotists.

                    I am just saying I would’nt completely trust any.

                    Still not sure if it is a requirement or a choice to get on their list, assuming first then a better analogy would be if you give 10% away would you like to be paid heaps.

                • Craig H

                  Not sure about the Nats, but Labour MPs donate 10% of their salaries to the Labour Party.

              • Chris T

                Sorry. The other thing I would ask is, is it through choice or a requirement to get on the list?

        • Chris T 9.2.4.3

          Forget I mentioned it.

          It would be just be quite nice to know the arrangements for MPs philanthropic payments and the reasons

    • Grafton Gully 9.3

      Fuck the "environment" and fuck "social reform" What matters is sustainable enterprises with living wages.

      As for "crop failure" heard of GMO and Grow Lights ? "Sea water laps at your ankles"- move inland and "no freshwater to drink" – there will always be fresh water – it's called rain and failing that desalination plants powered by new generation nuclear.

      • Pat 9.3.1

        I recall reading an article about a previous climate period where it was estimated there was no rain for in excess of 40years in an area that is now known as (IIRC) California.

  10. Austringer 10

    If the polling numbers are close to correct or better for those on 3 points odd % then possible, the same party structure in the house with some lesser seats and others more.
    So Labour as the dominant governing party may elect to give the Greens a possible nod with sharing associate Ministerial positions or decide to rule alone, with the understanding that the Greens will be a fairer caring opposition other than those others opposed.

  11. Chris T 11

    I think they would be lucky to get into parliament going by the polls at the moment let alone make demands tbf.

    They should have been doing it last time.

  12. ScottGN 12

    Doling out the Crown limos already guys?

  13. Corey Humm 13

    The Greens will never be in a Labour cabinet simply because of the structure of the party. Grassroots Members could roll a sitting minister if the minister made a decision the party membership didn't like… The scandal that would cause in media would make the govt look like a joke unless they make it that membership can't roll a sitting minister then Labour will never let them near cabinet, not even if the coalition is 32 lab mps and 30 green mps. If I'm wrong about the inner workings of the party I apologise but the bottom up structure of the party would make it unreliable to make hard calls in cabinet.

    Also this isn't strong, the greens say in every election that this is what they would do, last time was dif because of the MOU but if nzf is Queen maker again and the greens even hesitate on a confidence deal then nzf would go with national and blame the greens like Peters blamed Anderton in 96 over confidence. So I hope they don't get too negative with Peters.

    [“Grassroots Members could roll a sitting minister if the minister made a decision the party membership didn’t like”

    Please explain how that could happen? Specifically. Unless you have a clear pathway in mind about your assertion and you can back it up, you need to retract your statement now. It is in no way ok to make up shit like this in an election year, for reasons which should be obvious (but in case it’s not, if it’s a lie it’s a slur, and it’s also a troll move that will lead to arguments that can’t be resolved if it’s not true). – weka]

    • weka 13.1

      mod note for you.

    • DS 13.2

      Ministers are appointed by the Governor-General, on recommendation of the Prime Minister. Even if an MP were actually expelled from their party, it actually wouldn't matter – it's the PM's decision.

      (I am also profoundly sceptical of the idea that the Green membership has unilateral ability to expel an MP from the party).

      • froggleblocks 13.2.1

        (I am also profoundly sceptical of the idea that the Green membership has unilateral ability to expel an MP from the party).

        Obviously it wouldn't happen if all of the MPs resolutely thought the person should remain an MP but the membership strongly disagreed. But such a circumstance is exceptionally unlikely to ever occur.

        So lets consider the more realistic one: the caucus is divided or undecided, and a vocal bloc of green members, perhaps even a plurality or majority, make the case that an MP should be expelled from the party.

        It would seem like an odd situation for a Labour PM to see this person get expelled from their party, but then maintain them as a minister, when the caucus was ultimately swayed by the membership to go along with the expulsion.

        Perhaps it could happen if there was a conscience vote, or an MP voted against the party on a matter that Labour required their one vote in order to pass a bill that the membership disagreed with?

        • weka 13.2.1.1

          "and a vocal bloc of green members, perhaps even a plurality or majority, make the case that an MP should be expelled from the party."

          How would that happen?

          • froggleblocks 13.2.1.1.1

            How would what happen? A bloc of people in the party want to get rid of an MP?

            Happened already: https://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2020/04/marxist_faction_in_greens_target_chloe_sage_and_shaw.html

              • froggleblocks

                Never said they were successful in their endeavour. Weka asked how a bloc of members would oppose a sitting MP.

                • Incognito

                  You wrote:

                  How would what happen? A bloc of people in the party want to get rid of an MP?

                  Happened already: [link]

                  That was ambiguous and could easily confuse readers of this site, as the only thing that has happened already is a minor fraction in the party wanting to get rid of a number of MPs next term by leaving them off the list. They did not succeed, which is what my link showed. So, nothing had happened already.

                  This was quite different to what was being discussed in this thread 🙂

                  • froggleblocks

                    sigh

                    It was a reply to the specific question weka asked, she quoted:

                    “and a vocal bloc of green members, perhaps even a plurality or majority, make the case that an MP should be expelled from the party.”

                    That is what I said already happened.

                    • Incognito

                      I give up!

                      The Q. was about a sitting MP.

                      No, that has not happened already, what happened was an unsuccessful attempt to influence the candidate list for the 2020 election.

                    • froggleblocks

                      Candidates who are all sitting MPs.

                    • Incognito []

                      Attempting to change the candidate list is not expelling a sitting MP from the Party!

                    • froggleblocks

                      Strictly speaking no, but it has the same outcome – ensuring that someone who is a sitting MP for the Greens would cease to be a sitting MP for them.

                    • Incognito []

                      Strictly speaking, all MPs cease to be sitting MPs after an election. Successful candidates need to be sworn in to become new MPs.

                      No sitting MP has been expelled.

                      No sitting MP has been removed from the candidate list.

                      You are imagining things that have not happened already.

                    • froggleblocks

                      No sitting MP has been expelled.

                      No sitting MP has been removed from the candidate list.

                      You are imagining things that have not happened already.

                      I never claimed either of those things had happened. I claimed that a bloc had attempted to expel sitting MPs; as you say that's not technically correct that that's what they tried to do, even if the outcome would be the same.

                    • Incognito []

                      The outcome that you seem to crave would have to wait for the election, which could be three years away. At most (!), members can attempt to influence the candidate list, which is usually done in the lead up to the election. Ergo, members cannot expel a sitting MP from the Party because they dislike or disagree with that MP.

            • solkta 13.2.1.1.1.2

              How would that achieve sacking a sitting Minister? How would that achieve expelling an MP from the party? Ministers are only ministers until the next election and coalition agreements too. And James and Chloe are 2 and 3 on the list regardless. Don't be a dick.

              • weka

                it's weird. People afraid of the democracy but then misrepresenting that democracy in some odd ways.

              • froggleblocks

                How would that achieve expelling an MP from the party?

                By getting the caucus to agree that the MP needed to be expelled by whatever methods are allowed by the Green party.

                How would that achieve sacking a sitting Minister?

                I already said how. It would be unusual if a group of members were successful in getting an MP expelled from the party, to then have the PM keep that member as a minister in her cabinet when they had been expelled from the party they were elected into Parliament under.

                And James and Chloe are 2 and 3 on the list regardless. Don't be a dick.

                I never said the bloc was successful, or that I agreed with them. Weka asked how a bloc of members could oppose a sitting member – exactly as that bloc did.

                • solkta

                  Expelling somebody from the party would have nothing at all to do with the caucus. Stop talking out your arse.

                  You haven't explained how members could get an MP expelled from the party. Even the traitor MPs last election were not expelled from the party.

                  No, weka asked you to explain how members could expel an MP from the party. Attempting to push someone down the list is a different thing altogether. And that is also not doing it while they are "sitting" as each election has a new list.

                  Stop being a dick.

                  • weka

                    Pretty sure they considered expelling Clendon and Graham, but chose not to go that route. I'm not sure of the mechanism, but I assume it's something the exec does not the caucus. Seem to remember Shaw saying he was going to set the process in motion.

                    Froggleblocks, the conversation started with CH asserting that the Green membership could remove a Minister if they didn't like something the Minister did. This has no bearing in reality. The membership has more power than in other parties, but it's shared power, not dictatorial power. And there are limits on it for obvious reasons.

                    There are processes that have to be done through for all parts of the party. For instance if a large number of members wanted Shaw removed from his Associate Finance position due to the Green Schools thing, and they tried to do it the way you suggested via the party list, the first opportunity for that would be in 2023. The List process takes months to complete and then there would be the wait for the election and hoping the party got a low vote. Doesn't really make sense (and as pointed out it's just really unlikely that the membership would act like that without the party taking action against an MP much earlier).

                    Unless someone wants to reference those processes and explain *how the membership could remove a Minister or expel MP, it just looks like people making things up from a misunderstanding of how the party works.

                  • weka

                    solkta, can you please stop telling fb to stop being a dick. Once was enough, and I'd rather not have this turn into a flamewar.

            • weka 13.2.1.1.1.3

              A bloc of people wanted Shaw, Swarbrick and Sage out of parliament and tried to do this by influencing the member's List selection. They didn't succeed because most of the party are oblivious to their position and the list is selected by member vote on a prepared list before final adjustment for sex etc.

              That doesn't tell us how the members could *expel a sitting MP from the party though. At best, if most of the party agreed, the MP would have been dropped down the list and then the Greens would have to get a low enough party vote at the next election so the offending MP didn't get in. Not exactly a winning strategy and in the real world I can't see enough Green members agreeing to vote on the list in this way to make this happen. In the meantime, if an MP was working against the party, there are other mechanisms that the exec can use long before the members got a say, which is what happened in 2017.

              There *may be a way for members to remove a sitting MP if the exec hasn't acted, I'm not aware of it, but it would almost certainly require an SNG and due process. If you know of such a process please share.

              (and I really suggest not using PDF as a resource because it's basically his job to misrepresent the opposition parties to National).

              • Incognito

                That would be DPF, but PDFs are a pain too 😉

              • froggleblocks

                There *may be a way for members to remove a sitting MP if the exec hasn't acted, I'm not aware of it, but it would almost certainly require an SNG and due process. If you know of such a process please share.

                I don't know that the Greens have a process for removing an MP from the party, but it would be pretty incredible if they had absolutely no way to do this whatsoever except waiting until the next election.

                The entire point of this conversation is that that process could be started by the members, if the rest of the party wasn't acting for whatever reason. Another way to think about this: imagine some members spilled the beans on some corrupt behaviour or actions of a sitting Greens MP, and therefore they started the process of getting a Green MP removed from the party, and again I think it would be incredible for a Labour PM to keep a Green MP as a minister in their cabinet if their own party had expelled them.

                (and I really suggest not using PDF as a resource because it's basically his job to misrepresent the opposition parties to National).

                It was published elsewhere, that was just the first result in google.

                Here's Stuff if you prefer it, for some reason: https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/121235996/leftwing-green-faction-wants-to-axe-coleader-james-shaw-and-eugenie-sage-and-chle-swarbrick

                • Incognito

                  You have it all back to front.

                  The entire point of this conversation is that that process could not be started by the members.

                  Weka has already explained why she suggested (not preferred) not using PDF as a resource, so it was not “for some reason” as you stated.

                  • froggleblocks

                    The entire point of this conversation is that that process could not be started by the members.

                    So you think if members exposed corrupt practices of a sitting MP, worthy of them being dispelled from the party, that the executive / caucus / whoever else would just shrug and say "oh well, the members exposed it, and we are powerless to do anything because the members exposed it first, so they will just stay an MP".

                    Weka has already explained why she suggested (not preferred) not using PDF as a resource, so it was not “for some reason” as you stated.

                    I explained why I used Kiwiblog as a reference, because it was the first result in google, but I knew it was posted elsewhere because that's how I read about it in the first place, so I found her an alternative reference that she might prefer.

                    • Incognito

                      It doesn’t matter what I think, what matters are facts about how the GP works.

                      The KB thing had been clearly explained so there was no need to use a disagreeable “for some reason”.

                    • froggleblocks

                      So you're saying the GP works in such a way that if the members exposed something very disagreeable about an MP, the executive etc would do nothing.

                      I think the Greens have more integrity than that, personally.

                    • Incognito []

                      Where did I say such a thing? Why do you appear to have such a problem with reading comments properly?

                    • froggleblocks

                      It was a question extrapolated from your previous comments, where you first said that green party members could not start a process that would result in an MP being expelled from the party.

                      You said it doesn't matter what "[you] think" they can do, what matters is the facts of how they work. So I'm asking you if you're saying the facts of how they work is that if members exposed something very disagreeable about an MP, the executive would do nothing.

                      I have no problem reading comments, you have problems answering simple questions.

                    • Incognito []

                      By extrapolating you mean ascribing things to me that I have not said. That’s not showing good faith, IMO 🙁

                      The central Q. in this thread has been all along how the GP membership can expel a sitting MP.

                      Your comments have been hypothetical distractions and assumptions, devoid of facts.

                      If you have any facts to share about the workings of the GP then please do so.

                    • McFlock

                      lol so if I'm following the thread correctly, it started from grassroots green members being able to "roll" a minister. Now the membership need to expose something so horrible that the party executive is compelled to expell the minister, whom the PM would then fire from Cabinet?

                      Why not just say that any member of the public can get any minister fired by simply uncovering the minister committing crimes punishable by up to two years imprisonment, so when the minister is found guilty by judge/jury they're inelegible for office?

                      Seems about as silly.

                    • froggleblocks

                      Why not just say that any member of the public can get any minister fired by simply uncovering the minister committing crimes punishable by up to two years imprisonment, so when the minister is found guilty by judge/jury they're inelegible for office?

                      Seems about as silly.

                      Weka is the one demanding examples of how the green membership could roll a green minister, implying that it can't be done. The fact that the green membership may not have any additional power in this regard than the membership of any other party, or of the general public, is not germane to the question of whether they can.

                      You want a plausible example of where the membership might force something like this, where the caucus and executive didn't? If there was a conscience vote in Parliament and a particular green MP voted in a way that a majority of the membership disagreed with. The caucus and executive would probably say "the MP can do what they want, it's a conscience vote" but if enough of the membership rebelled, they could force their hands to expel the MP. Ultimately enough of the membership could stop being registered members, resulting in the Green party losing their party registration.

                      Is all of this far-fetched? Of course. Is it something that could happen? Yes. That's all that is required to answer weka's challenge.

                      Perhaps weka meant to ask “how does the green party membership have more power in this regard than any other party membership or general member of the public”. But she didn’t.

                      Getting angry at me for answering weka’s specific question seems a bit pointless.

                    • weka

                      more like I was asking how it could be done in any real world scenario, rather than a very abstract hypothetical. I've already explained in a number of ways why I think your examples don't work.

                      Here's the GP constitution, just in case anyone wants to have a go at figuring out how the membership might remove a Minister, or expel an MP against the wishes of the caucus.

                      https://elections.nz/assets/Party-files/green-party-rules-and-constitution.pdf

                    • McFlock

                      Anyone can whinge enough to get someone else to do something. It's not the same as having the power to do it yourself.

                      Seems to me that you're more interested in semantic point-scoring than actually discussing the powers members actually have – or don't.

                    • froggleblocks

                      Here's the GP constitution, just in case anyone wants to have a go at figuring out how the membership might remove a Minister, or expel an MP against the wishes of the caucus.

                      Now you're shifting the goal posts, weka. Up until now the phrase "against the wishes of caucus" has not been uttered by you, or been in contention.

                      In fact my very first answer in this thread said such a thing wouldn't happen, but what could happen is if the membership were able to convince the caucus to change their mind and agree with expulsion, even if initially they weren't in favour of it.

                    • Incognito []

                      Subpart 2—House has no power to expel from membership of House
                      23 Members’ seats become vacant only as provided in Electoral Act 1993
                      (1) The House has no power to make a member’s seat become vacant by expelling the member (whether to discipline or punish the member, to protect the House by removing an unfit member, or for any reason or purpose) from membership of the House.
                      (2) Subsection (1) overrides any law to the contrary.

                      http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2014/0058/latest/whole.html#DLM6136744

                      I think that settles it.

                      Enjoy the rest of your evening.

                    • froggleblocks

                      Seems to me that you're more interested in semantic point-scoring than actually discussing the powers members actually have – or don't.

                      Whingeing / speech is a power. The membership managed to extract an apology from Shaw for his recent screw up. Clearly the MPs are answerable to the membership, we're only talking about a matter of degree here.

                    • froggleblocks

                      I think that settles it.

                      It doesn't. That's talking about making someone not be an MP.

                      The question has been, can the green party membership make a green MP who is a minister not be a minister any more.

                      The route to not being a minister, via the green party membership exercising their power is:

                      1. Membership are furious about the actions of a green MP who happens to be a minister in cabinet with a Labour PM.
                      2. Membership convince caucus and/or executive to expel MP from the Green party.
                      3. MP remains in Parliament but becomes independent, as per JLR. The Greens explicitly do not believe in the Waka Jumping legislation and would not use it, although they would be entitled to do so, in much the same way that National didn’t use it against JLR.
                      4. Under advice from remaining Greens MPs / ministers, or on their own recognisance, Labour party PM removes the now-independent MP from their ministerial posts.

                      Step 4 flows directly from step 1, that was instigated by the membership.

                      In any event the specific legislation you reference (which just to be clear is not relevant to what we are discussing) was routed around by the waka-jumping legislation: http://www.legislation.govt.nz/bill/government/2017/0006/latest/whole.html#DLM7478608

                      Clause 4 amends section 55, which sets out when the seat of a member of Parliament becomes vacant. The amendment provides that the seat of a member of Parliament will also become vacant when the member ceases, under new section 55A, to be a parliamentary member of a political party for which he or she was elected.

                    • Incognito []

                      😀

                • weka

                  The party certainly has mechanisms for removing an MP who was working against the party. You can look up what happened to Clendon and Graham in 2017.

                  "The entire point of this conversation is that that process could be started by the members, if the rest of the party wasn't acting for whatever reason."

                  I'm sure there are ways for members to start the process of removing an MP, but that's not what CH was proposing. They were suggesting that the membership could do this themselves.

                  "Another way to think about this: imagine some members spilled the beans on some corrupt behaviour or actions of a sitting Greens MP, and therefore they started the process of getting a Green MP removed from the party, and again I think it would be incredible for a Labour PM to keep a Green MP as a minister in their cabinet if their own party had expelled them"

                  Yeah, that's way off what we were talking about. I'm a non active member and if I knew about corruption with a Green MP, I 'm sure me contacting the party and telling them would set some things in motion. Hell, a non-member could instigate such a process. And someone (member or not) could instigate the same process within Labour.

                  But that's not the same as the membership being able to remove a sitting MP in the way CH suggested where the clear implication was that the members have so much power that the party can't be trusted to have Ministers inside cabinet.

                  • froggleblocks

                    They were suggesting that the membership could do this themselves.

                    Starting the process is how they bring it about in this circumstance that CH initially said:

                    Grassroots Members could roll a sitting minister if the minister made a decision the party membership didn't like

                    If it becomes clear that 99% of the membership don't like something a minister does, then of course the executive (or whoever) will do what is necessary to correct the situation, because if they don't, they won't have a party any more.

                    But that's not the same as the membership being able to remove a sitting MP in the way CH suggested where the clear implication was that the members have so much power that the party can't be trusted to have Ministers inside cabinet.

                    It is the same. As you’ve outlined, the members of all parties have that power, not just the membership of the Greens.

                    • weka

                      quite, which is why this sub thread is a bit of nonsense. The point of CH's comment was that Labour wouldn't want Greens in cabinet because the membership can't be trusted.

                      But at least we have established that there's no evidence thus far that grassroots members could roll a sitting minister if the minister made a decision the party membership didn't like.

                    • greywarshark

                      Froggleblocks why don't you bore the pants off some other blog that wants to put its count up? You go on and on and on and on….

                    • froggleblocks

                      But at least we have established that there's no evidence thus far that grassroots members could roll a sitting minister if the minister made a decision the party membership didn't like.

                      I don't agree.

                      But there's also been no evidence presented that they couldn't bring about expulsion of that MP from the party. It would then stand to reason that a Labour PM would sack them as a minister on advice of the remaining Green ministers / MPs.

                      greywarshark – if you don’t like my comments, don’t read them.

  14. ScottGN 14

    @weka 12.1

    That’s not trolling. It’s a question and given that several posters in this thread have outlined various Green MPs they would like to see as ministers in the next government it’s a valid question don’t you think? Don’t count your chickens and all that…

    [it’s a backhanded question with innuendo designed to slur without presenting a coherent political argument that people can engage with. I’ve asked nicely, now I’m telling you. You can make actual political arguments, including critiquing the Greens, but don’t troll my posts (or elsewhere on site) – weka]

  15. ScottGN 15

    @weka 13.1

    What has Corey Humm done that warrants this mod note? Apart from over egging his argument. Which I think is quite interesting actually. Is the Greens party structure and does their decision making processes have the potential to be at odds with Westminster notions of collective cabinet responsibility? You only have to look across at NSW to see what happens when the minor party in a coalition government decides to play hardball.

    • weka 15.1

      If you can produce evidence that the GP members can roll a cabinet minister, please post it. I'm not aware of such a power. Had CH *asked if such a thing was possible, that would have been fine. Instead they made a claim of fact and either need to back it up or retract it. This is standard stuff on TS, you can't just post any old thing here, the purpose of the site is robust debate and that requires people to not make shit up esp on important issues in important contexts like a general election.

      Just so we are clear, exploring the extent of GP members powers is acceptable, misrepresenting them is not.

    • Incognito 15.2

      FWIW, the Green Party has had a long-standing principled opposition to the waka jumping Law.

  16. ScottGN 16

    “If I'm wrong about the inner workings of the party I apologise but the bottom up structure of the party would make it unreliable to make hard calls in cabinet.“

    This was also part of Corey Humm’s post. Given the events of the last couple of weeks it’s a question worth asking. Can the Greens maintain their broad based grassroots decision making processes and have cabinet ministers who are accountable to collective cabinet responsibility? Why not focus on the whole post not just the bit that pisses you off?

  17. mosa 17

    "If there was no coalition or confidence and supply agreement, that would force a minority Labour government to seek the Greens’ support for legislation on a case-by-case basis"

    This strategy maybe the only way Labour would take them seriously if a coalition agreement does not cut the mustard.

    A bigger Green vote would help and it remains to be seen if Shaw's recent spelling out of their bottom lines will galvanise their party vote , i for one totally agree with this approach.

    If they make it back it gives the progressive voters amongst us some hope.

    And the message that the Greens are serious about policy concessions which is admirable as they have an excellent policy mix.

    The next polls will be an indicator.

  18. sumsuch 18

    Their policies are spot on, just a little violence lacking. Though I suppose MJS … I just remember the violence behind him. And why I would prefer the Alliance. The 'art of the possible' is over with 10 years to fight climate change. We're in a 'special' time.

  19. millsy 19

    On election night, I dont think people will give a shit about the Greens. First prioirty is National to not be in government. If the Greens sink without trace so be it.

    The state housing suburbs will be abuzz with celebration if Labour pull off a sole majority. Not because they are any fans of Jacinda, but because they dont want National screwing them over, like they screwed over their parents and grandparents in 1991.

    • weka 19.1

      election night 2023 might be a different matter.

    • greywarshark 19.2

      That is a pathetic idea to put forward Millsy. Tghe Greens have been a principled opposition for decades, continuing on from others, while the two major teams played footsy with each other and us. They are NZrs heart and soul and if you consider they can just curl up and die no matter, then you show the lack of thought and principle that you and others like you display.

  20. sumsuch 20

    Aren't the policies of the Greens so much better than Labour? Everything the Left wants. Only lacking the old charisma. A talker.

  21. infused 21

    the greens have done a pretty good job ruling themselves out of the next government over the last two weeks.

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