The political right try it on every election year, in an attempt to sow a bit of discord. But it’s all just a bit too obvious and clumsy really. Alex Braae explains:
Greens would be fools to court National
Around this point of the electoral cycle, the demands begin for the Greens to flirt with National. The siren song of government sounds. Unless they move to the centre, they will always be Labour’s hostage.
The logic is appealing. Labour will likely need both the Greens and New Zealand First, and Winston Peters will have a stronger hand. It’s happened before too – during the Clark years the Greens were repeatedly ditched. The Greens therefore have no choice. If they are going to wield power, they must play National and Labour off against each other.
While that’s a beautiful proposition to Very Very Smart Political Commentators, it doesn’t actually make any sense. It’s a fantasy, a demonstration of the hard nosed beltway chops of the VVSPC. Alas, actual voters tend to hate that sort of behaviour, and hate parties that do it.
One only needs to look at the pathetic state of the Liberal Democrats in Britain to see what would happen to a Green Party that decided to support National. It only took a few minor missteps for the party’s brand to be trashed, perhaps forever. Just one term in Helen Clark’s government destroyed the Alliance. All of National’s allies since retaking government have become burnt out husks. Trading principles for power as a junior coalition lackey is a fools game, because it doesn’t last. …
Case in point, the Maori Party have gone from five seats in 2008 to two. Working with National is the kiss of death, and that’s not to mention that fact that Nat and Green policy are irreconcilable.
I expect this sort of obvious and clumsy wedge politics from Hooton and the like, but I was a bit surprised to see Duncan Garner having a go:
The rub of the Greens – the party that’s become Labour’s play thing
Emotional scenes flowed from the Green Party this week. It was as if they had won the election outright and they were handing out the ministerial jobs, perks and lollies.
But no. Not this time. Not the last time. Not in 20 long years. The Greens are never that lucky in politics. Always the bridesmaid, perennially shafted. Normally by their supposed allies Labour – who preferred Peter Dunne and Winston Peters as support parties ahead of the Greens.
Labour / Green never had the numbers, as I’m sure Garner knows.
If Labour gets in a position to govern then the Greens might have some influence. If they don’t, then the Greens are once again assigned to the oblivion benches again.
Damn, that must be frustrating. Why burn all that carbon in planes and taxis getting to Parliament if you can’t make a difference?
Yes, they’re a strong voice in opposition but surely they want to be in power one day – don’t they? But they’ve chosen to work only with Labour.
Like a lot of commentators Garner has lost sight of the purpose of politics, and reduced it all to a game / lolly scramble. Fortunately the Greens have not. They do mature, principled politics, and their processes give members a lot of power. They are after results, not baubles. They have been right all along on (most of) their environmental issues, and they have won those public debates effectively even from opposition.
Thank goodness for the Greens, and long may they stand solidly on the left. Thank goodness for the Labour/Green MOU, which is something that most members of both parties have wanted for many years. As a bloc Labour/Green are polling equal to National. We need to work to get them over 50% (and get NZF out of the equation).
After that nonsense piece Garner must have had some abuse on Twitter, which is unfortunate. But seriously Duncan, your grumbling about the “echo chamber” would be a little less sad if you didn’t spend half your time on Twitter re-tweeting your fans.
Nearly the election which is when all the RWer's say Greens should work with Nats, to appease their guilt at voting for the climate fuckers.
— Scott (@LostArcNZ) June 5, 2017