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Trying to wedge the Greens

Written By: - Date published: 7:02 am, June 7th, 2017 - 120 comments
Categories: election 2017, greens, labour - Tags: , , , , , ,

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

Oh please.

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.


120 comments on “Trying to wedge the Greens ”

  1. Ed 1

    Garner has shown his true blue colours since taking over the morning show on Newshub.
    The company of the odious Mark Richardson doesn’t help.
    Some people sell their souls ( Susie Ferguson), but I think in Garner’s case he’s always been a Tory boy.

    • Nick 1.1

      He knows where his bread is buttered

      • dukeofurl 1.1.1

        A good analogy.
        He has a morning show and the beehive hacks spend the afternoon/ evening before buttering bread and its very tempting to just take that on offer.

        Its no surprise these commentators are singing from the same songsheet

    • Rae 1.2

      That show has turned into a pissing contest between Garner and Richardson trying to decide who is the alpha-est male.

    • Blade 1.3

      He’s successful, so yes, he’s probably a good Tory boy. My guess is he came to Toryism late in life after a steady diet of Lefties ringing his talk-back show to whine about the ‘ gummmint”

  2. Wayne had a pot at it here too. In all sincerity, of course.

  3. BM 3

    Working with National is the kiss of death, and that’s not to mention that fact that Nat and Green policy are irreconcilable.

    LOL, at least they’re still around unlike the Alliance. dangerous stuff working with Labour obviously.

    • Less “kiss of death” more smothering embrace. National and The Green policies irreconcilable? Probably, but the two parties must reconcile eventually, as must we and our bête noires all.

      • BM 3.1.1

        more smothering embrace
        I agree with this, so easy for the smaller party to be absorbed into the working of the larger party.

        Once that happens you’re in trouble.

        • Robert Guyton 3.1.1.1

          Could be done; cover yourself with spikey stuff, hiss and spit, show your tiny teeth. Not many cats get smothered by an embrace. Nor mongoose.

    • dukeofurl 3.2

      the Alliance fell apart because it was an electoral alliance of separate movements.
      remember the alliance of Internet and Mana ?
      remember the alliance of labour and national Mps before 96, that was called ‘United’?

    • Enough is Enough 3.3

      And also New Zealand First were voted out of Parliament afeter going into coalition with Labour.

      It is more a result of being the junior member in government. For some reason the Junior partner gets punished for the government’s sins.

      It has nothing to do with Labour or National.

      • David C 3.3.1

        NZF getting punished by the electorate might have something to do with its Leader being a deceitful bauble grabbing political whore.

        • greywarshark 3.3.1.1

          deceitful bauble grabbing political whore.
          Don’t be so hard on successful politicians. That description could probably be applied to all by each political group from their own perspective.

          Farmers get mud on their gumboots, politicians wipe it away quickly from their well-polished shoes but it’s different mud and leaves a shadow, which shows up when checked with a spectrometer by a seasoned journalist or academic.

          No-one is untouched. Indulging in too much venom about politicians isn’t helpful in judging their capacity to deliver good value to the electorate. Rants need to be occasional releases of super-heated steam not hissing all the time.

      • weka 3.3.2

        NZF were voted out of parliament after choosing National when pre-election most of their voters thought and wanted them to go with Labour. Which is exactly the point here.

        • Enough is Enough 3.3.2.1

          Weka – you are wrong.

          New Zealand First were voted out of Parliament in 2008 after they had been in government with Labour.

          New Zealand First survived in 1999 after been in government with National (although that was only because Winston won Tauranga.

          • weka 3.3.2.1.1

            Thanks for the correction EiE. In 1999 NZF dropped from 13% to 4%, so the main point stands. Betray your voters and expect to get burned.

          • Stuart Munro 3.3.2.1.2

            You’re implying it was the Labour association that Killed Winston in 2008 – which simply isn’t true.

            NZF was on the ropes after associating with Shipley and the defections. They couldn’t make 5% and Winston held Tauranga by 63 votes. The skin of his teeth.

            The party recovered somewhat in 2002 with 13 seats & 10% of the vote, but slid back under 6% by 2005.

            It was not Labour that killed Winston in 2008 – it was the Owen Glenn affair, which involved as credible a set of denials as Banks made about Dotcom. Clark’s Labour might not have liked him, but the Glenn affair was not their doing.

            • weka 3.3.2.1.2.1

              Did the NZF voters go to National then?

              • Stuart Munro

                It’s likely – Key was an unknown quantity making sensible noises about housing. Had he lived up to those promises he’d deserve some respect instead of being universally loathed and execrated.

                Clark had burnt a lot of popularity with identity politics and things like the anti-smacking legislation.

            • Enough is Enough 3.3.2.1.2.2

              Stuart Munro

              I am not implying anything.

              The point of my comment was that the Junior Partner has historically come off worse than both Labour and National. In just about every MMP term I think that is correct.

              NZ First 1999
              Alliance 2002
              NZ First 2008
              ACT 2011
              Maori Party 2014

              2005 is the only exception in there I think.

              • weka

                to be fair that’s what I thought you were implying too. But if it’s not that then the historical correlations are rather meaningless outside of some analysis of why it happened in each situation. And let’s not assume the reasons are the same across them all.

              • Stuart Munro

                The question might be whether the demise of the junior party is a rule or a trope. The object of MMP was in part to increase the diversity of representation – if it merely allows the larger parties to shift responsibility it may need to be re-examined.

                It may not be cannibalism though – some minor parties seem to have inherently more volatile support – they attract voter aspiration for something better than the stick-in-the-mud major parties but are abandoned if they fail to deliver it. Lib Dems, NZ First, United Future, perhaps Values and Social Credit demonstrated this to some degree.

        • David C 3.3.2.2

          Weka, If that is the point of this post it defies logic and truth.

          • weka 3.3.2.2.1

            Peters betrayed his voters, they punished him. What is hard to understand about that?

    • McFlock 3.4

      Yes, the Alliance is an excellent example of the perils of becoming a rubber stamp for the major partner, the Afghanistan vote being the point of no recovery. It blurs the line between the major and minor partners, and causes internal schisms that are immensely destructive.

      Of course, ACT bent over so comprehensively that their own assimilation into being a front for national was underlined repeatedly.

      • mordecai 3.4.1

        ACT is nothing more than a repository for voters sympathetic to a national led government by unable to swallow how centrist national have become. But it is smart politics. ACT retain parliamentary representation because they win a seat (gifted by national), and national are left to hoover up votes in the centre.

        • McFlock 3.4.1.1

          Ah, but they started with such great dreams of widespread support. Unfortunately for them (and fortunately fo humanity) Douglas and Prebble had the electoral appeal of scrofula.

          Dunno how “smart” using a single MP as a front for your own party is, though. It smacks of playing silly buggers, and if you need that extra MP then it means you have nobody worthwhile to be friends with.

          • mordecai 3.4.1.1.1

            I’m not sure Act policy is that dangerous, certainly no more so than some of what the Greens have advocated. And under MMP these cosy arrangements are a necessary evil.

            • McFlock 3.4.1.1.1.1

              Lab4 refutes your first point, lab5 your second.

              • mordecai

                I assume by Lab4 you mean my comment about the Greens? So you’re ok with printing money?
                I assume by Lab5 you mean 1999 through 2008? Yes, you’re right…as the Nats showed from 2008. Unfortunately these arrangements are still very much part of MMP.

                • McFlock

                  I assume by Lab4 you mean my comment about the Greens?

                  Why, and on what fucking planet, would you assume that, as opposed to your comment about ACT (the founders of which were significant fuckwits in the fourth Labour government)?

                  Although coincidentally I am fine with printing money. Folding legal tender has a certain satisfaction that EFTPOS doesn’t match.

                  • mordecai

                    “Why, and on what fucking planet, would you assume that, as opposed to your comment about ACT”
                    For the simple reason the Greens have come up with some incredibly loopy policy.

                    • McFlock

                      Which current or former Green mps were in the fourth labour government? Because the list of them is not immediately apparent. ACT, of the other hand, give douglas and prebble and maybe others.

                      Forget ACT’s loopy policy, your habitual random word association is pretty bloody loopy.

                    • mordecai

                      “Which current or former Green mps were in the fourth labour government?”

                      Good grief you’ve started moving the goal posts already! My comments were about Green Party policy! Do you have a serial aversion to honesty?

                    • McFlock

                      subject vs predicate.

                      Your comment began with a clause on how you felt about ACT policy, with a followup clause saying Act policy wasn’t as loopy as the Greens’. Act policy was the subject of the sentence.

                      But then, you don’t even know how to ask for something rather than demanding it, so I can see why you’d not be sure whether “ACT policy is that dangerous”: you probably have difficulty understanding it.

                    • mordecai

                      “Your comment began with a clause on how you felt about ACT policy, with a followup clause saying Act policy wasn’t as loopy as the Greens’. Act policy was the subject of the sentence.”

                      Which part of “For the simple reason the Greens have come up with some incredibly loopy policy.” do you not understand?

                    • McFlock

                      Hang on, now you’re arguing about the semantic meaning of your comment based on your assumptions about the meaning of my reply to that comment?

                      Even if your assumptions about my comment were correct, that wouldn’t retrospectively change the subject of your original comment, even if your poor comprehension skills meant you only accidentally made ACT the subject of the comment.

                    • mordecai

                      “Hang on, now you’re arguing about the semantic meaning …”
                      More twisting McFlock? My comment was about loopy Green policy. That you get lost in your own lies is not my problem.

                    • McFlock

                      Not according to any sane reading of the thread.

                      But then, you never even learned to use the magic word

        • bwaghorn 3.4.1.2

          ”ACT is nothing more than a repository for voters sympathetic to a national led government by unable to swallow how centrist national have become. But it is smart politics.”

          what a load of shit , act is a bunch of nat voters in epsom who do as they are told and elect a bag of flour to prop up national.

      • Stuart Munro 3.4.2

        The Kopu defection can’t have done them much good either.

        • McFlock 3.4.2.1

          that was 1997. In 1999 Alliance went from 10% in 96 to 8%, but the Greens ran separately in 99 so I’m not sure Alliance took a big Kopu hit.

          although not the most spectacular moment in left wing politics, admittedly

  4. weka 4

    I must have missed the abuse. I followed some of the responses on twitter yesterday and saw people rightly pulling apart Garner’s daft article. Probably calling him a dick too, not least because he was being a dick on twitter. Can’t keep poking the bear and expect hugs.

    Let’s put this in context too. Hooton has been spendings days trolling Green Party candidate Golriz Gharhaman on twitter at the same time as she’s been on the receiving end of a slew of ongoing racist and misogynist comments on social media since the GP list was released. Garner should have stayed out of that, but he didn’t. So it’s on him if he now looks like he’s allied to dirty politics.

    Also noting Pete George telling lies about the Greens. I think none of these people really understand GP positioning but Hooton knows exactly what he is doing with his trolling, that’s his day job, and Garner will know that too. So not much sympathy for him if he gets backlash from putting his jibes into that set piece of nasty.

    • dukeofurl 4.1

      Thats terrible. These women are new to politics and yet it the same old boorish males who acting like they are alpha baboons !

    • Karen 4.2

      “I think none of these people really understand GP positioning”

      They don’t understand because they can’t comprehend the concept of not selling out your values and principles. Typical right-wingers.

    • I haven’t lied, but as you haven’t given any details about your accusation I can’t say whether I might have got something wrong or you just disagree with something I said and threw out a lazy diss.

      • weka 4.3.1

        Can’t remember and can’t be bothered looking it up, it’s in the twitter thread that Garner was in this morning re Greens. You didn’t make that many tweets so I’m sure you can figure it out.

        • Pete George 4.3.1.1

          I remember having a very interesting exchange with a Green supporter, notable for it’s robust but civil debate. You could have learned something from it.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 4.3.2

        I agree with Weka.

  5. Blue-ars*d baboons, I take it you mean.

  6. Ad 6

    “Case in point, the Maori Party have gone from five seats in 2008 to two.”

    Biggest lesson the Greens could take from the Lib Dems, Maori Party, and German Green Party, is: it’s not worth going into coalition government. Stay out.

    And the reason this is important beyond little old New Zealand is that the NZ Green Party is the most successful in the world. There is a lot of global reputation at stake.

    • greywarshark 6.1

      weka
      Is Ad’s statement right – NZ Greens world’s most successful?

      • weka 6.1.1

        Ad measures success differently than I do 😉 Other than that, I don’t know. NZ Greens do do pretty well though in terms of representation in parliament.

        • Ad 6.1.1.1

          German Greens are 63 out of 630 seats in the Bundestag, from the 2013 elections.
          They are 11/96 in the European Parliament.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alliance_90/The_Greens

          • dukeofurl 6.1.1.1.1

            Irish Greens have been in a national government.

            “The Greens served in the Irish government once ( with Fianna Fail), from 2007 to 2011. The party suffered a wipeout in the February 2011 election, losing all six of its TDs.” (Wikipedia)That was related to the Irish economic collapse after the GFC.

            Ireland is unusual for western type democracies in that both its main parties are centre right , the left is represented by labour, Sinn Fein, Greens.

            Italy had Greens as part of a Olive Tree Coalition in the 90s.

    • BM 6.2

      That’s by far the best strategy Ad.

      The Greens sit on the sidelines but provide confidence and supply to a Labour and NZ
      First government.

      The Greens can then maintain that air of superiority and ideological purity while Lab and NZ First can get on with running the country.

      Win-win for everybody.

      • McFlock 6.2.1

        I’m not so sure – I think that learning how to be in a coalition without losing your party identity is the final step in MMP becoming a mature system. I think it can be done, although I have no overseas examples on the top of my head.

        • weka 6.2.1.1

          I’m also hoping that the Greens are the one to do this. It’s why some people don’t understand the MoU very well. The Greens didn’t come begging into that. The way the MoU is structured suits them very well (as I’m sure it does Labour). I don’t see why the Greens wouldn’t do a coalition deal similarly. They’re looking for a partnership I think. Which is why I keep banging on about getting as many Green MPs into parliament as possible, because I think a true L/G partnership would be a formidable thing.

          • McFlock 6.2.1.1.1

            I suspect that most people have worked with somebody whom they thought was a dick, or at least didn’t agree with all the time, but still managed to get shit done. The electorate is therefore able to understand that concept, and generally ignore the soap opera BS of “disagreement?! dun dun DUHN! It’s a fight, now!” that Garner and co use as clickbait.

      • weka 6.2.2

        What about L/G with C and S from the Mp or Mana? Why should the Greens not go with that?

        • BM 6.2.2.1

          Because you won’t have enough votes.

          The only way is Labour/NZ First and the Greens.

          Unfortunately, this arrangement will leave the Greens pretty much out in the cold.

          • weka 6.2.2.1.1

            Ok, so assuming they do have the votes then there is no good reason for the Greens to stay out of govt.

            Or, L/G with NZF on cross benches.

            And if they don’t have the votes, and it’s a choice between cross benches, C and S for L/NZF, or a coalition of L/G/NZF, what do you think the Greens will do? I think they will go back to their members, because that’s what their internal processes mandate.

            Which is why this whole conversation is stupid. ‘The Greens’ going with National is actually GP members, MPs and the Executive. Why on earth would GP members choose a coalition with National. It’s daft as fuck and anyone who thinks that the members would choose National is politically ignorant in the extreme.

            • BM 6.2.2.1.1.1

              The problem for both National and Labour is NZ First if Peters ends up Kingmaker he’s going to play Labour and National off against each other.

              The sticking point on the left side is going to be the greens and if Peters doesn’t want the Greens in cabinet then there’s probably going to be no Greens in cabinet.

              ‘The Greens’ going with National is actually GP members, MPs and the Executive. Why on earth would GP members choose a coalition with National? It’s daft as fuck and anyone who thinks that the members would choose National is politically ignorant in the extreme.

              Funny thing is that its probably the best long term strategy for the Greens and probably the best option for the environment going forward.

              Take for example the despised Neo-Liberalist shift in the 1980’s,
              What made it so successful was the fact it was put in place by a Labour government, then when Nationals turn came around they kept on going with it cementing in place thus pushing NZ so far down the Neo-Liberalist path that’s is going to be nigh on impossible to change.

              If it was National who got the ball rolling first when it’s was Labours turn they would have no doubt rolled back quite a few of the changes,

              Probably not on the same level of change but the Greens in coalition with National could get the ball rolling towards a more environmentally centric economy so when the opportunity arises for a coalition with Labour some of that groundwork has already been done setting the stage for a larger environmental push under a left government.

              • dukeofurl

                ‘and probably the best option for the environment going forward.”????

                Cant see national agreeing to bottom lines about pollution in rivers, carbon pricing, closing down new RONS

                national is only interested in a few ‘Tree Tories’ to be added to its collection of poodles , like MP, ACT, NZF

                Key bailed out of politics as he saw the only way for national to stay in government was with NZF.
                If the Greens were the only option, half the current cabinet would bolt for the door- and thats not going to happen.

                • BM

                  If the choice was between the Greens and NZ First, I’d say National would pick the Greens.

                  If the Greens had any brains they’d take the opportunity and see how it went.

                  Don’t worry about bottom lines and stuff like that, get the ball rolling get off the benches and get into the game, Greens need think a bit longer term which was the crux of my previous post.

                  They’re doing fuck all at the moment and it looks highly likely they’ll be doing fuck all after September.

                  • McFlock

                    Better doing fuck all on the outside than doing fuck all and waiting to “see how it went”.

                    At least at the end of a term doing fuck all on the outside people would know the Greens are substantively different to the nats.

                    • BM

                      But they won’t be doing fuck all.

                      You may see a Green as the minister of conservation.

                      Maybe a deputy minister in primary industry, transportation, energy etc.

                      Opportunities to be had, up to the greens to take them.

                    • McFlock

                      At best, they’d be sticking a finger in one hole of the dyke, while the thing overflows. And the dyke is containing a sewage oxidation pond, so standing that close means they get covered in shit.

                      Sure, a party can compromise slightly in one area in order to have greater advantage in another, but at this stage national are a complete antithesis to anything sustainable, any social justice, and any environmental advances.

                      The result of cooperation/coalition with the nats is “sure, our rivers are full of cowshit and there’s no more ground water in canterbury, but hey, our minister of conservation is a green“. Greenwashing is worse than fuck all.

                    • BM

                      What would the Greens get with Labour and NZ First?

                      Remembering that NZ First will have the whip hand.

                    • McFlock

                      Probably decent advances on water and air quality, increased fines for polluters, increasing investment in alternative energy and public transport, rail electrification, rural rail (winnie might like that), increased efforts in social justice and benefits (especially pensions), maybe some other things.

                      Rather than their influence being largely tokenistic and ringfenced while everything bad for society is business as usual, which is probably the best they’d get under national.

                    • McFlock

                      also corporate regulations, where they’d probably have a lot of shared territory with nz1

                    • BM

                      Probably decent advances on water and air quality, increased fines for polluters, increasing investment in alternative energy and public transport, rail electrification, rural rail (winnie might like that)

                      Most of that would be achievable with National plus as an added bonus they’d probably have a few green Mps sitting around the big table.
                      As Ad has pointed out this National government has done more for Public transport than any other NZ government.

                      No idea what rural rail is.

                    • McFlock

                      Probably decent advances on water and air quality, increased fines for polluters, increasing investment in alternative energy and public transport, rail electrification, rural rail (winnie might like that)

                      Most of that would be achievable with National

                      Sure, if they reversed the last thirty years of their existence.

                      Either way, you just wrote some grade-A sci-fi weird shit and had David Lynch direct the movie.

              • weka

                “The problem for both National and Labour is NZ First if Peters ends up Kingmaker he’s going to play Labour and National off against each other.

                The sticking point on the left side is going to be the greens and if Peters doesn’t want the Greens in cabinet then there’s probably going to be no Greens in cabinet.”

                So? Nothing new there, same as it ever was. What’s different this time is the MoU. So it’s all on the numbers from the vote. If people want a left wing govt they need to vote Labour or Greens.

                “Funny thing is that its probably the best long term strategy for the Greens and probably the best option for the environment going forward.”

                About as funny as how the Green Party vote will collapse the first election after a deal with National. You’ve just sidestepped the issue, again, which is the membership. When I see some attempt to integrate that into your argument, I might consider taking it seriously. In the meantime, I think the political opinion about what the Greens *should do, from someone who doesn’t care about climate change and who is ideologically committed to planet-eating neoliberalism, can safely be disregarded 🙂

                • BM

                  About as funny as how the Green Party vote will collapse the first election after a deal with National

                  Why would the vote collapse? if anything I’d expect it to rise.

                  Finally acting like a serious environmental political party is a sure fire way to grow the green vote.

                  • weka

                    Yes, you don’t understand because you are thinking through your own framework not that of Greens. If the exec went against the members, the members would destroy them. If that happened voters would leave in droves and that wouldn’t be made up by new blue Greens who are a pretty small group. Plus the whole perception of competency issue, a party now at war with itself, look how that worked for Labour.

                    But even there it’s a ridiculous thought only needing to be entertained because of the neoliberals in the room. The exec won’t go against the rest of the party because everything is built on respect and good process and integrity.

                • About as funny as how the Green Party vote will collapse the first election after a deal with National

                  I wonder if the Greens are a bit worried about getting into government even with Labour for fear of losing ground in a coalition.

                  Alex Braae also said:

                  To borrow one of their favourite words, the only sustainable option for the Greens is to simply continue doing what they’re doing. Keep growing slowly, keep the base happy, keep winning the odd skirmish from opposition.

                  Green MPs may not get a chance to ride in ministerial limos this time around, or even the next. But if they are careful, by the time they do get there, they’ll be big enough to actually wield power. Only then will the party be able to survive government.

                  It sounds as if there’s a reluctance to go into coalition with anyone.

                  James Shaw referred to the article as “one of the most on-the-money insights into the @NZGreens political positioning in relation to other parties I’ve yet read”.

                  • weka

                    “I wonder if the Greens are a bit worried about getting into government even with Labour for fear of losing ground in a coalition.”

                    Yes, by gosh, that’s it! After 25 years in parliament under MMP the Greens finally realised after they signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Labour that being a coalition government might damage them. Never in the time until then had they considered such a thing, nor formed any processes or kaupapa for dealing with that.

                    Oh, what to do now, because they have an agreement with the NZ Labour Party to change the government.

                    🙄

                    Now that people who aspire to a reputation of intelligence can’t run the ‘they will go with National’ line, it’s the ‘they won’t got with Labour’ line. Still doesn’t work, because you *fundamentally fail to understand how the GP works or what it is.

                    • I don’t think anyone really knows what the Greens will do if, after the election, they have an opportunity to choose going into coalition with Labour and probably NZ First with compromises, or stick to purism and let National have another term, probably needing NZ First.

                      Do you fundamentally understand which way the party will go?

                    • weka

                      I do fundamentally know which way the party will go, because I’ve read the process the party has used at previous elections. They will enter into negotiations dependent upon which parties have what MPs, and then they will take that to the membership. It’s impossible to know what the final outcome of that will be, because we don’t know how people will vote, but I’ve also read and understood the MoU, which is commitment to both change the government and where possible to form govt with Labour.

                      Every time people try and fit the Greens into their preconceived notions about how things should work, they fail to grasp what is really going on. But the Greens will just keep doing what they are doing (which is what that article was talking about). In the words of NRT, the Greens want change not power.

  7. JanM 7

    Oh, please, keep in mind that Duncan Garner is as thick as two short planks and how he ever got to where he is says a great deal about the hopeless current situation of the MSM

    • Reality 7.1

      Unfortunately that “thick as two short planks” has a front seat position five days on end to peddle his views.

      Last night that Mark Richardson was on Project. Snarling was the best adjective to give him. Not a pleasant character. And full of his own importance. Lacks any sort of empathy for people.

      • Muttonbird 7.1.1

        Yep. Unbridled ambition and doesn’t know where the line is. Expect him to cross it more often as he seeks higher TV honours.

  8. Wayne 8

    It is hardly unreasonable for Duncan Garner to make his point. He is after all a political commentator.

    Of course the Greens can say “we are left”. But that means the Greens can only ever be in office if Labour is in office. And they take the risk, at least so long as NZF is around, that Labour will cut them out in favour of NZF.

    All of that is simply a consequence of a knowing choice to be left and not centre-left, which green activists are fully aware of. It is a choice the Greens have willing made, but it has had the consequence of being out of power for 20 years, with the Green influence primarily as a result of being in Parliament. Which influence is probably quite significant in itself, not only for the left, but also for the right.

    • Reality 8.1

      Well Wayne I guess it could be said Act is always to be beholden to National who gift them Epsom. Given the very very strange members of Act over many years now, I hardly think they are going to be standing on their own two feet any time soon. Are you happy with that liaison? Wonder if you will comment.

      And Wayne, I wonder when a journalist will write a lengthy article critiquing and picking apart the Nat/Act/UF liaison.

    • mauī 8.2

      You could do Garner’s next article for him.

  9. Muttonbird 9

    Haha. Pete George still confused about what is dirty politics.

  10. jcuknz 10

    Surely if the Green party dropped their red content they would be suitable for a Blue/Green alliance. But sadly they have become just another red party instead of sticking to their green roots shared by numerous blue folk.

    • greywarshark 10.1

      Sounds like you have a colour problem jcuknz. Every party ends up getting impatient to do something in government instead of being on a sort of zero contract.

    • weka 10.2

      You patently fail to understand what Green politics are. The Greens aren’t left simply because they’re partly red. If you look at where Green politics has come from it inherently recognises that the wellbeing of the environment is dependent upon concurrent social justice. You cannot have environmental justice without social justice. That’s the reason for not being bluegreen, because bluegreen cannot, by definition, protect the environment, because it is built upon a paradigm of plunder. All it can do is tinker around the edges.

      All that is moot of course, because National are gung ho going hard after maximum extraction and bugger the environment. The Greens might pull the odd concession here and there as part of a coalition agreement but it would be like sticking a finger in the dyke against the flood of destruction that National are actively and willingly engaged in. And it would destroy the party.

      If RW voters are concerned about what National is doing to the environment and thus want a party with better environmental policies, you’re tough out of luck. Neoliberalism will suck the life blood out of this country, environment and people. You make your own choices but don’t expect the Green Party or voters to side with you.

      • Stuart Munro 10.2.1

        Dead right.

        One of the reasons I’m so opposed to slave ships. You think crews on starvation wages or in hock to recruitment agents will give a toss about environmental concerns in a foreign country? No chance.

        Green voters can’t swing behind the Gnats because Gnat administration is corrupt and contemptible nonsense.

        • garibaldi 10.2.1.1

          All this crap about the Greens cosying up to the Natz amuses me. A coalition between Labour and National would be more likely, their policies are closer !

      • Robert Guyton 10.2.2

        Pretty sure it’s “dike”, weka and mind your fingers!

        • weka 10.2.2.1

          lol! (but my dictionary begs to differ 😉 )

          btw, abrupt change of subject, just listened to RNZ and the Bluff oyster thing. Factory farming?

          • Robert Guyton 10.2.2.1.1

            Big trouble for the aquaculture aspirations down here – seems likely the oyster farms will have to be destroyed…maybe, I’m speculating, early days yet, but the fear is for the wild oyster populations in Foveaux Strait – I remember years and years ago being told about this likelihood by an expert presenting at the Green Party AGM in Nelson; Nick Smith was there, unconvinced. Wonder what he thinks now…

            • weka 10.2.2.1.1.1

              Probably not a lot, I would guess he employs a fair amount of cognitive dissonance.

              I just hope that they don’t leave it too long. I know they have to get it right, but it’s been a couple of weeks already that they’ve know I think.

            • Draco T Bastard 10.2.2.1.1.2

              Nick Smith was there, unconvinced. Wonder what he thinks now…

              I’ve yet to observe any indication that National MPs can think.

      • Draco T Bastard 10.2.3

        +111

    • Muttonbird 10.3

      Shared by numerous blue folk? Not if it’s going to hit them in the pocket. For blue folk money rates well above the environment and any which says differently is a liar.

      • Stuart Munro 10.3.1

        I know quite a few farmers who are serious about conservation. They are equally suspicious of the Greens, and National’s attempt to rubbish the Greens. The Gnats need to be careful what they wish for – farmers are pragmatists, and weasels like Hosking and English lying about the economy don’t impress them very much.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.4

      Reality has a radical Left bias.

      The right-wing is delusional.

      Why would you expect a party that is all about reality to kowtow to your delusion?

  11. Craig H 11

    Personally I think NZ First suffers in Coalition because they are a popular outlet for protest votes, and being in government rather stifles that, and because whoever NZ First go into government with, a large chunk of NZ First supporters will be annoyed about the choice.

    Greens I see as being sufficiently strong in their identity to not have the same issues, particularly as they are not generally a protest vote. Going with National would probably sink them, however.

    • jcuknz 11.1

      Just as I saw ACT ’94 as a pragmatic alternative the the Alliance so I see a strong green plus blue being a pragmatic solution for today and the future. But idealists are so while pragmatists make thing work. just as I support many of the ideas I read here I am not interested in a tiny huddle of disenchanted idealists but rather a pragmatic government and an opposition which doesn’t simply say no to everything the govt is doing out of habit.

  12. Psycho Milt takes ’em on at Kiwiblog:
    “It would be great to have an independent Green party that was similiar to the Maori Party – we’ll work constructively with whichever party is in power, supporting them on supply and confidence in return for some big policy gains on the issues we think are most important.

    I’m trying to envisage the kind of Green Party that would “work constructively” with National’s plan to use fake Russian and Ukrainian carbon credits to pretend we’re meeting our Kyoto commitments, or its steadfast defence of the importance of allowing increasing pollution of the country’s fresh water. It’s not one that very many people would be willing to vote for, which satisfactorily explains why they haven’t done it.”

  13. Bg 13

    The one piece of legislation that the Greens have passed, the home insulation bill, was passed with National…go figure?

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