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Ward sees sense

Written By: - Date published: 11:43 am, June 4th, 2008 - 34 comments
Categories: election 2008, greens - Tags: ,

Good on Mike Ward for finally seeing sense and stepping aside, allowing Greens co-leader Russel Norman to enter Parliament replacing Nandor Tanczos. Norman is rapidly establsihing himself as a very good media frontperson for the Greens; being in Parliament will enhance his role.

Only the righties were praising Ward for not stepping aside (just as they are the only ones praising the Greens for threatening to sink the ETS). Something’s not right when your supporters are asking you to change and the tories are cheering you on.

[I also agree with what Ward says about the Greens needing to campaign more positively. I want to see policy from them that will subsidise low-carbon technology. SP]

34 comments on “Ward sees sense”

  1. erikter 1

    Saw sense? A wonderful interpretation of a devious move to allow Norman to become a member of Parliament and reap the electoral benefits/perks of such move.

    The Green’s have shown their cunning political skills.

  2. T-rex 2

    Devious?

    You retard.

    Norman is the co-leader, Tanczos is resigning, and Fitzsimmons has indicated she probably won’t contest the next election.

    OH MY GOD THEY WANT THEIR SOON-TO-BE LEADER IN PARLIAMENT PRIOR TO THE UPCOMING ELECTION, THEIR SCHEMING POLITICAL MACHINATIONS ARE TRULY MINDBOGGLING

  3. The Green’s have shown their cunning political skills.

    WTF? Next you’ll be claiming the morris dancing was a carefully contrived stunt designed to persuade the public that the greens don’t have an agenda of world dominance.

    What colour is the sky in your world, erikter?

  4. This does appear to be a betrayal of all the voters who supported the Greens last election with their Party vote on the basis of the published list. I wonder what the Greens did to change Mike Ward’s mind ? Perhaps a little homeopathic water-boarding ? 🙂

  5. Tane 5

    I’m seeing a lot of righties whinge about this so-called “betrayal” of Green voters but I have to wonder, have you heard any actual Green voters complaining?

    Do you really think there are any Green voters fuming over this? Cos bro, I’m a Green voter and I’m stoked.

  6. Tane: fair enough. How about if I describe it as Green Party rorting of MMP ?

  7. Tane 7

    I don’t buy that either. Norman was on the party list (he was even up quite high), so people who voted Green voted for Norman to enter Parliament. I certainly did when I voted Green.

    Now if the Greens had forced Ward and Delahunty to jump then you might have a case, but they haven’t. They’ve volunteered to step down. So where’s the scandal?

  8. Tane: “The Green Party member who refused to step aside so his party’s co-leader could become an MP has backed down.” http://www.nzherald.co.nz

    Looks like some forcing went on to me.

  9. Byran. Yep, if you agree that National’s use of trusts to hide the identities of large donors is also a rort.

    Incidnetally, it’s not unprecendented for list candidates to stand aside like this. I believe it happened with either Brash or Sutton’s retirement. Also, as those cases show it’s normal for a retiring list MP to go mid-term.

  10. Tane 10

    You’re treating the Herald’s editorialising as fact Bryan? Please, give me some credit.

  11. uroskin 11

    Those righties must have complain about Rod Donald cunningly dying so Nandor could slip into parliament again in 2005. That must have been an ecological rort of MMP.

  12. I wonder whether he got a bung?
    Rod Donald campaigned tirelessly for proportional representation for many years. How ironic that the party he helped build is cynically rorting the very system he championed.
    With Norman and probably Bradford at the helm in a couple of years it is probably time for a new green party to emerge and actually start trying to build consensus on green issues.
    This thinly disguised marxist bunch are doing more damage to environmentalism in NZ than any other group.

  13. BeShakey 13

    Fantastic! If the tories response to this is anything to go by then Nationals chances just took a big hit, with the Greens effectively ruled out of any National led government. If the Greens and Maori party work together, thats two parties gone. Just leaves ACT and UF (unless you folks change your mind about evil Winnie).

    Interesting to see JK on Breakfast this morning. I’d given him credit for more intelligence than to criticise a potential coalition partner (maybe one of last resort, but it may come down to that). Or maybe he just fell into Henry’s trap – Key was just saying what Henry clearly wanted to hear.

  14. Steve/Tane: “Tanczos to remain in Parliament until election
    1:24PM Wednesday May 21, 2008
    By Claire Trevett

    Green co-leader Russel Norman’s plans to enter Parliament to replace Nandor Tanczos before the election have been stymied by the refusal of a candidate above him on the list to step aside.”

    Mike Ward has been refusing to give up his position on the list for at least two weeks. Sounds like he was fairly stubborn about not going.

    “it’s normal for a retiring list MP to go mid-term” : Mike Ward isn’t retiring he is giving up his rank on the list so the Greens can get some taxpayer funding for Russell Normans campaign. Sounds like a rort to me.

  15. Tane 15

    Yep… and your evidence he was forced to stand aside? The only thing he mentioned was that cartoons and media reports had made fun of him, and that discussions within the party had been ‘robust’, as you’d expect. Sounds like politics as usual to me.

    Again, Bryan, you allege a rort but can’t offer any evidence to substantiate it. Can you even tell me who the victims of this so-called rort are?

  16. Tane, why bother having a list for an election if it is a fluid and changeable thing. Why not just move to a presidential election where you vote for a leader and they can hire whomever they wish for the list.
    Some consistency would be nice.

  17. Policy Parrot 17

    “This does appear to be a betrayal of all the voters who supported the Greens last election with their Party vote on the basis of the published list. I wonder what the Greens did to change Mike Ward’s mind ? Perhaps a little homeopathic water-boarding ?”

    By your logic Bryan, all those National Party voters who voted for National with Don Brash and Gerry Brownlee at the top of their list were disenfranchised when National’s leadership changed, simply because the caucus/party tampered with the rankings after the results came in.
    Yet I’m not seeing a whole lot of complaining about how the current Key/English ticket disenfranchises those who backed Brash at the last election.

    Perhaps, its because, that they know that a change in personnel doesn’t signal a change in direction, a direction highlighted by Dr. Brash over the weekend as “unprincipled”, “timid”, and “deceptive”.

  18. Tane: the victims ? Probably the Green Party itself. It’s image as a party of principle has been further damaged by this. Just as it’s reputation for integrity was damaged by its support and subsequent contraventions of the EFA.

  19. Scribe 19

    Tane,

    Again, Bryan, you allege a rort but can’t offer any evidence to substantiate it.

    I smell a rat, but don’t have evidence. Ward seemed adamant he wasn’t going to step aside and then he did.

    I appreciate your request for evidence from Bryan. Maybe you could ask for the same from your colleague on the post “How much did Key pay for his seat?”.

  20. erikter 20

    Russel Norman gets free admission into Parliament via a technical scam to subvert the list.

    A good example of MMP manipulation.

    It is a very bad look for the watermelon party, which is a centrally-controlled organisation that will do whatever its inner circle decides.

  21. erikter. you obviously know nothing about the parties.

    “a centrally-controlled organisation that will do whatever its inner circle decides.” is a fair discription of National, NZF, the Progs, or UF. To a lesser extent Labour too (but they have very powerful branches, especially in South Auckland).

    But to claim that the Greens are like that, bro, you’re just showing your ignorance.

    I really don’t get why someone like yourself comes here and shows off their ignorance for all to see. Sure, you might get away with it on Kiwiblog or somewhere else with a low standard of debate, but here everyone can see right through you.

  22. erikter 22

    Clinton, I’m much the wiser after your lecture.

  23. vto 23

    more bad smells emanating from wellington

    captcha: ‘animals use’, how appropriate

  24. BeShakey 24

    The only people that seem concerned about this are National voters and those further right. I can’t really see the Greens losing much sleep about that, its hardly their core voting base.

  25. T-rex 25

    Clinton, I’m much the wiser after your lecture.

    I’d like to hope so, but I doubt it.

    To all the rest of you crying foul – I voted for the Greens, and what I want for my vote is a strong and progressive Green Party.
    This move is consistent with that goal, so I completely support it.

    Mike Ward’s obstruction of the move was the only thing that bothered me, because it WASN’T consistent with the aforementioned goal (however good his intentions may have been).

    I think the reason assorted right-wing-whingers are objecting is that a strong and progressive green party is NOT consistent with their goals.

  26. Lew 26

    Ultimately when you vote, you vote for leadership of some sort. Having voted, you have to live with the decisions that leadership you elected (for your party, your country, whatever) make. Your recourse is every three years at election time, or at AGM time for intra-party things.

    If the Greens thought this move would anger their base, they’d be risking their electoral fortunes by making it. This includes the allegations of rorting the system, which could (if there was any veracity to them) harm the Greens too. Given that they clearly think they’re helping their electoral chances here, one of two things is broadly true, viz:

    1. The Greens are delusional and are in fact ruining their electoral chances.

    2. The Greens have made a smart move and will be the stronger for it.

    Now, which of these two things would you normally expect climate change deniers and National partisans to howl and stamp their feet about?

    L

  27. vto 27

    “climate change deniers”. he he, love that term, its so funny.

  28. Rex Widerstrom 28

    I don’t care what Green voters think (and I suspect that, like Tane, they’ll be quite pleased) because there’s an important principle at stake here.

    The major weakness of our style of MMP is it’s list ranking. It’s wide open to duplicity and sheer corruption, as happened in 1996 – more than a decade ago – when Michael Laws, Winston Peter and Sarah Neems threw their party?s list rankings into the rubbish and simply wrote one that preferenced their personal favourites.

    Then they sold that to the public as a list which had been ranked by party members based on competence. Clearly it hadn’t, because few of the people so elected were anything like competent.

    The Greens presented their list at the last election on much the same basis. In doing so they formed a compact with voters.

    Today?s manipulation of the process by the Greens might at least be said to be a transparent fraud, whereas the others undertaken by other parties have been carried out in secret. A push up the rank for a favoured candidate here, a word in the selector?s ear by the Leader there?

    The ranking of Party Lists has been a farce since our very first MMP election. There are no laws governing how it?s done; there are no laws to even ensure that the parties do it the way they say they?re going to do it. NZ is in desperate need of a law change which makes list ranking a right of every party member, an open process with scrutineers, and which produces a result which must be adhered to until the next election. If it?s good enough for a General Election it?s good enough for a list ranking.

  29. To Rex and all:

    The list ranking is one of the best aspects of MMP. Especially when you do it as openly and democratically as the Greens do. That is a very important point and I hope no one skips over it lightly.

    Norman was highly ranked last time and Green voters voted for the entire list.

    Since then, they democratically elected Russell Norman as party co-leader.

    Since THEN all Green Party members have voted AGAIN on list rankings and placed him high on the list.

    This repeated and consistent level of support is more open, more frequent and more democratic than any other I can think of – and especially those would criticise the Greens for Norman entering the House at this time.

    Nandor believed it a good thing to leave the House early if one is not to stand again and allow someone else who likely will be there to get on with it. Mike Ward and Catherine Delahunty have now both agreed they are not available at this time to enter the House. That opportunity passes to Russel Norman and he will enter the House.

    This is a very worthwhile and pragmatic move. Typical of the best ideals Greens uphold.

    Others (who actually oppose MMP because it is too democratic!) pretending to speak for Greens on this make laughing stocks of themselves on this one.

  30. Lew 30

    vto: As someone with insufficient knowledge to hold firm views on climate change, I use it with all intended irony. Until I get around to edumacatin’ myself I’m content to believe the IPCC. But it is nothing more than mostly blind belief.

    Was planning to hold a An Inconvenient Truth – The Great Global Warming Swindle double-bill at the weekend, but other things got the better of me. Not that that would constitute edumacation.

    L

  31. Rex Widerstrom 31

    Steve:

    I agree that the Greens’ particular manipulation of the list process is probably the least toxic (of those that have come to light, anyway) and I’d accept what party members are saying, which is that they represent the wishes of the majority of Greens members.

    I actually don’t have a huge problem with the outcome of this bit of manipulation but I do object to the fact that it – and much, much worse – can occur under our MMP system.

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want a return to FPP and am a strong supporter of proportional representation (and other improvements to democracy such as binding referenda).

    But the Party’s lists aren’t issued just for the edification of its members. Presumably more people than are members of the Greens voted for the Party and they did so on the basis of the list as published. To circumvent that covenant for the sake of expediency is wrong, even if the outcome is not particularly awful.

    If it’s going to be okay to do this (and I actually don’t see why it shouldn’t be) my argument is that it needs to be specifically codified in law – along with a lot of other law about lists – so that the public knows exactly what it’s “buying” at election time.

    The Greens do have one of the most open and democratic list selection processes and I’d applaud them if they were to promote legislation which imposed similar openness as a minimum standard which applied to all parties.

  32. Lew 32

    Rex: This sort of thing was all canvassed in the somewhat racist and horribly overblown waka-jumping scandal of ’97.

    The public does know what it’s buying at election time: it’s buying the right to elect list and constituency members to parliament, on the understanding that the list could change at any time at the whim of the party leadership (not necessarily the parliamentary leadership). Don’t like what the party leadership might do? Don’t vote for that party.

    Essentially voting is about placing one’s trust in a member’s hands, delegating one’s authority to that member or party. If you care about this sort of thing, an internal party matter with potential electoral consequences, demand answers on it from your party, or all parties, if you’re undecided. If it’s genuinely a big issue parties will hop to, because failure to do so might cost them votes.

    If, however, it’s all just a sideshow and the electoral system isn’t really being rorted – then it’ll fade.

    L

  33. Ari 33

    Steve: Seen reason? I think that’s uncalled for. It was Mike’s choice to make, and he had every right to resist pressure from the Party if he wanted to.

    Rex: I’ve only spoken to or heard from one person who didn’t like this move, and they have a bunch of other problems with the Party to the point where I was wondering whether I should be asked why they supported the Greens, or whether I should simply be asking them if they were a conspiracy theorist. 😉

    I’d like to point out that in voting for party lists we implicitely agree that candidates have the right to refuse to enter parliament. That’s all that’s happened here.

  34. Rex: I guess we see the list rankings differently. I see them as a necessary evil to cope with having more candidates than you are likely to elect….so you prioritise for pragmatic reasons. I see my list vote as a vote for the whole party and every person on the list. I’m assuming they are all good candidates or they wouldn’t (shouldn’t!) be there. So if Catherine D and Mike W decide, 2 and more years later, to stand aside to allow their party’s elected co-leader to enter the House, that’s OK by me.

    I guess I don’t really understand the thinking that sees the ranking of a list for a prior election as taking precedence over the fundamental democratic goal of pragmatically ensuring the people who voted for you are most effectively represented now, today, and going forward. I’d much rather the Co-leader who was elected to succeed Rod Donald took his seat in the House than another list candidate who might not NOW be the best person for this opportunity at this time.

    I’ve never been one to get caught up in perceptual “rigidities” that impede achieving the primary goal, whatever it is. There is no legal or moral reason I can see that would make it wrong for Russel Norman to go into the House. Every one who supports the Green Party and its goals and policies wins by it.

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