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406 posts

Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 223370 26-Sep-2017 11:57
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(Posted here for comment, critique, disagreement, etc :-) 

 

 

 

Dear Mr. Shaw,

 

Congratulations on being returned to Parliament in New Zealand's 2017 General Election. You are now in a position where you can influence the makeup of a coalition government. Obviously, your preferred coalition partner is the New Zealand Labour Party - you have synergies and significant policy overlaps. Unfortunately, between your two parties you did not win enough seats collectively to achieve a majority. This leaves you with 3 possibilities:

 

1) Form a 3-way coalition with New Zealand First
2) Form a coalition government with National
3) Remain in opposition

 

Going out on a limb, I'm going to assume that the first option is now your preferred outcome. This may well eventuate, but you have very little influence in making that decision. (And your level of influence in government is something that New Zealand First will likely seek to minimise in their negotiation with Labour.)

 

Option 2 is arguably a much stronger position for your party. You could negotiate environmental policy from a position of strength, and demand significant concessions from the National party on social issues.

 

Option 3 is familiar territory. Perhaps your comfort ground as a party of activism and protest, but fundamentally a place where you can expend a great deal of effort, make a lot of noise, but not meaningfully effect change.

 

All but the second option will see you taking an essentially passive role in Parliament, so the remainder of this letter will deal with the possibility of a National Green coalition. I have heard a number of arguments against such a proposal; I will address each of them here:

 

Your membership wouldn’t stand for it. There is likely a large number who won’t, but equally, there were a large number of voters who wouldn’t stand for your former co-leader’s stance on welfare. Your constituency appears to be a mix of people with social and/or environmental priorities. Your polling numbers roughly halved by alienating the latter group – you may find that your support remains steady (or lifts slightly) by returning your focus to delivering environmental wins.
National’s coalition partners die off. I understand that this may be uncomfortable territory for the Green Party, especially when considering the fate of the Maori Party, Act and United Future. But you will need to get off the benches and enter the great game at some point! You will triumph or fail on the merits of your ideas and policies, and when you’re done you should be able to point to a legacy of significant achievements for your voters.  To do otherwise is akin to a promising young All Black attending all the training sessions and prep with the team but refusing to take the field when call on, out of fear of suffering a career-ending injury.
You campaigned to change the government. Well you certainly would achieve that! A National-Green government would be a markedly different government to the one National, Act, The Maori Party and United Future was.

 

Mr. Shaw, Winston Peters is not the only potential Kingmaker that the voters delivered on September 23rd. It only seems that way because you seem to have ruled yourself out of contention for that pivotal role. If that is indeed that case, then I am inclined to ask, “What is the purpose of the Green Party?

 

If your intentions are to form part of a government and implement meaningful reforms to benefit the environment and New Zealand’s worst off, then pick up the phone and get on with doing precisely that. If instead, your intention is to simply act as a support partner for the New Zealand Labour Party, then I would suggest that running two independent parties may be a flawed strategy. By splitting the vote, you have returned National’s Nick Smith in Nelson and Nikki Kaye in Auckland Central and likely achieved a lower number of seats than a unified centre-left party might have.

 

Will you shape your own destiny and take action to change the government? Or will you continue to follow where other parties tell you to go?

 

Kind regards,

 

A Potential Blue-Green voter.


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957 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1873005 26-Sep-2017 12:10
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If Greens were really interested in focusing on the environment, there would be no question right now as to why they cannot or should not be joining National.

 

Their refusal to do so just proves that they are more interested in the leftie/socialist/welfare policies than the environment itself. Thats a reason IMO for them to go get lost.

 

 

 

 


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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 1873024 26-Sep-2017 12:42
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I find it amusing how some people keep trying to turn the Greens into Blue-greens. If you are a National sympathiser, but you worry about the environment (as you should), then do something about your own party, don't try to corrupt someone else's.

 

 





I reject your reality and substitute my own. - Adam Savage
 


 
 
 
 


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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 1873052 26-Sep-2017 13:14
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I like this.  There are plenty of potential Green voters who don't want a bar of the socialism / insititutionalised bludging that MT was espousing.  Yes, the Greens would lose their socialist supporters, but I would argue that they would pick up an equal or greater number of non-socialist environmental voters.  I believe this is closer to their German counterparts.

 

I don't think this is trying to make Green into Blue-Green.  It's trying to turn them from "pink with a hint of green" to Green, so that they can form part of a Blue-Green coalition.  Isn't that how MMP is meant to work?


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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1873063 26-Sep-2017 13:37
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Rikkitic:

 

I find it amusing how some people keep trying to turn the Greens into Blue-greens. If you are a National sympathiser, but you worry about the environment (as you should), then do something about your own party, don't try to corrupt someone else's.

 

 

Vote results sure seem to indicate that the Greens have corrupted themselves.


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  Reply # 1873130 26-Sep-2017 14:47
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I like this post, I was actually compiling a similar thing in my head. If you send it, happy to add my name to the bottom as a person who supports it. 


636 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1873141 26-Sep-2017 14:56
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Rikkitic:

 

I find it amusing how some people keep trying to turn the Greens into Blue-greens. If you are a National sympathiser, but you worry about the environment (as you should), then do something about your own party, don't try to corrupt someone else's.

 

 

 

 

I think the idea of a Green Party is great, and a coalition with either National, or Labour and NZ First, will be a step forward for voters who care for the environment.

 

But, if National forms a coalition with NZ First, then the Greens will be out in the cold yet again.

 

And if the Green Party goes into coalition with Labour and NZ First, I think it will be very difficult for James Shaw to get cabinet positions and to be in a position of influence. After all, Labour can't have two deputy PMs, and the most likely one is Winston Peters and not James Shaw!

 

Jacinda has already ruled out three-way talks between Labour, NZ First, and the Greens, so again, this makes it very difficult for the Greens to have their voice heard when the main aim seems to be to satisfy Winston's demands.

 

If the Greens were to go into coalition with National, this would be far better for the people who voted for the Greens because they would have a much greater chance of achieving their climate change objectives as James Shaw would have a much better chance of becoming deputy PM and / or Climate Change Minister.

 

I fully appreciate that James Shaw should have remained loyal to Labour if the Greens and Labour could have formed a Government without NZ First. But, now that NZ First must be part of a coalition to get Jacinda in as PM, I think the Greens need to put themselves and their voters first and go into coalition with National.




406 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1873211 26-Sep-2017 16:17
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It seems that there are already some existing published "Opinion Pieces" along these lines...

 

But by all accounts, the Green Party rules would require a 75% supermajority to achieve this... likely ruling themselves out of contention.


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  Reply # 1873412 27-Sep-2017 00:25
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I support the idea of a National - Greens Coalition. As most pro environment policies are about efficient use of resources, So are actually a natural fit for a right leaning party like National. And socialist policies can often be bad for the environment. Imagine if a government gives a subsidy to energy costs for low income earners. The low income earners will use more energy. Unless that energy is from a 100% renewable source, There will be more carbon emissions which are bad for the environment. Ironicly the green party actually proposed such a subsidy. (extra money to help with winter powerbills). So this is a classical case of 2 different parts of the green party achieving opposite outcomes.

 

For the record I think that such a subsidy is actually a good idea from a social policy point of view if it is combined with other electricity sector reform. But it is still a bad idea from a purely environmental standpoint.

 

And if any voters actually do decide to stop supporting the Greens due to a shift away from socialist policies. The only main party they they could go to is Labour. Which is what happened in this election - Compare Green and Labour when Andrew Little was still Labour leader with the election results).  Unless Maori party, TOP, or Mana parties are still around for the 2020 election.

 

 






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  Reply # 1873421 27-Sep-2017 07:08
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Is this about supporting the Greens, or is it really about supporting National without Peters? Two very different reasons


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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 1873433 27-Sep-2017 08:35
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671 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1873435 27-Sep-2017 08:41
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Or thirdly, is it about wanting to do something positive, positive for the environment, those that are most passionate about it will have a direct influence on policy and positive for the country, in that ANY coalition with WP is like tiptoeing through a minefield, you know one day someones going to lose a toe.....


87 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 1873436 27-Sep-2017 08:41
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Once again people are ignoring the simple fact that the vast majority of National's economic agenda comes with huge environmental cost. The Greens will never support that even if they drop the socialistic aspects of their platform. National and Green have fundamentally different views on waterways, mining, logging, transport etc. That is also ignoring a core principle of the international green movement that reducing inequality and empowering poorer people need to be part of a whole package to move to a more sustainable way of life. Once you realise that their social policies make a lot more sense in terms of an environmental movement.


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Geek
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  Reply # 1873438 27-Sep-2017 08:53
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Fairly persuasive piece in the Spinoff arguing the obliteration of the Maori Party is an example of what could happen to the Greens if they aligned with National and betrayed their (current) core constituents.

 

https://thespinoff.co.nz/politics/26-09-2017/the-sad-fate-of-the-maori-party-shows-the-greens-what-a-base-will-do-to-collaborators/

 

So then their future survival would depend on enough "Blue-Green" support to get them over 5%.

 

I have my doubts but it's untested territory so would be interesting to see.


636 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1873468 27-Sep-2017 09:39
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ShiroHagen:

 

Fairly persuasive piece in the Spinoff arguing the obliteration of the Maori Party is an example of what could happen to the Greens if they aligned with National and betrayed their (current) core constituents.

 

https://thespinoff.co.nz/politics/26-09-2017/the-sad-fate-of-the-maori-party-shows-the-greens-what-a-base-will-do-to-collaborators/

 

So then their future survival would depend on enough "Blue-Green" support to get them over 5%.

 

I have my doubts but it's untested territory so would be interesting to see.

 

 

Well, where does NZ First fit into this "whoever supports National will go down" theory?

 

Aren't NZ First supporters focused on seeing that their party's policies are brought into law by going into coalition with either Labour or National, whichever gives them the best deal?  So why can't the Greens take this same attitude instead of saying that they must be tied to Labour, even if this means that they stay in political oblivion for ever?

 

The next question is who mainly votes for the Greens? Isn't it people who are fiercely in favour of policies related to climate change? I would guess that a lot of Green's votes come from young idealistic people who want to see the Green's climate change policies put into law. I doubt whether most of them are too concerned about whether there should be a capital gains tax etc. etc. And they are not so focused on all the poverty issues either, they are simply "Greens"!

 

I think young idealistic people who have supported the Greens need a new party to vote for, one that concentrates on green issues and one that is flexible enough to take NZ First's attitude, that is, go into coalition with whichever party gives you the best deal. I don't think that "real" Greens want a party that is so inflexible that they are prepared to stay on the opposition benches for ever!

 

 

 

 


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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 1873492 27-Sep-2017 10:11
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Speaking purely anecdotally based on friends and acquaintances, many Green voters are over 40 (many well over), own their own homes and care deeply about the environment and inequality.

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