Greens versus Internet Party

The Internet Party is targeting green voters and this looks to be in deliberate competition with the Green Party.

Last year Russel Norman met with Kim Dotcom several times. He claims he was trying to talk Dotcom out of starting up a new party as he thought it would split votes on the left. That was an astute assessment, but Norman won’t have been aware of how much of a risk the Internet Party might pose to the Greens.

Norman wouldn’t have foreseen that someone working closely with the Greens on it’s campaign would have defected to lead the new party. Laila Harre was loaded with inside Green information.

And Harre has clearly positioned the Internet Party as another left of Labour party, which will have to compete with the Greens for votes.

What wasn’t known was how fiercely they would compete. We got an indication yesterday.

The Green Party announced it’s election priorities as scheduled – Green Party launches key election priority, rivers clean enough for swimming.

But several hours before the Green fanfare the Internet Party released it’s environmental policy – Internet Party to stop high-risk resource extraction -

The Internet Party wants a moratorium on fracking, the dumping of oil wastes, deep-sea and undersea extraction and other risky energy and mining industry practices.

In its final environment policy released today – its first full, digitally-driven democratic policy – the Internet Party also vows to restore the absolute right of Kiwis to protest at sea against deep-sea oil exploration.

This looks like it could be a virtual replication of Green policy. If you look at their full environment policy – Environment policy revised – the similarities are obvious.

Having very similar policies will compete for votes, but notably the Internet Party obviously tried to pre-empt the Green launch yesterday with their own green launch. It looks like they want to compete with the Greens head on.

One of the Internet Party’s main stated objectives is to remove National from Government.Elections are generally thought to be won and lost in the centre.

So it’s curious that the Internet Party has targeted the left of Labour vote, and clearly they are intending to compete strongly with the Greens.

They seem to be more intent on capturing as much of the left wing vote as they can.

This could suggest they are looking further than this election with bigger ambitions, perhaps to establish themselves as the dominant left wing party. That’s what Greens would like to become. It will be much harder for them to grow in the same space as the Internet Party.

And I wonder if there’s some payback going on for Norman not playing ball with Dotcom.

Greens make it more political

Greens are pushing politically on the handling of the Malaysian diplomat case. They have put out a statement:

McCully ‘should stand down while review considers his actions’

The Green Party is calling for the review into Foreign Affairs’ handling of allegations of attempted rape by a Malaysian Diplomat to be expanded to cover actions of Ministers, and for the Minister of Foreign Affairs to stand down while the review is being held.

The review also needs to be conducted by an external agency, not the Ministry whose actions and inactions need to be independently examined.

“The woman at the centre of these allegations, Tania Billingsley, last night called for Mr McCully to resign, saying he had failed to do his job and that she was still waiting for an apology,” Green Party Co leader Metiria Turei said.

“I’m not about to argue against Ms Billingsley’s call. If I was the Prime Minster I’d seriously take note of everything she said last night.

“It is astonishing that Ms Billingsley was still waiting for an apology from anyone in Government yesterday.

“Mr McCully has said he’d apologised, but an off the cuff apology over the TV doesn’t cut it, especially for a generation that doesn’t even watch it. Mr McCully would never have considered a TV apology good enough for the Prime Minister and it’s not good enough for Ms Billingsley.

“Our position is that the review of MFAT’s handling of this case should be expanded to include Ministers’ actions, and inactions, and that Minister McCully should stand down while this review is going on.

“New Zealand needs those in power to take leadership on the issue of sexual and domestic violence. What happened in Ms Billingsley’s case shows that they didn’t. If Ministers had shown leadership, it’s hard to see that the diplomat would have been allowed to leave New Zealand.

“Ms Billingsley has always said that she wanted him to stay to face trial in New Zealand. We still don’t even know if he’s coming back and that would be understandably distressing for her.

“The New Zealand Government has let Ms Billingsley down and the lack of leadership shown over her case should cause everyone to be concerned,” Mrs Turei said.

It’s not clear what Turei thinks the Government should have actually done. Taken over from the police or  MFAT?

If Greens overplay the politics of the handling of immunity they risk severely diminishing a far more important argument to more generally “take leadership on the issue of sexual and domestic violence.”

Holly Walker and parents in Parliament

Holly Walker has announced she is withdrawing from the Green Party list citing family reasons, although still plans on standing for the Hutt South electorate to campaign for the party vote.

This means she is withdrawing as an MP unless the unlikely happens and she beats Trevor Mallard and Chris Bishop against her wishes.

Green Party MP Holly Walker to step down from party list

Green Party MP Holly Walker has decided to withdraw from the party’s list in the upcoming election and will not seek a second term in Parliament. Ms Walker was number 12 on the Green Party list.

“Unfortunately, a recent unexpected change in my family life has made it very difficult for me to continue as a Green MP. Under these circumstances, I have chosen to put my family first and withdraw myself from the Green Party list,” said Ms Walker,

“It has been extremely rewarding to combine parenting and politics, and a challenge I have enjoyed. Unfortunately, a recent unexpected change in my family life has made it very difficult for me to continue.

“Even with great support from the Green Party and colleagues, changes in my family life meant I would not have been able to do justice to my role as an MP. Under these circumstances, I have chosen to put my family first.”

Walker makes it clear several times she is putting her family first. She had a baby last October.

Regardless of her specific family circumstances – I don’t know if there is any more to this than just the conflict in priorities – this isn’t surprising. When it became known yesterday that a Green MP was withdrawing she was the first one who came to mind.

When Walker became an MP she showed signs of struggling with the aggressive nature of Parliamentary politics. It will have been a major culture shock. Within the Green Party it is a very supportive team environment with a lot of mutual back patting and praise of their people and policies.

To then be exposed to combative politics where extreme criticism and personal attacks are not uncommon it would take some adjusting to. Some new MPs never do settle in and choose not to stay.

Add parenthood to that and any mother or father would question their priorities.

While praise has been heaped on Walker’s efforts as an MP it’s worth noting that she got into Parliament at 12 on the Green list – which was  a doubtful position, they only had nine MPs in the prior term – she was placed in the same position in this year’s list.

I got involved in some discussion yesterday on Twitter about the lack of support for working parents in Parliament. This was obviously seen as a factor in Walker’s decision.

The job of an MP is very demanding, as is that of a parent. I think most people considering a possible Parliamentary career will weigh up the likely impact on their family. And many will keep assessing whether Parliament is a place the want to be.

David Garrett , Act MP in the 2008-11 term, cites the exposure of his family to extreme media pressure as a reason for giving up his seat.

Labour activist Stephanie Rodgers raised the issue of lack of assistance for parents in Parliament.

@stephanierodgrs

What does @hollyrwalker’s resignation tell us about how accessible/accommodating working in Parliament is for parents of young children?

Shorter sitting hours. Greater flexibility for parents to not be in the House at all hours. A 24/7 creche

I suggested that there were no easy solutions. Rodgers accused:

I have the sense Pete has a fundamental opposition to change. Any change.

That’s wrong. If things can reasonably be made easier for MP parents I’d support that, but to what extent should MPs get special treatment? And would it make enough difference?

Many occupations are difficult to balance with parenting, especially where babies are involved. I doubt there are many workplaces that provide 24/7 creches. Airline pilots and stewards have no choice.

Shorter work hours can be  arranged in some occupations, but with many it’s difficult, for example doctors, nurses, police, fire, teachers.

Some can have job share arrangements but positions of elected representatives poses unique problems. There is no provision for being a part time MP.

And it’s not just facilities at Parliament that are a problem. MPs do a lot of their work outside Parliament. Travel around the country is often required.

There may be some things that can be changed to help Parliamentary parents but the options are limited.

When people put themselves forward to be elected they should know the demands of the job. If people plan to have a family while working they must know there may be compromises necessary. And sometimes, probably quite often, choices have to be made as to whether the work is compatible with parenting.

Walker has chosen to give priority to her family situation, as many parents do.

There may have been nothing that could have been provided to help her enough in Parliament to have changed this decision.

Greens would normally campaign for something if they thought it would make a difference. I don’t know if they have tried to make things easier for Walker’s dual responsibilities, or if they have simply accepted her decision.

Sometimes – often – parents simply put their family first when there are no easy alternatives.

From Facebook:

Donnelle Belanger-Taylor I’ve followed her posts about combining parenting a young child and the huge work demands. Good thoughts to her.

Tara Moala Gutted, but completely understand and appreciate putting Whanau first.

It was Walker’s choice to stand for Parliament, and her choice to stand down. Most will understand her likely reasons.

 

Are Labour’s tax plans bottom lines?

Labour has announced changes to tax in the their alternate budge, promoting it as Labour’s alternative Budget for a strong economy and fair society.

The tax increases are modest compared to Labour’s proposals in 2011 and won’t affect most people very much (until CGT kicks in).

The biggest unanswered question is whether these changes would be bottom lines for a Labour led government, or whether Labour would be prepared to negotiate changes with Greens or Mana in a coalition agreement.

Both Greens and Mana support a Capital Gains Tax but they also want to increase other taxes except for lower income earners where they both propose large tax free thresholds.

Are Labour’s tax proposals open to coalition negotiation?

Stuff reports that Labour softens its tax stance.

Labour leader David Cunliffe said the party would impose a new top tax rate of 36 per cent on income above $150,000 a year, a move that would cost someone on $200,000 a year about $30 a week.

It is a major softening of former leader Phil Goff’s 2011 plan to lift it to 39c.

However, a parallel rise in the tax on trusts to 36c would see it bring in about the same amount of extra revenue.

Parker said aligning the trust rate with the top tax rate would avoid trusts being used as tax-avoidance vehicles.

There’s doubt about whether it will bring in the amounts claimed as the company tax rate would remain at 28% which will encourage restructuring for those who can to avoid the higher personal and trust rates.

The change would favour those in business over wage earners, but because it’s just a tweak to the top rate for high income earners most people probably won’t be bothered by it.

The 15 per cent tax on capital gains, excluding the family home, would bring in $790 million a year by 2020.

That seems much as previously announced (2011) with a number of exemptions and still defers to an Expert Panel.

An Expert Panel will be established to deal with issues that are technical in nature and involve areas where a high degree of specialised knowledge is required before a final decision can be reached.

They also propose a ‘crackdown on avoidance’ (which in general is nothing new):

A crackdown on tax avoidance, particularly by multinationals such as Facebook and Google, would bring in $200m a year by 2018-19.

Inland Revenue would “embed” auditors in companies with a history of tax avoidance.

It’s highly questionable whether tax on multinationals can be increased significantly without international co-operation.

Green Party tax policy:

To promote greater equality, the Greens will enhance the progressivity of the tax system by introducing an income tax-free threshold and a comprehensive capital gains tax (excluding the family home).

To create incentives to move the economy in a more sustainable direction, the Greens will introduce a suite of ecological taxes on waste, pollution, and scarce resources.

The introduction of a comprehensive capital gains tax, new ecological taxes, and through better enforcement of current tax law, the tax base will be broadened and hence made more resilient.

Mana tax policies:

Remove GST from all food (and everything else), but introduce a tax on fast foods and soft drinks.

Significantly increase the tax take by introducing a tax on financial speculation, called the “Hone Heke tax” (chopping down GST and income tax), which will be designed using examples of similar taxes introduced overseas. Initially it will be used to replace the annual $15 billion collected by GST.

Reduce the tax paid by low income earners by not taxing the first $27,000 earned and introduce a more progressive tax scale where the wealthy accept the responsibility to pay the largest share of the tax income.

 

Green Party policy on abortion

Here are policy details from the Greens related to abortion from Women’s Policy – Valuing Women.

3. Sexual and Reproductive Health

A. Contraception

Good access to contraception gives women more freedom to plan their lives, and reduces the rates of abortion and unwanted pregnancy. Because different forms of contraception and sterilisation have different side-effects and other associated issues, individuals and couples should be able to choose the form of contraception that is best for them.

Women have the right to be informed and to have access to safe, effective, and affordable contraception, and the right to culturally appropriate health care services.

The Green Party will:

  1. Improve access to culturally appropriate information about different contraceptive methods

  2. Ensure costs and waiting lists are not a barrier to accessing appropriate contraception in New Zealand.

  3. Ensure accessibility of Family Planning Clinics throughout New Zealand.

B. Pregnancy Termination (Abortion)

Currently, abortion is a crime in New Zealand. It is only legal if two consultants agree that the pregnancy would seriously harm the woman’s mental or physical health or that the fetus would have a serious disability.

The Green Party recognises this situation as problematic, because:

  • The time taken to see two consultants means abortions happen later in the pregnancy. This is more dangerous, and it makes it difficult to access medical abortions (those which are conducted using medicine rather than surgery), which can only be performed at under 9 weeks gestation.

  • Rape (sexual violation) is not grounds for abortion under NZ law.

  • The fact that 99% of abortions are approved on ‘mental health’ grounds reveals the dishonesty of the current legal situation.

  • The current laws reinforce abortion stigma, and are discriminatory towards people with disabilities.

  • Abortion’s continuing criminal status helps reinforce geographical variations in access to abortion services.

We trust women to make decisions that are best for them and their whānau/family. We want to ensure equal access to all potential options is available to pregnant women.

Decriminalisation will also reduce the stigma and judgement that is often the result of the reason a woman chooses to have an abortion (e.g. rape being seen as more justified grounds for abortion than poverty), and will enable abortions to be performed earlier in pregnancy, which is safer.

The Green Party supports the right to choose.

  1. To prevent coercion either for or against abortion, the Green Party will:
    1. Ensure neutral counselling is available (but not mandatory).
    2. Discourage non-neutral counselling which provides women with biased, inaccurate health information.
    3. Ensure medical oversight agencies, such as the Medical Council, maintain, publiciseand enforce codes of ethics mandating that personal beliefs (including religious, political and moral) are protected, however the practitioner is required to refer the patient to a neutral practitioner in a timely manner.
  2. To support the freedom to have an abortion the Green Party will:
    1. Decriminalise abortion by removing it from the Crimes Act.
    2. Allow terminations after 20 weeks gestation only when the woman would otherwise face serious permanent injury to her health, or in the case of severe fetal abnormalities (as is current practice).
    3. Legislate to protect the right to have an abortion.
    4. Ensure that all options to terminate a pregnancy are equally available to every woman in NZ.
    5. Reconcile NZ law with Treaties to which we are signatory, including CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, and other Human Rights Treaties).
  3. To protect the freedom to choose to continue a pregnancy, the Green Party will:
    1. Ensure that options are presented in an understandable manner, with support from independent advocates or translators where necessary.
    2. Ensure those who are competent to make informed decisions on their sexual and reproductive rights have the freedom to do so.
    3. Provide increased support to vulnerable pregnant women so they feel they can continue with their pregnancy if this is their preferred option.
    4. Ensure women are not penalised financially for choosing to keep their child (see Income Support policy).
    5. Address concerns about pressure for and overuse of antenatal screening, which should be an individual choice, and ensure that parents are fully informed about available and potential supports for families and people living with disabilities. [See our Disability policy].

 

Greens propose honest abortion law

The Green Party have announced a policy to “decriminalise abortion“.  As they point out “the fact that 99 percent of abortions are approved on ‘mental health’ grounds and that rape is not grounds for an abortion reveals the dishonesty of the current legal situation.

Politicians have been happy to turn a blind eye to the legal farce we currently have.

The Green Party will decriminalise abortion and assert the right of women to make decisions regarding their own health and the wellbeing of their family or whanau.

Abortion is currently a crime under the Crimes Act. It is only legal if two consultants agree that the pregnancy would seriously harm the woman’s mental or physical health or that the fetus would have a serious disability.

“The Green Party trusts women to make decisions that are best for them and their whānau/family,” Green Party women’s spokesperson Jan Logie said.

“The Green Party believes the time has come for New Zealand to take an honest approach to abortion, to treat it as the health issue it is, and remove it from the crime statutes.

“The fact that 99 percent of abortions are approved on ‘mental health’ grounds and that rape is not grounds for an abortion reveals the dishonesty of the current legal situation.

“By keeping abortion a crime, New Zealand has created an unnecessary stigma around abortion that has led to delays, erratic access to terminations depending on where you are in the country, and unnecessarily late terminations.

“Decriminalisation will reduce the stigma and judgement that surrounds abortion, and enable abortions to be performed earlier in pregnancy, which is safer for women.

“The Green Party’s policy would allow terminations after 20 weeks gestation only when the woman would otherwise face serious permanent injury to her health or in the case of severe fetal abnormalities

“Our policy will ensure that women have access to neutral counselling, if they want it, and that women who choose to continue with their pregnancy are given more support and are not financially penalised for doing so.

“We would also ensure parents are fully informed about the support available for families and people living with disabilities and address discrimination against disabled people that exists in the current laws around abortion,” Ms Logie said.

This is a bold policy move. It may be difficult to get any of the other parties to confront this anomaly.

The anti-abortion lobby will ensure any attempt to change the abortion laws will be strongly contested, even if the laws do little other than formalise what is done in practice at the moment but removing the absurd ‘mental health’ provision.

Link to the Green Party’s Women’s policy here: https://www.greens.org.nz/policy/womens-policy-valuing-women

Harré and non-disclosure of political commentators

Laila Harré’s political associations were well publicised late last month, but earlier in the month she was posing as a political commentator without disclosing her interests.

On May 3 Harré  was a panellist on The Nation. She is described on the programme website as “former Alliance MP and unionist”.

She was introduced on air as “former Alliance MP now political adviser”.

Yesterday Stuff reported:

Meanwhile, Norman revealed that new Internet Party leader Laila Harre had wanted to be a Green Party MP before she quit her adviser role in Decembern. 

A spokesman confirmed she was also on the campaign committee until a fortnight ago.

Being on the Green Party campaign committee is a very significant factor in assessing what Harré said. I remember at the time thinking that some of her comments sounded very party specific rather than simply left leaning.

This was also about the time she was talking to the Internet Party about joining and leading the party. On 29 May (Radio NZ “Laila Harre new Internet Party leader“) Harré said she had been approached “about a month ago” by Vikram Kumar and had met Kim Dotcom “about three weeks ago”.

It would have been awkward for Harré to disclose early discussions with the Internet Party but there is no excuse for not revealing her close involvement with the Green Party.

“Blogger and pollster” David Farrar was on the same The Nation panel, while his National associations are it is widely known in political circles casual viewers won’t be aware of them so that should also be disclosed each time Farrar appears as a commentator.

Why did Harré suddenly pop up on a political panel? She had been out of public political arena for some time until then.

This raises important questions.

How do political panellists get chosen? Is it entirely a function of the programme to seek a range of opinions? Or do political pundits (or their parties) promote themselves to get some airtime?

Disclosure of political interests should be a standard practice. Many viewers won’t know any affiliations, especially current involvement in political activities. Then viewers, listeners and readers can judge the comments of the commentator accordingly.

Without proper disclosure it is easy to assume some degree of neutrality.

Whether it is the programme that fails to properly disclose or it is the commentator who is lying by omission it is very poor practice.

It would be simple to make proper disclosures and should be a standard practice in political programmes.

Green Party list confirmed

The Green Party have released their final party list as decided by members. This has changed slightly from the draft list.

Green Party 2014 Election Official List
1. TUREI, Metiria
2. NORMAN, Russel
3. HAGUE, Kevin
4. SAGE, Eugenie
5. HUGHES, Gareth
6. DELAHUNTY, Catherine
7. GRAHAM, Kennedy
8. GENTER, Julie Anne
9. MATHERS, Mojo
10. LOGIE, Jan
11. CLENDON, Dave
12. WALKER, Holly
13. SHAW, James
14. ROCHE, Denise
15. BROWNING, Steffan
16. DAVIDSON, Marama
17. COATES, Barry
18. HART, John
19. KENNEDY, Dave
20. ELLEY, Jeanette
21. McDONALD, Jack
22. MOORHOUSE, David
23. ROTMANN, Sea
24. BARLOW, Aaryn
25. LECKINGER, Richard
26. PERINPANAYAGAM, Umesh
27. RUTHVEN, Susanne
28. MOORE, Teresa
29. LANGSBURY, Dora
30. WOODLEY, Tane
31. PERLEY, Chris
32. GOLDSMITH, Rachael
33. KELCHER, John
34. ROGERS, Daniel
35. WESLEY, Richard
36. SMITHSON, Anne-Elise
37. McALL, Malcolm
38. FORD, Chris
39. HUNT, Reuben

Interesting to see Turei still at number 1, Greens tend to swap leaders’ responsibilities and opportunities but the members have placed her above Norman again.

Green Party unveils strong party list for 2014 election

“This is a diverse and balanced list. There are 10 women and 10 men in our top 20, six Aucklanders, four Maori and the first deaf candidate in the top 10 of any party’s list in MMP history.

“The Green Party list truly represents the diversity of the New Zealand population. We are proud of the candidates we are putting forward to be elected.

“This list was ranked by our members and is the most democratic list put forward by any of the major parties.

There’s several (three at least) likely to return to Parliament who were born overseas – this also reflects the diversity of the immigrant population.

A question asked at Kiwiblog: “Why do the Greens not have any constituency MPs/candidates? Is this a tactical thing or something?”

Turei clarified the Green position on this recently when Marama Davidson sounded like she was keen on campaigning for her electorate. I asked her if there are any circumstances Greens would contest an electorate or Greens will maintain a total party vote focus.

Metiria Turei ‏@metiria

We’d have to consider party polls, personal polls, overall benefit to parliamentary presence.

We expect to contest to win electorates in the future but for now its all Party Vote Green.

See http://yournz.org/2014/05/20/davidson-not-contesting-tamaki-makaurau/

Will Greens target Tāmaki Makaurau?

Tāmaki Makaurau is an urban Auckland Māori electorate that appears to be wide open. It is currently held by the retiring Pita Sharples, with the Māori Party selecting Rangi McLean as its new candidate.

Labour have made a mess of it’s selection. Shane Taurimu was ruled out by head officer after a messy extended selection period and it was confirmed yesterday that another high profile prospect for the electorate, Julian Wilcox, was a non-starter.

Electorate committee member Shane Te Pou slams Labour’s head office meddling in Labour thin on ground for Tāmaki Makaurau after Wilcox says no:

“Head office has got a lot to answer for here. This whole process has been politically mismanaged. We are now about 100 days away from an election and we don’t have a candidate in … one of the most, if not the most crucial seat in the country.”

He said Labour should have at least six nominations for the seat, but the selection process was not open enough and was too dependent on “shoulder-tapping”.

The extended deadline for nominees closed two weeks ago with just one nominee left, Will Flavell, but Labour are still dithering.

A fresh face for the Māori Party and mud on Labour’s face may open up Tāmaki Makaurau for poaching.

The Green Party has already announced Marama Davidson as their candidate. The Greens normally only contest electorates to seek party votes. One of the criticisms of David Hay before he was expelled from Labour was that he tried to contest an electorate seat, Epsom, last election.

But Tāmaki Makaurau offers a rare opportunity for the Greens to try for an electorate.

Davidson has experience contesting an electorate. She stood for the Greens in the Ikaroa-Rāwhiti last year in a by-election won by Labour, but they had the resources and focus to keenly contest the seat.

It’s interesting that Greens and Davidson have chosen a switch to Tāmaki Makaurau, Davidson is confident and openly ambitious political activist. When she stood in Ikaroa-Rāwhiti Greens stated “Her mother hails from Te Araroa and currently resides in Ruatoria” but her current Green profile indicates “Current residence: East Tāmaki, Auckland”.

Was Ikaroa-Rāwhiti a practice run for Davidson? In any case she seriously contested the by-election and the experience will have been valuable.

Greens understand MMP well and their general election campaigns are deliberately and determinedly focussed on the greater good of the party vote.

This creates a difficulty for candidates who have any personal ambitions. It’s difficult to “throw a game” to win a tournament, when contesting anything it’s natural to want to do well, to try and win no matter what the odds are.

In the ‘initial draft’ Green list (bizarrely not listed) Davidson has been positioned in the danger zone at 15.

The list we released today was made up from rankings given by delegates and candidates who attended the party’s February candidate conference. The initial list now goes to party members nation-wide to vote on using STV.

Media published the draft list, see Green’s draft list favours youth, and poll shows more will win seats.

Greens currently have fourteen MPs and stand a reasonable chance of increasing that, especially if Labour continue to struggle to impress, so it’s a winnable but nervous list position. Davidson could get bumped up a bit by members.

Greens don’t owe Labour any favours. They know well that MMP is a numbers game and if they get to form the next government with Labour the more MPs they have the stronger their bargaining power, both in coalition negotiations and throughout the term.

Pinching a Māori Party seat from under Labour’s nose would give Greens major bragging rights.

Will Greens suppress Davidson’s energy and force her to follow normal party vote practice? Or will they let her ambitions loose in Tāmaki Makaurau?

Responding to a self promotion on Twitter yesterday was this conversation:

@MaramaDavidson
ahem. Kia ora everyone. Media, Tamaki Makaurau voters, communities. Ahem. I’m over here! *waves and smiles*
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11257597

@caffeine_addict
@MaramaDavidson ahem. Very good tweet.

@MaramaDavidson
I’m nothing if not an opportunist :)

@PeteDGeorge
Problem is apart from by-elections Greens don’t contest electorates, just party votes, all leader focus.

@MaramaDavidson
Ain’t a problem. Watch me work it :) Watch me close Pete.

@PeteDGeorge
Good on you for trying, Tamaki Makaurau is an unusual opportunity, but Greens don’t usually contest so media often ignore.

@MaramaDavidson
Yep you’re right and they are. This is a hard game. I’ll work hard though.

Greens will be very disappointed by Labour’s performance and can’t rely on Labour to carry them over the line in September. It wouldn’t be surprising to see them chase every vote they can for themselves – plus a seat or two.

This would help a lot in achieving a second level status as a party – possibly alongside Labour on equal enough terms to promote their own agenda. And it would significantly reduce the chances of Labour sidelining them again when it comes to coalition negotiations.

In 2005 Labour did a deal with NZ First and UnitedFuture and left Greens sucking it on the sideline. A similar scenario has been suggested as a possibility this year.

Tāmaki Makaurau could be a rare opportunity for Greens to go for electorate gold. And this election could be the launching pad for the Greens to rise to a new political orbit, competitive with a languishing Labour rather than reliant on their (and Winston’s) whims.

Could a minority Labour lead a coalition?

Cunliffe’s Labour has shown that it wants to contest the election alone and not alongside the Greens. Part of the reason for that is to keep options open with both Greens and NZ First, and acknowledges the reality that NZ First could decide if the next government is National or Labour led.

Labour has also indicated over time that they see themselves as the major party of the left, even to the extent of implying they are deserving the majority of the votes from the centre-left and left.

But the way things are shaping up, especially if the Internet Party picks up some if the votes from the left, Labour may struggle to hold it’s current share.

Labour have been polling in the low thirties in the polls, as they did leading up to the last election. They ended up getting 27% in 2011.

The following spread of support is not out of the question:

  • Labour 25%
  • Greens 15%
  • NZ First 10%
  • Mana/Internet Party 4%

It would be enough to form a Government should NZ First go that way, or if NZ First stayed on the cross benches. But Labour would have a minority in that mix, 25% to 29%.

That would be an very interesting scenario.

Could we have a minority Labour Cabinet?

 

 

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