James Shaw ends with an eloquent challenge

James Shaw is rated as one of the best prospects in a new intake into Parliament this year. He happens to be a Green MP but it’s important to look at his capabilities and potential to contribute in a wider context.

The Greens themselves rate Shaw enough to have given him their party spot in the Adjournment Debate today.

JamesShawAdjournmentDebate

His speech is worth listening too right through. He is eloquent, humorous, pertinent and at times biting, in an honourable sort of way. The video and full speech is below, but first an excerpt that I think is one of the most important things to be looking for and pushing for in Parliament next year.

I said in my maiden speech only 7 weeks ago that we must transcend and transform our petty politics and our partisanship. I said that to get unstuck we will all need to let go of some things and to be more committed to finding the answers than to being right or to others being wrong.

The intervening weeks have not disillusioned me of that belief; they have reinforced it. To a new observer it may seem that we are stuck in a never-ending downward spiral of attack and defend that serves only to revolt the public at large and to turn them off participating in the political process or even bothering to vote.

One of the four principles of the Green Party charter is that of non-violence.

This is not simply an absence of physical violence; it is the method of social change given to us by Mahatma Gandhi , who preached ahimsa , the lack of desire to harm or to kill, and by Martin Luther King , who drew from the Christian tradition. It is through these principles and practices that we can transcend and transform the stuck situation we seem to find ourselves in.

Let us take the summer recess to consider ways we might work together to fix this, to bring integrity and functionality to our political process, and to restore New Zealanders’ faith in who we are and the work we do here.

I’ll back him and any other MP he wants to work positively on that as much as I can. Our Parliament badly needs a new way to represent and lead.

Full draft transcript fromn Draft transcript – Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Speech – JAMES SHAW (Green)

It is a great honour for me to speak on behalf of the Green Party in this adjournment debate—[Interruption] Calm down, fellas—calm down. I thank my colleagues for the privilege. I became a MP only 12 weeks ago, a period of time that seems both very fleeting and very long. I would like to talk about some of the things I have learnt about Parliament and politics during those weeks.

The first thing that I have learnt is that although many of the things that we have provenance over are deeply mundane, such as Parts 1 through to 4 of the accounting infrastructure legislation, some are indeed matters of great national and international import.

One such legislation is the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill , which was passed in this House yesterday after several minutes of careful consideration and thoughtful debate!

This bill is designed to stop New Zealanders from going to fight for the Islamic State, which is fighting the Iraqi Government, which we support. And we will shortly be sending the military over to help Iraq fight the Islamic State, which definitely will not have any New Zealanders fighting with them because we said so—yesterday.

We also support Saudi Arabia, which also supports the Islamic State, which is fighting the Government of Iraq, which we also support. The Middle East is a very supportive environment right now.

Our military will feel well-supported when they get over there. I will tell this House whom we do not support, and that is President al-Assad in Syria. We do support some of the freedom fighters who are fighting against President al-Assad, who are primarily led by the Islamic State, but we do not support the Islamic State.

We also do not support Iran, which also does not support the Islamic State, and which does support the Government of Iraq, which we do support.

This mess was largely created by a coalition of the willing, which we were unwilling to support. It invaded Iraq for two reasons: to look for weapons of mass destruction that did not exist and to drive out terrorists who were not there until the coalition went in to drive them out. Into this hornet’s nest, the Beehive proposes to send a contingent of the New Zealand Defence Force , perhaps under the Anzac banner, which may be appropriate because, as far as military adventures go, this one looks like a real winner.

It may be just as well that we are passing legislation that is designed to keep us safe from ourselves. I have also learnt that journalists do actually ask questions like: “Have you ever smoked cannabis?”. My answer to that was “No. Absolutely not. Never.”

Of course, I was answering generally rather than specifically, but it is true; I have never inhaled in my capacity as a list MP. My office may have taken drugs in the past—I do not know; I am not accountable for it—but, at the end of the day, what I can say is that I am extremely relaxed.

The people here have been very friendly. To the people at Parliamentary Service , who put on an excellent induction programme and who set up our offices, our IT , our finances, our travel, and our accommodation; the staff at the restaurants who feed us when we are in a hurry; the ushers who look after us in the House; and the cleaners who tidy up after us at the end of a long day—on behalf of all of us who entered Parliament for the first time this September, and on behalf of my Green colleagues, thank you.

The National Party MPs have been especially warm. Almost every time they mention me in the media they talk about me as a leadership contender for the Green Party.

It is very gracious of them to do that without any trace of malice or ulterior motive, especially since Metiria and Russel have led the Green Party and doubled the size since 2008 and I can barely make it into this House with a tie on.

I would particularly like to thank the Hon Chris Finlayson for his praise, and I return the favour by asking the National Party to consider that member as its next leader, after the current one steps down early next year.

The Hon Chris Finlayson has great integrity, a respect for parliamentary process, precision, a sharp mind, and a clear memory—characteristics that we are looking for in a Prime Minister. Minister Finlayson has other qualities too that many people do not see: a great tolerance for chit-chat, humility, empathy, and a connection with real New Zealanders.

He can speak to and for the Kiwi battlers of Huntly.

As the Attorney-General himself might say: “Fecisti patriam diversis de gentibus unam.”

The House is about to rise for the summer recess, which revolves around the tradition of Christmas. I imagine that after this speech, I for one will be begging for forgiveness, and it is on that theme I would like to conclude.

I said in my maiden speech only 7 weeks ago that we must transcend and transform our petty politics and our partisanship. I said that to get unstuck we will all need to let go of some things and to be more committed to finding the answers than to being right or to others being wrong.

The intervening weeks have not disillusioned me of that belief; they have reinforced it. To a new observer it may seem that we are stuck in a never-ending downward spiral of attack and defend that serves only to revolt the public at large and to turn them off participating in the political process or even bothering to vote.

One of the four principles of the Green Party charter is that of non-violence.

This is not simply an absence of physical violence; it is the method of social change given to us by Mahatma Gandhi , who preached ahimsa , the lack of desire to harm or to kill, and by Martin Luther King , who drew from the Christian tradition. It is through these principles and practices that we can transcend and transform the stuck situation we seem to find ourselves in.

Let us take the summer recess to consider ways we might work together to fix this, to bring integrity and functionality to our political process, and to restore New Zealanders’ faith in who we are and the work we do here.

As this most sordid of political years draws to a close and the House rises for the Christmas break, I offer this. In the Sermon on the Plain, Jesus is reported in the Gospel of Luke to have said

“But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also. Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.”

Merry Christmas and a happy New Year .

Green Browning “laughable weirdo”

(Updated)

Green MP Steffan Browning has been justifiably heavily criticised for his efforts in promoting homoeopathy to combat ebola. Despair at the stupidity was evident from Russel Norman and the Green health spokesperson Kevin Hague.

Green leaning blogger Danyl at Dim-Post (whose wife works in the Green coms team) didn’t hold back.

The idiot

Here’s why this Steffan Browning/Ebola/Homeopathy thing is a really big deal for the Green Party. (a) Historically they’ve been stereotyped by their opponents as a bunch of nutters (b) The main focus of the party for the past five years – at least – has been to counter that perception and convince voters that they’re a sober and credible political alternative. (c) Arguing that homeopathy should be used to cure Ebola is so fucking crazy it instantly undermines a lot of that work and reveals to the public that at least one of the MPs in the party is a total nutcase.

Just after the election someone asked me what they could do to help the Greens, and I told them to join the party and vote for candidates that weren’t deluded lunatics. Disasters like this illustrate why it’s important for sane, sensible people to contribute to the political process at a grassroots level and make sure the MPs in their party aren’t laughable weirdos.

Browning was 14 on the Green list this election, down from 10 in 2011.

They must have known what he could be like. Why was he placed in an electable position?

Some tried to deal with it, like ‘anonymous':

Steffan Browning is the reason I joined the greens, in order to vote him down the list. He is usually ranked lowly by the delegates (16th this time) and then when the general membership votes moves up a couple places (to 14 this time). He is the worst example of the “anti-science” greens, and only his local support keeps him high in the list.

If his anti-science it’s odd to see him surviving their list process. Danyl sort of explains:

It’s one of the problems with the Greens’ democratic list process: some of the regions bloc-vote their MPs at number one on the list, which means they get a much higher list placing than their support in the party merits. I don’t know how you fix that.

All party selection systems have their strengths and flaws. Graeme Edgeler points out a flaw in the criticism:

On the contrary, bloc vote support for MPs as number one on the list means that they get exactly the right list placing based on their support in the party. If a largish group of party members thinks you are that awesome as to rank you number one, then democratically, you should have a high list placing.

Browning got sufficient support within a much praised (by Greens) democratic selection system to get a winnable list position.

There must be other Greens with the same sense of “laughable weirdo” humour.

Nookin on Norman

‘Nookin’, a regular at Kiwiblog, has commented on Green co-leader Russel Norman.

Dr Norman seems to be getting a completely free ride with the news media and yet his latest behaviour should really be a major red flag for anybody who considers that he should play any part in a government.

He has become totally obsessed with the dirty politics, so much so that his entire engagement with the government since its election has been focused solely on that subject and has taken the form of ad hominem attacks without any evidence.

His comments about the police searching the Prime Minister’s home were prattish in the extreme. This is the sort of comment that you would expect to get in a preschool playground, not in Parliament. His comments lack any element of rational justification and the sole purpose of the comments can only be to have a very personal dig at the Prime Minister.

Norman’s driving force appears to be his dislike of Key and, particularly, his antipathy towards the USA. Have a look at his comments on the article about new security measures. Despite the fact that he has no access to security information, despite what has been happening in Britain, Australia and Canada let alone Afghanistan and Syria, he is more than happy to announce to the world that there is no need at all for any additional security measures and that the only basis for the government taking such measures is to play poodle to the USA.

It does not seem to matter to him that the director of SIS endorses the need and emphasises the security risk.

Of course, the easy answer is that she worked in the Prime Minister’s office and is a prime ministerial appointee – therefore a prime ministerial lapdog. In presenting such an argument, however, he would have to put aside the fact that it was Rebecca Kitteridge who prepared the report which exposed GCSB (much to Norman’s salivating delight).
http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/10687081/The-new-terror-threat

Norman hammers the human rights and fundamentals of democracy at every opportunity. However, read the following article by Fran O’Sullivan. There is one person standing between New Zealanders and their opportunity to see world leaders addressing our Parliament (our representatives).

That one person is Russel Norman. He does so on the basis that allowing the likes of the President of the United States, the Chancellor of Germany and the Premier or Deputy Premier or whoever he is of China address Parliament will subvert our democracy. Pardon?

The dictate of one man who represents 10 percent of the population is democratic? I mean, when did he ask us our opinion? He has a right to say and determine once and for all whether world leaders can address our representatives in our house of parliament? And he justifies that by saying that he is protecting our democracy?
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11351410

Norman has emerged relatively unscathed from the election campaign and its aftermath. That, however, is more attributable to the fact that he has not been put under any degree of scrutiny. He has been described as a “smooth operator”.

That, I suggest, is exactly what he is – an operator. He has an agenda. It is time the MSM really subjected his behaviour, his views, the alliances and allegiances that we will lose or have foist upon us if he succeeds and his apparently complete refusal to compromise under much closer scrutiny.

One almost gets the impression that the dirty politics campaign may have been part of the Greens’s agenda. He simply refuses to let it go.

It does appear a bit like all that.

Harawira and the Greens

Hone Harawira has been talking publicly two weeks after his election loss. He talks about his key policies, child poverty, homelessness, unemployment and the Treay of Waitangi as if he was had been the sole crusader on these social issues.

From a Mana media release on Friday: Mana’s Challenge To The 51st Parliament

MANA defined its position when we announced that our constituency would be those we call TE PANI ME TE RAWAKORE, the poor and the dispossessed, and our last three years have been a challenging and vigorous time where we have staked out our place in the political world – a commitment to ending poverty for all and particularly those most vulnerable in our society, our kids; a commitment to putting an end to the grinding homelessness affecting tens of thousands of New Zealand families; a commitment to putting the employment of people ahead of the sacrifice of jobs in the endless pursuit of wealth for the few; and a commitment to a future where the Treaty of Waitangi is honoured as the basis for justice and good governance in Aotearoa.

Mind you – being so highly principled brings with it enormous risk, not least the fact that KIDS CAN’T VOTE AND POOR PEOPLE DON’T, but I am proud of what we have achieved in our short time in parliament.

When we first raised our FEED THE KIDS policy three years ago, everybody laughed, so we took our kaupapa on the road, we built a support coalition of more than 30 national organisations, we pushed the policy into the top 5 issues of the year, and with the support of a standout series on Campbell Live, we got a poll last year that showed more than 70% supported a government-funded food in schools programme.

When we called for 10,000 NEW STATE HOUSES EVERY YEAR until the housing crisis was over, other politicians squirmed, but after challenging them at a Housing Action protest outside parliament, Labour took up the same call for 10,000 new houses a year, albeit theirs was more a pitch to woo middle-class voters than a bid to help the poor.

We took up the call for FULL EMPLOYMENT because to accept anything less was to accept failure, and by pushing for the minimum wage to be the LIVING WAGE OF $18.80 AN HOUR, we forced other so-called left-wing parties to follow suit.

Other left wing parties might dispute that they have been “forced…to follow suit”, in particular the Greens.

This theme was also prominent in an interview on Q & A yesterday. It began:

Do you regret doing this deal with Kim Dotcom?

Harawira: No I don’t think I do, I mean…

You don’t think you do…?

Harawira: No no no no. I mean we have two hundred and sixty thousand kids living in poverty in this country, we’ve got more than thirty thousand families that are homeless, more than twenty five percent of Maori youth are on the dole.

There needed to be something to help Mana broaden our kaupapa, and to try to get more MPs into the house.

The Greens in particular have also strongly campaigned on very similar issues.

Harawira: There needed to be something to help Mana broaden our kaupapa, and to try to get more MPs into the house.

But you’re not there now to…

Harawira: Sure. But was it a risk worth taking? Absolutely it was, because even now that I’m out of Parliament I’ve received hundreds, probably more than a thousand emails, text, phone calls really regretting the fact that I’m not in there including from National Party supporters.

I think genuinely there needs to be a voice for te pani me te rawakore, the poor and the dispossessed in the house, and I think that was Mana’s role and it will be Mana’s role in the future.

Harawira’s voice won’t be in Parliament this term. Mana’s voice won’t be in Parliament this term. A major reason for this is Mana’s alliance with Kim Dotcom and the Internet Party.

There were hundreds, probably more than a thousand people warning against this. It looked like a huge clash of principles.

Sue Bradford resigned from the Mana Party because of the alliance. She had previously been a Green MP.

Laila Harre left a prominent job in the Green Party to lead the Internet Party along side Harawira’s Mana.

Russel Norman spoke strongly against the Internet Party and the Internet-Mana alliance.

Harawira and Harre chose Kim Dotcom over the Greens to try and help the poor and the dispossessed.

The Green Party has fourteen MPs in Parliament. Harawira and Mana are out.

Why did Mana choose to be backed by Dotcom? How many kids could have been fed by the four million dollars Dotcom wasted on a failed campaign?

Why didn’t Mana join forces with the Greens, who have very similar aims and policies?

If Harawira wants to continue his crusade for the poor and the dispossessed he could work with the Greens. Mana could ally themselves with the Greens.

What’s most important – speaking for the poor and the dispossessed from the sidelines, or being a part of a much wider campaign for the less fortunate in our society?

Perhaps Harawira wants to be ‘The Man”. He pulled out of the Maori party team to set up the Mana Party.

if Harawira joined the Greens, if the Mana Party allied with the Greens, many voices would be stronger than one man and his movement outside Parliament.

That would have more chance of real success than hitching hopes to Dotcom and Harre.

Green policies include:

A billion dollar plan to reduce child poverty

Workers will get a better, fairer deal under the Green Party

A healthy home for every child

Environment not a Green Party priority?

There must be no doubt that the environment is important to the Green Party, but according to NZ Herald the environment is not included in Green policy priorities the environment.  This is from an Election 2014: Green Party – Norman + Turei  pre-election interview.

Greens: We won’t be shut out again

Green co-leaders Russel Norman and Metiria Turei want to be in a full coalition with Labour and have senior Cabinet positions that reflect their party’s priorities, social justice and the economy.

And they say that the possibility of sharing the role of deputy prime minister has to be on the negotiation table.

Mrs Turei has made child poverty her priority while Dr Norman has focused on the economy and green innovation.

While “green innovation” is related to the environment making the economy interests plus social issues their priorities looks like a significant shift in emphasis for the Greens.

However the environment is not left out in a comment from Norman in the interview:

We’re people that got into politics to do some good, and so we’re very clear we want progress on economic, social and environmental policy areas.

With ‘only’ two leaders one of the three has to miss out on their major areas of interest.

The final question: If someone hasn’t voted before, first time voter, what is the single, the single biggest reason they should vote Green?

Metiria Turei: Because we will put children and their families at the heart of every decision that we make in government.

Turei was unequivocal about that but Norman was visibly and verbally conflicted.

Russel Norman: Yeah yeah, I don’t know, the single thing, like you know when you get these questions, the single thing, it’s like it’s comp…like it’s complex.

You know obviously I’d say you know clean rivers and a smart green economy but, you know, that’s not one thing though, yeah, climate change is part of a smart green economy, um, yeah, so it’s hard to answer those questions that name one thing because it’s so much bigger than that.

It’s been said that the three most important things about an election are the economy, the economy and the economy. There’s some truth to that.

How our economy is run, especially in relation to business development and use of natural resources, has a significant influence on the environment. There are potential economic costs of mitigating adverse environment effects.

And if you want to give more money to the poorest people you have to have an economy that can afford that. If the country goes broke everyone will suffer.

As Norman says, it’s complex.

Norman associated himself with Rod Donald as a pragmatic idealist. That is also complex, and perhaps the Green Party’s biggest challenge if they negotiate a significant role in the next government.

Norman seems to get it, Turei seems tending far more towards idealism. Similar tensions are likely through the party ranks.

If any party deserves a shot at being a part of government it has to be the Greens. They’ve had a long build-up and look the best organised and prepared of all parties.

Government is a step up. Greens are relying on other parties to get them there. If they make it their top targets will be economic and social portfolios.

One could expect that the  environment would be their next cab off the rank – but next on the Green list is Kevin Hague who is more likely to get an associate health type role.

Number four is Eugenie Sage who is their spokesperson on environment, conservation, water and resource management., the nitty gritty of environmental portfolios. On current polling Greens deserve more than four Cabinet positions so should get something for Sage, but Greens may have to settle for pragmatic idealism in their negotiations.

Norman is right. It’s complex.

Greens condone dirty political hacking

The Green Party has condemned dirty politics including the accessing of a Labour computer (of unsecured data) but appear to condone the hacking of Cameron Slater’s computer for political purposes – this is at least as dirty as anything Greens have complained about.

This makes them look extremely one sided and hypocritical.

Green Farm: Data privacy is paramount unless it helps us score political hits.

The Greens reacted strongly to Nicky Hager’s book ‘Dirty Politics’ including making a police complaint over the alleged hacking of a Labour Party computer. But the Greens have not said anything about the hacking of Cameron Slater’s computer and the dumping of mostly vague insinuations into an election campaign.

While condemning some things they appear to be condoning or turning a blind eye to what looks obviously like illegal hacking of Slater’s computer.

Greens say they have lodged complaints with the police on number of issues – Green Party to lodge official complaints.

The Green Party will today lodge complaints with:

  • Parliamentary Service over John Key’s senior advisor Jason Ede’s alleged involvement in inappropriately supplying confidential information to blogger Cameron Slater
  • Police over the possibility that officials working for Mr Key corruptly used or disclosed any information, acquired by him or her in his or her official capacity, to obtain, advantage
  • Police over allegations of blackmail involving former ACT leader Rodney Hide
  • Police over allegations of unauthorised access to a computer system under Sections 249 and 252  of the Crimes Act
  • the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security over allegations that sensitive documents were declassified in order to be used as political smears.
  • the Privacy Commissioner over allegations that Minister Judith Collins leaked private information

Some of those are fair queries, although lodging complaints with the police seems to be a heavy hammer – especially as some of their complaints look like being premature as some have been are being or have been dealt with by those involved.

The “unauthorised access to a computer system” presumably relates to accessing a Labour server – Labour have deferred dealing with this until after the election, see Labour to wait until after election to pursue legal action over ‘Dirty Politics’ allegations.

Rodney Hide has strongly denied the claims about him – see Rodney Hide: Hager’s ‘explosive’ claim a fizzer.

It has been counter-claimed that the “leaked private information” was publicly available information.

But by failing to condemn the hacking of Slater’s computer Greens have taken a very one-sided stance.

Metiria Turei stated:

“John Key has degraded our democracy,” Green Party Co-leader Metiria Tūrei said.

“New Zealand prides itself on a clean and transparent political system and National has eroded that.

“The National Government is up to its neck in dirty politics and may have broken the law while smearing opponents.

“The New Zealand public cannot have any confidence in our democracy until these claims are investigated and offenders held to account.

I agree that Cameron Slater degrades our democracy – but that doesn’t excuse the illegal hacking of his private data as the Greens appear to be doing.

Greens have previously taken strong stands to protect the privacy of data. See

Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill

The Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill is designed to protect human rights in the digital environment.
The rights and freedoms in the Bill apply to both the state and private sectors as each have a responsibility to act ethically and in good faith towards Internet users.

The Bill proposes 10 rights and freedoms for the Internet:

  1. The right to access
  2. Freedom from search, surveillance and interception
  3. Freedom of expression
  4. Freedom of association
  5. Right to privacy
  6. Right to encryption technology
  7. Right to anonymity
  8. Right to a safe and secure Internet
  9. Freedom of innovation
  10. Freedom from restriction
Freedom from search, right to privacy and right to anonymity all appear to have been breached by whoever hacked Slate’s information and by Nicky Hager.
That the Greens seem to show no concern about this is disturbing. They are supposed be the clean Greens but they appear to be condoning dirty politics when it suits their own agenda.

Surprising poll result for Greens in Epsom

Colmar Brunton have polled Epsom voters on their electorate vote but perhaps the most surprising result was on party vote:

  • National 60%,
  • Greens 16%
  • Labour 14%
  • NZ First 3.3%
  • ACT 2.7%
  • Conservatives 2.1%
  • Internet-Mana 1.5%
  • Maori Party 0.6%

Greens are understandably very pleased.

Source: http://www.colmarbrunton.co.nz/index.php/polls-and-surveys/political-polls/q-a-colmar-brunton-poll

Small party priorities post election

Small party (and Green) leaders were asked in a The Nation debate what their priority policy would be in post election negotiations.

Summary:

  • United Future: Flexi-Super
  • Maori Party: Whanau Ora
  • Mana Party: the elimination of child poverty within the first five years
  • Act Party: economic growth
  • Conservative Party: binding referenda
  • NZ First: non-committal
  • Green Party: expect to have a very comprehensive coalition agreement that meets a whole range of objectives

    Details:

United Future

Right, I wanna talk about relationships in MMP, and I’m coming to Mr Dunne. I want to know that if you get into a confidence-in-supply agreement with the next government, what would be the one thing you would be pushing for in return?

Dunne: I think probably top of our list would be to make progress on our flexi-super proposal, which would see people being able to take a reduced rate of super from the earlier age of 60 or an enhanced rate if they deferred to 70, and with the standard age remaining 65. I think that would be the one thing we’d wanna push most strongly.

That’s a repeat of last election.Dunne negotiated a discussion paper on Flexi-Super with National after the 2011 election and that which was released last year but National are luke-warm on doing anything on it

UnitedFuture’s plan which would allow people to take a reduced rate of New Zealand superannuation from the age of 60, or an enhanced rate if they deferred uptake until 70. The rationale was to give people more choice over retirement income and to recognise that for some people 60 was the age to leave the paid workforce, but that they were currently unable to do so for financial reasons.

Māori Party

Te Ururoa, you say that you could go with either Labour or National, so what would be your top priority as a policy to get?

Flavell: …the major platform that the Maori party has always been on about is final order. We say that if we’re able to consolidate, not only just social—the MSD-

So you would be pushing that if you were with the next government, you’d be pushing to keep–?

Flavell: It’s an absolute must from our perspective that final order will be at the centre of our platform, our policy. It is right now, and it will be.

‘Final order’ is a mistake in the transcript, it should read ‘Whānau Ora’ which is the Māori Party’s flagship policy.

Whānau-ora: restoring the essence of who we are; putting the vibrant traditions from our people at the heart of our whānau

Whānau Ora begins with you. Whānau is the heart of our people, it is the foundation on which our country thrives. It is about reaffirming a sense of self-belief.

Mana Party

All right. Mr Harawira, Mr Cunliffe says that you’re not gonna be part of his government. But you say he’ll pick up the phone if he needs you. So if he rings and says, ‘Hone, I’m offering you confidence in supply, that’s it, no ministers’, what do you want from him?

Do you think he has the vision to lead this country?

Harawira: What I know is this – if the polls keep trending the way that John Armstrong of the NZ Herald says and hit 5% even before the campaign starts for Internet Mana, I’m guaranteed to get a call on the night of September the 20th. And if he asks us, is there one policy, if there’s one thing that we would want to see changed, it would be this – the elimination of child poverty within the first five years.

The ‘elimination of child poverty’ seems idealistic, especially when it is usually a statistical figure based on families below the median income and on that basis there will always be some ‘in poverty’ – below the arbitrary line.

I can’t find a reference to the five year target on the Mana website but they have a range of policy points addressing “economic justice’, for example:

Work towards implementing a Universal Basic Income where everyone in Aotearoa aged 18 and over would receive a minimum, liveable, tax free income after which progressive tax would kick in. This would eliminate the huge costs involved in administering the current shame and blame WINZ system, and do much to end poverty and address growing inequality.

Act Party

Jamie Whyte, if you had a confidence and supply agreement, what would you be after as your top priority policy?

Whyte: Well, almost all problems, practical problems, are remedied by becoming wealthier. And so economic growth is by far our priority. And so the policies that we’ve been promoting on – cutting taxes and reducing the regulatory burden, which would promote economic growth, those would be our priorities in a negotiation with the National party.

That’s straightforward.

Short to medium term goals should include reducing the level of government expenditure below 28 per cent of GDP and lowering the top tax rate to 24 cents.  ACT’s Regulatory Responsibility Bill should be passed.

Conservative Party

Mr Craig, your policies are almost the same as NZ First. You’re the doppelganger in this room, so why would people vote for you when we’ve got the real thing right here.

What would be your top policy that you’d be after?

Craig: We’ve said publicly that we think governments should not be able to ignore overwhelming vote in referenda. The anti-smacking law, tough on law and order, reducing the MPs, all right quite rightly should have been implemented by government, because there is a point at which people need to know they control this nation. It’s their country.

Craig has already stated a bottom line on binding referenda.

ON OUR WATCH REFERENDUMS WILL BE BINDING

At the heart of the democratic system is the principle of the citizens initiated referendum. It’s when a single issue is thought to be so important, all voters are asked to make their opinion heard.

No specifics are given on exactly what this would entail, Conservative ‘Issues’ or policies are brief and vague.

New Zealand First

Mr Peters, your bottom lines or things that you really don’t wanna budge on are no foreign land sales, no race-based parties, buy-back assets and keep the super age at 65. You’re gonna be on the cross-benches, aren’t you, with that list?

Peters talked about a range of policies but was typically evasive and vague.

Peters: Your assumption is that at six weeks out from the election, we’re gonna make decisions now and tell the public, ‘Forget about you, doesn’t matter what happens in six weeks’. Behind close room deals. Now, I’m gonna leave it to the public to decide who’s gonna be standing there at the election, and it won’t include some parties standing here right now.

Many alluded to but no bottom lines revealed before the election.

Green Party

All right, let’s go to Metiria Turei there. (asked about working with NZ First)

Turei: The Green party in government will be a very large part of that government, and we will have significant influence. We will expect to have a very comprehensive coalition agreement that meets a whole range of objectives – a cleaner environment, a fairer society and a smarter economy. And we will have—we won’t settle like other parties might for a single achievement. We want to see our whole plan, our whole agenda being rolled out.

Turei wasn’t asked specifically about a priority but her answer was more befitting of a medium sized party with potentially a significant influence in a coalition.

Greens are excluded from major party debates despite the chances of them getting half the votes of Labour, and they could be a quarter to a third of a left wing coalition so could reasonably expect to include a number of their key policies in negotiations.

Source: TV3 The Nation – Debate: Multi-party election campaign debate

Green blog spins off Dotcom abuse

The Green author at The Standard appears to be trying to leverage off the Dotcom abuse approach to politics  with her latest post  Fuck inequality! Fuck poverty! Fuck the Nat govt!

Some of Karol’s posts are virtual campaign advertising for the Green Party. This post uses an expletive headline to promote a generic “Vote Left” message:

For the good of us all, and especially, for the good of those doing it really tough these days, VOTE LEFT this election! We are all in this together.

But it is ‘poverty” focused and also Green inclusive:

A couple of days ago, Metiria Turei had dropped by the Mangere Impact, to see for herself what was happening. She posted on Facebook:

Just been politely but firmly thrown out of the Mangere WINZ office. Ive been at the advocacy Impact at Mangere WINZ, talking with the advocates about the extent to which beneficiaries are still not getting their full entitlements. Then on the advice from the Ministers office, management asked that I leave. Protocols and all that. But for just this one hour I was transported back 25 years when I was doing this work. Nothing has changed for the better for people in need of some help. And needing help should not be an excuse for being treated like a second class citizen.

We will roll back these cruel welfare reforms. We will restore the principles of decency and justice in social security. National is hurting families. We have to make them stop.

I’m not sure what the “protocols” are that govern such days of advocacy.  However, Turei seems to have accepted the request to leave.  But she did have enough time to see for herself the struggles and the compassion.

Turei and Buckingham, like many others, are calling for  change of government, and new policies to “restore the principles of decency and justice”.

Karol’s prior post had similarities, with a leading push for the Greens in Counting the cost – long time dying:

In this year’s elections:

The Greens have a raft of policies to bring about and maintain a fair society.

Labour have policies that focus on full employment and living wages, also aiming for a “fair and decent society”.

The Mana Party has a collection of policy statements, aiming to realise their founding principles:

to bring rangatiratanga to the poor, the powerless and the dispossessed.  It is they who carry the brunt of government by the rich and powerful for the rich and powerful.  We will lead the fight against welfare that punishes children, against greed that is rewarded by corporate payouts, against the damage to Papatūānku by pollution and oil drilling and against governments who fill the pockets of foreign companies at our expense. 

The Internet Party is developing policies to:

 to get an open, free, fair, connected and innovative society. 

Vote Left this election to change the government, a start building towards a fair society!

vote left 2014

Her post before that one was a straight Green Party promotion – Tertiary education – a “public good”:

The Green Party is launching their “Election Priority for Students” at Auckland University today from 2-3 pm in the Auckland University Quad.  Russel Norman and Metiria Turei will be presenting it together, indicating it will  most likely have a financial ficus, and considerations of individual, social and community well being.

Green Party election priority student 2014

The Greens have had strong tertiary education and support for students policies for a long time.  They describe education as a “public good and an economic investment”.  

I think it’s fair to ask how closely associated Karol is to the Green party and their campaign.  If Karol was open and honest she would have clear disclosure of her intent and any political associations.

Should there be Green Party authorisations on her posts?

Regardless of this a Green blogger promoting voting with a similar abusive  approach used by Dotcom and the Internet Party will surely raise some eyebrows. Greens used to have a reputation.

Greens promoting love, practicing hate?

While the Green Party is promoting love activists connected to the party seem to be continuing a campaign of hate.

The ‘nice Green’ image from the days of Rod Donald and Jeanette Fitzsimons are long gone as Green activists seem to be continuing a hate campaign against John Key in a spate of hoarding attacks.

The current Green slogan of ‘Love New Zealand’ doesn’t seem to apply to political opponents. I’ve seen and been on the receiving end of Green nastiness in social media. This arrogant attack streak in Green ranks seems to be prevalent this election campaign.

There appears to be a continued defacement campaign around the country and in Dunedin. Last Wednesday the Otago Daily Times highlighted hoarding hate with a National hoarding smeared with “casual Fascists – MP slams sign taggers:

A picture of the defaced billboard was uploaded on Facebook, with the first comment ”Vote Green not the fascist regime!”

Another post recommends another National Party billboard be defaced as it was ”gagging for a tagging”.

Mr Woodhouse said he was aware ”that there are some posts of this nature online”.

”While some online correspondents are apparently connected with the Green Party, I don’t think one can conclude there is official Green Party involvement.”

That was confirmed by Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei, who is also standing in the Dunedin North seat held by Labour MP David Clark.

”We don’t want people defacing ours, and we don’t approve others defacing other parties’.

“They are expensive and they are part of the democratic process to allow parties to put forward their policies,” she said.

She confirmed she knew one of the Facebook posters, but reiterated the party ”does not endorse the defacement of billboards”.

More National hoardings continue defaced in Maia in Dunedin and a Labour hoarding was also attacked, but the Green Party hoarding was untouched.

HoardingGraffiti1Side 1: “Please release me let me go” with an obscene image

HoardingGraffiti2Side 2: “I don’t love you any more”

It’s hard to pick up in this picture but a Labour hoarding showing David Cunliffe (just to the left of the lamp post) is also badly defaced.

There’s no evidence this was done by anyone connected to the Green Party but it doesn’t look good for the Greens trying to advertise ‘love’ while opposing party hoardings are attacked again with obscenities and cross references to the Green campaign.

Whale Oil shows that this isn’t isolated to Dunedin, similar attacks are happening in other parts of the country with examples in Christchurch and Wellington in The Nasty Party supporters are out in force.

Turns out it was an orchestrated attack. A number of hoardings in the area have been branded with similar diatribes.

One of them is so high it would of needed a ladder to deface, suggesting it was more than your average opportunist.

And it looks like the defacement campaign is continuing in Dunedin this election. It’s not a good look for the Greens to be associated with vandalism and obscenities. No party can be in control of radical activists but it’s unlikely to help Greens and is more likely to backlash against them.

Last election a nationwide hoarding attack campaign was orchestrated by a Green Party member whose partner worked in Russel Norman’s office and was very embarrassing for the Green Party – Election 2011: Vandalism links blow for Greens.

The man who co-ordinated the vandalism of 700 National billboards has resigned his Green Party membership and his partner has been stood down from her role as co-leader Russel Norman’s secretary.

Greens spokesman Andrew Campbell said fellow co-leader Metiria Turei lodged an official complaint about Jolyon White’s role in the orchestrated action on Sunday night.

When White was told today he faced an internal Greens process he offered his resignation.

Anne Hein, Norman’s executive assistant, was now the subject of an investigation by Parliamentary Services, Campbell said.

Norman announced this morning that White co-ordinated the campaign.

“I believe the defacing of the billboards is vandalism and condemn these actions,” Norman told reporters at Parliament.

“I am incredibly disappointed about what they have done.”

The Green campaign looks to be very well organised in general. It would be surprising if they haven’t issued instructions to party members about hoarding vandalism but obviously they can’t control the actions of all party activists.

After his vandalism campaign last election White seems to considered the possible repercussions of his actions.

Meanwhile, the Christchurch-based campaigner told The Press he hoped the billboard campaign would not hurt the Greens.

White, who did not personally take part in Sunday’s raids, said the stunt had cost $500, which he paid himself.

White said he had no association with Norman – rather, he was in a relationship with someone that worked for him.

”It would be a shame if it had blowback on any political party  I would really love this to stay about the issues rather than about personality politics,” he said.

That last statement is very ironic, and a bit late for vandal’s remorse.

No matter how closely related the current vandalism is to the Green campaign – it is most likely to be rogue activists rather than anything officially Green – it is more likely to damage Green campaign efforts rather than help them.

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