Greens appear to have lied over their waka jumping bill support

A leaked document shows that the Greens in parliament have been gar from open and honest about their support of Winston’s waka jumping bill.

Why? Are they Winton’s wimps? Or are they trying to hide a secret deal? I’m not sure which would be worse for their reputation.

The Greens copped a lot of flak last week when they announced they would vote for the ‘waka jumping’ bill despite opposing it. They have opposed this sort of party leader power over MPs since they have been a party just about. Rod Donald was strongly opposed to a similar bill, Jeanette Fitzsimon is against the current one.

And it looks even worse for the current Parliamentary Green position – it looks like they have been dishonest about their responsibilities under their confidence and supply agreement.

Bryce Edwards:  A bad bill for democracy

A leaked Green Party caucus document from January, titled “Advice to caucus – Electoral (Integrity) Amendment Bill”:

In particular, the so-called “waka-jumping bill” has turned out to exemplify the worst ways of progressing policy. And the Greens have been at the forefront of this awfulness. They’ve been tricky throughout the whole debate over the waka-jumping bill, giving inconsistent and opaque explanations for their role in progressing the legislation.

The Greens have never been willing to front up over how they were going to deal with this contentious bill. First, when the coalition was formed, we were told by co-leader James Shaw that his party wouldn’t vote for any policies that they disagreed with. The Greens later changed this to say that they would support the waka-jumping bill through the first stages of the legislation, but wouldn’t guarantee that they would vote for it in the end.

Then last week the party finally revealed that they would indeed vote for the legislation, even though they still opposed it. They justified this capitulation with the notion that their hands were tied by the coalition agreement that they signed up to with the Labour Party – especially the part in which they promised to deal in “good faith” with Labour to fulfil coalition agreements with New Zealand First.

It turns out that the Greens have always known that there is nothing in the coalition agreement they signed with Labour that obliges them to vote for the waka-jumping bill. A leaked Green Party caucus document from January, titled “Advice to caucus – Electoral (Integrity) Amendment Bill”, reports on official advice informing the Greens that there is nothing in their coalition agreement that binds them to provide support.

The fact that the Greens have tried to tell the public the opposite therefore raises some big questions about why they’ve mislead the public on this, and what the real reasons are for their U-turn on the bill.

This is more damaging to Green Party integrity than their ‘oppose but will vote for’ announcement.

It looks like the lied, or at least deliberately misled, about their responsibility in Government.

So why have the Greens been so slippery and dishonest about this?

One must wonder what bigger embarrassment they are trying to hide.

Are they Winston’s wimps?

Or is there some so of secret deal they are trying to keep secret?

Either way, this looks very murky for the Greens.

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41 Comments

  1. I can’t see that protecting people’s votes is bad for democracy.

    If I voted for one party and the List MP then waka-jumped and gave my vote to another party, that would be a blow TO democracy, not AGAINST it.

    The Greens need to make their minds up and read the story of the old man and the donkey.

    Reply
    • PDB

       /  August 1, 2018

      See my thoughts below on electorate MPs – list MPs are far more straight forward in terms of who they represent (the party they belong to).

      Reply
  2. PDB

     /  August 1, 2018

    No doubt Winston First giving in on oil and gas was the payoff.

    I note this morning Hosking was all for the bill saying that even electorate MP’s get voted in due solely to the party they represent and not for their individual popularity. I’m not so sure;

    1. Think the 2014 election and how many Labour MP’s won their electorates DESPITE the fact their party was an utter mess under Cunliffe. David Shearer, Phil Goff & Grant Robertson for example all got in but easily lost the party vote in their respective electorates during that election.
    2. If Hosking is correct then the problem lies with the voters – voting for electorate MPS should be ‘best person for the job’ not voting along party lines which is what the party vote is for.

    Reply
    • I think that it’s not as simple as he makes out.The two (person and party) are linked.

      In practice, a party candidate is most unlikely NOT to think along party lines, or they wouldn’t either volunteer or be selected.

      Reply
      • PDB

         /  August 1, 2018

        “The two (person and party) are linked.”

        I agree, hence my 2nd point becomes valid – voters are doing it wrong (you often hear people saying ‘I gave two-ticks to National’ or whatever as if this was some sort of double endorsement of their favoured party). I personally don’t care what party my electorate MP is from and therefore I vote for who I think is the best representative of my electorate.

        Reply
    • Blazer

       /  August 2, 2018

      how often is Hosking correct?
      He changes his mind from day to day….minute Mike is ubiquitous, but I try to avoid his biased commentary.

      Reply
  3. Alan Wilkinson

     /  August 1, 2018

    An electorate MP needs to be able to put constituents’ interests above those of the party. The waka jumping law prevents that.

    Reply
    • PDB

       /  August 1, 2018

      Indeed, otherwise under this new bill why have electorate MP’s at all?

      Reply
    • Gezza

       /  August 1, 2018

      They don’t. When they stand for a Party they are representing the Party (& its leader)’s interests to the community & hinting or even that they can influence the Party & leader in the interests of the electorate (or in reality, their voters). If they were not doing so they’d be standing as independents.

      If they get the boot, they can stand as Independents or for another party in a by-election, & test the electorate’s intent in voting for them personally or for their former party at that time. There will be a cost, but it would happen rarely, and that IS just the cost of democracy. There is also potentially a cost to the leader and their former party.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  August 1, 2018

        *& hinting or even SAYING that they can influence the Party & leader …

        Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  August 1, 2018

        The classic case is where the party promises to do one thing and then does the opposite. Did the electorate vote for the policy or the party?

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  August 1, 2018

          They voted for the party. If they are seriously unhappy with that party now, next time they’ll either just vote for it again, grumpily – hoping they won’t do that again, or vote for another party, or not vote.

          If they voted for a party candidate not the leader who they thought would be able to make the party NOT do this sort of thing, they were sadly mistaken, & if they want to, they can vote for that candidate again at the by-election, should he or she or it stand again for another party or as an independent. Or they can vote for someone else, including the new candidate of their usual party, if they think that’s still the party they prefer.

          Reply
          • PDB

             /  August 2, 2018

            All you are describing is voters not voting as they should – if people are voting along party-lines for their electorate vote they are doing it wrong.

            From the NZ elections website:

            “Each voter gets two votes.
            The first vote is for the political party the voter chooses. This is called the party vote and largely decides the total number of seats each political party gets in Parliament.
            The second vote is to choose the MP the voter wants to represent the electorate they live in. This is called the electorate vote. The candidate who gets the most votes wins. They do not have to get more than half the votes.”

            Reply
  4. Trevors_elbow

     /  August 2, 2018

    This bill is a Marxists dream. Marama will LOVE the power it confers on her…. the Greens want this to be enacted so they can to deal to the Kennedy Grahams of this world when people like him exercise their conscience over things like objecting to fraudsters running the party..

    Plus they got Winston to sit on a pineapple and sell out the people of the Taranaki by getting Winston to agree to the killing of the Oil and Gas Industry…

    Win win for the Marxist SJW wing of the Greens… all dressed up as good governance, aren’t we mature and can be trusted to be part of Government

    Being mildly dishonest and saying Green is White when it’s an entirely dirty colour… is par for the course for Marxists…

    (Note the word mildly used above is superfluous… but I was cutting the Water Melons a little slack)

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  August 2, 2018

      Although I don’t have a problem with this waka jumping bill for the excellent & obvious reasons I articulate above – I do agree with PG’s posts that the Greens seem to have blatantly misled their supporters and the public implying they were obligated by their coaltion agreement to support the bill when they were not.

      The Marxist element of your post seems a bit over the top. Are they really Marxists? How are they Marxists?

      Reply
      • Trevors_elbow

         /  August 2, 2018

        Exhibit… kiwi power: effective seizing of the means of production for the masses… neo marxists is probably a better description… as they hide their true intent behind a smoke screen of green intentions

        Reply
    • Blazer

       /  August 2, 2018

      Marxist!!….the brainwashing is imprinted in you since birth I see.

      Educate yourself Trev….about the real world.

      You are quite quaintly,amusing.

      Reply
      • Trevors_elbow

         /  August 2, 2018

        I observe you and see nothing but an empty vessel except for bike and bitterness…

        Reply
  5. David

     /  August 2, 2018

    I am with Winston on list MPs after all its proportional representation and you would be rightly annoyed if 3 MPs switched party and turned over the government.
    But what if the government you campaigned on the list for started doing things they wernt elected to do, an MPs moral stand could be the only handbrake to an undemocratic action.
    In fact I dont bloody know if its a good or a bad thing…more coffee needed.

    Reply
  6. Zedd

     /  August 2, 2018

    If an MP gets to parliament, on ‘a party ticket’ then the seat belongs to the party.. (under MMP) If the person occupying ‘the seat’ decides to leave or is booted by the party, then the seat should be retained by the party.
    I have looked at both sides & now support the intent of this bill..
    IF people want to avoid this then they should stand as independents; ‘good luck’. :/

    Reply
    • Zedd

       /  August 2, 2018

      as Ive said previous; in some ‘safe seats’ esp. the right.. they could put up a ‘shop dummy’ in a suit with a party rosette on & still win over the ‘other side’ !

      ‘Party political machines’ at work.. ‘Individuals’ are just a part of ‘their system’

      Reply
      • Zedd

         /  August 2, 2018

        ‘Party political machines’ at work.. ‘Individuals’ are just a part of ‘their system’

        BUT in some cases.. Individuals ‘ARE their system’ eg: Key & Peters ?

        Reply
  7. Zedd

     /  August 2, 2018

    listening to the debate.. Natl MPs (led by Smith) are playing ‘silly buggers’ & their attention appears to be on trying to cause division between NZF & Greens. This is not the first time; they know NZF do not want to entertain the idea of coalition deal with Natl., so they think they can create a split with the Greens; this is MMP coalition politics folks & Natl just dont get it ! 😦

    Reply
    • Zedd

       /  August 2, 2018

      I heard Mitchell (Natl) attacking NZF.. saying (paraphrased) ‘most NZF voters really wanted a coalition with Natl’.. BUT if that was true, they should have just ticked the Natl box !

      Anyone who watches/listens to parliament (over last few years) could tell that that was unlikely; NZF often voted with Lab/Grns on many bills 🙂

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  August 2, 2018

        God he’s thick. Dense as a bloody doorknob.

        I lost count of how many times he got told by Speaker Tolley to “Stop bringing me into it” during his speech.

        It’s a simple enuf concept to understand. By long-established convention, when you speak in the Chamber you are addressing the Speaker, or the Chair, & that is reflected in Hansard.
        So you don’t look over to the Opposition Benches and say “you” did this or “you” need to understand – or whatever dribble you’re filling up your time slot with (Christ, Golriz – who followed – was painful, I switched off! We have to get rid of her.)

        You say that member, and he – you refer to them in the 3rd person.

        Even after Speaker Tolley told him, look it might help you remember if you look at me when you’re speaking. Good idea thank you Madam Speaker he says – and that works for 1 or 2 minutes tops.

        He’s a bozo. What sort of idiot would vote for this conker?

        Reply
  1. Greens ‘unique kaupapa’ trashed by Peters ‘bill or bust’ threat? | Your NZ

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