Ardern still very disappointing on drug problems

The Labour led coalition government has been very disappointing with it’s lack of urgency apparent lack of understanding of drug problems. And people with some expertise on drug issues are also getting exasperated.

Jacinda Ardern seems to be leading the problems.

Russell Brown (@publicaddress):

Gawd. Sort yourself out, Prime Minister. This doesn’t help anyone – and apart from anything else, it’s completely unnecessary.

Real talk: Labour has spent long enough chanting “drugs are a health issue”. It needs to take the basic step of identifying an MP (it’s maybe even better if it’s *not* a minister) who can own the drug policy issue and provide a coherent, informed voice. Ginny Anderson maybe?

Minister of Health David Clark has also been disappointing on the drug issue – he doesn’t even need to be the leas minister, under the last government an Associate Minister of Health dealt with drugs.

Rookie backbench MP Chloe Swarbrick has been trying to get things happening but even her Green party don’t see any urgency, as people keep dying, especially as a result of synthetic drug use.

Despite her efforts Swabrick doesn’t seem to be getting very far.

Greens push but Government tardy addressing synthetic drug toll

Deaths from synthetics is the tip of a growing drug toll iceberg. Greens, Chlöe Swarbrick in particular, keep pushing for action but the Government seems slow to do anything about it.

Last week (ODT) About 50 deaths linked to synthetics being investigated

A coroner has ruled that using synthetic drugs led to the deaths of two men – and is investigating whether the deadly substance played a part in up to 50 other fatal incidents.

Findings were released today into the deaths of Taupo man Isaiah Terry McLaughlin and Shannon James Thomas Coleman-Fallen from Rotorua.

Both deaths were directly linked to synthetic drugs.

There are currently about 50 deaths nationally which the coroner’s officer says “provisionally appear to be attributable to synthetic cannabis toxicity”.

Today (Newsroom): Further deaths from synthetics

The number of deaths believed to be caused by synthetics has risen to as many as 50, with the coroner releasing detailed findings into two more deaths caused by the drugs – and repeating a call for a change in approach to users and easier access to addiction treatment.

Health Minister David Clark is currently working on a strategy to combat the problem, but the National Party is accusing the Government of dragging its feet while New Zealanders die.

Meanwhile, the Green Party is continuing to advocate for regulation rather than prohibition, as the drug argument rages on.

Swarbrick in Parliament:

Newsroom:

Health Minister David Clark said any death as a result of drug use was a tragedy.

“The Government is taking the synthetic drugs issue very seriously – these drugs are killing people.”

They were killing people when Clark became Minister of Health a year ago.

Health, Police, Customs and Corrections were working together on the issue, while Government – led by Clark – looked at the question of reclassification, Clark said.

A decision from Cabinet is expected in the coming weeks, he said.

‘In the coming weeks’ will be heading into the Christmas shutdown of Parliament.

“It’s important to acknowledge that there is no silver bullet. We need to treat drugs, including synthetics, as a health issue.

“Our focus is harm reduction and reducing the supply of synthetics, rather than simply criminalising people using these drugs.”

But how? Last month: Greens say Health Minister’s plan to reclassify common synthetic drugs a ‘costly war, destined to fail’

The Government are working towards labelling common types of synthetic cannabis as a Class A drug “as soon as possible”, however the Green Party are warning against a “costly war on synthetic drugs that is destined to fail”.

“People who make synthetics are constantly changing the compounds and chemicals, it’s impossible to know what’s in these drugs,” Green Party drug law reform spokesperson Chlöe Swarbrick said.

“If our plan is to classify every synthetic product then we’ll be playing catch up every time manufacturers change the chemicals.”

“We can choose to carry on with a failed war on drugs, or take a more sensible route and look at the causes and health impacts of addiction and treat those instead.”

It comes after Health Minister David Clark said making common types of synthetic drugs Class A “enables police to have greater search and seizure powers”.

“We’re aiming to do this as soon as possible.”

Past Associate Minister of Health Peter Dunne recognised the futility of trying to classify and control synthetic drugs years ago, and came up with a solution that was agreed to by Parliament, but National chickened out in reaction to media sensationalising of short term problems.

Newsroom:

Earlier this week, the Drug Foundation released an economic impact report, which found reforming the country’s “punitive” drug laws – including the decriminalisation of all drugs and introduction of a legal market for cannabis – would benefit the country by at least $450 million a year.

The report, produced by economist Shamubeel Eaqub says there would be a net social benefit of at least $225m from investing an extra $150m in addiction treatment, drug education, and harm reduction interventions.

It estimates there would be a net social benefit of $34m to $83m from replacing the Misuse of Drugs Act, passed in 1975, with a new law based on a health-based approach to the issue.

Creating a legal, regulated market for the purchase of cannabis would bring $185m to $240m in new tax revenue while also saving the justice sector $6m to $13m.

The Health Ministry is a huge task for any minister, and Clark has struggled to deal with everything. In a change from the last Government the responsibility for the problems with drugs use and abuse was given to the Minister. Under the National government an Associate Minister dealt with drug issues.

Clark doesn’t seem to be giving the problems with synthetic drugs the urgency required (that was obvious a year ago). And he seems quite cautious if not conservative when it comes to drug laws.  A radical rethink is urgently required.

Jacinda Ardern should seriously consider a reshuffle of ministerial responsibilities.

If she really wants to be a progressive Prime Minister she should consider appointing Swarbrick as an Associate health Minister (outside Cabinet) so she can focus on the urgent overhaul needed of drug laws and treating it properly as a health issue that requires urgent attention.

 

 

Swarbrick putting Ardern, Clark to shame on drug rhetoric and inaction

There are serious and growing drug problems in new Zealand, especially with P (methamphetamine) and synthetic substitutes for cannabis. I have slammed the Government for being shamefully lame as people suffer and die- see  Clark, Ardern shamefully lame not urgently addressing drug problems.

Green MP Chlöe Swarbrick seems to be a lone voice amongst MPs on taking urgent and effective action (where is James Shaw on this?)

thinks quite a lot::

The War on Drugs has not and will not work. Moral crusades are costing lives. Nowhere in the world has been able to get rid of drugs, or reduce drug harm, by ratcheting up penalties.

With the synthetics crisis, Aotearoa New Zealand has an crucial decision: will we do what works, or will we just do “something”?

The easy “something” is to beat the punitive drum, in an attempt to satisfy people we “take this seriously.” Taking drug harm seriously looks like being brave enough to confront decades of evidence and genuinely treat drugs as a health issue.

Treating drugs as a health issue does not look like locking more people up. We actually have ample evidence to show that increasing penalties fills our jail cells, but doesn’t decrease access or supply to drugs.

Look to Methamphetamine, which has under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 held Class A life imprisonment for decades. There’s been no reduction in demand or consumption, but increases, according to Ministry of Health data.

Evidence demonstrates that the only real way to tackle drugs is to focus on decreasing demand. We have a successful model in the collaboration between Northland DHB&Police, reducing demand for P, shifting resources to health, which we could expand and roll out across the country.

We need to do something, but that something desperately needs to be what works. If we cow to law-and-order rhetoric, if we fail to be courageous enough to pay attention to the research, we’ll repeat our past mistakes.

Repeating our past mistakes is more than not good enough when the evidence shows more of the same will cost people’s lives. Especially when those unnecessary deaths are the catch-cry of those calling for knee-jerk criminalisation.

The believe we need to genuinely treat drugs as a health issue. That looks like ending the War on Drugs. That looks like rejecting greater penalisation, which we all know, because the evidence shows, just won’t work.

Swarbrick could do with more concerted support from other Green MPs on this.

And somehow they need to push Ardern into converting her lofty rhetoric into actual and urgent action. Not just talking about twiddling a bit some time in the future. Urgent reform is required.

Ardern has talked about her government being progressive and wonderful, but she and her ministers are failing to walk the walk on drugs.

Swarbrick is putting them to shame.

MPs and mental health

Mental health in Parliament was raised an an issue recently when the leaker of Simon Bridges expenses claimed to be at risk if the inquiry continued, but it is not a new issue.

Newsroom recounts in Where is politics’ John Kirwan?

The topic of mental health has been highly politicised in recent years, and is currently the subject of an inquiry, but the country’s decision-makers still face immense stigma from the public, the media and each other when it comes to their own mental health.

Last year, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern spoke about her anxiety in media interviews, and some members of the public cited this as an argument against her taking on the role of prime minister.

Earlier this month, National Party MP Nick Smith was yet again the target of personal attacks implying he had mental health issues, with Civil Defence Minister Kris Faafoi referring to Smith’s “medication” in an interjection in the House.

Smith took stress leave in 2004 but says he has never experienced mental health issues or taken medication. Regardless, politicians – including now Speaker of the House Trevor Mallard – have used the subject of mental health as a way to personally attack Smith in the House over a number of years.

Not good when mental health is used as a political weapon. Smith was suggested by some as a potential leaker simply due to his past publicly acknowledged stress.

Being an MP is inherently stressful. It involves big responsibilities, long hours, a lot of travel, and the ever hovering chance of unflattering and exposing media attention.

Labour Party senior whip Ruth Dyson says like many other jobs, aspects of being an MP are stressful. Being away from home three days a week takes the biggest toll.

First term Green MP Chlöe Swarbrick has proven to be thoughtful, responsible and willing to address issues that other MPs avoid, without being an attention seeker. She earns credit.

And she has been prepared to talk openly about mental health issues.

Only a handful of politicians have spoken openly about their mental health, including Green MP Chlöe Swarbrick and former Green MP Holly Walker, but it’s a small group. And it’s not surprising given the type of reaction, and questions, which follow these disclosures.

Swarbrick has talked about living with depression and anxiety but says sharing her story wasn’t easy.

“It’s scary. Being honest about any facet of yourself, that isn’t necessarily socially acceptable – or where there isn’t a defined pathway in terms of how you declare, or how people react – it’s not a comfortable thing, so you take a risk.

“You always take a risk by being open, transparent, and vulnerable.”

Doing something that isn’t anticipated, or isn’t part of the norm, requires explanation, but politicians live in a world where the common refrain is “explaining is losing”, she says.

Swarbrick doesn’t believe MPs should have to put their entire personal life on the table for people to pick apart, “especially when we still have a culture that stigmatises that kind of stuff”. But politicians do have a responsibility to represent themselves with all their flaws. And Swarbrick says her mental health isn’t something she’s ever sought to hide.

But it is incumbent on politicians to not continue fronting with a façade, where people have a disdain for that kind of politics.

“People want genuine engagement, and that looks like taking off the cloak of impenetrability, and having humanity.”

Swarbrick says the worst environment for disparaging comments are in the House, late at night.

“To be perfectly honest, those issues that are being joked and jested about, actually probably affect a whole bunch of people in these buildings, because there’s such an intensive work environment.”

Being open and talking about mental health is risky for an MP, but it will help normalise something that virtually all of us have to contend with to varying degrees.

In order to improve New Zealand’s mental health situation, systemic changes are needed to make it easier for people to access effective services, but there’s also a need for a societal change, she says.

Robinson says that change could start in the halls of power, and MPs should be modelling non-stigmatising behaviour for the rest of the country.

MPs should be modelling a range of behaviours and set an example to the rest of the country. This will be radical for some old school attrition orientated politicians, but with a new type of MP gradually taking over this can improve.

Shades of Green – “cracks in the green revolution”

Greens have not been united on everything in the past, but in opposition they were at least able to appear to be largely working together.

A simple reality of being in Government means that those MPs who are ministers – James Shaw, Julie Anne Genter and Eugenie Sage, and to a lesser extent Parliamentary Under-Secretary Jan Logie, have heavy workloads, and have had to make decisions that follow the will of Government rather than the ideals of the party.

The other four MPs have much more of a free rein, and three of them in particular are fairly prominent doing their own things on social media.

Image result for shades of green

It is now effectively a party of two halves.

And party has been particularly divided over their historic strong opposition to ‘waka jumping’ type legislation and their current opposition, and their decision to vote in favour of Winston Peters’ controversial bill.

Green supporters often react badly to criticism – some of them fervently believe their own hype and can’t countenance any possibility they and their ideals may not be perfect.

So they are not likely to take Matthew Hooton’s column in the Herald today very well – Cracks in the green revolution

True Greens are not concerned about climate change, poverty or endangered species per se, but see them as mere symptoms of the real problem, which is capitalism and the population growth it allows.

I wouldn’t call them ‘true Greens’, that’s a label more appropriate for Jeanette Fitzsimons and Rod Donald, but there is a strong green mantra that social revolution is the main aim, with the claim that that will somehow fix environmental problems.

Hooton describes the current shades of Greens. James Shaw:

Far from having Norman’s True Green whakapapa, Shaw is a Wellington technocrat more at home at his former employer PwC than at a radicals’ rally.

He is part of a three-strong faction in Parliament but the other members are Labour’s David Parker and National’s Todd Muller, with whom he is trying to establish a multiparty consensus on climate change that might not save the planet but would certainly destroy the party.

Many Greens seem to abhor any attempt to work with ‘the enemy’, National.

Recently appointed co-leader Marama Davidson:

Davidson joins Hone Harawira as the only genuine radicals to have become party leaders.

It’s unsurprising that Davidson declined to participate in post-election negotiations with Labour.

Such processes are far too bourgeois for someone who deeply believes the New Zealand state is illegitimate.

Davidson may lead a faction of one in Parliament but she is a cult figure among Green activists who plan to insert her disciples into key party positions at its AGM this weekend.

The rest of the Green caucus:

Julie-Ann Genter is the smartest Green Minister and a genuine expert on transport and urban planning but her American heritage is a problem among the base.

Eugenie Sage is a genuine environmentalist rather than True Green but gets no credit for her wins on oil and gas, conservation funding and plastic bags.

Jan Logie worries more about the spirit of Te Tiriti o Waitangi than about the details of the Paris Climate Accord.

The party’s longest-serving MP, Gareth Hughes, is on the outer, having been overlooked for promotion despite more than eight years in Parliament.

Hughes has a very low profile. He has championed environmental issues, but seems to have lost any drive he may have had – and that’s debatable. He is perhaps best known for his ‘Hey Clint’ moment, asking a staffer what he should say.

Chloe Swarbrick, 24, and Golriz Ghahraman, 37, compete to be the darling of the party’s millennials with their eyes on the longer term.

Swarbrick seems to have taken on her job as MP seriously and has been prepared to work with any other MP or party to try to achieve some wins, especially on cannabis law reform. I think that her efforts so far have been impressive, more so because she is a first term MP.

However Ghahraman has stumbled from controversy to controversy on social media. She joined with Davidson and supporters this week claiming to be female and non-white victims.

Are Davidson and Ghahraman a serious threat to ‘the establishment’? Or are they more of a threat to the Green Party.

While the Green ministers have low profiles buried in their portfolios, the party revolutionaries have time to get attention. I’m not sure this face of the Greens is attractive to the soft Green voters they need to rebuild party support.

All the Green MPs are learning the realities of being a part of Government, and this will evolve over the current term.

They have major challenges in trying to avoid being split by fights for power that any political party (ok, except NZ First and ACT) have.

If Davidson and her supporting faction see a revolutionary takeover within the Greens as necessary on the road to drive out ‘the establishment’ then the Greens are in for challenging times.

Will they split or grow?

Possible double referendum – cannabis and euthanasia

The prospect of a referendum to accept or reject legislation decided in parliament for the personal use of cannabis has already been raised – with the referendum possible by late next year. See Cannabis legislation and referendum in 2019?

Now it has been suggested that a similar democratic process be used for euthanasia.

Newshub: Kiwis could vote on euthanasia and cannabis at the same time

New Zealand First said it would support the voluntary euthanasia Bill currently before Parliament if a conscience vote allowing a binding referendum on the law could be held.

Justice Minister Andrew Little said if the referendum goes ahead, it could make sense to combine the two referenda.

“If you’re gonna do one, you might as well do a job lot,” he explained. “It would make sense to not have to spend a lot of money on a succession of referenda.”

It does make sense to have a combined referendum.

And for conscience issues like these it makes a lot of sense to have Parliament decide on possible legislation – with the usual public input via submissions and lobbying – and then to put that to referendum to let the public vote to accept or reject the legislation.

This is a very good way to improve public participation in politics.

It should also help focus MPs in Parliament on coming up with the best possible legislation for any given issue.

There’s no decision yet on when the referendum on cannabis will be held.

“Cabinet just hasn’t got around to considering the details of it,” Mr Little told Newshub.

“Obviously, when we consider a date for it, we need to weigh up [whether] we run it at the same time as the general election – there would be some cost saving with that – or the other question is, do we want the general election dominated by the referendum?”

Important public issues like cannabis and euthanasia would be better addressed in a referendum separate from an election, so that the influence of party politics, by design or by association, was minimised.

The Greens have different preferences on when the cannabis referendum should be held.

Green Party leader James Shaw would prefer to hold the referendum at the same time as the election.

“People are going to be going to the polling booths anyway,” Mr Shaw said.

Shaw should rethink this – he should consider what is best for public participation in democracy rather than what he thinks might work best for the Green Party.

As to whether the referendum could end up dominating the election period, Mr Shaw said “there are ways you can stay out of the politics of it.”

Get real. There is no way of avoiding politics dominating general elections, and it is unlikely any party – including the Greens – would not put their own interests ahead of referendum choices.

Green MP Chlöe Swarbrick has shown some support for a separate referendum.

Greens spokesperson of drug law reform Chloe Swarbrick said if it’s held in 2019, that could avoid politicising the issue.

“If we hold it in 2019, it may not be deeply politicised, polarised or pigeon-holed – and we are hopefully able to have more of an evidentiary discussion.

“If we hold it in 2020 we might end up with something where it dominates the issues and we don’t end up talking about things like housing, criminal justice or healthcare.”

She also liked a Tweet of mine yesterday that applauded the legislation-referendum approach separate to the general election.

I think that it would provide a very good template for improving public democratic participation, and and excellent way to decide on what to do about cannabis and euthanasia law.

And I think that having two issues to vote on at the same time would enhance the process, as long as it was separate from a general election.

Cannabis legislation and referendum in 2019?

The Government are considering legislation and referendum on the personal use of cannabis in 2019 – they are committed to a referendum by 2020, but legislation followed by a referendum next year would be an excellent approach.

This sounds very sensible. The Government should be encouraged to take this approach.

The Labour-Green Confidence and Supply Agreement guarantees a referendum by 2020:

19. Increase funding for alcohol and drug addiction services and ensure drug use is treated as a health issue, and have a referendum on legalising the personal use of cannabis at, or by, the 2020 general election.

Now RNZ report: NZ may vote on cannabis legalisation in 2019

(Note – RNZ repeatedly referred to ‘marijuana but I have replaced that with ‘cannabis’)

The government is currently debating whether to hold the referendum in 2019 because it’s not sure holding it at the 2020 General Election would be a smart move politically.

The referendum on legalising cannabis was part of the confidence and supply deal struck between Labour and the Greens – although Winston Peters’ backs one too.

I don’t think there can be any guarantees about whether Winston Peters or NZ First would support this. Their stance on cannabis has been vague and variable over the past few years. NZ First back using referendums in general, but with notable exceptions – Peters was strongly opposed to the flag referendum.

Justice Minister Andrew Little said the government’s contemplating holding it next year, rather than in 2020.

“There’s two competing issues, one is it would be convenient to have it then (2020) we’ve got a General Election so we’re already running a ballot there.

“On the other hand, there would be other colleagues who would say ‘well we don’t necessarily want a General Election run on this particular sort of issue, so let’s have it at a different time’ – that issue hasn’t been resolved and it will be a little while before it is, I suspect.”

Campaigning on cannabis could be a major distraction in a general election – but it could improve voter turnout.

Mr Little acknowledged the government had a lot of work to do before any vote.

“We need to make sure there is good public information out there, good events for people to express their views, so that would dictate a timing that would be no earlier that late 2019.”

He said the government still did not know what sort of legalised cannabis system it will propose putting in place.

“We simply haven’t got anywhere near that, I think it’s about getting the mechanics of the referendum sorted, then I think obviously some discussions around scope and maybe some options there.

“The critical question is going to be, what is the question to go to the electorate with, one that makes sense and gives a meaningful answer and gives a mandate if it is approved to proceed with further work – if it’s not approved of course it’s all over.”

Having fair and clear referendum questions is very important.

Green MP Chlöe Swarbrick said other aspects of how the referendum will be run are still being hammered out too.

“The first thing we have to consider is whether we put legislation before the House first which will then be triggered by whatever the threshold may be of that referendum turn out.

“We’re still working through that, so we’re working with other government parties and inside our own caucus to discern what the best course of action will be,” Ms Swarbrick said.

Swarbrick generally seems to have stepped up capably and done a very good job as a first term MP in a party in Government.

Having legislation before Parliament, with public submissions and a conscience vote, makes a lot of sense. Then let the public approve or disapprove of the legislation via the referendum.

The problem with having the referendum first is that the subsequent legislative process in Parliament could then either be restricted by the referendum question, or could move away from the intent of the electorate.

The legislation then referendum approach could establish a very good model for engaging the public in the democratic process.

Legislation on personal cannabis use next year, followed by an approve/disapprove referendum late in the year, sounds like an excellent option for both cannabis and drug reform (whether it happens or not), and also for democracy.

This doesn’t mean the personal use of cannabis would become legal, but it means that the public would properly get to make the decision.

Greens online on oil and gas announcement

It would help to have some plans in place for ‘NZ’s innovation’.  Ditching oil without having a viable replacement could be a disaster. Just stopping drilling won’t make ‘innovation’ magically happen.

The economy may well fall over if New Zealand followed the Green prescription on oil and gas.

That doesn’t make sense from bridges.

So what is the Green transition plan for weaning ourselves off oil and gas?  Like, a plan, not some policy ideals.

Greens do a good job at promoting alternative views, but they do a bad job of explaining what any viable alternatives would actually be.

I would really like to see a fossil fuel transition plan. Is there such a think in New Zealand?

How ‘intrinsically linked’ is the environment and social justice?

Greens have been re-expressing how they think that environmental issues can’t be separated from social justice.

Green list candidate from last election:

Green MP Chlöe Swarbrick‏:

Hawkins is a Green Party Dunedin city counsellor.

Alternate views:

 

Obviously there is crossover between environmental and social issues, as there are with many other issues, but Greens seem somewhat obsessed with promoting an unarguable and inextricable connection between the environment and social issues.

They can, to an extent at least, easily be dealt with separately. Better farming practices and cleaning up waterways can be addressed, as they should, without having to give benefits to anyone who wants them without question.

What the Greens seem to be angling at is if the State gives everyone nice warm dry houses for life, and bicycle lanes and electric trains, and health food, and all the health care they need, then the environment will work itself out.

But I have never seen them explain how this transition will actually work, and how it can be paid for without the country going broke (in which case both the environment and society will suffer).

They are really just trying to justify their choice, a party with a dual purpose, saving the environment and instituting socialism. They have chosen to intrinsically link them in their policies, but are a bit shaky on another essential – economic sustainability.

Is there any example of a sustainable socialist country without social or environmental problems? Or is it a grand idealistic state that can never be reached?

It appears to me that Green Party members may be brainwashed into believing that they can’t champion environmental issues without also buying fully into a socialist system of government.

Getting rid of “National are evil baby-eating doers”

I’ve often seen it joked that left wingers see National as baby-eating evil doers, but here it is actually stated:

Why would the GP want to unbundle from Labour when having an agreement with Labour brings them benefits they negotiated and want?

National are baby-eating evil doers. That’s the whole point.

I presume that’s just rhetoric, but it indicates a distinct distaste for anything about National.

The Greens position is (and has been for a long time) that they will work with any party where there is shared policy. For the Greens to work with National in govt National would have to change its economic, social and environmental policies. That’s not going to happen any time soon.

So Greens would only work with National if changed all their policies to Green policies? I don’t think ‘weka’ speaks on behalf of the Green Party, but I’ve seen this attitude expressed before. It’s completely out of touch with how politics works here, especially under MMP (the MMP that allowed Greens to get a presence in Parliament and recently a presence in Government.

And Greens got into Government without Labour and NZ First changing all their policies to Green policies. A lot of Labour policies are very similar or the same as National policies.

And the Greens have had to accept policies put into practice, like the CPTPP (that is supported by both Labour and National), and introduced bills, like the NZ First waka jumping bill, that the greens still oppose, in theory at least.

So this ‘Greens won’t deal with National unless they change all their policies’ is arrogant ignorance.

It’s nothing to do with the Greens being able to tell supporters that National aren’t evil, unless National stop being evil. Has that happened?

There’s an emphasis on ‘National are evil’, minus the baby eating.  It must just be a Green activist attitude – I don’t see James Shaw or Julie Anne Genter saying National are evil, and both seem prepared to work with National if it means progressing some common policy (as happened in the past over cycleways and house insulation).

“we can at least listen to any offer they give us, doesn’t mean they have to accept it but at least it’d mean Labour couldn’t take the Greens for granted any longer”

But the Greens are already in the position of listening to National make offers. National aren’t making any offers (and as above, they don’t have anything that the Greens are interested in).

National have sounded out Greens on some level of cooperation. They did during coalition negotiations. Simon Bridges did when he became National leader.

Green supporters like ‘weka’ are the ones not interested in listening to anyone, including National, who won’t fully accept Green ideals and policies.

“The other is that they have a stated intent to change how parliamentary democracy works in NZ.”

“Forming a government with National would certainly fall under those auspices I’d have thought”

Rofl. Funny as mate.

Not funny – it’s sad that some Green supporters seem like they will never accept working with National (conveniently forgetting when they have), and would hold their MPs to ‘National is evil’ type nonsense.

If Greens are serious about significantly changing how parliamentary democracy works in New Zealand – Chlöe Swarbrick was sounding out ideas on this on Twitter yesterday – then somehow they need to educate some of their supporters that that means they won’t get all their policies and ideals accepted and implemented, it means compromise, and it also means co-operation with all parties.

And it means getting rid of a “National are evil baby-eating evil doers” mentality, or at least democratically voting against the intransigence of those who promote extreme intolerance of other parties.