A Labour-Green coalition

July 12th, 2011 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

NZPA reports:

has opened the door to a formal coalition with the if it wins the election.

The Greens have never been in Government and were not wanted by the last Labour Government, but party leader Phil Goff said today that would change.

“I’d anticipate in the Labour-led government that the leaders of the Green Party, which would be a coalition partner, would have ministerial positions,” he told reporters.

“I think it’s premature to start talking about what positions those may be.”

This is after Russel Norman said he expects to be at least Associate Finance Minister in a Labour-led Government.

There is no doubt that if there is a Labour-led Government, there will be a coalition with the Greens. Labour snubbed the Greens in 1999, 2002 and 2005 but they had other options then.

In 2011, Labour plus Winston plus Hone just won’t be enough to be able to govern. They need the Greens.

If the Greens get 10 MPs, then they would be 1/6th of the Government caucus, and they could reasonably expect to have four Ministers. They’d be idiots to accept just the co-leaders becoming Ministers as Goff suggested.

I would have thought Kevin Hague would be next in line to be a Minister, followed by Kennedy Graham. Gender balance requirements though might mean Catherine Delahunty would be their fourth Minister.

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27 Responses to “A Labour-Green coalition”

  1. krazykiwi (8,040 comments) says:

    Gender balance requirements though might mean Catherine Delahunty would be their fourth Minister

    I’d say it would be the barking mad quotient, rather than gender balance, that would be impacted by her assuming such a role. Perhaps she could teach cabinet to sing, or to throw Buddhist fleeces or something?

    To the point though, Goff won’t be offering the Greens anything onces he’s been rolled. That must be coming soon.

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  2. muncha1 (20 comments) says:

    If thier talking a formal Lab/Green with confidence and supply from Hone and Winston first coaltion as opposed to labour govt with conf/suppy from the greens, with a split of say 44 lab, 10 gre, 7 nz1 (God forbid) the Greens could realistically demand at least 2, possibly 3 in cabinet, with 1 or 2 ministers outside.

    That should be the aim and I can’t see the Greens getting power hungry like Winston, and giving up too much while not getting enough back. I reckon the greens would rather go 3 more years in opp than be trampled by Labour.

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  3. Nick C (110 comments) says:

    “Gender balance requirements though might mean Catherine Delahunty would be their fourth Minister.”

    Can’t see Goff allowing that one. But if he did, God help us all.

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  4. davidp (3,585 comments) says:

    I think the Greens will be after two Co-Deputy Prime Minister slots, one of which is selected on merit and the other on the basis of gender. Then if Phil is overseas, they’d be Co-Prime Ministers.

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  5. Pete George (23,804 comments) says:

    This is after Russel Norman said he expects to be at least Associate Finance Minister in a Labour-led Government.

    That must be worth exploring if it’s a requested part of the deal in a Labour government. What financial background does Norman have?

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  6. Kimble (3,955 comments) says:

    What financial background does Norman have?

    He has known exactly what people should be doing with their own money since the 1960’s.

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  7. georgebolwing (1,011 comments) says:

    Since MMP was introduced, the only two examples of formal coalitions have involved the leader of the junior partner being Deputy Prime Minister and ended with the junior partner imploding.

    After the first two tries at this, the subsequent three governments (Labour 2003-2005, Labour 2005-2008 and National 2006- present) have all been based on confidence and supply agreements, with the junior partners having ministerial positions outside Cabinet. These have only bound the junior partner to support the Budget and the other formal confidence motions (e.g. the address-in-reply), allowing them to support all other legislation on a case-by-case basis.

    I know that the Greens have always been desperate to become Ministers, but experience here, and in Europe, is that the requirements of government, especially collective responsibility, is just beyond their abilities. Government requires hard decisions between unpleasant alternatives. The Greens don’t do hard.

    This is all theoretical for now, as Labour has no show of being in a position to form the next government, but one day in the distant future we might see the greens attempt and fail to be members of a responsible government.

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  8. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,704 comments) says:

    Change the national anthem right now.

    “God Help New Zealand”

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  9. Jimbob (641 comments) says:

    Does Australia have enough housing for two million New Zealand immigrants?

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  10. Rex Widerstrom (5,013 comments) says:

    Pete George asks:

    What financial background does Norman have?

    That’s an interesting point. Muldoon was a suburban accountant. Ruth Richardson was a lawyer and a farmer. Michael Cullen was a teacher. Roger Douglas was an accountant and worked as company secretary for a carpet firm before entering Parliament…

    The concept of a Minister actually having half a clue about the topic managed by their Ministry sounds like a great idea. But then I give you: Paula Bennett.

    IIRC successive Chancellors of the Exchequer in Britain has often had experience in “the City”, or something relevant to managing a country’s finances. In NZ, with a much smaller population, we haven’t had the luxury of a large pool of talent from whom Prime Ministers can pick; and of course competence usually takes a back seat to party and personal loyalty in such decisions anyway.

    The most obvious alternative is the US concept of a leader being able to bring in as Ministers people who are not MPs. Unless the law has changed since I last checked, it’s possible now, without any legislation. However I suspect that a NZ party leader given that authority would resort to cronyism and jobs-for-the-faithful just as they do when ranking lists.

    In short, we seem, by virtue of some character fault in our politicians, to be doomed to dills.

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  11. Sean (290 comments) says:

    There is no doubt that if there is a Labour-led Government, many more will be joining me in tax exile…

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  12. DJP6-25 (1,390 comments) says:

    Come 2014, or 2017, it might be a Greens-Labour coalition. Labour being the junior partner.

    cheers

    David Prosser

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  13. dime (10,213 comments) says:

    a labour-greens coalition would certainly speed up my glorious expansion into the australian market.

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  14. Elaycee (4,425 comments) says:

    “….Catherine Delahunty would be their fourth Minister.”

    Jesus wept. 8O

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  15. hj (7,166 comments) says:

    The systems giving us a poor choice. The turds are guaranteed to rise to the surface.

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  16. hj (7,166 comments) says:

    Continued:
    There is a lack of sorting on issues and an error factor where someone like Delahunties party support is projected into what should be popular support.
    If the Greens were a part of government it would be interesting to see them show their hand on Maori issues?

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  17. jaba (2,146 comments) says:

    the problem with blogs like this is that we can’t see Davids tongue stretching his cheek over the Fellahunty comment .. good one David

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  18. Owen McShane (1,182 comments) says:

    Can ANYONE read the yellow print that tells us how Act is polling?

    I know Rodney wore a yellow jacket but there must be a legible colour available.

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  19. tom hunter (5,134 comments) says:

    YES

    My predictions for Labour-Green in 2014(TM) continue to firm up – as do my asset sale plans for that time.

    2017 (youngest will be 15) it would be a bit better, so if John and co. can just hold the line (god forbid I ask anything more of them) until then that would be good, thanks.

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  20. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Why stop at Deputy anything ,offer him the top job…..

    Russell will be drawing a pension before he has a seat in Government.

    2020 will be the first these clowns even have sniff at winning an election.

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  21. tom hunter (5,134 comments) says:

    2020 will be the first these clowns even have sniff at winning an election.

    Really – 12 years of National-led government in the MMP age?

    I think you’re very optimistic: on one side there will be a steady diet of media sob stories, environmental issues played as disasters, the usual toll of stupidity and scandal that wears down all governments.

    On the other side will be the forces of the evergreen Kiwi expectation that gummit should do something combined with the associated siren song of the Left that spending more government money is like having Mummy kiss it better.

    I’d say Key and co. will struggle to win 2014, let alone 2017.

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  22. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    We had 9 years of corruption and lies so 12 years is not outlandish.

    My reasoning Tom is that the opposition cannot shut up. They keep saying stupid things, CGT, in bed with the greens, Russell as a minister. Thye would be much better just to STFU .

    The only thing the PM has said recently is No to being blackmailed into accepting some queue jumping Sri Lankens.

    Everybody agrees and he just goes back quietly to being one of the most popular PM’s we have ever had. dealing with big stuff like trying to keep ChCh functioning etc

    The others have to make all the running and they are all floundering – ACT will not recover from this week, labourtare dead men walking and the greens will say something so outlandish by November they will sink to 5% .

    Easy 2020. And I may still get a pension at 65 if this happens

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  23. Mary Rose (393 comments) says:

    >What financial background does Norman have?

    Situations vacant.
    People required to run the affairs of millions of people. And control the spending of billions of other peoples’ money.
    Salary/benefits: good
    Experience required: none essential
    Qualifications required: none in particular.
    Would suit good talker with talent for selling themselves and their organisation’s ideas to the public once every few years.
    Apply: any political party in just about any democracy

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  24. reid (16,701 comments) says:

    The Greens don’t do hard.

    The Greens do hard george. It’s just they don’t do it very well.

    A Green politician seeking to understand reality is a bit like the blind man in the dark room looking for the black cat, that isn’t there.

    It’s going to be fun one day, watching their “wisdom” reflect more and more on the senior partner as none of their thoughts and ideas and promises come to fruition as they exercise power, quite the contrary in fact will occur every single time. Kennedy Graham may have success, he’s the only repeat only prospect.

    Fun because it’s about time they lost everyone who has any intelligence like the bleeding-heart middle-class housewives who think people like Robyn Malcolm, Lucy Lawless and KCH are fine role models for the modern progressive. These people are idiots but they aren’t stupid and once they see what the Greens in action wreck upon the country, they’ll never be back there and Green support permanently will collapse back where it’s always belonged, back to the hippie and disaffected 2-4% fringe.

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  25. fatboy slim (77 comments) says:

    The mere thought of a Green/Labour coalition reminds of a sick gay tree hugger trying to hump a stump:-)

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  26. double d (225 comments) says:

    interesting thread.
    made me think of the Greens and the obsession they have with integrity (smile).
    actually holding the levers of power mean decisions need making. they havent been in a position to make the decisions that are part of parcel of politics (the art of compromise) and when/if they get their chance in the distant future (heres hoping) how will their self-declared integrity(integrity is not something you can claim for yourself and the Greens need to learn this) fare at this time.

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  27. Richard Hurst (885 comments) says:

    Labreen?

    Gabour?

    Laboueen?

    Greeour?

    What color would the coalition be? Green mixed with red? Vomit with blood in it?

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