Double talk from the Greens

July 26th, 2011 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

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The Green Party does not have a deal with the Labour candidate, Charles Chauvel, nor does it intend to ask its supporters to vote for him in an attempt to defeat Peter Dunne in the Ōhariu seat. …

In Ōhariu, just like in every other electorate, we are only campaigning for Kiwis’ party vote.

I’m not telling people who to vote for as their electorate MP in Ōhariu but I am upfront with them – I like Charles and I think Dunne is done: he’s out-dated and voters are tiring of his brand of bland ‘any way the wind blows’ politics. This is evidenced by his falling popularity in the electorate over the last three elections, as well as his dismal party vote throughout the country.

Our position is very different from National’s deals in Epsom and Ōhariu where they are telling their supporters to vote for the Act and United Future Party’s candidates.

This is double talk, or less politely crap. Gareth is trying to say he is not telling people to vote Chauvel, except that he also says he is telling people he likes Chauvel and thinks Dunne is done.

Gareth also mis-represents National’s position. It is in fact identical to what the are doing. National is campaigning for the party vote only in Epsom and Ohariu. It is not telling supporters whom to vote for.

I can guarantee you that Gareth will tell far far more people to support Chauvel, than Katrina Shanks will tell people to vote Peter Dunne. Katrina will be loyal and campaign for the party vote only I am sure, but I suspect it will be a warm day in hell before she tells someone to vote for Peter Dunne.

To some degree, it is all a fuss about nothing anyway. So long as candidates are on the ballot paper, people have a choice to vote for them. And most party supporters do not give a toss what the party hierarchy wants them to do. In 2005 the party hierarchy wrote letters to all Epsom voters asking them to vote for Richard Worth, but the National voters made up their own mind and voted Hide.

Likewise in Ohariu Katrina got around 7,000 votes, despite United Future having pledged it would support a National-led Government, and had John Key welcome it.

Now I am not the only one less than impressed with the Greens double-talk. John Hartevelt blogs:

If it looks like a deal, sounds like a deal and smells like a deal, it’s probably a deal.

The Green Party has taken great offence at the suggestion they are tied up in some kind of agreement with Labour in the Ohariu electorate.

Co-leader Metiria Turei told off the media via Twitter for not getting their side of the story before pushing what the party is now calling “rumours” of a deal in Ohariu. The party insists there is no deal with Labour. Rather, there is some convoluted position whereby Greens candidate Gareth Hughes doesn’t tell people to vote for him or for Labour’s Charles Chauvel … but he does say that incumbent Peter Dunne is a dinosaur and ought to go; that the Greens are concentrating on the party vote; AND that, by the way, they reckon Mr Chauvel is really rather great. Ahem, wink wink, nudge nudge.

Well frankly, I call BS on the Greens’ position. …

Labour have played this game also. For example, Helen Clark told people in 2005 to vote for Richard Worth, to try and keep Rodney out. Parties will always advocate people vote in a way which maximises their chance of being in Government. This is why we might see Phil Goff encourage people to vote for Winston Peters, to help Labour’s chances of forming a Government.

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34 Responses to “Double talk from the Greens”

  1. Jack McDonald (199 comments) says:

    It isn’t double talk, we are campaiging for the Party Vote in every electorate in the country. We are not asking for any candidate votes, ANYWHERE. With National it is clearly differrent, we don’t stand a chnace in Ōhariu, but Katrina Shanks does.

    It is Gareth’s personal opinion about Dunne. Others in the Greens will have different opinions. We do not make any deals for this very reason, Green voters are a diverse bunch and many may like Chauvel, but others may like Dunne. We don’t care who they give their candidate vote to.

    For example, in Te Tai Hauāuru I don’t have any chance of winning the seat. Now personally I have similar views about Tariana as Gareth does with Dunne. But I would never encourage voters to vote for the Labour candidate, and many potential Māori Green voters would like Tariana.

    Gareth wouldn’t ask people to vote for Charles unless Labour campaigned for the Greens Party Vote in Ōhariu, which isn’t going to happen.

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  2. toad (3,672 comments) says:

    The difference is that the Greens have a consistent position across the country of campaigning only for the party vote – a position they have taken in every election and every electorate with the exception of Coromandel in 1999. The Greens are not treating Ohariu any different from any other electorate.

    What National are doing is rorting the electoral system by deliberately not campaigning for the electorate vote in two selected electorates in order to improve their chances of having tame confidence and supply partners who won’t demand too much of them in forming a government.

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  3. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    @toad – rorting? Nonsense. You might not like their strategy but perfectly legal, quite transparent. And saying ‘consistent’ and then ‘except’ is kinda funny.

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  4. Grendel (972 comments) says:

    i see the party has sent out its first wave of attack frogs. we need a female green comment soon to keep the required gender balance.

    get over yourself toad, the reason the greens don’t campaign on the electorates is that it shows how badly they are seen outside the latte ‘liberals’ in city centres.

    there is nothing wrong with making a bloc deal, hell it makes sense for the greens to push chauvel (not just because hughes makes him look reasonable) because if it works it removes one of nationals votes.

    This bloc voting and strategic voting was talked about way back when MMP came in as a viable way for faction blocs to work. its only now considered a bad thing because the left don’t like that the right figured out MMP finally and use it as well. once Jeannette got her marching orders in coromandel and winston got the chuck and with old man river retiring this year, there are no deals the left can make to keep their bloc players happy other than trying to reduce the votes of the right, so they are attacking it as ‘underhand’ etc. this is all crap, its politics, its in the rules, it makes sense.

    If hughes had actually come out and said he was pushign for a chauvel electorate vote to get rid of dunne it would be the truest thing he has ever said since he outed the greens as having a population policy.

    so for once stop trying to be weasel around and look like the good guys (despite hating the poor and wanting the 3rd world to starve) and be honest about a valid political tactic.

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  5. Other_Andy (2,513 comments) says:

    The Greens are consistent with the exeption of…..
    Like “I am a teetotaller except on Saturdays.”?

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  6. Griff (6,995 comments) says:

    Is not MMP great no longer are people trapped in a left right dichotomy
    Hope we keep it
    Tto be trapped in a FPP mind set is to miss the beauty inherent in a system that allows a more inclusive government

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  7. davidp (3,557 comments) says:

    >I think Dunne is done: he’s out-dated

    Dunne is younger than Phil Goff and entered parliament in 1984, 3 years after Goff. Hughes was born on 31 October 1981, while Goff was elected less than a month later on 28 November 1981. There has never been a prospective PM in NZ who has spent as much time as an MP as Goff has. We should thank Hughes for making the point.

    But the real issue here is the size of Chauvel’s Wikipedia entry. He’s a minor list MP who has never been a minister, but his entry must be ten times as long as the pages for similar colleagues. Why?

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  8. Daigotsu (451 comments) says:

    Awww, don’t worry David. I know it’s hard when you’ve been thrashing the LABOUR = WINSTON!!!!!! meme for two years and nobody’s picking up on it, but if you just screw up your courage and keep on trying, maybe some day somebody will notice…

    …either that or the media will finally get around to asking Helen Clark whether she accepts Philip Taito Field’s conviction…

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  9. Elaycee (4,332 comments) says:

    toad says: “What National are doing is rorting the electoral system…”

    Oh bollocks. The system is called MMP and if any party is good at exploiting the vagaries of MMP then its the Greens – after all, MMP is the vehicle that has given them a voice at all. Just because some other parties have become more effective at the same game, doesn’t mean that it has suddenly become any different – just that you have been outsmarted.

    But I have to agree – if I had a political lightweight list of candidates such as that being promulgated by Green HQ, then I’d also push for the party vote – who within the Green team could possibly be elected on merit within an electoral seat?

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  10. Graeme Edgeler (3,276 comments) says:

    I suspect it will be a warm day in hell before she tells someone to vote for Peter Dunne.

    So she’ll be doing it all the time then?

    [DPF: I am referring to the 9th circle of hell of course :-)]

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  11. bka (135 comments) says:

    Toad, I’m supposing the strategy to only go for the party vote is pragmatic, because no one is currently in a position to win a seat for the Greens, and because not trying to represent a “mainstream” electorate helps keep an undiluted set of policy positions which preserves their niche/brand, and thus a constant voice at 5-10 % of Parliament.
    The Greens have had some success over the years in policy, eventually, getting picked up, and want to participate in passing laws over everyone, and would no doubt say their policy is good for the whole country, wouldn’t going for a seat indicate a willingness to engage with and represent a community wider than that which normally votes for them?

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  12. questlove (242 comments) says:

    Gareth also mis-represents National’s position. It is in fact identical to what the Greens are doing.

    National is no longer campaigning for any electorate vote? I knew that they were confident of winning but wow.

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  13. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    Graeme Edgeler

    I’m enjoying your proof-reading today!

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  14. Gosman (336 comments) says:

    You do realise you lost the argument as soon as you typed except don’t you Toad?

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  15. david@tokyo (263 comments) says:

    I’m more inclined to vote against whatever Gareth says than for it, maybe this will boost Dunne’s ratings

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  16. Peter (1,664 comments) says:

    I’m in Ohariu. I want National to continue, but I dislike Dunne.

    Feeling a bit annoyed with National’s decision to back Dunne, but I guess when faced with the alternative of having the Greenbour combo of Chazza & Ronald, the path to take is obvious.

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  17. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    Does anyone envy the voters of Ohariu? Having to choose from Peter Dunne, Katrina Shanks, Gareth Hughes or Charles Chauvel?

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  18. adze (2,002 comments) says:

    Graeme
    Depends which tradition of hell you subscribe to. ;) In Dante’s Inferno the final circle of hell featured a frozen lake of blood.

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  19. Griff (6,995 comments) says:

    The perverse thing about the Greens is that if you follow their philosophy to its logical conclusion the best thing you can do for the earth is kill yourself -no carbon footprint then

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  20. meh (165 comments) says:

    mikenmild – yeah we have a real smorgasbord of talent to choose from. Katrina’s speech on the copyright bill about summed it up for me.

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  21. hmmokrightitis (1,571 comments) says:

    I could not provide a better example of why the Greens are as bad as Labour for the moron factor.

    We have principles, we stand by them, we will do what we say – unless something else comes up…

    And they say that the Greens dont get irony or have a sense of humour.

    Vote Green, and possibly get what you vote for – your results may vary!!

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  22. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    meh

    Did you mean this gem?
    “The Commerce Committee worked really hard on this legislation, I have to say. The select committee had it for a long time. In fact, I felt very sorry for the officials when they first came in. I think I am relatively savvy when it comes to computers, but when it comes to file sharing my generation does not know much about it; it was not around when I first started using computers. It actually took them a while to explain file sharing to a few of us on the committee. It came down to having little boxes in front of the select committee, and the officials would explain that a bit is taken from this box and a bit from that box—a bit from this computer—until there are a thousand little bits and they make up a file. It takes a bit to get one’s mind round it.”

    Ps How’s that for the moron factor?

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  23. Grendel (972 comments) says:

    i am going to vote for Dunne. i am not a massive fan of his policies, i held him to task about the income splitting last year when iu met him and while i did not agree with his reasons, he did at least understand them and appreciated the issues i raised, but ideologically did not see them as a problem. so he has my respect for at least being up front about what he believes.

    the reality is i want a right wing govt (even if not exactly this one), and therefore Dunne is one more vote and because of the way MMP falls down a bit around the margins and the party vote factor it makes more sense to have Dunne in than any National Candidate. This reasoning should be the same as the labour fans used in wigram for all those years.

    Now this is only becuase Dunne said he was going with National. if he was on the fence and labour were close then i would not vote for him. hell i would possibly vote for chauvel as he would then potentially push another labour list mp out of the door depending on the final votes.

    What the greens are relying on is how dumb the public are (which is pretty thick) about how MMP works (and is supposed to work) and they hope the public have short memories (they do) and don’t question (they don;t) and that the media is pliable (it so very much is), to try and paint what they do as moral and upstanding and everyone else as immoral etc. but they are complaining about how MMP works and has always worked.

    this sad attempt actually reinforces the truth that the greens are actually grubbier than everyone else because they do all the same stuff and sometimes more (their super policy anyone) but try to claim their shit does not stink. its something labour no longer gets away with (as evidenced by how flummoxed goff is). but it works because the public and media are thick.

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  24. Elaycee (4,332 comments) says:

    @Grendel – I agree. Dunne was my MP when I lived in the area and I found him totally reasonable and pragmatic.

    Must admit that I’m surprised the Gween supporters would even dare open Pandora’s box and discuss the merits or otherwise of candidates. Their own list doesn’t exactly resemble a ‘who’s who’ of achievers either… Hah!

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  25. Grendel (972 comments) says:

    don’t be a dick mike, plenty of people don’t understand how filesharing or the net in general works. that does not make them morons.

    being a moron makes you a moron mike, as you show us over and over and over again.

    i hope your boss at what ever govt dept is getting some value from you today, as you are not providing any here, or maybe he wants you on here so you don’t do any damage at work?

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  26. Elaycee (4,332 comments) says:

    “Ps How’s that for the moron factor?”

    Coming from the complete stalk who re-wrote the definition of the word….

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  27. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    Grendel, I liked Rex Widerstrom’s observation that Dunne would sit around in car park on election night wondering who would take him home. Guess that’s more certain this time. He might ask for the carkeys in advance.

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  28. meh (165 comments) says:

    mike – exactly the passage I was referring to…

    Grendel – no not everyone understands how filesharing works at a detailed level but I would hope that the people elected to govern our country were at least intelligent enough to understand foreign concepts when explained to them.

    That speech showed a horrifying lack of understanding of what was being voted on.

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  29. GMDI (71 comments) says:

    Man that is some good humuor from both Toad and parliaments resident 12 year old, Gareth Hughes. If the other team does it, it’s gerrymandering. If we do it, it’s completely legit, as we said its legit. Them we’ll get enough people on the interbutts to back us, voila, truth a la wikipedia. In other words dubious at best, as anyone with an ounce of reason can see.

    Hows that global warming thingy going?

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  30. BlairM (2,306 comments) says:

    What National are doing is rorting the electoral system by deliberately not campaigning…

    Aaaaand that’s where you lost me. I wasn’t aware that it was compulsory to campaign! But then the Greens either want to ban everything, or make it compulsory, so I guess that is par for the course for them.

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  31. SPC (5,473 comments) says:

    The Ohariu and Epsom electorates are reason enough for reform of MMP, preferential voting in the electorates and no exemption from the 5% threshold requirement for parties winning electorate seats.

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  32. joe bloggs (126 comments) says:

    What National are doing is rorting the electoral system by deliberately not campaigning for the electorate vote in two selected electorates in order to improve their chances of having tame confidence and supply partners who won’t demand too much of them in forming a government.

    No doubt this strategy has been picked up from Labour’s long-standing arrangements with Jim Anderton in Wigram – where Labour’s candidates are so poorly known that the party leader can’t recall gender let alone name…

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  33. Inventory2 (10,177 comments) says:

    What National are doing is rorting the electoral system by deliberately not campaigning…

    And what the Greens are saying is that NOT ONE of their electorate candidates want you to vote for them as individuals, therefore any electorate vote given to the Greens is a wasted one. And if the Greens don’t win an electorate seat (which they won’t, if they are telling people not to vote for their candidates), they are wholly reliant on getting 5% of party votes to get back in. Sheesh; there’s hope yet of a Green-free Parliament!

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  34. Tommo (11 comments) says:

    Yes, vote for the greens…. Ermm

    So we can have another tosser like Nandor with a space at the trough for just shy of a decade to achieve what exactly? Bike helmet exemption for dreadlocked muppets (law for himself) and……. What else?

    What did his salary and perks add up to? Friggin millions all told.

    Sums up the greens, “I’ve got a vewy special idea… xxxxxxxxx blah blah blah xxxxxxx ……You’re paying though.”

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