Adam Bennett at the NZ Herald reports:
Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty has said she will resign if her party entered a coalition deal with the National Party – a call that undermines the credibility of the Green Party’s bid for more mainstream political appeal by leaving open the possibility of such a deal.
Ms Delahunty did not return calls, but Otago University politics lecturer Bryce Edwards confirmed she made the comment when responding to his questions during an interview on Friday.
“I clearly asked her: ‘If there was a Green Party MP that was a minister in a National-led Government, would you resign from parliament?’ She said, ‘Yes I would’.”
This undermines the Greens positioning considerably.
As I have said many times, let there be no doubt – if the Greens hold the balance of power they will always choose a Labour-led Government over a National-led Government. A vote for the Greens is a vote for Phil Goff to be Prime Minister.
But what Delahunty is saying goes beyond that. There could well be a scenario where National is the only viable Government, such as if National has over 61 seats. Both National and the Greens have not ruled out that in such a situation, they could possibly do a deal which sees the Greens taking up a portfolio or two. It could perhaps involve the Greens abstaining on supply and confidence.
However this is now effectively off the table, as Delahunty has said she would resign as an MP if this happens. I suspect her statement has pissed off her colleagues because what she has done is impose her unilateral view on the rest of the party – the exact opposite of things are meant to work in the Greens.
Of course you could argue they could just let her resign, but no party lightly does something which they know will lead to an MP resigning.
The chance of there being Green ministers in a National-led Government was always low, but Delahunty has now made it effectively zero, meaning her colleagues will have to wait until Labour gains office, which may be some elections away. Delahunty has also gone against the majority of Green voters, as a recent poll showed 60% of Green voters said the Greens should accept Ministerial positions in a National-led Government if John Key offered them.