Campbell on Greens and National

November 8th, 2011 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

(a former Green press secretary) has an extremely insightful column at Scoop on the Greens:

Let’s assume for instance, that once the election dust settles Prime Minister John Key will offer – in the name of broad church, representative politics and a desire to split the centre left vote in order to ensure his thirdterm – a couple of ministerial posts outside Cabinet to the .

No strings attached. Something ministerial for Russel Norman say, in the Conservation/Environment era, and an associate Health post for his colleague Metiria Turei, where she could work alongside Tariana Turia. What would the Greens do if such an offer is made? What should they do?

I think there would be some strings attached. At a minimum it would be that those who are Ministers abstain on supply and confidence. A Minister can not vote against confidence in an Executive they are part of.

The Greens have been out of real power for 12 years. Helen Clark spurned the Greens after the 2005 election, and chose to go with Peters instead. As a junior player on the centre left, the Greens traditional role is to wait in the parlour until Labour brings home the election bacon. Yet Labour can only govern when Labour is in the ascendancy on the centre left, which usually means the Greens will have been reduced to hovering just above the 5% threshold. Perversely, in years (such as 2011) when the centre left vote goes to the Greens in large numbers, it is in a context where the Greens can’t be in government, not in any significant way.

That’s the Greens dilemma, in a nutshell. It may say that it is centrist – and it has been saying so for some time – but relatively few voters see it as such. And thus it remains in its current bind – strong when there is little chance of it governing, and able to join a centre left government only when it is in a position of relative weakness vis-a-vis Labour. And regrettably, Labour tends to treat the Greens like an abused spouse in those circumstances.

This is exactly the problem. The Greens get their votes from Labour when Labour are weak, hence a Labour-led Government will not generally occur when the Greens are strong.  And then when the Greens are weaker, Labour pisses all over them, and chooses Winston Peters and Peter Dunne over them.

That’s the basic argument for making a dramatic break away from the centre left and heading into unknown territory. Arguably, it is only by reaching some meaningful form of co-existence with (beyond home insulation) that the Greens can break the mould, and put itself in a position where it could hope to poach votes from in large numbers ( and not just from despondent Labour voters) to add to its core support.

If the Greens want to be able to grab significant numbers from National, they need to show they can work with National, beyond the current arrangement.

If the Greens did try to break out of their current ghetto would that pose a substantial risk to the brand? Absolutely. Political virginity is a valuable commodity, and one reason for the Greens’ longevity is that it has stayed away – or has been kept away – from the boiler room of executive power. The party strategists have also noticed the fate of others before them. Notably, the Maori Party has tried to make gains for a far more defined constituency than the one served by the Greens. If it is that hard for the Maori Party, how hard could it be for the Greens? Very hard indeed.

It is definitely a risk. One way to mitigate the risk (and I recommend this to all minor parties) is do not have your leader or all your leaders become Ministers. You need a leader to remain outside the Ministry so they can provide the political leadership to their party. If they are spending all their time signing off departmental papers, they are not making the constant case for support.

So if I was the Greens I’d push for an economic role for Norman and a health role for Hague, and keep Turei to fly the flag outside the Ministry.

So… even as Labour flounders and the Greens pick up the flotsam and jetsam from the good ship SS Goff, a lot of hard decisions lie in wait further down the track. The Greens’ current place on the political spectrum simply doesn’t allow them to harvest a big enough vote on the centre left to enable an escape from their current dependency on Labour which – on past performance – will treat them like deckhands once Labour is back on the quarterdeck again. Whatever the risks, it strikes me as unlikely that Russel Norman will be willing to tolerate subservience, in perpetuity.

As I said, Gordon Campbell has done a very nice job looking at the pros and cons.

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62 Responses to “Campbell on Greens and National”

  1. Richard29 (377 comments) says:

    I agree – ministerial positions are a trap – they will suck up a lot of time and energy for the top MP’s and not actually deliver any positive recognition for the party outside of a few beltway insiders.
    Consider the Maori Party – the single biggest policy ‘win’ that I can remember for them in the last three years was Whanau Ora – you don’t need to be a minister to implement that you could be on the board overseeing the implementation.

    The case for ministerial positions for the Greens is weaker than for the Maori party because they are not campaigning in any electorates so gain less benefit from the improved profile and leadership opportunities that a ministerial post might offer. They are campaigning for the party vote, and as Rodney Hide used to repeat like a broken record “the party vote is the policy vote” so the priority will likely be on policy wins.

    Can’t see Greens voting for the National party on confidence and supply as it would seruiously upset the base, but I would consider it highly likely that an agreement on abstention is reached in exchange for Green policies that the Nats find palatable.

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  2. rouppe (984 comments) says:

    I’ve always said I could never vote for the Greens while Sue Bradford and Nandor were in there. Well they are gone now, so I am willing to take a close look at them.

    However I am still unwilling when they keep going on about how “the rich” are robbing “the poor”. if they focussed in green issues more, and less on social issues, they would get much further IMHO.

    And there are plenty of Green issues to which they could direct their energies

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  3. East Wellington Superhero (1,139 comments) says:

    I still don’t buy this idea (that’s simple for the media to regurgitate but that’s about it) that the Greens have ‘come of political age’ because of their economic policy – yes they’re slicker and burned off Locke and such, but they haven’t got economically smarter (The ‘Smart Economy’ is stupid buzz word that assumes all the managers and consultants in commerce are idiots – please). All the Greens have done is recognise capitalism – hardly an achievement for mainstream politics (though maybe for some in the Greens). But recognising capitalism is different from making it work well and flourish for everyone. Labour will rebuild (though not unless they find some good young lieutenants) and soak up what the Greens are taking of them in 2011.

    I simply cannot believe this fantasy that some people have that National will from a coalition with the Greens – let alone give them a portfolio. I’ll eat bread and water for a month if that happens.

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  4. Daigotsu (472 comments) says:

    Why bother rouppe? If they did bother to look at the environment without all those ullshit class warior ideas they would see that there is alreadya party out there that does look at environment green issues without the blinders, that that part is National, and that the Greens are therefore as useless as Phil Goff at an orgy.

    If the Greens really were honest they would all just quit and go back to trying to make a living selling organic condoms to lesbian cerebral palsy sufferers or whatevs.

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  5. rouppe (984 comments) says:

    I bother because I don’t think National or Labour are aggressive enough on water quality.

    If I ruled the world I would dump the ETS and spend the money executing a plan to prevent water quality degradation in rivers and lakes. And if that means pissing off some farmers, then so be it. We keep hearing about farmers that are doing their bit, and are caring for their land.

    Great, but just like Social Welfare, there is a significant number not doing anything. I’m not talking about trying to eradicate didymo or anything, I’m talking about nitrogen runoff, industrial discharges that sort of thing.

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  6. Concentrate (29 comments) says:

    @Daigotsu

    So the Greens are irrelevant because National has a perfect environmental policy, really?

    What need would Lesbians have of condoms?

    Thoughtful and well executed post. /s

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  7. thedavincimode (6,891 comments) says:

    The last thing that ought to be done is to give them a safe house in environment or health.

    Involve them in finance, trade, commerce, police, transport etc so that they can find out how the world actually works.

    Give the fruit loops a reality lesson; particularly now that the ocker is coming over Mr economic policy. Maybe they’ll start to understand the naivity and stupidity of their green jobs policy.

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  8. rouppe (984 comments) says:

    @thedavincimode

    Actually that’s a good idea. It’d be a shock to have to deal with reality… Course if you gave them transport, all road building would be cancelled forthwith, you know that, right…? And Police would have to throw flowers before using capsicum spray…

    Trade or commerce would be a good one.

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  9. Richard29 (377 comments) says:

    @diagotsu
    “as useless as Phil Goff at an orgy.”
    This made me giggle :)

    @thedavincimode
    The Greens would snap up several of those portfolios (through probably not with National) and probably perform pretty well in them (especially transport, they’ve probably got more expertise in that portfolio than either of the big parties).

    “the naivity and stupidity of their green jobs policy”
    The policy is not without it’s flaws. Some aspects are common sense like the extension of the insulation scheme and increasing R&D spend to try and keep up with the OECD. Other aspects around subsidies and are a bit big government interventionist and risk picking winners (or rather failing to do so). But most of these policies are typical of the kind of interventionist pro technology, pro export policies that the likes of South Korea, Germany and even Australia have been pursuing for years and considerably less interventionist than some free market darlings like Singapore.

    People are welcome to disagree with the policy – and it’s certainly centre left and not everybody’s cup of tea – but the continued assertion that the Greens represent an extreme loony fringe that will turn New Zealand into North Korea in a fortnight is just not credible and starting to get tiresome…

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  10. Pete George (23,853 comments) says:

    rouppe: I bother because I don’t think National or Labour are aggressive enough on water quality.

    If you want aggressive on water quality (and probably in a position in government to do something about it) vote United Future. Apart from having strong environmental policies:

    If UF get two MPs 1/2 will have environment/water quality as a high priority.
    If UF get five MPs 2/5 will have environment/water quality as a high priority.
    If UF get eight MPs 3/8 will have environment/water quality as a high priority.

    And with the added support of Greens that is the best way to have an aggressive approach to cleaning up water.

    http://www.unitedfuture.org.nz/introducing-doug-stevens-1/

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  11. SPC (5,707 comments) says:

    Greens are in it to change the game – keep Labour honest on minimum wages and universal child benefits etc and act as an agent to get bi-partisan buy in on environment and conservation.

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  12. SPC (5,707 comments) says:

    What has Dunne done to improve water quality in all the governments he has been in?

    This is someone who once wrote an article on United Party liberalism without mentioning the words environment or conservation – he also ignored the words human rights and civil liberties. He attacked his critics as extreme left wing fellow travellers.

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  13. Daigotsu (472 comments) says:

    “What need would Lesbians have of condoms?”

    Most lesbians prefer to use a cut-in-half condom than a pre-made dental dam since it’s cheaper.

    “National have a perfect environment policy”

    Maybe not perfect bu t the best out there. I presume you are a Green supporter and that you think the Green policy if nopt perfect is the best out there?

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  14. thedavincimode (6,891 comments) says:

    Richard29

    I wasn’t actually thinking of the retro-insulation – yes, this would of course create some jobs, although of finite duration.

    I was actually thinking of the green technology & manufacturing aspirations – competing against existing foreign IP and overseas economies of scale in manufacturing.

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  15. freddos (54 comments) says:

    PG is right – the only party that will act as as environmental influence on National after the election will be United Future. I suspect they’ll also be the only party that will act as an influence on National after the election at all.

    Act – gone. Conservatives – dreaming. Green – media is dreaming. Winston – retired. Maori – don’t want to look like Key’s bitch.

    United Future – back with a couple of extras; Dunne and Eaddy with portfolios. Doug Stevens might get an eye in on associate environment in Key is generous.

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  16. big bruv (14,229 comments) says:

    Rouppe

    If you thought Bradford was bad then what about that bat shit crazy Delahunty thing?

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  17. big bruv (14,229 comments) says:

    Pete George

    I have long been a fan of what you have to say (most of the time) but there is nothing on the face of this earth that would ever convince me that I should cast my vote for Dunne.

    I would rather vote for Labour and the Greens before I voted for that whore.

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  18. Pete George (23,853 comments) says:

    bb – party vote won’t make any difference for Dunne, he seems asssured of staying in Ohariu, so party vote is for who else can be added from the list – and that’s where a real difference can be made. If UF get a few more MPs, then water quality and environment is sure to figure in negotiations.

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  19. Daigotsu (472 comments) says:

    So rather than vote for Dunne, we should vote for Dunne’s hangers-on?

    Yeah, na.

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  20. SPC (5,707 comments) says:

    National will get enough votes to govern alone.

    If they want to do something about water quality and environment they will do it with the Greens – via some special agreement like they did with insulating homes, if they don’t, Dunne won’t make an issue of it.

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  21. Daigotsu (472 comments) says:

    “If they want to do something about water quality and environment they will do it with the Greens”

    Or just do it. It’s not like the only way to improve the environment is with the Greens’ seal of approval (despite what the Greens say)

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  22. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    What a bizarre comments thread!

    DPF, any negotiations the Greens enter into will be about policy, not about the baubles of office a la Winston. It would be a stupid negotiating strategy for Greens to state bottom lines before entering into negotiations, but here are few I would suggest they should adopt if any deal with National becomes a possibility:

    * No privatisation of state energy SOEs – the Greens’ job creation policy is dependent on these remaining in state ownership, and since the dividends from them are greater than the interest liability retired through their sale, privatisation is just plain dumb.

    * No deep sea oil drilling.

    * No mining on the conservation estate.

    * No lignite mining.

    * Some action on increasing the minimum wage beyond just CPI adjustment.

    * No work testing of sickness beneficiaries and sole parents.

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  23. Daigotsu (472 comments) says:

    See, half of those bottom lines have nothing to do with the environment but are all about the Greens’ economic policies which re bullshit

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  24. Bevan (3,232 comments) says:

    Toad, I don’t think you get it – if you put those up as bottom lines, you’d be shown the finger and the door. (Actually, please, please put those up!)

    I hope you enjoy the Greens being the perpetual government outcast, with your attitude you wont get near government for at least another decade. By that time Nat & Lab will have adopted most of your environmental policies, then there will really be no need for you and your Marxist friends.

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  25. Daigotsu (472 comments) says:

    Bevan yu say that like there’s a need for it now.

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  26. Daigotsu (472 comments) says:

    If the Greens come into government they should be farking grateful and come with concessions not demands.

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  27. reid (16,774 comments) says:

    * No privatisation of state energy SOEs – the Greens’ job creation policy is dependent on these remaining in state ownership, and since the dividends from them are greater than the interest liability retired through their sale, privatisation is just plain dumb.

    Maybe.

    * No deep sea oil drilling.

    No.

    * No mining on the conservation estate.

    Maybe. Depends what’s there. We’re still going to look and see.

    * No lignite mining.

    No. As in yes, we’ll do it.

    * Some action on increasing the minimum wage beyond just CPI adjustment.

    No. Don’t you know toad this is why there are so many youth unemployed. What about that, don’t you understand?

    * No work testing of sickness beneficiaries and sole parents.

    No, as in yes, why not?

    See bottom line is toad, if the Gweens come up with something as mental as that, it won’t happen. These “policies” are idiotic fantasy applicable and workable only in some fantasyland which isn’t here, now. Sorry, but they are. Doing the opposite of what you propose for every single one of those policies, would make the groups/objects they effect, go like a rocket. And yet you argue the precise opposite. How vewy cuwious.

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  28. wat dabney (3,850 comments) says:

    Let’s assume for instance, that once the election dust settles Prime Minister John Key will offer – in the name of broad church, representative politics and a desire to split the centre left vote in order to ensure his thirdterm – a couple of ministerial posts outside Cabinet to the Greens.

    That is such a hideously plausible speculation, and the reason why Key’s National Party is such a disgrace. No principles, just a seamless continuation of Clark’s perverted leftist legacy.

    Of course the bottom line is that a Green party does not have to espouse fascism; the truth is that environmentalism is just a pretext for these statist fantasists.

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  29. Pete George (23,853 comments) says:

    Why do Labour policy costs get close scrutiny but Greens get a free pass to propose anything they like with an open chequebook?

    It’s feasible that Labour collapse and Greens surge plus National falls back as expected and a left coalition cobbles something together. Russel Norman finance minister? He’s angling that way.

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  30. thedavincimode (6,891 comments) says:

    toad

    Goody. Tax to fund the capex that the SOE sell down would fund.

    BTW, 51% remains in public hands.

    Goody. No work testing of benes. That’s one you should certainly hang onto. Get that message out there.

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  31. thedavincimode (6,891 comments) says:

    PG

    “Why do Labour policy costs get close scrutiny but Greens get a free pass to propose anything they like with an open chequebook?”

    Hopefully, the situation will have reversed in 2014. Liabore trying to break the 10% ceiling.

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  32. big bruv (14,229 comments) says:

    Pete George

    I hope that Dunne does not win the seat of Ohariu if for no other reason that it will mean we can do away with the useless families commission.

    Key and the rest of the Nat’s can bang on about cutting costs yet year after year they keep funding what is nothing more than a sop to Dunne.

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  33. big bruv (14,229 comments) says:

    Toad

    Why on earth would you want to give more money to the likes of the Philip Ures of this world?

    I have to ask you questions here Toad because as we all know your own blog is even more heavily censored than the Standard or the Labour party blog.

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  34. Than (519 comments) says:

    The Greens will never be able to become a centrist environmental party. Too many of their supporters (voters, members, and MPs) are motivated by economic issues at least as much as they are environmental issues. For every center-right vote they gained (people like rouppe), they would lose three or four votes on the far-left.

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  35. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    @Bevan 7:13 pm

    Hey, that’s my personal position as a Green Party member. I am not implying it is the position of the Party.

    As for your “As in yes, we’ll do it” re lignite mining, that has to be the dumbest policy ever. Dependency on lignite as a last resort energy source is terminal, because fossil fuels are a finite resource.

    Best we move beyond that while we can afford to, rather than when no-one can fill the tank in their car because it will cost a whole weeks’ wages/salary to do it.

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  36. reid (16,774 comments) says:

    Yes Than, I’m afraid that’s what appears to be the composition now. With Donald and Fitzsimmons departing, the environmental label has been all but subsumed in a wave of lefty/Maori sentiment.

    It’s a shame for it has no value to add in either direction there. The Maori angle is extremely well covered by Mana and the MP while Liarbore and Mana compete with it on the lefty economics angle.

    The only free hand they have is in the enviwonment and note toad’s recommendation was v heavy on those with just a dash thrown in to show the Gweens care about people as well as objects.

    So I guess at this point one has to agree with what many have said above, their should stick to the enviwonment and nothing but. Let’s face it, not even the most mental Green could compete with Bradford when it comes to lefty economics and when it comes to whipping up Maori envy and hatred, Hone and Annette just blitz through Meteria as if she wasn’t even there.

    Gee Mana’s a real problem for their “base” isn’t it.

    Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

    Could they work with the Blue-Greens on the enviwonment? Of course they could. Nick would probably even enjoy it. That’s where they should focus, but newsflash Gweenies. Rational modern mining is going to have to happen, so you’ll just have to get over that one.

    Dependency on lignite as a last resort energy source is terminal, because fossil fuels are a finite resource.

    toad we mine lignite as you well know since it’s high grade coking in high demand for China and we sell it, we don’t burn it. What’s wrong with making money from it? Why do you have any objection to that?

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  37. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    @big bruv 7:57 pm

    Why on earth would you want to give more money to the likes of the Philip Ures of this world?

    I don’t think he is typical of beneficiaries, bruv.

    And 12 years of depriving Phil Ure of the In Work Tax Credit (or its predecessor, the Child Tax Credit) hasn’t got Phil into paid employment anyway.

    Personally, I think we should just accept some people are never going to make a contribution to our economy, and we should just pay them a subsistence income that is enough to get by on.

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  38. B A Waugh (100 comments) says:

    All this talk makes me think of the Irish Greens.

    Back in 2007 they promised that they would never get into bed with the governing party.

    After the election they did just that.

    Their support died over the term of the government as Ireland had to try and deal with the economic crisis and their supporters deserted them. At the 2011 election they were all thrown out.

    The NZ Greens must take great care that they do not get destroy themselves.

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  39. smttc (771 comments) says:

    Toad says:

    Personally, I think we should just accept some people are never going to make a contribution to our economy, and we should just pay them a subsistence income that is enough to get by on.

    And that is where you depart company from me and economic reality. Free loaders must be kept to an absolute minimum and where appropriate, their subsistence income so miserable that they aspire to greater things.

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  40. big bruv (14,229 comments) says:

    Toad

    “Personally, I think we should just accept some people are never going to make a contribution to our economy, and we should just pay them a subsistence income that is enough to get by on.”

    Do you include DPB slappers in that mix Toad?, the ones who just keep producing kids as a way of avoiding work?
    What about the Kahui type families, the ones where you have two or three generations of people who have never worked?

    I almost agree with you, the only change I would make is that I would not pay the Philip Ure’s of this world anything at all, long term parasites deserve nothing from those of us who work for a living.

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  41. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    @big bruv 8:56 pm

    What about the Kahui type families, the ones where you have two or three generations of people who have never worked?

    Roger Douglas and Ruth Richardson are responsible for that.

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  42. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    @big bruv 8:56 pm

    Do you include DPB slappers in that mix Toad?, the ones who just keep producing kids as a way of avoiding work?

    I don’t agree with work-testing the DPB. I do think we should fund DPB recipients to get an education while receiving it; and, arguably, under compulsion.

    That way, they can get a job that gives them a decent income, rather than stacking supermarket shelves at $13 an hour, which really should be the preserve of school students wanting some pocket money.

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  43. reid (16,774 comments) says:

    Roger Douglas and Ruth Richardson are responsible for that.

    No, they [the Kahuis et al] are responsible for their own lives, toad.

    You can prove that by the simple observation that almost all of us alive throughout that period didn’t do what they did, therefore it must be them that did it to themselves, not what Roger and Ruth did.

    Musn’t it?

    Correct me if I’m wrong, by all means.

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  44. East Wellington Superhero (1,139 comments) says:

    @Toad

    “Roger Douglas and Ruth Richardson are responsible for that.”

    Surely you’re just trying to wind us up. There are plenty of poor people at my church and they don’t murder their kids because they’re poor you fucking arsehole. To use their suffering as a lever for your campaigning shows how disgraceful the scum in the Greens are.

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  45. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    @East Wellington Superhero 9:39 pm

    …The [sic] are plenty of poor people at my church and they don’t murder their kids because they’re poor you fucking arsehole…

    I assume from that you are a Christian, EWS. Calling someone a “fucking arsehole” doesn’t seem to me to epitomise the love of humanity that Jesus, from Biblical accounts, espoused.

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  46. East Wellington Superhero (1,139 comments) says:

    @ Toad

    None of us are perfect. That’s why Jesus came. Arsehole.

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  47. East Wellington Superhero (1,139 comments) says:

    Besides, the Church teaches that indignation at injustice is not the sin of anger. I’m not trying to claim that but my point is that to use Douglas and Richardson to excuse murderous low-lifes is an injustice to the twins and disrespectful to benefits of what National did in the 1990s, and this lie that you want to propagate in the wider political discourse of NZ is bad for the country – and ultimately contributes to the next set of Kahui twins. Gee, the only reason the luxury of the Green Party exists is because this country is wealthy enough to afford and not mired in the debt the Labour govt left behind in 1990.

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  48. East Wellington Superhero (1,139 comments) says:

    Anyway, I’m off to bed. Enjoy three more years of opposition and political infighting on the Left. It’s beautiful to watch John Key play you all for the chumps you are.

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  49. awb (304 comments) says:

    Personally I think it would be a bad idea for the Greens to go with National, the Green party will continue to grow if they maintain their independence from both National and Labour. Now is not the time for them to throw that away, especially on such a mediocre performing government like Key’s.

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  50. big bruv (14,229 comments) says:

    Toad

    “Roger Douglas and Ruth Richardson are responsible for that.”

    Even you don’t believe that Toad, your comment is trolling.

    Now, why is it that you will not let us debate the issues with you over at Frogblog?, is the censorship at Frogblog the sort of thing we might expect should the nation go mental and vote in a Green government?

    One other thing, I note that you have decided to use the “Bradford” tactic on mad Delahunty in the run up to this election. Once again you lock away the more extreme idiots in your caucus lest the public remember how bat shit crazy are and vote for somebody else, you did this with Bradford and you are doing it with Delahunty, is this not yet another sign of the Greens dishonesty?

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  51. big bruv (14,229 comments) says:

    awb

    The Greens will not grow, as soon as Labour get their shit sorted out the Greens will fall below the 5% threshold.

    Why do you think they are so keen to see MMP stay, they want to change MMP and make the threshold around 2-3%.

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  52. Nookin (3,590 comments) says:

    “And 12 years of depriving Phil Ure of the In Work Tax Credit (or its predecessor, the Child Tax Credit) hasn’t got Phil into paid employment anyway.

    Personally, I think we should just accept some people are never going to make a contribution to our economy, and we should just pay them a subsistence income that is enough to get by on.”

    Love to know what effort WINZ made. Judging by his embittered rants and sense of entitlement I doubt he made any effort.

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  53. bhudson (4,741 comments) says:

    toad,

    I do think we should fund DPB recipients to get an education while receiving it; and, arguably, under compulsion.

    Thank you for your endorsement of National’s welfare policy. Like your words, National’s policy is all about breaking the welfare dependency cycle.

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  54. Matt (213 comments) says:

    “Roger Douglas and Ruth Richardson are responsible for that.”

    No, that would be Micky Savage

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  55. Pete George (23,853 comments) says:

    National and Greens looking more likely after the latest Fairfax poll, Labour slide to 25.9%

    If you don’t want Greens in government, if you don’t want Winston Peters back, there’s one alternative – United Future.

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  56. Manolo (14,212 comments) says:

    If you don’t want Greens in government, if you don’t want Winston Peters back, there’s one alternative – United Future.

    Absurd statement akin to asking: do you prefer to drink a full glass of sulphuric acid or potassium cyanide?

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  57. freddos (54 comments) says:

    14.6% undecided in that poll PG – Dunne’s for the taking in the leaders’ debates. IF they were going to vote National they would have already committed; they’ll be looking for a stable support partner for Key.

    Ignore what the decided voters on this blog think about United Future – your dream may well come true when the undecided make up their minds!

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  58. Pete George (23,853 comments) says:

    It’s possible. From baying blog to MP mob in six months, that would be a story to tell :)

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  59. thedavincimode (6,891 comments) says:

    Unlikely to happen PG. Sounds like the natives are onto the fact that they only see Dunne every three years.

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  60. Manolo (14,212 comments) says:

    Sounds like the natives are onto the fact that they only see Dunne every three years.

    And only to repeat the same chant: income splitting, I’m Mr Reliable (but expensive to buy) and so on.

    I’d love to see a Parliament without the whorish Dunne.

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  61. Paulus (2,720 comments) says:

    Greens new wave of prospective members are in the main the first of the University PHD enviromental studies, and similar, crop, with many to follow. Highly educated socioists.

    They follow the Greenpeace model.

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  62. freddos (54 comments) says:

    Dunne disappears for three years because of the media – the only things interesting to report during the term are the controversies and he doesn’t do much of that. Then the election comes around where he can produce the goods of what he has achieved in the preceding three years and then wins every debate he goes into. Other MPs don’t like this because it makes them look bad – don’t believe their crap.

    Mr. Dunne is my local MP and a hardworker – stop slandering him and do some research into what he has actually achieved. If you’re not completely close-minded, you’d be pleasantly suprised.

    (Calling him a whore because he is in a centrist party is calling every swing voter a whore – shows vast lack of political intelligence and understanding of the system. May as well resort to a hair joke because that’s about the level your criticism is at)

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