More on the Greens list

February 10th, 2014 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

I published last week a draft Green Party list. The said it was an entirely unofficial list, and was not the list that the hierarchy and electorate delegates put together for members to vote on. That is correct, as that list is yet to be drawn up. But in political parties it is not unusual for different factions to start circulating what they see as their desired list.

The source who provided the draft list has elaborated:

I can confirm that the list I gave you the other week came from the parliamentary wing of the party. It reflects internal thinking that the party needs to constantly refresh caucus as this has been done well up to now. Good performance needs to be rewarded and poor performance needs to be dealt with accordingly.

In particular, there is a lot of support for Julie Anne Genter to secure the Transport Minister role amongst parliament and and the wider party. Hence her big jump and high ranking.

Marama Davidson and Aaryn Barlow are seen as up and comers with strong personal backgrounds and were good candidate performers. James Shaw rounds off a solid 1st 15.

David Clendon has been demoted in the list as he is regarded as lazy and lacking cut-through while Steffen Browning is seen as a political liability by his caucus colleagues. Kennedy Graham begins to drop down the rankings and while being a poor performer in opposition it is hoped his previous experience may help in government.

I would be surprised if many in the Greens disagreed with those assessments. What will be interesting is if the draft list out together by the hierarchy is close to the list that was circulating last week. It will not be identical of course, but the key things to look out for is whether Genter shoots up the rankings, and if Browning and Clendon stay in the top 10.

UPDATE: A manager with the parliamentary party has said on the record that the parliamentary leadership and senior staff have not had any involvement with the unofficial list that was sent to me. They can’t rule out that someone at Parliament hasn’t compiled their own wish list, and been pushing it – but they are unaware of any activity like that and do not sanction it. I believe those assurances.

I have no reason however to doubt the source has said anything untrue, and that they did not receive the list from someone in Parliament. I won’t print anything I believe to be untrue. The source has been reliable in the past. Also I do apply my own judgement to a degree and the rankings in the unofficial list do meld with general consensus around the beltway around individual MPs. If for example someone sent me what purports to be an unofficial Green Party list with Browning ranked No 3, I’d laugh out loud as I hit the trash bin.

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17 Responses to “More on the Greens list”

  1. srylands (410 comments) says:

    “In particular, there is a lot of support for Julie Anne Genter to secure the Transport Minister role.”

    I am not looking forward to this. I hope Mr Brownlee can fast track Transmission Gully so we see some giant Komatsu scrapers in full swing by November. If not, and Labour-Greens win, she will kill this project stone dead. Along with anything else that moves that does not walk or pedal.

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  2. Pete George (23,602 comments) says:

    The funny thing about the protests about this list was that it’s hard to argue against most of the movements. The only thing obviously against it is the gender imbalance, Greens usually try and have that as equal as possible.

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  3. spanish_tudor (81 comments) says:

    It also explains why lowly, average performer Fenton was made Transport spokesperson by Cunliffe. Labour have probably already promised this key portfolio to the Green nutjobs.

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  4. RRM (9,933 comments) says:

    When are they going to wake up to the fact that #1 on the list is the biggest “political liability” they own?

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  5. emmess (1,428 comments) says:

    It also explains why lowly, average performer Fenton was made Transport spokesperson by Cunliffe

    Maybe they will create a new role for her as Minister of Traffic

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  6. Richard29 (377 comments) says:

    So this source of yours is not an MP or senior staff member in the Greens. Are they one of the hundreds of delegates who will have a role in shaping the initial list or are they one of the thousands of Green party members who decide the final list?

    Are they even a Green party member or are you just fomenting happy mischief?

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  7. Richard29 (377 comments) says:

    “But in political parties it is not unusual for different factions to start circulating what they see as their desired list.”

    That kind of influencing might work in the National party where a small handful of people decide the list behind closed doors – I don’t see how that would work in a party like the Greens where the entire membership votes on the list.

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  8. Pete George (23,602 comments) says:

    Richard29 – there seems to be a quite a bit of influencing in the Green list process.

    Raymond Miller:

    …although even they adopted a form of “guided democracy” with a view to both offering protection to incumbents and promoting their long-held commitment to regional, gender, and ethnic equality. The first stage in the process is to compile a list of potential candidates, all of whom are vetted to ensure that they comply with the electoral and party rules.

    The party’s Executive and pool of potential candidates then vote preferentially, a process which involves the distribution of their lists and rankings to the membership of the party. In this way, the party leadership is able to offer clear direction to members, who are free to adopt or modify their lists (2005: p.118).

    Bryce Edwards:

    But the Greens’ list selection process isn’t as democratic as their MPs suggest. In their list selection, the Greens actually use what they call ‘guided democracy’ which isn’t exactly ‘real democracy’.

    What this means is that the party leadership and election candidates get together to form a ‘selectorate’ and decide on the ordering of a list, which is then given to the wider membership to re-arrange should they want (using STV preferential voting), but then the party ‘selectorate’ are then relatively free to ignore the re-ordering of members and go with the order they prefer.

    This is known in the political science as ‘incumbency protection’, and it certainly works for Green MPs – the process rewards the incumbent Green MPs with all the high list positions, and newcomers find it difficult to get winnable list positions.

    Members are effectively given a pre-ordained decision on who should have what list position, and unsurprisingly the membership likes to go along with what the leadership suggest. Investigating the 2001 list ordering, Auckland University political scientist Prof Raymond Miller found that the Green members tended to follow the recommended list of the leadership with only ‘some discrepancies’.

    If this process is still the way things work in practice than it isn’t surprising to see internal lists put together before it goes out to members to tweak.

    Despite claims of “democracy” it’s natural for those with the greatest authority to effectively have the greatest say. And from what I see Greens are good at loyally backing their leaders.

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  9. Huevon (222 comments) says:

    Interesting that Clendon and Browning are out. A look at their profiles on the Green website shows to me that both men have impeccable greenie credentials – running organic farms (Browning), environmental protection work/uni academic (Clendon).

    But maybe that is their problem…both look like they are from the Rod Donald/Jeanette Fitzsimmons generation. As much as I disagree with their politics, I respected them because they really worked hard on things that they believed in…running green businesses, cleaning up bird nests, and composting their own shit, etc.

    The new generation is nothing like that. They don’t actually DO anything. They just have “correct” opinions, and they shriek and howl about how the “Right” is evil and nasty. They are Leftists, pure and simple, and can not tolerate anyone who isn’t exactly like them. Perhaps that is the problem with Clendon and Browning…

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  10. thedavincimode (6,800 comments) says:

    I published last week a draft daft Green Party list

    Spell-checker failure alert.

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  11. peterwn (3,277 comments) says:

    I do not know why Labour needs to have made any promises or commitments to Labour. The greens have nowhere else to turn. In particular Labour will not want the Greens stuffing up Labour’s 2017 chances assuming Labour ‘wins’ this year.

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  12. kahikatea (16 comments) says:

    Pete, that’s not how the Green Party list ranking works (whatever Raymond Miller may believe, and I must say I am surprised that he would get it wrong). The candidates and electorate delegates vote on the initial list, and members of the Party Executive do not vote on the list unless they happen to be chosen as delegates by their electorates.

    The purpose of this initial list ranking is not to protect incumbents, but actually to level the playing field between incumbents and newcomers. The candidates and delegates are able to attend the campaign conference and meet and quiz all the candidates, enabling them to spot talented newcomers and put them high on the initial list to draw the wider membership’s attention to them. I was on the committee that designed this system, and one of the aims in doing it that way was to get around the natural advantage sitting MPs have due to their higher profile.

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  13. Pete George (23,602 comments) says:

    Thanks kahikatea – but those put forward for the list must come from somewhere. Does the process totally begin at the campaign conference? Surely there is some discussion about possibilities in advance, and some attempts to influence delegate and member preferences. That’s how politics works no matter how idealistic a process might be,

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  14. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    @Pete George 1:11 pm

    Raymond Miller is wrong about a couple of key parts of the Greens’ list ranking process. That surprises me, because Miller is usually well-researched and the Greens’ list ranking process is registered with the Electoral Commission and is a publicly available document.

    Note that at para 4.4.4 of the list ranking process, those entitled to vote for the initial list are the Leadership Group (Party Co-Leaders, Party Co-Convenors, Policy Co-Convenors – 6 people – not the whole Executive as Miller states), Candidates, and [this is the bit that Miller misses] Electorate Delegates or proxies.

    Given that the number of Electorate delegate votes far outweighs the combined number of candidates and Leadership Group votes, and that Electorate delegates are selected by their Electorate membership and required to consult with their Electorate membership before voting on the initial list, this is not a top-driven, hierarchical or self-selecting process.

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  15. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    @Pete George 1:44 pm

    If you read the document I linked to, it is clear that the process doesn’t begin with the Campaign Conference – there is an entire earlier stage that a prospective candidate needs to go through to be considered suitable as a candidate at all. That earlier stage of the process is the one that David Hay fell foul of last year.

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  16. doggone7 (808 comments) says:

    I just hope they have people with important, significant credentials like being head boy or girl and captain of the 1st XV, 1st X1 or 1st V11 in schools like Scots College!

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  17. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    And confronted with the evidence, rather than the spin, the right wing attack machine promptly abandoned ship on this thread.

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