Should the Greens be in the potential PM debates?

August 16th, 2014 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

co-leader Russel Norman wants to shake the minor party tag once and for all after the latest political poll gave them another seat in parliament.

The Stuff.co.nz/Ipsos Political Poll has National steady on 55.1 per cent, Labour down 2.4 percentage points on 22.5 and the Greens down 1.1 percentage point to 11.3 per cent.

Based on those results, the Greens would increase their numbers in the house by one to 15 seats, Labour would have 29 seats and National would govern alone with 72 seats.

The Greens have been the only party to grow consistently in the MMP environment and had a target of 15 per cent in the general election, he said.

Their results are:

  • 1999: 5.2%
  • 2002: 7.0%
  • 2005: 5.3%
  • 2008: 6.7%
  • 2011: 11.1%

Not quite consistent, but they have done well the last two elections.

That should count for something but they were consistently knocked back from the leaders’ debates.

“We don’t like the way we get excluded from the debates and all of that kind of stuff and if we had our way it would be like in the UK,” he said.

“We’ve argued with the TV stations, unsuccessfully, and with many others that it should be three-way debates with the Greens in there.”

Maybe Norman has a point. Maybe he should appear with David Cunliffe in the debates, and they could split Labour’s time with the Greens in say a 2:1 ratio?

The only problem is that there is no guarantee the Greens will be in Government, even if Labour wins. If NZ First blocks them, what can they do?

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65 Responses to “Should the Greens be in the potential PM debates?”

  1. Linda Reid (412 comments) says:

    Wouldn’t Labour need NZ First AND the Greens? Maybe we could shove Winston in there too. Split time 4:2:1

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  2. stever (26 comments) says:

    Key would make mince meat of both of them . Neither are as good at remembering silly little things like facts . But Key remembers everything .

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  3. Pete George (23,421 comments) says:

    I think it would be fair to include Norman in the debates. It will potentially be Key against Cunliffe/Norman in Parliament so should be in the debate.

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  4. Southern Raider (1,775 comments) says:

    Maybe Norman should take Cunnlifes place in the debates. The rate Labour is going the greens could be polling higher than them by the elections

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  5. Nigel Kearney (964 comments) says:

    Not quite consistent, but they have done well the last two elections.

    Are we looking at the same numbers? What I see is a string of results dangerously close to the 5% threshold, with one outlier.

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  6. Tom Barker (136 comments) says:

    “Key remembers everything”

    A teeny bit uncertain about where he stood on the 1981 Springbok tour, perhaps.

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  7. lolitasbrother (621 comments) says:

    There are two possibilities for PM. . John Key and David Cunliffe.
    Squeaky would just get in the way with supplementary questions.

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  8. oldpark (245 comments) says:

    Greens in debates maybe not.Some of the scuttlebutt doing the rounds that Russel Norman’s so called goody two shoes green party façade.,might be exposed by authorities, if and when they investigate the breaking and entering of personal emails by a sicko greenie named Hagar,and subsequently the contents being peddled around, by being collated in a paper holdall.Surely couldn’t call it a book,written by a thieving email crook.

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  9. OneTrack (2,966 comments) says:

    Not sure what Norman is going on about, it should be Turei in the debates, not Norman. Otherwise it would be “sexist” and “racist”.

    But it is an enlightening thought that a third of a left-wing government would be Green(red). But, of course, Cunliffe would be able to keep them in line and stop them destroying the economy. Yeah. Right.

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  10. waikatosinger (22 comments) says:

    MMP has introduced lots of complications into politics. We saw in Helensville the kind of mess that results from giving equal time to all the little noises.

    Norman isn’t a potential PM. I like to have at least one debate where we just have potential PM’s. I see elections as a choice of government. I want to hear the leaders speak to judge what those potential governments might be like.

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  11. mister nui (1,017 comments) says:

    Considering the greens never get as many votes on election day as pre-election polling estimates, based on a poll result of 11.3% yesterday, they could very well be in line to drop their vote this year below their 2011 level.

    One can only hope!

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  12. OneTrack (2,966 comments) says:

    waikatosinger – “I want to hear the leaders speak to judge what those potential governments might b”

    The problem mmp brings, means Cunliffe can’t tell you what it will be like. Norman, Turei, Winston, Hone, Laila and DotCom will all want their part of the pie. What will Cunliffe have to give the greens to get their support – Minister of Finance? There is no way of knowing until after the election. So, in this case, Norman has a point, they probably both should be in the debate, but after they have agreed on what their merged policies would be. And they won’t agree that until after the election.

    The joys of mmp.

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  13. rouppe (962 comments) says:

    The biggest problem with that idea is that they would get equal speaking time and that means the left would gang up on the right.

    Three overall screeching would be intolerable

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  14. Crusader (300 comments) says:

    Tom Barker (107 comments) says:
    August 16th, 2014 at 9:22 am

    “Key remembers everything”

    A teeny bit uncertain about where he stood on the 1981 Springbok tour, perhaps.

    And can Russell Norman remember where he stood on the Cold War? Given he is a communist, he probably supported the despotic regimes of the East. Probably wept bitter tears when the Berlin Wall came down. If Norman had his way, the wall would be higher, the internet censored and they would still be shooting people trying to escape.

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  15. adze (2,057 comments) says:

    Based on those results, the Greens would increase their numbers in the house by one to 15 seats

    Let us not forget that NZ First had 17 MPs after the 1996 election (if Winston had an ounce of honesty and integrity, his party may well still have had that many). :)

    I’m not sure it would be fair under normal circumstances to have one bloc of votes represented in a debate by two people, and the opposite bloc represented by one; but in Key’s case I suspect it would be fair to have both Cunliffe and Norman/Turei there (assuming the moderation is effective).

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  16. Daniel (201 comments) says:

    Norman should not be there. It is really a debate between the two potential Prime Ministers after the next election. That is what the debate is between, and that is what it should stay.

    Only in the event Greens were within a 2-3% of Labour (in which case the Green leader has a real chance of becoming PM) should they be included.

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  17. yankdownunder (17 comments) says:

    There is a sence of importance that is disproportionate with reality. Yet reality has never stopped them before.

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  18. FeralScrote (176 comments) says:

    Absolutely they should ,the sooner the voting public realise that the Greens will make NZ into the Nth Korea of the Sth Pacific the better ,daylight is the best disinfectant for this type of infestation.

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  19. Tom Barker (136 comments) says:

    “And can Russell Norman remember where he stood on the Cold War?”

    No idea – perhaps you should ask him.

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  20. Colville (2,239 comments) says:

    The Greens numbers have only risen since the demise of Klarke and the Liarbore Party.
    Get a half decent Leader back at the helm and the Mellons will be back down near the knife edge where they belong.

    Problem for Liarbore is that decent Leader may not have left high school yet! :-)

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  21. peterwn (3,238 comments) says:

    “If NZ First blocks them, what can they do?” Presumably meaning that the Greens would need to take whatever Labour & NZ First gives them. Greens could not put together a government without Labour, and Labour most probably cannot put together a government without NZ First – in other words they would be caught like the meat in the sandwich. So the Greens are effectively powerless and NZ First very powerful (assuming they break the 5% mark and have the balance of power) despite probably having fewer MP’s than the Greens.

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  22. Rowan (2,066 comments) says:

    I certainly would not go anywhere near the greens and am hoping that they do not form any part of govt after the elections, every policy they have is a reason not to vote for them, thanks to them so far we have the ridiculous anti smacking bill and ideas such as legalised pot, axing CERA and putting the cost of the earthquake rebuild on ratepayers, legalised abortion etc etc

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  23. Tarquin North (251 comments) says:

    I don’t think the Greens should be in any debate, personally I think Russel Norman should be sent back to Australia.

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  24. Reid (16,179 comments) says:

    I’m in favour of it. On the grounds the more exposure given to galloping mentals the less votes they’re going to get.

    Let’s hope the economy is the focus.

    “Wussel, what are you going to do to the tax base?”

    “Wussel, what are you going to do to our dairy industry?”

    “Wussel, what are you going to do to roads of national significance?”

    “Wussel, what are you going to do to petrol taxes?”

    etc.

    In fact, TVNZ should devote the entire night before the election to an in-depth four hour discussion with the entire Gween caucus at full bray. Wouldn’t that be good.

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  25. kaykaybee (153 comments) says:

    The only way they should ever be allowed in is if they split time/answers with Cunliffe (after all they’re vital to his proposed coalition) and not Key

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  26. Crusader (300 comments) says:

    “And can Russell Norman remember where he stood on the Cold War?”

    No idea – perhaps you should ask him.

    Given a chance, I would. But I have more to do than chase politicos.

    Instead it is the job of interviewers and commentators to challenge him on this topic every time he challenges someone else on their stance on moral issues. He has a vast hole in his moral compass by supporting an evil regime.

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  27. spanish_tudor (61 comments) says:

    Wussel can bugger off – these debates are between the contenders for Prime Minister, of which there are two, and only two. Until the Gweens overtake Labour he can continue to play in the minor party sandpit….

    While we’re at it, someone really needs to put him in his place with his newly-coined phrase of “the three major parties”. The Gweens are not, and hopefully never will be, a major party. Labour is only barely clinging to major party status too, but that’s a different story.

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  28. wiseowl (857 comments) says:

    I can’t believe that the Greens can get 10% for a start.
    That is a real worry.
    It is high time we changed the rules around eligibility to become an MP in NZ.
    The Australian and American in the Green Party are good examples of how easy it is for newcomers who don’t know a thing about this country, come in here and start acting as if they own the place.

    Norman will never be a leader.

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  29. MH (696 comments) says:

    legumes should never be at the same table as the carnivores

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  30. Longknives (4,686 comments) says:

    That one in ten people will vote for the Communist nutjob and his self-professed “Anarchist” sidekick is a very sad refection on New Zealand society today…

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  31. wat dabney (3,751 comments) says:

    It would certainly be an opportunity for Turia to show-off her latest designer outfit.

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  32. Nukuleka (291 comments) says:

    The only advantage of including Norman in the tv debate is surely that it gives Key the opportunity to hammer home to voters that you can’t have Cunliffe and the Labour Party in government without the support of Norman and the Greens. Every time he looks them in their collective eyes and refers to a ‘Green/Labour government’ (always put the Greens first!) the more voters will freak out at the prospect. Include Laila as well and the left would be collectively decimated!

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  33. Fisiani (1,021 comments) says:

    The debates will be between the two people who have any chance of being the Prime Minister. Russel Norman or Metiria Turei will never be the PM on Sept 21st so they should not be a part of the debate.

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  34. wat dabney (3,751 comments) says:

    I think the sight of Turia and Norman squeezed together behind a single lecturn would be hilarious.

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  35. duggledog (1,491 comments) says:

    Tom Barker

    I’m about three years younger than Key and I don’t remember where I stood on the All Blacks either. It was a whole lot of bullshit as far as I was concerned. Not everybody gave a f***. Not everybody cares about rugby. All I could see was a lot of boof heads scrapping about a situation in a country they knew nothing about the realities of. I didn’t really know either, but unlike many people I don’t profess to wank on about the details of someone else’s country having never been there

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  36. georgebolwing (754 comments) says:

    If I were John Key, I would offer my place to Norman and let him and Cunliffe have the debate to themselves.

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  37. duggledog (1,491 comments) says:

    Funny watching John Campbell having a spaz on TV last night about how his bosses have decided to uphold JK and DC’s veto on the debate that would include all the other parties’ leaders.

    It’s like he’s 90% mental. How would that work, John? How deep and meaningful would we get with all those people, who will NOT follow any rules of engagement laid down? It would be about as workable as a Labour / Greens / Internet Mana / NZ First whoever else coalition, but then John Campbell clearly sees that as a goer. A brilliant yet utterly stupid man.

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  38. Johnboy (15,891 comments) says:

    Of course Wussel should be in. Everybody knows where JK comes from. Putting him up against a chinless little fuck with an Aussie accent would be a WIN/WIN as Helen used to say! :)

    Cunners STILL has to stamp his mark as the leader of the Liarbours!….. No way he should be in! :)

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  39. Chris2 (771 comments) says:

    I think the Green Party would have a claim to being included with Labour and National if they had a single leader.

    But so long as they have this co-leader arrangement I don’t think they are ready to join National and Labour in the big debates.

    Currently, 13% of the Green MP’s in Parliament are leaders of the Party!

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  40. NX (604 comments) says:

    The leaders debate is between the two potential Prime Ministers. So until the Greens over take Labour in the polls, they don’t get a look in.

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  41. clevortrevor (3 comments) says:

    All parties should be in the debate so all the right questions are asked and answers are given. MMP is what we have, not what they have in the US.

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  42. Don the Kiwi (1,678 comments) says:

    Can’t believe that we have either:

    1. So many bloody communists in this country.

    2. Such a large slice of the population that are downright dumb and can’t see the Greens for what they are.

    I wonder which one applies to DPF, seeing that the Greens are his third choice?

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  43. dime (9,790 comments) says:

    “A teeny bit uncertain about where he stood on the 1981 Springbok tour, perhaps”

    springbok tour nutjob alert!

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  44. clevortrevor (3 comments) says:

    I can believe NZ has so many socialists and realists since this is what this country was founded on. Now we have capitalists and neo-conservatists where money and consumerism are the new religion.

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  45. Paulus (2,591 comments) says:

    Any inclusion to the debate by the Greens should be equal time to Marxist Norman and McGillicuddy Cannabis Turei.
    I would not give either the time of day.

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  46. clevortrevor (3 comments) says:

    Who conducts the polls? Where are these polls conducted?

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  47. Ross12 (1,370 comments) says:

    The answer to the question in the title of this thread is simply NO !! The Greens are not going to “supply” a potential PM.

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  48. ross411 (428 comments) says:

    oldpark (89 comments) says:
    August 16th, 2014 at 9:25 am
    Greens in debates maybe not.Some of the scuttlebutt doing the rounds that Russel Norman’s so called goody two shoes green party façade.,might be exposed by authorities, if and when they investigate the breaking and entering of personal emails by a sicko greenie named Hagar,and subsequently the contents being peddled around, by being collated in a paper holdall.Surely couldn’t call it a book,written by a thieving email crook.

    There’s nothing more that I’d like to see than people discredited for good reason, but conjecture and unproven gossip mixed with insults helps no-one.

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  49. ross411 (428 comments) says:

    Tom Barker (108 comments) says:
    August 16th, 2014 at 9:22 am
    “Key remembers everything”

    A teeny bit uncertain about where he stood on the 1981 Springbok tour, perhaps.

    And?

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  50. ross411 (428 comments) says:

    Tarquin North (174 comments) says:
    August 16th, 2014 at 10:36 am
    I don’t think the Greens should be in any debate, personally I think Russel Norman should be sent back to Australia.

    Which means nothing. Whether you like it or not, Russel is as much as NZer as anyone born here for all intents and purposes, and he represents 10% of the population who like as not back him without understanding the naive choices he is really peddling.

    All parties which can be considered relevant to some degree should be included following some rules. Not having these rules gives them the chance to get more than what they should be entitled to, given their relevance. Not including the parties, gives the aggrieved who make up their followers, more reason to bolster their grievances. There may come a time when National has become stagnant and full of irrelevant career politicians, to the degree Labour now finds itself. In that case, young and up and coming parties who might shake things up in good ways (certainly not any of the current pick) should have a reasonable avenue towards access.

    How many appearances will the unworthy get, if they take the chance and get hoist on their own petard? Picture Penny Bright taking questions. “Have you paid your rates?” “Aren’t you a hypocrite given…” Etc.

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  51. RRM (9,767 comments) says:

    :lol: LOL – thanks for the laugh, wed Wussell.

    Now fuck off.

    Seriously.

    You’re not a potential Prime Minister of this country, you are just a child.

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  52. gravedodger (1,545 comments) says:

    On the basis of would the real leader of the opposition please stand up, maybe Key should face up to Peters, Robertson, Norman, Turei, and even Cunliffe if he insists.

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  53. prosper (146 comments) says:

    Have any of the greens received a seat through the electorate vote? Can you be a prime minister if you are a list m.p. Why should a list m.p. have equal time with an elected m.p.?

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  54. Rightandleft (659 comments) says:

    I can’t stand the Greens but I think Norman is right on this one. The debates seem to be stuck in the FPP past. If Labour wins it is highly likely the Greens would get a significant share of Cabinet and policies. People need to know what the potential future of a left-wing govt really is.

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  55. PaulL (6,015 comments) says:

    Two different concepts. One is a debate between the two potential prime ministers. The other is a debate about policy by those who affect policy. Of course, that second debate wouldn’t just stop with the Greens, Winston could have a big impact on policy, as could Colin, etc etc. I know the Greens like to keep reminding everyone that they’re the biggest of the minor parties, but that status doesn’t actually confer anything useful. It doesn’t even guarantee them a position in the govt if the left were to win.

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  56. flash2846 (252 comments) says:

    In 1981 John Key was just 20 years old. Perhaps he had more on his mind than a rugby tour. Also if like me he was pro-tour he will know the MSM will not tolerate that position so it’s best to simply not discuss it.
    Loser lefties were always jealous of good sports people because non of them could make the team.

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  57. Shazzadude (526 comments) says:

    I think double digits would be a fair qualifier to make the debate.

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  58. gravedodger (1,545 comments) says:

    Historically it has been a “Leaders” debate as a window to assess the incumbent and the challenger.
    Until 2014 it has been clearly between National and Labour.
    As the NZLP slides towards the margin of error there is a case I guess for a challenger series say a ‘Hui Cruton’ with a winner then going up against the incumbent.

    Then endless court action as to legality, venues, vessels wings, feathers, paint, grafiti

    Oh bugger it go back to FPP with the sixty electorates and grass roots campaigning to win at the local level, that will deliver more than enough incompetents and morons to help the bureaucracy to keep the peasants in order.

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  59. MT_Tinman (3,092 comments) says:

    duggledog (1,402 comments) says:
    August 16th, 2014 at 12:20 pm
    Tom Barker

    I’m about three years younger than Key and I don’t remember where I stood on the All Blacks either. It was a whole lot of bullshit as far as I was concerned. Not everybody gave a f***. Not everybody cares about rugby.

    Do not fall for the red scum’s lies.

    The 1981 argument was about how best to oppose apartheid, not whether you supported it or not. Rugby had nothing to do with it either.

    What side you were on or whether you remember what you thought of it at the time is of no import, simply yet another strawman.

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  60. UpandComer (528 comments) says:

    Nope.

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  61. MT_Tinman (3,092 comments) says:

    Rightandleft (649 comments) says:
    August 16th, 2014 at 3:33 pm
    I can’t stand the Greens but I think Norman is right on this one.

    I’ve read many of your ravings on Kiwiblog.

    The highlighted bit I have trouble with.

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  62. MT_Tinman (3,092 comments) says:

    DPF I can’t see how silent T qualifies to be on the potential leaders debate.

    I’m buggered if I can see how the leader of the NZ branch of the Ocker communist party would.

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  63. UpandComer (528 comments) says:

    Nope. Also, I love how lefties think you have to be political about absolutely everything, and asking snide questions about stuff that happened 30, 50, 100 years ago amounts to some kind of ‘gotcha’. JK was presumably just being the man in 1981 and worrying about his own life, not stuff he couldn’t control or influence at the time. Why don’t you dickheads ask him what his thoughts were on the Treaty of Versailles, the Vienna convention, and the murder of Trotsky or something while you’re at it.

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  64. OneTrack (2,966 comments) says:

    Ross12 – “The answer to the question in the title of this thread is simply NO !! The Greens are not going to “supply” a potential PM.”

    Deputy PM? Co-Deputy PM?

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  65. Warren Murray (298 comments) says:

    As the Greens make up 50% of Labour’s numbers, it will strengthen their claim to be Co-Primeministers in the future LoC government after 20 September.

    Seems fair enough, as does the time allocation suggested by Farrar.

    Nah, just kidding

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