Will the Greens get Finance

From The Nation:

Rachel         Okay you said that you’re open to potentially, you know helping to form a coalition.  Presumably you’d want a ministerial position in that coalition.  What do you think you’d be best suited to?

Russel         Yeah I mean I think the Green team would want ministerial positions.  So you know we come as a package, so we’ve got co-leaders, and we’ve got some really talented MPs, so we’d be looking at some of those key portfolios, both economics and finance portfolios, but other social and environmental portfolios as well.

Rachel         Okay so what would sit well with you?  Minister of Finance?

Russel         You know obviously that needs to be sorted in a post-election negotiation.  Obviously we are interested in positions like that, but in terms of the detail you couldn’t really sort it out until you know what the vote were.  It’s up to the voters to decide how much influence the Green Party has.

Rachel         Would you rule it out?

Russel         I wouldn’t rule it out, I wouldn’t rule it in. You know at the end of the day we’ll go to the election, the voters will determine the level of influence we have, and that will determine the outcome.

In 1996 National got 34% and NZ First got 13% and that was enough to get Winston Peters Treasurer. If there is a change of Government, then the Greens are looking will placed to demand the same. They are currently polling around 12% and Labour 32%.

We’d be the first country outside Eastern Europe I suspect to have a former Marxist (or was it a Maoist – always get them confused!) as Minister of Finance!

With at least three parties needed to form a centre-left Government, it would be a fascinating thing to observe. On current polling it could be Labour gets only 12 – 14 Cabinet Ministers, with the Greens getting 4 – 6, NZ First 2 – 3 and possibly Mana 1.

From a political observation point of view, it would be fascinating. From a taxpayer point of view, it would be less fun.

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