HDPA on whether Greens coalition with Winston will kill them

HDPA writes:

Given the events of the last week, it may be time for both the Green and Labour parties to ask themselves how badly they want the baubles of office this year.

Is three years in Government worth the carnage they could suffer? Because, it’s becoming clearer, joining forces with Winston Peters after this year’s election could damage them both.

Parties in power with Winston always suffer. If National does an agreement with Winston for a 4th term, they’ll end up bundled out of office in the low to mid 30s and facing nine years in opposition afterwards.

If Labour and do a deal with Winston, they’ll be a one term Government. They may not even last a term, and the Greens may have to worry about the 5% threshold.

But how can the leadership label NZ First’s approach racist, then in just a few weeks’ time seriously expect members to accept the Greens coalescing with that very same party?

The Greens are a party founded in activism. The members care deeply enough to force leadership to retract an immigration policy aimed at cutting numbers.

If they are in a coalition with Winston, they’ll be asked daily to comment on his latest attack on refugees or Asians or whatever. And they’ll have to humour him or face him bringing the Government down, with the net impact being their own brand gets damaged. Having Winston choose you to go into Government with him is not winning – it is losing.

The Greens risk being torn apart by divisions over Peters.

Which is why I hope he chooses them if he has the balance of power. It could see the Greens wiped out of Parliament the election after.

If he does ask to job-share the prime ministership for part of the three-year term – and then actually get that from a party desperate after nine years in Opposition – the damage to Labour will be enormous.

It will fundamentally undermine our traditional perception of Labour as one of the country’s two major parties. Suddenly, Labour would become a minor party in our minds.

Winston picked up the point I made on Friday that if Labour drop just 3% more (according to their own internal polls) then Andrew Little is out of Parliament and a leaderless Labour will happily accept Winston Peters as Prime Minister in a three way left Government. A brilliant decapitation strategy for Peters.

He may not even need to steal a further 3% off Labour. If they win an additional electorate seat, then 2% will do it.

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