A smoking gun from Bryce Edwards. He has been leaked an internal Green Party document that explicitly says they have been advised by the Cabinet Office that their confidence and supply agreement does not bind them to support the waka jumping bill.
Yet Stuff reported:
“We are doing this because the confidence and supply agreement holds us to it,” Davidson said.
That is a deliberate lie from the Green Party co-leader. She would have known that the Cabinet Office had advised they are not required to support the bill. But she lied and said they were required to, to try and placate their members.
And in case you think Stuff misreported, here is the official Green press release:
“We are doing this because the confidence and supply agreement holds us to it.” Marama Davidson said.
So the Green Party put out a press release they knew to be false, justifying their support for a bill that their members hate.
Bryce Edwards points out:
Then last week the party finally revealed that they would indeed vote for the legislation, even though they still opposed it. They justified this capitulation with the notion that their hands were tied by the coalition agreement that they signed up to with the Labour Party – especially the part in which they promised to deal in “good faith” with Labour to fulfil coalition agreements with New Zealand First.
It turns out that the Greens have always known that there is nothing in the coalition agreement they signed with Labour that obliges them to vote for the waka-jumping bill. A leaked Green Party caucus document from January, titled “Advice to caucus – Electoral (Integrity) Amendment Bill”, reports on official advice informing the Greens that there is nothing in their coalition agreement that binds them to provide support. …
The fact that the Greens have tried to tell the public the opposite therefore raises some big questions about why they’ve mislead the public on this, and what the real reasons are for their U-turn on the bill.
There are two main possible explanations: weakness or opportunism. In the “weakness” explanation, the Greens have acted like doormats – the leader of New Zealand First has simply demanded that the Greens vote for the bill, or there will be some sort of very negative consequence (perhaps even threatening to walk away from the coalition Government). In this scenario, the Greens have meekly rolled over and given away their principles easily.
Under the “opportunist” explanation, the Greens have demanded some sort of price for voting against their principles. Perhaps it was the oil and gas exploration ban. Perhaps there is an upcoming policy announcement about mining on conservation land, or a deal on the Kermadecs sanctuary. What other horse-trading deals are being done between the three parties in government?
The problem is we will likely never know. We now have an opaque Government in which the official coalition agreements aren’t the full story, and instead we’re being governed by backroom deals that the public isn’t allowed to know about. It seems therefore that the waka-jumping deal epitomises the continued decay of principled and transparent politics, and how even so-called principled politicians such as the Greens are willing to buy into it all.
I suspect the opportunist explanation – that the Greens and Winston have done a private deal.