NZ Green Party
Tactical compromise or purist ideology

The Herald’s editorial this morning is an interesting one.  It looks at the Green’s dilemma over whether to support the Emissions Trading Scheme or not this Tuesday. It notes the ongoing negotiations and significant home insulation gains that the Greens have won so far. Enough it suggests for the Greens to engage in the politics of ‘tactical compromise’, rather than ‘purist ideology’:

But the danger is that, if the ETS passes with Green support, the main parties – and the country – will sit back and regard the job as done.

The Greens rightly object that the scheme as it stands does not address the threat boldly enough, that the cost is falling too much on consumers and not enough on polluters and that the agriculture and transport sectors are being protected from the scheme’s requirements for too long.

The fact is – the dwindling band of dissenters notwithstanding – that the pace of climate change is outstripping the human race’s response to it. As a result we risk becoming, like a rabbit trapped in a truck’s headlight beam, paralysed by our own inaction.

Here the editorial is echoing international scientific opinion that we now have a very short amount of time left to act and that action needs, as the Herald says, to be bold. Not only is the ETS currently unfair, it is strikingly too timid.

For too long, major party policies have focused on protecting our brand in international trade and minimising the effect on industry and agriculture on the grounds that it would cost us too much to do more. But as the Stern Review and other research has starkly shown, the cost of not doing enough is much higher.

The Greens are right to continue acting as the nation’s conscience and holding out for meaningful change. Recycling soft-drink bottles is not going to be enough.

It’s worrying that other parties, presumably also cogniscent of the scientific imperative we face, are still willing put in place a short term compromise that might become a long term millstone. There should be equal political pressure on them to all make a conscionable decision on Tuesday too.

67 thoughts on “Tactical compromise or purist ideology

  1. “..There should be equal political pressure on them to all make a conscionable decsion on Tuesday too..”

    so..frog..

    ..are you advocating the greens don’t support this legislation..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  2. “Recycling soft-drink bottles is not going to be enough.”

    Especially if it doesn’t happen – Greymouth council are hoping to start recycling sometime next year.

    Every country that has introduced an ETS scheme has had to compromise at the start but these schemes are being fixed now they’re in place. It’s easier to change direction once you’re moving.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  3. The greens will do whatever Aunty Helen and her big bad tell them.

    I wish they could recycle brain cells as they’re in short supply in a cess pit they call Parliament.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  4. “On Section 59 the Greens simply did what they believed was the right thing to do (and to hell with the consequences, especially for Labour).”

    On this issue I completely agree with Chris Trotter. The Green Party is one of the few parties ( along with the Maori Party & Act) that has any principles. It should be taking a stand based on those principles, otherwise it might as well close up shop and join the Alliance in the dustbin of political history.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  5. The difficulty here, Bryan, is that there is some conflict between Green principles and policies (whereas section 59 was straightforward for the MPs as the Green’s members had developed a policy that was unequivocal.

    Here we have a proposal that is a step in the direction of the Greens’ policies on putting a charge on greenhouse emissions, albeit not as fast or as extensive a step as the Greens would want. At the same time its effect will be a step in the wrong direction in terms of the Greens’ policies on plantation forestry biodiversity and forestry land in Treaty of Waitangi settlements.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  6. toad: then it sounds like the action to take is for the Green Party to vote against the ETS bill.

    If you do vote for the ETS bill in it’s current form then don’t you run the risk of losing a lot of support fronm your constituency ? You are never going to get votes from the majority of electors so why not just stick to your principles and ensure support from those who will understand your decision.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  7. toad: if you do vote for the ETS it will just look ( probably unfairly) that once again you have let Labour “put you in your place”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  8. This is a huge dilemma – the classic fundi vs realo situation – and I don’t know what the answer is.

    I know our mps have tried to put as many conditions as they can on it – and have failed. Unless they can force a clause that commits the government to real action and positive incremental change, I’m inclined to think they should not support it.

    The small changes can be addressed through other legislation – unless this bill has teeth it isn’t going to work.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  9. Bryan Spondre said: You are never going to get votes from the majority of electors so why not just stick to your principles and ensure support from those who will understand your decision.

    There is political risk both ways Bryan, There are those among the environmental NGO’s (eg Greenpeace, EDS) who support the Government’s ETS as being better than nothing.

    Then again, I think Forest and Bird are suggesting that a hard line needs to be taken on the forest biodiversity issue, on which the Government doesn’t seem to be prepared to budge.

    So I don’t think it is the case that the environmental NGOs, whose supporters would disproportianaely include Green Party supporters, have clear-cut stand on it.

    BTW, for the sake of the planet, I want the Greens to eventually be the dog, rather than perennially the tail. It is the indecision of unprincipled parties in Governments all around the world that has got us where we are in terms of greenhouse emissions and environmental degradation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  10. I’m speaking here as someone who really doesn’t follow this too closely but I cant help thinking that it doesn’t matter to the planet one bit if we pass this ETS, a more environmentally friendly one or nothing at all. On a global scale NZs emissions must be tiny.

    Could somebody please be kind enough to explain it to me

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  11. shorty

    You have it right, our efforts will make no difference at all.

    The watermelon party are simply using the climate change con as a way of slowly brining in more and more hard left legalisation, their ultimate goal of course is for us to become a one party socialist state.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  12. Shorty, New Zealanders are some of the greatest emitters of greenhouse gases per capita on the planet.

    However this isn’t the substance of your question. I’d say that the reason is that China and others have made huge steps towards an eventual emissions reduction in just the last 18 months or so (although they’re still going up rapidly). They want to move in the right direction, but while developed countries continue to rise (and there is no guarantee that the bill in its current form will see a decrease), they’re not likely to move very quickly.

    There is much to be gained from transitioning to a low carbon economy actually. We shouldn’t see it as a cost but a chance for innovation and renewal, as countries like Denmark are doing – just last week a minister there actally welcomed higher oil prices. And the actual costs are relatively low, even when you don’t consider the costs of business as usual.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  13. From Bill Ralston’s column in todays herald…
    This suspicion was reinforced when Jeanette Fitzsimons was asked if her caucus was split on how the party should vote.

    She replied she would not know until next Tuesday’s caucus because she had not spoken to her MPs.

    Why hasn’t she spoken to her MPs before askingus what we think?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  14. Probably because negotiations had been occurring apace while Parliament is in recess and MPs are on the road. The Greens have these big discussions at Caucus meetings and that doesn’t usually happen during recess.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  15. Just to make sure everyone knows. We haven’t YET decided how this should play out… I personally have not made up my mind. The issue is pretty much as described. We got some good stuff… but we didn’t get the key points managed the way we think they should be.

    It isn’t clear that anything better will come available in a future government that almost certainly is dominated by national. How does getting nothing at all sound? I don’t like it. I don’t like the choice being presented, but this choice is born of the party’s history. I have no sympathy that we must make the choice and take our lumps one way or the other.

    respectfully
    BJ

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  16. >>Could somebody please be kind enough to explain it to me

    Shorty,

    You are correct. No matter what we do – cut or double our emissions – we won’t make the slightest difference to the worlds climate. We will, however, waste billions.

    Unfortunately, this is just another stealth tax. And it is a big one.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  17. I have some difficulty reconciling this Herald editorial with the one on the Friday before the 2005 election where they virtually demanded voters prevent a Labour-Green coalition.

    Obviously they want Greens to vote for the ETS and they pose as pro the Greens cause to present themselves as a more credible “pressure group”.

    What are the consequences of the Greens doing so – National say they see a cost on the economy – to both producers and consumers and seek voter support to repeal it and do something else (without saying what, just that they will work on it).

    Another option is to not vote for the ETS and instead offer Labour support on the home insulation programme alone independently of it. This is the popular part and as it costs the government money and makes householders better off. But as an investment in energy efficiency (why not borrow the money, they pay off is better than new roads), it will allow lower consumption of energy and thus reduce the cost of producing power (be good for business).

    This of course puts pressure back on National because it reduces their ability to borrow for roads or afford tax cuts for spending on imported consumer goods.

    PS Greens should have commissioned a poll asking New Zealanders whether they wanted the ETS passed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  18. could someone tell me why the green leadership feel no need/obligation to lay out the bare facts/choices of the decision facing them/us..?

    this lack of any ‘conversation’ with those whose opinions they are canvassing..

    ..does leave me somewhat puzzled/dumbfounded..

    y’know..!..all that ‘talk’ about open governing..?..and all that..?

    why can they not ‘come down from the mountain’..?

    ..to tell us lowly peasants ‘what’s what’..

    ….that ‘sucks’..

    ..you have the golden opportunity to show the voters the greens are ‘different’..

    ..yet in the execution of this ‘exercise’..

    ..you are really ‘blowing it’..

    ..and just feeding the cynics..

    ..phil(whoar.co.nz)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  19. Federated Farmers, in a thinly veiled press release message to the Greens, say, ‘don’t do it greenies’. Tells us all we need to know.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  20. # shorty Says:
    August 24th, 2008 at 1:22 pm

    > I’m speaking here as someone who really doesn’t follow this too closely but I cant help thinking that it doesn’t matter to the planet one bit if we pass this ETS, a more environmentally friendly one or nothing at all. On a global scale NZs emissions must be tiny.

    and 2% of New Zealand’s emissions is even smaller, and that’s the amount that Labour expect the ETS to reduce NZ’s emissions by. Really, it’s about New Zealand playing its part in the evolution of emissions trading schemes globally. I think the European union is the only place that has one so far. They need to be joined by others. And because of New Zealand’s reputation as clean and green, there is a risk that a failure on new Zealand’s part to get a scheme going could be used to argue against other countries doing it.

    Also, there’s the fact that European food producers are using the food miles argument against imports from New Zealand. The argument is flawed, but making real progress on environmental issues in New Zealand will make it easier for us to show up the fact that the food miles argument is flawed, and thus protect our exprot industries.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  21. To add to kahikatea’s arguments there is also the problem of Kyoto only measuring domstic emissions with no regard to imports and exports. Earlier this month Treehugger posted on the Stockholm Environment Institute’s study for the UK government on this very issue.
    http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/08/uk-carbon-emissions-49-percent-higher-than-claimed.php

    UK’s official CO2 emissions fell by 13% between 1992-2004. But once emissions (up 35%) from are subtracted and imports (up 90%) are added UK end-user emissions actually rose by 13%.

    I don’t know what would happen to New Zealand’s CO2 emissions, or the change over time, if the same methodology is applied. But one thing we can be sure of is that agriculture and transport would account for a significantly lower share than the ETS assumes.

    SEI also criticises the methodology used by the UK government to assess the price that needs to be placed on carbon emissions to effect the necessary reductions, even under the Kyoto accounting methodology.
    http://www.sei.se/pubs/shadow_price_DEFRA.pdf

    This should come as no real surprise. The predicted impact that Labour’s ETS will have on petrol prices is less than 10 cents a litre.
    Land Transport New Zealand Research Report 331 Impacts of fuel price changes on New Zealand transport found that
    The preferred model implies that a 10% (real) rise in the price of petrol will affect petrol consumption as follows:
    • Petrol consumption will decrease by 1.5% within a year;
    • Petrol consumption will decrease by 2% after two years;
    Further modelling indicated that the short-run elasticity (the impact of prices on petrol consumption over the first year) is expected to be constant over time. This elasticity showed no indication of increasing or decreasing with time.

    So even if transport was included in the ETS immediately the resulting 10c increase is only 5% which means petrol consumption, and by implication, carbon emissions, would fall by just 1%.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  22. As I understand it, the main problem with supporting the ETS is that it is will place the financial burden of climate change amelioration upon the “poor?, while exempting the “rich?, in particular the farming lobby and large energy intensive industries. Personally I don’t see that as a good reason not to support the bill. Under the rule of capital, the poor will always be disadvantaged. But if climate catastrophe can be averted by imposing draconian restrictions upon 90% of the world’s population while leaving the remaining 10% free to live as extravagantly as they can afford to, then so be it.

    Under the present system the only way that climate change can be averted is the “unfair? way and this “unfair? way will be manifest in all sorts of market policies, from rising fuel charges to congestion charges, which allow the rich to travel further, faster and in greater comfort while the poor are deprived of the ability to travel at all.

    The question of “fairness? must, and will, be resolved separately from the issue of climate catastrophe. We live in an unfair world. The Green parliamentary party is an intrinsic, albeit reluctant, element of that “unfair? regime, and is in no position to alter its fundamental character. I expect that, like the Labour Party, they will eventually recognise that within the present system they can only achieve their environmental goals by “unfair? means, and that it will be up to the poor themselves to resolve the problem of unfairness at some future time.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  23. >>..yet in the execution of this ‘exercise’….you are really ‘blowing it’..

    Revealing their true colors, once again.

    The truth is they are just like all the rest.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  24. >>making real progress on environmental issues in New Zealand will make it easier for us to show up the fact that the food miles argument is flawed, and thus protect our exprot industries.

    Nonsense. The protectionist EU community won’t give a toss what NZ does, they’ll continue to make the argument that New Zealand is far, far away. A simple (straw man) message, easily digested. We’d be much better off competing on price, because most consumers will vote with their wallets. Increase our prices, and we’ll damage our export industries.

    >>a failure on new Zealand’s part to get a scheme going could be used to argue against other countries doing it.

    Other countries won’t do it because it’s a con. It makes no difference, merely transfers wealth about.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  25. I don’t call people names. I see it as a sign that people have no counter arguments, so resort to personal attacks.

    I’m talking the truth. Kahikatea appears to be arguing that in order to protect our export revenue, we should take course of action: ETS.

    I’m saying you’d have to weigh those two identified risks against each other i.e. would higher cost of product have more effect on overall returns, or would our stance on ETS have more impact?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  26. I agree with those who are in favour of signing.

    Certainly the wording is far from perfect but it is, at least, “a start” … and, it seems, the only start we have available to us at this time.
    (“Better late than never.”)

    The argument that AotearoaNZ’s total contribution to the World’s pollution is small, is an interesting cop out. (Someone always has to bring it up as a “reason”.) However, any similar sized group of humans could make the same claim … as a country or as a smaller part of a bigger entity …

    We are all part of the problem and therefore we must all do what we can to be a part of the solution, (again: “better late than never”!)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  27. ETS is a systemic failure in incubation.

    C&C is the concience of treasury, (their words – not mine)

    MfE should take C&C to full term and abort ETS before it suffers congential failure and fails to thrive in your arms.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  28. guyon espiner on tv one is saying the greens will support the bill tomorrow..

    ..w.t.f..!

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  29. haha, priceless, even silly phil u knows the jellyfish greens lack mettle and are just Aunty Helen puppets.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  30. Phil u said your thoughts..?..toad..?..

    Sorry – don’t know. Haven’t seen Guyon yet and there has been stuff being negotiated over weekend that I don’t know details of. Been too busy at work to have much time to blog today.

    As for you, d4j, you can think what you like, but I couldn’t possibly comment (oops – that line has implications that are definitely not intended). All I know is that the Greens will make a decision on principle tomorrow – weighing up the pros and cons, because I think almost everyone in the Greens, including the MPs, accepts there are both and is finding this a very difficult decision.

    Me included, I might add. My biggest issue with it is re forestry biodiversity – I fear it will encourage everyone in forestry to go to pinus radiata, rather than indigenous hardwoods (that also have the advantage of not needing to be treated with toxic chemicals to use as decking or outdoor furniture).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  31. My response to my Party, the Greens, was to definitely not support the Bill. Reason – it would be a huge sell-out on behalf of their supporters because the Bill is a political fix which will leave out of the equation too many polluters who will therefore ride on the back of the rest of us and hence be unfair, inequitable and wrong.

    Get it right rather than join the mob who have virtually no regard for fairness and effectiveness, just political expediency. Please do not support this Bill green MP’s

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  32. so..i guess the question for the day is:..

    ..will the greens tie a rotting/stinking albatross around their knecks..

    ..and risk not getting back into parliament

    ..or will they seize the opportunity to go and talk to the voters..

    ..to convince them of the common-sense/simplicity of their original carbon-tax proposal..

    ..(one even supported by act..!..

    ..could this issue be more trans-ideological/a ‘gift’ for the greens..?..eh..?)

    ..and get back into parliament with 10-15% support..(more mp’s..!..)

    ..and a strong/viable/effective climate-change plan..

    ..(and not this (watered down to homeopathic levels) ‘joke”..

    ..that..as admitted by ‘all’..

    ..will not curb emmissions a jot..

    ..and ..y’know..as starkly black and white as this choice appears to me..and many others..

    ..i’m picking they are going to tie that stinking bird around their knecks..

    ..(and for all the wrong reasons..)

    ..and should they go the ‘stinking bird’ route..

    ..this will go down in the annals of political history/science..

    ..as a tactical-gaffe of gobsmacking proportions..

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

    ..and there

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  33. i would hope/expect my former political studies tutor..(candidate david clendon)

    ..would be grabbing the mp’s by the kneck..and shaking them..

    ..if..for reasons of fealty to clark..(!)

    ..they are inserting (the requisite) nose-plugs..

    ..and limbering up their knecks..

    ..phil(whoar.co.nz)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  34. guyon espinor on breakfast television could not be more ‘matter of fact’ that the deal is long done..

    ..that the greens will support yet another poxy/useless piece of legislation..

    (..electoral finance bill..?..anyone..?..)

    …espinor is also emphatic that the feedback exercise was just that..

    ..an ‘exercise’..

    ..with the decision made before any call for feedback/direction..

    ..whoar..!..eh..?

    ..um..!..is anyone else feeling at all ‘soiled’/used/’played’..?

    ..from all this..?..

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  35. with all due respect phil – u hang too much on the weighted words and hints of commentators (Espiner and farrar etc) and too little on those of people whose careers are built on truthfullness (Jeanette etc). It doesn’t follow at all, should the MPs give the green light to the bill, that they made the decision days ago, no matter how many times you repeat it or how many ‘peripherals’ claim to have secret-squirrel inside information’.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  36. oh..is that right greenfly..

    ..wanna buy a (hardly-used) bridge..?

    ..want some shares in my perpetual-motion machine..?

    ..are you still ‘up’ with the tooth-fairy..?..

    ..and boy..!..

    have i got a finance-company ‘deal’ for you..!

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  37. phil – u r jumpy this morning! Perhaps you could wind down your perpetual motion machine and give it a rest (that bridge btw, does it come with a toll gate?)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  38. ” on those of people whose careers are built on truthfulness (Jeanette etc)”

    Ha ha ha, thats genuinely funny.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  39. yeah..i am ‘jumpy’..

    ..because the greens are about to sell themselves/us down the river..

    ..glad you are so nonchalant about it..eh..?

    ..any lingering doubts as to the perfidy around all this..

    ..should be assuaged by as listen to jeanettes interview on nine-to-noon..

    ..(the interviewer could barely conceal her curling lip of disdain..

    ..as she asked jeanette how she could try to sell this ‘cornerstone’ green legislation..

    ..with dairy farmers..(average incvome last year $750,000+..

    ..still exempted to pollute their little hearts out..

    ..with everyone else subsidising them..

    ..(they start to pay some in 2013..

    ..and get this..they don’t pay their full cost to 2030..(!)

    ..and fitzsimons/the greens..are going to ‘sell’ that to us..?

    ..(cue ‘curled lips’..eh..?..)

    ..phil(whoar.co.nz)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  40. and do you know what fitzsimons’ response was to the question of..’why..!!’

    ..why didn’t the greens ‘dig-in..

    ..and demand some action on these bottom-line ‘green issues’..?

    ..answer:..?

    ..(‘cos’ helen had promised the farmers she would exempt them..”

    that’s it..?..!!!.

    ‘cos’ helen (feckin) said’..?..!!

    ..the greens nine years of institutioal incrementalism..

    ..whimpers to an end..

    ..phil(whoar.co.nz)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  41. this should also be read..

    (it is a comment from trotters’ blog..

    “..Tim Ellis Says:
    August 25th, 2008 at 9:31 pm

    The Greens really are the battered wife of New Zealand politics. Time and time again, the Labour Party husband abuses them, and the Greens refuse to leave because they are “still in love? with their bigger thug.

    The Greens have no credibility with this Clayton’s consultation. This should be a bed-rock issue for an environmental party. They should be holding Labour to ransom over it. What Labour knows is that the Greens are more interested in advancing their social agenda than they are their own environmental causes. The Greens should have got a big payoff from Labour for not voting against them in the last three years. They even humiliated themselves with supporting the shoddy electoral finance act, agreeing to ram it through Parliament with a haste that would have left Rod Donald spinning. Yet what was the Greens’ payoff? Not the environmental legislation they really wanted, but the anti-smacking bill.

    Where was the Greens’ effort in public consultation over the anti-smacking legislation? Bradford has even ridiculed the right of the public to have a referendum on that. Where were the Greens when it came to calling for a royal commission into electoral law reform? Nowhere to be seen. Instead they stood by and willingly supported turning electoral law into a political football.

    And now they have the cynicism to claim that on the key environmental act of the last generation, they don’t have an opinion and need public input to guide them, three days out from the deadline. If they had any balls at all, they would publish the emails they’ve received. Let us see just how much they’ve taken public input into account.

    I don’t understand why the Greens don’t just do what Winston has done so successfully during his political career, and lay down a firm bottom-line for supporting a government of the Left or Right. The Greens could comfortably stand up and say, yes, they want a fully comprehensive ETS, that includes energy, transport, and agriculture immediately with no dirty-industry subsidies, and that they will support in a formal coalition agreement either National, or Labour, for a whole term of Parliament, if they pass such legislation by June 2009. The price of Green’s support for any government should be the ETS.

    Now that would really make things interesting: the green-friendly supporters of Labour and National would flock to the Greens, and they would hit ten percent. They would never again be used and abused by Labour as they have been over the last nine years, and have some real credibility as an environmental party.

    The only problem is that half of the Green MPs aren’t environmentalists at all. ”

    (he finishes with a ‘watermelon-barb’..

    ..but i think his analysis is pretty rock-solid..

    ..phil(whoar.co.nz)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  42. What happens if the Green MP’s choose NOT to support this Bill?

    It will fail, and any decision will be left over to an incoming Government (quite possibly National led).

    What will happen then? What influence could the Greens expect to have on a National led Government?

    The Green Caucus has been left with a very difficult choice, and our MPs they know that they will be “damned if they do and they will be damned if they don’t”!

    If AotearoaNZ becomes “part of the process” there is more likelihood of us having some influence later in conjunction with other countries …

    On the other hand, if Aotearoa does not become part of the process … ?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  43. “On the other hand, if New Zealand does not become part of the process … ?”

    If New Zealand does not become part of the process……..NOTHING will happen.

    For goodness sake, I have had enough of this scare mongering, we produce 0.02% of the worlds emissions, what part of “our efforts will not make any difference” do the Greens not get?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  44. what happens eredwen..is as tim described above..

    “..The Greens could comfortably stand up and say, yes, they want a fully comprehensive ETS, that includes energy, transport, and agriculture immediately with no dirty-industry subsidies, and that they will support in a formal coalition agreement either National, or Labour, for a whole term of Parliament, if they pass such legislation by June 2009. The price of Green’s support for any government should be the ETS.

    Now that would really make things interesting: the green-friendly supporters of Labour and National would flock to the Greens, and they would hit ten percent..”

    wouldn’t that be exciting/fruitful..?

    ..(n.b..russel norman says time and time again..that labour/national are no different..

    ..why must the greens be subserviant to one..?

    ..does that make sense..?

    ..it’s a real ‘loser’ position..

    ..with the environment losing out the most..

    (dirty dairy farmers subsidised to 2030..?..eredwen..?

    …no matter what national may say now..whoever is the next government won’t be able to ignore climatechange any longer..

    ..this is what disturbs me about how this debate is being ‘directed’..

    ..as in the t.i.n.a. argument is being presented here..

    ..as tho’ it’s labours’ poxy bill..

    ..or nothing for the forseeable future..

    ..that is a total bullsh*t argument/reason to bow (yey again’) to labours’ will

    ..’cos’ helen said so’..

    ..to my mind eredwen..the choice is simple for the green mp’s..

    ..do they want in excess of 10% of the vote..?

    ..or do they want to face possible oblivion..

    ..cos’ the backlash..should the greens pass this polluting hospital pass to the polluters..

    ..will be horrible/awesome to behold..

    ..how could the choice be any simpler..?

    ..and who..apart from ‘helen’..would damn them if they didn’t support this terminally flawed legislation..

    ..phil(whoar.co.nz)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  45. eredwen..the time is way past for continuing to sit on the sidelines..effecting little..

    ..the time has come to stand up and fight..

    ..for the environment..

    ..this is a major crossroads for the green party..

    ..its’ life or possible death hanging in the balance..

    ..phil(whoar.co.nz)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  46. big bro

    The difference in your view of the World from mine is that I believe that each of us, as an individual, has the choice of being part of the solution or of remaining part of the problem.

    I take my individual responsibility very seriously.

    Human induced Global Warming has been created by “zillions” of individual actions and decisions made by each of the human inhabitants on this Planet over a long period, either alone or in concert with others. (Each of those actions could have been seen as “not relevant because what I do won’t make any difference” … )

    It follows that to reverse this, we will require “zillions” more individual actions and decisions … that will grow into mass changes in the ways in which we operate as individuals, families, neighbourhoods, towns, cities, countries … (no matter how small!)

    Global warming is a great threat, not only to our own species, but to many of the other lifeforms which share the Planet with us.

    The Planet won’t care if we wipe ourselves out!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  47. Again, strangely, I find myself agreeing with Big Bro; there is no real downside to not supporting this bill…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  48. Eredwen

    “The Planet won’t care if we wipe ourselves out!”

    Now I get it, the only way to stop this happening is to surrender our freedom to those who know better, we must forsake all other considerations and interests, the survival of the planet is what matters most.

    Yes it might cost us some of our rights and yes it might mean that we have to unquestioningly follow orders from our leaders but the alternative is total annihilation.

    It will mean a major change in lifestyles and a major change in the way we manage our economy, of course we will see the economy contract, sadly there is no alternative to that but the survival of our species is what really matters.

    We will of course pass legislation to stop hoarding, when the nations is faced with a crisis such as this it is immoral for one sector of our community to be able to hoard 75% of the resources, we will ensure that each and every single member of the public has the same access to the resources of the nation, no one person will be any better off than the next.

    What do you call that system again Eredwen?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  49. Eredwen

    “The difference in your view of the World from mine is that I believe that each of us, as an individual, has the choice of being part of the solution or of remaining part of the problem”

    I do not deny you that choice, what you and the Greens seek to deny me is MY CHOICE.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  50. In one sense you could say that the outcome of “the debate? about whether the Greens should support the ETS was predetermined.. The very wording of the question “Tactical compromise or purist ideology?? is clearly biased towards the answer “compromise? given the negative connotations of the words “purist? and “ideology? in conventional thinking. But more fundamentally, the whole system of “representative democracy? inexorably leads its practitioners to favour pragmatism over principle. It is virtually a foregone conclusion that the parliamentary Greens will favour “tactical compromise? regardless of whether or not the current exercise in public consultation was a carefully planned charade.

    The Green Members of Parliament had earlier made a “tactical compromise? in agreeing to swear allegiance to the British monarchy. They made another “tactical compromise? when they paid tribute to the role of the New Zealand military in the Vietnamese genocide. In practice “tactical compromises? always reduce to unprincipled acts of submission to those who hold ideological, economic, political or military power within the regime, based on the mistaken premise that there can be “some good outcomes? from amoral decisions.

    But it would be wrong to single out and vilify the Green Members of Parliament who made these decisions. If you send your daughter to work in a brothel, you should not condemn her when she ends up a prostitute. The “blame? such as it is belongs with all those activists and voters who put the Green Party members into parliament.

    Defenders of the parliamentary Greens will argue that they have only done what it was necessary to do. But whatever is merely “politically necessary? could be carried through by the Labour Party, or National, or United Future, or New Zealand First, or whoever. No particular political party and no particular politician is indispensably necessary to the task of balancing competing interests and accommodating pressure groups, although some (Helen Clark and Peter Dunne for example) might be more practiced in the art than others. If we subscribe to the ideology of political pragmatism, then each politician is pretty much as good, or as bad, as the next. All are pieces of moral flotsam, carried back and forth on the tides of change and blown about by the winds of chance, after having abandoned their moral compass and cut loose the sea anchor of principle.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  51. phil

    I agree … however their are ways and ways to “stand up and fight”.

    As one who chooses to stay within the Party supporting where I can, or asking questions of those who are in the “hot seats” (on our behalf) …
    I don’t see anything other than “cooperation” that will do the job better.

    Also, from within I have the chance to experience the Greens in action.

    This weekend was constructive: two meetings (Provincial AGM followed by local Electorate Candidate Selection with a Co-Leader present).
    As usual I was very impressed by the calibre of our local Greens, their awareness, intelligence, tollerace, cooperation and friendliness.

    I strongly believe that it is more effective to be an active part of the solution rather than to attack from the sidelines …

    You have your reasons, phil, but I do wonder what it is that you are trying to achieve.
    Instead of really being heard you appear to be (at best) tolerated by Greens and you are gleefully taken as a part of their Right Wing opposition by the dominant visitors to this blog …

    e

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  52. “..I don’t see anything other than “cooperation? that will do the job better.”

    eredwen..’cooperation’ over nine years has got the greens..where..?

    “..You have your reasons, phil, but I do wonder what it is that you are trying to achieve…”

    i am sorta offended by that question..

    “…and you are gleefully taken as a part of their Right Wing opposition by the dominant visitors to this blog..”

    that will make some of those rightwingers laugh..

    who hate me with a visceral passion..

    ..so..eredewen..

    ..opposition to this poxy bill..

    ..is..ipso facto..proof of ‘rightwing tendencies’..?

    ..that’s kinds sad..

    ..and holds all the rationality of the worst dribbles of those rightwing nutbars..

    ..phil(whoar.co.nz)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  53. “The Greens say Yes” (Radio Live News at 2:00 pm). There’s a positive headline right there. Will those who argued so fervently for the best possible outcome now turn their energies toward suggesting ways to make it work better, rather than gnawing away at the Greens in the hope of advancing their own personal wishes?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  54. phil,

    “i am sorta offended by that question..”

    Yes! you have a right to be. I put that badly!

    I recognize your overall goal … but sometimes sniping at various Greens in an open forum doesn’t seem like the best of tactics.

    One thing that “cooperation over nine years” has got the Greens, is “respect” that is both deserved and useful. That respect allows a considerable number of formerly Blue voters to Party Vote Green. (I live in a now “fashionable” suburb between the two highest Green Party Voting booths in our Electorate. Many of those votes would have been from formerly Blue/Blue voters (often mothers).

    I see our MPs and their parliamentary team as choosing to be suitably pragmatic when that is called for, without betraying or compromising Green Principles, and always keeping the long term interests of the Green Party in focus and at heart …
    e

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  55. Geoff Fischer said:

    “It is virtually a foregone conclusion that the parliamentary Greens will favour “tactical compromise? regardless of whether or not the current exercise in public consultation was a carefully planned charade.”

    The current exercise was NOT “a carefully planned charade”.

    The tremendous effort and the soul searching of the last few days was real!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

The ability to post further comments on this blog will return after the election.