Key’s potential coalition dilemma

By the looks of the polls John Key might be talking to Rodney Hide about the environment next week. That’s certainly how Hide is positioning himself in the lead up to tomorrow’s vote.

John, you gotta get the country out of this Emissions Trading Scam.

Hide and his party are the only remaining confirmed climate skeptics/deniers on our parliamentary spectrum.  That at least gives them some moral credibility to take the stance they do on greenhouse gas emissions, unlike National and Labour who now agree with the overwhelming scientific evidence that climate change is happening and that it is caused by us human, and yet have allowed carbon emissions to continue to rise, year in, year out, for nearly two decades since signing up to our Kyoto commitments.

The worry is that Hide not only wants to slow the glacial advance (hmm, that’s the wrong metaphor) towards carbon neutral communities, he wants to move in the opposite direction. Hot Topic dissects Hide’s appalling media release here:

No, “the UN” hasn’t admitted that the globe stopped warming in 1998. Because it didn’t. This is something so easily checked that you might expect Hide to show some regard for veracity – but his pronouncements on climate change show no interest in the truth.

If Key does end up in the position of choosing who he will work with to form a government next week he should think very carefully about the damage he could do, not just to his international reputation, before it is even born, but to one of our last chances to be part of the international commitment to address the biggest challenge of our time. He should choose his friends wisely. And remember the words of Rajendra Pachauri, head of the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and real climate scientist (unlike Rodney Hide):

If there’s no action before 2012, that’s too late. What we do in the next two to three years will determine our future. This is the defining moment.

35 Comments Posted

  1. Merlinnz

    Once again. Good law is specific and it does not NEED to be explained in exhaustive detail or interpreted by the media. I repeat what I said before. A change to S59 that made the difference between assaulting a child and the natural spanking/slapping-of-hand punishment of a child clear, would have accomplished the goal of making those assaults illegal no matter what the judge and jury believed about sparing the rod, buggy whips and the like. The few instances in which the abuse went unpunished would have been taken care of… if that were indeed the goal.

    This would have been a popular measure and passed by acclamation.

    This would have helped put the Green Party more into mainstream NZ consciousness.

    However, when this approach in ANY form was suggested it was reflexively rejected leading to divisions within this party, immense difficulty getting the support mustered to get it passed, this election result and the very likely repeal of the amendment once the referendum passes and gives Key the moral authority to revisit the law and get a symbolic “win” over the “nanny-state”. We will be wearing this result for quite a long time.

    Pretty much the outcome I predicted when the bill came up. I didn’t expect Labour to wear as much of it, but as Yogi said… “Predicting things is hard, especially about the future” 🙂

    I do not, under any circumstances, accept that a law that leaves the decision of whether some action is illegal or legal so completely in the discretion of the cop on the beat, the neighbour who reports it and the judge who hears the case, is “good law”. I regard it as an abdication of parliamentary responsibility to do the hard-yards and come up with good law.


  2. I’ve been over all this many times before, and I’m not going over it again.
    Yes, I’ve read it.

    It all boils down to this:

    If the Greens came out and said that smacking is not a criminal activity, then most people would have no problem with s59.

  3. The problem many NZers have is they are not prepared to become educated responsible parents who discipline according to what works for the children and not what works for the parent.

    How are parents held accountable for their children Blue? You mean in terms of assualt?

    A jury considered it not to be assault. If you read my second post and note the date you will see that parents were already being convicted for “smacking” under the OLD law. Labour and Greens did you and others a favour then, by bringing to your attention that you were all potential criminals pre s59a… sorry to throw some facts into the emotion.

  4. You’re not responsible for their children. You cannot be held accountable for them. A parent can.

    Education is the key, and I suggest you read the Dunedin study.

    >>Would you consider a parent hitting their child 8 times with a metal bar causing injury to be smacking or assault?


    However, I do not know all the details of this case. As I’ve always said, you need to find a way to write the law so that the abusers get caught, but good parents do not.

    Your posts suggest you object to all smacking. This is the problem New Zealanders have with the law. It encroaches too far into the wrong territory….

  5. BluePeter

    Sadie v Police (AP 50/95, 26/10/95, HC Williams J)

    A parent who rough-handled and smacked a toddler in public without causing marks was found guilty of assault on a child at trial. On appeal, the High Court rejected the appellants’ section 59 parental discipline defence.

  6. BluePeter

    have you actually read the new s59a and compared it with previous s59?

    “I” am not responsible for their children? You mean I dont pay taxes for their free health care, subsise their schooling, their truancy, their crimes, their struggles with education… and ultimaely I financially contribute to tidying up when they become abusers.

    Education is the key and it begins with a law change.

    Would you consider a parent hitting their child 8 times with a metal bar causing injury to be smacking or assault?

  7. merlinnz

    >>“Should it remain legal for parents to assault their children”, what response? 85% are not against it.

    You still don’t get it. Most people don’t see it as assault.

    Continuing to frame it that way will always meet resistance, because there IS a difference between smacking and assault, just as there is a difference between talking to a child and yelling abuse at them.

    Just as you’re adamant of your position, so too are they. Stalemate. In the end, you are not responsible for their children. They are. They will decide the correct parenting method.

  8. merlinnz, We’ve just had 9 years of populist government. Hence no real improvement in the road toll, hospital waiting lists, educational attainment, urban air quality. If it hadn’t been for a few dry winters and the free market responding to Bradford’s electricity reforms in the way the market theory actually says it will we probably wouldn’t have had any real improvement in energy efficiency either.

    But, hey, enjoy your extra week of payed holidays.

  9. The Greens will always be up against the “smear” of hippie, loony lefties because i has worked so well for those wanting them to have less power.

    They might need to go all out, one way or another, on fact driven, other country comparisson now because Hide has clearly signalled, and there may be some support within National, that economic recovery is tantamount. In the past that rhetoric has meant more money at any cost, usually the environment.

    I agree in tweaking the RMA but not wholesale changes. Prior to the RMA (brought in by National in 1990) there was little evidence that large businesses and industry, left to their own devices, acted as anti pollutants. Perhaps Greens could begin a media focus there?? What happens when business is left to its own devices with a single bottom line strategy? Show people the past…

  10. The Greens need to split environmentalist from socialist and have an unequivocal sustainability platform.
    We don’t know how to constrain our activities especially when most people have their heads in the sand and some people are saying “we have the technology (already- so growth isn’t an issue)” . But the Greens should be focused on argument and development of initiatives. For that the Greens need real Greens, not astro turfers. Developing the memes is what is important. At present the Green Parties vision is confused thanks to the red influence.

  11. bjchip
    s59a was an examle of appalling covergae/explanation from the media and delibrate obsfication by those who wanted Labour out. If the question were asked “Should it remain legal for parents to assault their children”, what response? 85% are not against it. Have a look at how many signed the petition, it wasnt 85%. It may be an example of coercion or manipulation but not by the Greens, by those who used it to beat up a misunderstood frenzy to their political end. Just as Clark became inextricably combined with Winston, sure she should have sacked him post Priv Comm, BUT the damage of guilt by association wa sdone mnoths before.

  12. Kevyn

    A politician who advocates specific policies just because they are popular is a populist

    “populist” because he, like Winston is a publicity hound. He uses that publicity to manipulate the public. Dancing with the stars was not a can-do kiwi tryer it was a way to get himself free national coverage. Note how he treated our new PM yesterday , keeping him waiting for quite a while, it’s all about Rodney . Populist because he knows his law and order platform has no evidential basis but he knows it wins kiwis who have not, mainly through lack of media education, learnt what will actually work…

    Unpopular because the foundation policies of Act were not campaigned on because they are not popular.

    Unpopular because outside of Epsom less than 3.7% of NZers wanted he and his “policies”.

    My employer does not pay me to go to a gym or other activity for 7 hours a day for several months, why should NZers have paid NZ’s
    perk-buster to?? His party has been filing false returns off and on since 1996, when he was President, and later when he was leader.

  13. “What about him (Hide) appeals to the populous if it is not his policies?”

    Dancing with the Stars.

    Something he was obviously hopeless at but was prepared to give it a go and make a genuine attempt at it. And a nice line in deflecting criticism of spending time dancing instead of politicking. In essence he appeals to the Kiwi can-do attitude of old.

    And no doubt his policies appeal to anybody who has been tripped up by red tape.

  14. Umm, Pachauri is an engineer.
    He has been awarded an honorary doctorate in science but that does not make him a climate scientist.

  15. S59, the private members bill, was an excellent example of coercion, but was not Green environmental policy. It was ONE Green’s social vision.

    The EFA needs to be in place in some form or there will be no democracy in NZ within 2 decades. I agree Labour coerced us all to accept their version, but Greens had little real ability to alter it under the circumstances. It wasn’t our EFA either.

    Now we will undoubtedly get another. The coercion will be financial from now on and the ability of National to make that change will have its roots in the stupidity of Labour in making the EFA as vague and offensive as it did.

    The refusal to make laws that are explicit and simple, relying instead on police, courts and the Electoral Commission to decide, is a problem for NZ society as a whole. It’d be nice if THAT were something Key would sign up for changing.

    The Green party is not coercive. It has some members who stray from those principles, but the party itself is not cut of that cloth.



  16. BJ…you don’t need to be invited to the table.

    That is the beauty of the information age. Facts will out.

    Any green policy that has merit can/will be debated in public, and the politicians WILL listen, especially in their first term.

    Coercion? I don’t know what you mean by a “lie”.

    What I am getting at is the feelings that I have (and many others similar to myself) that the EFA and s59 etc interfered with freedoms that should have remained freedoms.

    The populace did not willingly back those reforms. That is what I meant by coercion.

  17. I don’t think their voters will have anything to say about it for the next 3 years.

    Key will overreach BP… it is as certain as sunrise.

    Greengeek, we aren’t going to be invited to the table. ACT is at the table.

    A year from now we will see. The problem facing Key and Hide is that their answers are the answers that might have worked 2 or 3 decades ago, before peak-oil, before climate change became critical, before the bankruptcy of fractional-reserve debt-based fiat currencies became evident.

    I know that they THINK they know the answers but I have a good idea where their answers will take us.

    “I’ve known what its like to be hungry… but I always went right to a restaurant” – Ring Lardner

    People will be wiser in 3 years.


  18. bjchip Says:
    Given that National can govern with ACT now, our ability to cause it to deviate one millimeter from the path of destruction of our civilized society for the next 3 years is zero.

    BJ…I think you are wrong on this. Green concepts are still in the forefront of many peoples minds, even National voters.

    The Green Party can have a very significant effect on government policy if it focusses on bringing quality information and quality solutions to the table.

    It is information that will win the green fight, not coercion.

  19. >>I am sure that the right will overreach its actual mandate.

    That’s what the left did, and it cost you big-time.

    I suspect Key is a lot smarter than your MPs, though.

    We shall see….

  20. National will only last 3 years. The economy of the planet is tanking dramatically as the policies of growth through greed have already met the debacle of debt.

    Thing is, I personally am not keen on dropping social policies. We have to have a full set of policies or we aren’t a real party. I AM keen on making sense. I wouldn’t drop our Cannabis policy. I wouldn’t drop any of them, I WOULD make them explicit, workable and plain, not “as interpreted by police or courts or the electoral commission”. That would weaken the opposition because what is desirable is to limit the BAD behaviour and outcomes, and being explicit limits the law’s effect.

    Given that National can govern with ACT now, our ability to cause it to deviate one millimeter from the path of destruction of our civilized society for the next 3 years is zero.

    The people of NZ have indeed spoken.

    Overall the difference between this government and one that was Labour-Green-Maori was two percentage points. The shift in the effective government is approximately 180 degrees. I am sure that the right will overreach its actual mandate. It ALWAYS does.


  21. My wife tells me that middle-aged right-wing women find it easy to vote for Rodney Hide “because he has lost weight”.

    Go figure.

    I’m hoping John Key has the balls to continue with a centrist agenda and not allow ACT to suck them off their line.

    If National has any brains, they won’t ignore the green sensitivities of modern housewives. If they do, they will only last one term.

    Any takers within the Green party for dropping social agendas and odd philosophies and taking up the challenge of educating National?

    Key has said he is keen to consult with Tariana, so at least he understands the value of consultation.

    Better quickly reshape the Green Party with a tighter focus on green technologies, so that John Key will spend some time listening to you too.

  22. Would National form government with Labour ? Wicked thoughts come at the eleventh hour. I doubt it, but they hate us enough, and are nervous enough about ACT forcing them rightward… Dunne vs Hide? Labour would be a much easier partner than those two, but the animosity between the two is not subtle, and the risk of the party faithful bolting is too great. I think.

    Going to be an interesting weekend.


  23. I must respectfully disagree, unless by “embarrassing anachronism” you mean “complete and unmitigated disaster on so many levels”. 😉

    The real anachronism is ACT clinging to ideas that non-neoconservatives Republicans keep at arms length. Unfortunately, Hide seems to be channeling Karl Rove.

  24. >>I suspect that people’s appetite for neoconservative policies has withered in the last few years.

    Well, it does seem that that the neocon philosophy of the Bush Administration has proved to be an embarrassing anachronism for the USA.

  25. ACT were much more popular in the 1990s. I suspect that people’s appetite for neoconservative policies has withered in the last few years.

  26. >>Hide is a populist with unpopular policies.

    I like that sentence! And it seems so right. Yet it seems oxymoronic? What about him appeals to the populous if it is not his policies? (He is no Winston Peters 🙂 )

  27. I’m glad you dont trade off your integrity for “power”. It’s one of the bright spots in an otherwise bleak political landscape and why you might just get my party vote tomorrow.

  28. Greens have had an influence on policy making in and out of government.

    Hide is a populist with unpopular policies.

    His reduction of crime proposal via harsher sentences doesn’t work. It will not reduce crime and he knows this but says it anyway.

  29. The only way we will have a say is if National fails to form government. That’s pretty clear. It always has been. Greens have always been National’s “last cab off the rank” and they’d probably pair up with Labour rather than let us in the door.


  30. “See, had you not discounted John Key so quickly, then perhaps you might have been around the negotiating table.”


    “You need to start thinking about the lesser of two evils scenario before making hasty decisions.”

    We did.

  31. See, had you not discounted John Key so quickly, then perhaps you might have been around the negotiating table. You need to start thinking about the lesser of two evils scenario before making hasty decisions.

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