Negotiating with Act

Act is entering its negotiations with National today talking about its campaign themes:

“three strikes” law and order policy, cutting government spending and dumping the emissions trading scheme.

All of which sends shivers down many Green spines.  Act does empty bluster and noise better than most parties so I guess we’ll have to wait and see how many wins Key is willing to allow his junior partners. 

We already knew that National would support a cut in government spending and tougher law and order policy (it’s hard to imagine that it could get too much more punitive than it already has under Phil Goff, but there you go). So those are easy for Key to agree to. But the Emissions Trading Scheme will hopefully be a sticking point in these negotiations for two reasons;

  1. While Act is rejoicing in its bizarre climate change views, National has moved away from that kind of anti-science stance and now agrees that there should be an Emissions Trading Scheme of some sort. National, which has worked so hard to capture the middle ground can’t afford to go off on internationally discredited tangents such as Act’s climate change denials represent.
  2. National has no credible plan with which to replace the Emissions Trading Scheme. It has opposed it, knowing that lots of its constituent vote doesn’t like the direct economic impact it has on them personally. But that does not change the fact that we have Kyoto responsibilities and liabilities.  National has never articulated an alternative and has given the impression that its alternative would be, at most, be minor tinkering.  We have a bill to pay and we need some mechanism, other than just increasing taxes, to pay that Kyoto commitment.

I think this issue is probably the most important one to watch in the next few days of negotiations between National and Act.

87 thoughts on “Negotiating with Act

  1. Strings, In a manner of speaking when the EU pays it’s farmers not to farm it is sending it’s cows to us. More precisely, Europe’s dairy farms are slowly destocked while NZ’s herd sizes are gradually increased by retaining more calves each year.

  2. # Strings Says:
    November 12th, 2008 at 7:54 am

    > That’s OK for some, but we have nowhere to send our cows,

    Argentina and Uruguay. There’s already growth in Kiwi-owned dairy farms in those countries.

    > Does everyone else have to count their dairy and other ruminant herds?

    yes

  3. Johan
    Many thanks for that – simple and clear, just what was needed.

    I must agree regarding the potential for cynicism! When you see that countries like Sri Lanka, Botswana, Ethiopia, Samoa, etc., are not in circa 90% of the total CDM projects, it suggests that those countries with large trade surpluses are the ones benefiting, while those with deficits are the payers and countries with real development needs are the losers; not a situation I would want New Zealand to contribute to.

    IMO we should get out of this noose around our neck and do what we need to do because we need to do it, not because we felt at one time it would be good to subsidise more fortunate countries than our own.

  4. BB

    The point was that the one-child thing WAS a lie. It was a blatant, flat out, demonstrably false proposition that was dumped on us in the weeks before the election. I have absolutely no doubt that there are people who went into the polls still believing it because that is the nature of lies and truth.

    S59 I alluded to in another thread, and I took some folks to task for doing what they did then and the way they did it. I know you read it. No need to revisit.

    My point however, is that if someone lies like this they need to have their testicles kicked up between their ears. Being opposed to violence I will settle for having a lawyer administer a walletectomy on their person… but my hatred of lies is pretty intense.

    We have more than enough trouble communicating with each other effectively, and polluting the medium with which we communicate with false information is, IMHO, a sin – for which we are regularly punished by having to live in a hell in which we cannot trust anyone.

    I may be wrong about something (not that it happens often) but I never lie.

    BJ

  5. Kevyn
    I may be mistaken and I welcome correction but I understand the Kyoto Protocol as follows. It has created two groups of countries, the Annex 1 countries that are generally the industrialised countries and the Non Annex 1 countries that are generally developing countries. A relationship has been established between the two groups that is effectively one of “provider/seller” of carbon credits and “receiver/buyer” of carbon credits. The providers/sellers are the non Annex 1 countries while the “receivers/buyers” are the Annex 1 countries.

    This is done through three methods that are inter-related. The best known is the emissions trading scheme of which our ETS is an example. This allows for the direct buying and selling of carbon credits. If a country exceeds its agreed target it has to buy credits from a country that has managed to perform better and that has credits available. – this may be a non Annex 1 country or an Annex 1 country that has managed to reduce its emissions below its target.

    The next method is the clean development mechanism (CDM). This is a project-based system that really is a technology/skills transfer scheme allowing an Annex 1 country to be involved in sustainable development projects in a Non Annex 1 country. It allows businesses in developed countries to meet part of their domestic emissions-reduction targets by financing emissions-cutting projects in developing countries, where costs are often lower. Projects are awarded one carbon emissions-reduction credit for each tonne of greenhouse gas they prevent from being released. These credits can be bought and sold like corporate stocks and used to lower the cost of green development projects.

    I have found a number of examples but include one link:

    http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/South-Africas-Minister-Minerals-Energy/story.aspx?guid={63C8BB94-37EF-4D28-A77F-28FE213977AD}

    Interestingly enough, these are the percentages for CDM projects (percentage of total)
    India: 31,96%
    China: 20,52%
    Brazil: 12,56%
    Mexico: 9,84%
    Malaysia: 2,62%
    Chile: 2,06%
    Africa: 2,34%

    Cynically one can perhaps say that looking at these figures it pays to be classified as a developing country that is the seller/provider of carbon credits rather than a developed country that is the buyer/receiver of carbon credits. Clearly the developing countries with strong economies benefit from these projects while the really undeveloped countries are not beneficiaries.

    The third method is joint implementation (JI) which enables industrialized countries to carry out joint implementation projects with other developed countries (usually countries with economies in transition). I assume this is simply a variation of the CDM?

  6. ” the idea of air being property” is not the issue but hints at the solution.

    Its about the continuing ‘right’ to treat the atmosphere as a toilet when constitutionally each of us owns a piece of that ‘right’ (equity).

    The framework by which that right is restored to balance given (a) historical differences in emission by developed vs non-developed economies and (b) the required correction to hold the planet <2 degrees has been unfairly described as the communisation of the commons. Who says that? The principal offenders of course. The beneficiaries of short term profits at the collective expense of humanity. It is entirely approriate to be dismissive of these views. Absent a framework the world will litigate these tensions forever (which by all accounts will not be long)

    The task is to resolve the political tensions inherent in the required solution.

    By any standard, Contraction and Convergence remains the only ‘framework’ on the table that can acurately measure (thus manage) the required process.

  7. “Someone’s done a study of baked beans? ”

    Lots and lots of them – ask any schoolboy!

    OK now with Commons – being a POHM I think of the word as meaning the patch of grass in the centre of a village, owned in common fife by all landowners in the village boundary. There is also the ‘house of commons’ which is a diminution of ‘house of commoners’, but that’s another layer of history. I have a problem with the idea of air being property, as the term implies ownership, but that’s OK too, I can live with the concept.

    Have a fun day.

  8. They then manage to produce at least five times their volume in malodorous and harmful waste gasses that should be measured in the same way as that of ruminants.

    Someone’s done a study of baked beans? I don’t think banning any particular food is going to get us anywhere. If they require significant energy to bake, then the energy producer takes the hit, and probably passes the cost on to the bean-makers. One can reduce demand through buying less, or using technology to adapt, presumably.

    For me – commons: common property like air, and most water sources.

  9. That’s what I was commenting on! Baked beans clearly require significant energy to bake, and hence create carbon. They then manage to produce at least five times their volume in malodorous and harmful waste gasses that should be measured in the same way as that of ruminants. Given that we already overspend our income by some 8 Billion a year and are running out of disposable assets to fund the weekly spend, we either have to significantly increase our productivity and get a 20% or so pay-rise, or reduce our expenses.

    Our ‘family’ budget won’t stretch to an additional billion or so to buy Kyoto credits, so have to reduce the need for them. This means reducing our undesirable waste output. I am suggesting that by banning foods which result in the output of such waste, could move closer to having a balanced ‘household’ budget through reduced food purchases and reduced Kyoto credit purchases.

    I would be interested in hearing any other ideas for achieving the same ends :-)

  10. No ones banning anything – the people who benefit from the externalities produced by their respective productive assets are being made to pay for their effect on the commons.

  11. Strings, IMHO it doesn’t really matter that cows are “living creatures who provide essential food for ourselves and millions of others”. They are not really any different to any other productive asset like machinery in that they use inputs (grass) to manufacture an output (meat/dairy)…

  12. Kevyn
    That’s OK for some, but we have nowhere to send our cows, which, it seems, are our main source of Kyoto emissions. Seems strange to me that we would agree to include living creatures who provide essential food for ourselves and millions of others (particularly in the form of milk powder). Does everyone else have to count their dairy and other ruminant herds?

  13. Johan, The biggest flaw with the Kyoto Protocol is that Annex 1 countries can transfer their emissions to Non Annex 1 countries by simply shifting their most polluting industries to Non Annex 1 countries. Steel, rubber and petrochemical and other energy intensive industries are prime candidates. Because the businesses are still owned by Annex 1 countries the profits continue to count in the GDP of the Annex 1 countries. The loss of so many low paying manufacturing jobs isn’t really a problem as many of these people can get low paying jobs servicing the shareholders of the manufacturing companies.

  14. BJ

    “one child per family campaign of lies against us”

    Was it really such a big deal BJ?

    As far as I can see it was section 59 and the Greens insistence on running out lives that really cost you.

  15. Strings
    In response to your question about Brazil, China and India who are high emitters but are Non Annex 1 members, the short answer is that they do not have to pay and the Annex 1 members do not “take up the slack”. This was the major complaint about the system from the USA and Australia.

    Each of the Annex 1 countries has a set target (decrease or keep emissions to 1990 levels) and is bound by it. If an Annex 1 country exceeds the target it has to buy carbon credits or engage in one of the three possible programmes to off set its excess – as I understand is this is where the “sending billions of dollars to Russia” meme comes in. I have not been able to find an easy primer on the Kyoto Protocol but have a look at wikipedia
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kyoto_protocol

  16. Green Party’s drug policy legally regulating recreational drug use was implemented on Nov 6th. (but no one noticed.)

    ‘Class D’ passes into law. The whole world is watching (except NZ)

  17. The success of the “one child per family” campaign of lies against us taught us that if kicking someone in the nuts is permissible, steel-toed boots are desirable.

    BJ

  18. >>So, you do a cornwall park housing poster with, how would you like your childrens playground taken away… then show the other green spaces going

    Great way to reduce your credibility to zero.

    Hasn’t Labours campaign taught you anything?

  19. It’s the esence of what is wanted Stephen. Sure the Epsom people can rest assured their green space is free, but west and south will lose theirs…

    So, you do a cornwall park housing poster with, how would you like your childrens playground taken away… then show the other green spaces going… make it a rich versus poor decision, because that is what it is…

    EVEN if the housing is for lower income, it is intended to get money into building and development at all costs…

  20. Far from a lost opportunity I see a new opportunity for the greens. Precisely because Labour may well move down “populist” lines to try to scramble back lost ground, which will actually see envrironment slip off the bottom line in policy/economy decisions. This will leave the greens as sole voice. So use it, and for RMA debate, take a leaf from the anti smoking bnrigade and make sure you plaster the media, yourselfs, and any sign you stand against for interviews with photos of pre RMA, polluted waterways, toxic spills, development gone crazy, AUCKLAND…

    Auckland is a maze of ill planned urban sprawl. I see that some are calling for more land “freed up” as they quaintly put it for development. They mean green space…

    So, find a graphic artist to render a cornwall park as new housing… like dirty lungs on a ciggie packet…

  21. Is anyone getting a whiff of bonfire yet?
    Like the bees, greenfly are very sensitive to impending conflagration.

  22. While we are jostling in the ranks for our preferences post-election, my view is that the Green Party should not become part of the blue collective, but should remain firmly seperate and be prepared to front up as soon as the demolition of the meagre controls that do exist to protect the environment, begin. It’s hard to speak when your mouth is full of lollies.

  23. >>What a tragic stubborn frustrating shame!

    Indeed. Being *G*reen not really working, guys.

    You need to be be *g*reen.

    Only way forward….

  24. I vote for the Green Party to get an influential green voice in parliament, that’s it. That voice shouldn’t be resigned to noisy shouting in opposition just because another Party hasn’t had the outcome it wanted. Do we want to try and save the environment or not?

  25. Also, now that Labour are in opposition it is going to be very easy for them to push a very green sustainability line without actually having to implement it. If the Greens align themselves with Labour again at the next election they run the very real risk of being completely irrelevant as voters will just choose between Red or Blue as a Green vote would now be pointless.

  26. I agree with Annabel, the Greens have blown it. We could be in the position of the Maori and Act Parties right now, negotiating on individual policy rather than having ruled ourselves out based on some social policy differences. Surely working together on individual policy is the goal of MMP? Not just cosy coalitions — I thought the Greens of all parties, having been shoved to the outer for so long by governments supposedly on their side, would have realised this by now?

    So as predicted by a number of us, we’ve lost significant votes and leverage by siding with one party prior to the election rather than purely negotiating on policy gains. (My mother was I think one of many that said she was going to vote for the Greens until they completely ruled out working with National.)

    We’re in parliament to push for each of our policies not just broad ideology. Green voters could have accepted that with a National govt we wouldn’t gain as much on the social policy side put could have made big gains in environmental policy, particularly with Obama being elected.

    We could have 12 MPs in there right now, negotiating for cleaner rivers, warm housing, even a Carbon tax. What a tragic stubborn frustrating shame!

  27. Johan

    Many many thanks for that.

    So as I understand it, they are responsible for 20% of the pollution in the world right now, through the fires burning in the Amazon. So do they pay 20% of the total Kyoto costs, and if so, to who? If their status means they do not pay, who takes up the slack?

    I think a primer for the ignorant on how the Kyoto thing works, and why so many people say we are going to pay Russia a billion dollars when they cause more pollution than we do, might be a good thing on here! What do you think Frog?

  28. Shunda barunda Says:
    November 10th, 2008 at 9:53 pm

    > Have you been in the country the last few days Drael? Perhaps you should look at the electorate map of NZ and tell me what colour it is.

    all that tells you is that, in the more spread-out areas where electorates are bigger, National got more votes than Labour. If you check the numbers, you’ll find that the parties of the right got only slightly over half of the electorates nation-wide. Even in 2002, when National got it’s lowest result for decades, the electorate map was predominantly blue.

  29. I’m not ruling it out, as the Greens did, oh, for nine years up until two days ago, I just find it a bit rich.

    Personally, I hope National and the Greens work together on BlueGreen issues. National does not need any uncosted, unbalanced, pseudo-environmental strategy, but if we do, we’ll be sure to let you know.

    I wonder if this “new bipartisanship” will extend to the 2011 election? Will the Greens reposition themselves so, at that election, they can work with either party? Or, is this “new bipartisanship” just something for the next three years?

  30. “new bipartisanship” – Short mermory, Blue: example: S59

    I think its fair to say that since the election of Obama the world has changed, and going forward, I think those who “get it” will; be the ones with some success over the next few years.

    I think Key “gets it”.

  31. The Greens are in a way forcing ACTs (and thus the will-be Government’s) position here.

    There are two seperate and distinct issues.

    The first (and lets not go for the debate again, so I’ll choose words carefully) is the statement that climate change is a bitch and is going to kill us one day.

    The second is the ETS, carbon trading and all that jazz.

    Greens can either take the abolition of ETS and Koyoto on the nose and move on, leaving the fact that climate change is an issue and try to do things to directly ameliorate it. Or the Greens can make an issue of abolition or ETS and Koyoto, in which case the deniers will be brought out, and the baby will be out with the bathwater.

    Time for hard choices.

    And I agree with a lot of what Annabel says.

  32. As a National voter, I say this new-found desire for “new bipartisanship” a bit rich.

    Did we get it during the EFA? No.

    So why now?

    Oh, the shoe is on the other foot?

    Well, well.

  33. As a Green voter, I’m disappointed that the party seems to have so completely ruled out post-election negotiations with National. The reason I voted Green was so my beliefs about what’s best for New Zealand could be represented in Parliament. It is a real disappointed that the party appears to have resigned itself to sitting on the sidelines for three years, rather than use every bit of diplomacy and bargaining power it can muster to get in the thick of the decision-making process.

    It will no doubt be embarrassing for the party to go back on its position after so clearly nailing its colours to the mast, but I wonder if it’s possible to put the question out there to Green Party voters — similar to the canvassing of public opinion the Green Party did on whether it would support the ETS. That would give it a voter mandate to work with National.

    Since Barack Obama won the American election, the whole world seems to be buzzing with the ‘new bipartisanship’. With a world in crisis this move towards diplomacy and working together to find solutions has really captured the imagination of all of us, and given people hope for a new maturity in politics. I wish that New Zealand politics could ride this wave, and put an end to the cross-party scrapping that slowed down decision-making for the last three years.

  34. Plus, ACT is the only party that is pushing to replace the petrol tax with a modern RUC system. We need that to have cost effective congestion pricing and tolling on new roads. Although existing roads will also be tolled that will be to pay for maintenance so it should be cheaper than the current petrol tax and RUCs which are currently being diverted from the rural areas to a few urban areas with “congestion” problems.

  35. It wont be very difficult for Act to get overwhelming public support to ditch nboth the ETS and the Kyoto protocol. All Hide needs to do is talk up the Stockholm Institutes studies conducted for the British government that revealed that Britians apparent progress towards it’s Kyoto commitments has been achieved by the simply method of exporting it’s consumer emmissions to foreign producers. Since Kyoto does not recognise global trade and exempts many low wage countries from reducing GHGs that is the simplest strategy for developed countries to reduce their emmissions on paper without reducing them in the air.

  36. I’m sure Newton, Einstein and Bill Nye would all disapprove of drawing conclusions capable of explaining and consistent with empirical observation of physical phenomena.

  37. Optimist

    If I suspected you had the slightest clue OR a new argument that has not been thoroughly refuted by actual scientists I would ask you for examples of actual science being ignored or paying people to get the “right” results. Selective bits of a report.

    However, I don’t think you’ve got anything real. The reason is that scientists have nothing to do with conspiracies to take over the planet.

    The recession has done more for environmentalists’ causes than anything else. That little fact should tell us something…

    It tells us a couple of things.

    The first thing it tells us is that bankers don’t know what the fnck they are doing, are dishonest to the core, and should have nothing to do with the creation of money.

    The second thing it tells us is that the USA hasn’t agreed to do anything… yet.

    The third thing it tells us is that there has been limited carbon trading for only about 2 years ANYWHERE..

    It isn’t a magic wand.

    BJ

  38. The Optimist Says:
    November 10th, 2008 at 10:20 pm

    >>The recession has done more for environmentalists’ causes than anything else. That little fact should tell us something…

    It tells us that meeting your Kyoto protocol obligations in a recession is cheap, so the idea that ‘we can’t afford it in a recession’ is nonsense. In boom times it’s more expensive, because in boom times you’ve got to be innovative to achieve reductions.

  39. One option would be to withdraw from Kyoto on the basis that it is dead anyway. There seems to be no appetite for expansion to a new and more ambitious replacement, and technological solutions to our energy needs appear to be coming up fast.

    With the collapse in the price of carbon emission, it has got a lot cheaper to be a coal burner. Anyway we are all poor now, staring at a multi-year recession around the globe and the uncertain future of banking.

    The recession has done more for environmentalists’ causes than anything else. That little fact should tell us something…

  40. It is silly for environmentalists to criticise another for an ‘anti-science stance’. Environmentalists have a track record over many years of ignoring science, trying to bend it, paying and berating people to create the required scientific results, as well as selectively taking on the useful bits of a scientific report.

    If the global warming scam is based on ‘science’, it is the kind of science of which Newton would not have approved.

  41. “What to do? Its not that strong a win for a first term after all for national, especially given the flailing labour party.”

    Have you been in the country the last few days Drael? Perhaps you should look at the electorate map of NZ and tell me what colour it is.

    “I am very self satisfied with the national result! lol. They will hang themselves, they have no real partner options and alone their values are far from centre.”

    Well you would know, your discourse above would appear to be exactly true of the green party this election.

  42. So who will vote in all of nationals enviromental policies? act?

    The maori party has yet to commit and i doubt theyll give supply and demand without some demands.

    Key doesnt need the greens? i beg to differ. Prior posturing aside, key needs quite alot to remain in power next election.

    Enviroment and other issues dont go away with the labour party or the greens. They remain international bargaining and diplomacy issues, issues of the modern age. labour lite campaigned these issues.

    National and just act and united? get real, theres no return vote on living in the ancient past.

    The next one week is crucial, and I dont beleive national supporters know how crucial – they are in denial. Death beds are made on bad post election deals IMO.

    One half of labour lite’s mandate is on only core issues. And he is living in the shadow of clarks power politics and moderatism. If he signs with the maori party majorly, he loses core voters. And if not, they lose momentum. If he signs with act, he loses middle voters and his main mandate, which is economic not ideological. What to do? Its not that strong a win for a first term after all for national, especially given the flailing labour party.

    Hes in the middle of an economic crisis, and an energy crisis. In the midst of that, the maori party raise cultural and equality issues. This is now, not twenty years ago when national last raised its head into the light.

    I am very self satisfied with the national result! lol. They will hang themselves, they have no real partner options and alone their values are far from centre. Watch how the media treats this. Even a good performance would be without flair unless they depart from their old national party values. If the maori party goes the other way….can you really imagine middle new zealand voting them back in in three years when the economy has collapsed even further?

    Welcome to the key reich! (Get ready for boot camp. lol)

  43. Even if we cant afford to? … Sending a billion dollars per annum offshore when we can least afford it makes sense?”

    how come we can afford building many new prisons then? that’s what a 3 strikes law will lead to, it has everywhere else its been tried in the world. Prisons cost ridiculous amounts of money. So is Hide going to save, like $100 million on cutting govt bureaucracy, but spend a couple of billion on new prisons?

    ACT = medieval science, medieval justice

  44. >>Will he, will he?

    Key doesn’t need the Greens. He didn’t mention them once on this interview on TV1 tonight.

    The Greens will get what they deserve for their pre-election position, which is nothing. They have no power.

    And it is all their own fault.

  45. Yes but they offer a new trading scheme, that will not be much different, which is yet to be worked out!

    Double talk. He is appealing to voters, but in reality his party is very centrist, and supports global intiatives on the enviroment. We all know that with liberals in AUS and US, well be talking on these points and big.

    Seriously, look at their official policy. Go national party home page. Theres more enviromental policy than the labour party.

    Nick isnt the smartest enviromentalist in the pack but they have a platform for enviromental policy based on “incentive not compulsion”. They have a blue-greens branch. This streteches back to brash’s national party even.

    Research shows that highly educated rich people are most likely to be enviromental because theres an element of awareness. By not buying this vote, and sometimes sticking to enviromental policy, the greens eliminate at least 3% of the rich vote, and something like 2% of the middle vote. Social policies are important IMO, but when the vote swings……

    Tax schemes, carbon tax etc all falls easily into the bracket of “incentive not complusion” of the national party enviromental policy. Easy agreements on progress from a green perspective.

    Issues:

    Alternative fuel
    Tax
    Energy
    Warm homes, solar heating
    Trading scheme,
    Clean water…

    etc
    etc
    etc

    The greens are missing a bus if they dont jump in and trump acts “dump all schemes” attitude. There is major ground there. Maybe rightist, but a better “talk” than labour.

  46. Warm homes would buy my support. That saves so much economically, enviromentally and in terms of health effects and justice. Its cheap, pragmatic and globally accepted as “the way”.

  47. Will Key approach the Greens and offer them (back) the billion dollar ‘Warm Homes’ funding in return for their support. Will he, will he?

  48. If the greens arent included, or the maori party it will be disasterous for the national party in the end IMO.

    We didnt vote for bigots, we voted for economic leadership and tax breaks. The national party is playing it cool, but they have to get with the program, it aint the 80s.

    Labour lite is falling in the shadow of clark, for all her faults, she was and did alot. If they think they can reclaim the past, there mentall ill. Obama is going to start a big talk on enviroment and alternative energy.

    Whats key going to say?

  49. Have the Greens got the will to drop their social agenda?

    To work with National on environment issues the Greens do not have to modify their other policies, any more than ACT has to relinquish its global warming denialism(*) to sit in a Key cabinet.

    (*)In a rational world, it would disqualify them from public office.

  50. Actually I do agree with BB on this one and think the Greens should have kept its options open regarding negotiating with National. It seems to me as if John Key is just as distrustful of ACT as most bloggers on this site, but he is pretty much forced to have them as a coalition partner. Notice he has not only failed to consider the animal abuser for a cabinet post, but he is also not offering Corrections to Hide.

    If negotiating with the Greens was an option I think he would take it in preference, in the same way he is now making positive moves towards the Maori party. They were quite clever in keeping the door open for John Key.

    Key is a bit too right wing for my taste, but overall he seems quite responsible and may prove to be a good prime minister. It is a pity the animals will continue to get a raw deal for the next 3 years. A green presence in government may have prevented that.

  51. IMO: Watch this space.

    This position of ACTs is non-global denialist and wont wash with people. National doesnt want to occupy that space and in coming years enviroment is certain to be a major talking point.

    The very fate of labour-lite is probably at stake in terms of what deals are struck on this issue…and similar issues….and if you look at the national campaign and policy, they will have accounting to do.

    How mauve can mauve get?

  52. I am not going to say 3 strikes is good or bad. The way its been implemented in California was bad. There are timing issues and there are violence issues. However, the ability to scroo up so completely as to be convicted of a felony, not just once but three times…. that’s special. I could not easily dismiss the principle.

    As for the ETS … replacing it with a Carbon Tax would be our FIRST choice if such were offered… the Carbon Tax was what we asked for. We got the ETS instead (Sort of like the EFA). Comes of not having any real power in government, a problem related to … well we’ve had that discussion.

    Cutting government spending? That’s a dangerous thing to be doing when you are fighting for the economy to maintain a pulse.

    If we have to pay real prices ( including carbon foodprint ) for food, let us also pay real prices for housing. I think it would balance out.

    The economy is going to get worked over more thoroughly than it has ever been hammered in our lifetimes.

    respectfully

    BJ

  53. “Drael – there’s a ‘middle game’ for the environment? As in, ‘We’ll half-clean the rivers’?”

    By this i mean common values. These do not rank higher as priorities than money, but they are certainly there. Things like trading and feul alternatives are and will remain global issues and be in the media. Expect obama to lead the call for america big time.

    “The Nats actively campaigned against the environment and it is fantasy to think they would roll over suddenly to please the Greens.”

    This must be a typo, or serious confusion. Please see nationals website and read their enviromental policy. There is quite a bit of it, and its a part of the new national party image. Completely opposite to what you say, national has made promises that they will be better than labour on the enviroment.

  54. “How about telling the truth?”

    Yes, why don’t you give that a go, big bro.

    “The fact is that had you not nailed your colours to Labour you guys would be in there right now negotiating with Key.”

    So you think the Greens would have pulled enough votes from National that they couldn’t form a govt without them?

    “Whatever the outcome you would have achieved MORE for the Green cause with Key than you ever got from Helen.”

    Whatever the outcome? The Nats actively campaigned against the environment and it is fantasy to think they would roll over suddenly to please the Greens.

  55. >>But dumping the ETS – yay. As I said elsewhere – gone by lunchtime please.

    Could the Greens agree to the dumping of the ETS if it were replaced by a carbon tax? Can’t see Act contemplating that….

  56. Three strikes and you’re out is a bad policy.

    Like most people I agree there is a class of individual who just dont want to be part of society, and I agree we need to lock them up and throw away the key, but the aforementioned policy is not the way to do it.

    But dumping the ETS – yay. As I said elsewhere – gone by lunchtime please.

    Now as someone who is a bit old and has lived with this sort of thing before I’d like to have a go at cutting government spending by dumping beaurocrats and sending in the razor gang.

    In theory this sounds like a great idea, removing people from the back office, and having more front line services. But here’s what really happens: The bureaucracy stays, but the low paid mandarins to process it get eliminated. So where does the bureaucracy go? It goes out to the front line, where higher paid skilled people spend their lives filling out forms to the detriment of their front line workload.

    I’m sure this conundrum can be solved, but you cant start by sacking beaurocrats: that has to be the end result. The overhead of running services needs to be addressed first, and if it is possible to reduce the overhead, then the back end people can be reduced.

  57. Drael – there’s a ‘middle game’ for the environment? As in, ‘We’ll half-clean the rivers’?

  58. Yup this is a tough one for national. Sensible moderate policy would involve a re-tweak of current ideas no more. Act want to abandon it all together.

    Given the world state (US/australia being liberal), its gonna be crucial whether national keeps good on its promises re:the enviroment.

    If i was national, i wouldnt offer act anything much. To do so could be there undoing. At the same time, whos gonna support nationals enviromental policy? Itll have to be the maori party maybe? Otherwise a bunch of big talk is gonna come back at them.

    Its gonna be very interesting to see how labour-lite plays this term, whether than can truely play a middle game. (ie things like enviroment and equality).

    For all the complaining about MMP the right has done…..thats now exactly the sort of goverment we expect…moderate and co-operative. We now expect national to be 21st century. If they fail, it will be printed large.

  59. National, which has worked so hard to capture the middle ground can’t afford to go off on internationally discredited tangents such as Act’s climate change denials represent.

    As I recall Dubya ran on a centre-right ticket, which pretty much vanished once he was in power…

  60. When genetic engineering of food crops represents itself here (“We’re desperately hungry and we are morally obliged to feed the world !!”) the Greens will emerge as the party for farmers, fight the only real fight on the programme – (the Food Fight) Til then, we quibble.

  61. >it’s hard to imagine that it could get too much more punitive
    >than it already has under Phil Goff

    It doesn’t require much imagination to envision Brad Shipton still being in prison for a rape committed in 2005.

    Obviously dumping the emissions trading scheme goes hand in hand with withdrawal from Kyoto. ACT has always advocated both, not because of any particular view on the science, but because Kyoto will not work. Even if the science is correct we would be sacrificing our standard of living to prevent an increase of less than 0.001 of one degree, compared to doing nothing.

  62. Frog

    How about telling the truth?

    The fact is that had you not nailed your colours to Labour you guys would be in there right now negotiating with Key.
    Whatever the outcome you would have achieved MORE for the Green cause with Key than you ever got from Helen.

    The problem you guys have is that you ceased being a Green party long ago.

  63. Three strikes should be brought in quick smart.

    Apart from anything else, it sends a clear signal. We’re not tolerating ultra-violent thugs any longer. There is a high human cost to having such people out on the streets, and we’re not prepared to pay it.

    Would rather pay the cost of their room and board. Call it a gang house. Good riddance.

  64. “Sure tax farmers higher, but be prepared to pay $35 per kg for cheese and $10 per litre for milk.”

    It’s what, 10 years before farmers have to accept any liability for emissions?

  65. We have a bill to pay and we need some mechanism, other than just increasing taxes, to pay that Kyoto commitment.

    Do we? Even if we cant afford to?

    Wonder how much legislative correction will be required to recind that agreement on the basis we cant afford to pay.

    Sending a billion dollars per annum offshore when we can least afford it makes sense?

    Irrespective who you would tax to pay for the Kyoto rip off, the money comes directly or indirectly from the pockets of those who can least afford it.

    Sure tax farmers higher, but be prepared to pay $35 per kg for cheese and $10 per litre for milk.

    And agree with StephenR, If a violent criminal has had three convictions while let him/her loose on a fourth victim?

    How many chances are enough for the Greens? How many innocent victims do you want before you say, that is enough from that criminal? 100? 200? 300?

    No, ACT has it right. Three violent criminal strikes and you are IN jail forever.

  66. “Why on earth would anyone oppose ‘3 strikes’ on violent crime?”

    Precisely. If we had such a policy, 79 people (if I remember correctly) would be alive today.

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