Kennedy Graham comes home

It’s official. The electoral commission has published the final results of the election, and the Green Party is up one more MP than previously announced. Kennedy Graham, the number 9 on the party list, is officially in parliament.

Ken teaches (taught?)  international politics and international law at the School of Law, Canterbury and Victoria University, and has previously worked for NGOs, the UN and as a diplomat. He was involved in negotiating the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone, defending the policy as a NZ diplomat before the UN in Geneva and New York and was also Director of a UN programme in the Middle East. Having returned to New Zealand he will now contribute his experience and perspectives to helping the country tackle the global problems we face.

Over the years Ken has developed a conviction about the need for Green principles in political action at a global & national level as well as in individual lifestyles. Ken has worked in ‘and survived’ ten countries, and loves them all. Having returned to New Zealand he now aspires to contribute his experience and perspectives to helping the country tackle the global problems we face through action in the Green Party and, now, through his parliamentary service.

Ken is (was?) Adjunct Senior Fellow at the School of Law, Canterbury, Christchurch; Senior Lecturer at Victoria University, Wellington; and a Visiting Professor at the College of Europe in Belgium. He teaches international politics and international law. Ken holds a B.Com from Auckland University, a BA Hons in Political Science from Victoria; an M.A. from the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy, Boston (Fulbright); and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Victoria University. He was also a Fellow at Cambridge University, studying in the Global Security Programme. Ken has authored and edited five books including ‘The Planetary Interest – A New Concept for the Global Age’ – which looks at issues of climate change, sustainability and nuclear weapons from a global perspective.

For the rest of Ken’s fascinating biography, click here. I am very excited by the experience and perspective that Kennedy will bring to the Green caucus. We now have 50% extra MPs, bringing us back to our level of 9 after the 2002 election. If you still consider Russel as a fresh new face in parliament, the Greens have managed a welcome balance of new talent and steady hands.

The Green’s tally now stands at 6.72% for the 2008 election. I’m still waiting for more detailed numbers from the elections website. Time to publish. Time to celebrate! Welcome Home Ken!

150 thoughts on “Kennedy Graham comes home

  1. BJ: Curious that. It is a strange yet true model – trying to fund collective human imagination has never worked – within the creative, inventorial context.
    Newton had, for example, an apple fall on his brilliant cranium.
    Lo and Behold!
    tGiF regards Mark

  2. Seriously though, Anthropologists; Back up your statements! One reference per three pages of drivel is not backing up your statement! esspecially when it is a reference to another persons OPINION!!! ARGH!!! Feminist anthropologists are the worst, to call the psudo-scientists would be an insult to psudo-scientists!!!

  3. BJ,
    Im just going to stop arguing because in truth I have no idea what I am arguing, it seems to be increasingly divergent to what I accually beleive, probally because the crud that feminist anthropologists try to pass off as science (and that i find myself made to read) is making me incredibly frustrated, angst!

  4. “All great discoveries are made by accident… the larger the research funding the longer it takes to have the accident.”

    Thats the funny thing, adversity can bring out the best in people.
    Thats why a recession is not always a bad thing, its sure better than a world war :)

  5. All great discoveries are made by accident… the larger the research funding the longer it takes to have the accident. :-)

  6. I think that when you get a little wiser (not smarter, wiser), you’ll understand that the only head you can get inside is your own.

    An irresponsible mate may not have been irresponsible for the first 10 years of marriage… people CHANGE… the predictability you seek isn’t and NEVER will be possible between people.

    The argument that the state should help out is based on humanity, not sympathy. Subtle difference to that… but important. There’s also the issue of how the children of a broken marriage live. It gets quite complicated which is why there’s a whole branch of government to figure out who is a legitimate object of charity.

    Mmmm… $12 per hour is $480 a week. Not over-generous. $3 per hour more makes $600/week which seems a bit much. I think I’m going to agree with you Sapient… the drive to increase the minimum wage beyond $12 isn’t really wise at this point,

    Shunda…

    …to an unskilled labourer who can’t be bothered earning their pay?

    Well no, but they are supposed to be working for you. The implied laziness isn’t justified by the fact that they are unskilled.

    I just can not afford to give a job to someone who turns out to be a dud

    Agreed… you cannot. I’ve seen the effects and it isn’t pretty.

    respectfully
    BJ

  7. Sapient; I’m with BJ on eugenics – and he said it; ‘Stephen Hawking’ – prime example of why not.
    And having done a little research in this area, I’m not at all convinced we have this kind of Technology worked out – with advances in silicone chip technology, robots will be a far more reliable proposition.
    Besides which, so much of life’s journey includes regular crash courses on ‘how to heal’. The eugenics you describe would contrapuntally excise the individual’s chance to grow learn or heal – decrease our understanding of variety (has the potential to breed as many weaknessess as strengths)
    I don’t want to go there either. Theory and Practice work out less often than I’d have thought.
    Beside, without the poor, the blacks, the drones, who gonna fight our oil wars??? Not this little black duck – that’s fer sure.
    Maybe we possess perhaps 1% of all knowledge (I think it lower), and we’re going for an amazing 2% – the other 98% we don’t even know we don’t know.
    That’s why all the truly great discoveries are made by accident.

  8. I must have been playing devils advocate too much recently, most of this day ive been argueing point i dont even support or beleive in.

  9. BJ,
    The instance you sight is not comparable.
    In the instance of a irresponsible partner it is ovious, short of a major brain injury, from the get-go the character and degree of responsibility a individual possess’. It is the purpose of the courtship process to detirmine if the male or the female is a viable mate and if they will provide you with what you will need, if you make a bad judgement it is your own fault and entirly foreseable.
    In the instance you sight, excluding the presence of AID’s, genetic or detectable progressive illness, or a high risk hobby/job, a dehabilitating illness is not a predictable factor (unless the partner is rather promiscuous and not into safe sex), and as such the fault is not attributable.
    The fault here IS important as the entire arguement that the state should help out is based on sympathy.

  10. BJ,
    Ive just turned 20, i work at a supermarket and my student loan gives me a negative net worth, i am hardly in a position to say “if i can do it anyone can”, infact I am constantly saying how useless I think the general population is :P .
    While I agree that we need a minimum wage by no means does it need to be higher than 12 dollars. I would not advocate it being as low as four dollars, but at that rate someone working a 40 hour week would earn, after tax, much more than i subsist on, and in a relativly affluent way i might add.
    If people were to accept that they didint always need the latist gaming console and didint demand to own a house and the associated mortgage in this over inflated market then they would not need to work so much and in doing so would open up more jobs. But short of growing the market the truth is that we dont need those extras, but ironicly our supporting those extras on the benefit hampers the very growth that would find them productive :P . In the short term we should support them or grow, but in the long term we must pursue a contraction in the birh rates.

  11. Bjchip
    What I am saying is that why should I surrender the fruits of my hard work as a small business owner to an unskilled labourer who can’t be bothered earning their pay?
    A minimum wage is fine, but setting that minimum to high is just adding to the difficulty that small business will suffer.
    NZ is overbalanced to the left in this respect, the current employment laws make it very difficult for me to grow my business. I just can not afford to give a job to someone who turns out to be a dud, all the laws a very much in the employee’s favour.
    Many on the left see the fight against evil corporations underpaying their staff, when in reality most employment comes from small to medium business.

  12. if they are left by an ‘irresponsible man’ then it is just as much them being irresponsible in choosing their partner

    Yeah… and it is their fault for choosing a mate who got ill and will never get better? This business of blaming people who have actually been hurt seriously by bad luck is unspeakably uncivilized… as well as bringing bad karma. Not sure it’d be wise to stand anywhere near you… would not want to be splashed when it hits.

    :-)

    BJ

  13. Sapient, BB, Shunda

    This is getting quite annoying.

    If I can do it anyone can

    Sorry , no….

    I do not care whether you think that all people who have no perceptible ability can be trained to be productive in a society that already has a surfeit of people and goods, AND can be employed to be productive in such a society… the reality is that they cannot. That is a logical result, not some trivial objection. Moreover, if you DO train them all sufficiently so they compete for ever lower wages in ever smarter jobs, you can starve a fair number of them to death. Your SYSTEM doesn’t work at the bottom. It can’t and it doesn’t. That’s why there has to be a minimum wage. The lucky winner of a job shouldn’t have to lose out by taking it. You always do miss out that luck bit… as though it weren’t a factor, when it is actually one of the most important.

    Hard work will make it possible for luck to make a success for you. Not working will make it unlikely that any amount of luck will help… but hard work is NOT SUFFICIENT to ensure success. You know it. I know it. Stop pretending luck doesn’t have an effect.

    BJ

  14. Katie,
    That is almost entirly the fault of the graduates for training in an area where no employment is availible or where no employment for someone of their calibre is availible :P
    And i beleive that even toad has forfited that it is the fault of the individual if their partner leaves them to bring up the kids, if they are left by an ‘irresponsible man’ then it is just as much them being irresponsible in choosing their partner :(

  15. All this talk of raising wages for unskilled workers makes me sick.
    Low wages compared to what? third world countries? no I didn’t think so.
    How about a discussion on relative wealth compared to the rest of the world population. The fact that we have running drinkable water to our homes practically makes us kings by some yard sticks.
    We need to help people help themselves, not lower the bar to make losers feel better. There is no excuse in a country like ours for this over emphasis on suposed poverty.
    Poverty is not being unable to own the latest play station and 30 games.
    I was in a difficult situation on the dole with no real qualifications and I managed to get out of the crap and own my own business, the last thing I should have to do is pay good money to an unskilled labourer who can’t be bothered working. This poor work ethic is hurting the NZ economy where it counts…. small business like mine.
    If I can do it anybody can.

  16. BB –

    Leaving aside your obvious biases, someone who has lost their job, thus ending up on the dole, has had a job; thus been a taxpayer.
    Same for those who have been married, been left by an irresponsable man to bring up children on their own; I’ve paid my weight in tax, and more, over the years.

    Still do, every time I go through the supermarket. A greater proportion of my current income is taxed, than previously, as my income is lower, and my weekly consumables are a greater proportion of it.

    I have paid for childcare, completed two degrees, all while living on a very low income, and currently still can’t find a job that accommodates my disabilities as well as covering my living expenses.

    I am not alone amongst graduates I know, who are the café barristas, waiters, bookshop assistants and suchlike, while they wait for a break to let them into a real job. Some have family or friends who can give them a headstart, but the reality for most is going overseas to be able to get decent employment, at a decent rate of pay.
    Australia isn’t that far away, but the pay rates are double or better, for some recently qualified young professionals.

    Take a good look around you, and see who isn’t here.
    That’s the problem we’ll face in the next decade.

  17. I’ve been ignoring the eugenics… just do NOT want to go there. Someone mentioned mediocre intellects and Huntington’s in the same sentence and all I got was Stephen Hawking.

    I do not want to go there AT all.

    Besides… the problem there is automation. Production efficiency is capable of being overdone.

    As for paying us more?

    Could you make what you use? As in could you produce goods and services equal in value to the stuff you buy? Consider the car, the computer, the refrigerator, the heat-pump, the… it goes on for a long long time that list. I’ve never finished it.

    The point is that we don’t really manage it and we’re all working pretty hard. We just use way more stuff than we can actually afford. In the USA it is vastly worse.

    respectfully
    BJ

  18. Of course Katie conveniently overlooks that Superannuitants have paid tax for years and years where as DPB and dole bludgers have (mostly) not.

    But hey, don’t let the facts get in the way of your desire to steal more and more from the productive people of NZ Katie.
    I also find it strange that this issue is now one for John Key to fix when your good pals from Labour have had nine years to fix the problem.

    The bottom line here Katie is that those who make no effort to improve themselves or produce more kids than they can afford to feed are faced with a problem THEY caused, it is not the responsibility of the bosses to pay these unskilled people more simply because they think it is their right.

    People are leaving NZ because of this ridiculous mindset, the sooner people take more responsibility for their own lives the better.

    Ever consider joining your kids overseas?

  19. Katie,
    Superannuation is mearly a bribe; People don’t work for the productivity of society, at least not any more; they work for themselves. There is no reason that society should have to pay for them to rot in their old age; if they don’t have the foresight to save for their retirement then they can rot while packing bags at the local supermarket for all I care. Though, that said, I do favour a variant of the Cullen Fund which should provide the minimum needed to survive.

    As for student loans; increase their size and bond them at a rate of 1 to 2 for course related costs. For those whom go overseas and do not meet the repayments for a period greater than two years; sell the debt to an international debt collection agency.

    Learn some economics, if you increase wages without increasing productivity all you do is cause inflation. If you want higher wages what you need to do is convert New Zealand from a third world based economy to a first world based one which exports high value density products, and as much it pains me to say it; at least our new prime minister will try to do just that. I don’t fancy his PPP ideas but broadband is the crucial next step in our economic development, we need to hook our own cable into Singapore and start developing.

    And as much as it pains me even further to say it; that lack of jobs will best be solved, at least in the short run, by Key. (keep in mind that I am opposed to pretty much everything him and his party stand for and, having met and debated with him on several occasions, cant stand the man.)

  20. It’s been educational to jump back in here, and find that the topic has morphed to eugenics. I went right back up to the top & re-read everything, to see how that happened, and I’m still worried!

    To everyone who thinks the social justice/welfare provisions of our country are unjust:
    Go explain it to the Superannuitants in your family.
    They cost more than any of the unemployed, invalid or domestic purpose beneficiaries rolled together, so if you want to whine, whine to your mum, & see how far you get (& no, I’m not being sexist, it’s just that women live longer, and widows outnumber widowers in the superanuitants stats).

    I can’t see a mass movement to improve the budget by killing off all of Winton’s Grey Power supporters to take off, ever.

    So we’re stuck with a concept of low wages for most of the working population, offset by huge fees for consultants, at some 5% of the salaried population, and the rest of us wondering who’s going to fill the gaps when the baby boomers finally retire at 75, or whenever? (Have you noticed how some CEO’s just keep showing up in the financial pages?…)

    Trying to get expats with huge student loans to come home, when they already know how low wages and salaries are here compared to other countries, is a bit of a lost cause.

    Those with the money are just going to have to get used to the idea that better offers of pay are needed, or they’ll have to start cleaning the toilets (or painting the house) themselves.

    Harsh, maybe, but I’m sick of repeating some of this stuff.
    (9 years of campaigning against student loans … *sigh*) ;-)

    Someone, somewhere, possibly even John Key, is going to have to suck it up and acknowledge that we’ve been pushing a generation offshore since 1992, and the only way to keep our graduates (and qualified professional tradespeople, too ) is to increase the requirement for paying a decent salary/wage packet, for employers.

    Never mind tax cuts, just pay a decent wage for a good job done, and we won’t see graduates work for a year to save for their ticket, then leave the country for as long as they can stand. Or until Grandma dies …

    Hell, I’d advise my own adult children to leave the country, they at least have the opportunity to apply for citizenship in the UK, where they’ll get paid up to twice what they’d get as new graduates here.
    Even just barmaiding is more lucrative over there, never mind actually using one’s degree in a real job.
    It’s not a lack of education that’s causing joblessness – it’s a lack of jobs!

  21. Well a good start in any project of eugenics would be the removal of any causes of dysgenetic trends. This would necessarily entail providing disincentives for the breeding of inferior traits such as mediocre intellect or huntingtons.
    By providing contraception free of charge and encouraging its use both through education and through social norms one reduces the incidences of pregnancy in those classes that would not use it anyway, i.e. those of little intellect. This would result, at least theoreticly, in a decrease in the overall fertility of those classes. This coupled with an increased benefit to females on welfare whom are rendered temporarily infertile through injection would provide further motivation to decrease ones fertility, this could even be eventually made an requirement of receiving the welfare. of course it would need to be applied to males as well as soon as a method of effectively rendering males temporarily infertile is invented.
    Further by allowing abortion up to the end of the second trimester for children with severe genetic or physical ailments and making clear that the state will not provide for any children thus born will incentivise the abortion of such children where such children represent a life of non-productivity and as such a massive cost to any parent.
    By allowing abortion in the first trimester on demand one decreases the incidence of unintended child birth; another event that is most likely in the lower classes.
    Further, by encouraging a social desire of intellect or other positive traits over stupidity the sexual opportunities will likely be increased for those of means and intellect as opposed to ‘rebels’ and such.
    In the case of highly hereditable diseases such as huntingtons there is the option of selective embryo destruction or possibly in the near future; retro-virus’.
    By placing state provision for poor children in schools through means such as school provision of meals the state is able to decrease the fund which are given to families to support children and as such further disincentives having children one cannot support.

    The state could encourage sperm banks to record the physical characteristics, abilities, intellect, and problematic genes of individual donors and make these available to those wishing to acquire sperm as well as provide financial benefits to those of high genetic integrity or ability whom donate.
    The option of stopping entry by refugees and of screening immigrants is always an option. As is the sterilisation of those whom commit serious crimes, specificly repetitively. The sterilisation of the mentally impaired has always been an option and has been used quite widely

    Note that many of these examples target beneficiaries or those of very limited means as those with undesirable traits. Even in a country where inequality is massive and there is little equality of opportunity, such as America, this is still a very strong proxy for intelligence and ability, in New Zealand this should be even more so. It is not that smart people are rich, but that stupid are less able to utilise what is available and as such are far far more likely to be poor, and this is just.

    People do not have a right to breed, and with the world approaching or already surpassed its carrying capacity humanity should of realised this long ago.

  22. Kenedy Graham seems incredibly qualified. He must be to get so high up on the list without saying “Te Tiriti”. Let’s hope he’s not one of them.
    :wink:

  23. eredwen Says:
    November 23rd, 2008 at 3:24 am

    WHY has it not occurred to our repetitive critics on frogblog, that:

    1. The “Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand” is a serious political party, and as such, has developed a full raft of policies (with a spokesperson for each of these policies) as do National and Labour … and as does any serious political movement?

    All of these policies are based on the Green Party’s “key principles”
    ……………………….
    Because actions speak louder than words and when Sue Bradford of the Unemployed Workers Union comes up with her latest initiative they don’t think “oh that’s because of the green principle of Social Justice” they think “that’s Sue Bradford the left winger being a left winger”.
    :wink:

  24. Mark,
    Why? The atrocity of Hitler style eugenics is about as much reflective of eugenics as an anthropologist is of a scientist.

  25. BJ,
    I agree entirly, I attempted to address that throughout that rant, though i admit i did so poorly, the statement;

    i see society becoming so planar that capitalism can no longer truley function and a new paradigm is needed

    was intented to express as much.

  26. Turnip

    Up until now, the changes in automation simply pushed the demand for intelligence. It takes a lot of brainpower and education to make a decent living at this point compared to the period when the power looms were introduced.

    It is more gradual than the tract that DBuckley found anticipates, it is likely to be for two reasons. The first is that a ‘bot is not cheap and won’t be in a society that is getting hungrier for energy and resources every day. It isn’t as cheap as a human is. The second is that much of the intelligence is still outside the ‘bots, and will be for at least another decade or so.

    However, the results WILL be similar to that essay predicts. It’s more gradual, more subtle, it has already started happening… but the ending is the same.

    We’re hitting a problem that will not be solved by simple formulations of previous ideologies.

    Consider the point that I, one of the “Mr Know-It-Alls” of the universe, am pointing at this problem and telling you “I can’t solve this”. The problem is stated… the answer is NOT obvious. If you think it is, you didn’t understand my problem statement. Referring to ancient history is not a guide here.

    Productivity improvement can only proceed so far before it puts people out of work. What do those people do who have not the ability to learn the new skills demanded to change jobs. What do those people do who despite being willing to work, cannot find any work to do. If we make everyone so productive that one person can provide the needs of ten-thousand, what do we pay him and what do the 9,999 others live on?

    Is that more clear?

    respectfully
    BJ

  27. Sapient

    I respectfully disagree. Economically we HAVE to have consumption that justifies our production. Being “too productive” is a problem.

    The funny thing is that no matter how few people (drones) are working to produce whatever, it is not THEIR production that needs consuming. It’s the more productive multitude. Go to the limit. One guy supervises the super AI that supervises all the other production of all the ‘bots that create everything that anyone needs. Who has money to buy? The problem is NOT done away with by doing away with “drones”.

    Which leads to a similar conclusion about Capitalism, but not a solution.

    respectfully
    BJ

  28. There is no problem with automation, the problem is with consumption and population, the drones have only ever existed to serve those that advance the species and now that they have their jobs replaced there are simply too many drones. what we need is fewer drones, this can be accheived by killing them off or stoping them from being born (benefit contraception comes to mind), which decreases the need for such products of their labour and necessitates the removal of more, the alternative is to bring them up to the level of the others, where they contribute to society in a way that at that point in time is not yet replaced by machines, though for that to be plausable an even larger number of the ruling class would have to exist, so there are pracical limits. Ultimatly, with a good course of eugenics, i see society becoming so planar that capitalism can no longer truley function and a new paradigm is needed, what that would be is debateable but my bet is it would resemble a highly socialist state.

    And yes, i am so extremly eletist and meritocratic that i give other eletists and meritocrats bad names, but what can i say; drones annoy me, everytime i interact with one i get genocidal desires :P

    Heh, and anyway, those people with 160+ have their own unique sets of disadvantages too. atleast in my experiance, things become so easy and unchallanging and thus boring that the only things which can hold ones interest are debate and excapism, lol, not to mention how the normal everyday joys of ignorance melt away.

  29. ‘Each to hir own best Ability’, so the Humanists say – and I think it fair…there are plenty of unpaid volunteers in our workforce now – some of whom work incredible hours – I know plenty who are blind, crippled, athritic, none of whom are bludgers in any way – all of them would love to be well and working again.
    So if you’ve read this far, and still have your Health;
    Go Thank All the Gods You Can Find.

  30. The problem with your argument against automation and the removal of unskilled labour is that it doesn’t hold up to the test of history. If you take for example the English textile industry during the industrial revolution many jobs were lost because the machines replaced the workforce. However years later the industry was employing more people than before.

    Why was this, well because the technological improvements drove the costs down which allowed the products to be delivered to more people and hence more people were required to produce the product.

    There must be a decrease in the cost of producing the cars otherwise why did they re-tool the factory, if so the consumer gets a product thats cheaper :)

  31. There was a debate in the 50s about what should people do once the then nacent robot technology had absorbed a large chunk of the jobs on offer, and there were just too few jobs for the people. Anything that needed doing repetitively was considered fair game for replacement by robot.

    So over half a century on we haven’t got to grips with there being more people than there is work to do, primarily because we haven’t worked out how those that dont work get money. There are lots of people across the world who share BB’s perception of “not working” that makes solving this problem impossible.

    And robot-ization hasn’t acheived its full potential because people are just too cheap.

  32. Icebaby

    Don’t miss the point here. There’s 50-60 guys who have the idle-time to paint your house. Of them probably 20 have the skills to do a decent job of it, and 2 are required to actually do it.

    The point is that there is a surfeit of unskilled/low-skilled labor available. It takes more skills than a lot of people have OR CAN GET just to make an average living these days.

    I didn’t say I have an ANSWER… I pointed out that the problem is larger than your focus group of one is suggesting. Larger than Toad is suggesting as well.

    Nobody need starve. And nobody does.

    On a global scale they certainly DO starve and it is most unfortunately necessary because some people don’t want to fund contraception… others don’t want to accept the limits to growth and still more want more power.

    On a local scale they don’t starve because we hand out money to many of them for doing nothing at all.

    The wrongness about the whole situation is related to the displacement of and disrespect for the work of lower skilled individuals in favor of tireless automatic production of stuff.

    More efficient production is NOT ALWAYS the answer.

    respectfully
    BJ

  33. >>why you would support them vs the rest of us so often.

    Because I’m a small business owner.

    What makes a small business person want to emulate the wealth and power of the large business corporation? Unless all small businesses are regarded as mere stepping stones to corporate might? Does this have to be the case, or can small businesses be more likened to artisans and niche industries?

  34. >>why you would support them vs the rest of us so often.

    Because I’m a small business owner.

    >>but what do they DO?

    There are plenty of problems that need solving. Painting my house, for example, which I don’t have time to do.

    Nobody need starve. And nobody does.

    But the whinging, and tax grabbing, is truly infinite….

  35. Most of us are not fat cats sucking massive profits.

    Indeed, and as a result one has to wonder why you would support them vs the rest of us so often.

    The entire system has to balance. The fairness of the society has to be subjected to some scrutiny. I regard this one as tilted towards the fatter cats…. but

    The end result has to include people working for a living if they CAN do so, and they can only do so if the pay is sufficient to be livable.

    The problem (which is seen differently by the right and the left) is that a reasonable wage and living cannot be had by everyone no matter what their ability. The people with lower basic abilities WILL suffer because there are vastly more people able to and willing to compete with them.

    Not many can compete with someone who’s IQ is 160+, someone who is young and strong can do the mexican deal (Manual labour) but in the end the productivity of the world is adequate with only half of it working.

    This isn’t what you think…

    This is the long delayed effect of greater automation and productivity per worker…

    Consider the result if it continues… Toyota builds all the cars in the line with 12 direct employees and ‘bots to do the rest (for example).

    What do you pay everyone else?

    Well the answer that Turnip and BB and Icebaby have is… nothing. They aren’t worth it. The answer Toad has is enough to live on… but what do they DO? Idle hands are the devil’s workshop. If they work to their skill set at make-work things that are inefficient,.. is that reasonable?

    That’s the PROBLEM…. the partial answer is that we don’t need all the people we have but a real solution does not present itself immediately.

    Efficiency at the peasant level apparently is not as desirable as efficiency at the top.

    Just thought you all might like having something to actually CHEW on rather than arguing about who is bludging off whom.

    :-)

    respectfully
    BJ

  36. Toad

    >>I would prefer the responsibilty to fall on employers to pay a wage that responsible employees and their families can actually survive on.

    Then I suggest you support moves to slash business tax rates and compliance costs.

    Most of us are not fat cats sucking massive profits.

  37. I am looking forward to the Toad society where we no longer need to even worry about wiping our own arses since the government will step in and take over the responsibility for us.

  38. It is NOT my job to top up the wages of those who cannot be bothered bettering themselves or those who make no effort to improve things for their family.

    BB, You may be interested to know that even Roger Douglas wanted to do that if I’m not mistaken. There were probably some conditions too, but I think ACT has still has something roughly equivalent.

  39. Toad

    It is NOT my job to top up the wages of those who cannot be bothered bettering themselves or those who make no effort to improve things for their family.
    I already have to pay for the kids they cannot afford and now you seem to be suggesting that because they could not be bothered taking advantage of the free educations system I should provide them with a better wage.
    Gerrit is right, personal responsibility is what really matters.

  40. I watched TV on election night. TV3 did feature some coverage of the Greens at Hopetoun Alpha in Beresford St, Newton. However TV 1 had no coverage of the Greens and seemed to rotate coverage between the big 2 parties and Winston First.

  41. Fastbike: Well so was I (must have been running different channels) partying too.
    A large part of moving to Australia for me, was about distancing myself from National PM Robert Muldoon’s style of Govt.
    So the Greens Might have indeed been featured, but I missed it cos of all the disappointment (lookin at the floor)…

    bjchip: Thanks for the insight – fair enough…I just thought it odd that the 3rd biggest Party didn’t seem to Rate comment.
    Maybe one has to look at who owns the MSM. Betchya I know where their votes go….cheers Mark

  42. Gerrit

    I don’t think that because Toad didn’t mention it, that he simply rejects it.

    The problem here seems to be that both sides of this argument are being made to get the other side to admit that there are two sides, which makes the arguments one-sided. I think that parses correctly, but I have no doubt it is unclear.

    :-)

    In other words, both are correct, neither is wrong. Argument is not meaningful.

    BJ

  43. toad,

    Ideally, it is the responsibility of the entire community, including employers. If employers cannot (or will not) pay a socially responsible wage, then it becomes a cost to the taxpayer to pay top-ups. I would prefer the responsibilty to fall on employers to pay a wage that responsible employees and their families can actually survive on.

    You fail to mention that the INDIVIDUAL has responsibilites to the community.

    The individual has the responsibility to be educated to their full potential, to abide by the laws set by the community, to use their education and work towards the community’s progression and thus providing for their immediate family, etc.

    Problem we have in New Zealand is a lack of community bought about by indivduals not contributing to the community and as a result the rest of the community not taking an interest in furthering the community’s interest.

    It only takes one bludger to kill a community.

  44. Valis, Thanks for the explanation (November 23rd, 2008 at 12:45 pm). That’s a refreshingly different way of doing things.

    I think Kennedy is too recently returned (and possibly too “big city”) to fully appreciate the way Labour shafted transport outside of Auckland and Wellington, or the dire condition of Christchurch’s roads and the lack of any concrete plans to make PT work in the greater Christchurch traffic catchment.

    Maybe this capitalist/anarchist/analyst will have to do the previously unthinkable and become a paid up member of a political party.

  45. kiwinuke Said:
    “And Kevyn, I think you’ll find that Jeanette, as Transport spokesperson, is well aware of the existence of other bits of New Zealand outside Wellington.”

    I did get that impression when I spoke to Jeanette at Kennedy’s campaign launch. I like the way she listens to all of what you say before she forms her response. Of course that’s not something that comes across as a plus on TV, or to people who like bumper sticker “solutions”. Knowing that the party isn’t being led by a polished politician is one strong reason I voted Green this time round.

  46. Mark52

    The MSM does not like the Green party. Not as currently constituted. Not perhaps, in any recognizable form.

    The first part of this is that it reflects the attitude of typical voters as well as affecting them. IMHO the media has the job of reporting accurately first and shaping opinions only when no other course of action is ethically feasible.

    That only happens just before government goes completely non-linear and journalists wind up in jail too. Not a problem at present, so they should be sticking to the reporting-accurately part.

    There is also Electoral Finance. Election advertising is a big-budget item every 3 years… and they expect to make a heap of money from it. Restrictions on spending that are actually effective are VERY unlikely to be popular .

    Your guess is as good as mine. I didn’t get to see any of it anyway.

    respectfully
    BJ

  47. I am very excited about Kennedy Graham. I look forward to hearing more about him. The future looks good. We have 3 years to strengthen and get more votes, despite the (probably) justified downturn in labour support.

  48. Mark – you must have missed it – the little bit of TV that I saw had Jeanette Fitzsimons being interviewed. But then I was too busy partying to watch telly :)

  49. I saw them go to the place in Ponsonby the Greens had hired out…a few times. On TV3. Vegetarian pizza!

  50. BJ? A question stands unanswered for me. Why, on Election night, did the MSM ignore the Greens Totally?
    Lots of reports about ‘the big two’ – then cut to how Rodney and Winston are doin…..well excuse me, but NZ’s third largest Party got passed over by the suits – care to extrapolate?

  51. Toad,
    My arguement was that different people have different interpritations of such vague concepts, it was not ment to be a justification or judgement of those interpritations.
    Besides, my reference to working for what one receives was a nod at working for the dole. no need to get so hyped up, at any rate i did state that my interpritation was different to that i purport that BB holds.
    No need to start constructing straw men, besides i advocate such ‘top-ups’ remmember (and at any rate if you think you cannot support yourself or a family on the minimum wage you are deluded to say the least, and i wont even get into the economics of your $2 assertion.).

  52. Sapient said: … katie may see social justice to be a high minimum wage and from-birth-to-death state protection and welfare where-as BB may see it as entailing personal responsibility and working for what money one receives…

    Sapient, do you accept people should work in New Zealand for $2 an hour if that is “what money one receives”.

    That is the logical conclusion of you argument, even though it is impossible for anyone to have healthy living for themselves and their family on the current minimum wage of $12 an hour, let alone $2 an hour.

    “Social responsibility” is about setting minimum standards, including a wage level that allows people to frugally subsist and participate as active members of their communities.

    Ideally, it is the responsibility of the entire community, including employers. If employers cannot (or will not) pay a socially responsible wage, then it becomes a cost to the taxpayer to pay top-ups. I would prefer the responsibilty to fall on employers to pay a wage that responsible employees and their families can actually survive on.

    The BB theory of “social responsibility” will lead to serious social unrest, including food riots, as people cannot afford to feed their families.

  53. I find that it is almost never the basic problem being addressed in the social arena that causes difficulty.

    Even S59 contained and was a REAL problem that needed correcting. The Electoral Finance bill…. there are plenty of REAL problems underlying the problem of public perception of the Greens. There are also the basic untruths told by the media, often based on right-wing misinformation. The population policy fiasco comes to mind here…. another component.

    HOWEVER….

    The one we have control over is how we do things. Not so much the things we try to do, but how we try to do them. We’ve tripped on confrontational execution so many times now it is almost impossible to recall when we HAVE NOT done this.

    Which suggests that Gerrit has something right, though I don’t totally agree with his vision. I think this is correctable within the party. I don’t think it can be corrected from the outside. Not when any alternative party would share 90% of policy or more with current Green policy.

    Split the Green vote and we don’t even have ONE MP.

    Not the wisest OR most pragmatic course of action.

    respectfully
    BJ

  54. Icebaby

    From what I have seen the countries that place a higher value on social justice than we see around here, do better, and those that put environment on an equal footing with trade and business do better still. I’ve missed all the really low spots too.

    I don’t actually reckon that trade and business have much to do with it at all. Prosperity is good…. for the prosperous. For the rest of the planet and the rest of the people, it is irrelevant.

    We cannot “grow” our way out of this dungheap. We all get sh!t sandwiches until the supply is depleted. Given the appetite and processing capacity of those at the top who provide the supply, it will take a while.

    BJ

  55. Ironicly, in that same country, the green party let social issues sit on the back burner behind the more important and pressing environmental issues, the party has gained the power it needs to promote its environmental issues and its social issues also. What did it gain for its success? The label of traitor and sell-out from other ‘green’ parties and movements. ironic.

  56. >>It doesn’t take too much travel around the world, or our country, to realise that environmental outcomes don’t seem to be so good

    From what I’ve seen in my travels around the world, countries that place a high value on trade and business have the best environments.

    By far.

  57. Wasn’t that called the holocaust? Not very social at all.
    WW2 wasn’t exactly environmental either!
    Times have changed a little from then, I hope…

  58. IceBaby

    “>>Green entails the environment and social justice, the two are inseperable.

    People keep saying this – is it a mantra at party gatherings, or something? – put it is pure nonsense. ”

    They tried environmental policy without social justice in Germany in the 1930’s. It sucked. It doesn’t take too much travel around the world, or our country, to realise that environmental outcomes don’t seem to be so good when there is a lack of “social justice” however you define it.

    Really California Air Resources Board as an example? Thats fine except for the fact that it is in California!

  59. The funny thing about “social justice” and “appropriate decision making” is that they are entirly up to the interpritation of the individual; katie may see social justice to be a high minimum wage and from-birth-to-death state protection and welfare where-as BB may see it as entailing personal responsibility and working for what money one receives, where-as I may see it as equal opportunity to make of oneself what one will and a ‘safty net’ for those unexected hardships; social justice does not inform Green party policy one ounce, the naive ideology does; ‘social justice’ is mearly an excuse.

  60. >>Green entails the environment and social justice, the two are inseperable.

    People keep saying this – is it a mantra at party gatherings, or something? – put it is pure nonsense.

    You can achieve environmental wins (eg. California Air Resources Board) without an ounce of “social policy”. “Social policy” appears to me to be a code word, meaning “nanny state”.

    We know which is more important to the “Greens” (yet another code word)….

  61. JameS,

    Could the Green party be more strategic in the social justice policies it pursues to show it has a more coherent holistic message?

    Absolutly, this could easily be done and would be of a great benefit, if the party had taken this approach in the run up to the election, like the likes of BJ had been saying for quite some time, then labour could very well be in government now with a strong green party as the major partner. Though, will they do so? not a chance, as gerrit says, they have no interest in such an approach, after all, how can one rally support against the man when they are the man, lol. who knows, one day they may just annoy me so much that I decide to form a pragmatic green party.

  62. dbuckley: “and one that looks, smells, and feels like a FPP National party”

    samiam: “You are joking right?”

    No, I’m not. But dont misunderstand me to being derogitory about this: using MMP (as you rightly point out) brilliantly, Key has built the functional equivalent of an FPP government. A really nice piece of work.

    I’m now hoping that Key will make the centre thing work, and keep both the ragged right and loony left members of his coalition under control.

    Its difficult for someone (like me for example) who has both left wing and right wing beliefs, and is an environmentalist into the bargain, as the average of left and right is not centre but mediocrity; you need the best of left and right to be a centerist, and I’m hoping Key has it.

    So far (and we are only a miniscule way through his first term) he hasn’t put a foot wrong in my book. But the real test will come when he disappoints many traditional National supporters.

  63. “The BlueGreens and RedGreens will take on board Green policies”

    I remember reading the first Blue Green website and having some attraction towards it for about 30 seconds until I realised what it was. (I am less familiar with the Progressive Greens). I am sure they could “take on board” Green policies, but whether they choose to action them is a moot point. Don Nicholson and friends frothing at the mouth behind the scenes might require some modifications.

    My bottom line is green, not red or blue. Green entails the environment and social justice, the two are inseperable. There is just far more room to argue over what in fact “Social Justice” is. Could the Green party be more strategic in the social justice policies it pursues to show it has a more coherent holistic message? (something contrary to a previous frog posting I feel the Maori party has done very well in the last few weeks).

    And back to the topic of the thread, congratulations to the new Green MP Kennedy Graham! Now what are the chances of Kennedy being given the Foreign Affairs portfolio? Talk about a chance to become more pragmatic, broaden appeal and remove a huge stumbling block for many…

  64. The CV looks good – a much needed variety. I’m with Fastbike here….Congratulations are definitely in order.
    As for one person’s power. I well remember the days (years) when there was No Such Thing as ‘Green’ Politics…then a guy from Tasmania (among others) got elected in Australia (much to the MSM’s angst).
    That one person (Bob Brown) has, and continues to influence all Australians widely – he is after all a Senator, has a national stage – and often speaks with so much good sense that people from all different strands, that are possessed of a heart and a mind – take heed of his opinion.
    In this way he brought about (and continues) massive changes in attitudes and behaviour
    Go Green Go!!!!

  65. Kinda not the point, 1 rat, we aren’t actually saying completely ditch social issues, just bring environment to the top of the pile. A few elections back… well that was a long time ago and the environment just wasn’t on the political radar back then, it sure as heck is now!
    JamieS, welcome and no the questions you ask have not been answered fully before but they, sure as heck, keep getting asked.

  66. A lot of bloggers think the Greens should ditch the social justice side of their principles and just concentrate on the environment. A few elections back there was a party, the Progressive Greens, whose policy was just that. From memory I think they scored slightly lower than the McGillicuddy Serious Party, who had been having a bad campaign.

  67. Yes, social engineering is just used as a general term of abuse, like “nanny state”, “communist”, “fascist”, “poo-bum”, or “yah, boos sucks”. It is totally meaningless. It is interesting that those who bleat the loudest about “nanny state” are also the same people who most supported nanny bailing out the greedies during the sub-prime mortgage crisis.

    If being a nanny state means that governments have to interfere with what some individuals want in order to protect the greater good of all, then every government is a nanny. Even a libertarian one. You note they still think the police and courts should be paid for by the state, and that they can be used to protect the private property interests or contractual obligations of one group of people over the freedom of others.

    It all comes down to what sort of nanny you want. Mary Poppins, or Cruella de Vil? We probably all have different opinions as to which one Clark or Key’s government best resemble, but like all governments part of their role is nannying.

  68. JamieS,

    Problem for the Greens “power elite” is that they are from an activist background.

    Unfortunately for them the electorate vote for a strategic direction for governance.

    The “power elite” cannot seem to recognise that activism needs to be replaced by stategic policy decisions IF the desire to govern is to be fulfilled.

    The current “power elite” in the Greens do not want to govern, they like being activist.

    Hence the Greens will never ever reach anywhere near the 30% mark of voters confidence and be in a position of governance. Nor get anywhere near the 50% mark to get a Green Prime Minister.

    While some members of the Greens say how democratic they are, the reality is the “power elite” control the party.

    Which from a BlueGreen perspective is cool, we can get on with the governace of ALL the people of New Zealand, while continuing with the greening of policy in a pragmatic manner.

    Just look at frogs latest number of postings, All anti this, anti that, pure activism. No pragmatic governance to fix wrongs in a meaningful way.

    Have a look at the Greens ETS stance. Irrespective if the people of New Zealand can afford to pay for the ETS it must go ahead. Why? To line the pockets of the Al Gores and Nigel Brunels of this world WITHOUT making a single diference to manmade global climate change.

    I think you where wise not to vote Green. The BlueGreens and RedGreens will take on board Green policies and the relevance of the green party as an environmental party will disappear leaving the activist to rename the party the Alliance. Coming full circle and having achieved very little.

  69. JamieS,
    The process of policy formation within the Green party is extremly democratic, its one of the things i like most about the party. It has been two years since i have reviewed the process in full but basicly every member of the party whom is interested is given the opportunity to formulate policy and offer their insights and opinions, be it through the forums or through other relivant groups. i think the process is availible on the site iteslf, though i may be wrong.

    The problem with this is that certain groups within the party will inevitably push for that which they see to be right reguardless of how people outside that group perceive things. My issue with this is that it produces policy that risks alienating potential voters and the promotion of such policy as such weakens our overall voice and thus our ability to draw in more support and to preserve or enhance the environment.
    That and the process results in some terribly idealistic drivel that is both impractical and contradictory to other peices of policy.

    The thing is that members like myself and Bj whom want a more pragmatic approach are in the minority and as such the opposing, idealistic and naive, approach shouts louder and due to the democratic process gets what it wants but in doing so hurts the movement.

  70. Umm, I’m new here so please bear with me if my question has been answered a million times before.

    I am one of those like BJ/Sapient who see nothing to celebrate in the Greens election result, same old, same old. Our rivers continue to die our biodiversity continues to thin out and the Greens continue to march along self satisfied with 5% and outside government.

    What I would like to ask is, given we live in a representative democracy with a low level of direct political participation, should the Green Party policy (within bounds) try to represent or reflect a broader spectrum of the population than just its party members?

    The follow up question is does the current policy formation process allow this and does this differ from bigger political parties?

    I have voted Green in the past, but when it came time to tick this time I just couldn’t do it. As much as I respect each Green MP for their activism and passion, I just haven’t seen any evolution over the last ten years towards a team that could be an influential part of a coalition government in the future.

  71. While it is true that each is entitled to their own views one still must recognise that there is more than ones beleif at stake here; what is at state is the environment and by extension the continued survival of our species, we must be above petty politics.

  72. Valis,
    It is a fairly common phenomonon that those whom hold opinions strongly different to or in conflict with the present norms will group together and come to support similar things, particuarly when they are idealists. The establishment is right, white, capitalist, and consumerist, it is almost inevitable that those that oppose those things group together. The arguement that green parties around the world hold similar positions is trivial in light of this, though it may explain how hardly any of them are anywhere near acchiving what they could, that is except for the german *traitors* whom, what do you know, experianced alot of success. :P

    Those that think they are equal and think so because they beleive that one cannot be accheived without the others are quite simply wrong; the factors may be more or less strongly reinforcing but in no way does enviromental wisdom necsitate the other three, esspecially appropriate decicion making (which i have always seen as a massive cop out on the half of the Green Party, but atleast it shows they are willing to make SOME compromise for electability).

  73. “Calling yourself Greens gives the impresion that that is what you hold dearist, and yet it is not, and so long as you call yourself that you prevent a true green party from forming; call yourselves the values party and be honest, let a real green party form.”

    Those of us who believe the four principles are equal do so because we don’t think our goals in one area can be achieved if the other principles are deprioritised. I can’t agree with your statement because it ignores this reality. And before you decide what a true green party is, note that just about all green parties around the world take a similar approach, usually even having the same set of principles. Why do you think that is?

    And if our using the word Green is keeping another party from forming, it doesn’t have a chance anyway.

  74. Kjuv you type faster than me!
    You say a party needs to cover the whole spectrum, and that’s cetainly been true in the past, but I suspect the Greens might be unique in that it could be a green issue only party.
    Policy, campaign and vote in parliament as a party on green issues only and leave the Green MP’s to conscience vote on other issues.

  75. michaela,
    firstly, we do not propose that the party should be a single issue lobby group but rather that the environment should take presadent over other matters when pursuing those other matters would inversly affect our ability to protect and promote the environment and our survival. I do not say that we shouldint have social policy or pursue appropriate decision making or non-violence but rather that in doing so we should ot compromise that which is most important; the environment, despite what valis and many Green party members feel, it is totaly llogical to have something like appropriate decision making on the same level as ecological wisdom; the environment is the most important but the party does not treat it as such.

    I dont accuse the party of social engeneering, thats what politics is all about! but inso far as our social engeneering being small in comparison with previous endevours it is irrelivant; it is not about that, it is about the perceptions of the public, if we loose a favourable perception we loose vote and as such we loose the ability to promote that which is dear to us, social policy included.

    The party needs to be pragmatic otherwise it risks oblivion and will be rendered unable to do anything at all. Im not asking the party to be a lobby group, im asking it to be a political party.

  76. and as a POLITICAL party the whole idea is to GET INTO GOVERNMENT. As a lobby group the idea is to INFLUENCE government from the outside.
    So what are you?
    I want you in government and putting runs on the board, what do you want?
    There is no competition between Greenz and those other groups, as they aren’t in the game of courting votes.
    Roger and Ruth have had influence precisely because they GOT INTO GOVERNMENT, yours is negligible because you appear too chicken/too pure to jump in to the deep end and get dirty.
    I blog here in the belief that the Greens have something to contribute to the future of NZ”s environmental governance. Do you?

  77. >> As a political party we have to span the spectrum of political issues rather than a restricted subset of them.

    The ‘pro-environmental lobby groups’ may very well have greater expertise at defending the environment. However, we look to political parties to provide us with POLITICAL SOLUTIONS to the environmental problems that have been raised by the various interest groups.
    Yes, agreed that a fully-fledged political party needs to ‘span the spectrum of political issues’. But this does not entail that it needs to place equal importance on all the areas of political interest. I would have thought that the GP’s ‘raison d’etre’ is to provide political solutions to environmental issues. All other political solutions offered by such a party need to be subservient to (and consistent with) those in the eco-economics arena.
    In similar vein, a ‘Christian’ political party would have Christian principles and beliefs underpinning its politics.

  78. The Greens are a POLITICAL party, not a single issue lobby group which is what we would be if we focused on the environment alone. Were we to concentrate on the environment as so may posters to this blog want, we would be in direct competition with other environmental lobby groups such as Greenpeace, Forest & bird, Seashepherd, World Wild Life etc.; these groups have more experience, expertise & funds than we do. As a political party we have to span the spectrum of political issues rather than a restricted subset of them.

    Furthermore, those who accuse us of social engineering should consider the massive social engineering that took place during the Rogernomics/Ruthanasia period, Going further back, state housing, old age pensions, free schooling etc were all major instances of social engineering, By comparison, our so called social engineering, such as repealing Section 59, abolishing youth rates, allowing mothers to keep their babies in prison for 2yrs are negligable.

  79. Anyway, not every member feels they are equal, otherwise the conversations within the membership as to if they should be equal or not would be without a point.

  80. I know full well that there are four principles, and that they are clear on the site (though they can be interprited to form an almost endless spectrum of policy, so to say they inform policy making is quite weak, more your ideologies inform it and the principles are mear guidlines), but many do not and so long as you call yourselves the Greens you give off the false impresion that that is what you are, green. Calling yourself Greens gives the impresion that that is what you hold dearist, and yet it is not, and so long as you call yourself that you prevent a true green party from forming; call yourselves the values party and be honest, let a real green party form.

  81. “…they should atleast be willing to say honestly that the environment is not their main concern and as such allow a more pragmatic, less idealistic, party to form.”

    First, we already say clearly that we have four principles that we feel are equal. That’s as far as you’re going to get. Second, it is not up to us to “allow” anything. If another environmental party is going to form, it should and will do so regardless of how we characterise our priorities.

  82. Kiwinuke,
    Re: re the sadsacks.
    You miss the point, the point is not about sacrificing some principles now that the election has passed so that we can get some influence, it is about putting some principles behind others in the three years approaching an election so that we are able to better protect the environment and promote our other policies, it is exactly the fact that we have put social justice up front that has put us in this situation that we cannot influence anything!

    BJ,
    Re: hare krishna.
    Yep, im aware of just how devoid of the forums are of regular posters, in fact I was surprised to see how many people had responded to one of your posts, including eredwen I believe. I suspect that there is more people who just lurk, but I may be wrong. But although a large number, comparitivly, responded to one or two of your posts, im pretty much the only one who responded to most of your other, non-policy, posts :P

    BB,
    Re: two true greenies.
    Thats not entirely fair, Metiria may not be pure green but I believe she does genuinely care about the environment.

    Shunda,
    Re: gagging
    The party does not gag, I apologise for the statement that people avoid the pragmatic posts, I have no way of knowing if that is or is not true, it just feels that way to me based on the activity on other posts in the forum.
    There was a blue green party called the progressive greens, it died and joined the national party, though it is certainly a option I would be interested in, except perhaps more of a “pragmatic greens” than blue green, taking policy from both sides of the spectrum to best achieve the desired result. Get me some big corporation backing or a few scholarships so I don’t need to work and I will be happy to start one for you :P
    Also, if you want to join the party, the only requirements are that you agree with the four pillars and are not a member of another political party, though I have no idea what happened in the case of phil u, lol.

    Almost 12 hours of posts addressed in one, lol.
    I dont expect the party to compromise just to get more votes, but if they are not willing to then they should atleast be willing to say honestly that the environment is not their main concern and as such allow a more pragmatic, less idealistic, party to form. It is for the survival of the species after all :P

  83. “You are still not addressing the fact that “green” people are not voting for the Greens.”

    Actually I was.

    “We are not talking about necessarily catering for the general masses, you are not even catering for people sympathetic to the green cause.”

    No, they are sympathetic to only a portion of it, that’s what this discussion is all about.

    “Its the radical human rights ideology ( you could even say experimental),
    not so new socialist ideals, and a whole lot of “we know best” attitude that makes people nervous.”

    Ah, the crux. You see, I simply don’t agree with your premise that it is so radical or experimental. I think our environmental policies are much more radical than just about anything we espouse on the social side.

  84. Shunda

    This is where the question of methods (which I DO scrap with people about some), comes into play. I don’t think that most of the human rights or ideals are that controversial… but they COULD be better presented and some implementations (like S59) could be a LOT better done. Without compromise on the principles involved.

    Which means that I agree that the party does not do as well as it should, for many of the reasons you are discussing… but it is not something engraved in stone and… my most salient point here…

    Any error in the social context can be, can ALWAYS be, corrected through changes in that context at any time. It may be inconvenient and annoying and costly and stupid, but it is all correctable and while it can be fatal for some individuals it is survivable for society as a whole.

    Any error in maintaining livable conditions on this planet is final, almost impossible to correct and may well be fatal for civilization and even the entire apparent oxymoronic species Homo-Sapiens.

    Survive the next century and the future gets a lot brighter…. because what we have to do to survive this century are important cooperative behaviours not previously in evidence in the species… or Cheap Access To Space. Either will do. Both would be better.

    respectfully
    BJ

  85. Valis
    You are still not addressing the fact that “green” people are not voting for the Greens.
    We are not talking about necessarily catering for the general masses, you are not even catering for people sympathetic to the green cause.
    There are far more than 6 or 7% of kiwi’s with a green conscience.
    Its the radical human rights ideology ( you could even say experimental),
    not so new socialist ideals, and a whole lot of “we know best” attitude that makes people nervous.

  86. I have a wife in hospital with lifetime problems, a good job that I really have to work pretty hard at, and 2 kids. Not enough money to pay up the $1200 to get citizenship for all of us.

    Gave up my gig at the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab, a WAY better job… to come to NZ because I saw the economics and other problems that the USA has been trying to deny, coming soon. My kids have a chance. I am as selfish that way as anyone.

    What more I can do at this point I cannot guess. I do provide input to the party internally and I did some work on the Defence policy…

    “Greens have a DEFENCE policy?!”

    Yup… not as good as I wanted it but better than it might have been.

    Might surprise you how hard it is to have a complete and balanced party rather than a single issue one-shot-wonder. Needs to be done though. We’re not really left of labour, but nobody quite realizes it because of the media screwballs.

    When THEY lie it is a problem for the entire society.

    respectfully
    BJ

  87. “You guys could do far better by advocating clear, well thought out steps towards sustainability instead of wasting time on S59 and banning light bulbs. Your support would increase dramatically.”

    We already do the former and will continue to do the latter, but you are surely right that it costs us. Like I said, its not *only* about getting votes for us, but about doing the right thing as we see it. The only time the Party has strategically backed off an issue is with cannabis, where it was deemed that the electorate was simply not ready for change and we were being inordinately hurt by it. Note though, that the policy didn’t change at all. It is just that we accepted that the electorate had to catch up a bit before it could be pursued with vigor. Hence, smaller steps like Meyt’s medicinal use bill, still waiting to be drawn from the ballot. Even Peter Dunne dropped his outright refusal to allow such bills to be considered, so that is progress. Despite the controversy over s59, we do not think it is hurting us on balance, not that this is what most decisions are made on as I’ve said.

  88. BJ – you said,
    “My purpose is solely the green initiatives that are IMAO required to save civilization in NZ while the rest of the planet self-destructs around us and to save the planet itself for my children’s children.”
    then added,
    “Me??? I just stir”
    I’m bound to ask, Is that it? Don’t you have any other strategey to achieve your first ‘purpose’? Are you doing more than just stirring (in a very productive way, I hasten to add) on the blog of the Frog?

  89. “Why is there no Green Party Spokesperson on Transport (Assoc Cant.) or S.I.?”

    Kevyn, I believe it is only because we haven’t had an MP resident there for a while who knows the issues intimately. While Jeanette is overall spokesperson, Keith, from Auckland is very interested in their local issues, as is Sue K, who lives in Wellington. They asked for their associate roles in the transport portfolio, rather than Caucus deeming those two cities were important, while others are not. With Ken Graham Chch based, you may get your wish, though I don’t know what his level of interest is.

  90. bjchip
    I am constantly running into people engaging in environmental projects and who think green in general who do not support the green party.
    These people still cop all the abuse on the greens behalf from red neck bigots, yet still keep working away quietly in the background.
    Most of the time if I can convince people that I am not a “greenie” in the political sense, I gain more credibility and can then talk about green issues and sustainability, most people are actually sympathetic to these issues.
    There is a reaction against the visible green movement that is doing more damage than anything else and I place the blame 50% on red neck bigots and 50% on “green” necked bigots.
    You guys could do far better by advocating clear, well thought out steps towards sustainability instead of wasting time on S59 and banning light bulbs. Your support would increase dramatically.
    And before someone says “we can’t ignore other issues” I agree, but you can moderate extremist policy. I personally would not have to agree on absoluteley everything the green party does to vote green, just like I don’t agree on everthing the National party does though I voted National.
    It is about striking a balance and unfortunateley the Greens are way off into the red corner when it comes to some (many?) issues.

  91. “And Frog you are correct in that I am still quite ignorant of how the Green party operates, but one thing I am sure about is that the welcome mat is unlikely to be rolled out for someone of an evangelical christian background, and my ability to participate in rewriting policy would likely be fairly limited.
    Please correct me if I am wrong.”

    Shunda, I would say the Green Party has way more agnostics and atheists in it than evangelicals, but I do know several members for whom their Christianity plays a central role in their lives. These people do not hide their spirituality in any way, nor does it cause them a problem in the Party that I’ve ever seen, and they are *very* involved. However, it is also true that their brand of Christianity seems not at all in conflict with much of Party policy, be it s59, cannabis, etc. Given the policy positions you espouse, I do think you’d have a much more difficult time of it, but it wouldn’t be directly because of your religion.

  92. “What would you do if you won 6,334,525,784,016 votes?”

    samiam, this is an interesting approach. What it seems you are saying is that we owe it to the perceived largest potential green voting block to base our policies on their preferences so that they can vote for us. Presumably, if we get the target group wrong, we’d then be bound to try again by modifying policy further.

    This is certainly a logical approach, but there are problems putting it in effect with an existing party. The biggest is that, like our policies or not, they flow from those agreed principles again, which includes wanting to do politics in a certain way which is decidedly not populist. bj makes other salient points above. It may seem like an easy change to make, but it is not.

  93. Shunda

    The harsh response is due to the fact that you accused the party of doing something that it does not do. As I pointed out, they do not sideline me, or ignore me. They treat me as a member. Which is ALL that I actually am at present. I don’t have time, I don’t have money AND I don’t have citizenship, to be more.

    respectfully
    BJ

  94. Frog
    If there is no truth in what I said, why the harsh response?
    I shouldn’t have to join the party to have a right to criticise a political party in NZ, we live in a democratic societey, the onus is on you to explain why I should vote for you.
    If potential voters are telling you why they didn’t vote green this time and you don’t like it, thats your call, but don’t expect the situation to change.
    As far as joining a political party goes, it is something I have been seriously thinking about.
    The Blue Greens may be an option worth investigating.
    And Frog you are correct in that I am still quite ignorant of how the Green party operates, but one thing I am sure about is that the welcome mat is unlikely to be rolled out for someone of an evangelical christian background, and my ability to participate in rewriting policy would likely be fairly limited.
    Please correct me if I am wrong.

  95. Shunda

    They do not gag me. They do not ignore me. They DO listen sometimes… which is about all that I would or SHOULD expect. I am just one guy.

    It is a very democratic sort of arrangement and I would be loathe to see it altered so that individuals had more power in it. The problem is that people who ARE pragmatic are sometimes not pragmatic enough to accept doing what they CAN.

    If they were to join the party and vote THEIR preferences on the list the party would be more to their liking. They prefer to whinge about the people who bring social justice up-front.

    Mind you, I don’t have any large disbelief in the Social-Justice issues. The prison population, the Cannabis situation, the S59 and Electoral Finance and the like all find me in support at some level. I may disagree with the methods , but there is value in addressing the problems.

    The fact is that MY “naked lust for power” vastly exceeds that of the party as a whole. My purpose is solely the green initiatives that are IMAO required to save civilization in NZ while the rest of the planet self-destructs around us and to save the planet itself for my children’s children.

    However, the party is not doing it wrong. It is doing it exactly as it claims it will do in terms of its democratic and policy processes.

    The non-participation of pragmatists based on what they perceive as an immutable character flaw in the party is the only obstacle to mutating the party into something they better agree with.

    Me??? I just stir. :-)

    respectfully
    BJ

  96. Shunda – You are way off base! 25% green? Clearly you have not got any idea of our membership or any understanding of our principles. Ignoring bjchip? Again, way off base. I have met the man personally, and have heard (and listened and respected) his voice on policy discussions and development.

    Instead of whinging and promising to vote *if only we would change*, why don’t you put your money where your mouth is, join the party and help us rewrite our policy? We the members develop it, not the caucus.

    I say put up or shut up. You are in no position to criticise processes you do not understand or participate in.

  97. “and one that looks, smells, and feels like a FPP National party”

    You are joking right?
    John Key has assembled the best example of an MMP govt NZ has ever seen and you are still talking about FPP?
    One thing John Key has done is form a govt that best represents the way kiwi’s actually voted, not doing whats best for his party.
    Unlike Labour who ALWAYS place labour agenda first NZ agenda second.
    You need to cut the guy some slack, or is this just more left wing jellousy coming to the fore?

  98. The fact that most greenies appear to totally ignore bjchip is very telling indeed. There are obviously more pragmatic individuals among the green movement that are gaged because of a less than aggressive social engineering stance.
    I meet people all the time that by all accounts are green to the core, yet refuse to vote green because of the dual, and infact dominant social engineering agenda.
    The Greens are only really about 25% green and some would say that is generous.
    If the Greens were more accomodating of people like bjchip and less extreme on social policy, you would have my vote and probably at least another 10% of the population as well.

  99. dbuckley – Fair comment. Only time will tell how we shape up in a true opposition position. It was bloody awkward for the last few terms, not being in government but being stuck under the big shadow cast by Labour. Still, as I said in an earlier comment, we got 5 Bills through, many with cross-House support. If we choose carefully what we put into the ballot, I think we can do it again. And again. We are not the far flung party that reactionary ideologues like BB enjoys painting us!

  100. Congrats on another MP.

    But how much difference will it make? The GP was able to do substantial work last session because the party with the majority were vaguely ideaolgically aligned with the GP. Key has now assembled a formidable coalition, one that is not aligned with the GP, and one that looks, smells, and feels like a FPP National party. So I think the GP will find the new parliamentary session to be far less acommodating than the last.

    Time will tell, of course.

  101. So is this one a Greenie or another Watermelon?

    It might be nice if we had more than two REAL Green MP’s in the house to go with Sue K and Jeannette.

  102. “Greens co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons said she was “elated and relieved. It improves the Greens’ capacity to be effective.”

    But you not be in Government like before, Jeanette.

    Capacity to be effective = near zero.

  103. god knows bj has made enough of an effort on the forums to express as much, just to have his posts avoided like a Hare Krishna

    Honestly… I don’t think that’s what is happening on the forums. If you look at the content there, the forums themselves are generally quite quiescent. The party does not use them much at all, which is why I post here.

    You might take note of that Eredwen, when you next advise me to post on the forums. You don’t appear to post there, nor answer me there. Neither does most anyone else. The party faithful I met when I went to the Mana electorate meetings (that I could get to), were not people I could in all optimism, expect to log in and participate.

    respectfully
    BJ

  104. What would you do if you won 6,334,525,784,016 votes?

    This is the Green Party Sam… we’re honest to a fault and would call for a new election as the initial one was obviously done using electronic voting using voting machines from the US.

    BJ

  105. Valis and Eredwen, those pesky persistent critics are, in fact, your potential voters. We do it because we give a sh!t. We do it because we want the Greenz to make real environmental gains
    6-7% of the vote is just not good enough and throwing those votes in the garbage, before the election has even occurred, is an insult to those 6-7%.
    There are a far larger % of people who do want a green Green party than a red Green party. You always talk about your party members, try talking to those that are NOT your party members. Ask them why they don’t vote for you.
    Party members are a rare breed, only fanatics tend to join up to any party, most kiwis don’t. Do you care about most kiwis?
    Us Kiwis are proud of our clean, green corner of the world and do want to protect/improve it, but somehow can’t bring themselves to vote for you. I guess they are irrelevant because they aren’t party members, huh?
    What would you do if you won 6,334,525,784,016 votes?

  106. Ha, and apologies for double-posting. I thought if I back pedalled and changed the typos I could re-enter and it would over-write. That clearly doesn’t happen.

    I miss the old edit function (but I should just read what I’ve written b4 I post)

    Fwog, please feel free to delete the typo ridden version (and the first and second apologies) if you’re not comatose on your lilypad somewhere for most of the day sleeping off celebrating another helpful contribution from our marvelously foresighted special voters.

  107. Samiuela, harking back to your post way up the list:

    “I know we need governments to address the environmental issues facing the world, but I personally think we’ll see more positive outcomes (though not enough) from the actions of individuals”

    I agree – but don’t underestimate the impact that business can have as well, particularly if individuals demonstrate their environmental concerns by acting on them through not just personal behaviour change but also through their buying and investing decisions.

    The Sustainable Business Network is growing faster than ever at present, the NZ Business Council for Sustainable development is increasingly presenting a more considered long-term view to counter the Business Roundtable’s single-bottom-line focus and local government and local Chambers of Commerce are even starting to sharpen their pencils in some regions.

    Here in the Hawkes Bay the Regional Council has just finished hosting it’s first round of breakfast speakers in it’s “Engaging Futures Thinking” series. Really good stuff with the four speakers over the latter part of 2008 being Rod Oram, Peter Nielsen, Vicki Buck and Simon Upton. All excellent, challenging and thought-provoking speakers.

    In addition the HB Chamber of Commerce has taken its first steps to recognise and embrace the business case for sustainability by including a sustainable business award in ts annual awards for the first time – albeit as a “Special Category” rather than as part of the main awards. The winner of the inaugural award for 2008 was Prometheus Finance (http://prometheus.co.nz/news/prometheus-news/sustainable_business_award/)

    There are lots of encouraging things happening in the NGO sector as well which won’t just impact on individual behaviour but will encourage business and pressure government to take seriously the emerging crises we are facing.

    Nukefree Kiwi

  108. Samiuela, harking back to your post way up the list:

    “I know we need governments to address the environmental issues facing the world, but I personally think we’ll see more positive outcomes (though not enough) from the actions of individuals”

    I agree – but don’t underestimate the impact that business can have as well, particularly if individuals demonstrate their environmental concerns by acting on them through not just personal behaviour change but also through their buying and investing decisions.

    The Sustainable Business Network is growing fasterer than ever at present, the NZ Business Cpouncil for Sustainable development is increasingly presenting a more considered long-term view to counter the Business Roundtable’s single-bottom-line focus and lcolgovernment and local Chambers of Commerce are even starting to hrpen their pencils in some regions.

    Here in the Hawkes Bay the Regional Council has just finished hosting it’s first round of breakfast speakers in it’s “Engaging Futures Thinking” series. Really good stuf with the four speakers over the latter part of 2008 being Rod Oram, Peter Nielsen, Vicki Buck and Simon Upton. All excellent, challenging and thought-provoking speakers.

    In addition the HB Chamber of Commerce has taken its first steps to recognise and embrace the business case for sustainability by including a sustainable business award in ts annual awrads for the first time – albeit as a “Special Category” rather than as part of the main awards. The winner of the inaugural award for 2008 was Prometheus Finance (http://prometheus.co.nz/news/prometheus-news/sustainable_business_award/)

    There are lots of encouraging things happening in the NGO sector as well which won’t just impact on individual behaviour but will encourage business and pressure government to take seriously the emerging crises we are facing.

    Nukefree Kiwi

  109. And Kevyn, I think you’ll find that Jeanette, as Transport spokesperson, is well aware of the existence of other bits of New Zealand outside Wellington.

    Indeed I suspect Keith was given the “Transport, Assoc Auckland” role so he could take that off Jeanette’s plate to allow her to focus on the rest of New Zealand .

  110. Excuse me while I go back to the topic – CONGRATULATIONS KENNEDY!! I expect there were some great celebrations last night. Looking forward to seeing you join Kevin and Catherine in the House.

    Re the sadsacks – can you count? The electorate has decided, the National Party does not need our support on the current numbers so it wouldn’t matter how many of our principles we were willing to sacrifice they still wouldn’t need to deal with us for support on confidence and supply (which is what determines the government – not votes on particular environment policies)

    And with regard to fututre campaigns and elections it really wouldn’t matter if the Green Party dropped all its social justice, appropriate decision-making and non-violence policies – we would still be left with our inconvenient environmental policies that are almost wholly incompatible with the National Partiy’s.

    Face it New Zealand, you’ve voted in an extremist ACT tail that is now going to do it’s best to wag the National dog!!

  111. Why is there no Green Party Spokesperson on Transport (Assoc Cant.) or S.I.? After all, Canterbury has the same population as Wellington and Christchurch has the same per capita petrol useage as Wellington and the South Island almost matches Aukland’s population. Surely the Green’s haven’t made the fundamental error of thinking that private vehicle CO2 emissions can only be addressed in urban conurbations containing more than half a million souls? Or, worse still, that PT is the only solution to private travel CO2 emissions resulting in a total focus on the two urban regions that appear to have a critical mass in PT infrastructure or population? I can understand Labour favouring Ak and Wn because of their share of Labour’s vote rather than their share of the population or problems, but surely the Green’s haven’t inadvertently gone the same way simply because MPs and senior staffers are predominantly from those two regions or spend so much of their time in those two regions that they lose focus on where the wider membership’s (or constituency’s) interests lie?

  112. eredwen,

    It is time to accept that the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand is (and has been) THE SERIOUS “Third Party” in our MMP political system, and is here to stay!

    well the social policies put the “here to stay” at risk this election, we should be polling well over ten percent but instead we continuously totter on the edge of electoral oblivion.
    furthermore, i think most critics realise both of those points, i most certainly do, but neither of your points addresses the topic of conversation; the notion is not that there should be no social policy, the notion is that the environment should come first.

    kjuv,

    It is definitely time that we all moved towards a deep green philosohy. … The environment MUST underpin everything else.

    move away from our fixation with quantative goals and measurements while giving more emphasis to a qualatative lifestyle.

    oh stop it, you will get me all excited and make it even harder for this insomniac to sleep :P , not to mention the intelectual stimulation of all the interesting but morally questionable meathods of accheiving a truley qualitative society.

  113. WHY has it not occurred to our repetitive critics on frogblog, that:

    1. The “Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand” is a serious political party, and as such, has developed a full raft of policies (with a spokesperson for each of these policies) as do National and Labour … and as does any serious political movement?

    All of these policies are based on the Green Party’s “key principles”

    2. The details of these key principles and our policies are available on the Green website at http://www.greens.org.nz … and currently:

    Jeanette Fitzsimons MP is the Spokesperson for Green Party on:
    “Climate Change, Energy, Finance & Revenue, Genetic Engineering, Research, Science & Technology, Sustainable Economics, Transport, Treaty Issues (Assoc)the Environment.”

    Russel Norman MP is the Green Party Spokesperson on:
    “Commerce, Communications, Constituional Issues, Courts and Corrections, Electoral Reform, Electoral matters, environment, economics , Forestry, Justice, Land Information, Statistics, Sustainable Land Management, Waste, Agriculture and Rural Affairs and Trade.”

    Sue Bradford MP is the Green Party Spokesperson on:
    “Childrens’ Affairs, ACC, Gambling, Community & Voluntary Sector, Economic Development, Employment, Housing, Industrial Relations, Internal Affairs, Mental Health, National Library & Archives, Racing, Regional Development, Small Business, Social Services”, and Government Spokesperson on: “Buy Kiwi Made”

    Keith Locke MP is the Green Party Spokesperson on:
    “Civil Defence, Customs, Defence and Disarmament, Ethnic Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Human Rights, Immigration, Industrial Relations (Assoc), Overseas Development Assistance, Pacific Island Affairs, Police, Security & Intelligence, Sports, Fitness & Leisure, State Services, Trade, Transport (Assoc Auckland), Veterans Affairs”.

    Sue Kedgley MP is the Green Party Spokesperson on:
    “Animal Welfare, Arts & Culture, Broadcasting, Consumer Affairs, Environment (Assoc), Health, Organics, Safe Food, Transport (Assoc Wgtn) , Womens’ Affairs”.

    Metiria Turei MP is the Green Party Spokesperson on:
    “Conservation, Disability Issues, Education, Fisheries, Health (Assoc Alcohol & Drugs), Justice, Maori and Treaty Issues, Youth, Constitutional issues”.

    (Some of these portfolios will be redistributed for the current parliamentary term, and to include Kevin Hague MP, Catherine Delahunty MP, and Kennedy Graham MP.)

    It is time to accept that the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand is (and has been) THE SERIOUS “Third Party” in our MMP political system, and is here to stay!

  114. Thanks for that, Sapient. It is very encouraging to hear that support for a more ecologically focussed party is growing. I remember that in the 70’s the Values Party used to base its entire campaign on environmental policies. Whereas I have no real problem with the addition of social policy structure around an environmental framework, I would like to think that it is of secondary concern and can at least be modified to accomodate more pressing environmental considerations.
    For example, controversially I would say that if it were were to be proved that the existence of Mankind is incompatible with the ecological survival of the planet insofar as the continued existence of our species would result in the extermination of all (or virtually all) other life forms on this planet, then we should give serious thought to self-extinction.

    Needless to say, I still strongly believe that we can both ‘fit in’ with our natural environment and develop as a species. We just need to move away from our fixation with quantative goals and measurements while giving more emphasis to a qualatative lifestyle.

  115. kjuv,
    I beleive we have the technology to do so and have done on small scales before, but the economic cost is oviously far greater than the natural alternative :P
    I dont know about others, but i draw most of my creativity from the natural world, would hate to think how retarded i would be without such stimuli :S
    Ive just checked the forums, seems that this month BJ has managed to stir up a good amount of conversation around this topic, and funnily enough there seems to be a fair amount of support for a more ecologicly focused party.

  116. Of course, we could try the other approach: increasingly distance ourselves from our natural environment by creating our own. Now it is not clear whether or not we have this ability. But it does bring to mind a quote I heard many years ago: ‘The fear is not so much that machines will become like humans but that humans will become machines.’

  117. Sapient Says: We are all guilty for that which we fail to do; if you choose to promote social justice at a cost to the environment then on your shoulders be it.

    Well spoken, Sapient! It is definitely time that we all moved towards a deep green philosohy. Arne Næss would be proud of you! The environment MUST underpin everything else.

  118. I do not have a problem with compromising on principles such as appropriate decision making and non-violence when doing so means a greater ability to push for issues of social justice and environmental wisdom as I see those as vastly more important, to think otherwise is so naïve as to be absurd, and likewise I am willing to forgo some issues of social justice if in doing so it allows us to better protect our continued survival through preservation of the environment, it is the pragmatic thing to do. I happen to support the four pillars and I recognise that they serve to support each other, but to propose that all should have equal weighting is, as I have said, absurd; non-violence and appropriate decision making would be hard put to survive in the absence of social justice, but although social justice benefits greatly from those two other pillars it does not need them to stand. Likewise, social justice cannot function if the species cannot survive and maintain decent resources and numbers and so relies on ecological wisdom, ecological wisdom benefits greatly from the increased awareness generated by a affluent middle class but increased social justice does not necessitate increased pursuit of ecological wisdom, it can even work against it, but crucially ecological wisdom can stand easily without the support of social justice. In this way every pillar relies on ecological wisdom and yet ecological wisdom does not need any of the symbiotic pillars, they mearly enhance it.
    If in pursuing social justice we do damage to our ability to pursue our pillar of ecological wisdom, not only do we damage the ecology but we damage all of the pillars and our ability to support them also. The environment is all important and it needs all we can do now.
    I happen to agree with the motivations behind most of the Green party policy and I watch over the formation of much of it but much of it is not pragmatic and would do nothing to achieve its stated goals and in fact hurts not only our environmental cause but actively contradicts many of the stated goals of other policy. This does not help the party nor the cause.

    I would be happy to create a scaffolding on which a new party could be built if I had the time, but doing so effectively requires not just more time than I have at my disposal, but more money also. Not to mention the need to draw up a massive amount of policy to convince people to join. A green party which focuses on the environment and society in a pragmatic and eclective way could potentially surpass 30 percent, but doing so would need to surpass ideological lines and choose the best ideas from all over the spectrum. Do not dismiss the desire for a pragmatic green party as not the will of the membership, I am a member myself, I know many other members whom think also that the party should be more pragmatic or there should be a separate party focusing on such goals. Both strings and bj are members also and I believe that they both have a desire for a pragmatic approach to policy, god knows bj has made enough of an effort on the forums to express as much, just to have his posts avoided like a Hare Krishna. The opinion may not shine through so much, but that is more due to the pollution of ideologues and the rotting corpses of defunct left parties, as I am so fond of pointing out.

    We are all guilty for that which we fail to do; if you choose to promote social justice at a cost to the environment then on your shoulders be it.

  119. Over and over day after day, kindly souls urging the Greens to change their ways. When one well meaning critic falters, another takes his place, morning, noon and night. Curiouser and curiouser!

  120. Yes, do get some rest, but afraid I have to point out a few flaws yet.

    “looking over the 2005 results i can see that i was incorrect as to the seats, though it is ovious that the green party did infact have push because labour was so close to the margin, the national coalition is nowhere near close to the margin and as such the greens can expect close to no push.”

    We were successful with Labour on various bills not because they might have needed us for confidence and supply at some point, but rather because there was policy congruence between us and them in some areas. Likewise, if we get no where with the Nats, it will be due more than anything else to their being a lack of common goals. Many say they want us to work more closely with the Nats, but they can’t seem to answer my question: What is it that the Nats need the Greens for to achieve? Since their environmental goals seem opposed to ours and closer to Act’s, who they’ve given a lot of say to in these matters, maybe its them y’all need to be complaining to if there is no progress on environmental issues this term.

    “The problem with creating a party is that it necessitates the dedication if alot of resources, time and money cheif among them.”

    Of course. That we did it then should speak of a dedication to certain principles too, that perhaps won’t be turned over just because others not in the party don’t agree.

    “Well at the least change your name back to the values party as pushing the social policy at a cost to the environment such as the party has done for the last few years clearly shows that some of your principles are expendible to you; that is the environment.”

    I’ve been arguing all night against letting *any* of our principles become expendable in the face of those who clearly would like to see us get rid of some – you said so explicitly. Now you’re accusing us of the thing you have just asked us to do, albeit with the principles you agree with instead of the ones you don’t. Yes, our gains have come more in the social justice area than the environment the last few years, but to say that we have not pushed environmental issues is to have a very selective memory indeed. Perhaps its your lack of sleep, but we rag on about environmental issues more than any other topic.

  121. Valis,
    looking over the 2005 results i can see that i was incorrect as to the seats, though it is ovious that the green party did infact have push because labour was so close to the margin, the national coalition is nowhere near close to the margin and as such the greens can expect close to no push.

    I am sure you will forgive the poor construction of my arguements today, they are little more than quick typings as i am uterly exhausted; some people accually have to work so they can afford to study.

    The problem with creating a party is that it necessitates the dedication if alot of resources, time and money cheif among them.

    Well at the least change your name back to the values party as pushing the social policy at a cost to the environment such as the party has done for the last few years clearly shows that some of your principles are expendible to you; that is the environment.

  122. “…starting to seem more like a social justice party that recognises the importance of the environment than an environmental party that recognises the importance of social justice…”

    Still not listening. We are neither of these things, as I have explained. http://blog.greens.org.nz/2008/11/01/peters-donations-scandal-gets-deeper/#comment-63164

    “valis, the point is that the party should eaither do more for the environment or should make clear that they are little more than watermelons so that a true environmental party can take the stage and accually do something as it is the party does more to hurt the environment than to help it “we are all guilty of that we fail to do” and such.”

    Except that we don’t accept your premise as true, so feel no reason to change.

    “If the greens had no influence over the government, no leverage, how did we manage the 1 billion for insulation, was that just goodwill from the government?”

    Our support was needed to pass the ETS, not keep Labour as the govt. So we had influence on that piece of legislation. The same exactly would be true of any bills passed by National with our support. So assuming Key wants to give the fingers to Rodney and pass effective environmental legislation, he certainly can. On the other hand, he’s rather signaled the opposite by putting Rodney in charge of local govt, under which the RMA comes, not to mention that there will now be no biodiversity standard developed. What exactly does everyone think the Nats intend to do that might require our support? Key is so far showing that he might be a centrist on several issues, but the environment is certainly not one of them.

    “and i seem to remmember a post from frog awhile back talking about the possibility of the party causing an early election by withdrawing its support”

    I don’t think so. I seem to remember Frog on the possibility of Labour needing Green votes when it was shedding support MPs, but this never materialised, even when Winston First was melting down.

    “i think spliting the party in two would be highly desirable, it would be great for the environmental cause, this party is far too rotten with the left overs of the alliance and new labour,…”

    I’ve never belonged to either and most of those in prominent positions that I know come from Values or the Greens of the early 90’s. I know you think you are right – so do we. We had the wherewithal to start a party based on our principles and look forward to you doing the same.

  123. …starting to seem more like a social justice party that recognises the importance of the environment than an environmental party that recognises the importance of social justice…

    valis, the point is that the party should eaither do more for the environment or should make clear that they are little more than watermelons so that a true environmental party can take the stage and accually do something :P as it is the party does more to hurt the environment than to help it “we are all guilty of that we fail to do” and such.

    If the greens had no influence over the government, no leverage, how did we manage the 1 billion for insulation, was that just goodwill from the government? and i seem to remmember a post from frog awhile back talking about the possibility of the party causing an early election by withdrawing its support

    i think spliting the party in two would be highly desirable, it would be great for the environmental cause, this party is far too rotten with the left overs of the alliance and new labour, that and the blatent ignorance of the ideologues that so full the party. there is the will, the problem is that so long as the red flesh of this watermelon hides behind the green no true green party can arise; kind of like how the canopy blocks out life and with the fall of the old and weathered tree new life is able to flourish. the party needs a bit of a controlled burn, so to speak.

  124. Congratulations, Kennedy!

    Trust me to be having a busy-ish afternoon in my local park, running a second-hand stall, when this came out …

    It will be wonderful to have Kennedy’s experience and depth of knowledge on disarmament and peace issues to build strong policy with; from my brief time listening to him speak at the 2006 AGM, I carried away an impression of an astute, intelligent, thoughtful person, who would be an asset to any group of like-minded people.

    I can breathe easier knowing that this experienced person can help us guide policy around nuclear ship visits, ANZUS treaty exercises, and other such Pacific Region issues that need a Green perspective.

  125. No, we are an environmental party that understands how social justice and environmental outcomes are linked and that one cannot be achieved without the other. See here if you want more: http://blog.greens.org.nz/2008/11/01/peters-donations-scandal-gets-deeper/#comment-63164

    But regardless, you simply don’t understand what you’re asking. Despite people like Bryce Edwards pretending that the Co-leaders have taken over policy making, it is the membership that makes policy in the Green Party. So for us to jettison the half of our policy that you don’t like would take nothing short of an internal revolution that would split the Party in two at least. But there is no groundswell for this to happen at all (the majority likes the bulk of our policies), hence having the discussion over and over is pointless. If you’re idea is such a good one, we’ll no doubt see a “real” environment party springing up any day now.

  126. Valis

    nice fudge on answering my points.

    So, you are a socialist party first, (as shown by the hand and glove with labour) and an environmental second.

    Time to give up the environmental banner until you actually have policies that are realistic. Better for Bradford to continue to tell everyone how to live their lives.

  127. And like I said, you needn’t worry about us, we’ll be fine.

    “Or, you could adopt a page from the Nats play book, and make yourself more electable.

    6,334,525,784,016.

    “Show me ehat gains you have made under your environment banner, and the gains under the socialist perception.”

    We have a broad spectrum of policies. That we could get through with Labour the stuff they supported and not the stuff they were opposed to seems trivially obvious. The question is what to expect from a party that’s even worse on the environment. They campaigned on trashing the things we care about, hence my expectations are rather low. Its possible that John Key will suddenly do a u-turn, but is it probable? If he does, he’ll find the Greens very receptive.

  128. Valis

    Or, you could adopt a page from the Nats play book, and make yourself more electable. The perception is the greens are a socialist party. Show me ehat gains you have made under your environment banner, and the gains under the socialist perception.

    Which is more true?

    Either you come out and say that you are a environmental party captured by socialists or you actually start showing some environmental policies, which actually take into account the current economic times we live in. Ad I said, nit much good being green when you have just lost you job.

  129. “Sadly, under this current parliament the Greens will have zero ability to change direction.”

    Well if this is just the 6,334,525,784,015th rant that the Greens should really turn themselves into another party, then I’m not interested in going around that circle again.

  130. Yes, at no point whatsoever did Labour have to depend on the Greens to stay in govt during the last term. It is true that the relationship was closer and that could have had an intangible effect, but not a concrete one. Of more importance is that Labour was generally more supportive of what these five bills were about (taken together) than the Nats, so getting that many Green bills passed in the 49th House could be much more difficult.

  131. Sadly, under this current parliament the Greens will have zero ability to change direction. A couple of reason, no govt needing their support, little care for green issues when the world is facing possible depression, and backlash from the people that voted nat/act for anything to want to do with the party that brought in the anti smacking bill.

    So, what have you achieved in government?………..ever?………..for a green party?

    I know what you have achieved for a socialist party.

  132. Sapient said: so the only policies you will be able to get passed are A) bills that have over 50% agreement in the house or B) bills that the parties will vote for even if they dont like them because not voting for them would be a very bad political move.

    Talk about stating the obvious! Are these not the same circumstances that allowed the 5 bills to pass last session? You seem to be missing the point entirely. Labour did not need us to govern last time. They had enough without us, although their position did get more precarious with the UF breakup and Philip-Field nonsense.

  133. ah frog,
    you seem to be missing one vital point;
    Last session the greens were able to pass such legislation becuase the Labour government was scared that you would withdraw your abstention on confidence and supply and as such remove them from government, so for all intensive purposes your influence was as if you were in government, now however National wont give two hoots what you say or do, so the only policies you will be able to get passed are A) bills that have over 50% agreement in the house or B) bills that the parties will vote for even if they dont like them because not voting for them would be a very bad political move.

    So congrats, 9 MP’s and almost no influence.
    Glad to see he made it in though, he is what the party needs, not bradford or delahunty.

  134. Time will tell how much influence the Greens have. In the mean time, individuals can make a difference (albeit small).

    I know we need governments to address the environmental issues facing the world, but I personally think we’ll see more positive outcomes (though not enough) from the actions of individuals.

  135. Too right fastbike. Sour grapes, Sam. The Green parliamentary team has always punched above its weight. We were the only non-government party to get legislation through last session – 5 bills in total, with support from all sides of the house. No influence? In your dreams!

  136. Congratulations Ken and your new colleagues. With the great bunch of existing and new MPs the Green influence will be felt even from the opposition benches. WRT to Samian’s lament above, s/he obviously does not understand how MMP works. We now have 9 capable and dedicated MPs who will engage in ALL parliamentary activities.

  137. “We now have 50% extra MPs, bringing us back to our level of 9 after the 2002 election”
    and no meaningful influence for the next 3,6 or 9 years.
    How sad.

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