Jeanette replies to Gordon Campbell

[Jeanette is writing in response to Gordon's recent article in the Wellingtonian]

MMP is obviously rough on journalists who can’t conceive of anything other than a 2-party system. But the country has had MMP for 15 years now and it’s time to catch up.

I can’t imagine anyone is under any illusion, after our fight in the House over three days on the Auckland local government legislation, that anything has “eroded the Greens ability to credibly oppose  the Key government on other issues”. It’s really quite a simple position, being independent – we will work with them where we can get gains that make NZers lives better, and oppose them vehemently when they are wrong.

Who will administer the insulation scheme? EECA of course. That’s what government departments and Crown agencies do. The policy decisions are already made and EECA is not unfamiliar with implementing Green imitiated programmes.  There’s certainly no way our MOU makes us part of government – if we were we would be expecting a great deal more in return – but that doesn’t mean we can’t work with government on a few issues where we both want the same thing.

In the end, it’s about what’s good for people and the planet. If the Greens have an opportunity to halve child asthma, keep families warm and comfortable, improve energy security and reduce carbon emissions, we would not be doing our job if we didn’t take it.

If I sometimes swap veggies over the fence with my neighbour, it doesn’t mean I’m about to marry him.

21 thoughts on “Jeanette replies to Gordon Campbell

  1. Quite right Jeanette.

    Gordon seems to suggest that it would be better to abstain from doing anything good (in a practical sense) for people and the planet for the rest of this term of Parliament, because it will just boost Nationals credibility. I guess its the old ‘drive up the contradictions’ approach – defeat your enemy by encouraging them behave more badly, and hence lose legitimacy.

    Personally I think its an ill conceived approach. Surely the one thing we desperately need in the world to day is for people to be looking for ways to cooperate across our divides. Doesn’t mean we forget genuine points of disagreement or forget integrity, but if all we do is sit back behind our bunkers and chuck grenades as the other side we ain’t going anywhere. It’s about behaving maturely IMO and the principle is the same whether it’s international affairs, domestic politics or a disagreement with the neighbours.

    In addition Gordon strangely fails to appreciate that politics is not a one dimensional continuum.

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  2. Too right Nandor. Politics is not a one dimensional continuum. In exact timing with your comment, we have just announced that the national cycle way will form part of our MoU with the Nats:
    http://www.greens.org.nz/node/21192

    Will this give credibility to the government while undermining the Greens? I think not!

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  3. I can’t understand why people find this so hard to understand. Really, what would be better? For the Greens to sulk in a corner for 3 years criticizing everything National does and achieving nothing for the environment or society.

    OR for the Greens to work with National on the (frankly very few) issues where their policy coincides and they can actually do some good, e.g., insulation for state houses, cycle ways etc etc and then criticize them and call them to account on the other things they’re doing badly, e.g., Waterview, the undemocratic super city etc etc etc etc etc….

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  4. One can only imagine what kind of changes to the tax system would come out of Treasury. Flat 15% income tax and 20% GST sound likely.

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  5. # Nandor Tanczos Says:
    May 19th, 2009 at 11:18 am

    > only if you’ve never bothered to read anything about green tax policy jarbury. Or think about it for that matter.

    why would a Treasury tax review be influenced in any way by Green Party tax policy?

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  6. >>Flat 15% income tax and 20% GST sound likely.

    The sooner they move to this, the better.

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  7. sorry jarbury, I totally misread your comment and thought you were writing about what changes would come out if the Greens were involved.

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  8. That depends on which veggies you are swapping and what ‘end use’ you have in mind!

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  9. Personally I don’t support the MOU. I don’t believe National are going to offer anything they wouldn’t have been prepared to do anyway.

    A large percentage of people who voted national wanted them to be active on green issues – the party, from my perspective, has now given the National party Green credibility with these voters. If National manage to survive the Super -city debacle and get back in, then I believe we will be complicit in enabling that.

    I find it disturbing, to say the least, that we are in anyway adding gloss to the nothing seems to stick PR facade of National while they operate under the radar to destroy the RMA, ETS, Electricity sector, local democracy, and lay off hundreds and potentially thousands of people…
    They are working very quickly and very effectively to further their agenda, hich is so far from my understanding of a green agenda, nd worse hs been indicated if they get back in.

    I think being in opposition would be more difficult. To be effective it would require a creativity far beyond trying to improve piecemeal bits of legislation. I don’t think this is a reason not to do it.

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  10. The Greens ARE in opposition. No party in the House votes against the Nats as much as we do. The only reason Labour is seen to be speaking more against the Nats is that they have more MPs and heaps more speaking slots, otherwise we’d be ahead on that count as well.

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  11. >>to survive the Super -city debacle

    No one outside Auckland gives a sh*t. I’m guessing most people in Auckland don’t either…..

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  12. >>hs been indicated if they get back in

    What do you mean “if”?

    When they get back in.

    Do wake up, lefties. This government will definitely go two terms, and most likely three. Either you’re part of the solution, or you’re a dusty part of history.

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  13. BluePeter’s a clairvoyant! – do you see dead people too, BP?

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  14. nah, BP’s spinning long before he hits the graveyard.
    Doesn’t that make you dizzy, BP?

    Ever considered reading policy and actually commenting on it from a policy anaysis pov?

    Nandor, love the idea of offering Billy-boy some help with taxation policy. He is, after all, doing the best that he can with a BA in English Litt … ;-)

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  15. >>BluePeter’s a clairvoyant!

    It’s the left view that the electorate were bored/hoodwinked into voting for National and that this obvious error will correct itself in 2011.

    Long may they think that.

    ‘Cause they are seriously wrong.

    As always, the left underestimate Key. People on the street are tired of the ivory tower preaching to them, and they’re not going to vote it back.

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  16. Picked your election percentage of the vote…..not to mention economic concerns overtaking green concerns…not to mention the speculative bubble in oil….

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  17. Yeah, they said that the Democrats were never going to get in again in the States either. The end of the two party system and all. Yawn…

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