Sue Bradford resigns

Wow, big news today. After 10 years of work as a Green MP, Sue Bradford is moving on to the next phase of her life.

If you don’t have time for the video, the press release says it all, really.

Sue was one of the most productive legislators, getting three pieces of legislation through parliament recently, with support from all sides of the house. Not to mention tirelessly slogging it out in many many select committees.

344 thoughts on “Sue Bradford resigns

  1. Thanks for your years of service to New Zealanders Sue. Our children and those who have the least in our society owe you a lot. Thanks.

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  2. Congrats on a savvy political move there – with the Red team looking more and more blue it could be time for a 15% – 20% party vote share to a moderate green party focussing on enviromental issues and leaving social engineering policy ‘out of the limelight’ so to speak.

    Without major political faux pas on behalf of the Nats, Goff doesn’t have a chance of power without a strong Green party (perhaps with veto power on all enviromental issues) I’m exicited for you all, and all of NZ :-)

    (Please don’t take this post as disrespectful of Sue’s efforts, more just optimism for the Green Party and the future)

    With regards

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  3. I’m feeling really sad this morning. Sue you are an inspiration, your passionate and committed work to protect the most vulnerable people in Aotearoa has left this country a better place, and revealed you as a person of incredible integrity and resilience. You have endured so much and I commend you for putting yourself first this time and doing what is right for you. But we’ll miss you. Kia kaha Sue x

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  4. That is sad news. Sue you are a legend and will be missed! Thank you most sincerely for all your hard work doing such good things for NZ! Best wishes.

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  5. george darroch was just on kiwiblog..

    blaming the slagging from there..as the reason sue resigned..

    this was my response..

    “..# philu (5893) 0 9 Says:
    September 25th, 2009 at 10:50 am

    darroch..she is not going because of the droolings of the knuckledraggers here..

    she is going because you f*cken numbnuts in the green party..believed that rightwing spin/bullshit bullshit..

    and didn’t vote her in as co-leader…

    can i suggest you and rail at them…?

    (i already have..

    i can’t believe how easily manipulated/stupid the green party membersip appears to be..

    first tanczos..now bradford..

    ..(those who should be leading you..)

    over there..i said ‘feckin’ idjits!’..

    here i’ll say..’f*cken idiots..!’

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  6. Thanks for everything Sue. We know this won’t be the last time we’ll be working with you. Good luck in the future.

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  7. Always a canny politician. This is a calculated move, and I think wise in terms of cementing her accomplishments and allowing growth, both hers and the party’s. We will miss her, but I think this is a win-win arrangement.

    As with all such decisions, the decision matrix is multi-dimensional and too complex for any short analysis.

    I certainly hope that she and the party both prosper with this. I am SURE that she had both in mind.

    Thanks Sue.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  8. And gd’s reply:

    philu I have no doubt that the leadership contest was a hard hit. It was the primary reason for leaving – as Xavier says upthread, something like that can cause you to reconsider. There’s more to life than being a backbencher for decades. As for the party membership, yes it was too conservative (contrary to the assertions of the stupid right) to consider having her as leader. But neither is it in a drift to the right either. Turei is staunchly for the downtrodden in our society, and I respect her for that.

    And can you stop your moronic page dr..i…bbb.ing you fucking stoned layabout, linkwhore.co.nz If anyone is a fucking idiot it is you.

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  9. Listening to the interview with Catherine Ryan, she still sees a light smack as an “assault” and has difficulty with people thinking they own their children (picture of a lamb following a sheep). There’s an issue of judgement/worldview/brain wiring there which is at odds with a large majority. Sue lives in the wrong century.

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  10. wazzup..?..jh..you think parents ‘own’ children..

    and are allowed to hit/smack them..at will..

    (how victorian of you..!..darling..!..)

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  11. bj said..”..This is a calculated move..”

    no it’s not..it’s a deeply emotional move..

    go listen to that nat-rad interview..if you doubt this..

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  12. What are you saying BJ?, that the party of principles is actually just another bunch of corrupt politicians exploiting every possible angle of control and manipulation feeding off the ignorance of the masses?
    I am sick of “calculated” deception from politicians.
    As much as I hate to say it, the Greens probably are the closest party to actually making a principled stand on anything, I just don’t like some of the principles they are standing on.
    This is a cross roads for the Greens, it is time for you guys to focus on the environment and ditch the radical social reform.

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  13. I think it’s a pity that most New Zealanders never saw Sue’s passion for the environment.

    I only know about it from talking to her personally. There was a calculated decision for her not to front environmental issues, because her experience on social issues was so strong, and there was a feeling that she couldn’t be allowed to be distracted from those issues.

    But she was, and is, a very skilled leader. Consider her Mothers With Babies in Prison bill. I think it was a good idea, but when I first heard it I also thought it was political suicide. Could the advanatges ever be conveyed in soundbites? Or would people just end up seeing it as a punishment for the child or an indulgence for the mother? But somehow, Sue was able to convince every party in the whole parliament to support it (I’d like to say every MP, but I don’t know how much free will some Labour and National backbenchers have).

    Kia Kaha Sue

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  14. Sue variously labels the people who opposed her bill (80-90% of NZ) the people who “want” (yes want) to keep abusing / assaulting / beating / hitting (take your pick – she uses them all) their children.

    Making false criminal allegations about most of the country is offensive – highly offensive – and is itself abusive.

    No one with such an abusive attitude to the rest of NZ would ever bring credibility to the leadership of the Green Party in the eyes of the majority.

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  15. It must be threatening to someone like yourself who believes that there is of right a social contract such that they can plan their lives and expansion of their progeny on the understanding that there is a free fat state teat to suck on.

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  16. Did she actually say that about all the people who voted against it? I thought her concern was just that some of the people leading the campaign against it had those motivations.

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  17. I got the impression that Sue didn’t really want debate. Once she’d made up here mind about something, no matter how she got to that position, she wouldn’t shift. The referendum is a case in point. Despite a huge rejection of her position, by voters, she spun it to look like a huge majority of New Zealanders supported her, despite having no evidence of that. I think that shows she’s not interested in true debate or in the views of a majority of voters. In the last two elections, she, personally, received a lower share of the vote, in her electorate, than her party did, in the country. Her share decreased.

    Only if you agree with her policies will you mourn her political passing.

    From the statements I’ve read, it seems she was only interested in power.

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  18. Valis quoted George Darroch writing: “As for the party membership, yes it was too conservative (contrary to the assertions of the stupid right) to consider having her as leader”

    Actually, I think the decision to elect Metiria was as much a radical decision as a conservative one. At one meeting I went to, I remember people opining that Metiria was closer to the Green model of a leader, whereas Sue would be more of a strong leader in the Helen Clark mould. I think this may be true, too.

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  19. Gosh Shunda,

    One would think that you’d recognize that at least part of the reason she is doing this is people like you. Some people are NEVER happy.

    How is this about “corruption”? I missed the part where democracy in action and personal choices turned to corruption… just where do you see this?

    This is a political party. If the masses are ignorant even honesty will appear manipulative. How on earth do you expect us to function?

    Your outburst here is somewhat rude and in poor taste considering the circumstances.

    BJ

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  20. Sue,
    you have saved childrens lives by making violence towards children unacceptable.
    Thank you

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  21. Phil, it can be both. The decision to leave can be rational, the leave-taking however, is always emotional. Or haven’t you ever left, or been left by, someone you love, going somewhere because it was logically necessary.

    You make a serious mistake if you limit Sue’s understanding to the bits you see, or hear on the Radio.

    BJ

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  22. It’s a bit of a given that the only people who get involved in politics are interested in power – that’s why they stand as elected representatives. (You say it like it is a negative thing, when in effect it is incredibly altruistic to devote your life to try and change things for the people who voted for you).

    Whilst I rarely agreed with much of Sue’s work, it is like a previous poster said, she stood up for her principles and those of the people who elected her.

    Kia Ora and Kia Kaha Sue

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  23. Now is the chance to get out the Green broom and sweep the Red dust out of the party.
    Make the move to the centre as an environmental party.
    Ditch the socialist left-of-labour millstone.
    Commit to getting into government.
    You never know you might actually rise above the margin of error!

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  24. Sue – you’re a real hero! Good luck on changing this country from outside parliament.

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  25. What margin of error exists in a democratic election? Though I do agree a strong Green Party in power has much greater control than one that barks from the sidelines.
    And it is a shame Labour smothered the Greens for so long.. but I don’t think that came from within the party – more from a self serving Labour government.

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  26. Hehe I like this BJ!

    “If the masses are ignorant even honesty will appear manipulative”

    you could present it another way…

    “if we keep the masses ignorant, even our manipulations will appear honest”

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  27. I’m sorry BJ, I guess I thought you were suggesting she continue under the radar so as not to ‘scare the horses’.
    If that is what this is all about I think manipulative is an entirely acceptable word to use.
    Perhaps if people like Sue actually tabled their ideology for legitimate debate things would be different.

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  28. Thank god you’re gone! I’ve been a Green voter for the last few elections, but due to this aggravating women, I’d resolved to not vote Green again.

    One more vote secured for the next election guys!

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  29. On a number of occasions shes said that those who oppose her bill want to beat / hit / assault / abuse their kits.

    Such angry abusive attacks on majority of New Zealanders disqualifies her from being taken seriously by many poeple.

    Instead of singling out those parents who ARE abusive, Sue’s approach has grouped them with in most of society – not a smart approach if you want to address the REAL child abuse issues.

    And similarly the majority of good parents are grouped with, and told they actually are, child abusers.

    We’ve had two or three years of fierce debate, and in that time the REAL and KNOWN factors associated with child abuse have barely rated a mention. What a waste of a chance to do something.

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  30. Thank-you Sue for all your hard work
    Difficult shoes to fill me thinks
    I wish you all the success in your new endeavours
    ciao

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  31. Alongside Helen Clark – probably the most divisive MP in New Zealand in the last 10 years.
    Seems to me that the Greens have agreed (afterall – they didnt put her in as deputy leader) and have given her the message that she has no future.
    Pity you greens dont stick to green stuff. If you want to be a socialist – go labour – beside the divisiveness, her actions have turned the greens into a non-environment party.

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  32. Good move karmically. Being involved in the imposition of the next step of global debt slavery on other people, CO2 as Debt, would involve extreme personal karmic penalties down the track.

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  33. Being involved with this however, is BAD karma:

    “President Obama just made a melodramatic appeal at the United Nations for global measures to dramatically curb what he called “the climate threat,” current euphemism for what is more popularly known as Global Warming, the theory that man-made CO2 emissions from cars, coal plants and other man-made sources are causing the earth to warm to the point the polar icecaps are irreversibly melting and threatening to flood a quarter or more of the earth’s surface. There’s only one thing wrong with Mr. Obama’s dramatic scenario: it is scientifically utterly wrong. Since 2007 the polar icecaps have been growing not melting and the earth has been cooling, not warming….

    The current global warming propaganda scare is being hyped by politicians and special interests such as Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street financial firms that stand to reap billions trading new carbon credit financial futures….”

    An recent article by William F. Engdahl, author of ‘Full Spectrum Dominance: Totalitarian Democracy in the New World Order.’

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=15356

    CO2 as Debt, i.e. the air life cycle.
    Free people do not enslave others. Slaves will not be granted opportunity in ages of higher power for they would destroy things and lessons get learnt – hence now.

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  34. Girl I understand why you’d wannna go away, that doesn’t follow that you are ignorant-remain awake;- you’ll see miracles
    jh will be allowed to call you a communist endemically – I will see the greens as being
    Tooo Naive.

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  35. Metiria is definitely a radical – while her smile, polite manner and power dressing give her another appearance. It was always going to be a difficult decision for the membership.

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  36. Come off it. Violence towards children has always been unacceptable, except to the mindless few, who would never be stopped by laws. What Sue tried to do was pretend that a smack, as part of good parenting, is violence. It was a very weak argument.

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  37. Who elected Sue Bradford? She got very little support from the electorate.

    I don’t doubt that those who get into politics want the power to implement their policies. However, some get into politics just to gain power. John Key is a case in point – he always wanted to be Prime Minister, even as a child.

    As Sue does not want to listen to the voters, in matters of conscience, then I can only surmise that she wanted power for the sake of power, not for making New Zealand a better society.

    It is often said that those who seek power are the least worthy of having it.

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  38. Yes, the green party needs to stop being distracted by personal crusades that have little to do with the environment and sustainability. Concentrate on our futures, please!

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  39. You could use the same argument for guns. Infact, the gun lobby does…

    There are shades of mindlessness. People don’t fall into either lawless & mindless or law-abiding and enlightened categories. Most people are a wee bit mindless and faaiiirly law abiding. For those, we have laws.

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  40. even, the facts speak for themselves:
    * Global warming is happening – look at http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/Fig.A2.lrg.gif if you don’t believe me. And much of the earth was warmer in 2008 than the 2001-2007 mean. See http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/2008minus2001-2007mean.pdf
    * It is an easy to show by modelling that carbon dioxide levels increase the amount of energy absorbed by a planet.
    * What is uncertain is what feedback effects heating the planet will have. Maybe some effects like releasing ice into the oceans and changing currents will cool the earth a bit (negative feedback), but other effects, like releasing carbon from ice, will heat the earth even more (positive feedback). However, it would be very wishful thinking to say that we can release as much CO2 as we like and things will just work out.

    I agree that the way most of the emissions regimes proposed work is essentially letting polluters off too easy – society is bearing some of the costs of their emissions rather than the polluter. But even these broken schemes are better than the polluter not bearing any costs, and the public bearing the full costs.

    However, I don’t think any of this has anything to do with Sue Bradford’s resignation. She has been doing a good job, but has obviously decided that her efforts are better spent out of parliament (and I understand she is one of the hardest working MPs in the country, so there is probably an element of burnout involved).

    I wish her luck with her future activities, and am sure she will continue to make New Zealand a better place.

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  41. I would like to thank Sue for all her hard work and dedication on social issues.

    She never dealt with environmental issues as that was not her area of expertise but if she can persuade MP’s from all party’s that hitting kids is really not cool, then she has raised the social consciousness of our society.

    Socialism has a very important roll to play both in the Green Party and society as a whole. It is the civilising of our society by looking after the next generation, the sick and the aged. It also provides the public commons and the public infrastructure in which all of us are so dependent even if we are not aware of it.

    These are the values that Sue cherished against a background of those vested interests who seek to tear it down and render to us a new age of barbarism.

    Socialism is part and parcil of environmentalism, those who are socially aware seek to protect our society from environmental vandalism and to educate the apathetic.
    How therefore can these two issues be seperated?

    I think that is sad that Sue is leaving us at a time like this and lets hope that the MP taking her place (or the Green party for that matter) do not turn their backs on social issues.

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  42. Thanks for all the years you’ve put in, Sue.

    I, and many other women, will miss you here in Wellington, in Parliament, but the work you have done will continue.

    Your bravery in the face of some astounding abuse has inspired many, and you deserve a break from the stresses that have been applied by the misogyny of this system.

    Kia kaha, e hine, kia manawanui me rangimarie.

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  43. Socialism has an important role to play in a socialist party.
    In a Green party it acts as an almighty turn-off.

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  44. Even – Your points were answered ages ago.

    Try to get this through your ideology.

    This particular blog post has nothing whatsoever to do with climate. The place to go for THAT is here.

    http://blog.greens.org.nz/2009/09/18/climate-change-answers-to-every-question-you-ever-had/

    Moreover, there is no chance whatsoever, that the scientists are conspiring to put the Greens in power or get “One World Government” or any other such nonsense. If you want a real conspiracy, you can find it here…

    http://tinyurl.com/lde3qu

    It has nothing to do with the science. Cooling since 2007? We’re talking about climate. PLEASE use rational time frames.

    BJ

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  45. um, the 7-10% who voted Greens did? She didn’t even have an electorate I don’t think, so would be difficult for her to have an electorate’s support??

    Considering your choice of words (surmise) I’d have to agree –
    “I can only ‘infer without sufficent evidence’ that she wanted power for the sake of power”.

    Kinda makes your comment redundant.

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  46. Yay!! Grey! Here I was thinking life was black and white, red and blue.. well said Rimu.

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  47. Socialism is not part and parcel with enviromentalism! It’s this kind of narrow minded thought that has bogged the greens in the red.

    Socialism is not “the civilising of our society by looking after the next generation, the sick and the aged.”
    Socialism has nothing to do with being “socially aware”.

    Socialism is about collective ownership of CAPITAL. Often the interests of growing this collective capital contradict with the ‘social interventionism’ that is a lesser part of Socialism.

    The extreme of this social interventionism is illustrated in the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, China and Italy.

    A moderate level of this social interventionism is best illustrated by anti smoking campaigns.

    To conclude socialism is hand in hand with enviromentalism is a lie. The interests of growing the social capital often contradicts with protecting the environment. Think the exploitation of natural resources in the USSR etc.

    Socialism is in effect “the benefit for many outweighs the concerns of few”. Almost completely contradictory to the Green philosophy.

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  48. “and you deserve a break from the stresses that have been applied by the misogyny of this system.”

    Oh Brother!! Give me a break!!!

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  49. Have you heard of Helen Clark, Jenni Shipley, Ruth Richardson, the list goes on. Misogyny? Paaaahlease!

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  50. Seconded!! Seriously, “the misogyny of the system?”
    You mean enjoy your EQUAL pension with all other retired MP’s?

    FFS we had a woman PM for 10 years!!
    More like misandry in this country ;-)

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  51. Samiam

    You can’t put a price on the commons without embracing something that looks a hell of a lot like a socialist principle. There isn’t any way to do it through pure capitalism. The nature of the problem determines the form of the solution…

    However, the key to being Green instead of Socialist is IMHO, that as Greens we do not HAVE to go whole-hog in demanding concessions from “the evil capitalists” and can adopt some of their principles as well.

    Which is perhaps the difference you seek in us.

    ?

    respectfully
    BJ

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  52. shunda just said this at kiwiblog..(wearing her rightwing mask..)

    “..I can still remember the outrage I felt when she described all men that smack their kids as paedophiles..”

    do you stand by that lie..?..shunda..?

    still a ‘fan’ of shunda..?..there..bj..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  53. Phil, phil, phil!
    Of coarse I stand by it, I have said much worse ON THIS BLOG!!!
    What the hell is your problem?

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  54. Indeed BJ, coming at it from the (not so scary) centre instead of the seriously unsexy far left is IMHO the only way to get Green into government and green into legislation.
    Rightly or otherwise SB’s image was radical, angry, scary and ultimately Red. People feel that a red in green clothing is false advertising and are turned off.
    What we want is a Green in green clothing, how about you BJ? Although you are wearing blue I see!

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  55. Kia ora Sue

    The first time I heard you deliver a speech was for the Association of Victoria University Women two years ago. I asked you the hardest question I could think of and you floored me with your thoughtful reply. I walked away thinking I want to be that knowledgeable, committed and articulate on the issues I’m concerned about.

    You have championed the rights of children, people with disabilities and the disadvantaged and have endured the rigours of Parliament and exposure to verbal abuse with dignity and strength. I hope you take to heart all the messages of gratitude you’ll receive today and in years to come.

    Kia kaha wahine ataahua.

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  56. my ‘problem’ is the schitzophrenic personalities you display..

    a different ‘face’ for each place..

    which makes everything you say a lie/game..

    and you a total waste of time..

    basically..you are just all bullsh*t..

    and that otherwise seeming intelligent people here allow themselves to be ‘played’ by you..

    ..surprises me..

    (seeing as you asked..eh..?..)

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  57. What do you mean by tabling her ideology? I think she has very ably defended her ideology in legitimate debate throughout her time in parliament and prior.

    I think it is manipulative of you to suggest Sue has an agenda other than the one she has been proud to advance throughout her impressive career. If by tabling her ideology you mean declaring herself a communist, you’re in the wrong era…

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  58. More proof that to much weed makes people paranoid.
    Phil I have never hidden my dislike for certain policy from the Greens or certain beliefs/ideology of the greens supporters.
    I am involved with, and have a passion for issues that are very “green” in nature hence my interest in this blog.
    Hell, I would invite you round for a coffee and prove it to you if I was sure you wouldn’t kill me and my family.

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  59. Tabling the ideology means instead of saying something is about reducing child abuse you tell the truth.

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  60. Shunda has demonstrated repeatedly that he has trouble believing some people sincerely hold different views to him. Therefore, he can only figure there must be a conspiracy involved.

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  61. # Shunda barunda (752) Vote: Add rating 3 Subtract rating 1 Says:
    September 25th, 2009 at 7:07 pm

    What effing planet is John Cambell on? Oh so she never resorted to abusing her opponents John?
    WHAT A DICK!

    Shunda – Tell me you can see the irony here!

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  62. Bull crap Valis, I am sure Bradford is sincere I just think she is sincerely wrong.
    I have witnessed the tactics of those that presume leadership and a righteous mandate to act, I have also witnessed the incredible destruction these people are capable of.
    No conspiracy required.

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  63. John is being a dick, as a no nothing no body, (that you guys are only too happy to point out) I can say what I damned well like.

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  64. Oh well Sue’s gone. Thankfully most would say.
    Now how to get rid of that idiot Locke?

    Then the Greens may have a chance of proper representation, barring FFP.

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  65. So she’s sincere, but is hiding her ideology. You do know what “sincere” means, right? Can’t have it both ways, Shunda. Oh shit, another discussion where logic is required. Never mind.

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  66. Don’t lecture me about logic Valis, talk to your own members about the logic of S59 first and get back to me.
    I have no doubt that Sue is sincere in her desire to improve society, I just believe the ideology she has chosen as a vehicle for change is deeply flawed and unworkable in the real world.
    She is also incapable of a middle ground approach, some would say evidence of extremism.

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  67. Keith may decide to retire in a term or two, but that won’t mean a change in GP policy, just like Sue leaving won’t. You do know that, right? Just fantasising?

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  68. “Keith may decide to retire in a term or two, but that won’t mean a change in GP policy”

    there’s an interesting question though – will people interpret our policy the same way when it’s Kennedy saying it, rather than Keith?

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  69. Fantasising indeed… Green party= Green candidates= Green votes…. Green minsters= Green policies=Green legislation.
    100% Pure.

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  70. Don’t lecture me about logic Valis,

    True, it has been a fruitless exercise in so many now abandoned threads.

    talk to your own members about the logic of S59 first and get back to me.

    Shall I talk to the 104 non-Green MPs that voted for it as well?

    I have no doubt that Sue is sincere in her desire to improve society,

    OK, its great you take back the bit about hidden ideology then. I accept your apology on behalf of Sue.

    I just believe the ideology she has chosen as a vehicle for change is deeply flawed and unworkable in the real world.

    And you are entitled to your opinions.

    She is also incapable of a middle ground approach, some would say evidence of extremism.

    Some would say. But funny how she’s receiving plaudits in the media and among MPs for being able to work across the House with almost anyone.

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  71. Perhaps the Green party could become some sort of environmental lobby group again, after ten years of having been held hostage by a self-indulgent sociopath who cynically used it as a vehicle for her ugly brand of political thuggery.

    Just think what environmental progress could have been made in that time…

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  72. photonz,

    The changes to the assault laws which Bradford championed didn’t change the definition of assault. They changed whether or not someone who had assaulted a child could claim that what they had done was legally justified on the grounds that it was being done by a parent for the purpose of correcting the child’s behaviour.

    So if you think whacking a kid isn’t assault, then what’s your problem with her law change regarding when assault is legally justified?

    And if you think it is assault, then what’s your problem with her calling it that?

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  73. Turei and Norman will be the new Bradford and Locke (as soon as he goes). The right will always throw the left wing label at those who threaten their economic privielge/wealth/profits – this to cover up/divert from the ethical issues involved. They will attack the leaders of the Green Party party and the Green Party rather than be accountable for the social, environmental and (longer term) economic impact of their policies.

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  74. ..you think parents ‘own’ children..

    (how victorian of you..!..darling..!..)

    No, no, no! Surely jh is taking a 21st century neo-libertarian position: everything is a matter of property and contracts, and kids can’t sign contracts with their parents, ergo the relationship must be one of ownership…

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  75. Yes, we could have made great progress on climate change mitigation, right wat?

    She was very good at it too. Why, the many members that time after time voted Sue to the number 3 spot on the list didn’t even realise they were hostages. That really is talent.

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  76. Ha Ha!! the media and other MPs!! Ooooo she’s so important among the arrogant and self serving, hardly a public display of affection.

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  77. There is some irony that belief in market forces and individual freedom should co-exist with belief in some incredible power over others of one person acting in the democratic process. And this person operating as an ordinary MP within a minority party yet to be included in any coalition government.

    The demonisation of the person is simply part of the wider attempt to exorcise the left from the political process. The fear in this case, is not of the left, but of the environment cause daring to mount a new challenge to the economic profit first school of political ideology (which is the whole ethos of earlier social democratic thought).

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  78. No icehawk, the law now is actually a bigger mess than it was before, there is probably more chance of negligent parents getting off now.
    But don’t worry, so few parents ever tried to get off with the previous law that it won’t make much difference anyway.

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  79. We weren’t talking about affection, but there I go expecting consistency from you again. We (I mean you) were talking about Sue being “incapable of a middle ground approach”, when in fact she was very accepting of the huge modifications the select committee made to her original bill, and capped it off by negotiating a compromise with that arrogant and self serving John Key.

    But no, I haven’t missed the point. By “middle ground”, you mean “what Shunda thinks is right”.

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  80. By middle ground I meant a simple,logical amendment that would have allowed light smacking and avoided all that negative press, saved at least 9 million dollars, and enabled the greens to have a better position in protecting the environment.
    But what would I know, my logic is flawed.

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  81. Thanks for that considered response, greenfly. You’ve certainly given me something to think about.

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  82. The Green party won 6.72% of the vote in 2008. I voted Green but I didn’t vote for Sue Bradford. Sue Bradford stood in the East Coast Bays electorate and won 6.4% of the vote (so she most certainly didn’t have the support of her electorate).

    In 2005, Sue Bradford stood in Northland and won 8.9% of the vote, while the Green party won only 5.3% of the vote. That may suggest that voters weren’t enamoured of her politics between 2005 and 2008 (though there wasn’t a direct comparison to be made), especially as her share of her electorate vote went from being substantially more than her party’s national vote to noticeably less than her party’s national vote.

    As she ludicrously argued that the referendum on smacking actually showed a huge majority in favour of retaining smacking as a criminal offence (when it was just the reverse), then how can you infer that she has any interest in democracy?

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  83. No, I couldn’t use the same argument for guns.

    Your last comment has no bearing on whether smacking should either be regarded as violence or be a criminal offence.

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  84. Wuthell Da Muthell will be thrilled . . . another impediment to his own greater glory drops out of the parliamentary process and the Greens move a step closer to becoming the darling of the lady-farmer twin-set and pearls brigade. Shame!

    Kia kaha Sue – see you on the barricades.

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  85. icehawk – what a mess of a law.

    1/ Nearly 90% of the country thinks it’s stupid.

    2/ Most people ignore it.

    3/ It’s so badly written that there’s a special directive from parliament to police, to tell them NOT to police the law as it’s written.

    4/ It effectively says that all force is unreasonable – even force that IS reasonable is NOT reasonable.

    5/ We’re told that the proof that it’s working is – get this – “because it hasn’t made any difference”.

    It’s a circus sideshow and because of it we’ve missed three years of addressing the real issues associated with actual child abuse.

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  86. phil u and icehawk – if you can’t think of any intelligent arguments, why don’t you just make up some false positions and assign them to your opponents?

    Oh….you did already.

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  87. Wasn’t anything specific in mind but there are times and places where the free market works better than central planning. Not as many as the corporatists will tell you or the libertarians will advocate, but it isn’t wrong by nature. Adam Smith was not a neo-con, and would be spinning in his grave if he saw what they’d done with his philosophy. If we could harness the energy, between him and Thomas Jefferson they could power most of the eastern seaboard.

    The Central Banks and Fractional-Reserve have to go. That’s half the troubles we have on this planet. You can line up libertarians against them as well. They tend to be real surprised that WE know anything about it. Strange bedfellows indeed.

    I don’t think about it in terms of what I would like to keep in the abstract… I think about it when it is applied to a situation. Which means that it is a practical rather than an ideological position.

    Here’s one… thinking about the way the Swedes have chosen to manage their vouchers for education system. It seems to be working well because it is restricted. No extra contributions among other things…. not pure capitalism as it IS restricted, the rules are pretty interesting… but the principle is applied nonetheless.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  88. Wat

    We aren’t an “environmental lobby group”, we are a political party with a heavy bias towards protecting the environment, among a full range of other policies.

    All of which seem to p!ss you off. :-)

    BJ

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  89. Very sad to see you go Sue, your contribution to the Green Party has been immense, your integrity and courage an inspiration. Thankyou.

    **This blog is a disgrace, more like a bunch of arrogant foul mouthed Libertarians trying to score points and flex egos. If this is representative of the ‘new Green image’ then I am happy to resign my membership. You are the most ill mannered self serving people to ever pollute a blog with your inappropriate slurs and impoverished opinions.**

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  90. Sad to see Sue go. She was one of the hardest working MPs in Parliament. She should have been co leader. Such a waste of talent. The whole anti smacking thing is a terrible indictment on NZ’s mushroom society. Feed em bullsh*t and keep em in the dark. Thank you Sue for all your efforts. Good luck for the future. Look forward to seeing you back on the picket lines.

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  91. I can think of a really simple one… bring back the 5c coin and put a 5c value on every glass and plastic vessel. Greed will eliminate litter.
    I still hate this new-fangled threading, searching up and down is tedious.

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  92. It’s called Robust Debate, it’s healthy.
    Remember…
    Offense; it cannot be given, it can only be taken.

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  93. After some reflection on SB’s departure and the recogniton that it was her social agenda that has been hers and the Greens undoing (ie: never held any form of power) – it strikes me that the Greens still have an image problem in the form of Delahunty. Shes has little interest in the environment and is all about trying to impose socialist rules. However I have to say since her rather unusual maiden speech shes hardly been heard. I wonder if shes also on the out.

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  94. There is the vexed question of Ti Tiriti and tangata whenua*/ tau iwi*/ tangata[if you except (someones) interpretation of the indigenous version of] ti tiriti to work through, but the same persuasiveness that won the population on the smacking issue will win the foriegn (pakeha) population over.
    Yeah right!
    :wink:
    * the “h” in W(h)anganui is nothing

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  95. I don’t usually read the comments because most times it appears it’s coming from people who don’t embrace the 4 principles of the Green Party: Ecological Wisdom, Social Responsibility, Appropriate Decision-Making and Non-Violence. It’s actually confusing. I end up walking away thinking who are these people??? And why are they on this site if their not embracing those principles. I do enjoy and welcome, some debate and differences on interpreting and putting to work those principles, but honestly it seems like there are many just not on the same page.

    Thank you Sue Bradford for a job well done.

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  96. “And if you think it is assault, then what’s your problem with her calling it that?”

    because in the common parlance “assault” is what people associate with the court news in the newspaper such as out side the Pie-cart on a Friday night. A smack is what a mother might give a child, the sort of action the big majority see as o.k.

    As Chris Trotter says: The truth of the matter is that most of the young New Zealanders currently raising children long ago stopped using the “smack” as part of “good parental correction”. If they hit their kids at all, it’s only in the extenuating circumstances already contained in the current legislation – which basically sanctions the use of parental force to prevent a child from either inflicting or experiencing greater harm.

    “These parents [ "no" voters] are part of the great virtuous circle of childrearing which traces its origins back to the dramatic cultural shifts of the 1950s, 60s and 70s. With each passing generation, this circle will widen until, in a relatively short space of historical time, the use of corrective violence will almost entirely disappear from New Zealand society.” the former isn’t the “culture of violence” Sue Bradford sees.

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  97. “If by tabling her ideology you mean declaring herself a communist, you’re in the wrong era…”

    how about a different paradigm; one that (for example) sees a “culture of violence” in mainstream NZ and inclined to blame a significantly different model of “the system” for crime, child abuse etc. Sue didn’t blame the Kahui’s for killing their children; even though the whanau bought in about $1800/ per week, they: “didn’t see the good side of life”*

    *refer interview “Sue B on Poverty” Frogblog.

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  98. I don’t deny that some of our guests are thoughtlessly rude and often horribly misinformed. The comments are where a few of us provide them with a schooling of sorts. The realization that their arguments are NOT as brilliantly thought out as they thought.

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  99. I’m dubious of “the principles” myself (except the ecological one). They are so broad there is plenty of room for interpretaion. Your against violence but not when it is training camps in the Ureweras. Your for “appropriate decision making” but when 88% voted “NO” the result is “about even” as the 47?% who didn’t vote accepted the status quo.

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  100. and as for “appropriate decision making” I think that the “activist” persona who are dominant in the green Party are too far down one end to be able to see how the other side thinks (there’s a basic paradigm/behavioural issue): Sue Bradford demonstrates this over and over “they just want to assault children!”
    PS
    I don’t suppose it has occured to you all that you are slandering dearly departed (and beloved) parents who may have only smacked once or twice?

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  101. Kia ora Sue,

    Ten years is a long time to be in that environment , especially when you are out there for the cause. My most sincere thanks for the efforts you have made for this country.

    Tight lines

    jimmy

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  102. Capitalism is built on profit and an expanding economy (both feeding off each other). Since growth is unsustainable, capitalism will kill the planet (from a human perspective) or our societies, or both. It’s hard to think of a principle of profit fuelled growth that should be adopted by greens.

    But I guess this is way beyond the subject of one person choosing to pursue some other political avenue.

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  103. Your first sentence is probably true but, if so, sad. It is our environment that sustains us. It needs to be the central focus of all we do. We need a political party that has the environment as its focus, not just as a bias, even if heavy.

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  104. Sofistek – Capitalism does NOT require an expanding economy.

    That particular vice is the province of the currency being defined by fractional-reserve (debt-based) fiat paper.

    Capitalism itself is quite neutral I think. A steady-state, or growth based solely on efficiency gains, is achievable, all else being equal. Population increases mean that all else is seldom equal, but that is not a vice of “Capitalism” per-se.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  105. I wonder how many of these boringly rabid posters are actually Green Party members – very few I bet.

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  106. Perhaps capitalism appears to be neutral, in its strict meaning, but, in practice, it means profit and that means growth. Growth based solely on efficiency gains is not possible, except in fits and starts, at a minute level overall, and will have limits (since efficiency can never exceed 100% – in practice, much less). However, capitalism strives to compete by trying to get people to buy more stuff. Do you really think capitalism and sustainability can go together?

    I’m not saying any other economic system will be better; more likely we need completely new thinking that is centred on the environment, our habitat.

    You’re right to mention population. It is a problem that rarely seems to surface in public.

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  107. Sofistek – I don’t think what you want is possible. To be represented in Parliament you have to be a political party, not a lobby group for a specific issue.

    Single-Issue parties don’t seem to get any traction at all in general elections, possibly because voters aren’t dumb enough to elect people to govern them who have unknown policies in all areas of government save one.

    So we have to have policies about things like defense, schools, taxes, social welfare, industry, fisheries, forestry, health… We have to be seen as seriously able to share in the heavy responsibility of caring for the whole of the nation, not simply attending to just that one issue, or we don’t get votes.

    No votes, no power, no representation of our principles. Including the environmental principles. This is probably “as good as it gets” in terms of representative democracy.

    Our requirement is to optimize power to implement our policies without compromising our principles so greatly as to not have any meaningful policies.

    I push the environmental issues hard here and even here it sometimes seems a bit more uphill than it ought to be, but there is no other place for me to do it at all.

    Labour takes it as a side issue to the “class struggle”. National takes it as an impediment to the growth of wealth, without even realizing that it is handing power to their Australian bankers. Act – doesn’t even bear thinking on what they think.

    So it goes. This is not the best possible version of the Green party I can imagine, but it IS getting better.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  108. Kimmer,
    The four pillars should never be goals in and of themselves. For the most part the are self contradictory, hopelessly ideological, and naive.
    Rather the four pillars should be seen as means of support for the canopy; survival. For without the canopy the pillars are without any purpose save decorative.
    To best support the canopy on the uneven ground of the real world the pillars will need to be different lengths and bear different weights; emphasis varying based on the most effective methods of supporting the canopy which is survival.

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  109. To bjchip,

    It didn’t go unnoticed the work a number of you are doing on this comments area of the Frogblog. I was going to mention it in my above post, but thought it was getting a bit too long. Thank You! Not sure the comments area is for me though, which is why I don’t usually check it out. I want to get excited and feel hopeful about the future. It upsets me to read so many of the negative/misinformed comments, and then those few individuals expending so much energy trying to inform.

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  110. Non-violence? Please.

    All those laws, bans and regulations that you Greens regularly dream up to control other people? Underlying every single one is the sanction of unlimited state violence for those who don’t comply.

    Your notion of non-violence is no different to that of a mafia protection racket: if everyone just does what they’re told then there’s no violence.

    So please, stop kidding yourself. Like the Gambino family, your government laws are simply offers that people cannot refuse.

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  111. I suggested once that the blog have some method of identifying actual party members. A tag of some sort. Thing is, it doesn’t have that recorded when you sign up for the site. So it would entail a certain amount of lookup in other places. A technical problem. It could be a self-set flag, honor system perhaps… only check the ones who claim to be party members.

    Greenfly, Valis, Toad, Katie, Stuey, Myself… those would be the regulars I am fairly sure are party members. There are some lurkers surfacing on this thread who might be, don’t know them well enough to even guess.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  112. You may have misunderstood me. All areas of government should have our habitat at its core, so that the party is not a single issue party, it is party that looks at the whole picture, with consideration of our biosphere as the central theme. Clearly, we need to change how our society goes about its business – we can’t just split everything into its own little compartment and hope it has no effect on anything else.

    Sue’s attempts to force parents to bring up children in the way she wants is a case in point. There appears to be no aspect of that that has anything at all to do with our interactions with our environment. It’s a distraction that has cost a lot of resources and energy but which has almost no impact on anything, except to remove parental freedoms (I don’t advocate abuse, by the way).

    We can do without sideshows since we have serious problems ahead, that very few seem to recognise. Humans need 1.3 planets for current lifestyles. We desparately need to move our society to the ideal that Helen Clark espoused but never did anything about – sustainability. Of course, the rest of the world needs to do that too but we can start with our own country. How do we do that with all of the distractions that have nothing to do with sustainability? This party needs to concentrate on our futures and those of our children. It hasn’t really progressed by being woolly and pretending we can go on as before with a few tweaks here and there. Maybe it can be a force for radical change. What does it have to lose?

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  113. Thank you to those who are making comments about the culture/tone around here. We are reviewing it at present. Some people seem to like the turkey-shoot aspect of it, others find it inappropriate…

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  114. Wat

    The failed ideology of Libertarianism does not offer a method of self government that allows for the fact that it is done by people. This is why there is not, in all recorded history, a country which has based its governmental system on THEORIES you espouse and lasted long enough to actually be recorded.

    So please stop kidding yourself. Unlike the self-government by representative democracy that we espouse, your government principles actually and inevitably promote the Gambinos or worse.

    BJ

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  115. Not just inappropriate – extremely BORING!! These dreary rabid ravers should p*ss off back to Kiwiblog where they belong.

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  116. Chris Trotter:
    “THE SHOCK ANNOUNCEMENT of Sue Bradford’s resignation from Parliament raises a number of troubling questions about the political trajectory of the Green Party under its new leadership.

    Referring to her failure to defeat Metiria Turei for the Greens’ co-leadership position, Bradford declared: “The Party made a clear and democratic decision, but of course it was personally disappointing and I’m ready for a change.”

    Clearly, there was a lot more to Bradford’s defeat than the party hierarchy was willing to admit at the time. With the benefit of hindsight, it is clear that the struggle for the female co-leadership role was merely a reflection of a much wider internal struggle over the Greens’ long-term ideological direction.

    During the 2008 election campaign, Bradford had spiked a major push by the then female co-leader, Jeanette Fitzsimons, and male co-leader, Russel Norman, to reposition the Greens as a fundamentally non-ideological political movement, capable of working with either of the major parties.

    Bradford’s hard-line stance against entering into any kind of deal with National can now be seen for what it was: the last stand of the Green Left. Turei’s May 2009 victory was the Green Party rank-and-file’s emphatic response. The days of uncompromising eco-socialism are over.”
    http://bowalleyroad.blogspot.com/2009/09/sue-bradford-resigns.html

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  117. You can’t avoid it with out a lock down, and really honestly that would be the worst thing for the Greens. I am not a member and can’t honestly see myself joining unless you get some leadership that have sustainability as their primary passion.
    Which leaders do you have that aren’t from some sort of extremist back ground?
    To be really honest some of the people complaining about the “tone” seem more than a little precious.

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  118. and
    “It will be very interesting, now, to watch the response of the New Zealand electorate. Will the next round of polls register a rise, or a fall, in the Greens’ popularity? Will the departure of the politician who introduced the “anti-smacking bill” make “Middle New Zealand” look more – or less – favourably upon the Green MPs who remain?

    If it’s more, Locke and Delahunty should watch their backs.”
    [as above]

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  119. ‘the party hierarchy’???

    ‘internal struggle’???

    Chris Trotter doesn’t know the first thing about how the Green Party works

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  120. Hoist with me own Petard!

    Sofistek… I am not making some arguments here because I respect Sue for the hard work she’s done. My discussions about S59 parallel yours and were taken to the internal Green forum as well.

    Maybe it did some good. However… I consider this not to be appropriate to argue about right now.

    Internal threads about the 5th principle (much as Sapient’s Canopy analogy) and S59 are mine. The party has heard them and I think it IS getting better, and stronger.

    But… respect… OK?

    respectfully
    BJ

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  121. I was wondering if there was some way of representing green (as of environment) and green as in referring to the practices of the membership of the Green Party as I have often seen them conflated. Greens/greenies etc?
    Being an environmentalist doesn’t mean you support the Auckland Council for Civil Liberties etc.

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  122. One thing about Sue Bradfords decision to quit, rather than form another party is that it shows that the watermelon needs the green to protect it from the gaze of the voter (or it will melteth and whither in the sun).

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  123. I generally use Greens to refer to the party or wider watermelon movement and greens to refer to people whom actually care about the environment or survival.

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  124. Catherine is one of the most experienced environmental campaigners in the Green Party. You obviously know very little about her. She has been very active, including on this blog, so you’re not paying attention either, which may explain your ignorance.

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  125. I should think anyone who follows the Green kaupapa would be considered extreme by a majority of the population. Certainly our environmental policies are far from mainstream, even if some in the population are waking up to their importance. I can only laugh when I hear how we could capture the centre if only we got rid of our social justice goals. Intensity dairying is a good example. It has nothing to do with social justice, just challenges the entire economic paradigm our export sector is based on. They’ll be voting for us in droves!

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  126. Chris is a commentator. I guess if he doesn’t understand a subject, he has to make it up, like he has here.

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  127. Yes, if the polls respond, the Party will be rewriting policy left and right (or should I say left to right) to seize the opportunity, won’t they Chris. What rubbish.

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  128. I rather liked Sapient’s way of describing it. The important issue that is missing is “survival”. A point I have been making for at least 2 years now. We have the 4 principles as pillars, but the image lacks something. Pillars need a purpose, or they are little more than symbols. Sapient called it a Canopy. I reckon it is a bit heavier than that.

    The roof supported by the 4, the 5th principle, is survival. Some pillars must be emphasized more than others to support that roof properly and the condition of the roof tells us where the most work needs doing.

    What is my “ideal” Green party? Not very different from the one we have. A bit more emphasis on renewable energy feeding into the grid, a fair few policy issues I’d tweak.

    The most important thing would be to stop reflexively taking positions. They may be “defensible” but that doesn’t make them correct. There’s a lot of different ways to be “not wrong” but they don’t all support the roof the same way.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  129. I rather liked Sapient’s way of describing it. The important issue that is missing is “survival”. A point I have been making for at least 2 years now. We have the 4 principles as pillars, but the image lacks something. Pillars need a purpose, or they are little more than symbols. Sapient called it a Canopy. I reckon it is a bit heavier than that.

    The roof supported by the 4, the 5th principle, is survival. Some pillars must be emphasized more than others to support that roof properly and the condition of the roof tells us where the most work needs doing.

    What is my “ideal” Green party? Not very different from the one we have. A bit more emphasis on renewable energy feeding into the grid, a fair few policy issues I’d tweak.

    The most important thing would be to stop reflexively taking positions. They may be “defensible” but that doesn’t make them correct. There’s a lot of different ways to be “not wrong” but they don’t all support the roof the same way.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  130. or that forming another party is a pretty massive task to undertake after ten years as a very hard working MP.

    gee, JH you haven’t started a party, that must mean your politics are all melty and whithery…

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  131. BJ,
    I was just working from what you have provided in the internal party forum. Though, I can not remember if it was you or myself whom brought in the roof description in the first place.

    I agree that canopy sounds light, though the correct word, entablature, would go unrecognized by most. Though, entablature is both correct in relation to the classical construction that the ‘pillar’ image brings to mind and in relation to the immense weight that is survival which the pillars must support.

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  132. What Chris Trotter obviously doesn’t know is that the Green Party works from the bottom up and not top-down as he seems to suppose; national positions are elected by delegates sent to the party conference, who are in turn elected by the Greens in the electorate. Delegates can also be instructed by the electorate-level as to who to vote for, and I expect most branches would have instructed their delegates on something as important as a co-leader.

    Every Green party member is entitled to attend their electorate-level meeting, and has equal say. So it is not the party ‘hierarchy’ making the decision, it is the party. And the decision is not any smear against Sue Bradford or part of any great right-wing conspiracy from caucus; it just means that members of the Green Party thought Metiria Turei would make a better leader for the party than Sue would.

    However, given that most political parties are designed to concentrate power at the top, I guess something as radical as true democracy is too hard for some people to understand.

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  133. LOL, it is not true democracy and Chris Trotter is also not necassarily so off the mark.
    Remember that at branch level it is often decided by the executive and even then it is the majority not the entirity that gets their choice.
    As to Sue, I know that, while there are a lot of members not so focused on the practical but on ideology (esspecially in wellington), there are also a lot whom acknowledge the reality of the world and the need for compromise. I know that for many, and certainly for out branch, the vote for meyt was motivated by political considerations rather than us thinking she would make a better leader. Though, leadership ablity was certainly one point of consideration. Thus, Chris is at least partially correct.
    I was personally split between Sue and Meyt because Meyt would produce a far supperior outcome for the party but Sue being elected would vastly increase the chance of a party fracture which would be bad for the party but potentially very good for the environment in the long term. I voted for Meyt because it was the safer route in terms of benefit to survival.
    That and I just cant stand Sue.

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  134. Remember that at branch level it is often decided by the executive and even then it is the majority not the entirity that gets their choice.

    Sapient, what does this mean? I know of no executive at branch level and the decision is supposed to be open to all electorate members to participate in. Is the process not being properly followed where you are?

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  135. There was probably not a likelihood of a split party. The party isn’t large enough to survive a split, it would fall out of parliament entirely. Nor is it a good time to drop out of parliament to regroup. Things need to be done NOW, not later. So I disagree that it would be better fore the environment long-term as the party IS changing AND it is represented in parliament. People like me would have had a hard decision to make because there is NOT a viable alternative.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  136. Valis,
    Where I am we used to have a more loose structure but at an AGM at some point we decided on a executive and official posts. We have an executive mailing list on which most decisions are made and meetings, while open to everyone, tend to be populated only by the executive and some others that turn up occasionally.
    Votes are of course extended to everyone and anyone can join the executive mail list even if they are not an executive member but it is those on the executive list that make the daily decisions and those whom turn up to meetings, essentially only the executive and a few others, which make all other decisions.
    It vastly decreases the amount of mail people get in their in-boxes and make it all run more efficently. I was under the impression that most branches had adopted such a model. In an politically apathetic town such as I am in it works very well.
    Regardless of any official executive I have found that most branches are composed of a hard core of members whom attend most meetings and are well aquainted with each other, it is the views of these members that tend to be adopted simply because less frequently attending members may feel out of place or alienated. Though, I am only guessing at those feelings as I felt that way when I first joined the pre-executive meetings.

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  137. BJ,
    The chance was small but it would of increased vastly as a percentage should Sue have been elected, or at least members would have protested in some manner. I seem to remember hearing a couple years ago that there was a submission to the AGM going around at some point to have Sue removed, though I do not know how veridical that statement may be.

    Yes, the party is changing, the election of Meyt shows as much and has perhaps accelerated the change. I voted for Meyt because this is what I expected to happen. Had Sue been elected, however, the change would have not been happening in the first place and thus the party would need a very real change in position which would only really be acheived through the division of the party.
    At least that is my view, I have been known to be wrong on such matters frequently.

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  138. I was looking through the Policy statement and it starts out very well. I can’t find the page right now but not the one in alphabetical order. It talks about things such as making lobbying and party funding more transparent and looks like a positive way to go and good point of difference, as is the open nature of Frogblog. In that vane the “they just want the right to beat children” is the antithesis of this approach. Not seeing the others point of view is a fault of both sides, of course but the degree to which someone can be the catalyst/communicator makes them the most useful. The public deserve better for their $133,000 + expenses.

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  139. Trotter is a go between of two world views as in: do we have a “culture of violence”(Sues perception) or this:

    “The truth of the matter is that most of the young New Zealanders currently raising children long ago stopped using the “smack” as part of “good parental correction”. If they hit their kids at all, it’s only in the extenuating circumstances already contained in the current legislation – which basically sanctions the use of parental force to prevent a child from either inflicting or experiencing greater harm.

    These parents are part of the great virtuous circle of childrearing which traces its origins back to the dramatic cultural shifts of the 1950s, 60s and 70s. With each passing generation, this circle will widen until, in a relatively short space of historical time, the use of corrective violence will almost entirely disappear from New Zealand society.”

    http://bowalleyroad.blogspot.com/2009/08/deafening-echo.html

    Now what really does account for all that child abuse?

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  140. JH

    One of the reasons that the party won’t split is that if I, one of the more “pragmatic” Greens here by reputation were to work for such a thing, at least 90% of policy would be virtually identical to what the Green party has, in rather detailed collective development, created. Our policies do not spring from the desk of one person. The get developed and they get party members input through a well established process. The odd problem still creeps in, but the point is this.

    The greatest divisions between Green party members are still far less than between Greens and any other party.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  141. It sounded like you were saying your exec was making decisions in place of a proper meeting of members to decide, but I can see that’s not the case. What you say about the involved few is the case in most places and that’s fair, though an election usually brings out quite a few more than usual.

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  142. Oh wow this must be one of the longest ones for a while.
    While the usual few roll about mud wrestling; I want to say thank you Sue for all the heartbeats given in service of others.
    History will hold you in high esteem as one of our greats.

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  143. One problem I see with MMP is that you need good representative parties…, now if a party that represents predominantly (say) greens were to be flooded with (say) reds (or what is commonly called the left) potential members would feel disillusioned and the voter would finish up with Hobsons choice?

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  144. Here’s a question for you. Why do you think it is that Green parties around the world largely hold to the same principles and have similar policies as our party does, even more so than say Labour parties. Do you really believe the left suddenly duped environmentalists in Oz, the US, Britain, Germany and here, just to name a few? Not that you have to agree, but to pretend that it’s not possible for us to be logically consistent is disingenuous.

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  145. Valis,
    Because of what BJ has said.
    I think the most likely reason is that those individuals whom initially cared most about social matters, the children of the time so to speak, were also those whom cared most about the environment. Most of them most likely rather deluded but that is beside the point. Latter genuine environmentalists saw the ‘green’ parties as being those with which they felt most synchronised, even if they had some irrational and hopelessly naive policies.

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  146. I might just make this the final DROP; I would like to know how unrestricted capitalism (the wet dream of ACT) can make for a clean grean future?

    Capitalism has to operate within a social parameter otherwise capital will concentrate in fewer and fewer hands and monopolies will result.

    The USSR was not communist, but it was for the most part Stalinist.

    As for the nextr leader of the greens ? Well I am lobbying for Kennedy Graham. I like Russel and Turia but I think Kennedy has far more experience an skill working in international circles. He worked for the UN.
    This is very important as there needs to be stronger international laws that control fishing in international waters. The ocean floors are being vandalised at an alarming rate. There are other issues in his expertise like nuclear disarmament and checks on national governments involvement in global conflicts.

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  147. The simple answer is that putting the price on the commons is inherently impossible through “free market” capitalism and will inexorably alter the business model of corporations. This has no attraction whatsoever to a right-winger, a capitalist, a free-marketeer.

    It does however, make people from left of center quite comfortable.

    The POSSIBLE solutions to the problem are all quite similar. It takes no conspiracy to get the same correct answer to the same problem statement. Something that climate change conspiracy theorists ought to consider, given that a lot of scientists using MANY different methods have come to the same conclusion.

    So the parties of “Green” persuasion will have majorities that are left of center. Always. The difficulty for such parties is to avoid becoming strident leftists and instead to hew to a reasoned environmentalist (though still leftist) line… so as to achieve enough power to actually obtain the political clout to make the most important changes happen.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  148. But BJ most kiwi voters aren’t filthy rich, right wing corporates. They are families struggling to pay their (fractal reserve) mortgages and who do care for the environment, They WANT to vote green but can’t bring themselves to vote Green.
    Why?

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  149. So to what degree did the NZ Green party manage to avoid becoming or at least appearing, stridently leftist? To what degree is that the NZ Greens policy as it actually is vs the choice of the media to cover some Green representatives and work, and not others? Who owns the media and hands them advertising revenue? What happens to its revenue if real restrictions are placed on election advertising?

    There are a LOT of reasons for the Green image problem. I submit that very few of them are related to actual party policies or principles.

    There HAVE been mistakes. The Election Reform business was a big one. That one was understandable. We got it wrong, but for reasons that have more to do with the personal experience of waking up to find someone lying about you wholesale… and their lies being entirely outside the limitations of existing election law.

    Had I encountered one of the “Brethren” at that point I am afraid I might well have forgotten to be “non-violent” for long enough to administer some badly needed “social-justice”. I am less angry now. I may forgive my enemies, but I NEVER forget who they are.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  150. Thanks, but I meant the question for jh, who is convinced it’s just a take over by the left rather than a natural frame environmentalists would choose to work within. While your answer no doubt has some truth, bj’s gets much closer for me. I would just add the reminder that the other reason environmental parties are always left of centre is that environmental issues cannot be solved in isolation from social issues. For instance, not only is climate change our greatest environmental challenge, it is our greatest social justice challenge.

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  151. The green movement was absorbed into the radical activism of the sixties, it has never separated.
    To suggest this is because those ideals are one in the same is ridiculous, the “green” bit is the bit that these activists use to gain some kind of legitimacy.

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  152. “For instance, not only is climate change our greatest environmental challenge, it is our greatest social justice challenge.”

    Hey someone should tell the UN!! They could tax us for pollution and use the money to fix all those social justice problems!
    oh…wait…….

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  153. No one said one in the same, just inextricably linked.

    Shunda, every time I link to my little essay of last year – written for you – you say how much you like it, etc. Yet, comments like this above show that you have not internalised a single point made. Why do you think that is?

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  154. “Still waiting for your solution to the problem. Oh, wait, you don’t believe it exists!”

    Oh no Valis, we are stuffing the planet all right. But now that AGW has gained such a big following all people think they have to do to save the planet is give the UN money, dark ages indulgence style.
    The only way out of our resource crisis and our cycle of environmental degradation is sustainable management, sadly this is now second to the prospect of environmental socialism.

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  155. You are weaseling, not answering the question. Where does AGW fit on your list of critical environmental issues? What do you propose be done about it?

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  156. Ok Valis lets play nice. I can accept why the green movement and our current form of capitalism are at odds, the current economic system sees the environment as that annoying little thing that keeps getting in the way of “progress”.
    But like BJ said, this causes all environmental activism to be left of centre. The problem I see is that there appears to be nothing within the movement that is pushing back towards the centre, and therefore very little internal moderating influence over left extremism.
    This is a huge issue as from my studies of world history it seems like a recipe for disaster.
    I think that if the environmental movement gained more influence it would rapidly decay into extremism, now I am not necessarily saying the current “greenies” would do this, but the vacuum that exists would ensure political forces would quickly take over.

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  157. Hi Valis,

    JH is severely deluded if he thinks the Greens are being taken over by the “reds”. I’m sure there are plenty of Green members whose political views are left of centre, but this does not make the Green party a radical left wing party, or “watermelon” party as JH loves to call it.

    I am not a Green party member, but have voted for the Greens for the last two or three elections. I have decided I will probably not vote for the Greens next election. The reasons why I will not vote for the Greens are the exact opposite of what JH is saying. I believe the Greens do not (and cannot) represent the left wing political ideologies I believe in.

    I do not have any problems with the Greens as such. I think they have done some very good work in parliament, and I am 200% behind their environmental policies (or at least the motivations behind the policies).

    The problem (in my view) with political parties such as the Greens is that they will naturally attract support from across the political spectrum. There are people with left and right wing political views who care about the environment. Given that the Greens believe in and practice democracy within their party (as many members have been keen to point out in the blog), this will naturally result in policies which tend to be centrist, or at most slightly left of centre. Whether the departure of Sue Bradford represents a deliberate move to the centre or not is beside the point; a move to the centre is what one would expect in a party which will naturally appeal to people from across the political spectrum.

    I now believe that environmental policies are best pushed from within all political parties, not simply “green” parties. I realise that neither Labour nor National have good environmental track records (and I would never vote for them), but in the end I believe that for success, environmental issues have to be considered seriously by all political parties. I don’t believe the Greens will ever have the numbers to win the battles which need to be fought by themselves.

    My next dilemma is which party will I vote for? I would happily vote for a communist or far left party which had strong environmental policies. My problem is there are no such parties (that I am aware of) in NZ that I can vote for. Maybe I will be forced to vote Green again, as the best alternative! Maybe the best alternative is to forget about parliamentary politics and fight the individual battles at grass roots level?

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  158. Shunda, you have the opposite view to me. I see everything pushing the Greens towards the centre, as I wrote in my earlier post. I wish you were correct about the Greens sliding to the extreme left …

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  159. So much could be said about your post. I’ll just point out two things. In your penultimate paragraph, you site as a reason for not voting Green the fear that we will never have the numbers to be effective, while in your last paragraph, you suggest you’d like to vote for a communist or other far left party. I can’t see why you’re concerned by the Greens numbers yet would consider parties that would barely register, let alone make it into Parliament.

    FYI, there is a CPA here, though it may not be very active http://home.clear.net.nz/pages/cpa.

    The other thing to consider is why communist/far left parties have such difficulty with environmentalism. One reason is that they still seem as wedded to the growth model as the right. Another is that those I’ve talked to don’t seem to accept that social issues can not be solved without dealing to environmental problems. We often get “you put the environment before people” from such folks. Hard to be any sort of greenie if you can’t see the links between the two.

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  160. The problem I see is that there appears to be nothing within the movement that is pushing back towards the centre, and therefore very little internal moderating influence over left extremism.

    How about the public? You think the voters that bought into the nanny state meme and punished Labour would let us run amok?

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  161. fin – s59 has created a side-show about whether it should be a criminal offence to lightly smack a child to correct behaviour.

    The result has been that we have a directive that says no action should be taken against this, and a law that says the opposite. And we’re told the law is working because of the directive for it to be ignored.

    Meanwhile, s59 does nothing about the KNOWN factors associated with child abuse (even cyfs had these published on their website – note smacking is nowhere to be seen on the known factors )

    Drug Use
    Alcohol Abuse
    Young parents
    Poverty
    Low Education
    Mental health
    Unemployment
    Step Parents
    Unrelated adult living in the house

    So while the country has put it’s effort into fighting the Sue’s rediculous s59 sideshow, the ACTUAL KNOWN factors associated with child abuse have been paid little attention.

    Imagine if the same amount of energy that went into s59 debate (we’re told proof it works, is that nothing has changed) went instead into factors that DO contribute to child abuse.

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  162. It may appear so to you Shunda, but the truth is that the anti-corporate radical from the 60’s has simply been joined by a group of people who understand that the corporatism that has taken over most western democracies is destroying the planet’s ability to sustain human civilization.

    Why have two parties, neither with enough power to do anything, when one will do and because of thresholds (*however implemented*) can do more? Social justice isn’t separable from environmental concerns in many cases. The destruction of the commons almost invariably hurts the people who are poorest soonest and worst.

    The common cause may seem to you to be radicals finding legitimacy… but what if… what if most of their concerns were accurate? If they are finding legitimacy, does that not mean that they are not entirely wrong?

    Question the inherent assumption.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  163. Naively, I assumed that when a topic/headline is posted the content would relate directly to that subject. I also assumed that an inherent sense of fairness and good manners would dictate some level of self-restraint on the part of writers, who would welcome the opportunity to thank Sue for her many contributions.
    I am also naive in assuming that the writers are mature enough to exercise any of these qualities. It appears not, as justifications and insults roll forth unabated, and self-indulgence clearly dominates focus on the topic.
    I could also (somewhat arrogantly) assume that being told to ‘grow up’ and patronised by justifications of ‘a robust debate’ are further indications of people who have no better use of their time on a saturday night than to engage in slanging matches and ‘lose the topic’, and are perhaps under-educated and immature…
    While I acknowledge your right of reply, it will be wasted … I have taken my membership/support of some 30+ years and shall disappear forthwith.
    My sincere apologies for indulging my distaste and deviating from the topic of ‘Sue Bradford Resigns’ and the opportunity to further acknowledge her valuable and courageous input.

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  164. BJ I don’t think they are entirely wrong.
    The activism of the sixties was a reaction to the imbalance of the post WW2 world, and it was inevitable, heck, even necessary. But the recurring problem with humanity is we all seem to end up bringing back in what we were trying to cast out. I can accept the social justice issues are entwined with the environment, but much of the ideology is far deeper than simply fixing imbalance, it seeks to become the balance, this is what I find repugnant.
    Some of this ideology cannot be implemented without a loss of freedom, it drives change rather than it being a free will choice of the people.
    How can the green movement avoid this problem?

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  165. Shunda

    I can’t imagine how you can’t see the push-back towards the center in the party as a clear response to the population as a whole pushing-back at “radicalism”. The party is not made up of stupid people. Most people in it realize it has to get votes and seats in order to be taken seriously.

    The electorate itself pushes back against radicalism Shunda. That’s what democratic processes are about.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  166. Samiuela

    “Shunda, you have the opposite view to me. I see everything pushing the Greens towards the centre, as I wrote in my earlier post. I wish you were correct about the Greens sliding to the extreme left …”

    Why?

    respectfully
    BJ

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  167. LittleBlip, I hear what you’re saying. I joined up to this site over a year ago, but within weeks I was discouraged from posting by personal attacks and general nastiness….
    Democracy, of course, allows and encourages free speech, but when people use this right to make attacks and denigrate others opinions – on a personal rather than political level – rather than use this right in the interest of societal growth – this devalues the rights of all.

    Kia Kaha Sue. Thankyou for standing up for the rights of those who have no political voice in this mad world.

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  168. LittleBlip

    You probably won’t read this but this IS an open forum on the internet. The actual Green posters here are a minority.

    “Naively, I assumed that when a topic/headline is posted the content would relate directly to that subject.”

    That pretty much describes the problem. This is not a reasonable assumption or expectation for an open forum. Topic drift and drivel is a fact of internet life. If you were watching the people who are known Greens you’d see respect for Sue’s contributions from all of them. The rank disrespect comes from outsiders who are permitted and in fact encouraged to air their views here.

    “further indications of people who have no better use of their time on a saturday night than to engage in slanging matches and ‘lose the topic’, and are perhaps under-educated and immature…”

    If you want the purity of the party’s own you have to look to the internal forum. It is a lot more polite, a lot less annoying and often enough quite boring. I visit seldom. I probably will do so soon, as there may be internal debate that is worth seeing. However, there is NO control exercised over who posts here on Frogblog.

    I sincerely hope that you DO read this and recognize the difference between the party and the public… and that Frogblog is a public place where mud is commonly slung with great vigor.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  169. So you are leaving the party because a thread (in your opinion) has gone off topic?
    I think you are leaving because you are offended with the party decision not to make Bradford co-leader and her resultant resignation.

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  170. Debate is fun, Shunda. but while you figure all this out, the situation the world faces gets even more dire. If our generation doesn’t deal to resource and climate change issues democratically, future generations will lose even more freedoms by the reality of depletion and sinking shorelines. The time to act is now and who you vote for is critically important.

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  171. Shunda

    The Radicalism of the sixties came about because we had, for the first time, a government we had elected lying to us. I remember that very very well, as well as the attitude towards government prior to that. One did NOT question the need to do what the government said was necessary in the 50’s, and the marginal tax rates on the wealthy were 3 times what they are now. Then we had Vietnam, and the big lies and the economic lies and the “guns-and-butter” of LBJ and the outright theft of Social Security money… (and I never expect it to be paid back)… and the radicals of the 60’s mellowed with age… but their truths, that corporations and governments WILL lie and that they do NOT have our best interests, only their own continued power, at heart. Those truths are no less real now that scientists have discovered how much their greed is arrogating to itself.

    we all seem to end up bringing back in what we were trying to cast out.

    That’s because we aren’t paying enough attention to who/what is behind all of it. It isn’t really about governments or corporations… it is about banks and money. When we push one mob out they supply the money to own the next. It took me decades to understand, and when I finally realized what was going on I was actually physically ill.

    Some of this ideology cannot be implemented without a loss of freedom

    Well to the extent that we MUST put a price on the commons we are going to experience a loss of freedom to use the commons as though it was free. That IS going to be a loss of freedom, but it is not a freedom we were ever actually entitled to have.

    I don’t think you were describing that however. it seeks to become the balance, this is what I find repugnant.

    I think I need an example, as I am not able to work out where this happens.

    As to avoiding it, the requirement is for moderates to be part of the Greens, voting moderates up the list. To do that we have to moderate our radical image, and I think we are in fact doing that.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  172. You know BJ, I have always found it interesting that the tensions that bring about war often have little to do with the reasons given for the hostilities. What concerns me is that these tensions are rapidly building again, and eventually some seemingly insignificant event will probably result in another global conflict. You said:
    “When we push one mob out they supply the money to own the next.”
    I guess I think this is what will eventually happen to the “green” movement, the real greenies will be sidelined while the political greenies take over.
    Perhaps you are right, perhaps there will be trouble and a loss of freedom regardless of what we do and the key is to pick the least destructive coarse.
    But if this is true, it will be the basics that will get us through the transition that is rapidly approaching. Basic sustainable thinking and living is something the Greens could offer NZ. This must take a priority over the more radical social justice issues if indeed time is short. Teaching people that crapping in your own nest is not wise, is actually not that hard, it appeals to peoples basic logic. This is where the Greens gold lies, I could be part of a party like that and I would imagine many others too.

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  173. Valis, your points are good ones. Its just that I personally feel uncomfortable with pragmatism. I would rather fight the impossible fight whilst maintaining my ideals, than sell my soul to the devil. This is why I would not have problems voting for a party that is unlikely to ever reach the 5% threshold.

    Another example: I fully appreciate the reasons for the Greens supporting Labour’s version of the ETS, but that doesn’t mean I like such trading schemes. I believe the Greens were probably correct in supporting Labour on this issue, from a pragmatic point of view, but I have grave doubts about emissions trading schemes. I keep on wondering if the pragmatic decision will turn out to be a mistake in the long term.

    You make some important points about many far left parties having difficulty with environmentalism. This is an issue which many parties (both left and right) need to come to terms with; after all without a healthy environment nothing else matters. This brings me back to the final point I made: perhaps grassroot action to tackle the various environmental and social problems will prove to be more effective than trying to solve them through the parliament?

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  174. Teaching people that crapping in your own nest is not wise, is actually not that hard, it appeals to peoples basic logic.

    Don’t underestimate how hard that simple message can be, Shunda. Human psychology can justify fouling our nest quite easily, as has been shown time and time again. Just ask Jeanette how difficult it can be to convince people otherwise.

    But we must keep trying and that’s why we’re here. You ready to have a go? Be a moderating influence, Shunda? But beware, you might just learn some things about that which you fear.

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  175. Valis,
    Re: 9:33 AM comment.
    While I agree that climate change may well be both our greatest environmental problem and our greatest social problem, I do not agree that environmental problems alway, or even frequently, require social problems to be solved. Because of this I reject your assertion that environmental parties are always left of the centre because of social considerations.
    Social problems most certainly do rely on a healthy environment under our present state, this is something both myself and BJ frequently argue. Environment does not have to rely on social justice issues however. I would note that a society embrasing social justice does have advantages for environmentalism in that the realization of social justice would minimise poverty and thus the motivation of individuals to destroy their environment as well as giving them the chardonay perspective that is presently resulting in greater environmental interest. However, it is also plausable for the non-corpratist right to produce exactly the same effect, if not stronger, through the pricing mechanism. A mechanism presently in the process of being adopted by centre, left, and right governments world wide. The poor being kept from damaging the environment not because they don’t need to but because of the opportunity cost. Both of these are based on the assumption of a fairly libertarian society. A more totalitarian society, assuming they adopted environmental matters for some reason, would be more effective than both left and right in promoting the environment.
    I realize these examples are poorly written, formulated, and detailed (im in a rush) but the point stands that environmentalism need not be tied to socialism by any means. I would even go so far as to say that the realisation of ‘social justice’ in terms of the actual concept, and policy thus proposed, would do more to hurt the environment than non-corporate capitalism.

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  176. Barking Rabbit,
    While there is a large degree of nastiness on this forum that is just something that must be taken in stride. In some cases the personal attacks are invalid but in many the personal attacks are entirely valid and relate to the arguement as the individual against which they are laid is using an arguement to authority and the ad hominem attacks that authority.
    While the general nastiness may decrease the quality of the debate in that instance, it is my opinion that it increases the quality over all by discouraging those unable to make a coherant arguement. Those normally attacked the most.
    As to your use of the concept of ‘rights’, it would appear you ahve absolutly no understanding of exactly what rights are. I can see why you would be discouraged; the amount of abuse you would receive would be substantial and rightly so.

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  177. Valis, your points are good ones. Its just that I personally feel uncomfortable with pragmatism. I would rather fight the impossible fight whilst maintaining my ideals, than sell my soul to the devil.

    I appreciate that and its good to know where one stands. I can only say that our goal is to be pragmatic without selling our soles. It may be impossible, but I feel we have to try. The price of doing nothing is too high.

    This brings me back to the final point I made: perhaps grassroot action to tackle the various environmental and social problems will prove to be more effective than trying to solve them through the parliament?

    I firmly believe both are critically necessary. It sounds like you are more happy with activism and that’s fine, but do remember to vote :-)

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  178. This debate on where the Green Party sits vis a vis a socialist agenda has been very interesting. Shunda, thank you for sensibly raising questions which have promoted very thought provoking answers from the Greens (BJ, Valis et al).
    To me all talk of ‘left’ and ‘right’ political ways to solve our environmental problems is based on an anthropocentric world view: that is,ultimately humans are the only important entities in the universe (or at least on Earth). Hence how humans are affected, be they current or future generations, is the only important consideration.
    Now, consideration for future generations is an often used argument to have concern for the environment. However, what if it can be shown that mankind can be further developed (‘evolved’ by genetic engineering?) in such a way as to have no physical dependency on, or emotional attachment to, the ‘natural’ environment? For instance, there is a growing group of scientists who believe that we may have the means via stem cell technology to keep humans alive indefinitely by as early as 2040.
    Anyone who finds such a ‘Brave New World’ a little unnerving may wish to review their moral options: Perhaps the environment is more fundamental than humanity’s wellbeing? Perhaps we should have a ‘respect for nature’ in much the same way as we (should) have respect for our fellow human beings? We need to revisit our understanding of humanity’s relationship to nature: Are we an integral part of nature and what is/should be our goal…. if any?
    This (non-anthropocentric) approach is likely to lead to the conclusion that the rest of nature is greatly suffering and much of it is teetering on extinction due to the human plague. The perceived solutions to such problems (eg use of non-renewable resources, no further habitat destruction, overall zero population growth et cetera) may not be dissimilar to those under an anthropocentric world view. It packs down to a question of emphasis: Nature has an equal say: We would be far less likely to seriously contemplate and develop technologies that had negative impacts on large sections of our natural environment.

    I am aware that this and similar views are open to the label of ‘eco-fascism’. It does need some work! But our species chauvanism can get tiresome :)

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  179. You’re enjoying the debate here, Shunda, I can see. Tell me, what did you mean by this statement posted on ‘some other blog’

    If the greens can actually come up with some common sense sustainability policy

    I was certain that was what we had !

    Do tell!

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  180. [opinion]
    Shunda is terribly conflicted. He is much more naturally anti-left than he is pro-green, but knows we’re right about the fundamental environmental dangers facing the planet, and can even see that resource depletion means a more fair distribution of resources is required for any plan to succeed. So he tries to be reasonable on this blog (and may also be getting tired of being blasted for saying silly things), while reverting to type elsewhere.
    [/opinion]

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  181. “I was certain that was what we had !

    Do tell!”

    The Greens do? Funny how we never really hear about it. You will find I have made positive supportive comments every time one of these sustainability issues is posted here on frog blog.
    I guess what I mean greenfly is instead of taking a preservationist approach due to the prevailing ideology on something like wilding pines, perhaps a bit of thinking outside the box would be in order. But those threads always quickly go cold, why is that?

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  182. Actually valis on a political spectrum survey that I did I came out as a “left social moderate”.
    I think the anti left attitude I have developed is due to the left being in power for most of my adult life and my dislike for the Labour party as a result. In reality I am probably just as anti the extreme right, I am certainly not fond of some pre-eminent national party supporters in my region.
    If National go back to what I have heard they were like the last time they were in power, I can’t see myself supporting them, heck I only voted for them this time because they are not labour and Key seemed more centrist.

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  183. It’s not ‘funny’ that you never hear of it Shunda. You’re a regular commenter here and should explore the Green Party site and get the real McCoy on what the Greens offer. If you are just basing your opinions on what you do or don’t: read in the papers/see on TV, then I’m dissapointed in you!
    As to the wilding pines issue – you’ll have noted that there is plenty of support for a non-preservationist’ stance on that right here on Frogblog.
    Threads go cold/ Yes. It puzzles me too, but it’s just the way it is…

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  184. A extreme centrist, OK! Sorry to hear you voted for the Nats. I’m afraid they are going to teach you a hard lesson.

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  185. Quite right, photonz, but you’re beating your head against a brick wall. Sue’s followers would never change their view on this, in a month of Sundays.

    Much energy has been wasted in this. Maybe we’ll just have to accept that light smacking will never result in any criminal record for the smacker.

    We should at least be happy that a woman who can conjure up such distorted logic over the referendum will never again have any direct influence over our laws. At least I hope not.

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  186. What you see as qualities may not be seen as qualities by others. Why, on earth, would someone congratulate Sue Bradford for her many contributions if they don’t think she made any good contributions?

    Remember that Sue hasn’t died, so criticism of her positions is perfectly justified. She has the right to reply to them but, as far as I know, she has placed herself above such discussion here.

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  187. Argh!
    Its working fine with my Opera now but this whole threaded reply thing is terribly frustrating! This post is an ideal demonstration of why it is a stupid idea; you look at the first page, you see five or so replies, you click one but unless you open each comment you have little to no hope of finding the others without an extensive search through the 224 other posts; and thats only for those that are still on the homepage display.
    Terrible modification.

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  188. TOTALLY AGREE Sapient
    It’s not working Frog, it’s a mess. Does anyone find it to their liking.
    Let’s run a ‘thread poll’
    Should this threaded reply thing, as part of robust debate, be thrown out of the lillypond?

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  189. shhh..!..it’s rimus’ baby…he/she’ll get upset..

    i understand he/she is now/also pushing for a new more censorious censorship policy..

    that’s their great idea number two..

    but yep..it sucks..

    any continuity/flow goes right out the window..

    comments no longer make any sense..

    ‘cos a whole bunch of new comments have been inserted..

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  190. A greater number of threads, linear comments (the new look is very good btw).
    Keep the trolls/irritants. Some low-level infection in a system promotes a strong immune system and a robust body.

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  191. Yes.. and Act on over 3%. It really must be hard to be a ‘still small voice’ in the face of such enthusiastic greed. But,let’s be realistic: In general as a nation we have very little regard for the environment. We just want to emulate the Big, Wealthy countries. We talk about wanting to be ‘clean’ and ‘green’ but in reality most are closet developers and miners and the like. Anyone who makes a stand for the environment is still regarded as a bit of a weirdo.

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  192. and how about a general thread every day..?

    (not just one a week..?..)

    easy as to program/set-up..eh..?

    do i really have to list the benefits/make the case..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  193. Perhaps the best reaction to this disappointing poll result that could be made is to paraphrase Mr. Hague with the rhetorical ‘What’s in a number?’ :)

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  194. And yet kjuv, someone must keep ringing the bells, o’er top of the swelling crescendo of the excavators, nail-guns and road rollers, clear and un-panicked. That’s us. I’m for clarifying the message, at the same time striking the bell more loudly.
    Go like the clappers, I reckon.

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  195. darroch has just spilled his guts over at kiwblog as to why he actually ‘really dislikes’ me..

    it’s ‘cos of my ‘willfull abuse of grammer’..

    eh..?

    brilliant..!

    eh..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  196. And keep it up, I say! But we do seem to be tripping over ourselves to ‘deal it to’ the environment of late.
    Even the ‘No more taxpayer support for Kiwi rail’ is a bit rich coming from a government that plans to give huge taxpayer support for most big polluters to carry on as if there were no tomorrow. – Oh wait!
    So many backward steps here in New Zealand when much of the rest of the world at least seems to be taking a more measured approach.

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  197. Rimu,
    Yes, though my inbox is already filled with a couple dozen green/Green related emails each day in addition to those I actually read; I hardly need more.
    The new lay out is more clean than the old lay out, I don’t much mind it. The reply box that pops up under the comment to which you are replying is also handy, though not worth the inefficency induced by the threaded system.
    May I suggest that we use the linear system as previous but when we click the ‘reply’ option on a comment it inserts a “to ‘Rimu’, 7:48PM 27/09/09″ (though, I am partial to a 24 hour format personally) in the head of the comment or under the name of the poster? It seems to me that it would capture most of the advantage of the threaded system with none of the drawbacks.

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  198. This is what I posted as a response to the TVNZ article and I think the recent rating of the Green Party at below 5% is a direct symptom!
    “Political parties have to limit the scope of their manifesto and I would never vote for the Greens whilst Sue Bradford was meddling in social politics. Green equals environmental issues and they should stick to it. List MP’s shouldn’t be able to divert the values of a party which must be true to its roots and provide a strong campaigning platform for it’s fully elected members.”
    Don’t get me wrong, social issues are important, but a clean green Earth with a future has to be the priority for the Green Party. If it is I will vote for you.

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  199. Sigh, another wrong issue Green. I would love to pass this on to someone else as I too am tired. However, I rise above that. Quoting an eminent biologist I work with, “polar bears are the next poster child for extinction. There is a high likelyhood we will see them disappear in our life time unless something major happens.” Isn’t that a wee bit important?

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  200. Oh! Ive never had an opportunity to argue from this side. This could be fun. Ill substitute for Valis rather than the devil for a change.

    ErikBlood,
    While I agree that the environment is an important, indeed the most important, matter which the Green party ought pursue, I do not agree that it should be the only such thing.
    In the New Zealand political system individuals eligable to vote, theoretically, vote for the party they feel eaither best represents themselves or from which they perceive themselves, their children, or the nation to best benefit. Should the Greens adopt policies relating only to matters environmental three dilemmas would be encountered: the first, A party only holds mandate to propose policy they hold at the point of the election and to support policy in synch with that thus held; second, an individual rarely cares only about, or identifies only with, matters environmental; third, preservation of the environment doe snot take place independant of social and economic circumstances.

    To address the first matter, a party may only act on that for which it holds mandate. The party is thus bound, in the absence of non-environment policy, to eaither abstain from voting on issues with possibly massive effects on the population of New Zealand or must violate the bounds of their mandate and vote. In both instances the party is likely to loose a great volume of votes, particuarly when the action or inaction is stongly in violation of the values held by those whom have voted for it.
    The second matter is of importance for an individual will tend to vote for the party that best serves their interests across the entire range of policy. If a party only supports things environmental but other parties support most of the social and economic policies of the individual but poorly represent the environmental matters then the individual will tend to vote for the latter. In this instance again the party has lost votes and thus power and the ability to promote matters environmental.
    As to the last matter, the social and economic climate is very important in environmental matters. Try getting a country of people on a dollar per day to pay a carbon levy on the fuel they use to heat their house and cook their food. Try telling them not to let their goats graze on the enangered native bush or to erode the topsoil. Try telling them not to breed profusely when they rely on that mass breeding such that they will be supported late in life. An environmental party must ensure that social and economic conditions are such that they are conductive of environmental preservation. Even in NZ there is a large backlash due to the whole carbon price matter.

    To summarise, social and economic matters must be addressed by a party if that party wishes to gain representation so that they may actually make the environmental advances in the first place. What those social and economic policies are, however, should be a matter of pragmatism, as argued often by BJ and myself, rather than political ideology. Luckily the party is gradually moving away from the side of blind ideology.

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  201. Threads are a good idea but it’s so difficult to make them usable, especially within a single column/pane, as they quickly start to be squeezed. If they are removed, then it would be good to be able to have a view of all posts in the reply thread (something like a link at the top of each post that will show all posts up the reply chain). That’s not as good as a fully threaded view but better than nothing.

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  202. I’m not sure why comments no longer make any sense. The inserted comments are within a thread and are indented, so you can see the level, though it can be difficult to follow that reply line back up.

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  203. That’s because the economy is still king. It overrides all other considerations. People need the current economic system to recover because that’s the only way they know how to get jobs again so they can buy food and, eventually, rejoin the rat race.

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  204. Being realistic, the Greens are not likely to be a governing or coalition leading party any time soon. I would vote for a Green Party who as part of, hopefully, a governing coalition and focussed on purely environmental issues and let the coalition partners deal with social issues. Nice to have your ducks in a line in case the Greens become the government, but please…

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  205. The environment (including everything about our habitat) is not a single issue, it should pervade every policy area that the party has an opinion on. If there is no environmental angle, then don’t have a policy on it.

    Once we have a sustainable society, then you can start social engineering, if the electorate agrees. Without a sustainable society, all of these other issues don’t really have much meaning, do they, since without a sustainable society there is no future for our society.

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  206. The party can act like a democracy. In all issues, it can allow a free vote. Hopefully, if there is an environmental angle in a particular issue, the party’s MPs would vote to protect or improve our environment. In other issues, it should be a matter of individual preference.

    So what would the greens offer the electorate in those non-environmental areas? Nothing. No policy. If you can provide examples of policy areas in which the greens should hold a position but which have no environmental impact, please post. Also let us know why the greens need to have a position on it and what a natural green position might be on it, and why. I’m not saying there aren’t any but I can’t think of any.

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  207. ErikBlood,
    Ah, but you need the ducks in line to even have a chance of being in parliament, yet alone part of government.
    The seat is the life-blood of the political party; you dont get seats without votes; you dont get votes without encouraging people that you are the party that stands to benefit them the most.

    Are you honestly trying to say that if you agreed with a party’s policy 10/10 for every point except the environment, for which it was 8/10, you would instead vote for the party which has no policy other than environment, with which you agree 10/10, even knowing that the latter party could go with the former party or with the opposition with which you agree 5/10 with the environment policy but 1/10 with all other policies?

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  208. If the Green parties main, indeed only, goal was the promotion of the environment then it stands to reason that they should promote any policies which help them promote that goal.
    These policies would include not just those environmental and those which ensure the society functions in a way conductive of environmental matters but that policies which assist with the aforementioned policies are also promoted in so far as they do not cause damage to the ability to promote those policies.
    Basically, if the Greens want to promote the environment then they need the right social conditions and they need votes. To get both of those they need policies which do not dirrectly relate to the environment. However, if a policy, say displaying the Maori flag on some government sponsered website, resonates with voters such that it increases the votes the party receives without compromising their ability to promote the environment then it actually increases their ability to promote the environment and is thus a path that ought be pursued assuming the promotion of the environment is the goal.

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  209. I suppose that depends on how important you think the environment is. However, as I’ve written before, the environment can cut across many policy areas. Chances are that if you thought the environment is critical, and only partially agreed on that aspect of a party’s policies, it’s unlikely you’d agree 100% on all other policies. It’s hardly a realistic scenario anyway.

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  210. I guess that’s a reasonable position but it’s tough knowing what environmentally neutral policies will be vote winners without losing the vote of the environmentally conscious. However, this is highly hypothetical. I still can’t think of any issues that have no environmental impact but which the greens should hold a position on, and what that position should be. If it is purely taken to win votes, I think the party should try to ensure that the position is held by the majority of voters – at least it would then be as democratic as possible.

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  211. Not entirely realistic but it illustrates a point.
    While it does depend on how much emphasis one places on the relative element, there is only so much one is willing to sacrifice on other elements for each incremental increase in the most valued element.

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  212. Of course. Speaking personally, I’d be willing to sacrifice a lot on other issues, if we’re moving towards sustainability as a result. I feel sure that others would do the same if they really understood the consequences of being unsustainable.

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  213. It pays to remember that there is no such thing as an objective ‘ought'; it is a logical impossibility. So this discussion necassarily assumes that the party ought do all that it can to benefit the wellbeing of the environment and Gaian life.

    Yes, if the party is to pursue benefit to the environment and that entails gaining votes then the policies should be aimed to bring in the larger portion of votes. In the past this has needed the naive extreme left but as green politics becomes more mainstream the party has begun to move to the centre as the centre now holds the potential for more votes than the far left. In this way the party is already begining to adopt the opinions of the majority.

    As to such policies, things such as the compulsary wearing of seat belts and helmets, anti-copyright laws, and PC buls*it could be considered environmentally neutral. Though I know I could actually argue they do have an impact on the environment; effectivly everything does.

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  214. Personally, I would be willing to sacrifice all of the policies which are non-environmental if in doing so I produced the desired effect of the continued survival and abundance of Gaian life. Unfortunatly, in the real world sacrificing all but the environmental policies would hurt the environmental betterment more than even the far left ideology many in the party seem to desire.

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  215. The insistence of party members to present as a comprehensive party with policies on all issues is a throwback to First-Past-The-Post days. It is coming from the assumption you are campaigning to be THE government.
    Now we all know that’s not the case under MMP. You become a COMPONENT of a coalition.
    Under the new politik, why could you not be a one-pillar party. Go for the green vote, get into government and act as the environmental gate keepers. Any legislation will be scrutinised through your green filter and you will vote accordingly. Any non environmental issue the green MP’s would be free to conscience vote on.
    I suspect such an approach would have quite broad appeal as voters don’t know (and in many cases probably don’t especially care) if we get Coke or Pepsi in government, but do care that about our clean green future.
    What have the Greenz got to loose by such an approach?

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  216. Perhaps nothing electorally over time. But it would be a different party as the majority of the current leadership and Caucus would go. There would need to be a huge influx of members that think like you for this to even enter the realm of possibilities.

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  217. So if a Party didn’t have policy in certain areas, what position would they support on those areas when they become a component of a government? And for that matter, what position would they take when in opposition and those policy areas are being voted on?

    In a democracy the voting public has the right to know.

    To suggest that the Green should have policy only on environmental issues is anti-democratic, because their voting in other areas would be completely at the whim of their MPs.

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  218. Oh, and where would they go? Form another party? They already have one, so its really over to you to put in the hard graft they did in setting up the sort of party you want.

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  219. So long as the public knew that other issues would be conscience votes, would that be anti-democratic?
    I’d see conscience voting as a refreshing change form the traditional block voting.
    A new approach to governance, what have we got to loose? Seats in government? Oh that’s right we’ve never had any!

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  220. I think the “ought” comes from the fact that a dimished environment is of detriment to humans. So, yes, the party ought to push protection of our environment.

    The policy areas you mentioned aren’t likely to fire up voters, which perhaps strengthens my feeling that there aren’t many areas that the greens should take a position on, that have no impact on our habitat. In fact, I can’t see why they should take a position on the areas you mentioned and see no reason why green MPs should not be allowed to vote any way they see fit, on those issues.

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  221. Why would the majority of the party caucus go? That implies that the environment is secondary to other issues, in their view, or that they desire power for power’s sake. In either situation, I’d say good riddance, but I doubt that many would leave.

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  222. Isn’t abstaining, or voting the same as whatever the senior coalition partner does, an option?

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  223. Most people want a Green future because it is the only hope we have to avoid problems when the damage to the environment catches up to us. In other words, the Green Party is really about thinking “long term and holistically”, to quote one of the core values. This sets us apart from most other parties, which are run from the top down, and where the question the MPs ask is: ‘how can we get into parliament in the next three years, and preferably cabinet, so we can collect our big fat paychecks?’. There is no long term thinking involved at all.

    There is no future without the environment, so it is crucial that we act to protect the environment in the short term. But the environment is not the only issue that could affect our future, and many other issues impact the environment.

    For example, our current economic system has banks creating money by lending money that they don’t have in cash, but instead only have a future obligation to from someone else to pay them, and they take a healthy profit margin in the process. The entire economy is based on ever-growing debts, which are paid back by someone else getting into debt.

    In other words, our economy is set up around ‘economic growth’, and much of that is based around material growth. Our entire economy depends on taking more and more from the planet, and as a side effect, is set up to make those with money receive more money for doing nothing. It makes people wealthy for doing nothing more than speculating on the value of things, and these people tend to squander the earth’s resources, while others barely get enough to survive.

    At the same time, our privacy and freedom is being eroded by intrusive government and corporate interference and new technologies being wielded against the general population, big corporations control most of the media and filter what we see based on their own self-interest (and control much of what the public hear about politics), and policies get set in the interests of whoever contributed the most to help the government of the day get elected, rather than the public.

    So New Zealand is facing a wide range of issues, and the Green Party is the only party which is thinking long term about anything. It makes sense to put certain policies ahead of others, and to talk a lot about the policies which are priorities for the party at a particular point in time (climate change is a very big issue at the moment, and will remain so until the world moves off its dependence on oil). But we should at least have a comprehensive set of policies, all of which set the direction to deal with long term issues for New Zealand.

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  224. Which is all wonderful, in the meantime you remain out of government. What’s the point in that? I’m suggesting trying a new approach, shake up the way you approach the voting public, you never know, you might get a real say in what goes on.
    The environment has never been higher in the consciousness/conscience of Kiwis, but the party that most represents that issue (in name, at least) continues to languish.

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  225. You do raise an interesting point.

    That is not an issue you are ever going to get everyone to agree on (that would be even harder than getting everyone to agree on religion). My ‘objective for the universe’ is to preserve knowledge (science, culture, and arts), and to see the ability to develop it continue indefinitely and at a reasonable level.

    This objective is, I will admit, in some sense arbitrary, but it does avoid mentioning the human species (maybe humans could be replaced with more environmentally friendly self-replicating robots in the future… but technologically we are no where near being there). From thinking about how to achieve the objective, the preservation of the environment, abolition of the current oligarchy in favour of a democratic meritocracy in which we live as equals (not communism, but ‘to each according to need, with a little bit more, according to effort’), genuine freedom of expression (and prerequisites for it, like true privacy), an end to discrimination, information sharing in the public interest, and many other interesting results arise.

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  226. Those are NOT the only possible reasons. First, the party had a full scale debate just two years ago on its four principles which resulted in no impetus to change their status as fully equal. This is a party that has always had a holistic approach, going all the way back to Values Party days. There is simply not a desire to jetison half our current policy as would be needed to become an environment only party.

    Second, the implication above is that we’d go into govt with anyone to further our environmental goals. A coalition with the Nats would loose you half the party in one go (leaving aside the question of why we’d fall in with such an anti-environmental lot in the first place).

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  227. Um, under MMP you vote for candidates on a list when giving your party vote. So yes, you voted for Sue.

    BTW – your obsession with smacking is borderline kinky! It’s a redundant discussion.

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  228. buzz who on this thread is being “rabid”?
    This is becoming a very interesting issue, with some interesting people and attitudes surfacing.

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  229. “There would need to be a huge influx of members that think like you for this to even enter the realm of possibilities.”

    There would be.
    And I would lead the charge!
    Greenz tally hoe!!!!

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  230. You’d save 9 mill by not creating a mountain out of a molehill and having faith in our elected representitives.

    But what would the 55% that either didn’t vote (or voted Yes) know.

    Some things are bigger than you and your violent crusade to ensure children will always be able to be abused (with legal protection) under the guise of “a light smack”.

    You were right about one thing, your logic is flawed. Flawed in it’s complete absence.

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  231. Ok I feel better now, you are clearly a radical and blinkered by your ideology.
    You don’t understand democratic process if you are counting people that didn’t vote.
    Violent crusade? Children will always be abused? FAITH IN OUR ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES!!
    I think somebody is a tad more emotional and illogical than me on this.

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  232. “why we’d fall in with such an anti-environmental lot in the first place)”
    It’s called Rolling your sleeves up and getting on with the job. Not waiting till you have all your friends there to hold your hand. Our sustainable future demands it. The Greenz have been waiting for ‘just the right crowd’ for 20 years now, isn’t it time to just get on with it?

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  233. But not out of parliament, and I think we will do better in the next year, as the public recognizes that the party IS making changes.

    BJ

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  234. I think it still would be anti-democratic. People have the right to know where their representatives stand on issues.

    Otherwise you get the sort of shambles that occurred when three ACT MPs voted for the Whanganui gang patch Bill, enabling it to be passed, even though their leader Rodney Hide had spoken strongly against it before the last election and voters would have consequently expected ACT as a whole to oppose it.

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  235. Well Labour are not our friends so that logic applies to them, but the Nats are another story. You would need something close to the situation where the only govt that could be formed was Nat/Green. Otherwise, they would have no reason to sign up to such hell, let alone what the Green Party thinks. So we jetison half our policy in the hope people will see the light enough to give us 20% in a bid for a bluegreen govt? Quite bold, possibly insane.

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  236. Valis

    There was a “full scale debate”???

    Where was it on the internal forums? I did not ever see it there.

    Who discussed it and where?

    respectfully
    BJ

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  237. Toad has the right of it here.

    You can’t push people to vote on “one-issue” members, where the member elected has a right and responsibility to vote on ALL issues.

    What happens if the party that so limits itself gains a majority? What policies did the people who voted for it get in other areas? What you are arguing for is really a half-step towards a vastly more direct democracy, but MMP and representative democracy can’t support that. The structure is NOT there.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  238. Perhaps you could have some kind of flag on posters who voted for the Nats. At least 50% of these are “change” voters without principles.

    If someone could tell me what National’s ‘Pillars’ are (whilst being able to avoid finding contradictory actions by that party) I’d be mighty impressed!

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  239. I don’t think the forums were much involved. There was a process in 2006/7 that at minimum included two rounds of meetings at province level across the country, plus sessions at conferences.

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  240. Valis

    From my question, you can tell that I was never apprised of the process, the meetings or the sessions. Nor, had I been apprised of them, could you have kept me out of them IN SPITE of the immense difficulty I have in setting aside time to do this sort of thing.

    I have my doubts about whether Sapient was informed either, which leads me to wonder about the validity of the result. I know damned well what I would have given that process, and I think you have some inkling of how forcefully I might have made my presence felt.

    It might not have moved the debate, but people would KNOW they’d been nudged.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  241. I hear you and that’s a shame. Can only say that from my perspective the process was well advertised and went on for quite a while. I could only speculate on why you and others didn’t know about it.

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  242. @bj – there is no consipracy to cover Green politics in a certain light, however there may be certain prejudices by jounalists…
    What direct action has been taken by green party lobbyists within the media (and the general populace) to counteract these false assumptions?

    How is it democratic to have EF restrictions? Do you actually believe the regular NZ voter believes everything you see on TV, especially advertisements? The more the better!
    Feeling ‘hard done by’ because the rich are supporting the rich is hardly reason to undermine democracy.

    There is an element of elitism or a ‘holier than thou’ vibe from this (and many other) posts. What makes your opinion any more valuable than someone elses?

    Education is power, surely you’d be for sharing education? Or does that diminish your own importance?

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  243. Um, that’s the section of law that was repealed. The one that said there was justification for reasonable force.
    Similar to the section of law that says you can be ‘provoked’ into murder. I mean seriously, all you are doing is protecting excuses for the defence counsel to justify child abuse and murder. Laws are always iopen to interpretation. This is the point of the judicary.
    The fact that you focus on this singular issue when addressing all Sue has done for NZ shows a remarkable lack of memory, and a fundementalist agenda. Your obssession with this singular issue shows you are more
    “incapable of a middle ground approach, some would say evidence of (your) extremism.”

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  244. Jeez – reading this post makes me realise it sounds like a personal attack. Apologies, these sentences especially were not directed at you specifically, just thoughts aloud.

    Education is power, surely you’d be for sharing education? Or does that diminish your own importance?
    What makes your opinion any more valuable than someone elses?

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  245. The right to vote on all issues.
    The responsibility to vote on green issues.
    For The Greenz to gain a majority is just a wet dream, at this time. If that were to ever happen there would have been many terms in government and the Green beast would look vastly different to now!
    The inertia is not there.

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  246. ” I may forgive my enemies, but I NEVER forget who they are.”

    Rite tonu.
    Tautoko.
    Likewise BJ. It’s an unforgivable personality defect, but hey, whaddaya’ gonna do?
    Best served cold, eh!

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  247. I searched for it. Toad was correct. It was posted to the internal forum while my wife was in Hospital in 2006. So you can make the case that I wasn’t paying enough attention but I WAS NOT INFORMED about what is possibly the MOST important question that’s been asked of us since the charter was laid down. Including the question of “who is to be co-leader”.

    This was important enough that it should have gotten something rather special in the way of notification.

    I posted on that forum in 2008 – http://www3.greens.org.nz/node/2521
    and nobody pointed me at this discussion…. it started and ended in the tail end of 2006 and there was never any consensus reached that I could see in the posting.

    I’ve corrected that omission now. Not that it will do much good whatsoever, given the limited readership in the forums.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  248. BJ,
    I am still 20 for another one and 2/3 months. I only joined the party a couple of days after Russel’s election.
    While it is true that I was only informed about the consultation months after it had happened (though still in 2006) it is also true that, due to some muck up, I was not contacted by the branch and did not receive any communication from the party at all until I queried it a third of a year latter. Even should I have been contacted I doubt I would have been able to vote given I had been a member for less than a year at that point in time.

    It wont happen again, I am on all the important email lists due, in part, to my time as a conviener. :P

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  249. Well, here’s how it was supposed to have worked, BJ & Sapient.

    The Executive of the Party disseminated the political positioning proposal to the membership in each of the Party’s Provinces via the Provinces’ elected Executive Networkers.

    It was the Executive Networkers’ responsibility to ensure that meetings were called for the membership to discusss it, and to ensure members were adequately advised of those meetings. How they were to do that was necessarily determined by the nature of the Province. Larger rurally based provinces would probably have had several electorate meetings – Wellington Province, which is relatively compact, may have had only one. The only one I know about for certain was Auckland Province, where I live, where there were four.

    When there was considerable diversity of feedback of membership opinion on the first proposal, the Party’s Executive prepared a modified proposal to atttempt to address the concerns raised in that feedback. That was then sent out for a further round of membership consultation.

    A final proposal was put together based on the feedback from that, which was then approved by a consensus of electorate delegates at the Party’s AGM. As is often the case with consensus decionmaking, it was not everyone’s preferred option, but was one people could live with. The meetings I attended in Auckland to discuss the proposals were actually some of the better attended meetings the Party has had, but that may well not be the case elsewhere.

    The forum discussion I linked to, which I agree had little traffic and no consensus, was really just an adjucnt to the process, rather than an integral part of it.

    The fact that you never appear to have received notification of any of this may well indicate that the Party needs to look at the adequacy of its internal communications, at least in some areas of the country. All members were certainly meant to be encouraged to participate.

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  250. BJ,
    Now I think about it, I know I (Under the title ‘Koan’) have mentioned the consultation several times on the forum whilst discussing such matters; in every case you were the major poster.

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  251. How is it democratic to have EF restrictions? Do you actually believe the regular NZ voter believes everything you see on TV, especially advertisements? The more the better!

    It is democratic because you get to see PARTY policies, not opinions of people with money. It doesn’t matter that the regular NZ voter believes or doesn’t believe, the effectiveness of advertising is quite well documented. Well understood by all successful businesses – and media. The industry exists because it WORKS, not because it is ineffective.

    In the run-up to the election imagine a party that has a limited budget but a reasonably large membership… just poor.

    Imagine another party with an elite membership… just rich.

    Now both get to put on their advertisement campaign. The party with money places 10 times as many advertisements. It makes 3 “attack” advertisements which misrepresent the poorer party which can only make a single advertisement that explains ALL of its policies. The poorer party has no ability to answer.

    You as a naive voter look at “all the information”. Was this a DEMOCRATIC process or did it favor money? There are clear results available anywhere you look. One cannot SIMPLY buy an election, but without money you can certainly be shut out of it… and that is a serious deficiency in “anything goes”, “the more the better” approaches.

    This is a FUNDAMENTAL problem with any elective democratic process. It is well recognized.

    http://tinyurl.com/yd2zzqz

    http://tinyurl.com/ycf8rna

    http://tinyurl.com/yagplmy

    When money talks, equality of ideas and of candidates, is lost.

    I am not saying that the approach used in the EF debacle was correct – I favored shorter but much more restrictive measures… and a random selection of election dates to diminish the clout of the party in power… Labour didn’t see it that way.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  252. There have been some notable misrepresentation of Green policy, one just before the last election. The Television station involved was obliged to issue a retraction, but it was vastly too late. An entire thread on Kiwiblog and other discussions had been spawned, and as Twain said, “the truth was still tying its shoes”

    This is not uncommon. Light bulb efficiency standards, shower-heads… you name it, someone has put nonsense about it in print. Nonsense that is easily falsifiable if you are competent enough to read our policies before going to print, but journalistic integrity is a principle more honored in the breach these days.

    We have our share of mistakes. I’ve been among the first to take the party to task on them… but there is serious misrepresentation in the media simply because IT SELLS PAPERS.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  253. You tell me drop, when has NZ politics ever been about “middle ground”. You hate my guts because I don’t adhere to, and strongly resist Sues (and your) ideology and an unproven ideology at that.
    You hate people like me that have an environmental conscience, but more conservative social beliefs BECAUSE IT STUFFS UP YOUR AGENDA. I would engage with any greenie any day to help restore the environment or on any other worthy sustainability project.
    I doubt whether you could sit in the same room as someone like me.
    I am not the extremist.

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  254. Not sure what you thought was a personal attack there… I’m fairly thick-skinned.

    What about sharing education? I don’t recognize this question as relating to the media.

    As for my opinion being more valuable, I can easily answer – because I am right more often than everyone else :-) (note: that is NOT a serious answer!)

    The real answer is in the form of a question. Why do you think that we regard our opinions as more important? I don’t see it in the party in general.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  255. How would you cope Valis if you turned up to a Greens meeting and got taped on the shoulder by Shunda?
    What would you do?

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  256. If you voted Green, you voted for the whole package…and that includes Sue Bradford. That’s how MMP works. If I lived in East Coast Bays, I would not have wasted my local vote on Sue Bradford as First Past the Post makes it madness to waste your vote on a 3rd-place or worse candidate when you may have a chance of affecting the result by voting for one of the two major parties.

    Claiming any 3rd-party candidate “didn’t have voter support” under First Past the Post is like blaming the victims for the harm done to them by a person or system over which they have no control.

    That’s why we chose MMP in 1993…and why we will choose it again if we get the chance.

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  257. If it was discovered that you were taping people at a Green meeting Shunda, you’d get your recorder inserted where it can’t be rewound!

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  258. The problem remains. The public, when voting, would NOT be able to choose on any basis other than environmental policies, and the public does want to have a say on the outcomes of all aspects of government, not the outcome in just one.

    It would lead to unfair representations in all other areas, not entirely bad for us as legislation that puts a price on the commons necessarily involves government interventions, and that is almost always a filter that excludes the right.

    However, the public would be able to say, justifiably, “we never voted for THAT” when some other bit of our social equity policies gets put into place and marijuana gets to be a legal prescription drug and…

    You get the picture? How long would that last really?

    BJ

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  259. :D
    Does that happen often? I am not really into that kinky kind of stuff greenfly.
    Tap, tapped, The english language is silly!!!

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  260. Why I’d have a great time, Shunda, just like here on frog. Really, its not my welfare you’d need worry about :twisted:

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  261. Shunda

    We could do a LOT worse than to have someone who actually thinks about stuff join up. Even (especially) if he (is it “he”? ) disagrees with some stuff we think about.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  262. Sorry, I don’t accept that. You’re saying that voters are caught between a rock and a hard place. They can vote for the party that best represents their views and implicitly accept having an MP that does not represent their views, or they can try to ensure that that person doesn’t reach parliament, by voting for a party that doesn’t represent their views.

    That’s ridiculous. I voted for the Green party, I didn’t vote for Sue, even though I knew that, being high on the list, she’d be sure to get into parliament, if the Greens got the threshold vote. If I was a voter in the East Bays, I would have either not cast an electorate vote or voted for another candidate, but still cast my party vote for the Greens. If I did that, would you still claim that I voted for Sue? I hope not.

    BTW I don’t have an obsession with smacking. What a pathetic comment.

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  263. See my comment above. Claiming I voted for Sue Bradford by casting a party vote for Greens is wrong. In East Coast Bays, I could have explicitly not voted for Sue but still end up with Sue in parliament.

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  264. At least you’ve departed from Sue’s line a little bit. She said:

    It is also a fact that when the number of people who didn’t vote at all (46%) is added to the number of those who voted ‘yes’ or who spoilt their ballot papers, a slight majority of New Zealanders did not support a law change, whatever the interpretation of ‘no’.

    And of course children and young people don’t get to vote, even though they are the people most affected. When you take this factor into account, 33% of New Zealanders voted ‘no.’

    I find it incredible that a democratically elected MP could come up with such anti-democratic garbage. Sue is now deciding which way those who didn’t or couldn’t vote would have voted. That is surely quite close to dictatorial leanings.

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  265. Aren’t you inferring that a voter should only vote for a party if they agree with every single policy of that party? That just doesn’t seem like reality.

    You could choose the most insignificant policy imaginable to put the same argument. Not all policies published before an election actually get implemented and some do change over the course of a parliament. I might expect a few bottom lines – and for the Greens, they would relate to the environment and sustainability – but I would also hope that rational debate can change minds occasionally.

    Would you expect to know all of the policies that a party would implement if in power, before an election, and that there be no deviation from or addition to those policies?

    Personally, I’d want to know the bottom lines and the underlying ideology of the party, so that I can make a rough guess as to how it will come down on issues that interest me.

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  266. Not sure if I kicked off that thread of conversation/debate, but interesting to read the responses. All I know is that many friends, colleagues and others have expressed their dissatisfaction towards Sue Bradford and her policies and many of those for sure have not voted for the Greens as a result – including me. The environment is hardly a single issue, but one I would vote for in isolation to strengthen the green voice in parliament regardless of the coalition leader. If Green is big enough they can decide who to partner with, or better still be big enough to dictate some policy with whichever party is the coalition leader. When they get big enough to be a controlling party….

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  267. I don’t get the picture. Are you saying that the Greens should have a policy line on everything, with our without an environmental angle, just so the voters know exactly what he or she will get with a Green MP or government? If so, I don’t think you are necessarily speaking for all voters, as you imply you are.

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  268. Quite the opposite, stick to ‘Green’ core values until you are big enough that it matters. I know plenty of people who would vote to have a strong Green influence in parliament regardless of the colour of the main party.

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  269. Anywhere I can have a good rant about PM10, aka abolition of wood burning stoves?

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  270. OK… for instance. We have a real defense policy. Suppose we had some MPs who are STRICT pacifists. Not unheard of, there are such and if there are it is almost certain that they are part of the Green party, not some other. You get a “roll over and take it” defense policy. That isn’t what the Greens have. There are all manner of ways that you can what you don’t expect if you buy a book because the cover art is interesting.

    We have ALREADY put in some pretty hard yards making the policies reasonably complete. It’s a tough ask for a small party. I have issues with SOME of the wording, and some of it may wind up changing a little as the party moves itself, but the core is already present.

    So my answer is YES, we have a fairly complete set of policies, and they help to limit the excesses… usually.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  271. The Greens need to remember what happened to NZF (in 1999) after they went into government with National in 1996.

    If the Greens formed a coalition government with National, and achieved only little more than that negotiated earlier this year, how many would vote for the party again – on such flimsy environment policy gains – at the sacrifice of its social justice policy past?

    How much would National offer? If they needed the Greens (their last cab surely) a Labour led coalition would have been available.

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  272. That was my point above. The situation where a Nat/Green govt was the only one possible would be exceedingly unlikely. To argue it would happen with an environment only party is to argue that party would gain huge support AND that it would come more from Labour voters than National.

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  273. bj said:..

    “.. and I think we will do better in the next year, as the public recognizes that the party IS making changes..”

    what ‘changes’ are these..?..b.j..?

    do tell..!

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  274. I think that the real point is that to get us into such a position we would have to get really LARGE gains somewhere in the mix. Not little ones. Because just as we would be National’s “last-cab” it is clear that they would be be our next-to-last. I can’t imagine it, but I can imagine the bargains that would have to be cut, and the inevitable confidence vote and dissolution of the government.

    One doesn’t roll over and play dead. One plays the political cards that are dealt… and above all, one hears out all that is on offer. It may not be “enough” but talk is cheap. The supply ALWAYS exceeds the demand.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  275. It is possible that the Greens could grow at the expense of Labour (as UK Labour did at the expense of UK Liberals) with the environment cause becoming part of the main premise of a new centre-left.

    Some here imagine some sensible, reasonable, logical policy on matters non environmental (akin to German Free Democrats) on economic and social issues (safe centrist) seemingly unaware that this is the preference of the conservative who wants to continue the status quo and who fear major change – yet the point of any environment party is accepting the need for change in how we go about things.

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  276. yet the point of any environment party is accepting the need for change in how we go about things.

    No… the point of the party is the environment. Not the need for change. If it isn’t broken, don’t fix. The fact that the environment is as broken as it is makes it easy to think it is ALL about change.

    Yet when we venture outside the realm of the environment proper, into social and economic policies… there change for the sake of change is NOT indicated. Human civilization is a complicated thing. We’ve figured out some stuff we know doesn’t work well… philosophically pure ideologies that ignore human nature such as Libertarianism and Communism for instance.

    So while a more centrist Green party might well suit a conservative, there is no need for Greens to occupy the center or even edge to the right of it. We can comfortably remain left of center and get a good electoral result. What we can’t do is occupy the territory left of left and get that “good result” because most humans instinctively recognize that human civilization as we have it now may be imperfect but it is working, and they don’t want a lot of big changes to the social and economic milieu. Even though we NEED some big changes to the economics.

    The requirement for us however, is to argue those changes casewise. Not to stake out automatic positions at the extremes… to make it harder for people to marginalize us… but not giving up basic values. A finer line than the German Greens walked.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  277. Yes, the party is about the environment not change but, as you accept that the environment is broken, change is a necessity, so the part really is about change, right now. If the environment gets fixed, then it will be about maintenance.

    So, as change is desperately needed, how can that be achieved?

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  278. PERSONALLY I think that the most effective change is actually indirect. Breaking the “growth imperative” built into the economic system would have the greatest effect in the long run. No matter what carbon target we choose or how many of us convert to vegetarianism, that imperative remains.

    The source is surprising. We use a Fractional-Reserve (debt based) currency. In short, every dollar issued in any country in the world, is backed by someone else’s promissory note… someone else’s mortgage. The currency is not redeemable, so government feels no effect of issuing ever greater amounts of debt… but the system requires growth for stability.

    This is long. It is also eye-opening if one pays careful attention to the growth requirement. The current economic collapse is a symptom. The 3rd part explains it fairly well. I haven’t figured out what happened to the second part. It was there last time I looked (a year or so ago).

    http://www.notjustnotes.ws/howbanksrobyou.htm

    Point is, that the economic underpinning of the global economy is “fractional reserve” banking, and that means that every country in the world is addicted to growth and under the complete control of the bankers.

    This is unsustainable as everyone here recognizes… but campaigning against it without removing the reason for it is futile. (tin hat time) One can notice the list of assassinated Presidents and their statements about banks and money.

    I favor a two-pronged approach hits them on the other side as well. All currency right now is irredeemable “fiat” currency. No friction at all, the money slides around the globe like snakes in a bucket of snot.

    So I would go for a currency that is NOT created by “fractional reserve” but issued directly by the government ( I hear “you mean it isn’t?” in there, but it isn’t ) and redeemable in KwH “work” delivered at standard outlets in the major “banking” centers of NZ. The conversion to a fiat currency puts “friction” in the system.

    I have my reasons for this… thinking about it you may work out some of them but the post is long enough already. The key however, is that the instant that first crack appears in the monetary system, even in little insignificant New Zealand, the weaknesses of the fiat currencies will become obvious to everyone.

    Of course, this COULD lead to the 82nd airborne showing up here to “restore order”. I am betting that the collapse of Wall Street would happen before they could get mobilization orders through the Pentagon.

    Best of all, we probably would not have to fire a shot to achieve the revolution.

    See… I am not a “conservative”… just a really sneaky Green.

    BJ

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  279. Our particular problem is foreign finance (loans) enables us to bid up our land and property values and otherwise our reliance on the OCR for domestic inflation management.

    There are measures that can be taken. One is provide the RB Governor with another monetary policy tool (a range from 1, 1.25, 1.5, 1.75, 2.0% surcharge on land and property loan mortgages) – one which not place upward pressure on the dollar value through otherwise raising the OCR itself (the money raised from the surcharge being used to reduce tax on interest income, so saving continued despite a lower OCR). The combination of tax advantages for saving and higher cost to mortgage borrowing should help correct a structural imbalance in our economy.

    The other measure is regulatory – requiring a proportion of domestic funding to any mortgage (this the RB could adjust as another tool managing foreign mortgage finance inflows to the domestic savings rates) and minimum level deposits. This works well with Kiwi Saver being used by workers to save a deposit to buy a house.

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  280. Why so complicated? Break the LAQC for “investment” housing and apply a Capital Gains tax. I see the point of possibly adding the domestic funding requirement, but not the surtax on the mortgage. Even if you exclude the first home buyer it has started to look a bit like Rube Goldberg was working on it. It has far too much resemblance to a bit of badly hacked code.

    Which is often an indication that you’re trying to fix something that is wrong somewhere else entirely. Usually when you have an increasingly complex fix, the real solution is simplification somewhere else.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  281. It’s surprising that the simplest idea of all – that of the surcharge (Australia has stamp duty) you dismiss with an insinutation that it is nonsensical. Whereas you “get” something much more difficualt to enact – requiring a proportion of domestic saving/funding to mortgages.

    The surcharge is something the RB Governor has already asked for as a tool if he is to apply a domestic anti-inflation policy without raising the OCR (which pushes up the dollar and obstructs both investment and profits in exporting – no prospect of future profits why invest, not making any profits and investing is unaffordable).

    To do nothing about the OCR/high dollar problem is to have economically barren policy (a lack of growth, low productivity, low wages and low savings).

    LACQ and capital gains tax are of themselves incomplete answers and need to be part of this wider framework, if we are to get the results that we want and need from those changes.
    Our economy needs more than a few tweeks here or there, it is the most unbalanced in the OECD. The market reforms of the 80’s were not optimum for our economy, we can only succeed with them if we re-design the way a small open economy of our profile inter-acts with the global market. And of course a longer term view on environmental sustainability for the economy should be part of this.

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  282. A surcharge on a mortgage? It may appear simple but it seems to me that it has to have an exception for the first home buyer or it keeps the existing lockout.

    It DOES shift the benefit from the Australian Banks to New Zealand’s national coffers, but its action against NZ real-estate “investment insanity” seems indirect to me, a way to measure how much the Aussie banks are taking advantage of us perhaps, as they WILL consider how much they can reduce their rates to compensate, so as not to let the market die.

    I certainly agree that the economy is balanced like a flat tire, but this one simply strikes me wrong. Surtaxes and surcharges are (to me) admissions that something else is more seriously wrong, somewhere else. I won’t fight against it, but I don’t “like” it.

    I have to work on real work stuff for the next 24 hours so bear with me.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  283. It is not an extra cost on the home buyer that some might think.

    (though one could still exclude the impost on first home buyers).

    The theory of it is that the OCR could go from 2.5 to 3.5 or 4.5% in a year or two as things are, this could maintain the current high dollar and prevent it from falling. But if a 1 and then 2% surcharge was applied instead (with the OCR staying at 2.5%) the total mortgage cost to the home owner would be no higher than under the current policy settings.

    And this way the dollar could come down and give the economy a revenue boost and the growth creates both jobs and finance to government.

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  284. … and they have succeeded. The threaded system makes it worse. Some well meaning new voice makes a comment and immediately underneath is an aggressive insult from one of the boring broken record brigade.

    The place has turned into a locker room, with a handful of voices dominating. If robust moderation excising all personal attacks is impossible, how about a limit on the number of posts you can make per day?

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  285. No worries: “that’s normal in a cycle between elections”. S. Bradford Mornings TV 1.

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  286. Rimu says the blog is full of “trolls”, where “troll” is (presumably) someone who presents damaging information or claims such as: ” the Greens are water melons”; the membership is “stacked” etc. and might (by way of counter reply) state: “if it swims like a duck, quacks like a duck”…etc

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  287. My observation of the old left is taht they adhere to a simplistic (and outdated) paradigm. They support beneficiaries to a point where beneficiaries earn more than many people in tedious (or otherwise unpleasant) paid work and champion unions such as the maritime who are well above the average worker (for example). While I agree there is a lot of greed corruption and unfairness in the system, the paradigm of the old left doesn’t work. Going back in time they were the odd-balls who were apologists for North Korea etc.

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  288. “we’d fall in with such an anti-environmental lot”

    you mean Act. Chances are environmentalists are neither left or right of center.

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  289. That you think the Nats aren’t anti-environment after the last 10 months says it all really and belies your supposed concern for the environment. Or you could be ignorant of their record given how much time you spend throwing watermelons around.

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  290. Yes, anyone who can only hurl the same invective no matter the topic instead of debating the issues, speaking of swimming and quacking.

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  291. Got him in one Valis.
    As for what jh ‘throws around’ , it’s more slights than anything else.
    He’s a slighter, slightly up from a slater.

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  292. I’m the person that Bradford named as having made a death threat against her. The fact I didn’t and the Police are not investigating as she claims is proof of what she does to her opponents speaking out against her.

    But the same things happens here. Comments like “piss off” does NOTHING for this site. Who cares if you are or are not a Green member. You do not have the monopoly on all things Green.

    If you want to have a system where only inbred comments are allowed, then you risk losing touch with the majority of the voters, people you SHOULD be listening to for future policy initiatives.

    The Greens should allow everyone to be heard, and allow everyone to see so called democracy at work. So what if there is conflict, thats a sign of a political party that is alive, and its why I am glad Bradford quit. This site shouldn’t be learning her methods, telling people to “piss off” or making false accusations against them might score you some quick political points, but in the long run, it does more harm than good.

    You should embrace these people, thank them for visiting, and try to “teach” them with the aim of converting them to your way of thinking, of gaining new members. How many new recruits to your cause have you lost with comments like “piss off” is unknown, but the Green party is dropping in the polls, theres a very good indication.

    You see, the joke is on Bradford, I’m probably more Green than she is, except, I do not repeatedly dye my hair for two reasons, 1) I’m not as insecure as she is, and 2) I don’t care if the people love me or hate me.

    I wonder what all those chemicals has done to her local waterways though?

    With the departure of Bradford, the most divisive MP since Helen Clark left office, you should take the time to learn to respect the voices of the people and allow them to be heard, because, isn’t that what got voters offside with Bradford in the first place? And also, its democracy at work.

    Having democracy work FOR you means you must allow everyone the chance to post and be heard, after all, that is the nature of a BLOG! Right?

    Rejoice that the Queen of half truths and propaganda is leaving. It is indeed a new start that the Greens desperately need.

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