NZ Green Party
Good and bad

Well, the final election result has some good and bad news for the centre-left.

Firstly, the bad: the Greens have not picked up an extra seat on the specials. Nandor will not be a Green MP over the next three years, which is desperately sad. Our thoughts are with him and his family today. The party’s sadness will be deepened by how desperately close we were to getting a seventh seat. Had the Greens got 1,246 more votes – or 0.0545% of the total – Nandor would be back in Parliament. Alas, it was not to be.

Second, the good: the Maori Party has increased its vote enough to reduce the overhang by one seat, taking one seat off National. This changes the make-up of Parliament thus:

Labour: 50 seats
National: 48 seats
NZ First: 7 seats
Greens: 6 seats
Maori Party: 4 seats
United: 3 seats
Act: 2 seats
Progressives: 1 seat

So, the number of votes in the House needed for a majority is reduced by one – from 62 to 61. This does change Helen Clark’s options. If she were to, say, form an LPG Government, it would have 57 seats. She would need four more votes for confidence and supply. She could look left to the Maori Party or the right to NZ First. Had the overhang not been reduced, things wouldn’t have been as simple as this. So, good news for the centre-left.

Also, the difference between Labour and National has increased – to two full percentage points, and from 22,751 votes on election night to 45,506 votes in the final results. So, the margin has doubled.

But the heartbreak today is for the Greens and Nandor. Had we got 1,246 more votes, Nandor would have been back, at the expense of another National MP. We would have been up to seven seats, and National down to 47, changing the completion of Parliament even more in the centre-left’s favour. So near, yet so far. The 5,748 people who ticked Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party may wish to reflect on these bald facts.

More analysis to follow throughout the day…

35 thoughts on “Good and bad

  1. frog said : The 5,748 people who ticked Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party may wish to reflect on these bald facts.

    we need to add stv to mmp.

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  2. Gutted, but it could have been worse.
    I now have the pleasure in hearing Brash concede

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  3. btw I just saw eye to eye, on it, Richard Prebble claimed that the right got more votes than the left. I just added the percentages of all parties not left (including nzf znd uf all christain and libertarian type parties) and they add to 48.91 %. I counted the left (lab greens prog maori legalise alliance social credit) they got 50.05%.
    How can Prebble justify going on the tele and telling outright lies in argument to get rid of mmp? Lies on tv should come under criminal law.

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  4. My thoughts with Nandor as well. He should remember that originally he stated he would only serve two terms, then changed that to three. So the voters are making him honest I suppose.

    Kia kaha Nandor

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  5. I think it is unfair to blame to the 5000 people who voted for ALCP. Why not blame the people who didn’t get out of the house and stayed indoors smoking pot and playing playstation instead of getting to the polls.

    Nandor will have plenty of time to drive the new NORML canna-bus on it’s tour of NZ now! In case you don’t realise Nandor was a driver of the first NORML bus in 1991-2.

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  6. Stuey: Yeah, I agree. It was unfair (and overly flippant) to single out ALCP voters: had 1,246 Green voters who went for Labour to block Brash “stayed home”, then Nandor would have been back; had 1,246 Green voters who stayed at home and didn’t vote actually turned up at the polling booth, Nandor would have been back. There are a million “what-ifs”; and the ALCP voters are but one. I would suggest, however, that many ALCP voters will be rueing not voting Green now that Nandor is not back in Parliament. However, of course, our cannabis policy won’t change :)

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  7. This is the right result for these times. With Nandor gone, the Greens can let decriminalisation of cannabis quietly drop off the legislative radar, and spend more time on less emotive issues which push forward more important aspects of the Green policy platform.
    As a single issue party, the ALCP can never hope to obtain 120,000 voters to reach the 5% threshold. As a lobby group, along with NORML, and no doubt, Nandor, they can join the queue knocking at the doors of 121 MPs.
    When they can persuade a majority of individual MPs of the sense of their viewpoint [which does have some merit when emotions are removed], they may succeed.
    In the meantime, it’s good for Green that this issue can no longer be so clearly identified with the party which now has an opportunity to focus on other policies where broader MP and community support is assured.
    Yes, sad to see a colorful and committed Nandor go, but, for the good of the Greens, the elctorate has judged wisely.

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  8. presumably his private members bill would be re-lodged by another green MP… if that is necessary – the whole point of it was to get an idea for progress to the table so that it can become part of post election negoiations. However we aren’t exactly negoiating from a position of strength.

    wekaontheroof, no you don’t get a prize because that comment you linked to is nowhere near what the actual result was.

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  9. Stuey
    Lab 41 / 41.10
    Nat 40.5 / 39.10
    Green 7 / 5.3
    NF 5.5 / 5.72
    UF 2 / 2.67
    MP 1.8 / 2.12
    Act 1.2 / 1.51
    other 1
    My green forecast was wishful thinking
    Overall better then Culmor Brunton !!
    Ciao

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  10. As much as I hate to admit it, in some ways the United Future stragey of saying they would go with the biggest party worked to decrease Green support by scaring potential Green voters to Labour. In the end though, the result would have been the same, just with the Greens having more clout. Oh well, I’ll look forward to United Future vanishing further into obscurity in the next term as their tactics did everything but help their own party vote and influence in parliament.

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  11. Food news for the centre left – they`ll be able to form a Government Bad news for the Greens – it wont be part of it. The Greens are the last cab off the rank.

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  12. Also very sad to lose Nandor. Also very sad to see him characterised as a single issue nutjob. His speech on the Civil Union Bill was, IMO, inspirational, and I’ve heard him speak beautifully and cogently on social issues many times.

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  13. I’ve heard Nandor… and I think he’s a better MP than most. FAR more perceptive and tuned in… and he deserves to be seated… but we made our bed and now we must lie in it.

    I’ve pointed it out in other threads. This was a near-death experience for Greens. It didn’t need to be. We are moving away from the extremes at the negotiating table, and that is clearly helping, but we also need to manage the rest of the public perception problem we’ve created.

    Policies on Defense and Immigration.
    Allowing people who hurt other people to be put in jail.
    Paying attention to the practice of politics.

    Nothing really earth shaking here. We can certainly keep pushing for minimum wage increases and other social issues, but we have to make sure that they do not become defining issues in the public mind.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  14. kia kaha, Nandor.

    anyone who says Nandor was a one-issue MP is an ignorant liar.
    he’s got dreadlocks, so that decides it, eh?
    stereotyping is so easy and comforting. no need to actually think or look at the reality.
    unfortunately for you superficial detractors, the facts just don’t bear it out.
    so keep your pathetic barbs to yourselves.

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  15. No, Nandor may not be a one issue MP, but the public perception that he is has washed over the Greens.
    This has made it difficult for Greens to gain traction on other issues that are – arguably – more important right now than cannabis decriminalisation.
    Drugs are an emotive issue no matter what ones viewpoint about them. Greens have been courageous to bring cannabis decriminalisation into their policy platform, but at a dangerous cost to their political survival this election.
    No party can afford to be so identified with such an issue to the exclusion of other policies.
    No-one around here has mentioned dreadlocks. They’re cool. No-one’s sterotyping anyone, except perhaps you tochigi.

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  16. Looking at those numbers & doing some calcs, it appears National is still getting the last seat even when reduced to 48, so Nandor would have been in at the expense of another National MP. Pity that wasn’t the case.

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  17. Very sad to see Nandor go. I keep thinking about whether I could have worked just that little bit harder to persuade more friends to vote Green… and if each of us had been able to do that with just a couple more people… so sad it didn’t happen.

    So now the numbers are very interesting. Two possible coalitions are clear:

    Labour 50
    JAP 1
    NZ First 7
    UF 3
    TOTAL: 61

    Labour 50
    JAP 1
    Greens 6
    Maori 4
    TOTAL: 61

    It’s obvious from these numbers that Clarke could move right or left in order to make a working partnership in parliament. I wonder what she’ll choose to do? Or indeed, if she’ll find another combination entirely…

    In the first scenario the dreaded Dunne gets to play with Helen and doesn’t have to have anything to do with the nasty old Greens. However, given his comments about working with National the other day, perhaps he’s shot himself in the foot once too often, particularly as he’s been widely seen as being petulant and childish in his response to both the election coverage and provisional results. Maybe Clarke won’t be too keen to align herself with him after all that – especially for only 3 seats. Then there’s Winston… If I were Helen I’d want to use him when I needed him without having to give him any real power. But he does have a good number of seats she could use…

    In the second scenario the Clarke government would be seen to be moving leftwards. The perception by some people that the Greens are extremist could hurt Clarke’s chances of winning the next election if she aligns too closely with us. There’s also no guarantee that the Maori party will be willing to go into coalition with Labour unless they see a good chance of being able to negotiate a change to the Foreshore and Seabed legislation. Would it benefit the Greens and the Maori party to get together to try and negotiate a coalition agreement as a team? (choose us both or not at all). Maybe – but it might also push Helen in the opposite direction – I’m not sure she’d be that keen on her hand being forced in this way.

    Seems to me that Clarke has two goals here. The first is to put together a coalition that will work and will remain stable for the next three years. The second is to look to the future and choose a team which will ensure that Labour get in again next time. I think the second of these is the most difficult, if only because people tend to want change after a while (even if it’s only change for its own sake) and National came pretty damned close this time.

    Seems to me that for this reason Clarke might be tempted to form a coalition which is seen as more centerist, so pulling any spare centre votes away from National – in much the same way as Tony Blair has done. I don’t agree with it at all, but I can see that as being a logical move for a party where the popular vote across the country is virtually split down the middle.

    The third option would be for Clarke to rule as a minority government, with no coalition partners apart from JAP, receiving confidence and supply from whoever’s willing to give it on a case-by-case basis. Somehow I can’t see her doing that either – it’s too risky – too many extra votes needed to be found every time you have a vote on anything.

    So I’m thinking she might find some kind of middle ground between all these options. Coalition with JAP and one other party – with c&s from a couple of others. The question would be – who would be the one other party? Greens? NZ First? UF? Maori? It will be interesting to see how it all pans out…

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  18. If the Greens had put Nandor higher up te list instead of, say, Turei, he`d be in. That would have been a much better idea – and webweaver, theres no “e” in clark.

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  19. Gazza:

    That comment of yours was in real bad taste. No-one should be gloating over the fact that Nandor didn’t make it back in, even if you’re not a fan of Nandor and/or his ideas.

    Kicking someone when he’s/she’s down is pretty low. None of us are exactly dancing around ACT’s electorate offices, for instance, just because they’ve lost MPs that we might not exactly like.

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  20. DR:

    Even if that may be the case, that the public’s perception is that Nandor is a one-issue MP, should Nandor then bow to public pressure and place a loincloth over the cannabis issue, or have the other Green MPs silence him?

    The problem lies not with Nandor, or even the Greens for that matter, but with ignorant and/or deluded members of the public, along with the media who distort the issue, as well as certain opportunistic individuals/groups who play up the issue.

    Also, scapegoating Nandor for ‘tarnishing the image of the Greens’ is both unfair and unjustified. The Greens in NZ aren’t the only Green party around the world that advocates the reform of drug laws, mind you. And the call for drug law reform isn’t predominantly coming from the Green movement either.

    Moreover, just because Nandor might not be back in Parliament, it doesn’t mean that the cannabis issue will go away; neither will the Greens ‘kowtow to public pressure’ so to speak and water-down their cannabis policy. The cannabis policy is here to stay, with or without Nandor advocating it. The public will just have to deal with it.

    George Bernard Shaw once said: “All great truths begin as blasphemies.” I believe that one day people will begin to get their head around the fact that prohibition simply doesn’t work.

    And the Greens will be there all the way to ensure the truth be told. :-D

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  21. DR:

    Even if that may be the case, that the public’s perception is that Nandor is a one-issue MP, should Nandor then bow to public pressure and place a loincloth over the cannabis issue, or have the other Green MPs silence him?

    The problem lies not with Nandor, or even the Greens for that matter, but with ignorant and/or deluded members of the public, along with the media who distort the issue, as well as certain opportunistic individuals/groups who play up the issue.

    Also, scapegoating Nandor for ‘tarnishing the image of the Greens’ is both unfair and unjustified. The Greens in NZ aren’t the only Green party around the world that advocates the reform of drug laws, mind you. And the call for drug law reform isn’t predominantly coming from the Green movement either.

    Moreover, just because Nandor might not be back in Parliament, it doesn’t mean that the cannabis issue will go away; neither will the Greens ‘kowtow to public pressure’ so to speak and water-down their cannabis policy. The cannabis policy is here to stay, with or without Nandor advocating it. The public will just have to deal with it.

    George Bernard Shaw once said: “All great truths begin as blasphemies.” I believe that one day people will begin to get their head around the fact that prohibition simply doesn’t work.

    And the Greens will be there all the way to ensure the truth be told.

    :-D

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  22. DR has an interesting point. I think we greens need to work more on getting people to investigate more the details than emotional black/white responces to an issue.
    People so easily confuse the issue. Ie drugs and crime. -We all want to reduce the damage done by both of them. But looking at the facts what’s the best way of doing that?
    If it was scientificaly or statistically proven that tickling criminals every day for a week then sending them to a health spa for a month was 99% successful in rehabilitating them, still no party would dare support this solution.
    (Yes this is a crazy and extreem hypothetical situation)
    I beleive that decriminilisation would reduce the harm done by cannibis. People misenterpret this stand as being pro canabis use.
    I Say that the status quo is pro cannibis use, pro crime and pro gangs.
    Yeah, thats right!
    United future is pro gangs profiteering off prohibition!
    United future is pro our kids having more access to canibis!
    because they refuse to back a bill that would diminish both these things.
    Also we can’t compete with the volumes of money that other parties (and their buddies) have to spent so mabye more training in grassroots techniques would help.
    Y’know the greens could become the amway or lareve of political parties :)
    (wheres pq when you need him)
    ok enough raving
    bye

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  23. wizban,
    Don’t think the “free Market” policies of MLM’s really fits the political profile of Greens, plus their “shift unsold US product out to margins of market” doesn’t work well against buy local campaigns: and can’t see Wildgreens selling makeup or wearing suits….;-D

    Wonder if Dunne has ever thought about the drop in market value of cannabis if it was legal to buy, this would cripple finances of Gangs…..

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  24. The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party are not to blame for Nandor not getting re-elected. The ALCP, unlike the Greens, have stayed true to their belief that cannabis should be legalised for all of its many and varied uses. The ALCP are actually the “high-tide water mark? of cannabis law reform (CLR) by which the retreat of the Greens (and Labour) on CLR can be measured.
    The only people that the Greens and Nandor can blame for their current predicament are themselves. The Greens have shown themselves to be treacherous and duplicitous politrickians. Nandor has shown his naivety by going along with their schemes. Karma had more to do with the outcome of this election for the Greens and Nandor than the ALCP!
    Not true you say. Well consider these statements from the PRE-election NORML News in Spring 1999 (before the Greens got into Parliament):
    “Green Party adopts law reform policy; to compete with ALCP for your vote – The Green Party has adopted a policy of decriminalising cannabis and asked the ALCP to stand aside and endorse the Greens at the election….The cannabis policies of the two parties are very similar….?
    [Not any more. The Greens “Instant Fines? reform policy is now little different to that promoted by the opposition Labour party in 1999]
    “Our first Rasta MP? NORML activist high on Green Party list – If you are serious about cannabis law reform then you should vote for the Green Party….The policy was drafted by Chris Fowlie and myself and was overwhelmingly supported by the members and leadership of the Greens. This year in a vote of confidence for our stance the party selected me as candidate for Auckland Central, made me spokesperson for Justice and put me at no.5 on the party list.?
    [So what does it say when the Greens demote Nandor 2 places to no.7 before Election ‘05?]
    “…We don’t need to prove that cannabis is an issue. The ALCP did that last time [the ALCP got 1.66% of the party vote in 1996]. What we need now is action.?
    So there you have it. The Greens deliberately STOLE the ALCP vote. Within a year of the Greens being elected Nandor was complaining that “little has been done after nearly a year in office? [NORML News Issue 4 Vol 4 Spring 2000]. Then SIX long years, and 117,000 cannabis offences, later we get the mere possibility of Instant Fines as our carrot for voting Green. Hmmmmmm.
    Nandor should leave his “friends? in the Green Party. He should join the ALCP or start a new LEGALISE cannabis party. We wouldn’t see you, and your dreads, as a liability Nandor! I think a party with Nandor as the leader could get 5% or more of the party vote. If WiNZton First and Peter Dunny (and others) can do it then I’m sure that he could too. In hindsight, it’s a pity that Nandor didn’t realise what was going on and do that a few months ago…
    And before you think I’m being too harsh, I’ll point out that I WAS one of those that tried, in vain, to re-elect Nandor, despite my serious misgivings about the direction of the Greens on CLR. At least we still have Metiria Turei, who is also a staunch CLRer, but 1 out of 6 is not the same as 2 out of 7 (or 2 out of 6, for that matter, ‘cause Nandor dropped TWO places, for some reason, to make way for Metiria).

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  25. it was unfortunate about those 1426 votes, but the greens need to wake up to the fact that cannabis is way bigger than a little social justice issue on the fringes, that scares their potential voters. It has effectively just turned out to be the ‘balance of power’ issue, yet again.

    Prohibition is about controlling people, so they are dumbed down, alienated and mistrusting of the system, and fodder to the system. The greens have not been hurt by their cannabis stance, as DR thinks. They have hurt themselves by not advocating cannabis reform strongly or HOLISTICALLY.

    eg Polar ice is on a runaway ice melt, and rod donald is concerned about ‘the approach of peak oil’. Fair enough. However the most land efficient source of bio fuel is hemp-celluose. but we cant grow hemp because it’s cannabis. Does Rod make the connection? (ever). NO. do the green party even mention biofuel much, or actually get it happening on an introductory level in NZ using their resources and influence? apparently NO.

    oh well lets just burn up fossil fuel en mass for another 20 years until new technology comes on line…

    anohter example: the govt brings in 1000 extra police to help get on top of the criminality situation in NZ. Do the greens make a press statement suggesting it would be far wiser to fix the enormous anomalies with law and order created by prohibition of the widespread and humble herb. (ever?) NO.

    Nandor was oringially listed in his green party profile as a ‘social ecologist’ -it is a pity that concept was never developed in those 6 years of lost opportunity…

    when the greens start to add up that the community and the environment are the two sides of the same coin, then they might shift cannabis reform markedly up their list of priorities. When that happens they might be nearly as green as the ALCP!

    cheers

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  26. Weedeater – Potshots

    Do you really think you are going to get over the 5% MMP threshold on your single issue? Given the demographics and demonization going on in the center, could you get over 3%? You knew damned well when you entered the ballot box that there was no chance in hell of this happening… even if Nandor had gone over to you a year ago. This point is VERY clear. As an American who watched Nader and the US Greens put DUBYA in office by voting conscience instead of intelligence, I have no beef with your cause, I agree with it, but your methods are purely and outstandingly stupid.

    What did the Greens accomplish by running Nader? What did YOU accomplish? It not always possible to do the RIGHT thing in politics, you have to do the POSSIBLE thing that most closely approximates the goal you have in mind. ” Politics is the art of the possible”. To do as you did fails twice. You failed to do what you attempted and you failed to attempt what you could do.

    When you have the registered numbers to get 5% of the votes you basically can enter the dance. If we get 123MMP into place then the problem disappears but in a FPP or 5% MMP environment all you do, and all that the US Greens did with Nader, is throw away votes that the progressive side of the aisle desperately needs to be counted. Your votes. Pissed away.

    You want to make a statement? Take out an ad, put up a billboard, organise a protest march, but the ballot box is no place for ideological statements, it is where you exercise your intelligence to defeat your worst enemies.

    Moreover, if we’d pushed “Cannabis Reform” any harder there wouldn’t be ANY Greens in parliament, and Brash would very likely be the Prime Minister. What part of this is desireable? Oh yeah… making a statement and taking a stand… and being “as green as the ALCP”. If it takes away our power to influence the political outcome entirely, as it very clearly would, I don’t want to be “as green as the ALCP”.

    I have no patience with people who are smart enough to know better but too far gone ideologically to actually think past their need to defend their mistake. Greens in the USA said “There’s no difference between the Democrats and Republicans” and we lost 4 Jetliners, 2 World Trade Centers, 2000 dead soldiers 15000 wounded, the budget surplus, most of our friends, Osama Bin Laden and the City of New Orleans.

    I don’t think it is worth that much to make a “statement”.

    I don’t think we did badly in this election…. we survived and we kept National out. Tactical voting and some VERY savvy Greens managed to keep the left alive. You on the other hand, accomplished nothing at all that you wished and something that delights National and ACT.

    Next time you might want to actually THINK before voting.

    BJ

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  27. despite my frustrations with the greens party’s unwillingness to front foot drug policy, i voted green and if you read potshots properly, bjchip you would see potshots voted green too, despite his reservations.

    I say again, cannabis has not harmed the greens, the partys failure to consistently advocate cannabis reform strongly and holistically has, and I really hope Meteria can help bring the issue back to the fore where it belongs.

    Vision is required here, and the greens need to imagine NZ with decriminalisaed r18 cannabis and appreciate that we will have a considerably healthier and greener environment, where people arent quite so divided and cynical and alienated, and solutions to the many green concerns will begin to fall into place.

    for one thing we will have raised the consciousness (and i’m not just talking about getting stoned). we will have got NZ out of the DARK AGES

    i am glad the alcp stood becaue they stand for the vision of INSTANT PROGRESS i just tried to articulate. If they had not put a list foward, the green party’s instant fine proposal for cannabis would have been the top bid in the political mix, and instant fines is a weak, unfair and non-evidencebased proposal. Hardly a paradigm shift…

    National and ACT can laugh all they want, but they are the biggest creeps of all when it comes to their policy principles. Freedom, individual responsibility, property rights, less government, free market — where does prohibition fit into that?

    -regards, weedeater

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