Brothers and Sisters – the Left are never going to get it this good – why you must vote this election



The righteous cynicism many voters feel is matched by an intellectual existential Russel Brand mantra that legitimises apathy. Those are difficult arguments to overcome when so many political examples jade us election after election.

That’s why I think the possibility of a Labour-Green-Internet MANA majority should thrill any genuine progressive throughout NZ and call on  their involvement.

What I think many  still fail to grasp about MMP is that it’s one of the most representative democratic systems in the world and that every vote counts, and in this election there is the real possibility that the most progressive Government this country has ever seen may be the result and with that kind of majority comes the real ability to implement policy that is socially just and environmental.

Cynicism shouldn’t cloud our judgement, it should sharpen it.

TDB Recommends

A Labour-Green-Internet MANA majority is a genuinely exciting prospect, and one that progressives would be foolish to ignore if they really want to see the back of John Key.

We don’t want to just replace a Government, we want to change it.

TDB will publish a Strategic Progressive Voter Guide that will advise electorate by electorate the candidates to vote for if you want a progressive majority.

With David Cunliffe as leader and Matt McCarten as Chief-of-Staff alongside Russell, Metiria, Hone & Laila, the political left have never had a leadership line up that inspirational before.



  1. Agreed Martyn.
    The big question now, is how we get your message out to a much wider audience.
    Sadly I fear, the (Right wing controlled) MSM will do all in it’s considerable power to prevent this message from getting to the people who need to hear it.
    Here’s hoping I’m wrong and more ‘working class’ people do read this article.

    • I share your concerns Kevin, but have been completely overwhelmed by the incredible work and positive ideas of a huge number of individuals and groups who are committed to changing the government – and working together to do so! We must promote this on all levels – through social media, through non-partisan organisations getting out the vote, through youth wings, through blogs, through unions, through the mainstream media whenever possible (Laila’s kicking arse on that at the moment) and definitely through the parties, some of whom *cough Labour cough* are still yet to realise the potential of MMP to bring us together and form a future that WE want, for EVERYONE 🙂

  2. Wish I could have your optimism Martyn, really do. It’d be nice if all the activists could just relax after the election, ‘cos ‘Left-wing government supreme’ is going to make everything awesome.

    I hope you’re right, and I’m just massively cynical here.

    Then again, doesn’t change much. We all still need to campaign, get out the vote, make sure National get out, I just want to be realistic about what the change will be so we can continue to campaign for better society after the election.

    But maybe you’re right, and I won’t need to 🙂

  3. Excellent Bradbury!

    I think there is an incredibly low awareness in NZ – whether people are educated or not – of the difference between MMP and the First Past the Post system (FPP – the one we used to have prior to MMP). There seems to be a lack of awareness that the more accurate representation that MMP provides, leads to far greater probability of real improvement, both in how we are governed and in our system overall.

    Both America and Britain have FPP and yet there are plenty of people here in NZ who draw conclusions about our political system based directly and uncritically on information and experiences coming out of America and Britain – despite these two countries having very compromised democracies – not least of which is due to the FPP systems they both pursue.

  4. The anarchist critique of democracy is well founded. (Bookchin, Rockek, Goldman) And I believe as an anarchist we have the upper hand on the state. The socialist experiments of the 20th Century have failed. Oh you can point to this or that as a great achievement, but the reality is – a Bismark type of socialism is the best you can hope for, and at worst the state will drop the nice face and brutalise the lot of you.

    When will you grow up? When will you see this is not a democracy, that this is a lie. When will you realise every time you participate you legitimatise a a destructive structure that works only for the small majority.

    We anarchists live in hope of a intelligent population who will throw off their masters. Throw away the chains – cast aside the irrationality and make people free. But that won’t happen when people worship at the well of power. When big chunks of society play the game of thrones. When people hold onto the miss guided belief that the political elites will do anything for them.

    Vote if you must – but if this is your game your no different from the right. If you stop at election day – your no better that the right, and if you don’t put the fear of us – the people – into so called progressive leaders – it will be the same crap as always, just a different package.

    • Adam, an admirable statement yet there is no link between your goals and what we are stuck with today.

      The anti-capitalist minority cannot jump over the majority who believe capitalism can still be reformed in the face of global economic crisis and climate collapse.

      How do we get from here to a stateless society of freely associating individuals?

      MMP is the best system to represent and hold accountable and therefore expose those who believe capitalism can be reformed.

      We cannot throw away this ‘undemocracy’ because it is a necessary stepping stone to the desired ‘democracy’ over the horizon.

      The favourite trick of social democracy is to blame the ‘right’ in any coalition, or the right inside its own party, for betraying its working class constituency.

      This is what leads to the cynicism and dropping out which can make people abstain or worse turn to the right in desperation.

      MMP has the advantage of every party declaring its policies and limiting its ‘agreement’ in any coalition to Confidence and Supply i.e. removing and keeping the ‘right’ from power.

      Voters can then see which party is pushing to make the capitalists pay for their crisis, and which is still trying to con workers into paying. That way the left gains credibility in parliament and builds mass support outside.

      It is only the right in Labour that gains from a refusal to do this as it thinks that this would limit Labour’s vote and weaken the right against the left and the Greens and IMP.

      It is up to the left inside Labour to force it to declare now its willingness to go into a Confidence and Supply agreement with the Greens. IMP has also to commit to this.

      A left-centre coalition government with its members bound by Confidence and Supply only will get the alienated voters off their seats and sharpening their shovels.

      • “The anti-capitalist minority cannot jump over the majority who believe capitalism can still be reformed in the face of global economic crisis and climate collapse”

        And that’s the rib is it not, the kernel if you will. The belief in reform – the ability to change the nasty system to work for people. And the second part of your sentence is the crisis we are all about to face once we pull our heads from the sand.

        I can’t for the life of me see how people can know that the economic system is on the verge of totalitarianism or collapse, driven by no short measure the coming fundamental changes to our environment. And they hold onto reform? Reform which should have begun 40 odd years ago at best. But no, reform gets side tracked, pragmatic, and those doing the reform start to loss their way.

        There is a coming crisis humanity has no memory of facing – and how will we face it? I hope, not like we always have done – following the most charismatic to our doom.

        My goals are simple David sorry if I was not clear.

        Goal one: A elite which is in fear of working people. – Especially the liberal elite. They should live in utter fear, otherwise they will roll.

        Goal two: The ability for some to retreat, for the spaces to stay open for those who don’t want to be part of the state.

        Goal three: Simply for the social democrat’s to realise they have failed in the last 100 years – they reform and it gets counter reformed. We are little better than a Germany under Bismark.

        • Adam, a minicritique,

          Goal one. You imply that if the elite does not live in fear of workers (and change, what, reform?!) they will roll.

          My view. The elite is a capitalist class. They fear revolution which is why they do everything they can to stop it. Only the working class can act to roll them and stop economic and climate destruction.

          Goal two: Some can retreat from politics and hide from the state.

          My view: There is no retreat because the global surveillance state will come and get your rhubarb. And take your water. And poison or burn you to death.

          Goal three: The social democrats have to wake up that capitalism cannot be reformed.

          My view: They won’t. They get paid to keep the system going. Its only by proving this in practice that the working people will organise without them to end capitalism. Parliament is one arena of such struggle.

          solidarity, dave.

    • Adam is on the money. You’re dreaming if you think a new govt is gunna save us. The purpose of the state is to defend the interests of capital – ensure a compliant working class , prevent individual capitalists acting in a manner that jeopardises the system etc.

      Its quite possible all the Left politicians have the best interests of the toiling masses at heart, unfortunately this doesnt change the fact that all they can do is attempt to administer a slave system in a nicer gentler way (usually via intervention, transfer payments etc), which might take the edge off in the short term. The tendency for the rate of profit to fall dictates that the available surplus value to do this nice stuff falls over time. In short FUCK CRAWLING ON OUR BELLIES TO THE MASTERS TABLE. FUCK VOTING.


        What does that mean J? How is not voting disengaging you from our system – capitalism? Not voting is an individualistic act that has as much chance of turning over capitalism, as recycling does of saving the planet.
        With people not voting National and Labour will continue to play good cop – bad cop.

        At the most you will be able to talk about 20% of the nation into not voting as a political statement…care to explain how that will create change?

        • I think the argument is that if you vote AT ALL, you are implicitly endorsing a system you feel no longer represents you (i.e. modern democracy). So not voting doesn’t necessarily mean that you “don’t care” – indeed you could argue the opposite. e.g. a vote for “the lesser of two (or five) evils” is still you supporting evil. Some people simply refuse to play the game altogether. I think that’s fair enough and their right.

        • How is not voting disengaging you from our system – capitalism?
          – What do you mean by disengage, and how did i imply this is my goal?

          With people not voting National and Labour will continue to play good cop – bad cop.
          – I would think that voting would encourage this more than not?

          At the most you will be able to talk about 20% of the nation into not voting as a political statement…care to explain how that will create change?
          – My point is that voting is specifically designed to prevent change. Left, Right – two sides of the same coin. By posing our options as this or that party acts to prevent the working class from self organisation.

          • I mean disengaging as in not being engaged. I guessed that to be your goal because that was my best guess – I have no idea of the logic behind your claims

            “With people not voting National and Labour will continue to play good cop – bad cop. – I would think that voting would encourage this more than not?”

            No, we have plenty of options to choose from, we need the non-voters to vote for anyone other than labour and national. No voting means lab and nats maintain their high percentage

            I get that voting is almost powerless, but you have yet to explain how not voting gives you more power. In the USA your position becomes more reasonable, but in NZ that is silly. To believe that you’d have to think MANA and ACT are the same – or two sides of the same coin, as you’ve stated.

            Russel Brand makes me want to vomit

            • My goal is to not spend my life making a parasitic, worthless capitalist rich (not going well so far). Voting in no way furthers this end. Not voting doesnt give me any power, im not proposing not voting as some revolutionary tool, just that voting is a complete waste of time.

              The below is a quote dump but makes the point clearer than I can;

              “When looking at this question it is important to understand why states exist and what their role in society is and always has been. States arose when inequality between people in terms of class started to emerge in society: an elite needed an instrument of coercion to maintain and entrench their rule and states were that instrument. States have, therefore, always been controlled by, and have been instruments of, a privileged minority class. Consequently, all states have always enforced the rule of a minority privileged class. As part of this states have always protected a minority ruling class’s power, privilege and wealth from the majority and have enabled the exploitation and domination of the majority by a minority. To do so, all states in history have been top-down and centralised organs structured so that only a few can govern: the majority of people were and are deliberately excluded from decision-making under a state system.

              The state is an instrument of oppression”

              This is my position and in light of that yes Mana and Act are identical.

  5. Nice one Mr Bradbury. I’ve been waiting to see who would be the first out of the gate with some sort of sensible strategic voting recommendations – it looks like the “Strategic Progressive Voter Guide” could be just “da bomb” 😉

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