Green Peak – the 5.1% strategy for 2017

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The Green Peak Flag symbolises the Green Party nestled into the crisp white suburbs of Wellington. 

The Greens have always been frustrated by Labour in terms of gaining real power and real policy implementation, and with NZ First always needed to gain 51%, the Greens have been beholden to Labour to get crumbs.

Not anymore. The new breed of Wellington elites who run the Greens now want power and they want it in 2017.

The Greens shanking of Labour over Red Peak means the threat to work with National is no longer just talk, it’s real. This means Labour and NZ First can’t just take Green support for granted as Shaw is more than capable of cutting a deal with Key. This robs NZ First of their king maker position especially as they vehemently oppose a flag change and because they will be targeting National’s provincial vote, that will make relations between NZ First and National fragile.

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The idea of the Greens really working with National will of course send shockwaves through the membership. You can read on social media the fury many Green voters already feel at what they see as a massive betrayal by giving Key support for his pointless flag referendum, but that’s not worrying Shaw or the Capital Clique who now firmly run the Greens. Shaw can see a drop in the Green vote down to 5.1% if need be, as long as he has enough numbers to make 51% with National or with Labour+NZ First. His ability to force policy concessions out of National or Labour+NZ First gives the Greens more chance of power in 2017 than merely waiting for the pittance Labour+NZ First are willing to give them.

Yes, the convoluted sacred rules governing how the Greens make decisions based on the phase of the moon state that Shaw can’t just go cutting deals with Key willy nilly, but if Shaw can get more out of Key than Little and Winston are prepared to give him, he’ll get the membership to sign off. He managed to let Farmers off the hook with policy change that won’t see them forced to do anything meaningful on climate change for 5 years, so he can get members to agree to a Ministerial position in the next Government.

Left wing members of the Greens will of course find such a possibility of working with National as disgraceful, and will resign in droves. Some of that vote will return to Labour, some of it will join the missing million voters who finally become disillusioned with politics. That won’t worry the Greens as they will hope to pick up some Party vote from National voters who see a real chance of Key and Shaw working together, even if that doesn’t eventuate, Shaw can risk dropping to 5.1% as long as that 5.1% is needed by National or Labour+NZ First to make 51%.

I’d feel angry about all of this, but I’m so personally disillusioned with politics in NZ that I can barely manage a ‘meh’. A plague on all their flags. In this one move, the Greens are making me consider doing something I haven’t done in about a decade, and that’s vote Labour, and currently Labour are making me not want to vote at all!

Meanwhile 305 000 children are hungry, climate change continues to threaten our future, the Government are almost ready to sign the TPPA, workers rights continue to get trampled, the minimum wage isn’t  living wage, social services continue to be privatised and housing affordability is beyond the means of the majority, but we got a neat flag design eh?

 

32 COMMENTS

  1. I think it is a VERY dangerous strategy.

    Rather than taking the Nats votes it will more likely result in Green voters not voting.

    Greens would be better to do a deal with NZ First – they have more in common than the Natz on policy.

    Look at other Natz partners, ACT, Maori and DUNN – they have lost votes and are just a joke – and the Natz run the show and get a free run to destroy our country and society.

    • I think people want real change in the next election. Nat Lite and Green washing is onto going to do it.

      It might fuck up the election again, by having low voter turn out, dividing voters between opposition groups and the Natz jack booting in, again.

    • could even end up with two green parties, the real greens and the bluish greens, both getting 4% of the vote and being left right out of parliament, meanwhile panda john storms home with a massive 45% majority in the house.

      • The only other reason I can think is that Greens want to ‘send a message’ to Labour. Start behaving like a real partner. (Might be wishful thinking with the amount of effort just controlling internal Labour seems to be).

        Anyway the opposition all need to grow up. Start concentrating on REAL things and stop enabling the Natz to fill the headlines with Pandas and Flags.

        • Maybe the greens can tell us why they did it,do they want to stop Keys favourites or are they angling for a seat at the table like maori party .
          All we have to do is not vote for any flag ,red peak dosnt suggest anything kiwi to me.
          I will vote only for the old flag,if everyone did that Key will be shut up.

  2. Key and the Natzis will do anything to stay in power, the Greens need to be wary and Labour need to wake up and realise the only way they will get into power is with the Greens and NZF. Also they need to motivate the idle 1.0 million voters who could not be bothered voting.

    I honestly don’t think I could cope with another three years of American Idol John Key?

  3. I’d love to see an analysis of HOW exactly James Shaw could manipulate the GP into joining a National government.

    Let’s leave aside the fact that Shaw is on record multiple times as saying he personally doesn’t want the GP to consider being in a National government and instead wants the GP to position itself as a left-wing coalition government partner in waiting (follow the links in the rules link in the post above for details).

    Instead, could someone please explain the process by which Shaw could override the party, other MPs, the rules and the membership to get the GP into coalition with National in 2017?

    • Good to see you again Weka,

      We used to chat on TS last year till I got booted out Godwin talking about 1933 Germany for some reason.

      Yes you are right every Green Party around the globe hasn’t yet signed up to a “partnership” with a “royal right winger” as this Planet key mob are now.

      But James Shaw may be a corporate plant to hijack the green Party which looks more likely now doesn’t it?

    • I’m with you Weka. I see a lot of speculation about how this flag thing means the Greens are moving rightward but no actual proof so far.

      What I have seen is that James Shaw was very scathing about National playing politics by trying to pretend that Labour support was necessary – and he’s then gone on and said, lets just make sure the right thing is done and red peak gets included.

      James Shaw said when he entered parliament that he wanted to avoid blind partisinship and would be prepared to work with anyone if it meant the right thing happened.

      Given the perilous state of the planet we all applauded this sensible attitude, but now that we see this attitude being put into practice, a lot of people don’t seem to recognise it anymore. I mean this is about something as unimportant as the flag referendum (compared to climate change for instance) and we’ve got all these conspiracy theories appearing.

      I could be wrong about this but I’d like people to at least consider the possibility that this is just a sincere attempt to do the right thing.

    • Weka

      Shaw has stated repeatedly that he intends to increase the membership of the GP:

      Shaw’s words, just after his election two weeks ago, were: “I want to double the membership of our party this year and then double it again next year.”

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/opinion/69338078/James-Shaw-sets-a-high-hurdle-but-could-it-be-his-downfall

      Let’s assume that he is serious in this and not just posturing for the media. Those who will be newly enrolled in the party will have the same voting rights as those who have been there for decades. If those who disagree with the GP’s actions under Shaw’s stewardship choose to withdraw their support, then less of Shaw’s minions are needed to gain control.

      The turnout at Dunedin GP meetings that I’ve been to (not for a year now) were usually attended by the same dozen people – rarely more than ten at a time. The one occasion that I recall more was when the list rankings were being set when there was more than 20. From what I’ve heard, other areas are similar with a theoretical setting of policy by the membership at large, but the same faces being delegates at national meetings. If I was so inclined, I could probably get 20 people together and have them replace Turei with myself as electorate candidate for DN at a total cost of $300 in membership fees (there would have been less than that present in the November 2014 meeting when we selected her unopposed).

      If there are currently 6000 GP members (as the stuff article claims), and a third of them fail to renew due to dissatisfaction, then only 4000 new members would be needed to “double” the membership (really only increase by a third but Shaw is slippery with numbers). It is certainly not impossible for a determined operator to seize control of the GP membership, to validate (through delegates) any policy position or coalition preference required.

      I’m less convinced than Bradbury that this is indeed what is happening. For one thing, Shaw’s influence is largely localised to Wellington and it would take a nationwide plan to enact such a takeover. I think the Red Peak move was more to do with political opportunism, and possibly ingratiation with a potential donor (Xero/ Drury). However, that doesn’t mean that it can’t occur. Participating in the tedium of party process is the only way to ensure that it doesn’t happen unopposed.

      • “I think the Red Peak move was more to do with political opportunism, and possibly ingratiation with a potential donor (Xero/ Drury)”

        This in itself is disgraceful !

        There needs to be another alternative Green Party ( whose know who the opposition is) ….maybe joined with Mana/Int..or NZF..or Labour ..so that real Greenies have an alternative to vote for

        ….the present Green Party leadership is lackluster in performance( railways ), is worse than useless ( Turiei’s accusation of “crude racial profiling” against Labour) and has lost its moral and intellectual compass

        …it is win at all costs and expediency…and its analysis of the crucial issues facing New Zealand is pathetic ( Winston Peters has a far better handle)

        …it is ripe for takeover by the corporates and jonkey’s mates …if this hasnt happened already

        Ironically the person who was pushing me gently to join the Greens …a person who spends his whole life working at the grassroots in his community with Maori and other locals including a wealthy farmer on environmental and social welfare issues …is now thinking of voting NZF

        • As Parsupial said on ‘The Standard’:

          “the Red Peak flag was created by a Xero product design director (Dustin), has had its online campaign coordinated by another Xero associate (Simpson), and was included in the top 40 while the Xero CEO (Drury) was one of the dozen on the selection panel; perhaps we should ask how has the Greens relationship with that company changed recently?

          Two years ago:

          Norman issued a media release yesterday questioning whether Palantir, a firm co-founded by wealthy US technology investor and Xero shareholder Peter Thiel, had been hired by the Government to spy on New Zealanders…”

          Conclusion: Red Peak flag supporters are either naive or superficial or right wingers or stupid? …not worthy of a vote anyways…no wonder jonkey is laughing

          …and Labour who wanted the option of retaining the existing flag on the first ballot is seething

          ….because James Shaw who supports the Red Peak flag helpfully let jonkey off Andrew Little’s hook ( a hook which a was for democracy for New Zealanders and the saving of a huge amount of money on the second ballot)

          • This is how utterly superficial the Red Peak choice is for a New Zealand flag…it is Farcical …it makes a MOCKERY of New Zealand ….and IRONICALLY Red Peak is a copy of a security firm logo

            …Red Peak was designed and PROMOTED and judged by a company that has as a shareholder Peter Thiel ! ( see above) With red Peak we are being played …and the Greens are either stupid or part of this trickster collusion

            RED PEAK the logo for Active Security Group

            http://www.activesecuritygroup.co.uk/

            “PROVIDING HOME, RETAIL AND COMMERCIAL ELECTRONIC SECURITY SYSTEMS SINCE 1998”

            • What a complete fubar this is Chooky, it an insult to New Zealand
              The Greens must have known that red peak was already a business logo, makes no sense at all
              Kof

  4. Whether this was a mistake or not by the Greens, they still have been pushing this government to deal with climate change, inequality in all areas, environmental issues much more than Labour has dreamed of. Labour votes much more closely with National than the Greens and parliamentary stats show this.
    The Greens are not doing anything they have never done over the flag. They will work with anyone to get their core charter values achieved, even if it is a small step. To them National and Labour are both way to the right of them in many ways and so in the end netierh of them is better than the other. If the Clark government had been truly progressive and socially conscious and made genuine steps to curve climate change and help the environment then the Greens would have no reason to exist.
    I suggest looking at the bigger picture of this instead of treating this as yet another opportunity to attack the Greens, especially James Shaw at any givern chance and reinforce a faulty, unsubstanted and biased sense of expectation that often appears in your writing Martin. There is no way in hell that the Greens would go into coalition with National – you only have to look at the MP speeches, their polices and what they stand for, and their members want. Labour has always and continues to vote much closer with National than the Greens ever would. If the Greens joined at the hip with National it would implode as a party. Simple as that.
    This flag business will blow over re- the Greens. Just focussing on this all the time otherwise reduces the chance we have a Labour-led government and how these parties actually work really well together usually.
    There is a blog on No Right Turn that is more accurate about this this week. Labour and others need to accept that the Greens and Labour will not always agree on things. If Labour can’t accept this then it is not ready to govern. We progressives need to grow up and learn to work with different positions.

  5. The crazy thing is we now have all of our Parliamentary politicians attempting to take up position in the ‘middle’ or to the right. Even with wall-to-wall right wing propaganda, in any society there should be at least 5% of the population who want a genuine left alternative that offers a libertarian socialism. The only movement offering that is Mana, who are now deemed to be a finished force in most peoples reasoning. Surely there are now enough disillusioned Green voters to elect a genuine left wing party to government.???

    • Yes ray I suspect you are right there as many greens we have spoken to are disenchanted with the Green Party now as they see they are changing sides and not really committed to any real policies’ on the environment or even Rail as they re keen to turn the rail corridors into cycle ways so trucks can rule the roads.

      They have gone a bit loopy too like National. A good fit possibly for each other.

      So NZ First is the new Environmentally policy plank and caring for all Party we see and may capture new votes in future now.

  6. Martyn, that really was a reactionary vomit of a post. I completely agree with you that Gareth’s effective backing of the flag process was misguided however your extrapolation of this to project it as ongoing backing of National is misguided. Your last paragraph details where the Green policy is really focussed. The Greens are the real alternative and like you I hope they will work with NZF and the non neo-liberal elements in labour to effect change in 2017. It is the only real hope we have. Politics in NZ is in disarray but there is hope and we must remain positive, be aware that many within the Greens have been quite upset with Gareth’s actions. Let’s focus on the immediate clear and present danger, the potential imminent signing of the TPPA. Overall your values and concerns are more aligned with the Greens than any other viable party so please get a grip and work together.

  7. Completely delusional, Martyn. Shaw’s promise to his party was to increase membership and votes at the next election as a means of gaining more influence in the next govt. He also clearly rejected coalition with National, as he had too, because that is what the large majority of the party want and were not going to elect a leader who thought otherwise, as Vernon Tava’s candidacy allowed them to make all too clear. You now claim in effect that he was lying about both, yet think party members, who decide on any coalition after the election, will just go along with his supposed deceit. You’re really starting to sound like Bryce Edwards before he had to moderate his conspiracy theories to get a job at the Herald.

  8. If three years ago Labour had embraced Norman’s offer work together they wouldn’t now be facing the spectre of possible National Green coalition.

    So this is predictable outcome of another fail by Labour.

    • I don’t believe a National/Green coalition is going to happen, but the admonition of Labour still holds. One can only hope that Labour aren’t making the same mistake again as we speak. Not holding my breath though and without a clearly articulated alternative govt programme to campaign on, there’s a much greater than even chance that the Nats will get a fourth term.

  9. Tick Tock Tick Tock,

    TPPA TPPA TPPA TPPA folks.

    Is James Shaw putting up this deflection to take our eye off where is he or Shonkey today please?

  10. Absolutely dead right Martyn. I totally agree with what you have said in your blog this time. I wondered how long until we saw a reaction to Keith Rankin’s shocker of a blog (this is TDB isn’t it?)…

  11. Did the Greens “shank” Labour or did Little just make a fool of himself?

    Labour needs to learn to pick its battles. Grandstanding over every single issue is not the way forward.

  12. Labour and the Greens really need to get their S*** together if they want to be the Government at the next election.

    • Re James Shaw being like John Key. Probably this is a little unfair, but just my experience at the time. I went to a Wellington Central candidates meeting and say James sitting on the stage. I thought he must be the Act candidate. BTW didn’ come close to speaking as well as Robertson. Still I guess Robertson has more experience.

  13. Martyn, you are totally wrong in thinking that NZ First will have nowhere to go if Greens make deals with the Nats. Assuming that the Greens are serious about such a deal, there would be no point in NZ First staying on the Left with Labour because without the Greens that combination cannot win an election, so much of the electorate would simply dump the Greens to minimise the damage.
    Also some Green members would switch to NZ First since nothing better is on offer. The result could then be that if the combined Nats and NZ First vote exceeds 51%, Key would chose that option even if a Nats/Green combination were higher. I think that would finish the Greens as a political force.
    Such a Nats/Green merger is so fraught with danger that I cant believe that the Greens would seriously do that. I think that this issue has blown up in the face of the Greens. The deal with Nats (over a trivial side show on the Referendum) was never intended to generate so much media speculation. It was seen as simply allowing the Flag debate to move on.
    The media has chosen, maliciously, to exaggerate the implications because they believe (rightly) that this issue has the potential to damage the Greens, who have just got their fingers burnt.

  14. +100…”The new breed of Wellington elites who run the Greens now want power and they want it in 2017.

    The Greens shanking of Labour over Red Peak means the threat to work with National is no longer just talk, it’s real.”

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