The launch was a clumsy flop, but the strategy behind using MMP to beat the National Party in 2017 is actually not only possible but likely.
The real gain Labour and the Greens want out of this MoU (which is just such an unimaginative name – it should have been called ‘The People’s Revolutionary Grand Alliance’), is the change in perception by the idiot media who still can’t, after 20 years, comprehends how MMP politics works.
The sleepy hobbits of Muddle Nu Zilind don’t understand how close the election actually is. If they start seeing the Labour-Green block reported as a total each month when the polls roll out, they will start seeing National at 40 something and Lab-Green combined also at 40 something.
The real problems for the Opposition are created and projected by the way the mainstream media reports politics and if voters are constantly told Labour is languishing in the low 30s while National are in the high 40s, the perception is National are untouchable.
This change in reporting will have a big impact in reminding voters how close the election really is.
Apart from perception changes however, the real power in using MMP tactically will come if Labour and the Greens can agree to common positions on strategic electorates.
Ōhāriu allows Peter Dunne a seat in Parliament and gives National an ally. Dunno won 13,569 votes in 2014, Virginia Andersen from Labour took 12,859. The Green candidate, Tane Woodley took 2,764. If the Green Candidate stood aside, Labour have a much more likely chance of beating Dunne.
Auckland Central is another electorate. Nikki Kaye won 12,494, Jacinda took 11,894 while Denise Roche got 2,080. If Denise stands aside, Jacinda finally wins Auckland Central back.
Waiariki could be the most fought for electorate. Labour and the Greens would want to reach out to Annette Sykes voters and attempt to wrestle away the electorate from the Maori Party which would take out Flavell AND Marama Fox. That’s 2 less votes for the Government.
If the Greens and Labour can put some ego aside and actually work together in those electorates, and others, then they have a chance to eliminate National Party support parties making it more difficult for National to get to a parliamentary majority.
Much has been made of NZ First disliking the Greens, but that’s misrepresenting the reality. Politics is all about personalities, and Winston despised Russel Norman for grilling him over the donations scandal that plagued NZ First in the last days of the Labour Government. Russel has gone, and so has much of that resentment. The new Green Party Chief of Staff, Deborah Morris, is a former NZ First Youth Minister and she spoke to Winston before she took that job.
The relationships behind the politics is what makes alliances, while the launch was a bit vacant, there is a way this changes a Government in 2017. They need a shared policy platform and an agreement on specific electorates.