There are 3 most likely possible outcomes with the Specials.
Labour gets an extra MP.
Labour and the Greens get an extra MP each.
Labour, the Greens AND the Māori Party all get an extra MP.
MMP, you gotta love it.
While I hope for the 3rd one, the most likely would be Greens + Labour picking up an extra MP each and that would see the very excellent Steve Able, formally from Greenpeace joining a new influx of Activist Green MPs who want transformative change NOW.
This radical chapter will want to throw the crumbs Labour are offering to buy Green acquiescence for the next 3 years back in Labour’s face and righteously storm out to join the Opposition and mercilessly savage Labours unprotected left flank until 2023 when the demographic changes favour the Greens plus the Māori Party more than they do Labour.
The Green Leadership however will justify any crumbs as great successes and better to be in the tent blah blah blah. Normally this kind of watered down Green lime reasoning would be fine and dandy, but the fucking planet is melting and this pandemic is but the first wave of disruption from a biosphere in savage decline.
There can be no more waiting.
You can’t replace Winston as the handbrake from the last term with the entire landlord class of NZ and call that progress.
So there is an immediate friction inside the Greens between the Leadership and the new class of activist MPs alongside the sudden power of Chloe by winning an electorate.
The Leadership look focused on how to get the baubles of Office that Jacinda will offer them past the wider membership by tweaking the consensus threshold to 75%…
The group, called Tatau Pounamu, a Negotiation Consultation Group, has also settled on its terms of reference, giving a guideline for how it will settle on a final decision on what the Green Party’s relationship with Labour in Government will look like.
Tatau Pounamu’s terms of reference proposes a consensus be sought, and, if that fails, then a 75 percent vote of the Tatau Pounamu group in favour will be required “to carry a proposal that alters the status quo”.
…most Green members will be under the impression that they will all vote on this deal when in reality it’s their ‘representatives’ who will…
The terms of Tatau Pounamu agreement state: “All decisions concerning the negotiations, including what agreement, if any, would be taken to a Special General Meeting (SGM) will be taken by the combined membership of Tatau Pounamu.”
“Decisions will be reached by consensus. When this is not possible it will be by vote, with at least 75% of votes in favour to carry a proposal that alters the status quo.”
“Only members of Tatau Pounamu selected by the three-petal approval processes are involved in decision-making.”
…so what baubles would be on the table from Labour?
James Shaw Climate Change Minister outside Cabinet
Chloe Swarbrick – associate Minister of Youth Affairs outside Cabinet
No policy promises at all.
Labour would see letting someone as mild as James stay in the job a safe bet and the symbolism of a Green MP in the role inoculates them from doing anything. They would also see rewarding Chloe as a smart way of avoiding a real and popular critic from saying anything to damage them. They won’t bend on any policy.
This deal would be an embarrassment and walking away into Opposition would be far preferable and would achieve more.
So what baubles could be offered to make it worthwhile?
James Shaw Climate Change Minister inside Cabinet
Chloe Swarbrick – Minister of Youth Affairs inside Cabinet
Doubling of welfare.
A new tax (Financial Transaction Tax).
A Public Ministry of Works that directly builds State Houses and affordable homes.
Free Public Transport.
Lowering voting age to 16.
Immediate inclusion of Agriculture into emissions standards.
An economic wide drive towards ‘sustainable resilience’.
Free mental health counselling for all.
Now THAT policy platform would be worth supporting Labour for, but empty gestures would not be.
My suspicion is that the Leadership are gerrymandering the process to gain an agreement for some very low hanging fruit.
Labour want that because James and Marama are far easier to negotiate with than Chloe will be.
The membership will be up in arms if the baubles are so hollow and will be in furious surprise that they supposedly agreed to it once they see the fine print of what that actually means.
If the Green Leadership mistake their better than expected result as evidence that their middle class identity politics virtue signalling alongside incremental environmental gains was a success, then they are doomed.
The Greens better than expected result was driven by Labour Left voters seeing the pittance Jacinda was offering and backing the Greens to get some actual change, those Labour Left voters looked past the Green cringe of the last 3 years to do that, they weren’t attracted to incrementalism or woke nonsense.
I don’t think we won’t get a transformative Green option until Chloe is the leader.
New Zealander’s voted Green for them to be radical. So be radical!
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