Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: New Old Left?

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  • Raymond A Francis,

    Yes it would be interesting to have a true left wing party
    But it would surely need Hone to get it into Parliment, the electorate really isn't that left leaning,
    Mind you lets test that comment by putting it to the voters

    45' South • Since Nov 2006 • 577 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    That's all very well, but if it takes 1 or 2% off the Greens vote and the Greens don't make into Parliament because of that, it counts for me as a disaster, much as I'd pick Bradford and McCarten's politics over Turei and Norman's.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    David Farrar has headlined a post on the matter It's only official when it is denied,

    David Farrar shags farm animals. Come on, big boy, deny that.

    That's all very well, but if it takes 1 or 2% off the Greens vote and the Greens don't make into Parliament because of that, it counts for me as a disaster.

    Up to a point, but if the Greens don't hold their support (which seems fairly solid, with all the usual caveats around polling) they don't deserve to be in Parliament. Nobody does.

    For bonus points, you may feel free to also speculate on the prospect for a post-Act party of the angry right.

    We already have one, considering Winston Peters still has the Press Gallery inexplicably fawning over him.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Mikaere Curtis,

    When Eddie wrote:

    I’m putting a lot of credence in the rumours, because they’ve come at us from different sources and I think the party has a viable business case.

    I thought maybe it's just a twitter meme.

    If Sue and Matt do set up a party, it is possible that the Greens may lose party votes to it. Especially if Sue has a hand in the overall policy platform; there would likely be significant overlap with many Green policies.

    Also, some Green voters (and members) arrived in the aftermath of the Alliance implosion of 2002, so perhaps some would lend support to The Alliance 2.0.

    Of course, it could always end up as Residents Action Movement (RAM) 2.0.

    Tamaki Makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 528 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Up to a point, but if the Greens don't hold their support (which seems fairly solid, with all the usual caveats around polling) they don't deserve to be in Parliament. Nobody does.

    Apparently the party you're a member of thought that Act deserved to be in Parliament and made sure it would. So excuse me for maintaining a rather more pragmatic line. If the Left in New Zealand thinks it can support two parties to the left of Labour within the current electoral rules, it might find itself with none - which would be exactly what happened in the old country.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Mikaere Curtis,

    We already have one, considering Winston Peters still has the Press Gallery inexplicably fawning over him.

    There is an aspect to this which could be a Good Thing. It is quite clear that the Key Government have been spreading FUD about MMP, and that Key would like to move to Supplementary Member.

    Winston, with solid centre-right credentials, would make a good foil against this. He would have not truck with SM, and I would expect he would be able to make a strong argument in favour of MMP.

    Tamaki Makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 528 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    I rather think, though, that David Garrett has other things to worry about at the moment

    I'm not so sure.

    Section 76 of the Magistrates' Courts Act (of Tonga) seems pretty clear on this point. The conviction of a person in Garrett's position is stayed pending the disposition of an appeal. Garrett filed an appeal in time: it has yet to be heard, so he has no Tongan conviction.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3207 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Apparently the party you're a member of thought that Act deserved to be in Parliament and made sure it would.

    Want to go there, dearest? I was on the ground in Wellington Central when we saw our own candidate fucked over quite literally in the last moments of the campaign a few weeks before he went into coalition with someone he'd previously (and coreectly) damned as a racist.

    He "pragmatically" destroyed the National Party's support and organisation in Wellington Central because, oddly enough, a lot of people didn't take kindly to being treated like idiots. And I'd argue that National is still paying the price for Bolger's attempt to game the system but there's a fascinating case study in the perils of being too "strategically" clever for your own good.

    Oh, and I'd expect exactly the same to happen in Auckland if National doesn't put up a credible and serious candidate in Epsom next year.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Bryce Edwards,

    On the day that Matt McCarten announced his entry to the Mana by-election campaign, I blogged some analysis of whether this meant the ‘The launch of a New Left Party?’. See here: http://liberation.typepad.com/liberation/2010/10/matt-mccarten-for-mana-the-return-of-the-left.html

    Here’s an excerpt:

    “This has been his plan ever since the Alliance disintegrated. Building the Unite union has always been the first step in this larger project of resuscitating progressive politics in this country. McCarten has never wanted to just be a unionist for the sake of it, but has instead seen that building of the unite union as part of a larger vision for changing society. He knows very well that you can’t do this without an actual organized force at the political level. And for McCarten, neither the Labour and Green parties are capable of this; when push comes to shove, despite their posturing, both parties are not really particularly leftwing at all.”

    I’m currently writing an extensive blog post looking at the pros and cons of launching the New Left Party. I’d be interested in other people’s ideas (in the comments below or via email).

    I certainly agree with Russell’s analysis that there are some major contradictions in trying to involve socialists and Hone Harawira in the same political project. Of course this was one of the major problems in McCarten’s Alliance: trying to fold into one party some quite disparate ideologies and political interests.

    Dunedin • Since Oct 2007 • 8 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Want to go there, dearest?

    I'm happy to go there, your comment did nothing to invalidate my objection - the opposite, if anything.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Mikaere Curtis,

    I was on the ground in Wellington Central when we saw our own candidate fucked over quite literally in the last moments of the campaign a few weeks before he went into coalition with someone he'd previously (and coreectly) damned as a racist.

    Craig, would it be possible to elaborate on what took place? I was on my OE in 1996 (which is the election to which you refer?), so I have no idea what took place and why.

    Tamaki Makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 528 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    There are a number of people close to the Greens who would like to see Bradford start a proper social justice party. Their feeling is that the new Greens leadership don't give sufficient levels of anything resembling a damn about the socially disadvantaged, and that's borne out by things like Greens members supporting the anti-prostitution by-law proposed by the erstwhile Manukau City Council. There's also the whole other discussion about the pragmatist vs idealist approach that saw the CERRA supported by the "new" Green Party whereas the "old" Green Party would've voted against it as a matter of absolute principle.
    If Bradford and McCarten were to play the social justice line, and fill that gaping void in our political landscape, they'd probably have a lot of support. Maori sovereignty would fit within that ideological space, which is where Harawira would come in.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    I was on my OE in 1996 (which is the election to which you refer?), so I have no idea what took place and why.

    Then you should definitely check out Campaign the documentary about the 1996 Wellington Central election. It will answer all of your questions and happens to be really good.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Craig, would it be possible to elaborate on what took place?

    There was a relatively good film festival movie on it called campaign.

    Basically Bolger screwed over his candidate by not so subtley telling national voters to vote for Richard Prebble in Wellington Central to get ACT into parliament. Wasn't actually needed in the end as ACT crossed the 5% threshold, and it did no good for the internals of the National Party.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Maori sovereignty would fit within that ideological space, which is where Harawira would come in.

    I'm dubious that Harawira is a one issue person though. As well as believing in Maori Sovereignty, he believes in a bunch of other things which aren't particularly left wing. Like others I can't see him fitting into any sort of left wing party unless it looks incredibly different from what we normally consider to be left wing (and therefore count out McCarten and Bradford).

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Tim Hannah,

    Craig, would it be possible to elaborate on what took place?

    If I remember correctly, Mark Thomas (National candidate) failed to hold his support and hence didn't deserve to be in Parliament. Why his supporters would complain about an outsiders role in his defeat is beyond me.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 228 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    Bolger screwed over his candidate by not so subtley telling national voters to vote for Richard Prebble in Wellington Central to get ACT into parliament. Wasn't actually needed in the end as ACT crossed the 5% threshold...

    Would ACT have crossed the 5% threshold if this hadn't happened? Might not have some ACT voters voted National if they feared their votes would be wasted?

    The same thing probably happened with Winston and NZF at the last election. If people who really wanted to vote for NZF had all done so, it could well have gotten over 5%; but because people were worried they wouldn't make it in, they didn't vote for them, causing them not to make it. Winston has been calling for a ban on the publication of polls for a few years because of this.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3207 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Craig, would it be possible to elaborate on what took place? I was on my OE in 1996 (which is the election to which you refer?), so I have no idea what took place and why.

    Basically, Bolger used his last round of media interviews before the '96 election to say National supporters in Wellington Central should give their electorate vote to Richard Prebble in order guarantee ACT being in Parliament. Just to add insult to injury, even if Mark Thomas had won Wellington Central ACT neatly cleared the threshold with 6.1% of the party vote.

    Losing a hard close fight is one thing -- and on paper, Wellington Central was always going to be a seat we'd have to hustle hard to win. But being stabbed in the face by your own leader when you've been working your arse off is quite another. It not only played hell with the membership and fundraising in Wellington Central -- and I saw people walk away who'd been beating the streets since Dan Riddiford knocked off Frank Kitts in 1960 -- but (surprise!) alienated a lot of potential voters who didn't much like being treated like fools. Thanks for nothing, Jim.

    Would ACT have crossed the 5% threshold if this hadn't happened?

    Who knows, Graeme. How different would New Zealand politics be if Margaret Wilson had encouraged her supporters to cast their electorate vote for Katherine O'Reagan in 1999 and one in ten had complied? Peters and his squalid personality cult would have been erased from Parliament, and exceedingly unlikely to be heard from again. "If only" is the saddest phrase in the language...

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    +3 on that Tony Sutorius documentary. In which - bonus fact - the supremely unctuous Labour candidate Alick Shaw managed to make Prebble and Bolger look like the good guys. Quite an achievement, in the circumstances.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    Oh great, another Electorate Wanted (Lonely Hearts) ad. It seems the first thing pollies ask themselves is not "what do we stand for?" but "where can we stand?". Seat first, values follow.

    Those all-important life-giving Electorate Seats, under MMP:

    Coromandel - lost.
    Wellington Central - lost.
    Tauranga - lost.
    Ohariu-Belmont - MP still there, party lost.
    Wigram - MP still there, party lost.
    Epsom - MP still there, party disappearing.

    At this rate, by about 2020 voters in every seat in the country will have been manipulated one way or another, for the "greater good" - of National and Labour. The two major parties are getting the biggest share of the vote they've had in decades. Only the Greens buck the trend, not least because their fortunes, their very identity, don't rest on the fate of one MP.

    Keep MMP, change this single-seat rule. Please.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1330 posts Report Reply

  • anth,

    Keep MMP, change this single-seat rule.

    Keep MMP, get rid of the 5% threshold.

    Yeah, it'd have been easier for Winston Peters and Graham Capill to get in or stay in but they wouldn't have had much power unless they'd got enough votes to bring a few others in with them. The people in those electorates could choose the candidate they wanted rather than having to vote strategically. The bigger parties wouldn't worry about having to tailor a policy or two to either bleed votes off the fringe parties to get them below 5%, or to give them space to differentiate themselves.

    Since Nov 2006 • 77 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    Keep MMP, change this single-seat rule. Please.

    The solution is either to drop the threshold to some very low value like 1 or 2% (in order to at least keep some level of serious representation), or to require that a party that gets an MP in on an electorate must also cross the threshold in order to get list MPs. Or both.
    Dropping the threshold requirement as soon as a party gets an electorate seat gives us the nonsense of Rodney hauling in Garrett and the Zombie of Parliaments Past whilst Winston gets nothing despite having more popular support. I don't particularly object to Winston getting nothing, but it sure does rankle that the 3.4% Mussolini gets to bring a supporting cast of four off fewer party votes.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Would ACT have crossed the 5% threshold if this hadn't happened? Might not have some ACT voters voted National if they feared their votes would be wasted?

    Always difficult to tell, but given that they made it by 1.1% probably unlikely.

    Mark Thomas' story is unusual in that this has happened in other electorates - Epsom, but then everyone knew about it beforehand, including the candidate who signed up for the National Party. Mark Thomas got screwed and then had to front up and put a cheery face on it for the media. Astounding that he ever had anything to do with the National Party again.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Bryce Edwards,

    It's pretty hard to see any how anyone can call themselves a democrat and defend the 5% threshold.

    So, yes, let's abolish it, and keep MMP. Then the problematic "one-seat rule" is automatically dealt with.

    Dunedin • Since Oct 2007 • 8 posts Report Reply

  • Sue,

    That's all very well, but if it takes 1 or 2% off the Greens vote and the Greens don't make into Parliament because of that, it counts for me as a disaster.

    that's what everyone used to say about voting greens instead of labour

    Well voting alliance back then
    and then alliance diasseaoed and we had greens as our option if we wanted to pull labour left

    did that ever work tho?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 527 posts Report Reply

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