Paid to Win – Simon Lusk’s Guide to Campaigning Part II Which Party?

Simon Lusk is one of the few full time political campaigners in New Zealand, and is releasing a practical guide to campaigning in New Zealand, “Paid to Win“, one chapter at a time.

His second chapter is titled “Which Party” and gives advice on which party aspiring politicians or political activists should join.

This chapter deals with which party to join, why minor parties never effect real change, why a safe seat matters, and other factors in deciding when and where a candidate should run.

Simon’s views on the likelihood of a successful career in a minor party are spot on, and while the Greens will howl with rage his comments about them are spot on.

When I first started getting to know good political operators inside Labour I mentioned that Labour had an inherent advantage because they had the Greens.

Under MMP National do not have any strong coalition partners, while Labour have the Greens.

The response to this statement was telling. I was asked emphatically, “Have you ever worked with the Greens?” I had not, but filed this away for future reference. 

I subsequently worked with the Greens on a project in Hawkes Bay. They are an absolute nightmare to work with, and they are the one party I will not make any effort at all to work with again in the future.

The Greens holier than thou attitude is reinforced by a failure to understand the rules of the game make the game possible to play. I tried setting up a deal with the local Greens, working for several weeks to do it. I had an agreement that I thought was water tight, but when we went public they changed their position without telling me. They were then irate that I was upset with them for being so unprofessional.

The Greens are a bit like a member of a rugby team who turns up to a game on a pogo stick. They refuse to touch the ball, and become bitter and twisted when you tell them they need to play by the official rules, and not bounce around on a pogo stick and expect the rest of us to accept they are different.

Despite being in parliament since 1999, and three years before that as part of the Alliance, the Greens have never been in government or achieved anything of significance. This looks set to continue as Labour would far rather go into coalition with New Zealand First than the Greens, and the Greens would have to support a Labour led government like they did between 2005 and 2008.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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