The Left have got nobody left to vote for

Dr Bryce Edwards, who was miraculously described as a left-wing political commentator by a major media outlet, highlights some of Sue Bradford’s recent musings on the Labour-Green “fiscal responsibility” pact.

Some Labour and Green supporters are becoming disillusioned with their parties after a major announcement on economics on Friday. Their joint Budget Responsibility Rules framework is being seen as a significant shift to the right, as it amounts to a major self-imposed constraint on the two parties’ ability to make economic changes if they get into power.

Remarkable that anyone would want to be fiscally irresponsible to “fix” something, but that’s for another day.  

Does New Zealand still have political parties on the left in parliamentary politics? Do the poor and working classes have anyone to vote for this year? These are some of the key questions being asked in the wake of the Labour-Green announcement that they will restrain themselves in government from any significant deviation from the economic status quo.

The hardest hitting response has come from former Green MP Sue Bradford, who gave an extraordinary interview on RNZ’s Morning Report today. Bradford rounded on her former party, saying “The Greens have completely sold out on where they started from in my generation of MPs in 1999″…

Bradford explains that the new rules adopted by the left parties – which she calls a “totally business-friendly policy” – will constrain them in being able to depart from the National Government’s main economic settings.

She despairs of what this means: “So what you see here is the Green Party deciding to go after votes on the centre and the right of the New Zealand political spectrum. It wants business in its corner. It wants your National blue-green voters in its corner. And completely abandoning the huge number of people who are in desperate need in the areas of housing, welfare, jobs, and education”.

To Bradford, it’s about political opportunism by the Greens, in order to get into government. She asks: “At what price power, if you sell out everything that your party was originally set out to achieve? I mean, this Green Party here is following the same trail as green parties all over the world – some of who have ended up in coalitions and alliance with really rightwing governments”.

She suggests that some Green Party supporters “are going to end up like some of us already, who have no one to vote for this year. The Greens was perhaps the last hope. This is the death knell for the Greens as a left party in any way, shape or form. They are a party of capitalism. They’re a party that Business New Zealand now loves”

Of course the left has a party they can vote for.  National!  It’s the party that raised the minimum wage in real terms.  It’s the party that’s putting homeless people in motels.  It’s the party that’s poured more money into health and education than Labour did.

Why would the left not vote for National?

But more seriously, this goes to show that no matter your political bent, there is a general feeling across the political spectrum that parties are no longer selling policies that people want.  In the US that has caused Trump to be elected as the one to “drain the swamp”.  If New Zealand politics continues as it has been, we’ll have a similar movement where people will refuse to vote for the “obvious” parties because they have lost the support of their traditional base.

 

– Bryce Edwards, NZ Herald

 


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