Chris Trotter talks about the possibility of a Blue/Green coalition

Chris Trotter tries to work out if a Blue/Green coalition is possible:

Much has been made of the “opportunity” the Green Party now has to “make a difference”. Unsurprisingly, most of this much-making has come from the right of the political spectrum. The prospect of being robbed of his “kingmaker” role by a last-minute display of National Party + Greens political jiu-jitsu, is clearly intended to keep Winston Peters on his tactical toes.

Or it could be a bunch of commentators, bored witless, enjoying themselves immensely as the left-wing unhinges at the useless media running their lines.

Not all of this tactical advice, however, is coming from the Nats. The former Green MP, Nandor Tanczos, is also urging the Greens to escape the self-imposed confinement of their Left-of-Labour cul-de-sac. In a recent blogpost, he identifies the Greens’ fundamental problem as having bought into an “inadequate conceptual model” of twenty-first century politics. Specifically, “the idea that political philosophy can be represented in one dimension on a straight line between left and right.”

The New Zealanders that Tanczos holds up as the unfortunate victims of this one-dimensional conceptualisation of New Zealand politics are the “450,000 small businesses in Aotearoa employing five people or less.”

Self-employment, according to the former Green MP, “speaks to core Green ideals of supporting local economies, building self-reliance and personal autonomy, helping people lift themselves out of poverty and fostering stronger linkages between businesses and the social ecological communities in which they are located.” Tanczos claims to know “a great many small business owners who support the ideals of the Greens but who don’t connect with us a party because we are not speaking to them.”

This is smart thinking on Tanczos’s part. Right from the start, the Greens most obvious electoral deficiency has been a solid socio-economic base from which to strike out in pursuit of political power. Unlike the National Party, with its businessmen and farmers; and the Labour Party, with its wage-workers and Maori; the core of the Green Party vote has never consisted of a social class whose interests it protects, but always of a social movement whose ideals it expresses. Since movements tend to be as varied as they are volatile, it is no wonder that the level of Green Party support can fluctuate wildly between one election and the next.

If the Greens were a true environmental party they could be part of any government. The voters think they are environmentalists, but they they aren’t. The Green party members are commies and pinkos, the MPs and workers are activists. They are divorced from the reality of who their voters truly are. This is why they got the Metiria Turei issue so dreadfully wrong.

As Nandor Tanczos so succinctly puts it: “players only respect other players”. To negotiate the treacherous rapids of political power successfully, the Green waka’s load must be lightened – by offloading the excessive weight of its conscience.

The Green party need to look at where they get their votes from…then start walking back their insistence of being wedded to Labour. The sad fact is that Labour will do anything to govern and if that means throwing the Greens under the bus then they will.



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