Former Green MP Nandor Tanczos says the Greens should have a chat with National, what have they got to lose

Pressure is mounting on the Green party. Former MP Nandor Tanczos has blogged about the Greens needing to at least have a chat with National:

[I]n order to build a more robust support base and grow the vote for a progressive government, the Greens need to stop trying to poach Labour voters and identify new constituencies. There are around 450,000 small businesses in Aotearoa employing 5 people or less. Self employment 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. I 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.

There are actually lots of Greens who are small business owners ? probably a disproportionate number compared to either National or Labour. Both National and Labour tend to focus on large corporate bureaucracies and play little attention to how their policies impact on small businesses ? who as we know are New Zealand?s biggest employer. For years the Greens put loads of effort into trying to woo the unions. It would be worth putting the same effort into understanding how to support a sustainable, resilient and regenerative business ecology. Certainly no one else is doing much in that space.

Escaping our ?left of Labour? trap is not about ?moving to the centre?. The very notion of a centre sitting half-way between Labour and National is irrelevant when we locate ourself on a triangle. Neither is it about ?abandoning our principles?. Rather it is about embodying them in their entirety. What they cannot mean, though, is relegating ourselves to the periphery of power just because we are committed to giving Labour a free run.

I expect that Labour will always be a preferred coalition partner for the Greens. We share more values with them than we do with National. And I think it will be a while before the Greens are self confident enough to even find out what might be on the table in a coalition discussion with National. Maybe what is on the table would never be enough, but I think that just asking could make all the difference.

A chat costs nothing…but it sends a signal to Labour not to take them for granted.

You can be sure Labour will take them for granted though if The Greens insist on only contemplating aligning with Labour. Winston knows he can demand and that Labour will accede to those demands that the Greens get nothing.

By talking with National the Greens are saying to Labour, take us for granted and see where that gets you.

The only issue seems to be that James Shaw and the rest of the Greens lack the courage to actually even talk.


-Nandor Tanczos