The Green party would have gained more from a National coalition. A lot more

Karl du Fresne observes

In the rapture over the left’s putative victory, there’s a lot of denial and wishful thinking going on. No one wants to confront the possibility that it could all go pear-shaped. Perhaps the most notable example is James Shaw’s less than convincing insistence that having the climate change ministerial portfolio outside cabinet doesn’t mean the issue has been downgraded in terms of importance.

He has to say that, of course.

But a lot of voters on the left will be wondering how climate change – a priority issue for both the Greens and Labour – ended up being pushed off to one side.

They will see this as a weakening of core commitments. It’s an early sign of the uncomfortable compromises that are required to make coalitions work, and which can gradually turn septic.

Will the Greens be able to hold their nose for three years straight?   Or are they going to try to get some of their self-respect back?

Similarly, reported differences over the proposed Kermadec Sanctuary are being played down, but these point to the fundamental incompatibilities built into this three-way coalition – most notably between NZ First, which is big on economic development, and the Greens with their priority on sustainability, low growth and a pristine environment.

Scuppering the Kermadecs deal at the behest of NZ First would inevitably be seen as a betrayal of the Greens, who initiated the sanctuary proposal.

National would have delivered on it.  “Just sayin’”.

If it was agreed behind the Greens’ backs, as reported, so much the worse.

It was.

And if NZ First was acting to protect the interests of friends and donors in the fishing industry, as implied by news reports, even worse again.

And yet… had Green gone to Blue…

I can’t shake the image of the new “coalition” going to a child friendly restaurant.   Winston and Jacinda are having a meal while the James is on the side behind glass in the children’s play room trying to get the PS2 to load Pokemon.

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