The long and short versions are both the same: A Green Party deal with National will kill the party.
The Green Party is fundamentally a party of the environment and social conscience. That is not to say that it has a monopoly or possibly even a duopoly with Labour on the subject, but there is one certainty and that is the very ideological core of National is not geared towards the environment. It never has been and never will be. It’s endeavours in environmental policy have been largely to assuage the left-leaning membership of the party, rather than an genuine belief that the environment is important.
I am not criticizing National for trying to be environmentally responsible and if it wants to take a leaf out of that book, great. Well done for a party that was not designed with the environment in mind.
But the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand – like all of the other Green Party branches around the world – IS designed with the environment in mind. This is the cornerstone of what the party stands for, and if one takes away that cornerstone, they are in effect taking away the fundamentals on which the Green Party is founded.
So, why are there suggestions that they should be going with National? Is the party membership and caucus quite mad?
We are talking about going with a party that has shown scant understanding of fresh water quality and quantity issues. This is a party that thinks business as usual is how one should address the growing impact of carbon based gases.
We are talking about a party whose right wing probably still think A.N.Z.U.S. is a good idea even if it is a Cold War era relic that needs to be either replaced or completely overhauled. The same right wing and their A.C.T. supporters would tell you that New Zealand’s security can only be secured with a permanent deal with the United States, despite it being increasingly obvious that nation does not have a clue how to fight a “War on Terror”.
Again, this is totally contrary to the Green Party ethos. It is totally contrary to the peace and social justice causes that helped to propel the party to where it is today.
Coming so soon after Metiria Turei’s admission – brave as it was – caused divisions inside the party, to openly court the mainstream party of the right is a really dangerous move. I just have this vision – not a nice one at that – of the Greens facing electoral oblivion if they go with National.
Just don’t even think about it.