Envirologue by Dave Hansford

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Envirologue: Choose Wisely, Grasshopper: the Dilemma of James Shaw

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  • Hebe, in reply to Amanda Wreckonwith,

    Really? TBH I’m pretty much over this tired approach to politics.
    I would hope that James will talk to every member of parliament about climate change.
    The Green Party appear to have the most sensible policy response to the problems facing us. The challenge will be to get as many on board as possible. Keep talking I say.

    Quite. If we are all drowned rats on a sinking dairy farm, no social justice policies will come into play. I've voted Green for 25 years (with the occasional strategic-voting lapse), and that's because it is the only environment-focused party in this short-sighted country. Our response to the environmental challenges ahead will be the basis of determining our daily lives and those of our children and grandchildren.

    I would much rather the Greens had a loud voice in this process of decision-making -- which is happening now -- than it be decided alone by a National Party being pushed to the far right.

    The leadership contest was interesting: four very good candidates, who will still be in the party and contributing in a big way. To me James Shaw was elected because he is a stand-out in the qualities needed to keep the party relevant in a testing time when an influential Green Party is needed more than ever.

    My teenagers are Shaw supporters: they and their friends have no interest in the old left/right smokestack politics. They aspire to be solar-powered capitalists who nurture the planet and its people.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2896 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to william blake,

    It’s only Thursday ffs, he gave Key arseholes at question time on Tuesday, give the guy a chance.

    (Or are you suggesting he needs to call a NATO air strike on Michelle Boag to keep the Greens relevant?)

    Shaw has had a fine first week as leader, with even the NZ Herald editorial telling the PM to grow up and share his sandpit.
    And lol.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2896 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    90% of media commentary on the Greens is just recycled clichés. If they proposed a flat tax and privatizing the police they would still be portrayed as morris-eating, bean-dancing, sandal-sniffing hippies.

    The basic fallacy is the notion that the Greens have failed. They haven't (compare Green parties in similar Western democracies). Their potential partners have.

    The Greens are not here to solve Labour's problems, or to get patted on the head in blatant bad faith by Henry and Hosking. They're doing just fine - including their two distinct but complementary leaders.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1324 posts Report Reply

  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    I helped James with his campaign, so I’m not an impartial observer here. I can say that there was a robust debate inside the party about whether James was the right person to lead. But it centred around the brevity of his Parliamentary experience and his appeal outside urban electorates. No one – as far as I know – paid any attention to this ‘right-wing sleeper agent’ conspiracy so beloved of Left Wing Dudes On the Internet.

    Now, maybe that’s because we were naive. Blind to the slippery slope of mass-murder that you feel electing James has led us down! Or, maybe its because the party members got to listen to the actual candidates speak and question them about their values instead of basing their understanding of the contest on blog posts from David Farrar and tweets by Matthew Hooton. Maybe their analysis was much more informed than yours?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Lilith __,

    Because Harawira (narrowly) lost his electorate seat, the 1.42% of votes for Mana were wasted.

    There’s no such thing as a waisted vote. All the votes get counted.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4327 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    That speaks to the very different nature of the core Green voter who, more than any other, is characterised by a deep ethical, philosophical and political commitment

    Such an airy dismissal for the poor old lifetime members of Labour and National, with their photos of past leaders on the wall, who have crewed cake stalls and handed out leaflets for 50-60-70 years!! Presumably they, like everyone else outside the enlightened Ba’ku of the Green party, are merely brutes whose anachronistic thinking hasn’t left the steam age?

    This is the sort of self-reverential tosh that Greens like to imagine about themselves, but it is important self-reverential tosh because it points to a key reason they will never get more than 10% of the vote – they all to often come across to most voters as complete toss-pots.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2213 posts Report Reply

  • Amanda Wreckonwith, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    whose anachronistic thinking hasn’t left the steam age?

    pretty much...

    Since Sep 2012 • 171 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to simon g,

    The basic fallacy is the notion that the Greens have failed. They haven’t

    And, more specifically, that they've failed because they haven't yet been at the Cabinet table, which is a very specific framing of the whole thing that elevates the value of direct power at whatever cost over the value of change towards whatever principles you're wanting.

    I'm sure the GP would be more than happy to take seats in Cabinet, but even without that its participation and support base has had a profound influence on changing the policies and actions of other major parties, both Labour and National.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    I quite like the idea that he is the first generation of NZers happily reared by two mothers (both teachers too I hear). He's a Scots College /Wellington High Boy and his wife is a from a well known local Wellington family. He's a real product of middle class Wellington Central. Not sure whether that is a positive or negative for the rest of the country though.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3203 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Dave Hansford,

    I have made no judgement whatsoever on James’ credentials, nor on what he has to offer the Greens. I most certainly do not “hate” his appointment, as someone has suggested.

    And yet when I read your post it sounded like a petulant rant from someone who didn't get the candidate they wanted.

    Whether you meant to give that impression is irrelevant because more than one reader got exactly that from your post.

    Goodness sake you Godwinned your own column! Raising the spectre of Nazi Germany in response to the election of ONE part of The Green leadership - drama queen much?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Dave Hansford,

    Regarding the swing

    Dude you were worng. There was no swing towards the right. The data show a failure of left leaning voters to actually vote. That is actually important because it changes the approach that should be taken towards the next election.

    Failure to properly understand what happened will only lead to repetition.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Dave Hansford,

    Any eagerness to be part of a Government is completely understandable

    What are you basing this on?

    I haven't seen a single thing from Mr Shaw indicating he plans to give up Green policy backbones simply to get a seat at the table (surely two seats or doesn't your female leader count?).

    If anything what he has said about climate change is (insultingly (and good on him for that)) suggesting that The Greens could help National develop a real climate change policy since they clearly have no clue themselves.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • Amanda Wreckonwith, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    He’s a real product of middle class Wellington Central. Not sure whether that is a positive or negative for the rest of the country though.

    I’m sure there are some who will be appalled, others impressed and also those who will seek to use it against him.
    I really couldn’t care less about his background. I will judge him on his policy decisions. Politics based on personality is an anachronism from the steam age...

    Since Sep 2012 • 171 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    I quite like the idea that he is the first generation of NZers happily reared by two mothers (both teachers too I hear). He’s a Scots College /Wellington High Boy and his wife is a from a well known local Wellington family. He’s a real product of middle class Wellington Central. Not sure whether that is a positive or negative for the rest of the country though.

    I would have voted for evidence of integrity, before pedigree. But I’m not a Green Party member – partly becouse I don’t buy into there drive to win ”market share of the electorate” as the out going co leader so revealingly said it, just resently. I quit the Greens a couple of leadership elections ago.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4327 posts Report Reply

  • Amanda Wreckonwith, in reply to steven crawford,

    partly becouse I don’t buy into there drive to win ” market share of the electorate”

    So do you not think they should seek to increase their share of the vote? Or is it that the 'market share' phrase is off-putting?

    Since Sep 2012 • 171 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Amanda Wreckonwith,

    So do you not think they should seek to increase their share of the vote? Or is it that the ‘market share’ phrase is off-putting?

    Yes the phrase is off-putting. It’s there method of gaining votes that lost mine.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4327 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to steven crawford,

    It’s there method of gaining votes that lost mine.

    Hi Steven. What method is that?

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Marc C,

    {Just to fact-check you, and because I could really care less about personality politics:

    The Luftwaffe fully exists and has done since 1956. It's the German word for "air force", so would have to be called something like that.

    Although the word "führer" was largely expunged from the language after WW2. They use "leiter" instead}

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    This is the sort of self-reverential tosh that Greens like to imagine about themselves

    #notallgreens

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to steven crawford,

    Because Harawira (narrowly) lost his electorate seat, the 1.42% of votes for Mana were wasted.

    There’s no such thing as a wasted vote. All the votes get counted.

    Since Mana did not reach the 5% threshold or win an electorate seat, votes for Mana did not elect any MP. This is a feature of our MMP system, unlike STV, in which votes are transferred down the list of preferred candidates.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3887 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Hebe,

    The leadership contest was interesting: four very good candidates, who will still be in the party and contributing in a big way. To me James Shaw was elected because he is a stand-out in the qualities needed to keep the party relevant in a testing time when an influential Green Party is needed more than ever.

    I'm all for people being judged by their beliefs and actions rather than by their background, domicile, or hairdo.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3887 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    He’s a Scots College /Wellington High Boy

    I have no idea what that implies, and I'm OK with that. :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Rebecca Williams,

    Word brother!

    It's not that simple. The whole philosophy of co-leadership (feminist, consensus-based, and honoring of the Treaty) negates the idea of a discussion on the election for a new co-leader without even mentioning the other (Maori, female) leader!

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 120 posts Report Reply

  • Rebecca Williams,

    ("Word brother!" Was directed to Tom Hannah )

    *darned technology*

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 120 posts Report Reply

  • Rebecca Williams,

    Tim! actual LOL

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 120 posts Report Reply

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