Toad has been having more than a few laughs at the expense of National and it’s increasingly directionless campaign. However, from my perspective we need to be worrying far more about Labour.
We’ve always known when it comes to beneficiaries, children’s rights and human rights Labour will instinctively align itself with the reactionary base of its voters rather than its liberal corner. On the three biggest environmental issues of the last decade (climate change, water quality and sustainable food production) Labour’s governance has made things worse rather than better in each case.
And now, in recent weeks with the Winston Peters debacle we are getting an indication of the lengths Labour will go to, not just to retain power but to protect a coalition partner that allows it to justify those reactionary votes on important social and environmental matters. None of this seems to sit well with the Greens’ democracy and governance principle, but it also shows where Labour’s heart is likely to lie after the election.
The Greens have said that we will announce before the election which party or parties we will be willing to work with after the election, including possibly entering governing arrangements of some sort. This is the right thing to do. But it means we will negotiate in good faith when no one else is offering to.
Barring a cataclysmic shift in political power before polling day the Greens will not be the dominant player in any negotiations and compromise will occur. That’s fair and democratic – especially as Green members will get a chance to vote on the deal before it is signed. With National it’s easy to predict what those possible compromises might be. With Labour not so much. Labour’s too greasy to trust and its record on so many things that are important to us is appalling.
It’s going to have to do something special to show that it’s not the Dunne/Peters Labour we have come to know. I personally don’t believe it can do it.