I reckon Nandor is an exceedingly strategic political thinker. But I’m at a loss to understand how he reconciles these two statements from his Waikato Times opinion piece yesterday:
The Government’s position on climate change is dangerously myopic… National itself is treating climate change negotiations like a trade negotiation, trying to get sweet deals and special favours for New Zealand.
The Greens made it very clear in the election campaign that they were not interested in talking to National. I thought at the time that it was an extraordinarily stupid thing to do, to fasten your lifeboat to a sinking ship.
Everyone in the Greens knew before the election that Labour was doomed. Strategically a tired, fourth-term Labour government, propped up by a larger Green caucus, would have been poisonous for us. National was where the game was at. But letting voters know who we would prefer to form a government with before they vote is not about strategy, it’s about honesty. And honestly the Green Party could not claim to stick to its principles if at the same time it joined the Dunne-Turia-Hide rush to the cabinet table; not if that cabinet table was “dangerously myopic” on the issue most important to the Greens.
This has nothing to do with being “genuinely independent of Labour”. It is to do with negotiating and campaigning honestly and democratically. Sometimes that will mean campaigning against National for it’s appalling policy on climate change (among other issues). But that does not make us Labour’s friend or ally. Our current enemy’s enemy is not necessarily our friend.