I’ve spent the last two days as a delegate at the Green Party Annual Conference and, masochist as I am, I’m going back for another day tomorrow.
There’s a debate happening over at Frogblog, about the remit on the Greens’ political positioning with respect to National and Labour, so I thought I should chip in my two cents worth:
- I despise the current National-led Government, and am confident the vast majority of Green members think it would be the death knell for the Greens as a political force if we were to ever give National the votes to form another Government after the November election.
- One of the Green Party Charter Principles is “appropriate decision-making”. Under the Green Party Constitution, a General Meeting of the Party is the supreme decision-making body, and the Party has always reserved decisions about coalition or confidence and supply arrangements to a Special General Meeting following a General Election.
- The issue for me, and for the electorate I represent, is that one General Meeting of the Party (i.e the AGM that has occurred over the last two days) cannot bind a subsequent post-election SGM to a position. So we cannot constitutionally predetermine at the current General Meeting the position that electorate delegates have the constitutional right to overturn post election.
- Personally, I would prefer the Green Party make no statements about which other Parties we may want to work with in Government after the November election. I think we should just state that Greens aspire to lead the next Government, and that if we fail to achieve that the Greens will not enter any agreement that may require Green MPs to vote against Green Party policy.
- However, that was not the majority view among delegates to the Green Party AGM. The majority wanted a preference between National and Labour in the likely event of the Greens not having the upper hand in negotiations, and they wanted that preference to be for Labour, and a statement that it would be highly unlikely that the Greens to support a National-led Government.
- So, I reluctantly agreed to the “highly unlikely” position regarding support for a National-led Government. And I had recorded my electorate’s position of opposition to any support for a National-led Government.
The reality is that no Green General Meeting will ever support a coalition or confidence and supply agreement with National. But, in accordance with the Green appropriate decision-making principle, we cannot at our AGM pre-empt the possibility that a post-election SGM may decide to do otherwise.
So it is faux argument happening at Frogblog.. Unless National were to suddenly adopt pro-environment and pro social-justice positions, they are not in the picture. And, from what I, and the vast majority of Green members, know about the National Party led by
John Key Steven Joyce, that is not going to happen.