Key is Prime Minister-designate

Given that it’s now Sunday, it should probably be safe to resume posting without violating electoral law or unethically influencing the election. πŸ˜‰

John Key is our Prime Minister for the next three years- not an unforeseen event, but one that many Greens will have been hoping to avoid. Change is the only constant in a democratic society, and it would be bad if Labour continued to lead the government indefinitely without offering anything new, even if National won the election on a similar premise. Nonetheless, as we’ve proved in the past with Labour, there will be common ground- perhaps less this time- that we can make with a government with which we still have significant differences. It is promising that Key praised Helen Clark’s leadership, that he mentioned he wants to be Prime Minister to all New Zealanders and not just those who voted National, and finally that he has spoken of engaging the Maori Party. These things suggest that there may be issues like the changes to Β§59 of the crimes act on which National can once again work with the Greens, despite its usual aversion to multipartisanship.

With a voice that is once more even stronger in Parliament, and one of our chief centrist foils out of the picture, the Green Party is still in a good position after the election, even if we’re likely to be sitting on the cross-benches in opposition to the governing coalition. It may not be as many as we were hoping from our strong polling, but we have two new MPs, and possibly also a third on the way if the special votes favour us.

Finally: I’d like to thank every New Zealander who went out and voted, or who voted in advance, regardless of who they voted for. This is what our country is about. This is part of our heritage as one of the world’s oldest continuous democracies. It is a right and a privilege that we should neither take for granted nor throw away. You made this new government and our new Green MPs a reality.

edit: I totally forgot to mention that although Helen Clark will be serving as an MP for this term, she resigned her leadership of the Labour Party in her concession speech. As a strong principled leader and one of New Zealand’s foremost women, I think it is no understatement to say that this is both an end of an era and a loss to New Zealand as a whole- even if it is, perhaps, the best move for the Labour Party.

Bussed, bannered, crawled and leafletted

Well, I said I’d be a small green blur, and I was, although not as quick a mover as MP Sue Kedgley, who was up and about much earlier than I, in company of a stalwart team of young greens.
I joined them by the Kelburn viaduct, where we waved banners at traffic for a while, and read the Herald advert, passing the paper around the group. I was absolutely blown away by the power of that bank of images – go the clever person in the Campaign Team who came up with that, it’s a million-dollar montage!

Then we caught a bus down to Manners Mall, leafletting to passersby, and waving banners at the traffic, at the same time. Some innovative juggling went on there! Sue shot back to Midland Park for a while, and some of us peeled off to do other tasks.

I caught up with them again on the Pub Crawl, a valiant attempt to get rid of more coasters, stickers and fliers of various sorts, which started at The Occidental, progressed to The Black Harp, The Featherston, along to Arizona Bar, then down through Chews Lane to the Malthouse (?) and on towards the Backpackers in Wakefield St, then up Cuba St to our eventual destination, Mighty Mighty.

All that without stopping for a drink, which we made up for at the Mighty.
After a bit of social chill-out, I left to catch my bus home, while the youngsters carried on to get rid of a large green bag full of campaign materials…

Happy Election Eve, everybody. Seeya at the partee tomorrow πŸ™‚

Before you vote…

For anyone who has enrolled late (like say, yesterday!) and does not have an EasyVote package, you can find the information presented in them at these webpages:

A list of polling places and candidates for each electorate. (The polls open at 9am and close at 7pm)

The party lists, so you know who you’re voting for when you vote for a given party.

How to make a special declaration vote. If you’ve enrolled late, you will not be on the printed electoral role, and will need to tell the electoral officials that you’re casting a special declaration vote because you missed enrollment before the printed roll.

Finally, to those who are already caught up: Please help other people have the confidence, security, and passion to vote! This goes double for young voters, who will really want to turn around the trend of not voting very often if they want to be catered for in this country’s decision-making. Please note that you’re not allowed to campaign on election day, so don’t try to convince anyone to Vote For Us. πŸ™‚

The very last poll before the one that really counts

The last opinion poll before the election has been released this afternoon.

The Roy Morgan poll puts the Greens at 10% (yes!!!).

But more interesting is the polling overall:

National: 42%
ACT: 4%
Labour: 34.5%.
Green: 10%

That puts the National/ACT axis at 46%, and the Green-Labour proposed alliance at 44.5%. And the rats and mice like Peter Dunne and Jim Anderton, who will get no-one else elected on their party lists, make up one vote on each side.

1.5% the difference: too close to call, I’d say!

Incidentally, there have been 5 polls released in the last two days. The Green support is:

Roy Morgan: 10%
TV3/TNS: 9%
OneNews/Colmar Brunton: 9%
Fairfax: 8%
Herald Digipoll: 5.9%

Someone has their polling methodology wrong. Is it the four polling organisations that rate the Greens at 8% or better, or is it the one that rates them considerably lower?

I guess tomorrow night will tell, but for the moment I’m hoping that 4 of 5 have got it right.

[Edit: Oh , and here’s Tane’s lovely pie-chart from The Standard. I really must learn how to do these myself once the election is over]:


Going Green

This is a post I’m putting up for a new Wellington friend, Dan, who begged nicely. I’m all for courtesy mixed with intelligence, BTW. Oh, and a strong streak of autonomy usually works for me, too!
Here’s Dan:

On my way to work this morning I witnessed something which has made my stomach turn in disgust.

Right across Wellington, the National Party have had their little goblins out overnight stapling up expensive hoardings on the basis that if you repeat something often enough, people will think it’s true. What is appalling about this is not that they have done it – we all know that a party like National think they can buy the election, and anyone with half a brain can see that this is what they’re trying to do. What I find absolutely unforgivable is that the goblins have hit every available surface – including other party billboards.

Now, I don’t like the hoardings anymore than the next guy, but every party has the right to go to the expense of getting their message out there if they so choose. For National to come along in the middle of the night and post their own advertising over the top of other parties’ is not only rude, it’s plain undemocratic.

This is what this country is likely to see if we are foolish enough to allow National to form a majority after tomorrow’s vote: A right-wing party willing to run roughshod over everyone else to push their agenda through. This has been a lacklustre election campaign as a whole, overshadowed by the global credit crunch and the US elections, but the rhetoric that we continue to hear from the Right is all about greed: Gutting the Resource Management Act to favour business over community; Canning the Emissions Trading Scheme because it will cost money (in the short term – another sign that financially driven policy is fatally short-sighted); Scrapping the Greens’ billion dollar home insulation fund; and pushing economic growth at the expense of all else.

Economic Growth is synonymous with consumption, and a hundred years of massive growth and consumption have brought this planet to the brink of collapse. Everything that National plans to do if they take the election tomorrow will only push us further towards complete ecological ruin.

The only way to stop this is by getting out there and voting tomorrow. And that vote should be Green, if you care for the planet, or for your children, or for your own health and wellbeing in the future. Don’t let all the hard work that the Greens have done over the past 9 years go to waste.

Get out there. Vote Green.

You can find more of Dan at Freshly Ground.

Politics in the Pub

Following the Dunedin Campaign Closing a group of us swung through town divesting ourselves of “I only date…” coasters and stickers before I settled down at backstage while others headed to Benu to see Die Die Die. Entropy Trio kicked things off at backstage, the main reason for my attendance frankly – apart from handing out a heap of stickers. The highlight of my night, walking out of backstage sometime after 1am this morning past a group of people hanging around outside some wearing stickers and a fragment of conversation drifts over, “What’s the Green policy on bioethics?”.

It’s the last day of Campaigning!

I’m about to turn into a small green blur for the day, but before I go out & leave my Mac to slumber, I’d just like to send a word out to all the candidates.

Kia kaha, e hoa maa, kia manawanui, arohatinonui ki a koutou katoa!

Be strong, my friends, be of great heart, my great love goes out to all of you!

Remember, we’ve been encouraging the young voters to “Do it for the love of it”;
Today, as we campaign, let’s hold that in our hearts.

Today, we do it for the love of our candidates, whom we’ve chosen thoughtfully and carefully, and for the children who don’t have a vote this time.
(And let’s remember those in society for whom we also vote – those in psychiatric institutions or prisons, those weakest in our society, for whom we hold responsibility as citizens, enfranchised).

Soundtrack for the last day:
Kora(Polly, polly, polly,) Politician…
Salmonella DubFor the love of it

Two more days.

If you’re still not enrolled to vote, you can still enroll, provided you finish tommorow. You can download an enrollment form, ring free on 0800 ENROL NOW (0800 36 76 56), or visit a post shop in order to enroll.

While it is too late to get on the printed roll, you can easily vote on election day by casting a special declaration vote. This just essentially means you explain why you’re not on that electorate’s printed electoral roll. Even a special declaration vote is still very easy to cast.

Your party vote is crucial in this election, whomever you support. We’ve had a deficit of polls recently, but internal party polling from the older parties seems to be suggesting things are very close.

Even if you’re not voting for the Greens, even if none of the parties likely to get in has policies or personalities that satisfy you, there are still good reasons to vote- politicians have access to demographics on who votes more often, and policies are far more likely to be friendly to your demographic if you vote. In addition, if a significant amount of people vote for a party that doesn’t make it into Parliament, existing parties may lean towards adopting some of their policy.

Vote for me – the caption contest

Well, it’s certainly got attention! The NZ Herald is now running a caption contest for its wonderful photo of Jeanette with three pregnant Green Party supporters.

There are a few puerile and downright nasty captions on their website.

Let’s get some strong Green ones there too >>

[Comments off on this post – captions to the NZ Herald]