I think it is a waste of time to give your party vote to any of the far left groups at this stage, as they have no chance of getting in to parliament. I don’t really want to give my vote to Labour as they have done many things that I disagree with - for example, as Maps mentioned in his earlier post, Labour’s ‘support for the US's War of Terror in places like Afghanistan, its kneejerk, discriminatory seabed and foreshore legislation, its support for the ludicrous but sinister 'terror raids' of 2007.’ In saying that, I DO NOT want a National government supported by ACT and United Future. A move to the right, especially in the current economic environment, would cause a lot of suffering for working class people. So, I am giving my party vote to the Green Party, who I hope will be a positive influence on Labour and may pull them a little further towards the left and may keep them a bit more honest.
As I mentioned in a comment under Maps’s post, ‘workers should be running the country! And it would be great to see a new energised and effective left wing party but the unions and the workers aren't ready to abandon Labour yet. We need to start building support amongst New Zealanders for a new left-wing party, and maybe by the time of the next election it would be viable option, BUT in this election a vote for any of the tiny left wing parties is a waste.’ I am voting Green because they will get over the 5% threshold and they are further left than Labour.
After examining all the Green policies, I find that I like the party's stance on education and children's issues, industrial relations, social and economic issues, and housing.
It might surprise some people that it isn’t the environment that excites me the most. I think it is a given that a party called ‘Green’ will try and look after the environment, and that is important to me. But, for me at this stage, I want to see a party which has among its core values a belief in social and economic justice, and which will strive to make our society fairer. I do believe that there are key members of the Green party who have worked and will work for social and economic justice and who are firmly on the left. Consider, for example, Keith Locke, who attended most (if not all) of the marches last year in support of the people arrested in the ‘terror raids.’ He also fought for and gained basic rights for two of New Zealand's refugee immigrants: Ahmed Zaoui and Ali Panah. Keith Locke also led pressure from the smaller parties to successfully repeal the archaic sedition laws in New Zealand. The Greens’ Clean Slate legislation came into effect in 2004 allowing people with minor convictions, who have not received a custodial sentence or re-offended within 7 years, to leave the stigma behind.
Other things the Greens have done that I think have been progressive and good for the country:
• Pushed the government into taking back the rail track and investing more in public transport
• Ensured legislation for youth wages and flexible working hours
• Changed the law to help protect our children from violence
At the moment I work at the University of Auckland and am an active member of the Association of University Staff union. The Greens' policies regarding the tertiary sector are more progressive than those of any other party represented in parliament. The Greens support:
• Fully-funded public tertiary education
• Supports further reviews to establish whether PBRF have really improved research quality and quantity
• Unions and other social agencies to be part of the development of a new governance framework, and as participants in institutional policies, strategies and processes
• Strengthen the right of workers to organise and bargain collectively
• Provide sufficient funding to address salary problems
• Extend the right to strike and strengthen measures to prevent “free-loading”
• Committed to a universal student allowance for full-time and part-time students. Allowances increased to level of unemployment benefit
• Zero interest on student loans
• Eventually abolish student loan scheme with introduction of no fees and universal student allowances.
That’s why I am voting Green (and I will make a protest vote in my electorate (a safe Labour seat) and vote for Bob van Ruyssevelt in Te Atatu for the Alliance).