Thursday, November 06, 2008

Why I’m giving my party vote to the Greens

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).


Blogger P.Dhayaharan said...

I agree with you a lot. I do not want to see a National lead government supported by ACT and or United Future. I will like a Labour lead government, however I also feel that the Labour government has been moving away from some of the key principles that they should be standing for. I believe that there are two parties that could keep the Labour government honest. One is of course the Greens as you mentioned and the other is Jim Anderton’s Progressive. However it’s hard to see that Progressive getting more than the one seat of Jim Anderton. Even though the number two candidate (Matt Robson) for Progressive is a very good. So I will be voting Green this elections. In fact I have been voting party vote for Greens for the last three elections. I am in Botany electorate and I am having a problem deciding who to vote in my electorate. Most candidates that I will like to vote are in the bottom of the party lists. The person people are predicting to win in this new electorate is Pansy Wong from National, who I do not want to vote! There is ACT’s Kenneth Wang, who I am not going to vote either! I will like to vote for anyone who will stop Pansy getting a seat in the parliament! Any suggestions? ;-)

I hope that the New Zealand public doesn’t make a mistake this Elections. I hope people don’t vote National in just because they want a change. Because National will public assets and we will be left in a bad situation again! Then we have to go through this re-building phase again.

I think the most important thing that people have to think about this elections is to vote for a change…in terms of voting for the Greens and Progressives. Labour-Greens-Progressive will be the ideal government that will take New Zealand forward. If we have to have a government with Winston Peters and Peter Dunn specially, we will not be able to go forward. So if you are wanting a change, vote for the left parties and make a mark. It’s time for New Zealand to go forward, not backwards!

Let’s hope all the kiwi’s do think about this elections carefully and do the right things that is voting left! ;-)

11:56 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Greens haven't ruled out doing deals with National without going into government with them. What if they do a confidence and supply deal in exchange for a couple more national parks?

1:18 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will the Progressive pressure Labour from the left?
By their deeds ye shall know them:

1:20 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


if you vote for the Greens you are voting for a party that joins National and ACT in jerking off over Willie Apiata, who killed 10-15 Afghans who were doing nothing more than defending their country from Bush's invaders.

Greens salute bravery of Corporal Apiata VC

Keith Locke MP

17 Jul 2007
Subject: Peace and Conflict

Green Party Defence Spokesperson
The Green Party supported the motion in Parliament today to salute the bravery of Corporal Willy Apiata, and his receipt of the Victoria Cross.

"We were happy to join other parties in the House in offering our congratulations to Corporal Willy Apiata," said Green Party Defence spokesperson, Keith Locke.

"We think Corporal Apiata and his family will welcome the cross-party support, even though the Green Party did not support the commitment of SAS troops to Afghanistan," Mr Locke says.

" The Greens still regard the American-led war in the south of Afghanistan as being fought with too little regard to civilian casualties. It has been a largely counterproductive conflict that is contributing most unfortunately, to a resurrection of the despicable Taliban.

"However, the Greens do not see our criticism of the Afghan war as detracting in any way from our recognition of the bravery of Corporal Apiata.

"Corporal Apiata is a credit to New Zealand, and to Maoridom. He carried out his duties to his unit with great heroism in the best tradition of Kiwi soldiers. We salute him, " Mr Locke says.

1:33 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

kill, kill, kill

1:41 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

See, this is the trouble with the NZ left. Anonymous here abandons the bigger picture in favour of trivia.

Who cares about some lip-service press release. Be a bit more pragmatic and consider the on-the-ground effect.

1:43 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK. Assume you refer to Jim Anderton's on-the-ground effect.
How about this?

Tim (ex-Alliance)

1:51 pm  
Blogger maps said...

I wouldn't rule the Greens out.
Metiria Turei's got experience at riggin' elections ;)

1:54 pm  
Blogger Skyler said...

Hi Dhaya,

great to hear your views. I don't think you can stop Pansy Wong getting into parliament as she is ranked 18 on the party list. Unfortunately you live in a conservative electorate so you will probably get an ACT or National MP. If I was you I would vote for the only slightly left leaning candidate in your electorate - Peter Cooper from the Greens - and make a protest vote!

Peter Dunn has already said he will go with National. I think Winston Peters is now irrelevant - Thank God!(I don't think he will get in in Tauranga or get over 5%) .

I think that a party vote for Progressives would be a waste too as I think they are only likely to get one seat - Jim Anderton's electorate.

I must agree with Maps that this election isn't very inspiring but it is an important one, where all left leaning voters should make sure they vote otherwise we will have a National/ACT/United party (which includes Roger Douglas ...aaahhh!!)

2:03 pm  
Blogger maps said...

I don't have time to post a proper reply to Skyler's post, which I think is well-argued and probably quite representative of the opinions of many left-leaning Kiwis, but here a few links to posts I've made on the Greens in the past.

Rod Donald's legacy - Green support for the racist 'Howard doctrine' in the Pacific:

Criticism of the myths about Rapa Nui history promoted at the 2006 Green Party conference:

Why the Greens are wrong to support the Anzac intervention in Timor-Leste and the overthrow of the Alkatiri government:

Criticism of the Greens' aggressive and patronising attitude toward small Pacific and Asian countries in the International Whaling Commission:

Why the Greens are wrong to support the Anzac intervention in the Solomons and the theft of the 2006 elections there:

2:10 pm  
Blogger Skyler said...

The Greens aren't perfect but they're the best realistic option for left voters - unless you want to vote for Labour, who in my opinion are the bigger villains (when compared to the Greens) and have made real policy decisions that have hurt their constituency.

The Greens actual achievements in parliament have been positive and most of their policies are progressive and much more left wing than any other party in parliament.

2:20 pm  
Blogger Skyler said...

Tim, who do you vote for now?

It was one of the biggest shames in politics the way that the Alliance broke up. I definitely didn't and don't support troops in Afghanistan. I could never support Jim Anderton and co after that. Progressives are a joke - let's hope Jim retires soon and that party will disappear.

2:34 pm  
Blogger maps said...

But what if you're a voter in the Solomons?

Serious question.

I think you'd see the situation differently.

What has NZ done there over the last decade, in collaboration with Oz?

First we wrecked the economy with IMF reforms - yes, IMF 'reforms' were run out of the organisation's Canberra office, by Kiwis and Aussies - that forced the lay-off of a third of the country's civil servants and led to the breakdown of law and order.

Then we 'intervened' in the country after pressuring the government (Oz troops were in Honiara before parliament there rubber stamped the action, and at the same time that an emergency meeting of Solomons non-governmental organisations on a boat off the country passed a resolution against intervention).

Then we set up our own government under the banner of RAMSI and set about undermining the Solomons parliament. Our RAMSI forces treated local people like second-class citizens, locked people up without trial for long periods in terrible conditions at Rowe Prison, and intimidated local trade unionists.

When the people of the Solomons got fed up and tried to vote in a new government, we sat on our hands while pro-RAMSI politicians rigged the protest with the help of Chinese and Taiwanese money. When the people of Honiara marched against this corruption, our RAMSI cops tried to disperse them with tear gas and batons. The result was a riot that destroyed a large part of the city.

When justice prevailed and an anti-RAMSI government took power, we did everything we could to undermine it, including dredging up with charges against the assertive new Attorney-General which had already been dismissed years ago, bribing MPs to switch sides, and eventually forcing the A-G out of the country to Oz.

And then there's Timor-Leste, where we actually overthrew a left-wing government in 2006. What did the Greens say about that 'intervention'? 'The only pity is that it's taken too long' was the comment of Oz Greens leader Bob Brown, and his sentiments were supported by the Kiwi Greens.

My point is that, in the Pacific, Oz and NZ behave just like the US behaves in the Middle East. And the Greens are more enthusiastic about intervention in the region than any other party - much more enthusiastic than National, even.

Why should that be less important than cheaper bus rides in Auckland?

Just getting a debate going. As I say, Skyler, your post was well-argued and representative of the views of many people I respect.

2:34 pm  
Blogger maps said...

Btw Dhaya, cool to find your blog. Check it out everyone:

2:39 pm  
Blogger Skyler said...

Do you truly think that National and Act will have better foreign policies and human rights policies than Labour and the Greens?

Why don't you get involved with the Greens or Labour and work from the inside to change the policies you don't like?

Or continue to protest and lobby the policies you don't like.

You have to take a holistic view you can't just pick out one area of their policies you don't like. On the whole the Greens (and Labour) have more progressive, more compassionate policies than either National or Act.

Yes, it's important what they do in the Pacific but it's equally important what they do at home for the average working class kiwi family.

2:42 pm  
Blogger maps said...

I think that a holistic view reveals that the Greens' policies reflect the interests of their social base, which is not and has never been the working class. There are a number of Green policies that will make ordinary people worse off, eg the carbon tax (now apparently shelved, but promoted vigorously in 2005), which would hit the poor far harder than the rich, the emissions trading scheme, which will effect economic growth in certain while benefiting 'green' capitalists in others (guess which ones support the Greens), and the Buy NZ Made scheme, which is just a big government subsidy for a bunch of tinpot companies (many not even properly base in NZ) which sucked up to the Greens.

If the Greens are so keen on the working class, why don't they have any of the pretty and totally content-free billboards in working class electorates?

The Maori Party is actually a lot further to the left than the Greens - it wants to raise benefits to pre-19991 levels, scrap GST on food, and give the poor $500 for Xmas. Th reason for this is simple - their base is poor. The Green base is middle class and even posh, in some cases. Their best electorate is Wgtn Central, the third wealthiest in the country.
They do shockingly in South and West Auckland (Titirangi aside). Do you think they're going to sit round the table after the election and advocate for the people in Otara who have never voted for them?

3:03 pm  
Blogger Tim B said...

Greens co-leader fails to stand up for striking workers

November 6, 2008

- Jared Phillips

Yesterday after the march to the McDonald’s bosses conference at the Hyatt Hotel we returned to the Queen Street store. I was the last union official there with about 30 workers (the numbers had dropped-off by this stage). Workers were blocking-off the entrance. The strikers were fired-up.

I noticed Russel Norman, Green Party co-leader, amongst the gathered specatators. On some other business, he had bumped into the strike.

He was watching for about 5 minutes.

Politically I oppose the Green Party because they are a pro-capitalism party but A) They have had some connection to Unite through the Youth Rates campaign, and B) in hard struggles workers draw strength from almost any source of support. So in my capacity as an organiser I approached Russel Norman and asked him if he would speak to the strikers. First he said he didn’t know the issues. So I told him the issues. He still said no. I pressed him again but ‘No it’s ok’.

But it’s not ok. All the ‘left commentators’ are saying vote Green.

But the Green leader, obviously a developed public speaker, couldn’t spare 5 minutes for the lowest paid. We need a party that is shoulder to shoulder with the lowest paid.

3:06 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Report form Auckland -

esterday after the march to the McDonald’s bosses conference at the Hyatt Hotel we returned to the Queen Street store. I was the last union official there with about 30 workers (the numbers had dropped-off by this stage). Workers were blocking-off the entrance. The strikers were fired-up.

I noticed Russel Norman, Green Party co-leader, amongst the gathered specatators. On some other business, he had bumped into the strike.

He was watching for about 5 minutes.

Politically I oppose the Green Party because they are a pro-capitalism party but A) They have had some connection to Unite through the Youth Rates campaign, and B) in hard struggles workers draw strength from almost any source of support. So in my capacity as an organiser I approached Russel Norman and asked him if he would speak to the strikers. First he said he didn’t know the issues. So I told him the issues. He still said no. I pressed him again but ‘No it’s ok’.

But it’s not ok. All the ‘left commentators’ are saying vote Green.

But the Green leader, obviously a developed public speaker, couldn’t spare 5 minutes for the lowest paid. We need a party that is shoulder to shoulder with the lowest paid.


3:06 pm  
Blogger maps said...

Thanks for that Tim. Damning. I have my differences with Keith Locke but I believe he would have spoken. He has a record of supporting workers when they organise. Hopefully if the Greens drift too far to the right, or even consider some sort of arrangement with National short of government, Locke and some of the other good people in the party will up and leave.

3:10 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maps is an ultra-leftist. Vote Labour/Green.

3:18 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

PS IT is crap like this from MAPS that gves the left a bd name. Go off MAPS.

3:18 pm  
Blogger Skyler said...

I should have used the words "looking at the bigger picture" instead of holistic - I knew that would get you going Maps!

If you discount the Greens you're only option is to vote Labour or Maori party Maps - why won't you be honest and tell people who you are going to vote for!

3:36 pm  
Blogger maps said...

Not for the Greens, that's for sure!

3:46 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


3:47 pm  
Blogger Skyler said...

If you can't think of anything to say except fuck etc you have no imagination and you aren't contributing to the debate and I'm happy to delete you.

4:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

National's use of Michael Jones and Va'aiga Tuigamala to boost its campaign in South Auckland has angered the rugby league community, Labour leader Helen Clark said today.

The former All Blacks appeared with National's leader, John Key, on Monday and gave his party's policies a ringing endorsement.

In Manukau City today former league captain Stacey Jones and veteran Warriors player Wairangi Koopu showed up to support Labour alongside Miss Clark.

"She's been a great supporter of league," Jones said.

"She's always given her best wishes to all the teams I've been involved with."

Koopu said he supported Labour, although he was thinking about the Maori Party because he wanted to ensure the Maori seats in Parliament stayed as they were.

Miss Clark told reporters Labour was getting great support from rugby league.

"I've picked up a lot of anger in the league community about what happened the other day," she said.

"People are really wanting to be helpful and I've known Stacey since he was a little boy.

"I was really thrilled he wanted to be part of it today."

National was rumoured earlier this year to be courting Michael Jones, widely rated as one of the greatest All Black No 7s, as a candidate but he was absent from the list when it was announced in August.

4:08 pm  
Blogger Skyler said...

Come on Maps who are YOU voting for? something starting with L? or will you waste your vote on RAM or the Workers Party (though I'm sure they are good people but they they won't get 5%).

4:26 pm  
Blogger maps said...

It's personal ;)

4:38 pm  
Blogger Skyler said...

True it is personal but you have just asked Muzzlehatch and me to lay our cards on the table.

4:44 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

a reply to Skyler and others:

4:53 pm  
Blogger Skyler said...

Give your party vote to the Greens or Labour, and get involved with the unions and progressive campaigns and make a real difference to people lives. Don't just stand at the fringes.

The fact is that most workers still vote for Labour and most unions still support Labour. I am voting Green because I think they will be a positive influence on Labour.

The Workers party say that a vote for them is a statement that we are not happy with the status quo, I think a vote for the Greens does the same thing but you are giving your party vote to a party who will be in parliament and have the chance to make a difference. If you vote for a far left group you may not be giving your vote to the right but you are taking a vote away from the left leaning parties (more likely then that National will have a bigger proportion of the vote).

It's not the right time yet to vote for the far left we need to build it up more, work in our communities, build trust - maybe get some good constituency candidates and get into parliament that way - otherwise it's all a waste of time if you don't have the support of the working class.

I think all the far left groups should bite the bullet and work together if they ever want to be a really strong voice.

5:08 pm  
Blogger Crazy Janey said...

Its always fascinating to me how excited and emotional people of the left get about voting for Labour.
Fact is, until there is an alternative, workers will vote for Labour. Some workers will vote for Labour+ (green vote designed to make Labour more like Labour should be).

6:04 pm  
Blogger Richard Taylor said...

I admire Locke but while (at least) one of my daughters is keen to get the Greens in -I am not big fan of them as a Party.

I do supports cettain environmental issues etc but I feel they overlook the importance of technological development - I am in fact in favour of large in industrial development in NZ to build NZ so that it has a degree of strength and in the long run to have a strong army etc I also support genetic research of many kind as scientists need to find ways to combat disease and increase food productivity by manipulating DNA etc There is very little danger from such research or genetic manipulations (anymore than any other technological developments).

The Greens for me seem too wishy washy about (buying into US Propaganda about) terrorism etc although they are perhaps better than Labour who for example completely ignored the injustice done to Akhmed Zaoui...

To his credit Keith Locke was the only MP who visited Zaoui

But soldiers who stupidly (ignorance of politics is no excuse) go to Afghanistan etc to me are traitors to the working class - they are murderers who assist US Imperialism in Iraq or Afghanistan or Indonesia etc - but I do believe in a strong people's army.

1:25 am  
Anonymous anarkaytie said...

Hey, about Russel Norman's appearance at the Unite! strike - Sue Bradford holds the portfolio for Unions & Industrial Relations, it isn't an area that is within his expertise. He doesn't know everything (surprise! most of us don't!), so is well within his rights to choose not to talk about an area he is not specialised or up-to-date in.


2:28 pm  
Blogger maps said...

Oh c'mon! It's an incredibly weak point.

Think about it - you're arguing that the Greens give high priority to workers' rights and are making the subject a campaigning issue, and yet you're suggesting that the leader of this same party doesn't know enough about industrial relations to make a comment on a strike for better pay by a group of workers on the minimum wage.

Either you are wrong about the Greens wanting to highlight workers' rights or else Norman is incompetent. What do you think is more likely?

2:59 pm  
Blogger Skyler said...

All I have to say is if you are on the left make sure you make your party vote count tomorrow and vote for a party who will get into parliament. Whether it's Labour, Greens or the Maori party (hopefully they will go with Labour!).

3:56 pm  
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Blogger Skyler said...

Unfortunately I'm not happy with the direction the Greens are going in :-( I am no longer a memeber. I'll have to write something about it when I have time. Might have to vote for Labour again next time! Though I am also not impressed with some of the anti Maori stuff coming out of that camp.

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