Somewhat to my surprise, I'm not opposed to it. Aotearoa now needs a change of government, but that will only happen next year if this collaboration produces a semblance of a positive alternative in the minds of swing-voters. It's the final opportunity the leftists are likely to have to get their collective act together.
Having finally admitted online that my early intervention in the session called to decide the question of our prospective parliamentary alignment (at the Tuakau '91 conference) was sufficiently decisive that nobody disagreed, I'm still feeling considerable angst about producing our leftist parliamentary alignment. Kiwis tend to act like sheep, and regrettably this results in the tendency of green folk in Aotearoa to act like green sheep. I already knew, back then, that I had to play the sheepdog & bark at them to get the right result. Some leading environmentalists had committed to working with Bolger & his closet-fascists, so I had to provide the counter-balance to prevent their capture of the green movement in Aotearoa.
Helen Clark proved that this parliamentary leftist alignment was not feasible in 2003, but the GP leaders have proved themselves clueless by retaining the failed strategy regardless. Recall Einstein's definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. So why have our Green politicians been trying for so long to publicly prove that they are insane??
Now they think this dead horse that they have been flogging for so long is about to leap up and canter to the finish line next year. The MoU suggests that it's alive, and the media presentations even make it seem as if the horse has raised its head & is remembering what it was meant to do. Will I end up feeling historically validated in seizing the time at that crucial moment in '91, and no longer have to feel that I had sent the Greens down a political cul-de-sac in which they seemed determined to get lost forever?
Bomber Bradbury conducted these webcast panels discussing the MoU:
And here's my feedback to the Bomber's commentary on attending our AGM:
JUNE 5, 2016 AT 8:03 PM DENNIS FRANK says:
Martyn, those panel shows you did yesterday & the day before were really good. I don’t normally bother with the blogosphere due to getting bored easily but the MoU is a bit of a tectonic shift in Aotearoa’s political culture (better late than never). Here’s my feedback on your impressions of our conference (which I wasn’t at) & your analysis..
Your perception of a faction that wants the GP to be non-aligned is encouraging because such people are authentic greenies. Presumably you recall the political green movement emerging globally in the early ’80s as `neither left nor right, but in front’. Those of us who entered the green belief system via the counter-culture in ’68/9 were mostly apolitical because the revulsion induced in us by the political left was almost as intense as that induced by the political right. Dumb & dumber. So we had to forge a third alternative.
Refugees from Labour swelled our ranks sufficiently in the early ’90s that they were able to take eventual control: I left mid-’95 in disgust & rejoined 18 months ago to see if the situation could be improved. While it’s true that I seized the time in March ’91 & persuaded our conference to adopt a leftist alignment should we ever enter parliament, that was just because the Bolger govt was closet-fascist and pre-MMP parliament was binary. Non-alignment wasn’t realistic.
The correct time to ditch that leftist alignment was 2003, after Helen Clark had proved it would never work. Too bad those in control of the GP have demonstrated that they were/are slow learners. However, I do agree that Aotearoa would benefit from a change of govt, so I welcome the MoU – perhaps our leftists are genuinely trying to achieve unity?
I suspect the faction you identified similarly feel we can afford to give the left one last shot at getting their collective act together. After all, we do share their values & aspirations. We just get alienated by their simple-mindedness, poor judgments, lack of political nous, etc.
The left has wallowed in a morass of sectarianism too long. Their pathological need for divisiveness has prevented them identifying common ground on which to proceed. Aotearoa needs them to play a constructive role in our political arena. Pretending to be progressive just seems a sham to others when you’re not actually being progressive. The government will not change unless the left stop preaching to the converted and start giving swing-voters good reasons to shift leftwards…
After the GP conference last year I sensed that, despite the verdict of the straw poll conducted by Russel Norman at our prior summer policy conference, those of us seeking authentic representation of the green movement by the Green Party were likely to continue to have our aspirations denied by the status quo. The emergence of the MoU confirms my apprehension, but I'm taking a positive view. Timing is the key to political intervention and halfway thro the electoral cycle is a suitable time to reframe the expectations of the electorate.
On Chris Trotter's blog I wrote (June 2nd): Feels appropriate, since Aotearoa needs unity on the left. Politically it may not work: the next poll will give us a provisional verdict on that. If there's no shift in the middle it will test the resolve of those who negotiated the detente. It will indicate that swing-voters are insufficiently impressed and have decided to wait & see if the collaboration will become substantive.
Green voters would have been better served if the GP had abandoned the leftist parliamentary alignment last year, but there's a faint chance the old horse ain't really dead & will suddenly leap up & bolt past the Nats to the finish line. Our straw poll last year: 60 or so people gave us a show of hands that was two to one in favour of the authentic traditional greenies: neither left nor right. The situation echoes the schism in the Values Party back in the '70s (I've been neither left nor right since 1971). Everyone's congenital reluctance to define the political left & right perpetuates our state of total cluelessness in all directions.
People keep saying nowadays that perception is reality. That's only true of those who can't tell the difference. But perceptions can indeed alter both the subjective reality of a person and the collective reality of a group or society - the shapeshifting of a shaman deliberately restructures the collective consciousness of the tribe, the vision of a preacher can form a religion via resonance in the minds of listeners, the imagery of the media persuades many to buy products and wear brand logos. The leftist MoU is a ploy of this kind as it flags a potential new government - it remains to be seen how adept those involved are at transforming this perception into reality by effecting the mass reframe Aotearoa needs!