Wednesday, April 11, 2018

THE ELECTION OF MARAMA DAVIDSON

as co-leader of the Greens presents opportunities and challenges for both National and Labour.

Davidson represents the social policy activist base of the Greens whereas Shaw, Genter and Sage identify more with their more traditional environmentalist base.    The breadth of Davidson's victory confirms the ascendancy of the former among Green Party activists.   Davidson and Me Tu are indistinguishable and indeed, there is nothing too much that separates them from Hone Harawiri's Mana Party in their belief that it's duty of government to act as a modern day John Frum and dispense to the people what they want, when they want it, with work an optional extra ... perhaps.   And all the while secure in the knowledge that there are plenty of 'rich pricks' out there to pick up the tab.
  
It's a big call indeed by Davidson to say her task is to win back the 5%+ support bled in the lead-up to the election as a result of the Me Tu affair when all she can offer is more of the same and more.   Her election positions the Greens firmly on the left and likely to move further left as they move to out-labour Labour (which is also moving to the left) and preserve their identity as a separate Party. 

Make no mistake about it.   Davidson's election confirms that the Green Party of today bears little resemblance to the Green Party of Jeanette Fitzsimons and Rod Donald.   It has been captured by the hard left for whom the environmentalist persona is but a means to an end.

For Labour they can rest now assured that the Greens have no-where to go.  Davidson's election means they have edited themselves out of any meaningful conversation with National.   But that comes at a price.   As the Greens move to shore up and grow their vote on the left Labour risks shaking loose their middle NZL support in moving to counter that.

For National and the reality is they are left with no coalition partners on the horizon.   ACT is a broken brand and exists solely per courtesy of National.   It's time it was euthanized.   NZF too is terminal; their association with Labour means they will struggle to hit the 5% threshold even if Peters were to defy logic and stand again.   Without Peters and it will be a Dunne repeat.   The Maori Party, for all their talk, won't be back.   The Maori seats are Labour's to have and to hold.

National has a choice.   It can go it alone and commit to an election strategy predicated on their obtaining 46% of the vote and hoping the wasted vote reaches 11% which, edited out, would push National over the line.    That's a huge ask and would, IMHO, be a very 'courageous' decision (as Sir Humphrey might opine).    Alternatively it can seize the moment created by  Davidson's election and help facilitate the establishment of new Blue/Green stand-alone Party and target the disaffected 'environmentalist' Green vote buttressed by the substantial number of ROC voters who do care about the environment.  

The challenge here is if a Blue-Green Party were to succeed it cannot be seen  as a mere cypher for National.     It has to stand separate as offering something different than the slash and burn approach of the Greens and the laisez faire gradualism favoured by National.      The net result is that there will inevitably be a measure of creative tension between National and the Blue-Greens (much like that which exists between the Liberals and the Nationals in Australia).    That risk will need to be managed intelligently by both camps.  

The same opportunity does not present on National's right for two reasons.    First that the alt-right is fractious and, without putting a too fine a point on it, hampered by the kooks and single issue zealots who tend to gravitate to such parties.   Second, and more importantly, those who hanker for National to move to the right have already got a champion in Judith Collins sitting at Number 4 in the caucus rankings.    Collins isn't sitting in the No. 4 spot just to eat her lunch.

National cannot afford the do nothing approach.    It's all about risk and reward and Davidson's anointing presents National with an opportunity it would be stupid to pass up on ... and it holds the trump card ... Epsom.

  

20 comments:

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Good analysis Vet.

However I think you omitted one big risk for National. That is the march of the left through the institutions. How long do you think such a new party would remain 'clean'? Lefties will be in there like robbers' dogs.

Andrei said...

" That is the march of the left through the institutions. How long do you think such a new party would remain 'clean'? Lefties will be in there like robbers' dogs"

They already are Adolf - that is why National is languishing on the opposit6ion benches

The Veteran said...

Andrei ... National is languishing on he Opposition benches because it has no credible support parties and MMP and support parties go hand in hand. Any other time and in most other countries a Party with 45% of the vote would be quids in to be in office.

But it isn't and the purpose of this post is to suggest a way forward.

I am aware of a number of high profile Green activists who have either jumped ship or close to doing so in a reaction to the Davidson engineered move to the 'left'. Includes two very good friends of mine who have contributed much to the Greens over the past two decades in terms of both dosh and intellectual fire power.

The Greens loss will be the Blue-Greens gain if that Party gets off the ground.

Psycho Milt said...

The challenge here is if a Blue-Green Party were to succeed it cannot be seen as a mere cypher for National.

Yep. And good luck trying to overcome that challenge if voters see National "euthanise" ACT and "facilitate" the establishment of a more convenient party it can gift Epsom to. Basically, you're screwed.

Also: there's a market for voters daft enough to consider themselves environmentalists and be in favour of fossil fuel extraction and intensive dairying? I'd say that market is probably even smaller than the one for ACT's policies.

Psycho Milt said...

Any other time and in most other countries a Party with 45% of the vote would be quids in to be in office.

Other times and countries indeed do have electoral systems creating governments that more than half the voters rejected. That's not something we should aspire to.

The Veteran said...

Milt ... there is a balance to be achieved in the debate and the slash and burn approach of the Greens with Labour a Me Tu too is about as daft as pretending NZL can get by without fossil fuels and proposing to kill every fourth cow.

The chance of any new Party breaking the 5% barrier or winning an electorate seat without outside help is close to zip, zero.

I do understand your need to hose down this talk. Bleeding anything ain't pretty. Bleeding voters doubly so.

Andrei said...

"Other times and countries indeed do have electoral systems creating governments that more than half the voters rejected."

Yes the Nazi party had acheived only 33% of the vote in the election before Hitler became chancellor

But "democracy" is all smoke and mirrors anyway Milt. Theoretically the guy that sweeps the streets has as much a say as the directors of the boards of our biggest companies and we all know that isn't true

The real decisions are made by the oligarchy, the MPs only get to decide on trivial matters like how to spell W(h)anganui and in return get to be the scapegoats when things turn to custard though instead of being impaled¹ like in the good old days they just loose their seats and have to find a new job

(1) For Anglos the traditional end for a politician fallen from grace was disembowelment usually commuted to beheading but the image of politicians marching through a forest of their erstwhile collegues who have fallen from favour impaled on their stakes has appeal to me

Paranormal said...

Don't fall into the trap believing that Epsom is the only seat with voters intelligent enough to see that splitting their electorate vote and party vote might result in the government they want.

Even voters in left leaning seats have been known to do it.

Andrei said...

Veteram any support on the right will come from a party that is socially and fiscally conservative but social conservatism is currently shut out of political discourse and the socially conservative MPs of both major partys kept in a cupboard or told to keep their opinions to themselves

Billy English spent the time he was leader of the National Party apologizing for socially conservative positions he had previously taken in conscience votes though he never championed these issues

Its why he lost

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Andrei

In case you were not watching at the time, Bill English won. That's why your current gang is called the Coalition of LOSERS.

You'd better find a better theory.

David said...

Yeah sure, Adolf. Bill English won the election and Hilary Clinton is POTUS. that's why Trump heads the biggest CoL ever seen in US politics.

Andrei said...

"In case you were not watching at the time, Bill English won. That's why your current gang is called the Coalition of LOSERS."

Not my gang Adolf

Donald Trump won that is why he is the President of the USA - that was the laurel crown

Bill English lost that is why he is not the Prime Minister of NZ, the crown went to someone else

We are stuck with it, Sigh

Psycho Milt said...

In case you were not watching at the time, Bill English won.

I don't claim any particular expertise in these matters, but the person who wins the election gets to be PM and that pregnant woman I saw answering parliamentary questions yesterday sure as hell wasn't Bill English. Perhaps it was something else that he won?

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't sigh too much Andrei. The answers simple, stuff the judiciary with political appointees and arrange an accident for any journalist that questions it. Why are you lecturing us on due process when you endorse the murder of the 96 by your silence.

Lord Egbut

Andrei said...

You are not very good at this debate business are you Egbut

We are discussing what National might have to do in order to form a coalition capable of gaing the treasury benches next time, not any journalist shot in Makhachkala by a crazy outraged that he had been called a Wahhbist by said journalist

That being said the Committee to Protect Journalists based in New York puts the number of murdered journalists in Russia since 2000 at 25 not 96 and not unsurprisingly the majority of these seem to have occurred in the North Caucasus or have a North Caucasian connection as in the case of the most famous, Anna Politkovskaya

But back to the point at hand I am merely lamenting on this thread that despite MMP supposedly givingvery possible demographic a voice in parliament there is no obvious box for me to tick to indicate my party preference National having lost my support by shitting on the things I hold dear to appease the Godless neo marxists who dominate our political discourse

The Veteran said...

Milt ... sigh, yet again an attempt at a serious post gets thread-jacked. I continue to be amazed that the 'left' arrogates to itself the title of custodians of the environment. Slightly arrogant perhaps ... especially when you drive thru the streets of deepest darkest Mangere or Watangiruru or Aranui and see there just how much the overwelmingly Labour voting demographic cares about their environment.

p.s. Davidson's parliamentary salary equates to 70 cows +/-. Kill orf a quarter of them and apply that to parliamentary salaries and Davidson's salary reduces by $40k to $120k which is still about $95k more than she is worth.

Andrei said...

And to add to my most recent comment the Veteran wants National to embrace the neo paganism of Greenism

What Billy English should have done IMHO would have been to embrace his Catholicism, taken pride in it, instead of treating it as slightly embarrassing quirk and then perhaps he would have been our Prime Minister

Anonymous said...

Andrei ...typical troll response which is to distract from the story by using dodgy stats and dismissing the evidence as fake news....Since 2000 per year until 2009 the number of Journalists murdered....15, 11, 20, 11, 10, 4, 13, 3, 5, 6, during the beginning of Putin's reign. Russia is 148th in the world for press freedom....great country you got there Andrei, keep up the good work in criticizing our pagan values.

Lord Egbut

https://ipfs.io/ipfs/QmXoypizjW3WknFiJnKLwHCnL72vedxjQkDDP1mXWo6uco/wiki/List_of_journalists_killed_in_Russia.html

Psycho Milt said...

I continue to be amazed that the 'left' arrogates to itself the title of custodians of the environment.

More that we seem to be the only ones interested in doing anything about it. The last National government had a clear history of paying lip service to protecting the environment while intensifying the damage we're doing to it, which is no basis for environmentalists of any persuasion to form an alliance with National. It would be nice if protecting the environment wasn't something only for the left, but the right seems to want it that way.

Psycho Milt said...

But "democracy" is all smoke and mirrors anyway Milt. Theoretically the guy that sweeps the streets has as much a say as the directors of the boards of our biggest companies and we all know that isn't true

The real decisions are made by the oligarchy, the MPs only get to decide on trivial matters like how to spell W(h)anganui and in return get to be the scapegoats when things turn to custard...


Funny how close our views on this are, given that mine comes from Marxism (ie, that the country is actually run by its ruling class and the people elected to government are little more than administrators) and yours from conservatism. You go further than me, though - since socialists forced the introduction of universal adult suffrage, I believe democracy has become more than the "smoke and mirrors" it was in Marx' time. The ruling class is still running things, mind...