The newpapers are full of opinion columns in which people put their cards on the table and urge their readers to vote one way or another, so I thought I'd join them. But unlike other commentators I will not be urging people to vote for a particular party. Instead, I'd like to encourage people to take the broad view and cast their party vote for a left-wing government. There are a number of parties which would contribute to such a government, and under MMP, it does not really matter which particular one you cast your vote for. I will be voting Green, because I seem to share their general ethos, because a left-wing government will not be possible if they fail to make it over the threshold, and because IMHO Labour's failure to defend human rights (particularly with regards to Ahmed Zaoui) means that they are not worthy of my support - but it is not necessary that we agree in order to work together. As Span said,
Let us fight in our way, and you will fight in yours, and hopefully one day we will all win together.
While there are complicating factors which provide Labour supporters with a strong incentive to vote Green and help them into Parliament by a comfortable margin, the blunt fact is that unlike the right, we don't need to worry so much about tactical voting, because we're all going to get into Parliament. Any vote for Labour, the Greens, or the Progressives advances our mutual cause; none of them is a "wasted vote".
So, if you like Labour, vote Labour. If you like the Greens, vote Green. If you like Jim and Matt, vote Progressive. The only tactical consideration is whether you want to try and pull Labour to the left by voting for one of its coalition partners, but that is ultimately a matter of individual taste. A vote for any of these parties will contribute to a New Zealand where the government works for the many rather than the few, where the partnership symbolised by the Treaty is upheld, and where everyone can participate regardless of race, gender, faith, or sexual identity - and that, ultimately, is what we're all working for.