Wednesday, January 05, 2005



Forcing Labour's hand

United Future's draconian and barbaric "justice" policy and their expectation that it will be a starting point for future coalition negotiations should drive home the dangers of allowing them to influence policy after the next election. But what can left-wing voters who care about human rights (and want policy grounded in reality rather than fantasy) do about it?

One tactic is simply to tell them: make it clear to Labour that we want them to go left rather than right. But if that fails, we must be prepared to force Labour's hand. And the best way of doing this is to vote for one of the smaller left wing parties.

Current polling suggests a repeat of the 2002 scenario, with Labour having two or three partners with which it can form a government. Voting for the Greens or the Progressive Coalition instead of Labour will not alter the left's overall share of the vote or its chances of forming a government - but it will alter how power is distributed within that government, and may (depending on the relative strengths of the various parties) make a left coalition the only real option. In the 2002 election, a swing of just 1% away from Labour and towards the Greens would have cut United Future out of the running and prevented them from having any influence on policy, without adversely affecting the total voting strength of the eventual coalition. With United Future flexing its fundamentalist muscles, that seems worth aiming for, neh?

12 comments:

Labour seemed to be fairly hostile to the Greens last time. I have this nasty feeling they might go with NZ First rather than Green if it came down to it. Possibly they are scared of forming a left-wing coalition.

Still agree it's a good idea to vote Green though. (I think Jim is somewhat to the right of centre on some social issues, so i wont be voting Progressive)

Posted by Rich : 1/05/2005 09:05:00 AM

Well, I want a strong centre-left coalition/confidence and supply arrangement, and the LGBT communities want adoption law reform and trans-inclusive antidiscrimination laws next time, so we have an incentive to party-vote Green. And I'm bloody annoyed with the govt over the Ahmed Zaoui fiasco...

Craig

Posted by Anonymous : 1/05/2005 09:26:00 AM

Sadly or otherwise it will be Winston the Kingmaker again and that is Nationals fault on one hand and the Greens on the other...

Posted by MERC : 1/05/2005 01:47:00 PM

I would prefer Peter Dunne than Winston Peters, but neither sound that good to me. I would ask people NOT to vote for Jim Anderton as he has no real policy, it would be better to have him as an overhang thus increasing the power of the left even more (as the left has a seat which usually doesn't exist).

Posted by Greg Stephens : 1/05/2005 02:42:00 PM

The advantage of voting Progressive is you get Matt Robson, who has been a tireless advocate for civil liberties. So if you can hold your nose enough to stomach Jim, then it's not all bad...

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 1/05/2005 03:23:00 PM

Remember you have two votes. If you have a liberal national candidate and a conservative labour candidate voting for the National candidate may be the best option. A lot of social votes are conscience and the membership of the Labour caucus will decide (at least inpart) who labour deals with and how much they give away.

Posted by Greyshade : 1/05/2005 04:58:00 PM

That's something I expect to be paying a lot more attention to closer to the election, when I have a bit more info on who the candidates actually are.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 1/05/2005 05:43:00 PM

Watching Goff in Thailand (remember Fiji) and his stance on law, I'm picking him for the next labour leader...so who will replace Michael?

But it's all afterall conjecture, except for the done deals backroom and we don't get any say on those...do we?

Posted by MERC : 1/05/2005 08:28:00 PM

If only someone would start a genuinely progressive pro-science Green Party in New Zealand. I can't vote for the existing one as I very strongly disagree with their anti GE stance.

BTW NRT you might want to think about getting rid of the "Free Zaoui..." banner...but you know, only if you want to...

Posted by Make Tea Not War : 1/06/2005 09:32:00 AM

It is a problem - I either have to hold my nose for luddites or stalinists.

As for the Zaoui banner, you're right, I should probably change it to the "fair trial" bit...

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 1/06/2005 10:35:00 AM

On your post, NRT, and for the purposes of debate - a Labour/Green coalition would have been ok 02-05 with the transfer of votes you discuss. If that had been the government, though, what would politics look like now? Would Labour, hijacked to the left, have been in contention for a third term?

The lesson Labour's current leadership has taken is that progress needs to be slow to endure, and that the failure to be patient destroyed the second and third Labour governments. Going in the wrong direction destroyed the fourth.

To put it another way - do you think NZers are in a position where they would *want* a more left wing government? The current government is *less* left wing than the 1999-02 one. They didn't vote for a more centrist administration by accident, one assumes.

Posted by Jordan : 1/10/2005 04:39:00 PM

They're interesting issues, and I've done a full post on them rather than reply here. One point I would like to make here though is that while New Zealand voted for a more centrist Parliament in 2002, it wasn't left influence they were fleeing. Yes, United Future got 6.7% of the vote - and it all came from National. There was a clear left majority there - better than the centrist majority Labour eventually stitched up - but infighting (and to be honest, the Greens' sheer stupidity) meant that it wasn't pursued. Fortunately the Greens are looking to be a little more flexible this time round; the ball is really in Labour's court.

I was hardly expecting you to talk of labour being "hijacked" to the left, but OTOH it is a very appropriate word. After all, your party is just a vehicle as far as I'm concerned...

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 1/10/2005 06:30:00 PM