Friday, October 02, 2020

An unenthusiastic endorsement

Advance voting starts tomorrow (overseas voting has already begun), so if I'm goig to endorse anyone, I guess I should get it in before people have actually started ticking boxes. In previous years, I have encouraged people to vote for any party on the left, while enthusiasticly voting Green. This year its something different.

First, the Greens: they unquestionably have the best people and the best policies. I really want to see people like Marama Davidson and Chlöe Swarbrick and Golriz Ghahraman back in Parliament, and I want them to be joined by Teanau Tuiono and Ricardo Menéndez March. And they're offering a wealth tax, real action on climate change and water, and really positive moves on inequality and housing. Against that, there's the fact that in government they've undermined climate action by backing down on agricultural emissions and pollution subsidies (James Shaw's support for the stupid "Green school" is comparatively minor, and he apologised, but it just highlights the leadership's values problem). But the thing I really can't forgive them for is their support for the government's odious "anti-terror" law, which runs contrary to their values, and to mine. Once upon a time, the Greens would have loudly and proudly opposed such tyranny. Under James Shaw, they supported it. When they did that, I asked to be removed from their mailing lists, and stopped donating to them, because I refuse to help fund a party which supports tyranny. And until they make good that mistake, I'm not giving them another cent.

But its not like I can vote for Labour. They wrote that tyrannical law, and supported others besides. They also refuse to take credible action on climate change, have ruled out a wealth tax, and are trying to roll back their own freshwater policy to pander to farmers. On housing, Jacinda Ardern was asked straight out the other night if she wanted to see house prices drop, and she said "no", which tells us that she is completely uninterested in solving that problem. Their policy is uninspiring, and their backbench is stuffed with useless time-servers (and at least one outright fascist). So fuck them.

What about other options? On current polling I don't think the Māori Party will make it back (though their policy is good). TOP is arrogant, technocratic, and still has the lingering smell of their cat-hating founder. Sustainable New Zealand is explicitly a right-wing trojan horse. So I can't vote for any of those.

And on the gripping hand: the climate crisis is here, and we need to fix it. Having the Greens in government is the only way we have a hope in hell of doing that. So, I'm going to hold my nose, and vote for them as the lesser evil - and you should too. But they need to change. Because we deserve something better to vote for than a lesser evil.