September 18, 2014
The Greens are soft on National:
Last week, Russel Norman and Gareth Hughes made much of the Greens’ ability to deliver no matter who is in Government.
Why would they do this? Because they have lost faith in the left – the core of which is still the urban working class – and are trying to broaden their appeal to appeal to voters from the leafy suburbs of Epsom, Khandallah, Fendalton etc, to appeal to natural National voters. Last election the Greens took over 10% of the vote in wealthy Epsom and Ilam; they got just 3% in working-class Mangere. A prominent election promise of theirs is to cut the company tax rate!
Why does this matter? In elections, politicians and voters often lose sight of the fact that it is not about policy – it is about a struggle for power. In a fight, it matters which side you are on.
The Greens are soft on the causes of National
On the left, many of the Greens policies act as a positive force. In alliance with the right, the same policies – on climate change, for examples – become excuses for austerity. Their inability to commit to the left is a real weakness. They always want to play both sides. Norman recently claimed to be more free market than the Nats. If he had limited himself to expose the Nats’ free market rhetoric as hypocrisy that would be good. But he genuinely wants to be accepted as respectable by free market economists. That is disastrous.
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