I am not alone in thinking that the Green manipulation of its list ranking to allow Russell Norman into parliament is unprincipled.
Under a heading Red Russell no longer to be CInderella Adam Smith notes:
So ‘Red’ Russel is no longer to be the Cinderella party leader; he will go to the ball. Mike Ward has suddenly decided to play fairy godmother to the Greens Co-leader, so that his wish of entering Parliament before the election can be granted.
What a blatant piece of manipulation of the rules under MMP. Someone who none in the electorate voted for is now propelled into Parliament. There should be a backlash and a mighty big one at that, against this unprincipled move by the Greens. Indeed, Adam would trust that there would be similar opprobrium heaped on any party that indulges in such shameless manipulation.
No Minister calls them scheming and unprincipled.
There is no way one can stop an MP resigning early, but one could have a simple law change to remove the ability for a list candidate to refuse to become an MP. They could still be elected and then resign, but that extra step might stop them from doing private deals to change the effective order of a list post-election.
The Greens have no shame. Firstly they cynically manipulated the Electoral System to prevent or at the very least hinder freedom of speech and now they manipulate the list system so they can get more money campaigning.
The Greens – party of principle?
Now what difference will that make? Well, RR will now enjoy the privileges of office, including an ability to criss-cross Aotearoa by air, and take advantage of the Greens’ parliamentary machine to get the pre-election message to the masses.
Monkeys with Typewriters call them bottom feeders:
It is bottom feeding – a self-interested, vote-catching race, and it’s simply disgusting – a disgusting retreat from principle by Labour and a disgusting return to simpering denial by National.”
says Russell Norman.
This from the Party that endorsed the Election Finance Act.
but let’s analyse the philosophical view endorsed here. It at once manages to patronise and be smug, without delivering any message of intent, while at the same time displaying an arrogance and disregard for the voter.
I can only imagine that this was after Russell Norman got the email telling him that his seat in Parliament was secure.
The Standard is the lone dissenting voice:
Good on Mike Ward for finally seeing sense and stepping aside, allowing Greens co-leader Russel Norman to enter Parliament replacing Nandor Tanczos. Norman is rapidly establsihing himself as a very good media frontperson for the Greens; being in Parliament will enhance his role.
Only the righties were praising Ward for not stepping aside (just as they are the only ones praising the Greens for threatening to sink the ETS). Something’s not right when your supporters are asking you to change and the tories are cheering you on.
While The Hive sees a little silver lining the cloud of manipulation:
Both Kiwiblog and the Inquiring Mind have posts today on the news that the Greens have achieved their manipulation of the electoral laws to allow “Red” Russel Norman to jump up the party list so that he can enter Parliament before the election. This means more profile and more money for our neo-Marxist friend.
We are not as outraged as David Farrar or Adam Smith. We want Russel Norman’s views exposed to all as clearly as possible. When people realise where this guy is trying to take the Greens they might think twice about the wisdom of voting them back in. We hope also that the media do some thorough work on what drives our newest MP to be.
A comment from Truth Seeker under this post says it’s the list equivalent of a loyal MP in a safe seats being asked to stand aside so a new party leader can take a seat in the House”.
But there’s one important difference – if an MP who holds a seat stands aside there has to be a bi-election which lets the people decide. Three people who were ranked ahead of Norman on the list in 2005 had to stand aside to let him into parliament – that’s the party hierarchy playing politics not democracy.