Trans-Tasman asks an interesting question: how cosy will Labour and the Greens remain?
Labour’s relationship with the Greens is one of the most intriguing elements in the current Parliament. The assumption on the Left has been they are close allies certain to form the next Govt. But when it comes to the point, how far will Labour go in accepting Greens’ fundamental credo the interests of the environment rate ahead of economic development? Taking a cue from the debate now raging in Aust. . . In NSW last week general secretary Sam Dastyari launched a scathing attack on the Greens, labelling them as “extremists, not unlike One Nation” and said he will move a resolution at the NSW Labor conference urging the party to consider giving preferences to the Greens last at the Federal election.
Julia Gillard agreed with Dastyari’s stance, saying she stands by a controversial speech she gave in April last year in which she said the Greens do not value family or work. In NZ, former PM Helen Clark steadfastly refused to include the Greens within her Cabinet during her 9 years in office. The difficulty for Labour now is whether its new leadership team has the political “smarts” Clark displayed in keeping the Greens at bay while she pursued unalloyed Labour goals.
Commentators keep pointing out that National doesn’t have many coalition partners. Labour has a potential one in the Green Party, but would they want to share the government benches with them?
MMP is designed to prevent one party getting a majority. It also puts the power in the middle which leaves Labour with a conundrum. The Green Party will take votes from its left but it could just as well scare voters from the centre who have genuine concern for the environment but not as a sugar coating for extreme left economic and social policies.