Norman helps National again

Undecided voters in the centre generally don’t like parties on the extremes of politics.

They don’t wholeheartedly support National or Labour but they prefer them to those at the more radical end of the political spectrum.

They are more likely to favour a stronger major party because of that, knowing that any of the wee parties which are needed to form a government will have a lot less leverage.

That’s one reason labour is struggling.

Some who might support it aren’t at all keen on the thought of the influence a Green Party with a third as many MPs as Labour would have.

Any flexing of muscles by the Greens might appeal to its supporters but it sends those to the right of the left and in the centre further right.

Russel Norman’s announcement he wants to be deputy Prime Minister will excite his party’s grass roots but it will scare a lot of undecided and swinging voters.

Green Party co-leader Russel Norman wants to be deputy prime minister if Labour and Greens become government after this year’s election.

Any cabinet formed after the September election should be proportional, and the deputy prime minister role would certainly be on the table, Dr Norman told The Nation today.

“Obviously it depends on the size of the vote,” he said. . .

Keeping talking like that, Russel, it will hurt Labour and help National.


Does this ambition on Norman’s part expose the nonsense of co-leaders. After all, if he and Metiria Turei are truely equal as leaders, why would he be deputy PM ahead of her?

30 Responses to Norman helps National again

  1. pdm says:

    Does the `manban’ not mean that in the unfortunate event of this being possible that Labour would insist on Turei being Deputy PM?

  2. Dave Kennedy says:

    As I have said here before Ele, the Greens are becoming more mainstream and it is this National Government that is falling behind in its thinking and policies. Much that the Greens have in economic policy is supported by the IMF, the World Bank who are promoting green economics as the future for our global economy. The Greens are continually using the advice of the Law Commission, Treasury and many of our Government appoint commissioners (environment/children) to questions the Government’s actions. New Zealand is ready for some truly progressive governance rather than a rehash of what hasn’t worked.

    I would also like you to quote where Russel has ‘announced’ that he wants to be the Deputy PM. I thought he was responding to question and he only suggested that any thinking along those lines is dependent on the strength of the Green vote.

    Also I don’t think Russel is as scary as the idea of Colin Craig or Jamie Whyte as deputy.

  3. Dave Kennedy says:

    pdm, Turei would make a great Deputy PM 🙂

  4. homepaddock says:

    Dave @12:46 – You miss the point – a weak Labour and stronger Green Party allow the latter to make much stronger demands.

    On current polling National is stronger and any potential coalition partners aren’t in any position to be making demands for positions like deputy PM.

  5. Dave Kennedy says:

    You make it sound like a threat, Ele. Any Government should reflect the wishes of the voters. If the Greens got 5% then their influence would be minimal, if we got 20% of the vote then at least a 1/5 of all voters would be reasonable in expecting more Green policies like nurses in low decile schools and better public transport in Auckland. If our policies are not well regarded and we don’t get enough votes they won’t happen.

    In 2011 many National supporters were very positive about a coalition with the Greens as we were seen as more responsible and stable than Act and our environmental credentials were viewed positively. Now in 2014 the you are suggesting that Green policies are extreme. I guess that is true if clean rivers, sustainable jobs and healthy kids are frightening.

    I would also like you to explain why the concept of co-leaders is ‘nonsense’.

  6. RBG says:

    14%. The Greens ain’t ‘wee’. The 1% that National are doing all their deals for -thats wee. You know, your mates that are directors in Chinese milk companies, or own 5 dairy farms , or casinos and so on. The 1% you are selling our assets to at rock bottom prices.

  7. JC says:

    “Much that the Greens have in economic policy is supported by the IMF, the World Bank who are promoting green economics as the future for our global economy.”

    So lets have a look at this “smart green” economy.. in the UK for every (subsidised) green job created there are four jobs list elsewhere in the economy, same in Spain where green jobs are created at the cost of $770,000.

    In Germany the country is near broke because of clean green policies and now Germany is reduced to digging up more coal, building more coal fired power plants and importing dirty Polish lignite.

    Oh, and under this great new economy your local rubbish collector is officially part of the new clean green economy and its counted as one of the new clean and green jobs..

    Meantime NZ leads most of the world in GDP growth, has a good jobs record and has created or deepened trade opportunities so much that our leading export isn’t dairying its “Services”, ie, the sale of knowledge and expertise.

    And in the States, despite an incompetent administration industry is on the rise and emissions have fallen substantially due to fracking and other common garden type innovation.. nothing green about it, just being smart doing normal research and business.

    “Clean and green” is a bust.. its simply subsidies for the rich and corrupt and fuel poverty for the plebs. Every year in the UK another 30,000 die needlessly from cold weather courtesy of the “Greenest Government ever”.


  8. jabba says:

    stop the bus .. if we end up with a Govt made up of Labour/Gween/Winny1st and lack of Mana/dotcom, how can Russelllllllll become deputy PM????????. I understand he is No2 on the Gween list behind crazy Turei AND to have a gender balance, if the PM is male, the deputy MUST be female.
    Dave, Turei would be a disaster as a minister let alone deputy PM .. PLEASSSSSSSSSSSSEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE stop acting stupid defending your mad party

  9. jabba says:

    Craig and Whyte are both new to politics and have been blindsided by the media recently over crap questions .. I see Whyte, so far, as being pretty sharp and would be happy to see him as a minister at least.

  10. Dave Kennedy says:

    JC, I’d love to see the source of your information on Germany’s green initiatives, possibly the same place as Gerry Brownlees absurd claim that it was Greece’s investment in rail, not motorways that help contribute to it’s economic collapse.

    Jabba, if you keep repeating the mantra that the Greens are mad, perhaps someone will believe you but it is definitely this Government that is far closer to madness:

    -It is mad to spend $12 billion on motorways when all logic and cost benefit analysis says otherwise.

    -It was mad to implement Novopay when it had 147 identified software faults.

    -It was mad to appoint someone with no knowledge of our education system to lead the Ministry when their only real expertise was introducing Charter Schools (a predetermined agenda).

    -It was madness to think larger class sizes would improve teaching (thank goodness that didn’t eventuate).

    -It is madness to think that drilling for oil and gas at a depth of 1200 metres, deeper than we have ever drilled off shore NZ before, won’t carry extra risks.

    -It was madness to give tax cuts to upper income earners when it has cost us an average of $1.2 billion a year in lost revenue.

    I also have noted that all the Greens policy announcements recently have been widely applauded as fiscally sound and much needed. National spending $359 million on a few existing teachers and principals to replicate a business model of operation (high paid CEOs) is a nonsense. The same money would give schools an average of $120,000 extra which would pay for more teacher aids and extra teachers that would make a huge difference to class sizes and support struggling earners. It would also help fund a replacement of all the school advisors that have been sacked.

    The Greens are mad? Only if you don’t like fiscally responsible spending and decisions supported by evidence and real consultation.

  11. jabba says:

    the Greens are mad Dave .. you and your people seem to live in a world of your own. When I head nth of Akl I want fast and safe roads, when I head south and east, I want fast and safe roads .. I couldn’t give a shit about the pathetic rail loops etc that I will NEVER use. The day I listen to fiscal spending from the Greens is the day hell freezes over,.

  12. Dave Kennedy says:

    Jabba, I can see why you are such a strong National supporter, your logic and approach to issues are incredible 😉

  13. jabba says:

    Dave .. there are things that National do that I disagree with and some of them worry me. That’s one of the many things that set us apart. If heyClint, or Russellll, or Turei say something, the likes of yourself or your dispshit brother-in-law repeat the message in a mindless way.

  14. JC says:

    “JC, I’d love to see the source of your information on Germany’s green initiatives,

    Its paywalled but here’s a flavour:

    “Germany is in the middle of one of the most audacious and ambitious experiments a major industrial economy has ever attempted: To swear off nuclear power and run Europe’s largest economy essentially on wind and solar power.

    There’s just one problem — it’s not really working.

    The energy transformation, known as “Energiewende,” was meant to give Germany an energy sector that would be cleaner and more competitive, fueling an export-driven economy and helping to slash greenhouse-gas emissions. On that count, the policy has floundered: German emissions are rising, not falling, because the country is burning increasing amounts of dirty coal. And electricity costs, already high, have kept rising, making life difficult for small and medium-sized businesses that compete against rivals with cheaper energy.

    Less than three years after Berlin embraced its new energy policy, a shifting global energy landscape is causing a rethink of the Energiewende inside and outside Germany. Business groups representing small and medium firms wring their hands over Germany’s high energy costs while Brussels frets that Berlin is subsidizing big German industry with rebates on inflated energy bills. Foreign leaders, and plenty of pundits, blame the Energiewende for Europe’s inability to answer Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Utilities, meanwhile, are bleeding money, slashing investments, and shutting down power plants.

    German politicians, meanwhile, can only look across the Atlantic and shake their heads. Washington has no formal or comprehensive energy or climate policy, but the United States’ natural gas bonanza has led to cheaper power prices and falling greenhouse-gas emissions in recent years. Berlin has reams of pro-renewable energy policies, but prices and emissions are climbing. Germany’s energy dilemma is particularly important now, because the European Union is trying to sort out its own climate and energy policies through 2030. The choice, essentially, is whether the Europe wants to be more like Germany, or less.”

    Of course this is but one of dozens of reports reflecting ever increasing concerns with Germany’s mad rush to oblivion and I have noted from several years ago that Germany was already planning a further 13 coal fired plants for electricity as clean and green fell apart.

    The same is happening in Japan as PM Abe is exhorting people to get over their nuke fears and get with the nuclear power programme.. its a matter of economic survival.

    Now, most skeptics would agree it makes incredibly good sense to move away from fossel fuel dependency but it must be done in steps, in keeping with economic realities and over time with a vast increase in fracking to help with the transition till research gives us the ability to economically use air, water, waste, sun and wind to power our lives into the future.

    However, we are a long way from that particular utopia but fortunately we have time on our side, particularly as warming has stopped these last 17 years and the IPCC is busy rowing back from its Apocalypse proclamations.


  15. Dave Kennedy says:

    Actually, Jabba, if you read back what i have said you would struggle to find something that is repeating Russel Norman. I have been linking to the likes of the IMF, Treasury or the Law Commission or other such crazy institutions of the left to support my arguments 😉

  16. Mr E says:

    “Also I don’t think Russel is as scary as the idea of Colin Craig or Jamie Whyte as deputy.”


    IS AS SCARY!!!!

    He’s scary? Why do you think that? Should I presume that was a blunder or are you really scared of the thought of him as deputy?

  17. Dave Kennedy says:

    JC, thanks for that, I also did some more reading for myself and Germany’s energy organisation is a bit of a dog’s breakfast. The transition has not been as well managed as it could be, however some years from now the country will be in a better position than those that haven’t really begun that transition and the German people largely support the goals.

    However you can’t use Germany as an example of smart green economics as there are a number of better examples including Denmark:
    and Stockholm:

    New Zealand can’t be compared with any in Europe because our energy profile is completely different and we already have most of our energy needs met with renewables. We also have declining demand and yet energy charges are crazily set at the highest cost of production. We need to operate smarter!

  18. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, I was trying to empathize with those on the right who think that Russel and Metiria are scary politicians and even if we start with that assumption (a patently wrong one) then Craig and Whyte are infinitely scarier 🙂 Unbelievably Jabba tried to defend them both and reckons they would make excellent Ministers…now that is really scary!

  19. Gravedodger says:

    Dave K, I have no knowledge of your abilities as a teacher.

    That said, I for one have a certain degree of respect for the mantra;

    “People who are able to do something well can do that thing for a living, while people who are not able to do anything that well make a living by teaching.”

    As I said not referring to you DK but to the lecturing that we endure from your Party leadership who have a dearth of experience in creating wealth from a work ethic and capital they are responsible for repaying.

    Nothing personal Dave, to quote Don Corleone, its business.

    That is what is so scary

  20. Mr E says:

    Interesting political style you have.

    To be frank – I am scared of the thought of Russell as deputy. When I try and apply the thought, I can only think of Russell holding a Tibetan flag and damaging relations we have with China. Whilst it is important that politicians hold morality as a principle it is also important that they execute good judgement when it comes to managing relationships. In my opinion, if Russell has ambitions of becoming deputy Prime minister he should have shown restraint.

  21. Willdwan says:

    I actually have some sympathy with teachers. I think teaching requires knowledge, skill, experience and dedication. And yet, every man and his dog thinks he is an expert, entitled to an opinion on the subject.

    Like farming Dave.

  22. Dave Kennedy says:

    Willdwan, I never claim to be an expert on farming but I like to throw ideas about, and am genuinely interested in discussing farming with those here who have a practical background. I am also prepared to shift my thinking when I am presented with convincing arguments. I am not entirely devoid of farming experience as I have worked on farms was the vice president of a young farmers club and their newsletter editor (in the early 80s) and have lived in farming communities.

    Mr E much has been spun about Russel’s protest against the Chinese occupation of Tibet but the facts are not as many people realize.

    China has illegally occupied Tibet for years and the Dalai Lama has had to live in exile for much of that time. Russel continued with the peaceful protest against the occupation that Rod Donald had done in the past when China had visited. However Rod had been supported by parliamentary security to ensure his safety and protection. Russel was actually some distance away when the Chinese delegation arrived and with no security provided. The Chinese body guards approached him and forcibly removed his flag. Whatever you think of his response (and I’m sure Russel would have managed it differently in retrospect) it is totally unreasonably for the security of a visiting nation to throw their weight around when local citizens are involved in peaceful protest. It was appalling behaviour when they were under no physical threat.

    You seem to be saying that when we are negotiating trade deals that human injustices should be ignored as trade takes precedence. I think our national sovereignty and that of other nations is extremely important and I also found it distasteful when some of our political leaders bowed to Chinese pressure by not attending a show supported by the Folun Gong

    You must have also had the same feelings when New Zealand challenged the US nuclear policy and the French were testing bombs in the Pacific.

  23. Mr E says:

    “You seem to be saying………….. injustices should be ignored”

    No I am most certainly not…. But nice try. I am saying there is a time, place and appropriateness for protest. It is not right to invite the Chinese, then protest as they walk through the front door. As an NZEI representative I would have thought you would have arrived at that conclusion by now.

    Surely you don’t think any protest is a good protest? I don’t believe you think Russel’s actions were wise. And given your sympathy for people’s fear of Russel, I’m wondering if other Green members think Metiria is a better choice for leader. Surely the Greens are strong enough to choose the best leader? Or is one a scape goat?

  24. Dave Kennedy says:

    I think we will just have to disagree on the Tibet issue, Mr E, we bow down to large powers too often and we need to communicate our concerns. The only time we can protest against China’s invasion of Tibet is when they visit us, they are unlikely to allow us to do it over there.

    This Government seems to treat human rights as a luxury not a necessity.

  25. Mr E says:

    Treating visitors with respect, I think, is a human right in itself.
    As a politician you will no doubt know progress is more realistic after a firm handshake and looking someone in the eye.

    If your trying to suggest that Russel could not have protested in an alternative way – Ill not agree with that.

  26. Dave Kennedy says:

    Russel did not have the opportunity to meet with the Chinese to deliver a personal message and it is unlikely that the Government would have broached the subject. Standing to one side with the Tibetan Flag was his only option to have our views expressed. It was the Chinese who ripped the flag from him and pushed him around, the only thing he may have done differently is not to attempt to get it back after the way it was spun afterwards.

    How would you have expressed concern over the Tibetan issue, given the options? Perhaps you don’t think the invasion is an issue or the persecution of the Buddhist monks and removal of democracy.

  27. Mr E says:

    Why would any Chinese delegate give him the time of day now? If that’s how he welcomes guests. Shocking behaviour by a member of parliament.

    Dave- The Greens mantra seems the best message is a protest message. That scares me. There are thousands of ways to get messages across.

    Snail mail
    Public meetings outings

    If protest techniques are sought there are multiple options that are a lot more appropriate for a member of parliament.

    I believe Russel acted aggressively during the flag incident. The first physical contact made was by Russel, elbowing a ‘security guard’ out of the way, because he stood in front of him.

    a link to remind you.

    It makes me cringe thinking about it. Not at all the behaviour I would expect of a deputy prime minister.

  28. JC says:

    “How would you have expressed concern over the Tibetan issue, given the options? Perhaps you don’t think the invasion is an issue or the persecution of the Buddhist monks and removal of democracy.”

    In 1951 when China invaded the Tibetans were close to the worst treated people in the world. They were slaves to the Lamas and regularly killed and/or mutilated if they protested treatment as bad and worse than anything documented in Nth Korea or the worst Muslim dictators or theocracies.

    “Freeing” Tibet and handing it back to a murderous theocracy is no answer.. in would be simply returning Tibet to barbarism and slavery.. just like the good old days under the Dali Lamas.

    Here’s a flavour of it:

    .. and there are a lot more gory details from other writers.

    The history of Tibet and its relationship with China cannot be expressed by the simpleton protests against China these days.. they are simply demonstrations of ignorance of that long history and what Tibet was really like under a theocracy.


  29. Dave Kennedy says:

    No New Zealander should have another power stop them from exercising their legal rights in their own country, no matter what your opinion of their actions. Russel was jostled, had an umbrella shoved in his face and had the flag ripped out of his hands by Chinese security. Rod Donald had parliament security at hand to ensure his safety and his legal rights were upheld and the Chinese decided to go through another entrance rather than walk past him. Let’s get the facts right:

    JC, I’m sure Tibetan culture, pre invasion wasn’t perfect as no religion can claim to be pure (as we know with the huge wrongs committed by the Catholic Church over the years). But you can hardly claim that the current Dalai Lama is a tyrant and there is no excuse for the entire Buddhist culture to be largely destroyed:

    “The destruction of most of Tibet’s more than 6,000 monasteries occurred between 1959 and 1961. During the mid-1960s, the monastic estates were broken up and secular education introduced. During the Cultural Revolution, Red Guards inflicted a campaign of organized vandalism against cultural sites in the entire PRC, including Tibet’s Buddhist heritage. According to at least one Chinese source, only a handful of the religiously or culturally most important monasteries remained without major damage.” (Wikipedia).

    “The plight of the Tibetan refugees garnered international attention when the Dalai Lama, spiritual and religious leader of the Tibetan government in exile, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989. The Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel Prize on the basis of his unswerving commitment to peaceful protest against the Chinese occupation of Tibet. He is highly regarded as a result and has since been received by government leaders throughout the world. Among the most recent ceremonies and awards, he was given the Congressional Gold Medal by President Bush in 2007, and in 2006 he was one of only five people to ever receive an honorary Canadian citizenship (see Honorary Canadian citizenship). The PRC consistently protests each official contact with the exiled Tibetan leader.” (Wikipedia)

    What happened in Tibet would be like destroying all Catholic cathedrals in Europe because of the wrongs of Catholic priests and nuns.

    You can read the Chinese version of the invasion or you can get other perspectives that have evidence of ongoing persecution and civil rights abuses:

    I’m still strongly with Russel on this one. It isn’t just China that has a terrible civil rights record, as I’m also appalled at the ongoing support from the US of Israel’s persecution of Palestinians and Australia’s treatment of refugees. Our Government should be clear messages on all abuses.

  30. Dave Kennedy says:

    Sorry, last sentence should read “Our Government should be giving clear messages on all abuses.”

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