Good in theory but

Could a new blue-green party succeed?

It is understood preliminary discussions among interested parties have already been held on creating a party that combines economic and environmental credentials, filling a demand not already taken up by existing political parties.

It is also understood former Green Party leadership contender and one-time National candidate hopeful Vernon Tava is the front-runner to lead the party

This is a good idea in theory.

The Green Party is more red than green, and its radical red policies alienate a lot of people who are very concerned about the environment.

An environmental party that is moderate on social and economic policy could sit in the middle, able to go left or right.

It might also gain support from former Green supporters who are disenchanted with the party’s performance in government, in particular its support of the waka jumping legislation.

If it succeeded it would be in a much more powerful position than the Green Party which time and time again rules out a coalition with National.

But good in theory is a long way from success in practice.

One political commentator said financial backing would not be an issue because the business sector would support the formation of such a party. . . 

Financial backing is important but a party needs much more than that to succeed as the fate of Top, and the Internet and Conservative Parties show. All three had strong financial backing and none made it into parliament.

Suggestions National could throw the new party an electorate will come to nothing.

National doesn’t try to win Epsom in order to help Act but Rodney Hide won Epsom on his own merits.

Asking voters to keep supporting an MP, or a party, they backed without any nods or winks is very different from asking them not to back one they elected in one election in favour of voting for someone else.

Even if the government gets its wish to lower the threshold to allow a party into parliament to 4% of the votes, it would be a very big ask for a new party to get into parliament.

Only one party has done that without a sitting MP – Act in 1996.

The Progressive Green Party also contested the 1996 election. 

It managed to get only 5,288 voters to support it which gave it only 0.26% of the vote.

The environment might be more important to people now than it was then.

But it’s a long way from 0.26% to 5% or even 4%, especially when National and Labour both have a strong focus on the environment anyway.

3 Responses to Good in theory but

  1. pdm` says:

    I like what I hear from Vernon Tava but he has a hard job ahead of him.

    Actually I think the guy with gravitas and potential is David Moffett who is looking to take ground from Peters. I will watch him with interest.

  2. jabba says:

    The real Green Party ceased after Rob Donald passed away and Fitzsimonds retired.
    I can’t for the life of me imagine any serious tree hugger enjoying watching “their” MPs these Days lead by co-leader Davidson.

  3. Andrei says:

    Poltical parties need grass roots support to prosper

    People with money can set up parties but without the average Joe enthuestically supporting them and active in the hinterland they will be dead in the water

    It is a big task to set up a new party – you need people with high profiles in their local community prepared to put in the hard yards all across the nation getting people on board

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