The Green Party has dropped 11 points to 4.3% in the latest 1 News Colmar Brunton poll.
Their votes have gone to Labour as a result of a leadership change and because the Meteria Turei saga has shown that the Greens are really Reds.
It wasn’t that Turei committed benefit fraud all those years ago that did the damage. It was her total lack of contrition and that the remaining leader of the party, James Shaw, and all but two of her party supported her stance.
In his valedictory statement Kennedy Graham said:
What I should say, however, is this. There are two dimensions to the task of political representation. The first is political judgment. That is empirical, relative, contestable, and open to negotiation. It is 99 percent of our daily job. The second is when an issue of personal conscience arises. That is ethical, absolute, non-contestable, and not open to negotiation. If politics transgresses conscience, politics must cede. This is the decision we took. Simple as that.
Yet decisions taken on conscience can, of course, have political consequences.
Graham and David Clendon who also acted on principle lost their place on the party list and Graham’s request to return after Turei’s resignation was denied.
The party is paying the price of backing the wrong person and the wrong policy.
The fate of any political party will wax and wane. That is the nature of politics. But a party is simply an institution. An institution is a vehicle for the pursuit of ideals and principles. Like any vehicle, it requires ongoing maintenance.
Sometimes the way ahead is difficult to discern. Parties can lose their way. But they can also recover. I believe the Green Party will do so, on behalf of the green movement around the world. Individuals come and go, but the institutions remain, to serve the ideals they cherish. . .
The Green Party lost its way by taking the red path. Strong recovery will only happen if it stops being red and starts being green.
A party with a strong environmental ethos that was moderate on social and economic issues would sit in the middle of the political spectrum, able to govern with National and Labour.
Marooning itself on the far left of Labour gives the Greens no bargaining power.
Now that most of their support has gone back to the bigger party they are in risk of following the Alliance Party of which they were once a part, into political oblivion.
The Greens might get over the 5% threshold they’ll need to stay in parliament but if they want to have any influence they will have to shed the red and concentrate on the green.