Patrick Gower at Newshub has just reported that Green MPs David Clendon and Kennedy Graham have resigned from the party list in protest over Meteria Turei’s failure to resign.
The problem isn’t what she did all those years ago, it is her refusal to accept responsibility, admit she was wrong and apologise.
Turei’s attempt to use her own wrong-doing to advance an impossibly-expensive welfare policy has highlighted the party’s socialist leanings.
Lloyd Burr was right, the Greens have lost their way:
. . . The party doesn’t look like the strong, unwavering voice for the environment anymore.
It is not focussed on forests and rivers, or climate change, or conservation underfunding, or waste and pollution reduction.
It is now a party focussed on fighting for the rights of beneficiaries. It is focussed on legitimising benefit fraud, boosting welfare payments, and removing welfare obligations. . .
If the Greens were moderate on social and economic policy they could sit in the middle of the political spectrum like the Maori Party, able to go left or right.
Instead their environmental concerns are overshadowed by far-left social policy.
The party’s refusal to censure Turei has added to its troubles with only Clendon and Graham showing any integrity over the issue.
What differentiates the major parties from the minor ones?
The number of members, the number of MPs and the ability to stand candidates in every electorate would be a good start.
Labour got a boost in membership from its leadership contest last year but any reports I’ve seen don’t number its members in 10s of thousands.
It is the party with the second most MPs in parliament and even the worst polls don’t suggest it will come third.
But Matthew Beveridge has a tweet from Colmar Brunton showing how the Labour and Green Party votes have been converging.
Labour does still field candidates in all electorates but reopening of selections suggests it had trouble getting candidates in some electorates and there are questions over the ability of several.
The Rangitata candidate Steven Gibson was forced to apologise after calling John Key Shylock and Gordon Dickson in neighbouring Selwyn does his party and himself no credit with this bizarre email to Radio Live’s Lloyd Burr:
It must be hard for Labour to get good candidates in the bigger blue seats it has no chance of winning because of the extra difficulty and cost of campaigning in bigger areas.
Every party takes a risk with new candidates but the behaviour of these two suggests Labour might have been better without them.
However, being unable to field candidates in every seat would be a sign Labour is in danger of losing its claim to being a major party.