Stoked to see Gareth Morgan’s post yesterday calling for a Blue-Green party. He sums it up well in this passage
A Bluegreen party would emphatically express New Zealanders’ preference for clever and clean as the way we want our dollars earned, while leaving National and Labour to fight over how social justice is best promoted – via National’s preference for capacity building through education and training, delivering more flexible employment and wage-setting practices; or via Labour’s penchant for widening and lifting of social assistance, greater progressivity of income tax, widening the tax base on income from capital, and greater protection of labour in the workplace.
Matt and I have been talking about this since 2008 when all the TVHE authors took a political compass test as a gimmick to provide content for the blog. Due to a combination of laziness, a lack of money and no desire to get involved in politics, we haven’t done anything about our great idea. That was 6 years ago and a lot has changed since, but we still think there is room for a centrist Green party and so are stoked to see Gareth using his profile to have a serious conversation about it.
Matt did a good post on this about a year ago (There is some pretty robust discussion in the comments section). When discussing the failed Progressive Greens party at the 1996 (which David Farrar mentions in his post on Gareth’s post) he noted:
A lot of people who couldn’t vote in 1996 have pretty strong feelings about the environment, about the idea that environmental quality is a public good, and about the scientific consensus regarding global warming. Furthermore, when it comes to urban design and the significant demographic and cost changes (think oil prices, and efficacy of differing transport options) in the last decade a lot of people want the government to at least acknowledge these things.
A economically centrist (or be it centre-left or centre-right) could work with National or Labour. It would likely be competitive in electorates such as Auckland Central, Wellington Central, and Coromandel – put in a strong candidate and get support from a main party and one of these seats could turn. And from National’s perspective, it would likely take away votes from Labour and the Greens – improving their odds at forming a government. For many of the rest of us, having a Green party that could work with either of the major parties would mean environmental issues would get more play – which would make us more likely to vote for such a party. [emphasis added]
Matt was also called for a new Green party when analysing the NZ Power proposals, which he argued were about redistribution rather than efficencny:
The Greens seem to really just be a left wing party at heart – not a true Green party. For me the essence of a “Green” focus must be on the environment and our scarce capital stock. However, they are willing to sacrifice any focus on this capital stock in order to push through redistributionist or central planning style policies.
Seamus over at Offsetting also discussed the prospect of a Teal Coalition involving the current Green Party, though that proved to not be a popular idea with both National and the political left.
Most importantly, we recently had a discussion on twitter of potential names, I doubt Gareth will use these, but they are a good chuckle:
— Lennart Nout (@lennartnout) August 18, 2014
— Aaron Schiff (@aschiff) September 4, 2014