I've seen a lot of National voters recently opining that the NZ National Party should partner with the NZ Greens rather than NZ First (and Winston Peters, aka the "Winbot") to form a government. Apparently because they'd like their government, in addition to not changing a thing, to be environmentally conscious...
This is intriguing, given that those National voters explicitly voted for precisely the least environmentally conscious and conscientious party there is. For them (National), expedience always prevails over principle. The short term is more important than the long term. Corporations win over communities. Single points of failure over resilience. Centralised over distributed. Commerce over people. Secrecy over transparency. Dictation over consultation. Closed over open. Privatising profit while socialising costs over sustainability and a rich Commons. Preserving structural inequity over addressing it. Cash over compassion. Appointed commissioners over democratically elected councilors. Growth over sustainable prosperity. Multinationals over our local industry. Comforting lies over awkward truths. Reactionary over proactive. Gung-ho over precautionary principle. Yes, a bit heavy handed perhaps, but broadly true nonetheless.
Another interpretation of peoples' decision to vote for National is that they were woefully politically uninformed.
Regardless, some of these National voters have realised that
- in order to have a thriving, stable economy, you need an environment that's not on the brink of collapse to hold it all,
- you need a market of people with money for your ruthless corporations to exploit (slavery being illegal now, at least officially), and
- even the privileged sometimes like to have clean air, the ability to walk the public roads without being attacked by the plebs, picturesque landscapes, and a future.
Initially I was strongly opposed to the NZ Greens partnering with NZ National - just on principle. However, while mowing the lawn just now, I saw a way in which the two parties could work together to create a stable government, working in the best interest of (almost) all New Zealanders! (the most financially rich might not get as much back as they'd hoped)
If National voters want to work with the Greens, here's what I suggest Bill English do:
The NZ Greens have created a set of policies which are on the front page of their website. I suggest you offer to prioritise all of them.
Then you create an oversight committee with binding recommendations, made up of Green Party members who can rate the government's performance on meeting the targets the Green Party has proposed. That same committee can also advise the National Party on values and principles the party could adopt and embrace in order to preserve the way of life most of their voters enjoy but take totally for granted.
That, I think, would be a Government Coalition I could endorse, and hell, it's be way better than anything the Winbot could dream up. What's more, I suspect that Northland would still get its railroad. And yes, I'm being totally serious.