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Lefter 48 ~ I’m so confused!

November 20, 2011 by emweb

I am so conflicted right now. With only a few days to go, I can’t decide who to vote for.

Let me lay it out for you.

I am much more left than the established left. Broadly speaking, I want more equity for everyone. I am not too left to vote, however – I may believe that nobody has power over me except me, but I choose to drive on the same side of the road as the law mandates for both my own safety and for the safety of others.

I’m pragmatic.

But for me, the crucial part of the above statement is ‘I choose’. And I choose to vote, too.

I was happy when Hone Harawira criticised the Māori Party, as a representative (then), as I thought every word he said was true and they would take heed and improve things.

Instead they spat the dummy and acted like angry children. More fool them.

This led to a breakaway and the forming of the Mana Party, which at first sight looked like a nationalist Māori party but that rapidly took on the trappings – and some of the figureheads – of the real left.

Yay, but … I can’t help feeling it’s not the party for me. Hone cannot help himself, being first and foremost an advocate for Māori and a lefty second, and much as I admire both, I think if the unthinkable happened and Mana gained real power, the ‘left’ part would be subsumed. So much as I support this, it doesn’t make me want to vote Mana. (But perhaps I should go along to a couple of meetings and spend more time working it out.)

I don’t want to sound critical; if I was Hone I dare say I would be exactly the same. But I’m a white, born-in-Europe lefty. And as much as I have admired John Minto in the past, to me he has become the rent-a-protester he was unfairly accused of for so long. Protesting against a lone tennis player because she happened to be Israeli (she was not representing Israel in the match) a few years ago was unforgivable grandstanding in my view, and persecution of an individual that was unfair, unwarranted and completely out of order.

After the official launch of the election campaign, my thought to vote for Jacinda Adern in Auckland Central and maybe Green in the party vote went out the window. The Greens’ opening salvo was so lame and hokey, it put me right off. Meanwhile, though, Labour did what I’d long been advocating – a return to old-time Labour values and a clear statement of Socialist intent.

I was sold. My vote would be Labour-Labour.

But now, after a few weeks of campaigning … not enough has been done to strike National with their failures over the Rena grounding, and/or over the Christchurch earthquake aftermath. It seems to me that a lot of anger both near Tauranga and from a groundswell of angry Cantabrians has not been capitalised on by Labour. This is crazy.

So it looks to me as if Goff is still pissing in the wind, and I think that’s due to his own party’s machinations as much as his own personal lack of popularity with the general voter.

I have to hand it to Goff. He’s been a trooper, battling hard. I admire that. But he’s in a wholly unenviable position. How often does he seem to be battling alone? I may be completely wrong on this, but I suspect his losing the election is the only way to create the succession some Labourites think is needed, and, cynically, I reckon that’s what various members of his caucus are counting on. And that’s despite committing the rest of the country to another, and much more damaging, term under that smug trader and his greedy henchmen.

And if you want a glimpse of what is really (or may be) going on inside Labour, check this post out.

But imagine if Labour could form a government, and National could not? It would not have majority support; it would be due a coalition with the rising Greens. Labour would be a minority government run by an unpopular leader with a strong Green lobby. That might possibly be good for the country, if they can make it work, and if Labour MPs can keep their secret anti-Goff daggers sheathed … but with more recession woes looming, how effective could this possibly be under considerable internal and external pressures? A minority Labour alongside a fresh party, newly in actual political coalition … scary.

Worse, imagine if the Greens went into coalition with National? The very entertaining of this thought puts me right off the Greens. How could they?

And if my party vote did go to the Greens, how betrayed would I feel?

Hugely! How about you?

But worse, apart from any social and moral conundrums this throws up, coalition with National would, in all probability, effectively finish the Greens.

Don’t believe me? Look at the Maori Party, United Future and Act. They all expected more power than they would otherwise have. They are now all effectively in tatters. Want the Greens to dissolve? Have them form a coalition with National.

However, and despite all, I do not want National in power. Much as I relish having something to bitch about and hate, I vote for the party I think will do best for most people in New Zealand – and needless to say, that’s not rich people.

So where does that leave me? Anxious.

And really confused.


  1. Simple Si says:

    You have three options for party vote (Labour, Green, Mana) but only one real option for the electorate: vote for Jacinda Adern from Labour. See Matt McCartens colulm in the Herald if you need convincing.

    Give your party vote to Green or Mana. I’m voting Mana.


  2. Mark H says:

    Hi, ok – have a read of the following – see the bit on the Greens – there’s no way in this world that the greens will form a coalition with National – none of the members want this, or the MP’s… and the party runs on consensus for issues like this (I know I am a member).

    Here’s another bit of positive news…

    Nandor also has a good blog on the TV3 News web site, plus there’s 2 articles in the Herald today, one on the risks of deep sea oil rigging (that Labour won’t stop but with the Greens they will), and another on a GE profit survey about to be secretly carried out by the Nats.

    So, while it won’t be left enough even for me, at least with the Greens in coalition with Labour, labour will be kept more honest – but what it takes is a high number of Green MP’s and a green party vote with Labour candidate vote. My heart is also in Mana, but Labour won’t go into coalition with them.

    I hope this helps…

    :) Mark

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