'Fatal Paradox' pointed me to a story in the Dominion Post (July 7). Written by John Hartevelt and headlined 'Red is Dead as Guard Changes', I quote it at length because it does illustrate that the former left wing Green Party has been transformed into yet another conservative political machine, not dissimilar from all the other parliamentary parties.

Hartevelt makes some telling observations about the election of the Green's co-convener. He writes:

Georgina Morrison, the younger challenger to become the Green Party's new female co-convener, was bulging with a baby bump. She marched up on to the stage and stood behind the lectern to sell herself to the party.

Her rival for the position, Wendy Harper, preferred to roam about in front of the stage. She answered questions with wisecracks and swore like a trooper. She even dropped the f-bomb, without a care, in front of 200 people.

Ms Morrison, on the other hand, was all professionalism. She had speech notes, whereas Miss Harper winged it. Ms Morrison had swish, corporate clothes, whereas Miss Harper was sporting a sloppy green shirt and sparkly-framed glasses.

Ms Morrison, decades her rival's junior, was the immediate past co-leader of the Young Greens, a point she emphasised in her pitch to the party. Miss Harper, on the other hand, proudly announced that her 18-year-old son was newly independent.

The choice for the party was clear – a sharp, professional young environmentalist or a hardened, potty-mouthed unionist.

They chose the 25-year-old Ms Morrison. This was the party confirming its shift to a new generation of leadership.

The once progressive radical Green party is now a mere shadow of its former self. Norman, aided and abetted by his supporters, has gutted the Green's of its progressive politics.

Under his leadership, the Green Party lost ground at the last election but now he is claiming that he wants to see the party gain ten percent of the vote at next year's election.

Tacking some environmental concerns on to its political agenda does not conceal the fact that the Green Party has lost its distinctive voice, becoming merely just another option on the ballot sheet.

People are who labouring under the impression that the Green Party is still progressive need to take a look at its politics again.

Similarly, many people who vote Green still think that it is a more grassroots organisation and more democratic than the other parliamentary parties.

Wrong again.

Norman is in fact starting to display a more authoritarian style. It is Norman who has been instrumental into transforming the Green's into yet another top-down party - yet he continues to claim that the Green's are the 'most democratic party' in Parliament.

It's yet more claptrap from Russel Norman, a man who has moved a long way to the right since his days as a socialist activist in Australia.


  1. Richard Leckinger9 June 2010 at 15:30

    We lost ground at the last election? Going from 6 MPs to 9? Is this the new math?

  2. The Green Party spent in the region of $1.8 million on its 2008 election campaign and publicity stated it was hopeful of winning anywhere between 12-15 seats.

    The fact that it managed to scrape up nine seats was underwhelming and its share of the vote remained pretty much the same. This was despite being the third-biggest spending party - even outspending ACT.

    Even Norman had to admit that the result was disappointing - even though he and Jeanette Fitzsimons were largely responsible for the Green's failure to build its electoral support.

    The Green's nonsensical advertising campaign, initiated by Norman, did the party no favours at all.

    Political scientist Bryce Edwards has calculated hat it cost the Green's $10.83 per vote compared to $2.62 in 1999.

    It seems that Norman is intent on blanding out the Green's politics even further, offering people even less reasons to vote Green.


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