None of the contenders for the Green Party co-leadership position are offering anything new. That's something they share with most of the New Zealand left.
IT IS INDICATIVE OF the conservative nature of New Zealand politics that none of the contenders for the vacant co-leadership position within the Green Party are offering anything new. While they may have criticisms of specific government policies they all broadly support the neoliberal 'consensus' that has dominated for over thirty years.
I suspect none of the candidates have read This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein and, if they have, they certainly are not talking about it. And the ecosocialist movement has also passed them by. Instead the contenders all want to continue to serve up Russel Norman's unappetising 'green capitalism' gruel.
It is entirely logical for candidate Vernon Tava to suggest that the Green Party should not rule out working with the National Party. After all, Labour is not offering anything substantially different from National, and this is especially so under the leadership of the right wing Andrew Little.
For another candidate, Gareth Hughes, to jump up and down and reject any possibility of doing business with National is only credible if he has something different and better to offer. He hasn't.
He's open to doing to deals with Labour. Apparently its brand of neoliberalism is better than National's. We'll just forget about little things like Labour saying that its policy on fossil fuel exploration and extraction is little different from National’s.
But the Green's aren't the only culprits in their slavish and dumb commitment to the Labour Party. So is most of the New Zealand left, a large part of which is marooned in 1983 where Rogernomics hasn't happened yet.
Despite all the rhetoric, despite all the protestations, most of the New Zealand left will, once again, call for a Labour-led government in 2017. You will be invited to forget that this party is little more than a neoliberal husk.
The left has demonstrated that it does not comprehend that by continuing to back a Labour Party that not only fails to represent their views, but actively opposes them, then things will never change.
Every time that the call goes out to support the election of a Labour-led government neoliberal policies are further entrenched in this country. As writer George Monbiot once said, if people continue to be told to vote for something bad in fear of something claimed to be worse, no one will ever get the government they want.
We need a new party that stands on socialist principles and speaks to the majority of the country and to the million people who no longer vote. We need a party that is built from the bottom up, by people who want to build a better country and a better world.
The tragedy is that such a party is not on offer and won't be in 2017. Instead the same old sad suspects will be calling for a vote for Labour - just like they did in 2014, with disastrous consequences.