|Marama Davidson : Selling out the Green Party membership.|
The Green Party surrenders its principles and says it will support the Electoral Integrity Bill, legislation that could well be a violation of the Bill of Rights and which a former Green Party leader, the late Rod Donald, said was a bid to 'stifle democracy'.
THERE DOESN'T SEEM to be anything that the Green Party isn't prepared to trade away for a seat at the big table and that includes its principled opposition to the Electoral Integrity Bill - the waka jumping legislation. That principled opposition stretches back to former leaders Jeanette Fitzsimons and the late Rod Donald.
The line being pushed by the parliamentary Green Party is that they are not happy supporting the legislation but they are doing so to stay onside with its coalition partners. The Green Party is under no formal obligation to support this legislation. They have simply flown the white flag and surrendered. They will now support legislation that has significant implications for the rights to freedom of expression and freedom of association and could well be a violation of the New Zealand Bill of Rights.
While Rod Donald could strongly reject such legislation, describing is as stifling democracy, its present leaders do not appear to have the same intestinal fortitude to remain as staunch. If you heard co-leader Marama Davidson on Morning Report this morning you would have heard a co-leader with nothing to offer but an abject apology and a pathetic plea to the Green Party membership for forgiveness for selling them out. Marama - sometimes saying sorry just doesn't cut it.
As former Green MP Sue Bradford points out:
"Jeanette Fitzsimons and Rod Donald were Alliance MPs when they were first elected in 1996, but left the Alliance as part of the Greens’ formal withdrawal from that party. As sitting MPs they led the Greens into the 1999 election, using parliamentary resources to establish for the first time an independent Green presence in parliament.
Now we have the disturbing sight of their successors flying in the face of their own party’s history and policy as they vote for the latest electoral “integrity” bill."
And as Jeanette Fitzsimons wrote earlier this year:
"Dissent is a valuable part of the political process. Without it, MPs are just clones of their leader. Having dealt with it as co-leader of the Green Party caucus at times, 1999 – 2009, I know it is uncomfortable but the remedy is inclusiveness and listening and wide discussion, not shutting down the political process."
But she has not been listened to by the present bunch of Green MP's who can be relied on to wilt and fold in the face of any demands from Labour and New Zealand First.