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Greens Take Poll To Find Out Their Principles

26 May 2002

Cynical Greens Take Poll To Find Out Their Principles

The Green Party has been cynical in carefully polling the electorate before deciding to threaten to destroy a government over genetic engineering.

That’s the view of Deputy Prime Minister Jim Anderton today, following a report in the Sunday Star Times where the Green Party revealed the existence of its polling on the issue.

“So much for GE being an issue of principle for the Greens – they had to take a poll to decide it was a matter of principle.

“Last October Jeanette Fitzsimons said the government’s GE policy was ‘not a package that the Greens are happy with and its not a package that we’ve signed up to but there are some substantial gains in it.’

“Now, the Greens say of the same package that they are prepared to bring down the Government over it, rather than merely vote against the parts of the package they disagree with.

“This is not an issue of the Greens’ position on GE. It is an issue about the instability and irresponsibility of the Greens’ position.

“The Greens want other parties to change their own policy – they want Labour to abandon its own policy, while reserving the right to always have their own policy as a bottom-line they will never compromise on. So every other party has to abandon its principles except the Green Party. What kind of basis for a stable, secure coalition government is that?

“The reason that this government has functioned so smoothly is that when we disagree we try to resolve disagreements constructively. When we can’t reconcile policies, we vote separately. But we do not destroy the government after every Cabinet meeting if we can’t get our way.

“The Greens are saying they will destroy the government any time they can’t get their way, but it has emerged today that the Greens only decided their so-called fundamental principle after taking a poll. The Greens cannot get more cynical than that,” Jim Anderton said.


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