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Green Man's Bluff

Green Party co-leaders are confusing the public with inconsistent messages on their GE `bottom line', ACT New Zealand Deputy Leader Ken Shirley said today.

"At the last election the Greens clearly announced they would not offer support and confidence to a Labour Government if the GE moratorium were lifted. But statements from the Greens' co-leaders at their weekend conference are confusing at best.

"Jeanette Fitzsimons clearly holds to that position with her statement, `that the Greens give no quarter and expect no quarter on GE'.

"Conversely it appears Rod Donald, backed by the party's pragmatists, is arguing, `the ultimatum on confidence and supply was a one term deal tied to the moratorium and everything is up for debate once the moratorium is lifted'.

"The moratorium expires on October 29, 2003, so either the Greens weren't serious about their ultimatum when they issued it or they have changed their minds and relented.

"Either way, their bluff has been called and their integrity is in question. It has become obvious to the world that some within the Greens would sacrifice principle in their quest for personal political power.

"While I remain at the opposite pole to the Greens philosophically on most issues, I had until now respected their principled stance. It seems that the Green leadership is on the cusp of being prepared to abandon principle for perceived personal power.

"Perhaps the most extraordinary statement from Rod Donald was the declaration that the Greens' new bottom line on GE is that they `won't open the door to a National-led Government'.

"I wonder what their bottom line will be next week," Mr Shirley said.

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