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Simon Upton: The Arrival Of The Greens

Media Release
Rt Hon Simon Upton

8 December 1999


"The arrival of the Greens will put the Labour Alliance coalition agreement to the test sooner than later", outgoing State Services Minister Simon Upton said today.

"While I congratulate Jeanette Fitzsimons on her win, it's clear that it will lead to much greater pressure on the new Government, and the Alliance party in particular.

"Because so many of the Green policies mirror the Alliance's, the Alliance will be under public pressure either to surrender its positions to Labour, or to trigger its right under the agreement to run the flag up and declare issues to be "matters of party distinction".

"It really does call into question the wisdom of Labour agreeing to the waiver of Collective Responsibility before they knew the outcome of the election.

"Why should long standing and important constitutional conventions be disbanded merely to allow parties to conduct periodic branding exercises?

"With the Greens in Parliament the Alliance will need to manufacture more branding opportunities than ever. If we're not careful, party political expediency will become the underlying motivation for the suspension of Constitutional Convention and the coherence of government in this country," Mr Upton concluded.


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