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Green Party considers political positioning

Green Party considers political positioning

A proposal on political positioning is in front of Green Party members.

A draft remit circulating with branches considers support arrangements for either large Party after the November election. It expresses a preference for supporting Labour with a confidence and supply arrangement and describes as ‘extremely unlikely’ any confidence and supply arrangement with a National-led Government.

“Our members are considering how we can best make good green change after the election,” said Green Party Co-leader Russel Norman.

“In this proposal, there’s a preference for supporting Labour with confidence and supply under the right circumstances. Supporting National with confidence and supply is extremely unlikely given our political differences, but the option is on the table for our members to think about.”

The draft remit on political positioning is with branches of the Party for feedback and will ultimately be put to a vote at the Greens’ AGM in June. The draft remit may be revised before or at that annual general meeting.

“The Party is committed to democracy so all of our members have a say,” Dr Norman noted. “Their collective decision on our political position will come in a few months’ time.”

Dr Norman noted that the proposed remit confirmed the Greens could again work with National through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) as it has in the current term. The 2009 MoU has seen the Green Party work with the National-led Government on areas of common interest such as the Warm Up New Zealand home insulation scheme, the national cycleway, and a pilot program to help protect forests and native species through better pest control.

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“I think all Green Party members feel a great sense of urgency about tackling the environmental and social challenges facing New Zealand, but we’re also determined to stay true to our values. Right now our members are looking at all the available options for the next term of Parliament.”

The Green Party’s AGM takes place June 4-6 in Pt Chevalier, Auckland.

The full text of the draft remit:
"That this AGM:
Pre-election political positioning
1. Agrees that the Greens will campaign on the basis of the following political positioning in 2011:
(i) The Greens are an independent party which, in order to urgently advance green policy goals, will attempt to work constructively with, and challenge, whichever party leads the government after the 2011 election;
(ii) To support any government, we would need significant progress on key Green environmental, economic and social policies such as cutting greenhouse gas emissions, reducing poverty and inequality, cleaning up waterways and retaining public assets for future generations;
(iii) Based on current Labour Party policy positions, the Greens have a preference to consider supporting a Labour-led government in the right circumstances, ahead of a National-led government;
(iv) The Greens could work with a National-led government to progress particular Green policies as we have over the last three years; but based on current National Party policy positions it is extremely unlikely that we could support a National-led government on confidence and supply.

Post-election process
2. Agrees that the following process will apply to post-election negotiations by the Green Party after a general election:
(i) a Negotiating Team, jointly chosen by the Parliamentary Caucus and the National Executive, may enter into post-election negotiations with a view to reaching an agreement on policies and processes that will advance the Green agenda;
(ii) in addition to the negotiating team there will be a Negotiating Consultation Group consisting of five members nominated by Caucus and five members nominated by National Executive. The Negotiation Consultation Group does not directly participate in the negotiations but is to receive daily briefings from the Negotiating Team during the course of the negotiations;
(iii) all decisions concerning the negotiations (including what agreement, if any, would potentially be taken to a Special General Meeting (SGM)) are taken by the combined Negotiating Team and Negotiation Consultation Group;
(iv) any agreement with one or more political parties that includes confidence and supply votes will be referred to an SGM, unless in the opinion of the National Executive an SGM is not warranted;
(v) the National Executive will start the process of forming the Negotiating Team and Negotiating Consultation group following the AGM in election year and will tentatively schedule an SGM once the election date is known."


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