Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


"Donald Principle" Legacy Of The Green Party

8 August 2002

"Donald Principle" Legacy Of The Green Party

Comment from Bluegreens website www.bluegreens.org.nz

It's many years now since Laurence Peter gave the commercial world his well-known "Peter Principle" which states: people tend to be promoted up to their level of incompetence.

This week, New Zealand, through Green Party co-leader Rod Donald, has given the world of politics the "Donald Principle" which states: political parties tend to rise to their level of irrelevance. In spitting its genetically modified dummy at the Labour Party, the Green Party has condemned itself to the irrelevance its backward, backwoods, Luddite policies deserve.

As the Greens slide back into the pan from which they have flashed ever so briefly, New Zealanders can begin to concentrate their attentions on the more important task of comparing the environmental and heritage policies of the two major players on the political landscape: Labour and National.

The Greens were always no more than touch judges; the real power of decision lies with the referee in the middle, currently the Labour Party. And, like the rugby analogy, it's the differences in interpretation which count. Labour's record in its first term seems to have been based on whatever touchie-feelie moves would appeal to the electorate, with the notable exception being its stance on the GM moratorium.

But it was poll-driven reading of public opinion, plus a need to appease the Greens for a majority in Parliament, which caused Labour to make the rumpled bed in which it was forced to lie in the recent election campaign. There would have been no moratorium to become the issue it did, if Labour had said clearly to the Greens:

"There, you've had the Royal Commission on Genetic Modification you asked us for; now live with its recommendations." But no, a moratorium was seen as a device to take D-Day well past Election 2002.This proved to be a tactical blunder by Labour because it gave the Greens the only issue on which it was able, for a time, to gain traction.

Labour, and its erstwhile Alliance coalition partner's actions in suspending the sustainable management of West Coast native forests (and, indeed, in abrogating its own 1986 West Coast Accord) strengthen the view that Labour's approach is not: what is right for the environment long-term?; but what can we sell short-term to a hoodwinked urban public?

National, on the other hand, has a record introducing rules for resource management (rules which that party is now the first to concede as being in dire need of amendment) creating marine reserves and of recognising the inevitable link between the environment and the economy. In its next term, National pledges to create an eco-restoration and sustainability fund through which, as the Government, it can become a partner with private owners in reversing environmental degradation; as well as addressing key issues of waste avoidance and disposal, and the quality of our water.

As is demonstrated by the report released this week by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Dr Morgan Williams, in advance of the second Earth Summit to be begin in Johannesburg later this month, a majority of New Zealanders have yet to come to grips what is involved in the sustainable development of our unique New Zealand environment, and the part we must play in saving planet Earth.

Thanks to the emergence of the "Donald Principle", we can now recognise the Greens as irrelevant, leave them and their wacky ideas on the sideline, and look more closely at what the two main teams in the field, Labour and National have to offer.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Rapid Antigen Testing

National Party leader Christopher Luxon is being allowed to get away with murder. Luxon is not being challenged over his repeated assertions that the rest of the world has enjoyed ready access to rapid antigen tests (aka RATS) for a year, so why aren’t we? In fact, the reality across the Tasman for the past month has seen a colossal shambles unfold over (a) the availability and (b) the affordability of these tests. RATS have become a case of panic buying on steroids. Amid reports of price gouging, stock-piling, socially inequitable access and empty shelves...


Government: Announces Three Phase Public Health Response To Omicron
The Government has announced a three phase Omicron plan that aims to slow down and limit the spread of an outbreak, Associate Minister of Health, Dr Ayesha Verrall announced today. “Through the course of managing Omicron, we will be taking a phased approach. As case numbers grow both testing and isolation approaches will change in response... More>>

Save The Children: Thousands Join Call To Retain New Zealand’s Children’s Commissioner

More than 6000 Kiwis have joined Save the Children New Zealand’s call to retain the vital role of Children’s Commissioner, as the Government considers a new bill proposing major changes to the office, including the removal of a named Children’s Commissioner... More>>

Science Media Centre: Omicron Outbreak Would Move The Country To Red - Expert Reaction

The Prime Minister has announced if Omicron cases spread into the community, the country will move to the traffic light system's Red setting within 48 hours. Jacinda Ardern also mentioned there will be changes to the country's testing regime, with more use of Rapid Antigen Tests... More>>

Transparency International: New Zealand Retains Top Ranking In Annual Corruption Perceptions Index
New Zealand is once again ranked least corrupt in the world by Transparency International’s annual Corruption Perceptions Index. This year New Zealand’s score of 88 out of 100 is unchanged resulting in it being first equal with Denmark and Finland... More>>

TradeMe: Property Prices Increase By A Record 25% In One Year
In December, the national average asking price jumped by a quarter year on year, to reach a new high of $956,150, according to the latest Trade Me Property Price Index. Trade Me Property Sales Director Gavin Lloyd said last month’s national average asking price increase was the largest on record... More>>

Statistics: Departures Lift Border Crossing Numbers

The number of people crossing New Zealand’s border went up in November 2021, mostly due to an increase in departures, Stats NZ said today. There were 28,700 border crossings in November 2021, made up of 12,300 arrivals and 16,400 departures... More>>




InfoPages News Channels