Skip to main content

Political Animal_0414The Green Party and New Zea­l­and First; the scrap­ping under­dogs and the yap­ping mad dogs. Assign meta­phor to either party as you will. Their dif­fer­ent philo­sophies will play an import­ant part in form­ing the next government.

The Greens are the little party that could — they keep going and going, gain­ing ground here and there but also, more than any oth­er party, ener­gising the youth vote.

Win­ston Peters ener­gises older people so much it almost feels dirty. Although ask around and you’ll find quite a few young people voted for him too — maybe for a laugh, but it still counts.

The Greens are ideo­lo­gists. They believe we can all live in a bet­ter world, and more import­antly that change can hap­pen now to make future gen­er­a­tions’ lives great­er. And if the cur­rent gen­er­a­tions aren’t ready for that change, the Greens also believe in their capa­city to come around. Their ant­ag­on­ists call them naive.

New Zea­l­and First believes in Peters. His pres­ence makes the world bet­ter. Whatever change he wants is for the bet­ter and, more import­antly, as long as he’s in Par­lia­ment, he can make their world per­son­ally bet­ter. Their ant­ag­on­ists call them insane.

Call­ing the Greens naive is dis­miss­ing the only party on the polit­ic­al left that has increased its MPs in the last two elec­tions. Rus­sell Norman’s Aus­sie twang may be annoy­ing, but that’s because you’re racist — which Metiria Turei will point out in due course. Get past the accent, and he’s clock­ing more hours on TV arguing hard eco­nom­ics than Dav­id Parker.

Yes, Gareth Hughes loves sharks intensely, Cath­er­ine Delahunty looks ready to attack inter­view­ers, and marijuana legis­la­tion is a “red flag”. But Hughes swims with actu­al sharks, Delahunty’s a green belt in kar­ate, and it’s easi­er to talk marijuana leg­al­isa­tion since the explo­sion of roots music. Some­how the Greens have got gangsta.

As for New Zea­l­and First, ask your­self: in a world of derp­ing prime min­is­ters and bum­bling oppos­i­tion lead­ers, why not fol­low New Zealand’s favour­ite angry drunk? Has any oth­er politi­cian man­aged to climb the heights of gov­ern­ment from either side like Peters? Nation­al had him as Deputy Prime Min­is­ter and Min­is­ter of Fin­ance, Labour fol­lowed that by mak­ing him Min­is­ter of For­eign Affairs. He even snuck Super Gold­Cards through just before turn­ing 65.

Sure, Brendan Hor­an got kicked out for a gambling prob­lem, Richard Pross­er wrote about “Wogistan”, and Asenati Lole-Taylor asked Anne Tolley about blow jobs, but this is the

party respons­ible for Michael Laws. By that bench­mark, things can only get better.

If New Zea­l­and First seem mer­ri­er than the Greens, it’s prob­ably because:

  1. a) they drink more; or
  2. b) they under­stand they’re on bor­rowed time.

Green MPs have dreams, believe in ideals, and have gen­er­a­tions’ worth of plans to begin and ful­fil. If they weren’t MPs, they’d still be fight­ing the same fights. New Zea­l­and First MPs live in the now, a Peters posse bask­ing in the warmth of Win­ston: The Last King of Scotch.

No two parties rep­res­ent MMP’s beau­ti­ful storm better.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.