Thursday, June 4, 2009

Brown and Green the new Black

So the new co-leader of the Greens has put the call out for maori to join them.

"Co-leader Turei keen to attract Maori to Greens.

Green's co-leader Meteria Turei says if fellow co-leader Russell Norman wins the Mt Albert bi-election it will bring another Green Maori MP into parliament.Speaking following her election as co-leader to replace Jeanette Fitzsimmons at the weekend, Meteria Turei says the Greens have always had a strong Maori focused kaupapa.

She says her election to the co-leadership role will attract more Maori to the party.“It helps to bring Maori issues to the fore but also it means that Maori can reflect back on Parliament and see themselves in these kinds of positions, and that’s what we want, we want to keep building up models of leadership in different ways. For example, if Russel Norman wins Mt Albert, we will get our second Maori MP, Dave Clendon, into Parliament as well,” Ms Turei says."

Having maori in a position as leader of a party doesn't mean that that person will focus on maori issues or look at things from a maori point of view. In fact you could argue that the maori kaupapa is diminished when a maori MP is given high position within another party. Because their overriding focus has to be with the party that elected them. That is why we have had so much upheaval over the years with MP's that are maori . And that is why I personally like the maori party. You know where you stand with them; you stand with maori!

But the problem is, if you vote for a maori party electoral candidate within the maori seats, then you still have your Party Vote left. And who to vote for there becomes interesting. You could give it to the maori party but then they have a threshold of seats that are available to them. If they achieved more Party votes than available seats, based on percentage of overall vote, then I can't see how they would get more members into parliment. I may be wrong, if so please tell me. The second option is to vote for one of the other parties. I suppose most people follow their natural tendencies to go left or right, to vote for a major or minor party, to vote on a single area of importance or an overall philosophy.

And that is where I touch base again with Turei. For me the Greens, as taina, are an ideal partner for the maori party. I'd love to see the two of them govern.

I'm not sure about this vote for someone and get someone else elevated. The vote is totally tactical, and I wonder if it is right. It certainly is pragmatic. I just have a desire to vote for a person who will represent me. Keep it simple and clean. But the nature of MMP will always entail some strategic and tactical voting, so I spose it makes sense to do it consciously rather than just blunder through it.

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