Boldest and most forward-looking
Sitting here trying to add my bit to the election campaign, unfortunately policy-low and leadership-high as the major media make it, I try to think how to sum up the 60 good projects and policies, in many portfolios, achieved by the Green Party in just three years: things that the public at large, through no fault of their own or the party, seem not to know much about.
I give up, and fall back on my personal hobby-horse (not that I ever jumped off it). Politics concerns many activities and sectors of society, but the management of economics commands and outweighs them all.
As a simple example, gender inequity, which of course should not exist, shows an average difference of 10 percent or less, while the basic differential economy, which irrationally ranks jobs, spans 10,000 percent: say, from $10 an hour (despite the legal minimum) to $1000 an hour. The little inequities (iniquities really) between genders, races, ages or anything else, are mere toenails on the thick-skinned elephant in the economy — the pachyderm in the Parliament.
Thus I harp on the potential of a guaranteed income in lifting all sorts of people, the home-makers, the volunteers, the underpaid, the unemployed, the over-worked, the stressed and insecure, the unhealthy and unhoused (partly because they try to live where there might be a job), as the king of policies. And it's affordable because sharing is always affordable.
I can quote renowned business journalist Rod Oram in Newsroom: “The Greens are the boldest of all parties in their proposals for solving our deeply-entrenched systemic problems and delivering on our best opportunities. Its policies are the most forward-looking and the best evidenced and argued.
“Shaw, the Greens co-leader, is by far our most knowledgeable, constructive, committed and persuasive politician on climate issues. It was he who led all the legislative and political negotiations that made the Zero Carbon Act possible.”
Oram goes on to quote Geoffrey Ford, Bronwyn Hayward and Kevin Watson, political science and linguistics academics from the University of Canterbury: “Drawing on a study of 57 million words spoken in Parliament between 2003 and 2016, our analysis shows the presence of a Green party has changed the political conversation on economics and environment.”
Or I can quote Shane Te Pou, a former opponent of the Greens: “They could bring a sorely needed jolt of radicalism to what threatens to be another term of cautious incrementalism. These unprecedented times demand boldness from our leaders, and I'm not seeing as much evidence of it from Labour in this campaign as I would like . . . . If Labour led the next government it might deliver more on climate. But only if NZ First was out of the government; and the Greens were in it.”
It was fascinating on Sunday TV news to hear the leadership of Labour, that broad mixture of a party, promising transformation in the news bulletin and stability in their commercial: a transparent attempt to appeal to everyone, and a gaping lack of consistency that urgently needs help; more moral fibre; as Meredith Akuhata-Brown puts it, more Greens in the diet.
The last word goes to Rod Oram: “If you want a future, vote for climate action.”