By AZARIA HOWELL

 

Leader of The Opportunities Party and prominent economist, Gareth Morgan, has pressured the Greens to work with National. He says that he wants the Greens to do what his party would’ve done, which is work with whoever the government is to produce real change. In his election day speech to supporters, Morgan said that the Green Party need to tell National they’ll work on the environment “no matter who the Government is.”

The Opportunities Party leader was subtly implying that a coalition between National and the Greens would help our environment. This may be true, but I haven’t heard anyone say the same about other parties regarding working with National. Labour still care about housing issues when they don’t work with National, and New Zealand First still care about immigration laws when they don’t work with National. Refusing a coalition deal isn’t saying a party doesn’t care about a particular issue. It is simply saying that the party would prefer to govern in another way.

Since a Labour-Green coalition (excluding New Zealand First) would only have 52 seats in Parliament before special votes, that deal will be unable to happen without Winston’s help. To form a government, parties working together must have 61 or more parliamentary seats in total.

A National-Green government would have 65 seats in total. A Labour-Green government with the help of New Zealand First would add up to 61 seats, meaning they’re just above the line of making a government, but National would still be the biggest party.

Luckily for the left wing parties, special votes have not been counted yet and could play a huge deal in the makeup of seats in Parliament. Last election, the Green Party gained an extra seat from special votes, and National lost one. This is due to the party vote fluctuating after the special votes were counted. Labour and the Greens are hoping that they both gain extra MPs and party vote from special votes, which will be released this weekend.

Special votes could be cast by voters who didn’t register to vote in time, or if they are unable to visit a polling station. This year, there are 384,072 special votes to be counted. This could potentially change the makeup of seats in parliament, as it is estimated to be around 15% of the overall vote. Political analysts are suggesting a slight surge for Labour and the Greens, and a fall for National when the special votes are counted. Labour have said that having another MP or more party votes may help them when they have negotiation talks with Winston Peters.

So, a ‘teal deal’ would have enough seats to govern, but could it realistically happen?

The Green Party constitution says that 75% or more of their members have to agree on a coalition to govern. Judging by the fact that the Greens campaigned on changing the government this year, that is fairly unlikely.

The Green Party caucus and former MPs seem reluctant to form a deal with National. Former Green MP Catherine Delahunty says she would rather “drink hemlock” than do a deal with the Nats. Another former Green MP David Clendon also told RNZ, “The policy differences are just too great to bridge” between National and the Green Party.

Former co-leader and Greenpeace New Zealand executive Russel Norman has said that the Green Party shouldn’t and can’t work with National. He was also hesitant that the Greens would end up like the now out-of-parliament Māori party as a result of working with National. Mojo Mathers, New Zealand’s first deaf MP, tweeted “Oh my, National love the Greens now do they? Pity they couldn’t show some love for the environment over the last 9 years. #NoGreenWash” to show she is not supportive of the potential coalition.

Still, the National Party are not giving up on the idea of a ‘teal deal’ entirely, saying that they are interested in talking with the Greens. Deputy PM Paula Bennett says that her record with the Greens has been great while she was minister for climate change issues. The party hope that this will help them in their talks with the Greens, but are ultimately uncertain what will happen in terms of coalition deals.

 

Tearaway is all about giving young people a platform to express themselves, from all points of view; we encourage diversity of opinions, provided they are expressed with respect for those who differ. The opinions expressed may or may not be those of the Tearaway editorial team, and Management. We will be continuing our series of political articles, stay tuned!

 

AZARIA HOWELL is a huge politics nerd living in Christchurch, and this is her very first post for TEARAWAY! Azaria loves snowboarding, Beagles and wearing clunky boots. Keep up to date with her on Instagram and keep checking back for more exciting election news.

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