Friday, June 21, 2013

Groundhog Interrupted

Bryce Edwards seems to have taken a page out of the Glenn Beck School of Rhetorical Trolls by parsing his latest Politics Daily summary by with byline, Is the Green Party losing its soul? This pot of Solstice shit-stirring has been brought about by Norman dropping the hippy dippy Quantitative Easing Policy, a sane and pragmatic step which has forced me out of my hole prematurely to defend.

Back in the the early days of MMP, when I was a volunteer research assistant in the Act Party's Bowen House offices, I devised a not-so-dubious theory that the minor parties acted as experimental stunt muppets for policy. If the policy stuck to the wall of public acceptance, the dominant parties of National or Labour would adopt them as their own.

This theory has been borne out since then. Everything from from Act's Treaty Deadlines to the Greens' Insulation Scheme has been grabbed by mainstream politics. It's not such a stretch. The main two parties do it all the time, cannibalising each other's policies, from universal welfare benefits to local council amalgamation.

When a party fails to sell a policy, it is shelved. Printing money was a kite that rightly got shot down. No harm in admitting defeat there. The Labour Party are doing it all the time, saying sorry for everything from GST off fresh fruit and vege through to duplicitous stances on Sky City's brand of hospitality. I'm especially looking forward to the apology for Clayton Cosgrove.

Nup, it's nothing but realpolitik from the Greens, and good on them for adapting. It pays to recognise which way the wind is blowing.