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(NZ politics alert)

- socially liberal (do not demonize teh gays or teh unwed mothers)
- comfortable paying taxes to get strong state-provided health and education
- fond of making money and not automatically against those who make money
- protective of our marine and land environment, and the legacy of healthy abundance that we hold in trust for our descendants
- of the opinion that some assets are too important to be trusted to the short-term returns mindset of the private sector (Kiwibank and power generation, for example)
- a user of and advocate for technology and its role in society, culture, and the economy, so having a tech-literate party is important to me

Who the hell do I vote for?

I'd love to vote for National but their track record on the environment is piss poor, I don't trust their intentions with healthcare or assets, and none of their number want to talk about digital issues beyond cliches. Labour had some of my votes in the past, but they're beholden to their union supporters, MPs in the party have revealed a self-view that doesn't include me ("oh no, we're the party of the poor"), and Clare Curran has been the lone carrier of the digital flag. ACT can't govern themselves let alone the country, even if their libertarian wingnut ramblings weren't from an entirely different planet to the one I'm on. I've never seen myself as a Green voter because I'm not a vegan and I like money, but has it come to that?

(This all prompted by )
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I have a similar problem (in the US though). Socially liberal (including guns), economic conservative (though not to a massive extent - cut programs that are wasteful and duplicative). I'm tending towards voting for Gary Johnson in the primary since I agree with many of his opinions - end wars, legalize pot, etc. and he doesn't seem to be as socially conservative as the other possibilities.
I've voted Green the past couple of elections, I feel I can't join them because I think there's a place for GE in the world (a very very very careful place), people are starving - but my politics do extend to the left of Labour

I've always felt that to move the political center a little my way one needs a lever and for me at least the Greens have been far enough out to give a bit more leverage - if Labour moves left to grab some of their votes all the better, to me that's a good thing

(Key on the other hand reminds me of every marketing guy I've ever worked with ..... I can't tell what he's really thinking or stands for)
I agree with +Paul Campbell in that I think my vote is more effective behind the Greens because they extend the political spectrum into an important direction, even if I don't really want to accept their policies lock, stock and barrel.

Over the years they also seem to have gained a lot of maturity and they're now so much more rational than "conservation for conservation's sake" to the extent that I find it increasingly easy to vote for them, and to agree with more of the ideas that they represent.
I have only ever voted for the Greens as they are the closest party that represents my views. These are mainly around conservation but also other areas. Was a member for a year and impressed by the discussion and decision making process within. Left as some policies I can't stand behind such as no evidence medicine. Will still get my vote as we need their reasoning in our parliament. 
Never voted Labour, and certainly won't this time round. Was almost tempted by their recent digital approach and ground made by Curran, until she shot herself and the party in the foot with her rants about Labour having a natural right to union members. Otherwise, I have a greatest affinity to policies of National, ACT and the Greens. Biggest problem is that there is no clear winner out of all three of these parties. I'm generally right leaning, but not in a conservative way. I like the greens for their digital and environmental approaches, but don't agree with some of their social policies (or at least how we can afford them).
You can try to game the system by voting for whichever party adds back in most of the ingredients you think are currently missing from the mix. Even if they don't win, it seems to me that other parties will move in that direction if they perceive a significant loss of their electoral base.

For me that means Greens. (Hypothetically, in AU. In the US I'd like to vote for some rational fact based policies, which sadly leaves all of them [and yes I'm looking at you Libertarians] out)
+Nat Torkington I am in a similar boat on this.
Our government need to be looking into what strategic capital investment will best lead us out of the recession, not what can they make a buck off. That rules out the Nats.

Act have quite underhandedly ditched Rodney Hyde, who is the only reason they are in parliament. Also as mentioned about the Nats, it is not the time for a bout of rogernomics.

Labour in general have not "cleaned house" which is what their result in 2008 should have told them. I do not consider them to be a decent opposition at the moment. They need to look at what they were like in 1999 and get back to what they stood for.

I have not had much confidence in the greens since Rod Donald passed away. You never know what they will push vs what they will fold. Talking anti smacking vs GE moratorium type stuff

And as far as the copyright amendment bill they all miss the point.
Guilty unless proven innocent and no legal representation unless under special approval. How has that become law? Why was it pushed through under urgency with the earthquake stuff?

Some one on the beehive network pleas get caught and get our government kicked off the internet, they have lost browsing privileges.
Oh, how I'l love to have this conundrum but Canada's still stuck in the dim ages of democracy. I'd be inclined, given the opportunity, to vote for the party that moves furthest in the direction I'd like to see government head given it didn't have any deal-breakers in its core platform. This would inevitably see me voting for a party I'm not entirely in agreement with, tempered with a vote for whichever candidate would do the best job representing and meeting my riding's needs regardless of party affiliation.
Nat, say it ain't so! About a decade ago you had my husband and I seriously considering immigrating to NZ - as the politics in the US were getting poisonous, and NZ looked like a sane country for a young, progressive couple wanting to start a family. Now it sounds like you have a similar dearth of reasonable political options.

Or is it just that your proximity amplifies the differences, and on the whole, all of NZ politics is still miles better than anything the Democrats or Republicans in the US have to offer? Enquiring minds want to know... because there may not be much room for an atheist, nerdy gay couple with kids in a Bachmann or Perry led America!
+Mark Lentczner I think you'll find that all of the political parties here are left of the Democrats in the US, even ACT. Yes, I realise that people are going to violently disagree with that. :)
I've been considerably impressed by just how much the Greens have changed over the last few years. Their economic policy makes far more sense than the other parties and takes into account the reality of the Twenty-First Century, that we need innovation, sustainability, and more than just empty GDP growth.

For instance, in the papers today we have the Greens talking about charging farmers for irrigation water: "A charge on irrigation water is an effective price signal to more efficiently allocate a scarce resource and is in line with the OECD recommendation that we put a price on agricultural uses of water." ( As an economist, I don't think you can argue with that, it's just common sense and good economic management.
Sorry, I'm in Sweden at the moment and out of the loop politically (though trying to catch up before the election...), but what about the Maori party? Or have they splintered themselves in obsolescence?
I used to vote Labour (and still do in electorate votes) but Greens have had my party vote for a while. I don't agree with everything they want, but they advance an important part of the political spectrum, are consistently regarded by those on the opposite side of the spectrum as hard working MPs particularly in select committees, and more recently have shown a good consistent message on the filesharing bill, which Curran has been 50/50 on. (Still better than any other party, that said)

It's mostly disappointing tho that Labour have been a poor opposition, and I can't see myself rewarding that weakness. It's one thing not to be the government, it's another to just be ineffective and useless in opposition.
Me, I'll never vote Labour - they raised my taxes, brought in the copyright bill, and I just don't like their policies. I also won't vote National - they lied about getting rid of it. ACT are lost in the right wing lock-em-up land instead of being libertarians. While I don't like the Green economic policy ($15 min wage? Seriously?), they seem to be the only party that understands science, freedom of speech and civil liberties. Very, very odd place for me to be. Claire Curran I just don't trust.
The Greens really don't seem to be as incompetent as Labour or National, and my time working in Parliament ten years back has left me with serious respect for their attitude about playing idiotic (and expensive to the public) games with things like urgency.
+Mark Lentczner Don't panic, politics are still MUCH better than in the US. I was just there for two months and I couldn't believe that it had gotten WORSE since I left. It's still a fantastic place for an atheist, nerdy, gay couple with kids to come and raise them. The fuckedness we're talking about is tiny compared to the US's giant overwhelming fail that is Washington, it's just that proximity and high expectations make me grumble about things that wouldn't make the Radar in the US. Come join us .... ;-)
+Mark Lentczner PS, there's good precedent for fleeing to raise a family--it's what we did after Bush was re-elected. "Seriously, you people voted that fucking idiot back in? First time, ok, election was stolen. Second time, you've brought it on yourselves. We're outta here, you're obviously nuts."
In Australia, the Greens are neither vegan nor against making money - although of course it serves other parties well to keep projecting a previous perception ;-)
While not perfect (heck it's apolitical party!) I've found that The Australian Greens are most in sync with my values and objectives (which appear to be very similar to yours), and I've also been somewhat active to a) learn more about how they work (by helping/participating in things) and b) work to change policies and activities I don't like.
Now, I don't know what the NZ Greens look like...
yeah - we brought our family back from the Bay Area to NZ at about the same time that Nat came back - what I found refreshing when I came back to NZ was that at the time everyone was making a big fuss about 911 response times - something that's minor compared with going off to Iraq - but also something that affects people.

We also argue in the political arena about what should be covered by our health system, in general we hate doing that but I think it's wonderfully healthy - in the US it was decided by some faceless accountant in an insurance company.

While we wont recognise your marriage (yet, it's about time we changed, public opinion has officially swung, time for the politicians to follow) we will recognise your partnership as far as immigration is concerned
I'd be most likely to be green if I weren't somewhat opposed to some of their extremely outmoded beliefs re. things like GM. National's fixation on making oodles of money NOW at the cost of our future assets (esp. natural) terrifies me, Labour appears to have no backbone, and I won't even dignify ACT with a glance. Leaving one in an impossible situation, votewise :(
+Tama Easton Yup, let's get past all the tribal identity politics and social trivialities. Real politics right now is about one issue: whether the rich are allowed to steal from everyone else or not.

In the long run, there's little statistically significant impact on growth rates between left and right-wing governments, for pretty much all rich nations. There is strong evidence to show that the difference between right and left is that the right increases income inequality, the left holds it roughly constant.

No-one really likes to talk about this, they'd rather bring up endless wedge issues, side issues, and FUD, or cloak this discussion in platitudes by claiming to be "business-friendly" for businesses that can't see past the end of their nose. But frankly, this is what politics comes down to right now - a choice between government for the rich or government for the rest of us.
+aimee whitcroft The ease with which I want to reply "What are you, some kind of communist?" just shows how much of our cultural discourse has been colonised by ideas which benefit the rich far more than they benefit everyone else.

+Tama Easton Yup, that one's on the pile for me too. In the meantime, I'd refer everyone to John Landon-Lane's paper "Can government policies increase national long-run growth rates?" (, the answer being pretty much no.
+Nat Torkington I don't think we voted him in the second time, as I recall the supreme court installed him. But that aside... left and right are so, well, yesterday. I wish they would dry up and blow away and take post modernism with them. Time for a new, dare I say orthogonal, framing.
+aimee whitcroft Ok, so don't take this the wrong way (after all I don't know you and I'm dangerously close to trampling the conservational two minute rule), but... if you were to consider the 20th century a series of tests of the communist hypothesis you'd probably get your funding pulled about the time the Khmer Rouge blew up its petri dish. Communism doesn't have the best empirical record.
The whole "Greens don't like making money" is a great example of the power of branding and mud sticking - I'd wager they've had a higher proportion of small business owners in their ranks than the other parties. Certainly no putting failed woodwork teachers in charge of rebuilding Christchurch, anyway.
Their stance on GE I have mixed feeling about; declaring a technology out-of-bounds in and of itself is... retrograde. But I share a conviction that the Monsantos and Fonterras are the wrong people to be working on commercial releases of GE productes, especially the more heavily modified ones. Given the apparent degradation of New Zealand waterways, for example, crops that are designed to allow us to chuck more Roundup into paddocks seem unlikely to be a great idea in the medium to long term.
Like +Jason Pollock I've got to say the way the Greens seem to be the only party consistently voting the right way on issues like the undermining of the right to a jury trial, double jeopardy, ridiculous powers for the SIS and other really fundamental components of a democratic society would swing it for me apart from other considerations.
+Jim Stogdill I was saying i'm not pro Communist :P And yes, I agree with Roger that Fonterra and Monsanto aren't the right way to go (seriously, I've never come across anyone, including GM scientists, who say they are), but the Greens have shown, at least where science is concerned, an unwillingness to move with the times. Other than that, they do seem to care, and Gareth Hughes did his party a great service by speaking sense at the s92a hearings (he was also at the protest in Auckland over the weekend). Left/right don't seem to mean much anymore, but there is a clear distinction between those with more, um, socialists (?) leanings ito being willing to pay taxes in order to support society etc, and those who are in it to make as much money as possible, irrespective of the consequences (this is nowhere more clear than in the ongoing debate re. climate, use of our natural resources, etc).
+aimee whitcroft Ah! Sorry, I mis-read your comment. Getting dumber with age I guess. wrt left/right I think they still mean a lot in the sense that so much of our political conversation is framed that way. Unfortunately I view them as both essentially retrograde - they just have different points of reference, but they are both looking back with nostalgia at never achieved utopias. Anyway, I will now self-invoke the two minute rule and politely bow out of this conversation on NZ politics since I don't know a damned thing about them.
I strongly respect that the Greens stick to their values and principles, whereas the others have all flip-flopped/sold-out/lied regularly. And the party seems much more pragmatic than it used to be, has well-researched positions on many issues, and has switched on MPs.
I'm voting Greens too for the reasons other people have mentioned. It's also nice they have an MP that represents my age group instead of a bunch of middle-aged people only concerned with their generation's well-being (or alternatively their moral view of what the well-being of other age groups should consist of).
For the non-kiwis reading this thread perhaps a little background is appropriate - NZ has a proportional electoral system basically any party that can get 5% of the vote will get seats (with some somewhat silly exceptions) - that's meant that every government we've had since we changed has been a coalition of some sort - despite what you might think we have stable governments built on compromise - no instant elections here, it can take weeks to know who's running the country after an election.

This is why for us a vote for a small party like the Greens (or on the other wing the pseudo-libertarian Act) is a viable, non wasted vote.

Personally I think that government built on public compromises is a particularly good thing in politics - even if it seems like pulling teeth sometimes
Sam T
+1 as a reluctant green voter, for pretty much the same reasons as the rest of you. Sad state of affairs.
yup - greens are the only choice for some key issues, but it galls me to vote for a party where there still seems to be a lot of anti-science hippies involved. I couldn't in all conscience though, vote for any of the others.
His potty mouth might be tough in a general election. I see him as more the behind the scenes Svengali type. :)
+Jim Stogdill it certainly wouldn't be a problem in Australia, and aren't we trying to close the gap there? Why not with foul-mouthed political leaders, as well?
(Also our third ranked cabinet minister shoved a pensioner down a stairwell at a political meeting. I don't think a few "cunts" and "shitcocks" can be considered that big a deal...)
There you have it. Nat for El Primo (or whatever you folks call the top dog down there). :)
I, apparantly am a far-left social libertarian.
Left: 7.81, Libertarian: 3.68. Is this the alignment of the Nat (Torkington, not 'ional') party?
I get where you're coming from but your comments about the greens are, frankly, facile.

The Greens are hardly agin making money, but not afraid to put happiness and fulfillment first, and keen to check both sides of the ledger - like the $9Bn pa overseas funds spent because we we have 50% more cars per head than the USA. Veganism - that would be a rare minority - I'm proudly vegetarian, but Jeanette Fitzsimmons' hubby was personally big on personally killing what they ate.

And you might be interested to note that the greens voter base is the most educated of all parties by a country mile. It's more about smart policies than anything else.
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