ZB

Mike's Minute: Politics is getting messier and messier

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Fri, 29 Jul 2022, 9:50am

Mike's Minute: Politics is getting messier and messier

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Fri, 29 Jul 2022, 9:50am

We end the week with a couple of unresolved issues.

First, the Green Party leadership. What a complete and utter bust that has been. If you were looking to make a dick of yourself, you could not have done it better than the Greens have this week.

They vote to open nominations for co-leader because James Shaw isn't what they like. And what happens next? A media that looks desperate to fill the space with speculation as to who might run.

And slowly but surely two names that could be, might be running, don’t.

Chlöe Swarbrick, who may or may not be a political talent, doesn’t want it. That's probably wise.

And Elizabeth Kerekere, who is only known by anyone outside the party because she famously as Covid spokesperson got on a plane as a household contact, thus, showing us she didn’t have the slightest idea about the Government's Covid rules.

So here we are with crickets chirping. Shaw will hold his job, as he should because he is the best thing about the Greens, but they are too thick to work that out.

Then the other unresolved issue, what, if anything, the Government do about donations to political parties. They have legislation in the Parliament already, but that doesn’t deal with what some lawyers are calling the loophole that has been unearthed by the New Zealand First case.

A case the two involved were found not guilty of, thus alarming those who know about these legal matters.

Whether there is a hole or not I don’t know. What I do know is whatever you do, short of publicly funding political parties, you will have trouble.

Whether you call them loopholes and whether any of them pass a legal test if tried in court doesn't really matter. If you insist that the public in some way shape or form should be allowed to fund political parties, someone, somewhere, like tax law, is going to find a way to be tricky.

We do, of course, want voters funding parties because that is part of democracy.

And if we merely funded it out of state coffers it would cost a fortune we don’t have.

And it wouldn't allow those who are good at fundraising and appeal to large numbers of punters to reap the rewards of their policy settings.

Whether they can even attempt to tidy all this up by this time next year is highly debatable. But what I suspect is what we have currently doesn’t work all that well.

But what they change it to won't work all that well either.