Aug 21, 2008

ETS: What Is Going On?

Well Helen Clark has allowed the Greens to be backed into the corner she has been seeking to back them into all along. Her view is that at the end of the day the Greens cannot afford to be seen to be the party that has killed the ETS, no matter how flawed they think this legislation might be. So the focus has been on NZ First, where thanks to Winston's problems the Government has had huge leverage. The suggestions that the Government have given ground to the Greens is misleading. NZ First were wanting very similar concessions on households and the low paid.

The Greens are unhappy, but they don't want to be seen to be this bill killers. So they are buying time. They are wanting to stimulate support from their constituency, to support an imperfect bill, on the off chance that the bill will make it back to Parliament. But they know this may not happen. Like everyone else in town they are hearing that there is more serious dirt about to come out on Winston when Parliament resumes next week. How Winston will react is impossible to predict, but one reaction might be to play tough on the ETS. For the Greens that wouldn't be too bad an option. And by waiting until next week the Greens may have the benefit of more poll results. If they are even further away from the 5% mark they may decide on different tactics than if they are well above the threshold.

Update : Chris Trotter, in his new blog, is trying to apply exactly the pressure the PM is wanting on the Greens.

Actually, it is Labour and NZ First are responsible for the current hiatus. They have made further changes to the scheme. Instead of a scheme designed to apply to all sectors and all gases it has been watered down in response to pork barrel politics. The Greens are right to oppose this. Rather than sit back and take crap like this from Trotter the Greens should be going on the offensive and showing what enviro enemies NZ Labour really are.