On Sunday Labour selected former Police Association president Greg O'Connor as their candidate for Ohariu. Today the Greens have announced that they will not contest the seat to give him a clear run at unseating Peter Dunne:
The Green Party has decided not to run a candidate in Ohariu to give Labour a better chance at unseating United Future leader Peter Dunne.
That is despite the Green Party previously expressing concerns about the Labour candidate Greg O'Connor's position on several issues.
Green co-leader James Shaw said his party's national executive decided against running a candidate in Ohariu "because it increases our chances of changing the Government".
Dunne won the seat by just 710 votes in 2014, while the Green Party candidate Tane Woodley received 2764 votes.
News hub's Patrick Gower is doing his usual frothing about "dirty deals", showing that he doesn't understand MMP. But its not the idea of a deal that offends me but rather this particular one. O'Connor is a jackbooted fascist who is one of the biggest dangers to New Zealand's civil liberties. Obviously, the Greens can't control who Labour selects as candidates. But they can control whether they approve of them. And faced with a candidate like O'Connor, their response should be to say "not on my watch". This is a man who should not be in Parliament, and the Greens should do their bit to keeping him out. Instead, they've rolled over in the name of good relations with Labour under the spurious guise of "changing the government". So instead of having a National constrained by Dunne, they'd rather have a Labour with Greg O'Connor as police Minister and able to arm the police at will.
Yeah, fuck that shit.
If you're a Green voter in Ohariu, it looks very much as if Dunne is the lesser evil. At least he doesn't support the "right" of police to beat or even shoot you with utter impunity. At least he's not a rape apologist (in fact, on civil liberties, including intelligence oversight, Dunne is pretty good. Certainly better than the average National MP). If I still lived in Ohariu, he'd be getting my electorate vote. Because civil liberties are more important than whether Andrew Little gets a bigger salary.