INDEPENDENT NEWS

Greens offer stability

Published: Mon 8 Nov 1999 04:29 PM
A centre-left government with a Green Party component offers more stability than any government depending on New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters.
That's according to Green Party Co-Leaders Jeanette Fitzsimons and Rod Donald today.
"While Mr Peters is hedging his bets, we are categorical we would support the formation of a centre-left government and not a right-wing coalition involving National and Act," Mr Donald said.
"Green MPs in the next Parliament offer much greater certainty than New Zealand First holding the balance of power."
Ms Fitzsimons said the Green Party aimed to make MMP work the way it was meant to.
"Votes cast in Parliament should reflect votes cast in the election," she said. "This means parties should vote for the policies they put to the electorate, not trade them away for cabinet positions.
"Parties should indicate before the election which other parties they expect to work with. Winston is trying to deny his supporters any say over whether they will have a National- or Labour-led government."
Coalitions or agreements on confidence should be structured around an agreed policy programme, with parties free to vote separately on issues where they disagree, she said. "This provides accountability as well as stability."
Labour and the Alliance were advocating a similar position, she said.
"The Green Party believes in MMP and would like to show New Zealanders that this voting system can work to give voters more control, not less," Ms Fitzsimons said. "We don't need the binding coalition agreement that New Zealand First entered in exchange for the Treasurer's position. We do need to give voters a clear indication before the election of the main options for the structure of the next government."
ends

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