Rosemary Neave writes:
Garry Moore has often said politics is the art of being able to count to 50%+1.
If we have a democratically representative Council or Government, then it is unlikely all will agree.
Mostly politicians are forced to make small steps rather than take giant leaps, as they have to get agreement around the table – they have to get the numbers. What we are left with is often seen as a compromise.
This is where the role of activists come in – trying to persuade the public that we need action on an issue, so that the public will in turn support political change.
It does not happen overnight. The Nuclear Free Movement was so successful, that Nuclear Free NZ is now mainstream opinion, supported by most political parties. This did not happen overnight, it did not happen miraculously, it happened because of solid campaigning and education around the issue over decades.
Zero Carbon Bill as a case study…
There is some outrage presently being expressed in social media by some environmentalists against The Green Party over the Zero Carbon Bill and ‘allowances’ made to farmers.
The Greens are part of a coalition, and not even full members of the Government, they have gone as far as their partners will agree. We need to support them, and challenge the other parties in government, not slag them off.
The Greens are still our best chance for moving forward on real action to combat climate change.
On this issue they need to work on NZ First and National – I see some opportunities in their Youth wings to have more influence. We need to work with farmers and farming communities to move beyond the ‘them and us’ battle lines. Giving voice to the farmers making a difference.
For me the key is understanding the different roles of activists and politicians – we need each other, and neither of them can do without the other.