Opinion

Lloyd Burr: What the heck is wrong with the Green Party?

OPINION

What the heck is wrong with Green Party? 

They winge when they're in Opposition and they winge when they're in Government.

I'm absolutely flabbergasted that 30 percent of paid-up party delegates don't want James Shaw as co-leader. 

They don't think he's green enough. 

On Friday, you might remember me saying this: 

"As I see it, James Shaw will easily survive a vote of no-confidence if it ever happens at the Green Party conference this weekend. There has been no scandal, there has been no poor performance, there has been no corruption, there has been no dodgy dealings, there is no real reason for him to go at all. It's just a handful of these young Green radicals who seem to like to complain."

Not in my wildest thoughts did I think those "young Green radicals" would be nearly a third of the party. 

So what's their beef? 

They think Shaw is too Labour. 

They think James Shaw isn't delivering enough climate action. 

They want him to do more in the Climate Change portfolio. 

They want him to influence the government more than he is. 

Well here are some truths for the anti-James Shaw cabal:

Labour can govern without the Greens. 

The Greens do not prop up the government. 

This means James Shaw doesn't have any real power to influence. 

He's not a Cabinet minister either, so he doesn't have a seat at the top table. 

There's a limit to the leverage he has if he really has any at all. 

So given this, the changes he's managed to get over the line are pretty remarkable. 

The Emissions Reduction Plan for starters is a landmark document, which Shaw acknowledges doesn't go far enough but it's the most Labour would allow him. 

There's also He Waka Eke Noa - which will see a special emissions trading scheme for the agriculture sector. 

Shaw also passed the Zero Carbon law, and established the Climate Change Commission. 

And yet the radical members of the party don't think he's doing enough. 

Or do they just not like that a white straight man who wears a suit is their co-leader? 

The Greens need a reality check. They need to get their priorities sorted. 

Because this division and dissent will only do damage. 

It will only see the party implode. 

And what would that achieve?