Friday, 25 September 2009

sue bradford resigns

you'll have heard the news now of sue bradford's resignation. i'd also like to acknowledge the great work ms bradford has done in getting progressive legislation through parliament, and in advocating for those who are economically disadvantaged. there is absolutely no doubt that she had plenty of courage, and the ability to work with a number of parties to push through issues she felt strongly about.

parliament will definitely be a worse place without her, and it's a pity that with her leaving, the ratio of women of MPs will be reduced further. i'd like to wish her well in all future endeavours.

you can hear kathryn ryan interviewing her here (radio nz, nine to noon, 11.07am)


Brett Dale said...

She is better off in a activist role.

frog said...

It is heartbreaking stargazer. And while the gender balance in parliament and the Green caucus takes an interesting tip, you can bet a huge number of inspired women will be clamouring for the Green list in 2011. (And a good thing, too)
Sue spoke loudest for those without a voice. It's their loss as much as ours.

katy said...

Brett, she may be better off personally but she was amazingly effective in a parliamentary role.

Hugh said...

Agreed Katy, the NZ political constellation is full of MPs who resign, claim they are going to be just as active (or even more active) as activists and then slide into a clamour of silence.

I've got to say - and I have no doubt this will be denied by many Green party supporters trumpeting their party's 'consensual nature' - this does not bode very well for the Green party's internal cohesion.

George said...

I've been angry and depressed about it all day. Heartbreaking, as Frog describes it, is right.

The bile on one side. And the smarmy tributes from the Labour Party, which chose to exclude Sue from Government. They would rather have agreeable boring right-wing conservatives in Government like Judy Turner, rather than women of mana and conviction like Sue Bradford.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad, as will most New Zealanders that she is gone. Labour did the right thing by keeping her away from any real power - and before you get upset, remember because she had all this spare time she was able to get stuff done like the anti smacking legislation.

So she is going because she didn't win the co-leaders role. Good. The Greens need to be a real Green party and not a party of hardline left wingers. Kinda shows how the atmosphere is inside the party right now.

Flynn the Cat said...

"...remember because she had all this spare time she was able to get stuff done like repeal Section 59."

Exactly. It's a shame to lose her. And don't quote that stupid name - it isn't even correct, just dramatic.

Boganette said...

"I'm glad, as will most New Zealanders that she is gone"

LOL. Grammar fail. Section 59 description fail.

Like most New Zealanders (heh) I'm gutted Sue is leaving. She's truly awesome and mega badass. We need more women (and men) like her in Parliament.

(You can send her a message on Twitter saying thanks and good luck if you want She replies too)

Brett Dale said...

It's good for the Greens that she gone, I'm guessing in the next election they will increase their share of the party vote, they need to become more and more about the environment which they started out doing and less about Keith Locke's hatred for Israel.

Boganette said...

That's a pretty wild guess there Brett.

What on earth makes you think this will help The Greens?

Single-issue voters like yourself won't exactly vote Green based on Sue leaving. I mean you'll still be ranting about how you think Keith Locke hates Israel well after Sue leaves Parliament. And Sue will still be a member of the Greens - and since you describe her as an "extreme left wing politician" (suppressing the Lolz here) really what is going to change for you and others like you?

Fact is we've lost another strong woman in Parliament.

Brett Dale said...

Should it matter if a woman or man? It was her choice to leave.

The Green party started out as an environmental party, they have slowly moved their ideology.

IMHO if they Locke Leaves, they would get ten percent of the party vote, but Locke and Bradford have put off voters.

Surly you would agree, that Bradford alienated a lot of voters?

I'm not a single issue voter, BTW.

Boganette said...

"Should it matter if a woman or man? It was her choice to leave."

That wasn't my point - but since you read it that way: Yes, it does matter. We need strong women in Parliament who will fight for the rights of women.

"The Green party started out as an environmental party, they have slowly moved their ideology."


"IMHO if they Locke Leaves, they would get ten percent of the party vote, but Locke and Bradford have put off voters."

Lol. Which voters?

"Surly you would agree, that Bradford alienated a lot of voters?"

No I don't. The people rallying around claiming the repeal of section 59 meant big bad boogeymen would take their kiddies away would never have voted Green in the first place.

I voted Green and I supported Sue Bradford because she represented Green Party values.

The Greens shouldn't get rid of people who work tirelessly to represent minorities just to get your vote.

Brett Dale said...

We need people who will fight for the rights of everybody, it doesn't matter what the gender/race/religion of the person is.

Yes I believe that Locke and Bradford do put a lot of Kiwis off, just go to a few non political forums, a lot of people would support the Greens, but not while Locke is there.

Random Lurker said...

@Brett Dale

"We need people who will fight for the rights of everybody"

That's impractical.

A single person doesn't have the breadth of experience to pull that off. I for example have some experience of being a brown immigrant, but have absolutely no experience of being a woman. Either experience, or super-human abilities of empathy, are essential to sufficiently understand where there is a (sometimes subtle) deficiency in rights.

Multiple people who have diverse experiences can together fight for the rights of an equally diverse group (although perhaps still not everybody).

Boganette said...

Random Lurker is spot on.

And I don't think for a second losing Sue Bradford (no doubt THE hardest working Green MP in Parliament) or losing Keith Locke (one of the most passionate) would have any impact on people voting Greens.

The Greens shouldn't pander to people who vote personality over policy.

Boganette said...

Actually it might make Green voters NOT vote Greens. If anything...

katy said...

Brett, I found it telling that Bob McCroskery put out a press release after Sue resigned saying how he thought she was alright. Sue B is one of the nicest people and was one of the most effective politicians and is liked a respected by those from other parties who have worked with her. It is a shame if people like you are too blinded by media stereotyping and your own prejudice to get past what you hear on talkback but I don't think people like Sue should stop working for what they know is important because of that.

Hugh said...

Personally I am much less disposed to vote for a Green Party sans Bradford than a Green Party with her. But then I'm a unique snowflake.

Brett Dale said...

How am I blinded?

I said that Bradford put off a lot of voters, and the Greens will probably increase their share of the vote with her gone.

I guess we will know at the next election.

BTW I dont listen to talkback.

Psycho Milt said...

Either experience, or super-human abilities of empathy, are essential to sufficiently understand where there is a (sometimes subtle) deficiency in rights.

I can't decide whether this is special pleading of the whining "how can you possibly understand how I feel" type, or simply a woeful underestimation of humanity. Ordinary bog-standard human empathy is all that's required for an appreciation of human rights - women are humans, not some kind of alien life form.

katy said...

Brett, in the last election I campaigned for the Greens in Epsom where there is definitely that Green-Blue thing going on and heard a lot of, "If you guys weren't so X and Y I would vote for you". However, the NZ Green Party is founded on strong social justice principles, with or without Sue, and I tend to agree with Boganette that the kind of people who have Green tendencies but don't support the social stuff aren't a constituency that the Greens should be chasing. It is not uncommon for people to have environmental principles but there are big differences in how people think we need to go about addressing problems (witness debates around the ETS). Green Parties around the world, however, tend to have a strong social justice platform because environmental problems are tightly bound up with economic and social issues.

Sue Bradford took on issues on behalf of the unemployed and poorest workers in our society and for that was villified by aspects of our media. I am glad if this doesn't apply to you though.

Bevan11 said...

She is a definitely a loss to parliament, but I always felt she belonged in the Labour party.

She had such a strong activist profile; I wasn't sure how she would convert to being a politician, but she got useful things done, and won me over.

The repeal of section 59 was the main reason I didn't party vote Green for the first time last election. Don't get me wrong, I agree with the law, but it was easier to vote for the Greens when they were only concerned with the environment.

I hope Sue Bradford carries on doing something useful in public life.

Anonymous said...

Boganette... no. You're wrong. MOST NZers voted against her anti smacking bill. We had street marches against it, it contributed heavily towards Labour being booted out.

She is devisive and controversial. Even hardline conservative countries and communist countries never banned smacking. This week we have yet another kid killed by their family... so what has changed - apart from Sues need to want to control others?

Boganette said...

"MOST NZers voted against her anti smacking bill"

Really? When?

AWicken said...

For years I have had the thought that I should vote green to keep them in parliament, but frankly environmental policies don't exist in a vacuum. Social and economic policies are just as important. Not more important per se, but just as important.

I never particularly agreed with (eg) the s59 thing (although I'm not a member of the "I was fatally beaten as a child and it never did me any harm" crowd, either), but at least the Greens were showing an interest outside of snails and lightbulbs.

I guess Hugh is not a unique snowflake in this regard - I am also less likely to vote green now Bradford is gone.

Unlike when Nandor left - the probability of my green vote spiked quite a bit, there...

Anonymous said...

Boganette, did the recent referendum pass you by?

Did the polls at the time it passed last year give away anything to you?

The fact that most commentators said Labours defeat was helped by supporting it - miss that too?

Bradfords bill didn't save a single life - instead it has turned neighbours into spys and wasted Police time and money.

Boganette said...

Anon I don't think you read the question in the referendum. No where did it mention the repeal section 59.

Polls don't mean shit. Every poll has a different answer.

Do you honestly believe Labour were defeated because of section 59? Odd because National supported it too.

How do you know the bill hasn't saved lives? Making parents think about the ways they discipline their children instead of just lashing out at them would definitely save lives.

But whatever arguing with smackers is pointless. Your referendum didn't do shit so tough cookies.