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Where Will the Greens Go Now?

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Contributor:
Rob West
Rob West

A sad day for Politics as Jeanette Fitzsimons steps down from her co-leadership of the Green Party. A pioneer in green politics for not just New Zealand but the World, she has been a strength in the Green Party and the consciousness for the Government since 1996 when she was first elected.

Whether you love her or hate her, she has driven the Green Party and New Zealand to a very different place and is one of those notorious MPs that everyone has an opinion about. I invite everyone to share their opinion of Jeanette on the comments section whatever it may be for the sake of a small experiment and see how people thought of her.

On Frogblog Bob Brown, the leader of the Australian Greens, had this to say about her: “Jeanette is a pre-eminent national and international campaigner, politician and thinker. She’s been at the cutting edge of Green politics in a world where it’s the only answer. Besides being a good friend, she is an enduring Green warrior.”

 

According to Gordon Campbell in Scoop; “Fitzsimons herself used to joke about the common perception of her as being this nice, twinkly-eyed old lady. The Granny of Green, too nice to play rough. It was quite a misleading image. Years of fighting her corner had made her far tougher than that image would suggest – and while she kept to the principle of not playing personality politics, she could be far more politically ruthless than the party, or the press gallery for that matter, ever came to realise.”

Her Co-leader Russell Norman said “Green politics and ideas are gaining currency around the world very quickly because of the work of pioneers such as Jeanette. We will continue to call on her experience and deep understanding of policy as a backbencher.”

In late 2008 she was voted the most trusted person in politics leading even Helen Clark and John Key who strangely then went on to secure the ultimate victory. One wonders what Mr. Key would have to say about Jeanette, especially after his recent meeting with her and Mr. Norman. Doubtless the snubs she has helped deal out to the National Party will have left no one in their offices regretting her stepping down.

However, by no means will the Greens be lost in the darkness as Jeanette’s torch gets handed down to, most likely, Green Party MPs Sue Bradford and Metiria Turei. Both are strong potential leaders and will work with Russell well. Will they fill the gap though?

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