Greens have ‘historically bad’ start to the year – political scientist

The Greens have had an historically bad start to the year with allegations about MP Julie Anne Genter just the latest issue, a political scientist says.

On Wednesday, Genter crossed the debating chamber at Parliament to yell at National minister Matt Doocey during a transport debate.

The Greens have launched disciplinary action against the Rongotai MP following her outburst in the House.

Now, there are bullying allegations against Genter from a florist whose store is located beside a cycleway in Wellington.

These allegations come after former Green MP Golriz Ghahraman resigned in January this year after facing shoplifting allegations, and the suspension of Darleen Tana in March amid allegations against her and her husband of migrant exploitation.

Victoria University of Wellington political scientist Lara Greaves told Midday Report the Greens had had an historically bad start to the year.

“We’ve seen quite a challenging set of circumstances over the past five months of the party which I imagine will be quite hard for their members of Parliament and their party members generally who just want to get on and talk about say climate issues and oppose the government and push on social justice issues.”

It had also been a rocky start for Chlöe Swarbrick as the party’s co-leader and it was interesting to see how she positioned herself in the latest conflict, she said.

“She has had quite a set of circumstances to deal with as an incoming co-leader and one that has perhaps not been tested in that way before.

“It has been really interesting to hear someone who I guess sounds like me, like a young woman in that political party co-leader role and strike that balance between sounding authoritative like you’ve got stuff sorted and also … traditionally she’s been quite an up front and honest politician.”

The kind of behaviour that was expected of politicians did change over time, she said.

For example, then Labour MP Trevor Mallard was relegated to the back benches for a time after a scuffle outside the debating chamber with then National MP Tau Henare in 2007, she said.

“We have seen parliamentary behaviour over time become less unruly, a little bit more dignified and a little bit more statesperson-like generally.”

Political parties are able to organise themselves how they like under the Electoral Act which leads to different parties having different standards and codes of behaviour, she said.

“I think ultimately for the Greens, I think as the co-leaders it would be quite frustrating to be having to talk about your MPs and what they have and haven’t done and talk about that in the media rather than issues and getting about the business of [being in] opposition.”

The Greens did quite well in the latest 1 News Verian poll so the various controversies do not seem to have impacted their support at this stage, she said.

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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