The Green Party’s push to be seen as campaigning based on principles is ringing hollow.
The dull sound of principles falling did not start with the sudden and unexpected announcement list MPs Kennedy Graham and David Clendon would resign unless Metiria Turei stepped down from the coleadership.
It started with a hastily called late-night press conference in which co-leader James Shaw made it abundantly clear his is a party of principle: as long as the principles are those of the collective.
The MPs made a stand against Turei’s acknowledged benefit fraud. They said her subsequent comments condoned people lying to Work and Income; she was unfit to lead the party.
Party leaders spent much of Tuesday retooling what happened as a betrayal of the party and of those pushed to lie to government agencies in the face of hardship.
But that is a willful misreading of the situation. The MPs threatened to resign not in judgement of those in crisis: they resigned because they judged their leader to fall short of their party principles.
The party has a co-leadership to demonstrate its diversity- that should include diversity of opinion, and the possibility of those opinions being challenged.