Canvassing for Opinion - aka "Blairs Brain on Cannabis"

IMHO prohibition sentiment requires inherent addiction to status quo, an incapacity to visualise beyond the here and now and a desperate desire to know others might feel the same... Reform is not revolutionary, rather it is evolutionary. Having survived banging your head against a brick wall the evolutionist relishes having stopped. / Blair

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Rod Donald downplays CLR (Agenda TV)

What Rod Donald said about cannabis to Simon Dallow
Agenda - Television One, Saturday 9th July 2005.

SIMON Are you worried at all by the absence of a hot button issue, something that resonates with voters that you've had in the past?

ROD We can never win, at the last election at our pre-election conference we launched our child policy, ending child poverty, didn't get any traction because the whole fixation was on genetic engineering, this election everyone's saying you haven't got GE how are you gonna survive. I mean we're committed to a sustainable economy, we want a fairer society, we want to make people's food healthy, we want a bright future for this country, that's what we're offering in this country.

SIMON Well last time it was GE.

ROD GE hasn't gone away if I might say, we've gotta clean up the environment whether it's the 95% of our rivers that are too dangerous to swim in.

SIMON Okay GE's hovering in the background but why have you ditched cannabis reform as a platform?

ROD Oh we haven't ditched cannabis reform.

SIMON Well it's certainly been downplayed.

ROD Not at all.

SIMON Nandor Tanczos' list rating goes and no one's talking about it.
ROD Well we continue to talk about it, watch this space.

SIMON Okay do you support Materia Turei's statement that the Foreshore and Seabed legislation is - quote again from a press release - "shameful racist and a tragedy for New Zealand?"

ROD Indeed, definitely, that statement was issued on behalf of the Green Party and by the way you mentioned Materia, why did Nandor go down in your words, it's because Materia went up, there's a strong .

SIMON He didn't go down one place he went down a lot more than that.

ROD Yeah he went down two places and the other person that leapfrogged him was Keith Locke and he takes strong stands on Ahmed Zaoui, Afghanistan, Iraq.

SIMON Is your Maori policy an attempt to woo back the support you lost to the Maori Party?

ROD Our Maori policy hasn't changed since before the last election.

SIMON It's more prominent though.

ROD It's more prominent only because the media has thankfully given it more attention.

SIMON Who are the Greens now, the pro-cannabis "flakeys" as Peter Dunne called them, the pro-Maori activist, the Hikoi marchers, the anti-GE ideologues or the environmental lobbyists, who are you?

ROD We're the mainstream.

SIMON And you define that as what?

ROD We define that as people who are caring, who are committed to New Zealand having a sustainable future, a future where we actually look after the environment so there's something left for future generations, a country where quality of life is more important than economic growth, a country that has a position in the world as international citizens who want to be and are concerned about what's happening that's bad and trying to stop those bad things and make the world a better place.

SIMON But your positions on cannabis, Maori, GE, the environment - isn't this a mixed message, do the voters know who you are?

ROD Cannabis should be a health issue not a crime and all they need to do is go to our website they'll see what we stand for, it is very clear we have four principles which are sustainability, social justice, peace and democracy built on a foundation of a treaty relationship.

SIMON Sources in the party tell us you have downplayed the cannabis reform because you are scared of frightening off the middle class voters.

ROD Well for the last three years we've actually employed a cannabis campaigner to raise awareness of this policy, we've spent more money on literature on cannabis, we've got a whole page on our website on cannabis, we've written to all the doctors about cannabis, I don't think we've ever done as much on cannabis as we have in the last three years, I just think most people have moved on from that and say yeah the Greens are probably right, yes there should be medical cannabis, yes it should be a health issue not a crime, maybe the Greens are making sense because prohibition simply doesn't work.

SIMON Co-Leader of the Green Party Rod Donald thank you so much for joining us today on Agenda.


View blog reactions

2 Comments:

  • At 3:42 pm, July 23, 2005, Anonymous Jason said…

    Kevin,
    Thank you very much for posting Rod Donald's interview with Simon Dallow on CCLR. Unfortunately it has confirmed my growing suspicions. Ever since the Green Party had its pre-election conference (June 4-6, 2005) I have been waiting to see its cannabis policy mentioned in the mainstream media. So far the silence has been deafening and the election is now less than 2 months at most.
    Anyway, the Otago Daily Times ran an article titled Greens warned about attacks, Australian senator speaks from experience (4-5/06/05) which I felt confirmed my analysis of the Green Party's relative failure at the 2002 Election ("We went on the front foot and our vote went up"). I will post that article on CCLR in a seperate e-mail, something I have intended to do for a while now. Unfortunately I can still remember the furore that occured within CLR the last time I was critical of the Green Party's downplaying of its cannabis policy in July 2003 and so I was a little reluctant. However, after reading Rod Donald's interview I get the feeling that the Green Party is going to make the same mistake all over again. In my opinion Rod was certainly unconvincing, contradictory and possibly delusional (SIMON Who are the Greens now, the pro-cannabis "flakeys" as Peter Dunne called them, the pro-Maori activist, the Hikoi marchers, the anti-GE ideologues or the environmental lobbyists, who are you? ROD We're the mainstream. - Parties polling around 5% are hardly mainstream - Jason). What comes across very strongly in the interview is that Rod did not want to talk about cannabis. Simon realised that and so he kept asking him questions about it. For me the following part of the interview was the most telling:
    SIMON But your positions on cannabis, Maori, GE, the environment - isn't this a mixed message, do thevoters know who you are? ROD Cannabis should be a health issue not a crime and all they need to do is go to our website they'll see what we stand for, it is very clear we have four principles which are sustainability, social justice, peace and democracy built on a foundation of a treaty relationship.
    Rod was on national television so why didn�t he use the opportunity to explain the Green Party�s policy? Instead we get vague notions like �we have four principles which are sustainability, social justice, peace and democracy�. George Bush undoubtedly believes that he also stands for �sustainability, social justice, peace and democracy� as would Don Brash, Peter Dunne, Helen Clark, Winston Peters et al. In my opinion Rod Donald was simply indulging in sloganeering which was hardly going to convince any non-Green voters to suddenly vote for the Green Party. [this was as far as I got after seeing the TV3 News ad - Jason]

     
  • At 3:44 pm, July 23, 2005, Anonymous jasonBS said…

    Oh the irony of it all! On Tuesday afternoon I began my critique of Ron Donald's interview on Simon Dallow's Agenda tv programme, something that I had been intending to do since Kevin posted it (unfortunately the school holidays and being a solo dad got in the way). However, before I could finish it, an ad for TV3 News came on our television which stated that the Green Party were dropping decriminalisation as an election issue (or words to that effect - they definately used the word decriminalisation). Anyway, after seeing that, I thought that I better wait and watch the news before writing any more. After watching the 6pm news I was shocked and disappointed. Here I was writing an e-mail in the hope of preventing the Green Party from making the exact mistake that they were now actually making. At least it explained why Rod Donald was so evasive on the cannabis issue on Agenda, why he only wanted to talk about what they had done and not about what they were going to do.
    The Green Party in my opinion are already making the same mistake that they made at the last election (2002). They have forgotten that the cannabis issue got them elected in 1999. Relegating Nandor down the party list means that they are much less appealing to youth. My prediction is that they will not increase their vote significantly but will lose votes instead (see the accompanying Greens warned about attacks e-mail). They have already lost mine (they got my party vote at the last 2 elections although I was reluctant to vote for them in 2002).
    As I intend voting to legalise, I guess I will have to give the ALCP both my party and electorate votes. So maybe the ALCP will be the winners as a result of the Green Party's politrickery.
    Anyway, I can't help but notice that CCLR has already become very quiet over the past week so maybe others are also feeling like I do (compare that with the flurry of activity in 2000 and 2001 when cannabis law reform was inspired by the election of the Greens). And the election is less than 2 months away. So thanks a lot Rod and your Green Party - NOT!!

     

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