Tuesday, June 12, 2007


3PM. There's been a lot of waiting around today. There was a brief flurry of scaredom following Dan Boyle's comments just before lunch. A couple of people believed he had said that fundamental differences still existed. If that were true, that would have spelt trouble.

But what he actually said was:

"We are a lot closer. There is not a huge difference. The items that remain are quite fundamental to the Green Party."

So we are very close. Boyle put it memorably last night but as yet there is no cigar smoke to be seeing rising above the roof of Government buildings.

There have been a lot of canards put out in the past couple of days. The first is that Boyle and John Gormley wanted to make the deal last Friday but Trevor Sargent put his foot down. That has been denied by all the Greens at the heart of these negotiations. In addition, there were rumours that a lot of the differences were over how many ministries the Greens would get; or about difficulties with the PDs. That wasn't true either. Sure, there was talk about composition of government but most of the sticking points related to policy. And as the quote from above illustrates, policy is where it's at today.

Even if a deal is secured, it's not a done deal by any means. The Greens still need to sell it to their membership tomorrow. The party needs a two-thirds majority of its membership to approve it. And while the leadership is making damn sure it's not going to put a deal on the table that's going to bellyflop with its membership, it will still involve a bit of a rocky ride for Trevor and the others.

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