That's the choice facing the Greens as they gather for their annual conference today. As Jeanette Fitzsimons stands aside from the co-leadership, Green protocol demands that she be replaced by a woman. And Greens members have to choose today between Metiria Turei and Sue Bradford.
Writing in the Dom-Post, Martin Kay reckons the younger Turei has the inside running. Interestingly though, both Turei and Bradford are much more aligned to the "social justice" arm of the Greens than to the "save the planet" lobby. We all know Bradford's Marxist background, but what about her opponent.
Metiria Turei has a long history of involvement in activism, and we don't have a problem with that. However when one looks a bit deeper, there are more questions posed than answered. She has been a former candidate for both the McGillicuddy Serious Party and the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party. The former was the heart of the anarchist movement in New Zealand. As recently as July last year, Turei appeared on a Radio NZ programme on the anarchist movement in New Zealand where RNZ's websire stated "Metiria Turei, one of NZ's two anarchist members of parliament who describes her self-chosen role as an anarchist to "widen the floor of the cage"". Through her links with the Save Happy Valley Coalition, Turei is also linked to several of the Urewera 17, who are yet to go to trial on charges arising from the police raids of 2007. In a recent issue of Investigate Magazine, Trevor Loudon noted that Turei has asked a number of parliamentary questions regarding the police surveillance of SHVC, and asked this very reasonable question - "Should Metiria Turei have used her parliamentary position to help her anarchist friends?"
There is no doubt that Metiria Turei is a capable and articulate politician, and we agree with Martin Kay's suggestion that she is the frontrunner to replace Jeanette Fitzsimons. We do however note that Turei is not above a racist dog-whistle or two. As readers will note from the link that follows. She recently argued for a separate justice system for Maori, a notion which we described at the time as "outrageous and deeply offensive", and we blogged about her opposition to Wanganui's Gang Insignia legislation on the basis that it was anti-Maori - the link to that piece is at the foot of the above post.
So that's the choice that Greens members face today - Turei the Anarchist versus Bradford the Marxist. The sad reality for the Greens is that they don't have a "kindly auntie" type to replace Fitzsimons, and whoever they elect today, there is one certainty. The Greens are NOT an environmental party any longer - under the co-leadership of Red Russel Norman and either Turei or Bradford, they will be moving as whole lot further to the extreme left.