I admire the tendency of Green politicians to give up earlier than other politicians, and return to normal life. It shows a human appreciation for the normal things of life. It’s an appreciation that they don’t show in politics.
Their political intransigence is the reason they give up. Politics, like life, is about compromise – the art of the possible. The Greens have a view of the world that brooks no compromise.
I recall the palpable frustration of Russel two election campaigns ago, faced with the breezy shrug and inaccuracy of John Key. He couldn’t seem to believe what he saw as the duplicity and effrontery of a Prime Minister.
You have to learn not only to live with that, but comfortably turn it around and fire back your own shots.
Comfort and confidence is rarely ever apparent in Green politicians. They’re agitated, enraged, affronted, and appalled. They rarely smile unless it’s at irony.
The Greens want desperately to be right on everything, and for everyone to realise and acknowledge they are right.
It’s not going to happen. It rarely happens for any politician. Even John Key, at the top of his game, will often feel isolated and wrong. But like most of us, he has an internal horizon meter that keeps him balanced about what you can achieve in life.
In my PR and political experience you are more likely to win when you appear comfortable about failure. People respond best when you are not earnest – when you make an argument but leave it to them to work out whether to agree.
To connect with more of the public, the next co-leader of the Greens will need to have more charm than ideology.