Canterbury Alliance Regional Chair, Quentin Findlay, said that Progressive Party Leader, Jim Anderton’s decision to be in a coalition with Labour in opposition, amounted to the de-facto ‘winding up’ of Jim Anderton’s Progressive Party.
“Jim Anderton has signalled that there really isn’t a difference between the two parties. In essence, Mr Anderton has announced the dissolution of the Progressive Party in all but name.”
Mr Findlay said it was one thing to work with the Labour Party over areas of common interest, but quite another to tie yourself completely to them.
“What this announcement demonstrates is that there are no real differences in terms of philosophy and/or policy between Labour and Jim Anderton. What he should simply do is join the Labour Party to achieve his aims.”
Mr Findlay said that Mr Anderton’s decision must come as a shock to those members of the Progressive Party who thought that while they might want to liaise with Labour, still wanted an independent line from their party.
“I would have thought that the Progressive Party would be developing new policies and direction while in opposition, therefore, building the Progressive Party into a viable political vehicle for the future after its leader had retired from politics”
Mr Findlay noted that those people who had left the Alliance with Mr Anderton were more than welcome to return and contribute to the building of an independent left party.
“Independent members of the Progressive Party agree with Alliance members on many of the more substantial policy areas. The difference is that the Alliance believes in ‘cooperation without compromise’ in terms of developing an independent left party,“ Mr Findlay says.
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