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Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Rod Donald’s death – tragedy and farce

The public responses to Rod Donald’s tragic death range from the sublime to the ridiculous, from the tragic to the farcical.
While one’s heart goes out to Rod’s family and his Green Party and other political colleagues on the broad left, it is too much to stomach some of the "tributes" to Rod from his political enemies and "faux" friends.
ACT Leader Rodney Hide was "shocked to learn of Rod Donald's death". "Rod will be sorely missed by the Green Party." Although, clearly, the other Rod(ney) will not be sharing that feeling with the Greens.
Don Brash stated the obvious: "Parliament will not be the same place without him". But at least he was honest and direct when he said: "Despite disagreeing on some policies, I admired Rod as a hugely principled, honest and capable man, with a passion and a drive to represent his beliefs and speak his mind."
Winston Peters said it all, and nothing, with his remark: "Wherever one sits on the political divide, it can’t be denied that Rod Donald was dedicated to his party’s cause and their issues and had been a high profile and effective parliamentarian."
Prime Minister Helen Clark drew attention to the debt Labour owed the Greens: "I have known Rod Donald since he entered Parliament in 1996, and worked with him for the past six years during which Green Party support and goodwill has been indispensable for our government."
It is a shame that debt was not repaid with some Cabinet posts.
And it is true that: "Rod gained a national profile from his work on the electoral referenda in the early 1990s. He was a strong advocate for MMP, and entered Parliament as a Green Party member within the Alliance in 1996."
But heartfelt tributes are in the majority and bear a scan through in the "Politics" section of Scoop.
PS The conspiracy theorists among us, and who at heart is not one, will be curious to find out what did kill Rod if it wasn't a heart attack.

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