This post was originally published at The Daily Blog on 16 May 2013.
So, the National-led government is basically canning the huge amount of work and Sacred Taxpayer Dollars which went into the review of our electoral system – because, as aptly demonstrated by Holly Walker of the Greens and Lianne Dalziel of Labour, they don’t like it.
What don’t they like? The common assumption is that it’s about the recommendations to eliminate lifeboating – i.e. Peter Dunne winning Ohariu again and dragging in a bunch of fundies with him – and to balance that out by reducing the party vote threshold to 4%.
What I don’t get is why.
I mean, Walker is going with the (very strong) line that it’s because National are reliant on Banks and Dunne, who both probably have delusions of one day regaining extra seats in the House.
I am no political scientist, nor do I have access to the magical beast which is internal party polling, but this makes little sense to me. Does anyone see Banksy keeping hold of Epsom? Does anyone see the electorate swinging behind United Future again, after the hilarious debacles which have always ensued – and always get recited whenever Dunne seems to be courting the Reasonable Middle Ground demographic?
On current polling, of the minor parties, only NZ First has a shot of returning to Parliament, and that’s assuming Richard Prosser can keep his mouth shut until the election (I don’t include the Greens as a minor party these days). The Conservatives are on 1.5%. Wouldn’t it make much more sense for the Right to just euthanise ACT, drop the threshold, and hope that Colin can pull in enough votes to get over the line? Who knows how many hard-blue Nat voters would strategically jump ship to ensure their party wasn’t dependent on Winston? And to those voters, getting from 1.5 to 4 looks a hell of a lot easier that 1.5 to 5.
Are the Nats just that stuck in an antidemocratic, anti-MMP mindset? Do they still harbour dreams of ruling alone, even though it’s probably impossible in general and much less so when you’re going for a third term and the wheels are starting to come off the wagon?
This post is almost entirely made up of questions to which I have no answers, but I’m genuinely puzzled. Spin me your theories in the comments.
Not half as inflammatory as my usual offerings! But I ponder, what if Epsom & Ohariu were Northland & Te Tai Tonga?
A trifecta of good stuff for you this evening.
Craig Ranapia on Greg “if everyone would just be good little proles then the cops wouldn’t have to beat you” O’Connor and Tiki “brown man with completely inexplicable dislike of agents of repressive state apparatus” Taane:
But the one thing O’Connor and his ilk can’t do – and even worse, don’t believe they have to seriously try – is back up their assertion that words and music they don’t like lead to real world crime.
Gordon Campbell on both legal aid/the anti-nanny-state Government’s strange nanny-state-esque behaviour:
So far, the Key government has reduced the right to a jury trial, extended the powers of search and surveillance by state agencies, restricted the rights against self incrimination, sought the ability to conduct trials in the absence of the accused, and ended the independence of the agency dispensing legal aid – and that’s even before we got to today’s changes.
As Scoop consistently argued, the dispute was always about getting Warners more money, and the union dispute was being used as a diversion to that end. Simultaneously, the climate of anti-union hysteria did no harm to the ability of the government to get its rewrite of some key elements in our industrial legislation framework through Parliament.
What the graphs show is that Labour’s caucus will look broadly similar to New Zealand, but will continue to moderately underrepresent women, Maori, and New Zealanders of Asian descent. The Rainbow community is either marginally overrepresented (by about one MP) or represented proportionally, depending on which population estimate you prefer. And Pasifika peoples are overrepresented in Labour’s caucus by 1-2 MPs.
Helen at Cast Iron Balcony has posted a bumper edition of the Down Under Feminists’ Carnival.
Further recommended reading from the starred items on my Google Reader:
Idiot/Savant on Richard Long’s ludicrous anti-MMP bollocks.
Get your write on for the April 7 World Health Day blogswarm, per The Hand Mirror.
Deborah slams fucking Rugby World Cup fucking merchandising in fucking classrooms. (She doesn’t say “fuck” as much as me though.)
A Red No. 3 twofer:
Indeed, many backers of fat shaming are so busy flattering their “good intentions”, that they just cannot process someone disturbing this moral superiority.
I know that seems like an outrageous suggestion, even to some proported Fat Acceptance allies who still wring their hands at all these little fat kids they hear about, but maybe we can try just being okay with that. Maybe we can all try to give that a shot, because flipping out over fat children hasn’t exactly been a very productive strategy. So maybe we can “think of the children” and stop creating a culture that teaches them shame and self-loathing at earlier and earlier ages.
Via No Right Turn, who categorizes this as nothing less than a conspiracy against democracy.
We have been working under MMP for a very long time now. Certainly, there’s been a fairly stalwart denial on the part of National, Labour, and the mainstream media to pretend that it isn’t so, and that The Major Parties are still the most important part of NZ politics, the ones that matter, the ones that get to make the real decisions about where our country goes.
And this is probably a big part of Major-Party-Supporter Conspiracy Alpha, “MMP gives minor parties (read: whackjobs and extremists) too much power“. Because when you’re living in total denial about the fact that MMP will almost never deliver a clear majority for a single party, being hit with the fact that actually, you do have to work with minor parties, and that will entail doing some things they want you to do, is probably a bit of a shock. And given that the minor parties are most likely going to want things that aren’t exactly core Major Party policy, but the media will continue to pretend they don’t exist, the perception builds up that Major Governing Party is doing totally out-of-left (or right)-field things, with Minor Party X as the demonic imp on their shoulder.
But here’s the problem: neither National nor Labour are likely to get clear majorities, even if they do intend to spend the entire campaign pretend the Greens, the Maori Party, ACT, New Zealand First, and United Future don’t exist. What they will do is look a bit fucking stupid when the day after the election they have to go cap-in-hand to a group of smaller parties who have the power to make or break the next Government and no particular reason to like either of their options.