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Dear RadioNZ – the largest party does not necessarily win the election

Written By: - Date published: 9:06 am, February 3rd, 2014 - 149 comments
Categories: election 2014, greens, labour, national, Politics - Tags:

Dear Radio New Zealand.

This morning on Morning Report your news presenter and Geoff Robinson keep saying that National may win the election but struggle to form a Government.  Please stop doing this because this comment does not reflect the political realities under MMP and it is not true.

National’s problem is that it is no mates National and this is why it is talking about again gifting Epsom to ACT, doing a deal with the Conservatives and why Key has resiled from his former “statement of principle” that Peters would not form a part of a Key led National Government.

The reality is that if Labour and the Greens get enough votes they will form the next Government.  It will not be “unfair” on National.  It will just mean that overall Kiwi’s votes favoured parties of the centre left.

There is no such thing as “winning the election” but “failing to form a government”.  Under the first past the post system you could argue this was the case but under MMP it is clearly not.

How about you adjust your thinking to “left block” verses “right block”.  This will provide a better understanding of current politics and show that things are incredibly close.

149 comments on “Dear RadioNZ – the largest party does not necessarily win the election”

  1. Naturesong 1

    Come on Mickey, New Zealand has only had MMP for 10 years.
    You can’t expect journalists to pick up the most basic tenants of our democracy overnight.

    • Lanthanide 1.1

      You really mean 20 years, right?

    • McFlock 1.2

      and, sorry to be pedantic, “tenet” not “tenant”.

      Doctrine, not renter

      • Naturesong 1.2.1

        Yes, was typed on my phone in haste as I rushed out the door this morning.
        While funny in my head, due to errors made during the act of publishing it ended up looking like a labour party policy release :oops:

  2. tricledrown 2

    We have had MMP for 18 odd years Now introduced in 1996.
    But RNZ just said that peters is the King maker.
    Radio live said not one person in a thousand surveyed ywould support ACT.

  3. Lanthanide 3

    I heard this as well and thought it was pretty shit from RNZ.

    I guess their definition of “win the election” is “largest vote share of any party”.

    Really I think “win the election” is form a government. A single party can be said to “win the election” if that single party gets enough seats to form the government.

    Otherwise no single party ever “wins the election”, rather a coalition does.

  4. Pete 4

    Yes, that made me splutter out my cornflakes too. It’s not exactly a matter of high nuance to distinguish between a left and right bloc with a few floating parties in between.

    • Anne 4.1

      It produced a few unladylike expletives from my mouth too. Beggars belief! But so much beggars belief these days I can only say thank God for The Standard. At least there is one place where normally reasonable people can vent their spleen in frustration. :)

      They look like a pack of hounds, they hunt like a pack of hounds and it seems they have the same number of brain cells as a pack of hounds.

      • greywarbler 4.1.1

        My son’s Labrador, a lovely bitch, has the thinking ability of a four year old he tells me. She is very focussed on food and sport – running, catching balls, swimming for instance, she likes regular drinks (water though) and is always watching for something interesting to happen and makes a lot of noise when it does. That very much parallels the average hack doesn’t it?

        • Anne 4.1.1.1

          I had a beautiful Golden Retriever whose behaviour pattern was identical. Mind you he was so friendly it occurred to me that instead of chasing burglars away he would have helped them in their task of removing my belongings – look over there… its a bran new TV and that’s a valuable coffee table. A tasty morsel of human food (meat pie was his favourite) would be all he would ask for in return. Fortunately it was never put to the test. Be assured Labradors and Golden Retrievers rate much higher on the doggie IQ scale than hounds.

        • Hami Shearlie 4.1.1.2

          The only difference is that your son’s labrador is very likely a loving and caring dawgson and probably tells it like it really is!!

  5. Skinny 5

    The election result won’t even be close. National scrapped in last time, the non voters from last time will show up at the polling booths in sufficient numbers to throw Key-National out. Mickey you need to start the narrative that A National Govenment will be unstable as both Key & English will be quitting politics during the next term should the unlikely win occur. The party will implode with infighting between Joyce, Collins and any other contender to the thrown, the infighting and back stabbing will make things very unstable.

    Just my thoughts brother.

    • Lanthanide 5.1

      Why would they quit during the term, rather than stand-down at the 2017 election?

      • Will@Welly 5.1.1

        Key is not a sticker. His ego will not let him hang around if he thinks he is on the way out.
        He’s got the money, he’ll get the title – I’m picking a June knighthood – then he’ll be off.
        The man’s got a massive ego. At that first debate, against Phil Goff, when Goff called a liar, he was absolutely “pissed”. Read the body language. The same in Parliament. That’s why he snipes, but doesn’t debate. He can’t.
        He will not fall on his sword, he will just go.

  6. Ron 6

    It worries me that Labour as the other major party in New Zealand cannot seem to get out of the low 30′s percent wise. It seems that they are either not doing something right or they are not communicating what they are doing to the rest of New Zealand. With around 9 months to go to election I hope that their game picks up pretty soon.

    • mickysavage 6.1

      Why is that Ron? What it really reflects is that the Greens have performed well and have a coherent policy platform and a committed membership. I do not see this changing. The right has no equivalent and this is why National’s vote is so much larger than Labour’s vote.

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 6.1.1

        There’s another reason for that MS. National never release policy details, and their ad-hoc approach indicates they don’t really stand for anything. But they have a nicely crafted image that they spend lots of money on.

      • Ron 6.1.2

        I think it is not just that simple. I attended a Chinese New Year celebration on Saturday and there was little evidence that Labour was in an election year. Yes it is a National area but the Mayor of Auckland attended, two Labour list Mp’s attended and that was it plus myself and a few supporters. Also attending was the Chinese Consul General and the Chinese Cutural Attache so no small event. On National’s side were the PM, all the National electorate MP’s hordes of young supporters primed to cheer at every opportunity if Key just opened his mouth, and heaps of blue bunting, balloons, flyers etc etc.
        If the Prime Minister can attend a celebration at which several approx 500 Asian electors attended then Labour should have had a senior MP preferably the Leader of Labour there. Not just leave it to a couple of list MP’s who represent that electorate anyway. I understand that Asian voting public is around 12% for Auckland which means that it will play a large part in deciding some electorates.
        Labour needs to be working within the Asian communities to ensure that our message is available to them.

        • Colonial Viper 6.1.2.1

          National is really good at this shit. Asian support, Asian donors, Asian business deals. A “virtuous” cycle.

          • SHG (not Colonial Viper) 6.1.2.1.1

            National is really good at this shit.

            Politics, you mean?

          • Ron 6.1.2.1.2

            It seems that that a significant number of Act & National people are married to Asian woman. That in itself is an interesting psychological problem. It does suggest a certain type of male though.

            • SHG (not Colonial Viper) 6.1.2.1.2.1

              It seems that that a significant number of Act & National people are married to Asian woman. That in itself is an interesting psychological problem.

              #wtf #racism

              • Ron

                No not racism I was more interested why so many right wing politicians are attracted to Asian women. Certainly no reason why not, but I have a feeling it is more concerned with how right wing men see women and their expected role in life.
                Could be wrong it would need someone smarter than me to untangle it

                • tricledrown

                  Ron when you have collins tolley calvert parata its Enough to put you off kiwi women for life.

                  • Ron

                    Ha! I am a little more generous than that though I do wonder about right wing women as well.
                    It always seemed to me that National is fond of giving their women MP’s task that are hard and may well fail. Don’t want the men getting blamed, so give hot potatoes portfolios like Law & Order, Education and Welfare to the women. After all no loss if they get damaged we can always get Stephen etc to take over.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      It’s not so much the risk of failure as to why the NATs give the portfolios to women. It’s also to counter any gender based backlash from a male Minister making cuts to benefits like the DPB, introducing contraception for women, etc.

                      It’s quite clever, and it works.

                  • Tracey

                    Why the obsession with the women… key joyce and brownlee have made some nasty personal statements in their time

            • alwyn 6.1.2.1.2.2

              “An interesting psychological problem”
              And precisely what do you mean by that apart from the fact that you don’t like Asians?
              Are you scared of the “Yellow Peril” or something?
              Do you think that Europeans who marry Asians are crazy perhaps?
              Are you just one of Winston Peter’s racist followers?
              Terrified of mixing bloodlines and destroying the purity of the Aryan race?

              • Ron

                @alwyn
                No not scared of them I welcome them into our community. but see my answer to CV above.
                I think you should know a bit more a bout me before you run off like that.
                I don’t mind who mates with who but I do find it an interesting psychological trait of the far right men and that interests me.

                • alwyn

                  I suppose then that your amazement, at least as you seem to put it in these comments is that “right wing politicians are attracted to Asian women” and then that “ACT and National men are married to Asian women”.

                  I guess that you are a believer in the Len Brown line then. Do you think it is alright to have one as a mistress, but it is very strange that they should actually marry one. I suppose you even say things like “Some of my best friends are Asian”.
                  Your views, Ron, are quite despicable. Why don’t you stop digging yourself ever deeper into the s**t and keep your racist fantasies to yourself?

                  • Ron

                    I can only suppose that you are some sort of Right Wing supporter they way you are reacting but fair enough I will leave you to your political fantasies

            • Tracey 6.1.2.1.2.3

              Source?

              • alwyn

                Personally I can only think of two who qualified, but it isn’t something I went out of my way to bother about.
                Brash’s (current?/former?) wife and Hide’s previous wife are Asian. I have no idea where they are from.
                Both the politicians are, of course, long defunct.
                I thing Ron has problems and a fertile imagination myself. Too many war comics about the “Dirty Nips” in his childhood I suspect.

                • Tracey

                  I was trying to get rons source for what appears and outlandish statement with no foundation…

                  • alwyn

                    Yes, I know.
                    If you read what I have said on the subject I think you will see that I have been even harsher about his comments. They seem quite weird to me.
                    I’ll be amazed if you get any response from Ron though.
                    There, I bet you never thought we would be in quite such close agreement on anything did you?

                  • KJT

                    I may be wrong, but I think what Ron is getting at, is that authoritarian type, especially, “libertarian”, males go for women, who they perceive, come from a culture that expects women to be obedient and submissive.

                    Says something about how “libertarian” they really are..

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      Yeah, I think Ron is accusing right-wing men of being racist sexist authoritarian creeps, but I think left wing men have some issues on our side to deal with before we can start pointing the finger.

                    • You_Fool

                      It also shows that Ron ha no clue about “Asian” women and is showing a racist streak.

                      I am definite left wing supporter, am married to a Chinese lady and know for sure that our household is no bastion of male authoritarianism.

                      Really stupid generalisations are stupid made by stupid people

                    • KJT

                      The thing about generalisations is that they are true at least some of the time.

                      Agree though, that someone marrying an Asian woman, expecting obedience, is likely to get a shock.

                      A couple, I know very well, joke about it.

                      He says he “married a Chinese so she had to walk two steps behind”. She always says she “married a European so she wouldn’t have to”. :-)

          • Ron 6.1.2.1.3

            Well its about time Labour got its act together (excuse that pun) and worked in the Asian community. I know from pounding the streets around my electorates that majority of Asian people seem receptive to learning about Labour but we need to have policies that include them. A few elections back we had a large Filipino contingent in electorate that were very supportive of labour and in fact had a separate group within the party.
            Unfortunately times change and no one kept up contact and the group dissipated. The people are still there but the connection is lost.
            We need to connect with the Chinese/Korean/Japanese people and find out how we can better meet their needs. Failure to do this may well condemn the Auckland Electorates to other parties.
            Incidentally Key had memorised off a greeting in Mandarin which went down well with the audience. Len Brown actually gave a longer speech in Mandarin and I got the impression that it was not memorised so maybe he has taking the time to learn the language. If so good on him. I would expect all members of parliament to be able to converse in the language of our largest trading partner.
            Anyway
            Happy New Year
            马年大吉 Mǎnián dàjí!

            National is really good at this shit. Asian support, Asian donors, Asian business deals. A “virtuous” cycle.

            • mickysavage 6.1.2.1.3.1

              Thanks Ron and happy new year to you too. I see that you are a newish commenter. Don’t let the robustness of the comments put you off!

              • Ron

                @mickysavage
                Thanks for that I don’t mind robust discussion though I do find the right wing sycophants a little tiring. I do wonder why they spend so much time frequenting an obviously left leaning site. I guess its some form of guilt compensation for supporting the fascist rightwing politicians

                Thanks Ron and happy new year to you too. I see that you are a newish commenter. Don’t let the robustness of the comments put you off!

                • Anne

                  I do wonder why they spend so much time frequenting an obviously left leaning site.

                  Some of them are here Ron because they are told to come here. Take fisiani for instance. He told us yesterday morning the outcome of the TV3 poll. He wasn’t quite correct but not far out. Most people like me probably didn’t even know there was a poll to be released last night but fisiani knew, and he was given some figures from somewhere…

                • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                  They want better Lefties :lol:

        • Tracey 6.1.2.2

          Was jamie lee ross there?

    • Anne 6.2

      @ Ron.

      National and Labour parties are in different electoral circumstances. National is the only large political party of the Right so their supporters by and large have no choice but to tick National. Apart from one or two party tiddlers who are manipulated into positions of support for National, it’s a one party state on the Right.

      But on the Left you have two large political parties whose political agendas are closely intertwined. Together they form the major ‘political party’ of the Left. That gives centre Left and Left voters the choice of two political parties. Hence when talking of electoral support it’s not a case of ‘National versus Labour’ but… National versus Labour/Greens.

      Why these numbskulls in the media can’t get their heads around this reality I don’t know. Mind you rwnjs are just as bad so maybe that is where the answer lies.

      • Colonial Viper 6.2.1

        Maybe we should get the definitions a bit sharper and acknowledge that Labour is a party of the centre, not of the Left. When put that way, most Labour policies and positions make far more sense.

        • Ron 6.2.1.1

          Now is that Centre, Centre Left or Centre Right
          I don’t really like labels like that at all. National is fond of labeling itself as a Centre Right Government.
          Its no such thing its a Right Wing Government and they throw in the Centre bit to confuse the public into thinking they have some softer polices somewhere. They dont.
          If you want to re focus the labour party, change the name though I wish you luck with that we tried that once before. I agree a different name might well be more appealing to new immigrants and help them understand our party better but it would also cut adrift many people that want the name to reflect our core values.

          Maybe we should get the definitions a bit sharper and acknowledge that Labour is a party of the centre, not of the Left. When put that way, most Labour policies and positions make far more sense.

          • McFlock 6.2.1.1.1

            tend to agree.

            Labels are all well and good, but the main consideration for a party is “do we have good policies”, followed by “how do we show this to voters”.

            • Colonial Viper 6.2.1.1.1.1

              Except that’s not what National does.

              • McFlock

                Like many things, tories flip it around in a weird way:

                “do we have good policies for our rich mates”, followed by
                “how do we hide this from voters”.

                :)

                • Wayne

                  What hidden policies. They are all out there for everyone to see.

                  • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                    What hidden policy?

                    Here’s some.

                    Opposition MPs have accused the Government of undemocratic law-making after a controversial bill was passed without public input and with official advice heavily censored.

                  • McFlock

                    They haven’t exactly been explicit about the policy of “use welfare to subsidise cheap labour for corporates”. It’s been disguised as a living wage and decent conditions “will cost jobs and business

                    Punishing poor people who don’t pay fines if “tough on crime”, yet rich people who dodge taxes continue to get away with it.

                    That’s two quickly found on a hot day while “multitasking” at work. If you can’t figure out the rest, BLiP’s provided a starter pack

                    • srylands

                      If you have evidence that someone is not complying with tax law, you should bring that to the attention of IRD. New Zealand has a broad and efficient tax system. The (relatively) wealthy pay almost all the tax!

                      On your point about subsidising corporates, I don’t follow. Markets set wages. If society wants someone to have a higher income than determined by the Market, then that is best achieved via the welfare or tax system. That is what is happening here in New Zealand.

                      On the fines, I think the Government is planning to punish everyone who doesn’t pay them.

                    • McFlock

                      Even if I knew of and reported tax evasion as opposed to welfare fraud, the welfare fraudster is 4 times more likely to be improsines than the tax fraudster, even though on average they steal a quarter of the amount.

                      And in case you hadn’t noticed, government regulation sets minimum wages, because fuckwits like you would let people starve and then higher new workers when the old ones dropped dead. Although the minimum wage is not high enough to stop that, so it’s subsidised by benefits, rather than employers actually paying a living wage. And before you bring up unemployment increases as an excuse, that’s bullshit – ISTR treasury tried to argue that, but relied on youth unemployment staying at the same ratio of increasing unemployment during the Great Fucktardbanker Crash.

                      Poor people are the ones who have difficulty paying fines. If this govt wants revenue from crime, it should give the IRD even more resources to crack down on a multi-billion dollar annual problem, not a $50mil one.

                    • Sacha

                      “The (relatively) wealthy pay almost all the tax!”

                      Yawn. And they have almost all the income and wealth. Next.

                    • RedLogix

                      Or fuckwits like this Pat Pilcher who spend 90% of a column berating Labour for at least exploring ways to to crack down on massive corporate tax avoidance – while managing to say almost nothing about the crime itself.

                      By the time you get to the end of it he’s managed to convince himself that these ‘greedy corporates’ are doing us a favour just staying here in NZ.

                      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/technology/news/article.cfm?c_id=5&objectid=11195012

                      At least the comment thread was worth reading.

                    • KJT

                      “The (relatively) wealthy pay almost all the tax!”

                      No, they don’t, actually. They may pay more, income tax. But, 60% of total tax, is paid by those around the middle of the income range.

                      The highest marginal rates, up to 85% are paid by those on welfare, trying to do the right thing, with some part time work.

                      Half of New Zealand’s rich list pay tax on a declared income of less than 70k a year. From the IRD’s own information.

                      It is only fair that those who benefit most from New Zealands tax funding and infrastructure, the wealthy, should pay the most for it.

                  • Tracey

                    Great. Which schools are getting the new principals? When are they getting them? What is the criteria for them and the other announced positions. Where will the relief teachers come from to cover the classes for them? So glad someone can shed light on this policy. Otherwise its just and airy fairy idea of something we thought about recently and have no idea if and how it will work.

                    Tia

            • Ron 6.2.1.1.1.2

              yes have good policies and to stick with them, not trot policies out for an election and then dump them once into power. In some ways the last Labour Government seemed to forget all its important policies once elected which was a pity. They had the chance to fix our news media and electricity marketing among other things and stuffed it up.

              Labels are all well and good, but the main consideration for a party is “do we have good policies”, followed by “how do we show this to voters”.

          • Colonial Viper 6.2.1.1.2

            Now is that Centre, Centre Left or Centre Right
            I don’t really like labels like that at all.

            If you view it as simply a “label” (i.e. relatively meaningless branding) of course there is nothing about it to be liked.

            However, I view the terms as being critical, even though they provide limited insight into the political economic philosophy of the party.

            I view Labour as a centre party because

            - It will apply some broad limits to the power of corporate and financial capital in order to prevent the most egregious excesses of capitalism and of the markets

            - It will ensure that workers benefit from some decent employment protections and receive a marginally livable income for the wage slavery that they undertake.

            - It has an awareness of social responsiblity to the worst off in society and will therefore take some actions to alleviate the suffering and lack of options experienced by some of them.

            • Ron 6.2.1.1.2.1

              I can agree with all that but just remember the Deutsche Zentrumspartei or Catholic Centre Party of the Weimar Republic, they showed no interest in anything but the protection of the Holy Father in Rome. And look at what that got us into
              I agree with McFlock earlier forget the Labels and have great policies that do all the things that you suggest. If after having good polices clearly explained the public still don’t elect us then maybe we are touting the wrong policies for the 21st century.

              • Colonial Viper

                The idea that political parties get elected mainly based on the policies and evidence that they present to the electorate is a completely false paradigm IMO.

                • McFlock

                  policies are more important than labels in an election.

                  If a party has shit policies, then it needs to lie or distract (or both. like the current govt).

                  If a party has good policies, it can concentrate on showing how those policies affect each voter.

                  Labels are slaves to a voter’s mistaken impression of what a label means.

                • Sacha

                  Sure is. Or rational economists would be right too.

          • SHG (not Colonial Viper) 6.2.1.1.3

            National is fond of labeling itself as a Centre Right Government.
            Its no such thing its a Right Wing Government

            Only by NZ standards. Anywhere else in the world it’d be described as centre-left.

            • Ron 6.2.1.1.3.1

              So John Key is using a different lexicon from every where else in the world. Why am I not surprised

              • Colonial Viper

                It’s exactly the kind of neocon/corporate/security state doublespeak we are very used to by now.

                You are not under surveillance just because all your electronic messages are being captured and stored; you are only under surveillance when someone decides to retrieve those messages and looks at them, etc.

              • SHG (not Colonial Viper)

                A government that legislates for same-sex marriage, that increases spending on education, that sets up social-welfare programs like the YEP and Whanau Ora (etc etc) is not “right-wing” in a sense that any other country in the world would understand. National under John Key would be described as “centre left” were it in just about any other country, and in some countries (e.g. the USA) National would be described as a party of rabid Marxist revolutionaries.

                National occupies the right side of the political spectrum in NZ because NZ is by its very nature a very socialist country. Our idea of “right” is pretty “left” by world standards.

                (Note: this is a good thing imho).

                • gem

                  New Zealand isn’t left-wing by international standards.
                  However, there’s a reason it’s not as right-wing as it would have been had the fervour of the 1980s and 1990s ‘reforms’ not been dialled back a bit: it has a tiny and spread out population, and is isolated from the rest of the world.
                  Its economy is a fraction of the size of other developed countries.
                  Government will always be crucial to provide services like tertiary healthcare in New Zealand.
                  Think of successful institutions/sectors in NZ, for example primary/secondary education, and Fonterra. These very different examples show that it’s where we pool resources that NZ can punch over its weight. It’s why the health sector is moving towards more collaboration between health boards; it helps the system cope with increasing subspecialisation.
                  Oh, and what about the plethora of federal and state tarifs/subsidies in the USA. So, on trade and industry, compared with the US, National party politicians could be described as ‘rabid Marxists revolutionaries’? Yeah, right.

                  • SHG (not Colonial Viper)

                    New Zealand isn’t left-wing by international standards.

                    Keep on telling yourself that.

          • Tim 6.2.1.1.4

            ….. change the name ….
            I agree. Until such time as certain of Labour’s politicians are prepared to atone for their hijacking of its principles (let’s put it in econo-speak so they get it going forward – “it’s fundamentals”) in the late ’80′s, they’ve no business using “Labour” as their “brand”. Big con, and all that! Not this election though – because if they don’t “win” this one in 2014 according to the RNZ definition, they’re a spent force destined to become a 3rd place party – IF that., and there’ll be a specific little cabal of careerist, self-interested, self-indulgent politicians people will be looking to blame.
            Mutate before the rush!

      • Bearded Git 6.2.2

        Anne-the media understands MMP. It’s just that Griffin and mates are telling Morning Report how to report this. Hence the “Polls show National will win election” line, which as we all know is complete bollocks.

        I would like to know exactly who sub-edited this morning’s news headlines and who else had input.

    • Rich 6.3

      They could form a government on 25% Lab, 25% Green.

  7. greywarbler 7

    I noticed that too. And thought there’s something I’m not sure about here. It doesn’t sound right, but I was doing something else and couldn’t get it straight in my mind.

    This could be the same process of non-thought that many listeners experienced. I do wish that we could get more accurate detail finely-honed, from well informed and widely experienced minds in what should be our most reliable news media, the public one, (which is safe from government machinations I mean).

  8. Bill 8

    I wouldn’t give a shit about their apparent inability to get a grip on the electoral system, if it wasn’t for the fact that many people identify with supposed winners and support/vote accordingly.

    • adam 8.1

      That’s the point – they are calling National the winner of the next election. Like using the polls to turn people off – keep saying Nation is NZ’s most popular party and people will believe it – The bigger the lie…

      • Bill 8.1.1

        Well, they are the most popular parliamentary party. But since mmp is about broader directions or leanings (call it left/right or whatever) as opposed to individual parties…

        • Colonial Viper 8.1.1.1

          The MSM know that if National is going to win this year, it will be the final 1% to 2% which makes the difference.

          The Left have to hit strong and hit hard and make sure that is well out of reach in the first half of the year, before the game tightens in the weeks leading to election day.

  9. fisiani 9

    National could get virtually one vote in two and yet a coalition of losers could form together and produce a sort of government. That sadly is the reality of MMP. The other reality of MMP is that a party who wins one seat gets 2 MP’s if that party can gain 1.2% of the vote. Thus if ACT, United Future and the Conservatives can each get at least 1.2% of the vote then 6 MP’s would be added to the National numbers should each of these three parties manage to win a seat. A party in such a position gaining 2.4% would have 4 MP’s and one gaining 4.8% would have 8 MP’s. If they reach 5% then there is no need to win a seat.
    This is a message that voters need to understand.

    • Lanthanide 9.1

      “National could get virtually one vote in two and yet a coalition of losers could form together and produce a sort of government.”

      ‘Cause winners are losers in fisiani’s world.

      • wtl 9.1.1

        He probably doesn’t even see the irony in his own suggestion – the greatest ‘losers’ with only ~1.2% end up in government anyway.

    • kenat 9.2

      What voters need to understand is that the coattail rule would be gone by now if the Nats had respected people’s views that came through loud and clear in the very well run MMP review process that the Nats set up themselves.

      People like MMP and have said so time and time again. They like that the govt that forms has majority support of the voters. They don’t like when this is prevented by electorate seat coattails and hopefully they will remember that the Nats have given voters the fingers in a bid to stay in power.

      • alwyn 9.2.1

        Get real. The only reason that the Labour Party and the Greens wanted to get rid of the coattail rule was that they realised that they were no longer going to get any advantage from it.
        Tell me again how they wanted to scrap it when Jim Anderton had a seat for the Alliance and therefore some coattails?
        Would you also explain how you come to the conclusion that “the people’s views came through loud and clear”? Did the traditional argument that “All the people I talk to agree with this” hold sway?

        • wtl 9.2.1.1

          Idiot. In case you don’t remember, we had an independent review of MMP carried out by the Electoral Commission that involved a large amount of public consultation. Here is the first recommendation from the final report:

          * The one electorate seat threshold for the allocation of list seats should be abolished.

          • alwyn 9.2.1.1.1

            So what? There were about 4,600 people who put forward ideas about anything to the first step and about 1,200 who commented on their proposals.
            This review, and the things it was going to cover, had very little interest shown compared to the original exercise by the group who came up with the original, and continuing, MMP arrangements.
            Have you ever heard of any of the people who are (were?) on this Electoral Commission by the way?

            • wtl 9.2.1.1.1.1

              Idiot squared. Don’t like the result of an independent review or public submissions? Ignore it and carry on making s**t up.

              Okay, so why don’t you put up or or shut up: Show us some concrete evidence NZ voters would prefer the coat-tail provision retained.

              ps. The Electoral Commission is the independent body that runs elections in NZ. I’m surprised you’ve never heard of them. Are you, perhaps, an Australian compatriot of srylands?

              • alwyn

                Yes my little twit. I know what the Electoral Commission is.
                Can you not read? I never asked whether you had heard of the Commission.
                I asked whether you had ever heard of the people who comprise the Commission.
                Could you name any of them without resorting to Google?
                Thought not.

                I don’t have to provide “some concrete evidence NZ voters would prefer the coat-tail provision retained”.
                The trivial number, about 1 per thousand New Zealanders, who made ANY sort of comment on the Review indicates that hardly anyone gave a damn.
                Why don’t you show me concrete evidence that a majority of New Zealanders wanted it changed? You do approve of democracy don’t you?

                • McFlock

                  by that logic, this government should never have changed anything

                  • alwyn

                    I didn’t think they had changed anything with regard to the electoral law. Presumably you know otherwise. I guess that illustrates how much notice I took of the review this time round.

                    • McFlock

                      by that logic, even if 100% of the population had made an identical submission to the MMP review, none of the recommendations should have been followed anyway.

                    • alwyn

                      That one has lost me. How do you get this out of what I said?

                    • McFlock

                      @3.45 you appeared to be arguing that no recommendations should be followed because there was very little interest.

                      I took this to be a variation of “moral mandate” not being achieved because a certain arbitrary level of “interest” had not been achieved, and applied “moral mandate” to the govt @6.08.

                      So @6.25 you went to what I took to be “no legal requirement” to change, which would still apply to the review recommendations even if 100% of the population had made a universal submission. I suppose you could have been distinguishing between review recommendations and the legislative powers of government, but that would simply be a variation of “I’m govt, I’ll do what I want”, which would be A)dickish; and B)completely remove any functional purpose for having the review in the first place

                • wtl

                  I asked whether you had ever heard of the people who comprise the Commission.

                  What a dumb question.Why would I need to know who works for the Electoral Commission? From my experience (and I’m sure many of those here will back me), the commission body runs elections in NZ in a fair and professional manner. Therefore, I trust the commission and have no doubt that they produced a thorough, independent, and professional report.

                  Why don’t you show me concrete evidence that a majority of New Zealanders wanted it changed?

                  I have provided concrete evidence that NZ voters want the provision changed – the MMP report. You might not like the what it says, but it is the best evidence we have. Just because you don’t like what it says doesn’t mean that you can just disregard it. On the other hand, you have absolutely NO evidence that NZ voters actually want to retain the coat-tail provision.

                  Simple logic says that we accept the evidence we do have, rather than just making up s**t because we don’t agree with it.

                  • alwyn

                    The people who wanted it changed are not people “who work for the electoral commission”, they ARE the Electoral Commission.
                    There names are, fyi
                    Sir Hugh Williams
                    Jane Huria
                    Robert Peden
                    The fact that they proposed changes to the coat-tail provisions is, at least in my view, NOT concrete evidence that “NZ voters wanted the provision changed”. It is their view, and as I said, do you know who any of them are?

                    I suspect, but admit I cannot prove, that there were more submissions proposing that a person who was defeated in an electorate contest, should be ineligble for a list seat. It is mad but a lot of people seemed to want that.

                    • wtl

                      1. The point is that the report is attributed to the Electoral Commission as a body, not individuals on the board themselves. That is, they are providing opinions on the basis of being part of the Electoral Commission, not as individuals (the two things are not the same, even though you seem to think they are).

                      2. The report is based on public submissions and expert evidence. On that basis, it can be assumed that any recommendations reflect the opinions of NZ voters. The number of submissions in support and against various proposals are also listed in the report (if you had bothered to read it). There are also figures giving the results of surveys for various provisions. For example:
                      - 77% of 2347 submissions supported abolition of the one seat provision, 17% said it should be retained; 52% of those surveyed said it should be abolished and 32% said it should be retained
                      - as for your point regarding “that there were more submissions proposing that a person who was defeated in an electorate contest, should be ineligble for a list seat”, this is probably covered by the dual candidacy provision in which 55% of 2505 submissions were favour of keeping dual candidacy and only 45 were against

                      3. You have already made up your mind on the issue, apparently because it benefits ‘your team’. I have provided evidence to support my view, you have provided none. Obviously, no amount of evidence will convince you, but others can make up their own mind.

                      4. The argument about what the majority of NZers want is a bit of a red herring. The main point is that this change was recommended by an independent review based on public submissions and expert evidence. Therefore, this is a good enough reason for me that we should support this change (and the other changes they recommended).

                      Finally, I will also state that I support all recommended changes being implemented even if it means that parties I support end up worse of because of it.

    • Is there a kind-hearted soul who could give poor fisiani a quick run-through of how democracy and parliaments work?

    • tricledrown 9.4

      Fishy you are dumb where are those votes coming from .

    • Wayne 9.5

      fisiani,

      It is not quite as simple as that.

      It depends on the amount of vote that goes to parties who don’t get into parliament. Also the MMP formula helps the very last list MP to get in on a smaller slice of vote than is applicable to the rest. So a second Act, Mana or UF MP might require as little as 1.2% of the vote for their party to get in, or as much as 1.6%. And of course they can’t all be the last list MP.

      So 4.8 % will not bring in 8 MP’s, and 2.4% will not bring in 4 MPs (but it would bring in 3).

      However, I can see that one MP might be the difference between which grouping is the govt or not.

      I would note that although the govt might seem to have only a one seat majority, because the Maori Party regularly votes against the govt, in truth they are stronger. That is because the Maori Party votes “yes” on confidence and supply. Therefore the govt is not really vulnerable to losing the Treasury benches before the election.

      But the next election might be different. It really might be a one seat margin on confidence and supply for whichever side wins.

  10. captain hook 10

    The problem with RadioNew Zealand is that they are 1) too cute for their own good, 2) think they know everything and 3) dont know when its time to fire anyone.
    They have a sense of entitlement and up themselves which is totally at odds with the service they deliver.
    They are worse boosters than the Steven Joyce Network and they play horrible music.
    Basically they are light on intellectual ability and heavy on hair and teeth.
    They have become like the cricket commentators with an is it or isnt it approach to anything obvious that happens and have lost the ability to offer any objective appraisal of reality.

  11. blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 11

    No-mates-National – who wudda thunk?

    After giving so generously to their small group of cronies too.

  12. ianmac 12

    It seemed that on Morning Report the Act party was given very friendly reception from interviewers. A party with 0% support gets all that? Wow. Wonder whether the Internet Party will get that much attention and support.

    • Tracey 12.1

      Or even the greens state of the nation speech

    • Anne 12.2

      Yes, my thoughts too ianmac.

      How come a party with 0.0% of the vote gets given equal publicity to Labour and the Greens. It reminds me of the climate deniers. 97% of the worlds scientists know Climate Change is becoming increasingly serious, yet the nutty 3% fringe element who are in denial get the same amount of publicity as the 97%. That’s not balanced reporting. It’s highly irresponsible reporting.

      • Mike S 12.2.1

        FFS can’t you leave climate change out of it! Nobody denies climate change, get your facts right.

        • greywarbler 12.2.1.1

          Mike s
          ‘Get your facts right’. There is a very vocal minority of people who deny climate change, and who get a lot of coverage in the media. The media are susceptible to big talkers when they have money behind them and will happily give them space. If that irritates you, don’t shoot the messenger when we point it out. Try coming here with something worthwhile to say.

        • Anne 12.2.1.2

          Pull your over egged horns in Mike S!

          If I want to make a valid comparison between the over-egged publicity given by the MSM to ACT and the equally over-egged publicity given to CC deniers, then I will do so whether you like it or not!

          Nobody denies CC he says. Good grief, where have you been hibernating for the past 20 odd years?

    • greywarbler 12.3

      What about the McGillikuddy Serious Party. I have been holding out for its return. Radionz should actively seek it out as its the most fun party in the whole slambang dunk of the lot.

      • Doug Mackie 12.3.1

        What makes you think we aren’t running the show right now? In 1996 we came in 9th of 22 registered parties and took 5990 party votes (0.29%) and 12,177 electoral votes (0.59%), substantially more than something called the NZ Conservative party in that election. Don’t remember much about them. Since we officially disbanded we have infiltrated all the other parties. Who else do you think writes their policy?

        • greywarbler 12.3.1.1

          Doug M.
          I’ve been searching for background on the southern tartan mafia. Is that you?

    • Mike S 12.4

      Yea, there were 3 or 4 largish stories / articles on the Act party in the Herald this morning. A huge amount of space in the countries largest newspaper for a party with virtually 0% support.

  13. blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 13

    I’m wondering about Winston Peter’s stance

    Reading his speech on the debate over the PM’s Statement it appears he is pushing for a leadership change in National – it appears the speech relays implicitly that getting rid of Key would be the first requirement for him going with National – However his speech is pretty damning of National’s antics – and it appears there would need to be a pretty big overhaul of the Nat party for him to be seriously going with them (i.e. English has been the finance minister ‘for too long’ – and all those main players for Nat’s [appalling] strategy would still be there).

    http://www.parliament.nz/en-nz/pb/debates/debates/50HansD_20140128_00000028/debate-on-prime-minister’s-statement
    [You have to scroll down to get to Mr Peter's speech]

    The way Mr Peters is scathing of this government makes me tend to view a boost in NZ First ratings, at this point, as an indication of conservative types hoping to influence the soon-to-be left-wing government – believing that Nat’s are going to lose . Obviously this is simply conjecture.

  14. newsense 14

    The end for RNZ as the place that got the facts right and the beginning of the place that got the facts ‘right’?

    • Ron 14.1

      What the heck can you expect from Radio NZ when the board and chair look very like a National Party Meeting

      • rod 14.1.1

        Ron + 100%

      • Anne 14.1.2

        Add the BSA to the board and chair of RNZ, and what chances has anyone got laying a complaint about the lack of balance or partisanship in political reporting within the media.

      • srylands 14.1.3

        You think RadioNZ is rightwing biased? Seriously?

        • RedLogix 14.1.3.1

          RNZ used to be fairly middle of the road until Dickhead Griffins was put in charge.

          PS. I have had numerous opportunities over the years to quietly observe said dickhead in action. He’s one of those two-faced people who know just how, when and with whom the game needs to be played.

          But surround him with ordinary folk who don’t count and his real colour shows.

          • Ron 14.1.3.1.1

            Regardless of Griffin’s management skills the real problem is that National can appoint people that go out and get the job done that National want. Labour seems to have so much trouble doing the same. I watched as Ian Fraser tried to effect Government Policy and had absolutely no chance in hell of making the changes. The line managers just refused to accept what they were asked to do and set about making it impossible to make the changes.
            Ian had good ideas and his attempt to introduce values led management was inspiring. Notice how quickly the whole values project were dumped once Ian was gone.
            Ian should have taken a leaf out of Nationals book and brought in a change manager and had a massive change of management down three – four levels.
            Then you might be able top appoint managers that would carry out company policy correctly.

            • greywarbler 14.1.3.1.1.1

              Ron
              Great point. In my social policy papers they taught that it can be hard to implement the actual law and intention that the government wishes. I think mainly because of the interpretation and methods used by the management and staff. So that change in direction may be stmied by that human failing, habit and resistance to new ideas in old staff, that is people who have been encultured by the present system.

              Actually we see this in the present Labour parliament and leading Party hierarchy Which might explain something about David C’s progress. Luckily he has been around for a while, been there, done that and presumably understands the psychology of it all. Otherwise that inertia from the group who want to keep their bums on their cumfy seats, and the same old fare with a bit of new salsa flavouing on it could wreck our hopes.

              There is a need to open a window to get the new fresh ideas flooding in. I don’t want to see us like a collective Miss Havisham from Great Expectations, sitting at the table with cobwebs over us waiting for the new life-changer that never arrived.
              Shattered hopes

  15. Tigger 15

    Our society tends to equate having the most with winning, and individual rather than collective success. Rich lists are full of people (men) with few families or groups.

    But you can bet if National could form a govt with a lower vote than Labour these outlets would change their tune…

  16. greywarbler 16

    While we are thinking about Radionz can anyone explain why we have to have USA football or gridiron or whatever the Superbowl they call it. Between 5 pm and 7 pm I turned the radio off for a while so I didn’t have to be bored again! But about every half an hour there was a report.
    about something from Seattle. I don’t bloody care and I don’t want to have it shoved at me on my country’s radio. There is a big world out there doing things, we don’t here about every footling sport that happens. If it is something that people here bet on they can listen to commercial radio.

    Personally I’d rather hear about the caber tossing in Scotland, or what used to be an annual polo match high in the Khyber Pass area – bet that’s off now the USA have democratised them. What is happening about the dog sled races they had in Alaska? Has the climate finished that. What about the cheetah racing in Africa, there probably is meerkat jumping somewhere, or the man-kite flying champs from any where high and dangerous enough.

    F..k the Super Bowl – do we have to be smothered in USA talk, it’s not even real news about the country. There are other things that would help us understand this giant but all we get is the latest shooting. And then they bring us live reports from the schools, we interview the district officials, the principals, the other children in the classroom. I don’t want to know about their tragedies, we have ones of our own!

  17. Yossarian 17

    In regards to Radio NZ’s latest faux pas & not being able to grapple with the concept of MMP.
    Perhaps Radio NZ has sub consciously forgotten whom they are actually there to represent and to be representative of, without fear or favour, on all news stories equally.
    To prevent any sub pavlovian behaviour from Radio NZ perhaps trying not to bite the hand that financlally feeds it, i.e : The Sitting Government of The Day
    a) A return to a public licensing fee system?
    b) To be encapsulated in law as a trust, therefore beholding to no one or other legal pathways?
    c) Mix of a)&b) plus a lump sum from Govt to meet any shortfall?
    d) Any other suggestions?
    e) Also cutting the over exposure of certain “Not News” items frm the fringes ie: Some of The over represented, Uber Greens “Stories/News” that are aired. semi jk.

    Perhaps some of the above would sharpen Radio New Zealand’s game?

  18. Sacha 18

    Someone please complain officially about this to RadioNZ and then whoever regulates them. So tired of hacks who haven’t adjusted to MMP’s existence after 18 years. Fire them.

  19. tricledrown 19

    SHGis that’s’s what’d we have the worst child poverty stats other than the US.
    We also have got one of the highest income disparities well.
    Most expensive housing costs.
    Rapidly declining education standard under your Right Wing National Govt.

  20. captain hook 20

    at this very moment RNZ are trying desperately to be politically correct by injecting faux Maori locutions and attempting to differentiate themselves by adopting weird pronunciations of everyday words. these schoolyard tricks are just a diversion from the fact that they really cant do their job properly.

    • greywarbler 20.1

      captain hook and sacha
      Don’t be too critical, if you pile it too high there is the possibility that the RWNJ will use it as an excuse to restructure the present RadioNZ that you say can’t do its job properly. They actually try, with probably budget constraints preventing actions they wish.

      If you have criticisms, write direct to the most appropriate department on their Contact page. Or we might end up with dross instead of gold, which it tries for though perhaps going to bronze at times, but it’s not the fool’s gold you portray.

  21. One Anonymous Knucklehead 21

    Missed opportunity in the headline: “The largest minority does not necessarily win the election.”

  22. captain hook 22

    Kathry Ryan is fundamentally dishonest anyway. She is a constant user of interrogatvies which are dishonest, disrespectful and an invalid mode of argument. Dishonest because they ask for agreement before the other has had time to consider the evidence or any counter arguments, disrespectful because you are being asked to agree with someone and invalid because they are an argument from authority. Ryan may she think she is incisive but her schtick is just this side of hectoring and bullying.
    When the person themself is dishonest then it is hard to see how any other feature of their programme has any integrity either.

  23. greywarbler 23

    captain hook
    You say Ryan is a “user of interrogatives (fify) which are dishonest, disrespectful and an invalid mode of argument” and “her schtick is just this side of hectoring and bullying.”

    Well, funny that. Your tone of criticism seems to parallel the above. If you listen to Checkpoint at night, Mary Wilson can be the same. Jane Clifton from NZ Listener of 12/Nov/2005 says about Wilson that she can be “grotesquely querulous”. No doubt this thought popped in to her head after hearing Mary Wilson pursuing some point she wanted elucidated, unimportant in itself, but a determined effort to pin down the flighty facts of her interviewee.

    All this come from attempts by the interviewers to find out what is going on. That can’t be wrong can it cap’n? We actually want to know. So don’t make them walk the plank cap’n. Is it that they are women, you think you could do better, you teach a class on the right and true way to do interviews and conduct arguments, or the theory and practice don’t match.

    These people are better than 90% of the other talking heads so give them a break.

  24. DS 24

    The “largest party” nonsense needs to be attacked. Hard.

    Incidentally, even under FPP you had examples of the biggest single party not governing: 1911 was won by the Liberals, with fewer seats than Reform (the resulting Government was propped up by independents for a few months, before losing a vote of no-confidence). 1928 had Reform and United tied on seats, though Reform got more votes. Labour played kingmaker, and backed United.

    If you extend it to “most popular party”, rather than seat totals, there is also 1978 and 1981: Labour get the most votes, and loses the election. It also almost happened in 1954 (Labour comes within a thousand votes nationwide, but loses by a dozen seats), and 1957 (Labour win by just two seats, despite winning nationwide vote comprehensively).

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