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The Standard

How?

Written By: - Date published: 7:38 am, September 30th, 2013 - 85 comments
Categories: election 2014 - Tags:

The Herald and John Key are whining that National will have a ‘moral mandate’ to govern after the next election if it is the highest polling party, even if it can’t form a majority and the Left can. Of course, there’s no such rule in MMP (in fact, it’s a desperate attempt to make MMP work like FPP). But the Herald and Key don’t answer the critical question: how? How would a National Party that can’t secure a majority in Parliament govern?

The unspoken assumption is that Labour or the Greens would either give support on confidence and supply to a government of National and whatever is left of the zombie parties, or would abstain. Why would Labour and the Greens vote for budgets that go against their core principles when they have the opportunity to, instead, form a government and pass budgets that they, you know, agree with? Because of this mysterious ‘moral mandate’, apparently (a concept that, incidentally, doesn’t exist in the home of MMP Germany, where the largest party has missed out on government several times).

And, even if that were to happen, then what? A government that can’t form a majority unless its political opponents let it isn’t going to be able to pass any legislation that those parties oppose. I guess Labour and the Greens are just meant to vote for National legislation that they oppose, too. You know, because of the ‘moral mandate’ that a single party which has secured fewer votes than they did combined so clearly wields.

What the Herald and Key are proposing is a radical revolution in our democracy, whereby the largest party gets to govern no matter how far off a majority of genuine support it has and then all the other parties vote for its legislation, like some dictatorial Greek chorus. It’s a delusional attempt to reinstate the rule of FPP in the MMP era. They couldn’t do it by referendum, so they want to do it with dipshit logic, instead.

In reality, the only moral mandate any political party has is to fulfill the expectations of the people who voted for it. A political party most certainly does not have a moral mandate to support or acquiesce to a government that does the opposite of its policies. So, I say again, how?

This won’t be the last whinging that you hear of the ‘moral mandate’, bullshit though it may manifestly be. Polls are moving from showing National and Lab+Greens neck and neck to the Left clearly out in front since labour got a leader that people can see as a PM in Cunliffe. Expect the whinges to get louder with each poll that shows National in the low 40s.

85 comments on “How?”

  1. vto 1

    I seem to recall the National Party being quite happy to govern with less votes than the Labour Party in most pre-MMP elections.

    Hypocrites, denting their own credibility again.

    Especially the Herald, what a joke.

    • Raymond a Francis 1.1

      About as valid as the noise from the Left that national didn’t have a mandate after the last election, which just goes to prove politicians of both stripes have not as yet got their heads around MMP or may be they are slow learners

      • Pascal's bookie 1.1.1

        Similar, but not really. The claim from the ‘left’ was that national doesn’t have a specific mandate for its MOM policy.

        People can quibble about what ‘mandate’ means, but I don’t recall anyone saying that the coalition govt doesn’t have a ‘mandate to govern’.

        The thing about the MOM policy is that polling says that people voted for National in spite of it, not because of it.

        Waving that fact in the face of National and forcing them to defend it in terms of ‘people voted for us’ highlights in the mind of voters that the government isn’t as centre as it likes to carry on.
        Every time they say ‘We are popular and centre, and they are extremists’ while doing things voters don’t like, that contradiction is noted.

        • srylands 1.1.1.1

          “The thing about the MOM policy is that polling says that people voted for National in spite of it, not because of it.”

          So you would be happy for the same principle to be applied to a future left government? Polls show that a policy that Labour campaigned on is unpopular so the government has no “mandate”?

          I have heard RN state that because National received a minority of votes (i.e less than 50%) it has no “mandate” for asset sales. (Which is nuts.) If the left win government with less than 50% of the popular vote you risk having National throw that back at the incoming Government on specific policies.

          • Pascal's bookie 1.1.1.1.1

            So you would be happy for the same principle to be applied to a future left government? Polls show that a policy that Labour campaigned on is unpopular so the government has no “mandate”?

            Of course I would. It would be hilarious for National to try and run that argument after ignoring a CIR too. Maybe they could get off their bums and organise one of those, for extra hypocrisy points on their own side.

            Mandate arguments are moral ones in these examples. They are about reminding voters that if they don’t like what a government is doing, then that’s a consequence of voting. I’m perfectly happy for those arguments to be used by all sides. Why wouldn’t I be?

            But everyone is making rods for their backs here. National won’t be able to run away from the arguments it has made over this term any more than L/G will. Them’s the breaks, and you see whose arguments resonate best.

            Good thing for L/G that most of the things they have been talking about are pretty popular huh?

      • Te Reo Putake 1.1.2

        You misunderstand, Raymond. It is National that claims it has a mandate for asset sales, despite failing to get the majority that would prove it and also conveniantly ignoring the fact that many, maybe even a majority, of their voters personally oppose the sales.

        Being able to cobble together a governing majority is not the same thing as having a mandate.

    • And I seem to remember that Don Brash, immediately after the 2005 election, was attempting to form a government with everyone but Labour and the Greens, including NZ First, but failed.

      Some commentators were in favour of him doing that because … it was National trying to do it?

    • dave 1.3

      i wouldnt get to worked up this crap shows there really worried cunliffe and the poll results are really putting the worry on nact and donkey this is good news .

  2. ghostwhowalksnz 2

    I see in Germany , the CDU was within a few seats of having a majority, but of course that means that the opposition DOES have a majority.
    But of course the CDU only gets that close because its ally the CSU grabs allmost all the electorate seats in Bavaria so has a much larger share of seats than its % of the national party vote allows. Some overhang

  3. Wayne 3

    On this issue I agree.

    It should now clear to everyone that the Left alternative government package is Labour and the Greens. If the combination of the two get 50%, they form the government, and so they should. But they probably need to do some form of agreement to make that completely transparent to voters. There was, after all, a period not so long ago (about 4 years ago) when the Greens argued they could actually deal with either Labour or National.

    The Nats currently poll over 40% and need a couple of small partners to get 50%. Thats democratically OK, it is MMP in action. After all, the Nats did not gift Epsom to Act, Rodney Hide won it off Richard Worth in 2005.

    In my view, the top up when a party gets an electorate but less than 5% is actually more democratic than a straight 5% cutoff. It allows more democratic representation than is possible with a strict 5%. And this is not just a matter for the centre (UF) and the right (Act), but also the Left (Mana).

    I appreciate that the current system means a party without an electorate seat has to get 5%, which worked against the Christians in 1996 and NZF in 2008. And maybe the gap between 5% and effectively 1.4% for a party with an electorate seat is too large.

    I know the recent Committee argued for 4% and no top up. In my view that should have been 3% and no top up, which would have been more democratic, and 3% is quite hard to get.

    These things do shift around over time. At the moment it is the Left that is split between two substantial parties, but one could imagine the same could happen on the Right. Act has often got over 5%, since there is a significant group of voters on the right side of National who prefer the Act ideological message. It just that at the moment they do not see a strong enough political vehicle for them.

    Mind you I accept that the Greens, albeit to the left of Labour, have a unique brand in that they combine traditional left wing views with a strong environmental perspective, and thus have some crossover appeal, especially for younger or liberal affluent voters. That has given them long term staying power. For instance the Greens have always done well in Devonport, which is affluent (increasingly so), but is traditionally liberal.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      After all, the Nats did not gift Epsom to Act, Rodney Hide won it off Richard Worth in 2005.

      So, you’re saying that the cuppa tea didn’t happen?

      • lprent 3.1.1

        “In all fairness” (just so you know that none is following (in the traditional ‘concern’ mode))

        The cuppa was 2011.

        But in 2005 National’s message to National voters was less obvious but substantially the same. Hold your nose and vote Act. While National put up a candidate (Richard Worth) he did pretty much nothing to try to hold the seat. His main competition was Act, so naturally in all of the meetings he attacked the Labour candidate (Stuart Nash). In my view, he deferred to Rodney Hide in debates. His campaign seemed designed to enhance Act’s campaign. That campaign said that getting the seat that would make sure that all of Act’s party vote was counted and they would be good coalition partners for National.

        So no, Wayne is incorrect. National’s campaign in 2005 in Epsom was to any politically aware person was designed to gift the Epsom seat to Act.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.1

          The cuppa was 2011.

          Was quite aware of that but the cuppa happened because the National voters of Epsom were getting really turned off voting for Act even at their party’s subtle insistence.

          • lprent 3.1.1.1.1

            *grin* I was doing a “to be fair” style comment (gotta practice these types of hypocrisy)

            I’d agree that by 2011 the milk on the tea had well and truly curdled. A lot of that was pushing in the political opportunist and cast-off John Banks.

            Rodney Hide was a candidate that Epsom’s National voters could hold their nose and grudgingly vote for in 2005. They voted enthusiastically for him in 2008 because he was a good electorate MP. However John Banks required a lot of sugar to try and hold the antique and spoilt tea to hold down, and will be dumped next election (I have a lot of contacts in Epsom).

            It is pretty clear to see in the electorate vote numbers. In 2002 Hide was the third candidate and almost 6000 behind Worth..

            Electorate Votes 2002 32,553 majority 5,619 Worth
            Electorate Votes 2005 36,000 majority 3,102 Hide
            Electorate Votes 2008 37,904 majority 12,882 Hide
            Electorate Votes 2011 36,354 majority 2,261 Banks

            Electorate Votes 2014 ~36,00 majority ~4,000 For anyone but Banks

            • jaymam 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Paul Goldsmith had a meeting with his constituents today and basically said that John Banks will stand again in Epsom, and that National will encourage their members to vote for Banks again.
              I assume that David Parker will stand in Epsom for Labour again. But now that he’s deputy leader, he might get more votes, when of course instead we should all vote for Goldsmith again. I imagine that the Green and Mana candidates will be there again to help attack Banks.
              Since NZ First didn’t campaign in Epsom, I was wondering if Dotcom would like to be their candidate. We’d have to hire the Town Hall for the most exciting election meetings ever!.
              I’m not sure if Act on Campus are going to stand on street corners supporting Banks again, since they allegedly hate Banks now.

        • Wayne 3.1.1.2

          1prent,

          You are wrong on Nationals strategy in 2005. There is no way that the Nats (and certainly not Richard Worth) would voluntarily surrender a seat they hold to another Party.

          The reality was that Richard was comprehensively out-campaigned and lost the seat. And I know that Richard was shocked by that. But you could argue that Richard did not really understand what he needed to do to hold the seat, which was evident during much of the time he held the seat.

          Of course once another Party holds a seat, then deals are possible.

          • lprent 3.1.1.2.1

            I’ll take your word for it. But it surely didn’t look that way…. See the figures above

            I was looking in from the campaign team in the neighbouring electorate of Mt Albert with the odd bit of work thrown in Stuart Nash’s direction, and thinking throughout the 2005 campaign that the National campaign *had* to be being deliberately lost in Epsom. There was bugger all happening apart from a few billboards and those weren’t going back up after being pushed over by the usual hoons.

            From memory there were no boundary changes between the 2002 and 2005 elections. It looked as if Act were putting a similar amount of effort and resource in as they had in 2002 but with the addition of the autodialers. They were pushing the same message (roughly ‘a vote for Act is a vote for keeping National honest’). The Labour vote held up pretty well between Di and Stuart’s campaigns. The local National campaign just looked non-existent – which was a problem bearing in mind the low turnout in 2002

            The only thing I was shocked about was that Act did so badly in 2005 – I was expecting them to have a much higher majority.

  4. Pete 4

    They’re laying the groundwork so they can call the legitimacy of the next government into question. Which would be sedition, had that part of the Crimes Act not been repealed in 2007.

  5. geoff 5

    Got a link, Eddie?

    • McFlock 5.1

      Here’s key saying it last week:

      “But there was a question over whether such a government would have a “moral mandate” to govern, Key said.

      “While constitutionally that doesn’t mean anything in New Zealand, morally I think a lot of New Zealanders would think the biggest party should be in a position to have the first crack at forming the government,” he said.

      Of course, it’s key talking, so there’s an inherent contradiction in the statements he makes. Personally, I thought parties made simultaneous “cracks” at forming a government, and whoever gets 50% (or so) wins.

  6. Wayne 6

    Pete,

    No more so than in 1978 and 1981 when Labour got a greater percentage of vote, but less seats. They also said the Nats did not have a moral mandate, but did not suggest the govt was illegal. It is a normal part of political speech. Of course this also led to MMP.

    The Herald and the Nats are not suggesting such a govt is illegal, just that it lacks a moral mandate (not that I agree with that).

    But it is a bit like most commenters on this site saying the Nats do not have a mandate to sell 49% of Meridian, even though it was a central part of the 2011 campaign.

    • Molly 6.1

      “Mandate” and “ability” are two different concepts.

      National – the party that campaigned on asset sales – (and ACT which campaigned on tea leaves) – did not return over 50% of the party vote – hence “No Mandate” regarding asset sales.

      National managed to cobble together a coalition government with parties that did not campaign on asset sales and became a majority coalition government, which gave it the “ability” to enact the sales anyway.

      The distinction is not subtle, and it is real. It always surprises me that this “mandate to sell” meme is still continued.

  7. Puckish Rogue 7

    Simple really, whoever forms the govt has the mandate

    • Anne 7.1

      Whoever forms the govt. has a mandate to be the government of the day, but it doesn’t have a mandate to ride roughshod over people and their rights to a fair and equitable society. Based on your over simplification PR, what you are saying is that if a modern-day H—-r won the right to govern he/she has the right to do whatever they damm well like…

      Wrong!

      • Pete 7.1.1

        This is why we need some supreme law in NZ – particularly in respect of human rights. Which I doubt will happen because Parliament will never surrender the absolute authority it possesses. We’re far too lackadaisical when it comes to our constitutional arrangements. You might argue that the Governor General could step in and use his reserve powers if we ended up with some nightmarish genocidal regime, but that’s not going to happen over asset sales.

      • Puckish Rogue 7.1.2

        Didn’t take long for Godwins Law to strike

        • vto 7.1.2.1

          Of course – and for good reason.

          Godwins Law is stupid anyway

        • Draco T Bastard 7.1.2.2

          Ah, the usual RWNJ use of Godwin’s Law to attempt to bypass the need for argument.

          • weka 7.1.2.2.1

            Ah, the usual RWNJ inaccurate use of Godwin’s Law to attempt to bypass the need for argument.

            fify 😉

        • Tracey 7.1.2.3

          genocidal regime could refer to Bosnia, Rwanda, there’s so many. Isn’t godwin’s law restricted to Nazi Germany? What’s the name of the law that says how quickly someone will be called communist, pinko, or whatever?

          • McFlock 7.1.2.3.1

            Anne dropped the H-bomb. Although it was a perfectly apt use, given that Puckered Rouge uttered such a patently stupid slogan in defense of his hero’s redefinition of “democracy”.

    • Rogue Trooper 7.2

      never been on an actual man-date; only behind closed doors.

  8. Armchair Critic 8

    That would mean that the Liberal-National coalition have no moral authority to govern in Australia.

  9. The historical inconvenience to the narrative which National are trying to knit together can be found in November 2005; Don Brash refused to concede the election until Labour had shown that they had the numbers for a government. There can’t be any harm in Labour doing the same in ’14 as National did in ’05, right?

    Tory bullet, tory foot.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 9.1

      By the time that truth gets around they’ll have told three more lies and still have ten more waiting in the wings. The Herald’s political “journalism” is little more than a slow-motion Gish gallop.

  10. Hanswurst 10

    “[…] a concept that, incidentally, doesn’t exist in the home of MMP Germany, where the largest party has missed out on government several times.”

    That’s absolutely correct. Here in Germany the only reasons given in the wake of the recent election for the impractability of a Social Democrat / Left / Green coalition were the slim majority thus provided and the fact that the Social Democrats had ruled out working with the Left prior to the election. Merkel’s significant relative majority didn’t even rate a mention in that regard.

    • Foreign Waka 10.1

      Are you referring to this:

      German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her party once again received the green light to continue their third term. Merkel’s current coalition partner consist of her own Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party, its Bavarian sister party the Christian Social Union (CSU), and the Free Democratic Party (FDP).
      Merkel’s CDU and CSU won with a huge 41.5% of the vote, suggesting her fabulous victory for the third time. However, the election results raised doubts on the continuation of government with its previous coalition partner, FDP, as the party got only 4.8% of the vote. This was less than the 5% required to gain seats in the parliament.
      The lower number of votes to FDP might create some political disorder in Germany and force Merkel into a grand partnership with its major opposition party Social Democratic Party (SDP), which won 25.7% of the vote.

      • Hanswurst 10.1.1

        That’s the election I’m referring to, yes.

      • miravox 10.1.2

        An in Germany’s neighbour, it appears likely that from yesterday’s Austrian election the party with the most votes will form the government – continuing the grand coalition. However, there is a chance that it won’t because although the winning party is leftist, lined up against is a right-wing majority over three parties.

        If the largest centre-right party doesn’t play nice with the left, the largest party will be in opposition. It depends entirely on the deals that can be done and from the numbers on the fractured right, it appears the public wants a right-wing government, but it won’t get it.

        What would NZ righties say about a moral mandate in this case, I wonder?

  11. Polish Pride 11

    This is (unfortunately) a representative democracy and if Labour and the Greens together represent enough voters to govern and decide to work together to enable that, then so be it. The most New Zealand voters are then represented by that coalition. Surely National are not trying to say that we should go with a government that represents 40% of those who voted instead of a coalition representing 51% or more. That is a ludicrous position to try and defend.

    • Draco T Bastard 11.1

      Surely National are not trying to say that we should go with a government that represents 40% of those who voted instead of a coalition representing 51% or more.

      That’s exactly what they’re saying.

    • Glen 11.2

      This is where it all gets a bit philosophical.
      When “..most New Zealanders are represented by that coalition” you’ve still got potentially 49% (or more, with MMP) of the population who feel they are not represented by that government. You can’t please everyone, as the saying goes, but you can do your best to act in everyone’s interests; that’s where I believe the left demonstrates an awful lot more compassion than it’s counterparts on the right.

      I feel a lot of NAct voters are more afraid of the unknown than purely hating the left for what they stand for. Whereas over here on the ‘left’ we all know what we’re in for with a ‘right-wing’ government. Maybe that’s why we’re more active in trying to make our voices heard? We feel compassion and empathy for the majority of the population, and we can foresee the far reaching damage caused by implementing the same draconian idealogical policies that have caused the massive equality issues we’re faced with in the present.

      That’s why I’ll never vote National. Their policies are by and by, mean spirited, without proper generational consideration. On the other side of the coin? I’ll vote Green thanks. Of all the parties they *speak* to me. They speak to my patriotic desire to see this country flourish as one, not as a series of factions; to help everyone, not just some (or more directly, help those who really need it while still keeping an eye on the better off in order to maintain some semblance of balance).

      Views views views; not necessarily shared by all this may insinuate to include…

      • Rogue Trooper 11.2.1

        *interesting* perspective thanks Glen

        • Colonial Viper 11.2.1.1

          the ‘hating’ (or fearing) the ‘unknown’ thing that Glen points out is criticial. Right wing conservatives often embrace authoritarian attitudes and social conservatism because they reinforce the status quo and impedes the undesirable ‘other’ gaining ground and not keeping to their ‘proper place’ in ‘their’ society.

    • Murray Olsen 11.3

      NAct’s real position is that they shouldn’t even have to stand in elections. They are so obviously the only lot competent enough to govern us and were born to rule anyway. Key’s diatribe is just another step toward making this official and open policy.

  12. irascible 12

    Interestingly when the question about the role or perception of the role of the opposition has been put in opinion polls the National supporter respondents all assume that the riole of a responsible opposition is to accept the legislation and policy directions put up by the National-ACT party. Their usual complaint about Labour is that it keeps attacking and criticising John Key’s policies and thus not helping govern the country as they see fit.
    Obviously PinoKeyo and the Herald are channelling the poll perceptions of good Tory voters.

  13. Tony Moder 13

    What a bunch of rubbish a Greens Labour coalition would have the mandate to Govern thats the facts end of story .

  14. Ennui 14

    Beware beware beware…those with some knowledge of history might come up with a number of scenarios where the minority has dictated to the majority and effectively squashed democracy. Usually it is in response to a “crisis”, real or imagined. They then seize power and rule by decree or similar.

    The question I am increasingly asking is how fragile is democracy in NZ? I see signs in the behavior of Key and significant numbers of his cabinet that their commitment to the practice of democracy through all of its checks and balances is somewhat lacking. In Labour I have long questioned their commitment to democratic principles, fortunately the rank and files usurpation of electoral principals came at a timely moment. With the electorate I have no doubt that NZers vote more from a commitment to their own private gain, any commitment to democracy comes a distant second.

    Would Key try to retain power at any cost: undoubtedly. Be very wary.

    • Wayne 14.1

      Ennui,

      Don’t be ridiculous.

      • Rogue Trooper 14.1.1

        There have been numerous accurate posts on The Standard identifying Nationals lack of commitment to, and practice of, democracy as that concept would be understood by many New Zealanders, particularly those with tertiary or professional backgrounds.

      • Ennui 14.1.2

        Wayne, I’m with Rogue, in your wide eyed “trust me” feigned innocence please mutter the words Nick Smith, or alternatively Sky City….

      • Draco T Bastard 14.1.3

        Ennui isn’t being ridiculous. At every turn we’ve seen National attacking our democracy: ECan, the GCSB and TICS bills, selling our laws to multinational corporations etc, etc.

        National and Act hate democracy as it prevents the rich doing whatever they like.

  15. Tracey 15

    Insofar as the herald and the National spin machine is trying to rewrite the system by manipulating public opinion ennui has a point, as for how far anyone would go, never say never Wayne.

  16. Rich 16

    I can’t believe that if National were somehow to persuade the G-G to let them form a minority government Labour and the Greens wouldn’t immediately pass a no confidence motion.

    We should adopt the Scottish system where the PM (First Minister, in Scotland) is formally elected at the opening of a new parliamentary term.

    • Tamati 16.1

      I don’t think the G-G would ever let a government be formed if they can’t be assured they would have the confidence of the house. If Lab-Greens have a majority in the house by themselves they Key and the Herald are dreaming about any proposed “moral mandate”.

      The issue arises if neither the Nats or Lab-Greens have a majority by themselves.

  17. Sable 17

    Sounds like the sort of argument you might have heard from Adolf Hitler. This isn’t Nazi Germany (well at least not yet).

    If Keys doesn’t have the numbers under MMP then that’s that. After all that why we voted for MMP, no more Nazi style dictators.

    • Tamati 17.1

      The problem is if neither side can gain certainty about having the confidence of the house then what happens next. Key would demand the right to form a minority government as the largest party in the house.

      Canada 2008-11 was a similar situation. Led to a bit of a constitutional crisis though!

      • Pascal's bookie 17.1.1

        That’s a potential problem whatever system you have, but what national and Granny Herald are talking about is a situation where lab + Greens have a clear majority even though National have a plurality.

        There is no actual issue here at all, it’s clear as day that L/G would have every right, legal and moral, to form a government. But National is basically foreshadowing that they will throw some sort of tantrum to the effect they ought to be the government even if they can’t get a majority. It’s laughable.

        • chris73 17.1.1.1

          As laughable as the left saying National have no mandate on well anything the left disagree with really

          • Pascal's bookie 17.1.1.1.1

            Nah. As I said before, it’s not really the same thing at all:

            People can quibble about what ‘mandate’ means, but I don’t recall anyone saying that the coalition govt doesn’t have a ‘mandate to govern’.

            The thing about the MOM policy is that polling says that people voted for National in spite of it, not because of it.

            What National is saying is that a L/G coalition wouldn’t have a mandate to govern, because , well it’s not really clear why not. They seem to think that somehow National ought to be able to govern even though they wouldn’t command a majority in the house, and wouldn’t have any mates to help them get one.

            So where does this ‘moral mandate’ come from? the fact that a minority of people want them to govern? That’s simply indefensible.

            The argument some on the left make about the MOM policy is that because it is opposed by a majority of voters every time there is polling done, the government’s general mandate to govern, (which no one disputes), cannot be said to extend to a specific mandate that endorses the MOM policy.

        • karol 17.1.1.2

          But worse, is the possibility that Key and co are aiming to influence voting and undermine the momentum Labour, and Lab-Green, is building with this kind of shonkey distortion.

        • Tamati 17.1.1.3

          Lab + Greens could mitigate this problem by signing an agreement before the election. A simple M.O.U. where they commit to work together to form a progressive government would destroy Key’s argument. It would also demonstrate stability to voters and mitigate any “unstable government” scare tactics by the right.

          • Pascal's bookie 17.1.1.3.1

            Completely unnecessary.

            All you need to do is ask key how his ‘moral mandate’ can be turned into a democratically representative majority in the house. Does he think he can ‘demand’ that Labour or the Greens go into coalition with him?

            He’ll fall back and sy ‘no no, all I mean is that a lot of people will think that blah blah’ And then you ask him who he thinks ‘those people are’ and whether or not he thinks they are correct.

            “So when you say ‘a lot of people’ you mean ‘National party voters’, Mr Key?”

            • Tamati 17.1.1.3.1.1

              Unnecessary maybe, but what’s wrong with being open and honest with the voters? If the Greens don’t unequivocally rule out working with National before the election are they being dishonest with voters for not at least trying to negotiate with Key?

              • vto

                logic
                twisted
                brain blistered

                • Tamati

                  It’s entirely plausible. German Greens has worked with a center-right party several times. Some people may actually want a Green-National coalition.

                  Why shouldn’t Labour and the Greens negotiate a formal coalition agreement before the 2014 election?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    How could you finalise the strength and details of such a coalition agreement when none of us can know the mandate that the electorate will provide to each party in November 2014?

              • Pascal's bookie

                “If the Greens don’t unequivocally rule out working with National before the election are they being dishonest with voters for not at least trying to negotiate with Key?”

                Nope. What plausible reason would anyone have to think that was on the table as a likely outcome. If you want an environmentally aware National led government, you are shit out of luck. This is obvious enough.

  18. amirite 18

    ShonKey had another of his frequent brainfades and he forgot that we have the MMP, not the FPP system.

  19. Yes 19

    [deleted]

    [lprent: already banned, and now permanently,. ]

  20. srylands 20

    If Labour loses the 2014 election, a good option would be to ditch the more insane policies (tax increases, opposition to RMA reforms, interfering with the RBNZ) and campaign on a coalition with National. That way we get stable government and freeze out the complete loons – Greens, NZ First, what is left of Act, Conservative Party.

    National would even do a deal on no more asset sales – they are actually not very important compared to about 100 other policies.

    I think in the long term this is the best option for New Zealand.

    • Pascal's bookie 20.1

      lol. That’s even funnier than Key’s “the loser really wins” argument.

      • vto 20.1.1

        And funnier than the seriously insane policies that the wretched Nats believe in such as paying a manwoman less than what it costs to live for a decent days work.

        And insaner than trying to increase kiwi ownership in power companies above the existing 100%.

        and even more insanerer than eating the environment for dinner, draining all the rivers and being allowed to dump the shit from your business in the public estate.

        and most insanest like banging on about the free market and then going holus bolus into the largest government intervention program in NZ’s history (Chch rebuild) because the nats don’t actually trust the free market at all

        and 3-way handshakes

        and handing out billions to useless finance company investors rather than letting the free market rule

        fuck the nats. arseholes and shit-for-brains.

        • srylands 20.1.1.1

          What absolute hysterical nonsense. You need to take a good hard look at yourself and ask what causes such bile to flow from you? How do you function day to day? Incredible.

          What the Government has achieved in ChCh is remarkable. You have obviously had no involvement in the rebuild otherwise you would not be saying such idiotic things.

          Why were the finance company investors useless? Or is it just because they are “rich pricks”

          Whatever. It will happen. BTW what is a “manwoman”?

          Also you do understand that a minimum wage is a “minimum”? and that New Zealand has one of the highest minimum wages in the world, and the second highest in the world relative to average wages.

          Can you pinpoint the time in your life you fell on your head or were traumatised and became so bitter and twisted?

          After MMP has delivered its worst, which is still to come, there will be a Labour-National Government. No doubt at all. All it takes is a realisation in both parties that New Zealand will never be prosperous without economically rational policies, strong markets, and reinforced incentives to work. It will take a shock to get the environment right to purge the crazies. Late 2016 looks about right.

          • vto 20.1.1.1.1

            lol, piss off. You are so far off the planet, as is indicated with this very first one “What the Government has achieved in ChCh is remarkable. You have obviously had no involvement in the rebuild otherwise you would not be saying such idiotic things.”

            lol. It is quite clearly you who has no involvement. Some of us live here and are heavily involved, right in the thick, up to our eyeballs in the very subject matter.

            you
            have
            no
            fucking
            idea

            The completely and utterly upside down view you have of Chch is enough to again establish that you talk absolute shit. You don’t know anything real about any of the things you spout about.

            Go back to your plastic buckets

          • Odab 20.1.1.1.2

            You’re right – the Christchurch rebuild is absolutely incredible. An incredible stuff up. Big ticket white elephant projects foisted on the city by dictate to max out the city’s borrowing capacity. Big Gerry’s way or the highway. Thousands of people in the eastern suburbs stuffed around by EQC and their insurers, still living in buggered homes while their local schools get shut down for Parata’s peculiar experiment. Regional government abolished and replaced by a directorate to implement NAct’s desires. I still remember Shonkey giving clown-in-chief Sideshow Bob Parker the nod before the last local body election. Just the sort of bozo Big Gerry could slap around to stuff the city. srylands, I’m sure you’re not a local, my challenge is picking your originating planet.

    • KJT 20.2

      More satire from Srylands.

      • Sable 20.2.1

        Shitelands and his comments ought to be surgically excised from this site. He and his kind belong on frog face Slater’s oily site.

  21. BrucetheMoose 21

    Always find it amusing when Key and his matey ministers flick out the moral card in defence of themselves and their decisions. To claim the moral high ground, you first must have morals. Damned if I have evidenced much of those the last five years or so.

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  • Six months’ paid parental leave back on the agenda
    Six months’ paid parental leave is back on the agenda and a step closer to reality for Kiwi parents after Labour’s new Member’s Bill was pulled from today’s ballot, the Bill’s sponsor and Labour MP Sue Moroney says. “My Bill… ...
    1 week ago
  • Sole parents at risk of having no income
    New requirements for sole parents to undertake a reapplication process after a year is likely to mean a large number will face benefit cancellations, but not because they have obtained work, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says. “Increasing numbers… ...
    1 week ago
  • Juking the Welfare Stats Again
    Last week the government’s major initiative to combat child poverty (a paltry $25 increase) was exposed for what it is, a lie. The Government, through the Budget this year, claims to be engaging in the child poverty debate, but instead,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • OCR rate cut a result of flagging economy
    The Reserve Bank's decision to cut the Official Cash Rate to 3 per cent shows there is no encore for the so-called 'rock star' economy, says Labour's Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.   "Today's interest rate cut comes off the back… ...
    1 week ago
  • Reboot to an innovation economy, an Internet economy and a clean economy
    In my short 33 years on this planet we’ve seen phenomenal technological, economic and social change, and it’s realistic to expect the next 33 will see even more, even faster change. You can see it in the non-descript warehouse near… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    1 week ago
  • Bill that puts the environment into the EPA passes first hurdle
    A Bill that puts the environment squarely into legislation governing the Environmental Protection Authority passed its first reading today, says Meka Whaitiri.  “I introduced this member’s bill as the current law doesn’t actually make protecting the environment a goal of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key’s KiwiSaver deception exposed
    KiwiSaver statistics released today expose John Key's claim that the cutting of the kickstart payment "will not make a blind bit of difference to the number of people who join KiwiSaver” to be duplicitous, says Labour Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “Official… ...
    1 week ago
  • Minimum Wage Amendment Bill to protect contractors
    All New Zealanders should be treated fairly at work. Currently, the law allows non-employment relationships to be used to get around the minimum wage. This is unfair, says Labour MP David Parker. “The Minimum Wage (Contractor Remuneration) Amendment Bill, a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Bill raises bar to protect Kiwi farmland
    The Government’s rubber-stamping of every one of the nearly 400 applications from overseas investors to buy New Zealand farm land over the last three years proves tougher laws are needed, Labour MP Phil Goff says. “In the last term of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Costly flag referendum should be dumped
    John Key must ditch the flag referendum before any more taxpayer money is wasted, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Millions of dollars could be saved if the Prime Minister called a halt to this hugely expensive, and highly unpopular, vanity… ...
    1 week ago
  • Nats letting Serco off scot free
    Government members have prevented Parliament’s Law and Order select committee from getting answers out of a senior Serco director about the fight clubs being run at Mt Eden prisons, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “At today’s Law and Order… ...
    1 week ago
  • Charter school experiment turns into shambles
    The National Government’s charter school experiment has descended into chaos and it’s time for Hekia Parata to stop trying to cover up the full extent of the problems, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The Education Minister must release all… ...
    1 week ago

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