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The Standard

Moral mandates

Written By: - Date published: 9:19 am, July 3rd, 2013 - 112 comments
Categories: election 2014, elections, electoral systems, john key, MMP, national - Tags: , ,

Key is clearly getting nervous about the implosion of his possible electoral partners in 2014. He’s running the “largest party has a moral mandate to govern line” again:

Nats look to 2014 governing options

Prime Minister John Key is mulling his options to form a Government after 2014 following this morning’s spill in the Maori Party, including claiming the largest party would have the “moral mandate” to govern. …

National’s support parties all have problems, with ACT in decline, UnitedFuture deregistered and the Maori Party struggling after being beaten into third place in the Ikaroa-Rawhiti by-election on Saturday. That has led to speculation National may have to rely on NZ First to govern after the next election.

Key said …”But it’s been a funny thing. Ever since we’ve had MMP in 1996 the public have had a way of finding the Government that they want. “It’s always been formed with the largest political party, so all of those things might not hold true in 2014 but they equally might.

“It’s not impossible we get 50 per cent [of the vote], it’s not impossible we get a couple of partners we work with, it’s not impossible political parties abstain. That is always possible to allow the largest party to run a minority government. Key said the largest party had the “moral mandate” to govern.

This argument is nonsense for many reasons.

(1) MMP is about the proportional representation of the people’s vote, any coalition which passes 50% represents more than half of the people and derives its mandate from that.

(2) MMP is not about individual parties and governments worldwide are by no means always formed by the party with the most votes.

(3) FPP governments in New Zealand were all too often formed by the National party even though by MMP standards it won fewer votes. This was the very problem which led to MMP. In other words, elections are won and lost according to the rules, and the correct response to problems of perceived moral mandate is to reform the electoral system.

(4) If we really want to talk morals, I would argue that National governments, which (like this one) are almost always damaging to the majority of the people and the environment, have never had a “moral mandate”.

Finally:

“If National was to go out there and poll 46 per cent or 47 per cent – very similar to the result in 2011 – and not form the Government I think there would be outrage in NZ,” he said.

That’s pretty much an invitation to civil unrest in the case that Key doesn’t get what he wants. Outrageously irresponsible behaviour for a Prime Minister. Like it or not John, we have an MMP electoral system, and the next election will be conducted within its rules. Try not to whine about it.

112 comments on “Moral mandates”

  1. One Anonymous Knucklehead 1

    Yes, If New Zealand votes for a Labour/Green government that’s what we’ll get.

    Any time that mendacious wretch the Prime Minister mentions the next election he needs to be challenged on what his plans are afterwards. He’s off to Hawaii win or lose: his pretence of concern for the outcome is another lie.

  2. Disraeli Gladstone 2

    I think you’re both right, actually.

    In an MMP system, it shouldn’t matter who’s the biggest party. If a coalition has a majority of over 50%, they’re representing the votes of the New Zealand people.

    However, there is still some lingering effect in the public’s psyche that the first place party is the winner that Key is correct in pointing out (though he shouldn’t -actually- be pointing it out because it’s rubbish). You hear it literally all the time from people around NZ at election time. I think if we get a situation where National gets 45-46% and Labour are in the low 30s, and Labour forms a coalition government then we’ll see a pretty huge swing of public opinion against MMP and that new Labour/Green government is going to enjoy no honeymoon from either public or media.

    That’s why, for Labour, it’s still important to actually get as close to National as possible and it’s not all well and good saying “well Labour + Green is higher.”

    Maybe in another decade or so people will be used to it.

    • Winston Smith 2.1

      I think WinstonFirst has it about right when he stated his first choice would be to try to form a govt with the party with the largest vote as thats what the majority of NZers want and then if a govt can’t be formed then move onto the next

      • felix 2.1.1

        “as thats what the majority of NZers want”

        Oh what rubbish. If a party gets any less than 50% then by definition, they are not what the majority of nzers want.

        • ghostwhowalksnz 2.1.1.1

          Yes thats what it should be.

          Funny the Nats never had a problem under the old system when Labour got a bigger proportion of the votes but National had more seats, they were happy to take the reins of power.

          Thats of course points out the practical realities, without the numbers in parliament you cant form a government.

          I cant see the Governor General appointing a PM who clearly has a hostile majority against him

        • Winston Smith 2.1.1.2

          If dancing on the head of a pin makes you happy then go for it but I’ve got a feeling the majority of people in NZ are more inclined to agree with me

          Or do you not realise whos in charge of this country?

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead 2.1.1.2.1

            Mathematics 101:

            47% of the votes at the last election ≠ 51% of New Zealanders.

            I realise that being the largest minority doesn’t quite sound so flash, but that’s just how it is, get over it. Also get over the fact that the party you enable has no mates.

          • felix 2.1.1.2.2

            “I’ve got a feeling the majority of people in NZ are more inclined to agree with me”

            Hard to take that statement seriously when you demonstrably don’t know what some of the main words in it mean.

          • vto 2.1.1.2.3

            Winston says “…but I’ve got a feeling …”

            This is exactly the same as when people are ranting away on some subject they know little or nothing about and they underline the force of their argument by saying …”I just think …”

            Whenever anyone says “I just think…” it means they haven’t thought at all and all their hot air is actually completely unthunk through.

            • Winston Smith 2.1.1.2.3.1

              Except of course that for the last two elections the people of NZ have agreed with me more then they’ve agreed with you

              • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                And for the three elections before that, they thought you were an asshole. No, wait, I have no more insight into what they think of you than you do.

              • wtl

                I really don’t see how you have come to the conclusion that “voting for the same party as I do” = “agreeing with me”. So if I vote National and think dogs are terrible animals, does that mean that all those NZers that voted National agree that dogs are terrible animals?

                • Murray Olsen

                  Not dogs, dolphins. Especially the Maui ones. Shocking creatures in need of extermination.

                  • Macro

                    And don’t forget the Hector – those are nasty little buggers. They get caught up in the nets and make a hell of a mess.

              • vto

                Really Winston? How on earth would you know what I agreed with in the last two elections?

                You see, your post there just confirms the point I made and have noticed in your posts previously.

                They are simply assumption, made-up stuff and hot air with absolutely no reasons ever outlined to explain your hot airs, or evidence or justification.

                You really are an “I just think…” type of person who in the classic sense doesn’t actually think at all – otherwise you would have realised that you have not got the foggiest idea what I agreed with in the last two elections.

                case dismissed

        • TighyRighty 2.1.1.3

          And if national did get over 50% of the vote you’d be the first prick to say it doesn’t matter as its not what 50% of the nation wants. You’ll then start clamouring for 16yr old voting and prisoners voting. Because that’s not gerrymandering.

          • McFlock 2.1.1.3.1

            You’ll then start clamouring for 16yr old voting and prisoners voting. Because that’s not gerrymandering.

            egad, so deciding whether prisoners can vote is a political decision based solely around rigging the voting demographic in the governing party’s favour?

            Good to know.

            • Rogue Trooper 2.1.1.3.1.1

              Great link Flockie.

              • McFlock

                just one of the petty little pieces of fucktardedness that tories do when in power.

                For me, it’s those things that fuck me off more than the general platitudes to “personal responsibility”. I wouldn’t feel so upset at being under the thumb of tory governments if it weren’t for their infantile little “watch-you-while-you-fuck-and-tax-your-technique” tweaks to the basic functions of democratic life.

          • felix 2.1.1.3.2

            No Tighty that’s not true and the proof is that National’s govt currently commands a majority in the house and you don’t see me saying anything of the sort.

            What I do say is that if Labour want to lead a govt then they need to do much, much better and offer people something better than what National offer them.

            I say this all the time.

            A simple apology will be fine, thanks.

            • Sable 2.1.1.3.2.1

              Labour could hand me a turd and I’d vote for it over Keys at this point as would many others I have spoken to. People are revolted by his tyranny and bare faced lies.

        • Populuxe1 2.1.1.4

          Well if they are all voting for alternatives to NACT and those alternatives can come to an arrangement to work together, it is indeed a reflection of the wisdom of crowds. I don’t like MANA for example, but I’d support a centre-left coalition that they were a part of.

      • Sable 2.1.2

        Peters is a Nat from way back, can’t help himself. No surprises he wants to form a government with creepy Keys.

    • Pascal's bookie 2.2

      I don’t hear it much at all, let alone, all the time. I guess that’s how anecdata works though.

      If there’s polling on it, that would be interesting, but pundits punditing and spinners spinning (which is all the PM is doing), not so much.

      I think if we get a situation where National gets 45-46% and Labour are in the low 30s, and Labour forms a coalition government then we’ll see a pretty huge swing of public opinion against MMP and that new Labour/Green government is going to enjoy no honeymoon from either public or media.

      So the counterfactual would be what? National forming a minority govt with someone abstaining or what have you on C&S? What would that do for confidence in MMP and all the rest of it?

      The problem for Key’s argument is that a majority of voters, under PR systems, get to have the parties they supported form a governent. So the discontent will be coming almost exclusively from them what lost. Now that may well be up to 49%, so yes, potentially substantial.

      But also, tough luck, and sore losers. I’m thinking that the majority (who won) would be even less happy with power being handed to said losers of the electoral race.

      So there’d be a discussion for sure, whatever happens, but I don’t think the result of that discussion is easily predicted.

      Those angry upset people might just find that they look like , well, angry upset sore losers.

      • Disraeli Gladstone 2.2.1

        There is no counterfactual that comes out well. Either way, it would be a mess. Not because it is a mess (I have absolutely zero problems with a Labour (34%) + Green (13%) + others government), but because of just that general notion that the largest party has -won- the election. If you don’t think that’s a belief for ordinary NZers unlike politicos like us, then yeah, it’s not a problem at all and we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

        However, if we do say that such a belief does occur, then either way the election falls we have a problem. National cannot be allowed to govern through abstaining and so on just by virtue of being the largest party but with no support parties. However, a government where the biggest party is in the low 30s percentage wise (and the opposition party is in high 40s) is going to be undermined with legitimacy claims and so on.

        It’s why I think Labour has to go for broke and not just rely on (Not National > National). If Labour can get 37-40% and National are just on 41-42% then I don’t think there would be outrage of Labour forming a government because the gap is smaller. And then the public is introduced to the idea that the winner isn’t always the party with the most seats. Hopefully such an event would mean that next time we find ourselves in such a situation, the public and media wouldn’t even bat an eyelid at a government being formed with a party in the low 30s at the centre of it.

        • wtl 2.2.1.1

          This whole argument is pretty much based on the idea that we have a two party system and only those two largest parties matter. Yet in countries all around the world, governments are formed from coalitions of parties. If Labour+Green go into the election as partners in waiting and their combined vote is greater than National’s, I really don’t see how people can argue that they lack the ‘legitimacy’ to form a government.

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead 2.2.1.1.1

            They can, if they want to make themselves like sore losers with zero credibility.

          • Matthew Hooton 2.2.1.1.2

            wtl, I think that if Labour and the Greens went into the election clearly as partners, with all other options ruled out, then you are right that it wouldn’t matter (in a political sense) how low Labour’s support was, a Labour/Green coalition would be seen as totally legitimate by less political people (constitutionally, of course, it is totally clear that 61 independents get to govern were that ever to happen).
            But if the signal were not clear from both sides, then you can’t really know that all Green voters would prefer, say, a Labour/Green/Mana/NZFirst government over, say, a National/Green one and so you can’t say that if National won 47% that 53% are against them. And in such a case I think that there would be the question of a political perception of illegitimacy.
            As it happens, it is the first scenario that is playing out – Labour/Green is making clear they are, from the point of view of a practical voter, one party and so there is no doubt that Lab 30 + Green 15 has the same “legitimacy” as National on 45. Although I doubt Winston Peters would quite see it that way.

            • felix 2.2.1.1.2.1

              “But if the signal were not clear from both sides, then you can’t really know that all Green voters would prefer, say, a Labour/Green/Mana/NZFirst government over, say, a National/Green one and so you can’t say that if National won 47% that 53% are against them.”

              Whatever. If National want to claim that someone wants a National government, then they have to convince that person to vote National.

              • Winston Smith

                You mean like the last two elections?

                • felix

                  You mean the two elections where National formed a govt by commanding a majority of the seats in parliament, and not by some alternate voodoo superstition method that you and Matthew are proposing we adopt?

                  Yes.

                • Lanthanide

                  Yes, like the last two elections.

                  Good boy! Do you want a gold star?

            • framu 2.2.1.1.2.2

              ” you can’t really know that all Green voters would prefer, say, a Labour/Green/Mana/NZFirst government over, say, a National/Green one”

              completely ignoring reality of both green voters and green membership

              spinners be spinning

              • Disraeli Gladstone

                Yeah, let’s be honest this isn’t like some Lib Dem/Tory situation in the UK where you had 60-65% of Lib Dems voters wanting a Labour-led government and the rest quite happy with a Tory-Lib Dem Coalition.

                The Greens aren’t really a party with “wings”. I doubt there’s anyone who’s voting Greens and then being upset that they don’t decide to go with National.

                It’ll be NZ First where such problems occur.

              • Chris

                Its hardly spinning when he follows that up with:

                As it happens, it is the first scenario that is playing out – Labour/Green is making clear they are, from the point of view of a practical voter, one party and so there is no doubt that Lab 30 + Green 15 has the same “legitimacy” as National on 45.

                He was using the Greens situation as an example not saying that is the reality.

                • felix

                  Nah, he was just bullshitting. If he wanted a real example, he would’ve used NZFirst.

                  The reason he used the Greens is because he’s trying to sew seeds of doubt, trying to get people to question the legitimacy of a future Lab/Green majority.

                  Want to hazard a guess as to why he didn’t use NZFirst as an example?

                  • Chris

                    Sew (sow?) seeds of doubt with who though? This is hardly the platform anybody would use to do that. Maybe I’m naive but I doubt anyone coming to the Standard is going to be swayed by the “spin” in the comments.

                    I would assume he didn’t use NZ First as an example for two reasons:

                    1 – The topic is about whether a Labour/Green lead government is as legitimate as a National lead government in the eyes of the average voter. So it is directly referring to whether those 2 will practically be seen as one party. Using NZ First as an example doesn’t really address this.

                    2 – NZ First is unlikely to rule anyone out (in my opinion) and would always campaign on their own rather than as a bloc. Whereas while Green’s have always obviously been far more supportive of Labour and there voters are the same they historically haven’t always ruled out working with National (just said it is very unlikely).

                    I could be completely wrong and he is trying to spin something but it kind of seems like people are disagreeing with just to do so even though what he was saying agrees with what the general consensus in here is.

                    • felix

                      Ok then you’re naive. Hoots is just doing his job.

                      Sew sorry to burst your bubble..

                • framu

                  rather silly example when NZ First would do a whole lot better

                  so what are we to think?
                  Hooten + shallow argument = what exactly?

                  • bad12

                    = what exactly?, a wanker,a shill of the right paid to get alongside ‘the left’ with the constant insinuation ‘that we are all the same’…

    • Draco T Bastard 2.3

      You hear it literally all the time from people around NZ at election time.

      No we don’t, we only hear it from the RWNJs.

      I think if we get a situation where National gets 45-46% and Labour are in the low 30s, and Labour forms a coalition government then we’ll see a pretty huge swing of public opinion against MMP and that new Labour/Green government is going to enjoy no honeymoon from either public or media.

      No we won’t. If that was going to happen then the people wouldn’t have voted to keep MMP. Also, the MSM won’t give a left leaning government a “honeymoon” anyway as it’s not the government they want.

      • Sable 2.3.1

        Just keep telling yourself that. Yes we all want our rights stripped from us and to live in a one beautiful country that’s now a wasteland of mine sites and slums for the poor.

  3. vto 3

    ““If National was to go out there and poll 46 per cent or 47 per cent – very similar to the result in 2011 – and not form the Government I think there would be outrage in NZ,” he said.”

    John Key, what that would mean is that your miserly bunch of greedy 46% are not wanted by the remainder 54%. If you cannot form a government with 46% then that clearly means you do not have majority support.

    But you know this John Key don’t you. You are just talking bullshit again. Because that’s all you know – bullshit.

  4. mikesh 4

    The question is: would Winston support a National government simply on the basis that it was the largest party in parliament?

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 4.1

      Not according to Winston – see our very own Winston’s comment above.

      • Winston Smith 4.1.1

        I’m saying he’d try to form a govt with National first (on very favourable terms) but he an agreement couldn’t be reached (which is quite possible) he’d then try with the next biggest

        Though I don’t see Winston and the Greens workign too well together considering Winstons links to the gambling and fishing industries

        • The Greens can work with anyone, even National or Act. The question is, will Winston be willing to play nice with an increasingly popular party that makes him look bad just by doing their actual job instead of, well, show-boating.

          And I don’t see Winston working with National, to be honest. He’s gone down that road before and it just confirms what those of us watching this government have come to observe: National either eats up or sabotages its allies.

    • bad12 4.2

      After what National/ACT did to Winston in 2008???, i think Peters if He is in a position to do so after November 2014 will string National along with 3 weeks of increasing demands via a vis a coalition and then spit them down the toilet like an unwanted globule of something nasty,

      2014, if He can attain the 5%, and there is no guarantee of that as those who tactically voted in 2011 for a strengthened opposition, (as opposed to a larger but weakened Labour),take their votes in 2014 back to the left party’s from whence they came,

      How big a % of the NZFirst these tactical voters represent i have no way of assessing, but if it is anywhere near 2% of those votes NZFirst received in 2011 then NZFirst is in big trouble,

      Watch the polls swing back to the ‘National governing alone’ bullshit as the election comes closer, the right have found themselves in the disaster zone of having to appear strong in the National Party vote so as not to drag right leaning NZFirst voters over to National in an attempt to prop up their vote while many of the left leaning voters will be departing back to Labour and/or the Green party,

      This time, 2014, is Winston’s swansong, after this term, and if the years of good living don’t in the meantime cause His ticker to take industrial action and stop altogether i believe He will be retiring, and as there is no real depth to NZFirst that will cause the public to vote that way when Winston leaves the House he will effectively be taking NZFirst with Him…

      • Sable 4.2.1

        Winston was a good mate of Rob Muldoon, do not kid yourself by thinking he is anyone other than what he appears to be. I’d be “astounded” if he fell in with the Greens, its just not in his nature.

    • Enough is Enough 4.3

      The Key is to take Winston out.

      No NZ First = No National Government

      • bad12 4.3.1

        True, it was good to watch the sick look on the face of the Slippery little Shyster as Pita Sharples did the first honorable thing He has accomplished in quite some time,

        Whilst Sharples remained grimly holding to the line that He would contest the 2014 election Slippery has had the luxury of believing there might be at least 2 seats held by the Maori Party for a future coalition, yesterday that ‘comfort blanket’ was rudely ripped way from the Prime Minister,

        Should John Banks the once convicted not receive another well deserved citation upon His record there will obviously be close to the 2014 election another ‘Epsom chimps tea party’ as National gets desperate,

        My pick is that National will head into 2014 with actual support of 43-44% of voters and at some stage parts of the NZFirst right wing will panic and cross over to National which even in small numbers of around 1% may well not give National a majority of the vote but might cause NZFirst to fall below the 5%,

        Most left leaning voters who supported NZFirst back into the Parliament in 2011 must now be realizing that continued support of that party might in 2014 enable a third term National Government and be considering their options as to which of the left leaning party’s they will be switching to for the 2014 election…

  5. fender 5

    Can’t see any single party getting as much support as National in the foreseeable future, so we’ll just have to let them rule forever. Sorry folks, future elections have been cancelled until further notice.

    • felix 5.1

      Well seeing as they’re already in govt, it wouldn’t really be granting them any new powers etc etc

    • Winston Smith 5.2

      I reckon they’ll be about the same as theres no where for the middle class swing voters to go to

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 5.2.1

        Delusions coming thick and fast this morning.

        • Winston Smith 5.2.1.1

          Just remember that when National govern for their third term

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead 5.2.1.1.1

            Sure, if it happens. I’ll be sure to remind you if not 😀

            • Winston Smith 5.2.1.1.1.1

              Don’t worry, Labour and the Greens won’t have a mandate even if they do govern :)

              • framu

                they will have just as much mandate as national does now – the mandate to form a govt

    • Sable 5.3

      Fixed not cancelled.

  6. The “moral mandate” is as much a fiction now as it was at the time of the Treaty of Waitangi.

    Democracy does not confer lawful power over those who do not participate in the political process.

  7. mikesh 7

    If a minority government were to be formed then, in theory, the other parties could pass a no-confidence motion on the the day parliament opened. However, such a tactic could rebound against the parties supporting the motion if the electorate were to view them as spoilers who had brought the government down for no good reason. This might be particularly true if the NCM forced a new election.

  8. Watching 8

    If this scenario of Labour lead government with a party vote of 35% happens – this is new political territory.

    Ok this type of government has happened in other countries but that is only a reference point and for NZ it’s all new. Speculation is good for the blogs but until this event happens we simply don’t know how NZ will react.

    The spin with (1) Key with the largest 45% party v (2) a Labour 33% and Green 14% + others 4% is no more that political positioning to a future scenario. To whatever side you support both positions are correct. This scenario is not like the Clarke lead governments, and the Nats in opposition will make sure that Shearer has to answer that question every day.

    But I do predicate this may happen:
    1. A Labour 35% Greens & others 16% will struggle under this scenario, for the simple reason there is no experience of what will happen on a daily basis.
    2. The second time we have a Labour 35% Greens & others 16% type government it will become the norm

    I relate points 1 & 2 to my own experience of having children. Our first child changed everything as there were events, decisions and a daily lifestyle that we struggled with, were not prepared for and didn’t think “if this happens” beforehand, and when our second child arrived we were better parents (just don’t tell our oldest).

    But it is point 3 I have concern with:
    3. Can anyone see DS explaining/answering questions every day on (1) Labour party policy v Labour/Greens/Other government legalisation and (2) the pressure from a Nats caucusof 55 v Labour 42 odd.

    Look at the pressure Key is under on with a party on 47% and it will not be a walk in the park for Shearer with Labour on 35%. I personally think it will be harder.

    • Pascal's bookie 8.1

      It’s easy to explain.

      You say “35+16=51” and call a confidence vote.

      Rinse repeat.

    • felix 8.2

      “1. A Labour 35% Greens & others 16% will struggle under this scenario, for the simple reason there is no experience of what will happen on a daily basis.”

      Sure there is. The experience is every other government we’ve ever had that was formed on the basis of commanding a majority of the seats in parliament.

      Do you know how many that is?

      “Look at the pressure Key is under on with a party on 47% and it will not be a walk in the park for Shearer with Labour on 35%.”

      Key never had a govt at 47%. He has a govt at 51.

      Shearer will never have a govt at 35%. He will have a govt at 51.

      • Watching 8.2.1

        Felix, As you say Shearer will have a gov’t of 51% odd as does Key now.

        The question I am asking is not the government he leads but the party he leads with 35%. If you think this is not problematic then good sailing. Look at how Key struggles with his 51% government with a party at 47%

        My view is that it will be harder for Shearer than it is for Key – just coming from Shearers starting point – which is 35% of the MP’s. I expect Labour party members want him to implement Labour policy.

        • Winston Smith 8.2.1.1

          This is true, the calls from the left about National not having a mandate over the partial sell-off of assets were staggering

          • framu 8.2.1.1.1

            they dont get elected as dictators WS.

            Why is it so hard for some of you to fathom that the only mandate you get from winning an election is a mandate to govern? And in an MMP environment the only mandate any party has to govern comes from being able to form the biggest coalition. The national party in and of itself has no mandate, the coalition does.

            its not a blank cheque to do each and every thing you campaigned on just because your the biggest party

            the opposition to asset sales was pretty wide spread – so even though it was a policy going into the election, the only mandate the nats had was to promote and seek to advance the policy. The mandate to follow through with the policy is derived from following the democratic process and not the election result

        • felix 8.2.1.2

          You can hold whatever view you like, but it doesn’t change how we elect governments.

          Of course Key has trouble running a govt. He’s a cretin propped up by a pair of corrupt fuckwits and a stupid old lady.

          And of course Shearer will have trouble running a government. He’s a complete muppet backed by a pack of lazy greedy fools.

          What do I care? What do you care? Anyone you name is going to have trouble running a government, it’s a bloody tricky thing to do I’d imagine.

          Regardless, you either get 51% of the house or you go home. Nothing has changed.

          Carry on.

          • Winston Smith 8.2.1.2.1

            “Of course Key has trouble running a govt. He’s a cretin propped up by a pair of corrupt fuckwits and a stupid old lady.”

            – Business confidence up, employment up, crime down and an economy the envy of most other nations, yeah he has trouble running a country

            • felix 8.2.1.2.1.1

              Take it up with “Watching” you failed remedial reader.

            • Sable 8.2.1.2.1.2

              Actually business confidence “down” at this time and employment figures are a bare faced lie. A LARGE number of unemployed people simply are not factored into government stats such those who are unemployed but have a partner who earns too much.

              As to crime, Keys answer is simply to lock people up which is why we have a horrendous track record for imprisonment that is worse than Australia and mirrors the US and speaks to a failure to address the core cause of crime. Per head of population New Zealand is a “violent” country.

              All of this is available on line if you wish to do some research.

          • gobsmacked 8.2.1.2.2

            Anyone who’s sick of “commentators” wasting our oxygen on New Zealand politics (hint: Nine to Noon), your pain is over.

            Just stick Felix’s comment on your fridge, it’s all there for you. :)

  9. Wayne 9

    John Keys comments were directed to Winston Peters, not to the Labour/Greens.

    Winston (assuming 6%) would defintely have to explain to the public why he is going with say Labour 33, Greens 10, Mana/Maori 2, instead of the Nats on say 46 and ACT 1.

    That would be a challenge, given the prospect of 46 and 6 making an obvious majority.

    In contrast Lab/Green/NZF/Mana looks a bit of a mess.

    Of course, it all depends what happens on election night. Labour 35, Greens 15 would be a tidy outcome for a govt, and would be accepted as such by the public (as Mathew Hooton noted).

    • Pascal's bookie 9.1

      “It’s not impossible we get 50 per cent [of the vote], it’s not impossible we get a couple of partners we work with, it’s not impossible political parties abstain. That is always possible to allow the largest party to run a minority government. Key said the largest party had the “moral mandate” to govern.

      Yeah nah eh.

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 9.1.1

        Wayne doing his best to spin the spin. He’d better make sure he’s got the direction right, or the whole thing could stop spinning and fall over.

        • Wayne 9.1.1.1

          Why is it spinning? I simply said Winston would some explaining if he went for Labour/Green/NZF/Mana. Are you suggesting he would not have to put some seroius work into that.

          OK, I did say Labour/Green/NZF/ Mana would be messy. Well that’s my view – you say why it isn’t.

          • McFlock 9.1.1.1.1

            All he’d have to say is “John Banks”.

          • Te Reo Putake 9.1.1.1.2

            Messy? A four way coalition with one party no longer in existance, another party leader in the dock and the third party about to collapse under the weight of its own hypocrisy. Now that’s messy.

          • Populuxe1 9.1.1.1.3

            Not really, not unless National does a major u-turn on asset sales, that being the lynch pin NZF has campaigned on.

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead 9.1.1.1.4

            Wayne, yeah, that’s why Peters says he’d negotiate with the largest minority party first.

  10. Dv 10

    Key musta had to look up what MORAL means.

  11. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 11

    That’s pretty much an invitation to civil unrest in the case that Key doesn’t get what he wants

    Only if you are not very good at reading.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 11.1

      Yeah, Gormy, he only said “outrage”, and he’s right – there’ll be all sorts of Whale and Farrar squealing and whining and being sore losers, but that hardly constitutes credible opposition.

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 11.1.1

        It’s some way off Key inviting rioting.

        Bedwetters.

  12. gobsmacked 12

    Essentially this is a debate about the will of the people. And that’s simple.

    The people voted for MMP. By a clear majority. A mathematical majority, meaning more than 50%, not an invented National Party non-majority of less than 50%.

    MMP beats National, so that’s what we’ve got.

    Everything else is loser spin. AKA fiction.

  13. Draco T Bastard 13

    Like it or not John, we have an MMP electoral system, and the next election will be conducted within its rules.

    Which is why he wanted so much to change it to a less democratic voting system (one that would have put the largest polling party as the government) and now that NZers have shown that they still want MMP he’s ignoring the review that was conducted on it because it didn’t provide him with what he, National and their owners wanted.

  14. You_Fool 14

    I have simple question to all who have gone on about “ordinary NZers” being “upset” at a Lab/Green/Mana/NZF/Maori government, assuming a mid-30’s percentage part vote for labour result:

    Who exactly will be upset? Not Labour voters, they will have their party in power. Not Green voters, they will also have their party in power. Same with Mana, Maori and NZF voters… they in fact got what they wanted, to differing degrees of power. Act supporters will be upset, but there is about 501 of them… National supporters will be obviously, but then even if labour “beat” them in % points they would still be upset if they weren’t in power, so no change there. Sure the overall % support for MMP will drop from ~2/3rds of the nation to maybe 60%, but that is still a majority of support… and even if all NACT supporters became stupid and voted against MMP, that would still be less than 50% of the voters… so once again who will be “outraged”???

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 14.1

      Whale, Farrar, Brett Dale, Winston Smith and TighyRighty. All five of them.

    • QoT 14.2

      In fairness, ordinary voting-type people could be outraged if that coalition involved any particular party completely selling out their pre-election policies for baubles of office.

      Or, you know, if Winston repeated history and declared he 100% would not join a coalition involving Labour or the Greens, then completely sold out for baubles of office.

  15. Tamati 15

    As some may know, the New Zealand MMP system is was effectively a copy of the German Federal system, so it’s a good comparison.

    Since reunification the Party which receives the largest vote has always chosen the Chancellor. The difference is that the main parties over their are far more pragmatic and cooperative. In reality each of the four main parties could form a government together, with only the socialist “The Left” party ruling out working with certain parties.

    In the 2005 election, despite the obvious left grouping having a larger block, the two major center parties formed a Coalition. Perhaps it’s time for Labour and National to put tribalism aside and consider working with each other? At the end of the day, if you back at the last 14 years it’s hard to see much of a contrast!

    • RedBaronCV 15.1

      The flaw, Tamati, in the argument is that Nact does not work for the good of NZ, just them and their mates.

      • Tamati 15.1.1

        As I said, the tribalism runs strong.

        • Draco T Bastard 15.1.1.1

          That’s not tribalism – that’s fact. National governs for the rich and against everybody else. Unfortunately, over the last 30 years, so has Labour.

    • Pascal's bookie 15.2

      I don’t know Tamati, but I suspect that if Lab and Nat teamed up, both parties would lose support to minor parties.

      Labour would lose maybe 10% ( as the left is already fragmented) and Nats about 20%.

      • Draco T Bastard 15.2.1

        Labour would lose maybe 10%

        IMO, they’d lose between 60% and 70% of the voters that they have now most of which would go to the Greens. They’d very rapidly become a minor party.

    • Sable 15.3

      Exactly, which is why Labour are out in the cold with their voters. I always used to vote Labour, now I wouldn’t spit on them. I think the Greens are the last bastion for disillusioned Labour supporters.

  16. Anne 16

    Is everybody else in shock too?

  17. democracy 17

    John Keys popularity song :When our Smilin yes your smilin and the whole world smiles with you
    When your laughin yes your laughin
    AND THE SUN COMES SHINNIN THRU etc–Satchmo

    Got u this time

  18. Sable 18

    The little turd has already had a go at getting rid of MMP but, alas alack, no joy. He’s a miserable excuse for a statesman and will, I hope, get the bums rush he richly deserves this election.

    • Descendant Of Sssmith 18.1

      Hmmm choice between

      a right wing coalition between National and Labour which could only drag pale blue Labour more right than it is now

      A left wing coalition with Mana and greens which maybe would slide the pendulum a little more to the left

      Which to choose, which to choose?

  19. captain hook 19

    Yapping on and on about it wont change a thing.
    Labour must have good policies that resonate with the elctorate and most importantly the p-addled shriekers from meida works are put back in the box of crap they crawled out of.

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