Written By: - Date published: 9:08 am, September 30th, 2016 - 139 comments
Don Brash and a group of other predominately privileged white males are complaining that Maori may also be receiving some privilege.
Written By: - Date published: 11:03 am, March 20th, 2016 - 139 comments
Recent polling makes it clear that neither National or Labour can win power without the support of NZ First. So should the left be worried that Winston Peters will take his party back over to the blue team?
Written By: - Date published: 3:47 pm, April 19th, 2015 - 48 comments
The Greens have closed their nominations for male co-leader, and are running a number of provincial meetings. I went to the second one in Auckland. The biggest issue for the Greens now after cracking the 10% electoral support in 2011 is that they didn’t grow their vote in 2014, and remain well below polling. Part of that is getting their public face right.
Written By: - Date published: 10:38 pm, March 28th, 2015 - 24 comments
Paddy Gower and Duncan Garner don’t understand our electoral system: “that’s MMP”. By-elections are pure First Past the Post – and that’s why Andrew Little didn’t need to do a deal, and Northland doesn’t stink like Epsom.
Written By: - Date published: 3:18 pm, September 22nd, 2014 - 165 comments
No Right Turn points out the underlying truth of voting in an MMP environment. For the party electorate seats don’t matter much. Running electorate only campaigns are not productive. He is wrong in ascribing them no value. They provide a base for campaigning.
Written By: - Date published: 12:45 pm, September 8th, 2014 - 112 comments
The choice for NZ voters is becoming clearer in the last days of the 2014 election. The irony is that after John Key’s scaremongering, our options are a three-headed coalition of natural allies versus a five-or-six headed hydra of extremists and sworn enemies.
Written By: - Date published: 12:00 pm, August 11th, 2014 - 82 comments
It seems like every time Labour (or the Greens) announce a policy the first question (after “what does John Key think about this?”) is “But the Greens (or Labour) have a different policy to the one you just announced! How can you possibly work together in government?”
Written By: - Date published: 9:38 am, July 30th, 2014 - 94 comments
Key’s promised to do his best to bring in ACT and UnitedHairdo. Last election this brought us the likes of Charter Schools – unmentioned by any party during the campaign. What policies will National foist upon us through this outsourcing deal this time?
Written By: - Date published: 4:32 pm, July 29th, 2014 - 31 comments
Peter Dunne has been thrown the lifeline he has been begging for – National voters have been given the nod by Key to keep him on. One has to ask why would they bother – I can’t see him going back as a Minister after so many stuff ups and a resignation that leaves too many questions unanswered. Ohariu has a much better option in Labour’s Ginny Andersen – if she’d been there a truly independent Parliament would have delivered mothers 26 weeks parental leave for example. Dunne supported it initially but backed down when it came to the crunch.
Written By: - Date published: 10:43 am, July 28th, 2014 - 18 comments
National has all-but confirmed today that there no deal for Colin Craig in East Coast Bays, or for any other Conservative. This was the right thing for them to do, for one simple reason. This decision came down to simple maths. If Key thought the Conservatives could muster double the votes that a decision to back the Conservatives would cost National in the centre-ground, then he should do the deal. If not, he should not. All the stuff about Winston running was a bit of a late sideshow, as the decision had likely already been made.
Written By: - Date published: 4:48 pm, July 15th, 2014 - 50 comments
It looks like I’ll be able to head to the NZ First conference at Alexandra Park racecourse on the weekend as media. This election the position of NZ First party members is probably going to be crucial for any coalition that forms. In this rather long post I explain my (and other peoples) thinking on possible coalition results for National after the election. They aren’t good because they really depend on a political group that National has been denigrating for quite a while.
Written By: - Date published: 11:36 am, July 15th, 2014 - 28 comments
Over the weekend John Armstrong had a column about youth voter turnout in the upcoming election. Much of the material was familiar – young people don’t vote so much – nobody talks their language, yo! – parties are Trying Very Hard, but they are also old fuddy-duddies – and so on. He then blamed much of it on a perceived trend toward centrist politics under MPP. But runs directly-if-casually contrary to at least two large research programmes in political science.
Written By: - Date published: 5:56 pm, June 16th, 2014 - 34 comments
Poor David Farrar, he can’t write a post without getting accused of hypocrisy these days. It must have to do with that rancid stench he emanates whenever he gets on his high horse to lecture others. There’s only one political leader out there saying: “Tactical voting is a good idea for my supporters, and long may it continue, but it is a dreadful crime by others.” That leader is John Key.
Written By: - Date published: 1:00 pm, June 16th, 2014 - 26 comments
New Zealand’s democracy would better if we had a lower threshold and no coat-tailing shenanigans. Even without coat-tailing there remains the potential for blocs to make tiny gains by way of electorate deals, but it would ensure the end of manifest unfairnesses like the relative ACT / NZ First results in 2008. The reality is that National had the opportunity to do the right thing, and chose not to for venal self-interested reasons, and are now crying like spoiled brats because their opponents are using it too.
Written By: - Date published: 10:15 am, June 12th, 2014 - 21 comments
What of the deals with true minnow parties, like United Future or ACT? If a party is only polling enough to get one seat anyway, does it matter to Parliament overall whether the small party wins an electorate or its client big party wins it instead? The answer is “possibly, yes,” because we can never be sure which party ultimately loses a seat to accommodate the new minnow party in a 120 seat parliament. Say a Epsom deal as a test case
Written By: - Date published: 5:26 pm, June 1st, 2014 - 100 comments
On Q&A this morning Josie Pagani criticised Labour for not trying to get the MMP coat tail rule removed. The only problem is that Labour already has a bill ready to do just this. Before criticising the Party for inaction she should learn what the party is actually doing.
Written By: - Date published: 9:30 am, April 23rd, 2014 - 133 comments
Yesterday Rob Salmond commented on Labour’s two likeliest options for coalition partners after the 2014 election, and had some interesting things to say about New Zealand First and the Greens. But I must beg to differ on the suggested advantages of offering a plum deal to Winston and expecting Russel and Metiria to play along […]
Written By: - Date published: 5:16 pm, April 18th, 2014 - 20 comments
Rob Salmond’s take on the boundary changes announced last week. In a MMP election system the actual electoral boundaries usually only really matter to a few MPs. It isn’t likely to make much of a difference unless National manages to have a cup of tea with a party with enough electoral muscle to get more than a single MP into the house and an electorate’s voters think this matters. After the John Banks/Act debacle who’d be moronic enough to think that electorate seats in a list do matter? Apart from our silly first-past-the-post stand-in-man for David Farrar of course…
Written By: - Date published: 1:42 pm, April 11th, 2014 - 162 comments
It’s not that complicated.
Written By: - Date published: 2:52 pm, April 10th, 2014 - 17 comments
But on any realistic numbers, its unthinkable for a future Labour government not to include the Greens, and as Gordon Campbell points out, by refusing to define their relationship themselves, Labour has given National a free hand to do it for them – and in undoubtedly negative terms. That won’t do the Greens any harm. But its unlikely to be good for Labour.
Written By: - Date published: 2:45 pm, April 10th, 2014 - 58 comments
Last night, via One News, the public became aware that the Greens had proposed a pre-election coalition with Labour, but Labour had rejected it. While the Greens’ offer is nothing unusual internationally, New Zealand’s comparatively fair electoral system doesn’t provide Labour much incentive to accept it. Which, I think, makes Labour’s rejection of the proposal much less noteworthy.
Written By: - Date published: 10:22 am, April 8th, 2014 - 21 comments
Tim Watkin recently had a post over at Pundit, saying about why a 15% gap between Labour and National matters. His crux point is that in no MMP election has a party led by 15% and not formed the government. Unfortunately for Tim, this is demonstrably wrong.
Written By: - Date published: 4:04 pm, February 14th, 2014 - 3 comments
Rob Salmond continues looking at the absolute silliness of the argument about the largest party having a “moral mandate” to form a government. It appears to be a self-serving wet dream made up by fossils who still haven’t grasped that we are nearly in our second decade of MMP. All our governments have been coalitions where the largest parties have usually received a mandate of less that a third of those on the roll. But look at the long-standing proportional governments of Europe for examples…
Written By: - Date published: 8:12 pm, February 9th, 2014 - 101 comments
For John Key, MMP stands for “Manipulate Members of Parliament”. Senior journalists are beginning to call him on the games he’s playing, and good on them; gerrymander entered the New Zealand political lexicon at Key’s press conference this week. Key wants to push the issues away till closer to the election, when he’ll know what his polling is telling him – I hope the gallery don’t let him.
Written By: - Date published: 1:19 pm, November 22nd, 2013 - 72 comments
Te Reo Putake speculates on exactly what plan that National and John Key have to distort the MMP review and Iain Lee Galloway’s private members bill so that it allows them to stay in power. Most probably by gifting Crazy Colin and the Conservatives with several chances to get several partners into parliament while discarding the husks of their former coalition partners.