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Give thanks to the dog-waggers

Written By: - Date published: 3:56 pm, September 24th, 2011 - 6 comments
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One of the criticisms levelled at MMP is that it means the tail wags the dog. But if it wasn’t for the Alliance, the Greens and New Zealand first, we wouldn’t have Kiwibank, home insulation, or the Gold Card. We wouldn’t have a competitive New Zealand-owned bank, healthy homes for families who need it, and opportunities for social interaction for seniors. I say thanks to those parties and to MMP.

Good ideas don’t only come from the major parties, in fact sometimes the best ideas come from those who aren’t swept along in the middle of the stream. One of the great strengths of MMP is that it does require major parties to be open to such good ideas.

6 comments on “Give thanks to the dog-waggers ”

  1. ianmac 1

    Much to my surprise the Gold Card gives a free trip Wellington to Masterton if it is after 6.30pm. I thought it was limited to 9- 3pm. $17 saved! Good on Winston.

  2. millsy 2

    I was watching an old TV program from the 1970’s on TVNZ heartland (Yes, I went over to the dark side and got Sky), and it interviewed the PM of the time about whether the old 2 party system would still exist in 2000, and he pretty much said that it would still just National and Labour, barring a major disaster or change.

    He was wrong and right at the same time. 8 years later, Rogernomics brought about the advent of MMP and the end of the 2 party monopoly.

    MMP has brought a greater variety of talent and views to Parliament – on both sides, might I add.

    \\\

  3. Policy Parrot 3

    The greatest achievement of MMP is that it has brought an end to the three year elected dictatorship (elected on a plurality). People may still grumble about this and that when it comes to government, but now 50% of the politicians representing 50% (or very close to) of the voters, either have to be on board with any proposal, or risk their electoral position with their own voters.

    And unpopular local members can be removed from electorate seats without having to change the party vote – for example Richard Prebble would have lost Auckland Central a lot earlier than 1993 if MMP had been the electoral system. There is still the issue of whether we should have open lists where candidates are ranked by voters. Perhaps parties should use a national franchise of their membership in order to rank their candidates – rather than the democratic centralism that currently prevails, and creates issues with patronage and localism. Would also make party membership potentially more attractive.

    But for many, many voters, MMP provides the very necessary constraints and protects the polity from muddied political waters.

  4. Jenny 4

    ……if it wasn’t for the Alliance, the Greens and New Zealand first, we wouldn’t have Kiwibank, home insulation, or the Gold Card.

    Mike Smith

    Don’t forget GST off fresh fruit and veges, Mike, a policy that will become legislation when Labour is the government.

    First raised in parliament by the Maori Party and originally opposed by the Labour Party. That is, until Labour were put on the spot when Maori Party MP Rahui Katene’s private members bill advocating this measure was drawn from the ballot.

    Having to decide between standing with ACT and National in opposing this policy, Labour came down on the side of this flax roots friendly measure.

    In fact so much so, that Labour have made it their own, it has even become Labour’s second flagship election policy.

    Our Policies

    FIRST, LABOUR WILL CREATE A $5,000 TAX FREE ZONE.
    This means the first $5,000 you make in personal income a year – whether you are a worker, a beneficiary, or retired on super – will be tax free.
    SECOND, WE WILL TAKE GST OFF ALL FRESH FRUIT AND VEGETABLES.
    That gives the average household an extra $160 a year to put back into groceries – and makes the healthiest choices more affordable.
    THIRD, LABOUR WILL INCREASE THE MINIMUM WAGE FROM $13 TO $15 AN HOUR.
    If you are on $13 right now, that means an extra $66 a week in the pocket, good news for the quarter of a million kiwi workers who earn less than $15 right now.

    Would Labour have come to this policy by themselves?

    Somehow I cant’ help wondering if they would have.

    Great Post Mike.

    All power to MMP.

  5. Rodel 5

    Dogs I think, regard tails as fairly important parts of the body (like fish, sharks fins, planes and helicopters, certainly cows).
    It’s only dickheads who remove dog’s tails. Sheep may be a special case but sheep tail dockers usually vote national don’t they?
    Tails have important functions otherwise God wouldn’t have provided them. Sorry Richard Dawkins. If God hadn’t meant to give us tails he wouldn’t have given us MMP.
    I must be pissed as I’m making as much sense as Karle de Fresne.

    Tail wagging the dog? The dog is still far more influential than the tail especially in politics.Long live MMP (with modifications)

  6. Afewknowthetruth 6

    The dog is being wagged by money-lenders and corporations. For a profit.

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