Key has now officially launched “The National Party Preservation Society.” He won’t vote for MMP, and prefers SM. I predicted this in June:
So John Key is making soothing noises about MMP at the moment, while at the same time expressing his sotto voce preference for the Supplementary Member system. I would bet a dime to ten dollars that if National is running at anything like their current poll numbers in the month before the November election, his view will harden up considerably.
I also said in the same post:
According to Stuff, David Farrar has been involved in giving Vote for Change strategic advice. Farrar himself describes this as three or four conversations. He opens the door to contracting Curia to poll for to Vote to change but says:
Regardless of whether Curia does any work for a group promoting a particular system, it won’t affect what I blog.
To which the only possible response is “yeah right”.
Farrar’s conversations may also have included tips from the campaign against the alternative vote in the UK run by David’s “mate” Matthew Elliott. You can read a bit about Elliott here in ConservativeHome, the UK equivalent of Kiwiblog.
Now Farrar has come out in support of Key’s tactic, attacking political scientist John Johansson who has objected to Key’s intervention. Farrar asks “Will Key do A Cameron”.
You bet he will. National and Key’s aim is one-party government. He knows that 50%+ in the polls isn’t sufficient guarantee, so this week we have had the spectacle of him trying to exhume John Banks in Epsom. But that’s not enough. It’s the next election they are worried about. National’s policies have burnt off the Maori Party, so they need an electoral system that delivers a majority to the minority. FPP’s had it but is discredited; SM is preferred particularly when National hold all the provincial electorates.
Their strategy is to knock over MMP this time, and build support for SM over the next three years. Cameron couldn’t get a majority, had to go into coalition, so has knocked out the Liberals’ Alternative Vote attempt at proportionality and has now started on the gerrymander to help achieve a Conservative majority next time.
Political scientist John Johansson is absolutely right when he says:
John Key’s decision to speak out against MMP smells of partisan greed and hubris. It also raises questions about what his tactics have been all along.
Political journalist John Armstrong had the answer absolutely right about the tactics as well. He called the anti-MMP campaign the “The National Party Preservation Society in drag.” Key’s now made it official.