Mood of the Boardroom distinctly undemocratic

Written By: - Date published: 9:30 am, November 18th, 2011 - 15 comments
Categories: democratic participation, MMP - Tags:

The Herald reports CEOs are moaning that MMP won’t let them ram through unpopular policies:

Ahead of election day referendum on the future of MMP as New Zealand’s electoral system, the Mood of the Boardroom survey found 65 per cent of chief executives wanted it scrapped.

Many argued that major reforms that might be in the country’s long-term interests could be blocked by coalition partners because they were unpopular.

Thing is, it’s not up to this handful of unelected businessmen to decide what’s in the country’s long-term interests. In a democracy that’s a decision for the people. That’s why I’m voting MMP.

15 comments on “Mood of the Boardroom distinctly undemocratic”

  1. vto 1

    “Many argued that major reforms that might be in the country’s long-term interests could be blocked by coalition partners because they were unpopular”

    Boards of Directors act on the following sequence of priorities;

    1. Their own self-interest in terms of remuneration and then reputation.
    2. The short term interest of the company, which lines up with their own appointment period.
    3. The mid to longer term interest of the company which may subsequently reflect on their own performance and hence reputation.
    4. The performance of the country, as it affects their own particular company.

    You will see that none of the above incorporate the wider long term interests of the country. And in fact points 1 and 2 are so heavily weighted that 3 and 4 are really quite miniscule.

    There is virtually zero link between the interests of Directors and the interests of the wider community. In fact there is hardly even a link between the interests of the directors and the interests of the shareholders of a company – hence their frequent battles.

    Their view is therefore worthless.

  2. Stuart Baker 2

    Too right. MMP is by far the best system, all of the things I dislike about it personally are outweighed by the problems in other systems, or aren’t a problem with MMP itself at all (such as party lists being chosen behind closed doors, unlike the Greens who allow all their members to vote on them)

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    Its the usual story. In deciding what system to vote for, simply look at who it is who is opposing MMP.

    More proportionality is the go, not less.

  4. Adrian 4

    If you want to slow these bastards down or stop them in their tracks you’ve got 6 days to get off your arse and do something useful for the left. Deliver phamphlets, put up posters and hoardings and particularly, donate money. Stop bitching and do something!

  5. yep, a very good endorsement of MMP if ever one was needed

  6. Richard Watts 6

    These people probably don’t know what is in their own best interests and they certainly won’t put aside their perceived best interests and let unpopular to them policies get pushed through. What good is wealth if economic instability takes it all away?

  7. Jim Nald 7

    It is very reassuring to hear this from the 1%.

    Thanks, Boardroom, for reaffirming the growing movement of the 99%

  8. Yankdownunder 8

    Let’s see, the reason for keeping MMP is to keep unelected CEOs from changing legislation that is unpopular, but have unelected MPs pass unpopular legislation. Hmmm…
    “List” MPs are unelected! They usually represent marginal parties that pass unpopular legislation, and are not held to account because they are UNELECTED!
    MMP stinks, it has too many flaws to be tinkered with to fix. Small marginal (read little support) parties have more influence than the voter demographic reflects.
    Small marginal parties love it because it gives them more power than they actually should have.
    Look at the list of parties that like it, then see if your ideology aligns. The parties that are for it should tell you everything you need to know about MMP’s worth.

  9. Stuart Baker 9

    List MPs are not unelected. They are on the party list, and I my party vote goes towards electing them. I am personally all for MMP, especially in light of the pathetic competition that’s been offered in the referendum. One of my major problems with MMP though, is that Party Lists are not necessarily democratic, and are sometimes made behind ‘closed doors’ by the party. I think the way that the Green Party does it should be enforced by law, have members of the party vote on the order of the list, rather than the party leader choose the list ordering. And I don’t see 10% as ‘marginal’ support, I see that as a good, proportional system.

  10. Lisa 10

    MMP definitely gets my vote! I’m happy with list MPs as well as electorate MPs. I believe the democratic element of the electorate MPs is a valuable accountability mechanism. It also facilitates ongoing public access to, and influence on, elected representatives. But I also vote for a party on their policies and ideology and for that reason I’m happy for the party to determine who is best able to assist them to implement these policies. Elections are popularity contests. The most popular person in an electorate does not necessarily have the expertise required for particular roles. I’m also quite happy for list MPs to be free from electorate distractions to focus on committee work and do it well. We need both accountability and expertise in government. And, although negotiation is part of the MMP landscape, I’ve yet to see a major party compromise their core policies for a minor party. The dog still wags the tail. Furthermore, prior to MMP NZ had one of the most unfettered Executives in the western world – the less fettered the Executive the faster our legislative process – this is not conducive to well considered law. MMP tempers the legislative process, which is a good thing.

  11. Draco T Bastard 11

    Many argued that major reforms that might be in the country’s long-term interests could be blocked by coalition partners because they were unpopular.

    Yeah, that’s generally what happens in a democracy – the policies that don’t get enough support don’t get passed.

  12. tc 12

    These would be overpaid CEOs whose companies have very short term goals ( money money and money) under their stewardship and as such have little robustness or dinimic elements in their models.
    Hardly a balanced perspective is it…….how many NZild business live in cosy oligopolys or similar.

  13. millsy 13

    Time for our CEO’s, and our business sector in general to be cleaned out…

  14. coolas 14

    Our boardrooms are stuffed with pale, stale, males and the performance of NZ companies are a reflection of their dearth of imagination and innovation.

    I sit on a small company board with four other men who regularly denigrate Maaris and Queers and Wimmin and they love John Key. Their ignorance and limited world experience reinforces their prejudice and shallow thinking and they all want a return to FPP in the hope National will rule forever. And I wouldn’t be surprised if they are a fair representation – fuckin’ scary!

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