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”.
“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.