Mt Roskill by election – cooperating parties cooperate shock!

Written By: - Date published: 7:02 am, August 31st, 2016 - 96 comments
Categories: by-election, greens, labour - Tags: ,

If Phil Goff wins the Auckland mayoralty there will be a by-election in Mt Roskill. Building on their MOU, Labour and the Greens may cooperate:

Labour, Greens eye by-election deal

A deal is likely to be on the cards in Mt Roskill between the Labour Party and the Green Party if a by-election takes place later this year.

A deal in Mt Roskill could mean the Green Party would not stand a candidate in the seat, instead urging its supporters to back Labour. Green Party co-Leader Metiria Turei says she’s open to the idea. “The point of the MOU we have with Labour is to form the space to have these kinds of conversations about the best electoral success for both Labour and the Greens,” she says. …

Read on for a good, neutral account. Unlike this opinion piece from the same outlet:

Labour hypocrisy over Mount Roskill ‘dirty deal’

The candidate who will benefit from the Labour-Green deal in Mount Roskill has hypocrite written all over him.

Michael Wood supposedly hates dirty electorate deals. In fact these very words came from his mouth just two years ago. …

And so on. To be fair, maybe Wood deserves a bit of gentle flack, he does seem to have had plenty of fun with “dirty deals” rhetoric himself.

But here’s some differences between the hypothetical Mt Roskill and the Nat dirty deals. (1) Labour and The Greens have a formal MOU, it is public and well known that they are working and will work together. (2) The Greens couldn’t win Mt Roskill, so it makes sense for them to step aside to give Labour a better shot. (3) Both of those factors are unlike the Nats “dirty deals” where they gift electorates that they could win to puppet parties in order to artificially increase right-wing MP numbers and public funding.

Expect to see plenty more “dirty deals” rants as Labour and the Greens work together next year. Fertile ground for a good frothy rant if you’re that way inclined, but the more accurate headlines would be that cooperating parties cooperate. Shocker!

96 comments on “Mt Roskill by election – cooperating parties cooperate shock!”

  1. Puckish Rogue 1

    You keep telling yourself that 🙂

    • Bunji 1.1

      Electorate seats are FPP, not MMP, so it makes sense that those from a similar perspective unite to give the most likely winner the best chance – and the Greens aren’t going to win Mt Roskill. It’s why we had a 2 party system when we had FPP.

      Epsom was/is quite different – it’s trying to manipulate the outcome of parliament as a whole under MMP, using the 1-seat rule to get others into parliament and distort the House as a whole. Get rid of that rule, and you lose the ‘dirty deal’ tag. Amusing thing being that Act failed to get anyone extra in the last 2 elections, so National just lost themselves a seat. (edit: that being the other thing – National would win if they wanted to, even with Nat/Act vote splitting)

      It’s why there’s never been the same venom about Ohariu – it was only ever going to bring Peter Dunne in, so while we may joke about him being a poodle, it was more National not wanting to vote-split and have Labour come through in an FPP contest. Them’s FPP rules.

      (Answer is of course to lose the 1-seat rule and lower the threshold to ~2.5% in my opinion)

      • Lanthanide 1.1.1

        Statistically, each rotten borough is worth 0.5 seats in the house to the party doing the deal.

        So on average, National get a +1 seat voting advantage over what they otherwise would have, by gifting Epsom and Ohariu to other minor parties.

        Rob Salmond has the workings behind this finding: http://polity.co.nz/content/even-non-coattail-electorate-deals-can-create-unfair-advantage

      • Psycho Milt 1.1.2

        Amusing thing being that Act failed to get anyone extra in the last 2 elections, so National just lost themselves a seat.

        They actually gained one. Sure they lost an electorate seat, but the number of MPs they get is determined by their share of the party vote, not how many electorates they win, so they didn’t end up with one fewer MP. And the one they gained is the ACT MP for Epsom. This is effectively a National seat as the party holding it is entirely dependent on National for its Parliamentary presence, but the seat doesn’t count as a National one for party vote share purposes, so it’s an extra.

        • Lanthanide 1.1.2.1

          Yip, see the link above that explains the maths behind this.

          Basically National still get to keep their number of list seats, and the extra electorate seat bumps out the last-place-getting list seat. There’s approximately a 50-50 chance that the last-place-getting list seat would have been a Labour/left-seat, in which case the right come out ahead by preventing the left from getting a seat. If it was a National/right-seat, then its a straight substitution for the right and they gain no advantage.

          So, on average, each rotten borough = 0.5 seat gain for the party making the deal.

      • mosa 1.1.3

        When we voted too retain MMP it was with the proviso that changes promised to make the system fairer would be enacted , it was a major reason why the public voted too retain it , that and they saw through the reason the referendum was held in the first place.
        John Keys attempt too try and get a more FPP system in place by promoting the least proportional supplementary choice in the referendum was an attempt too return too the days of two party rule.
        Judith Collins as Justice minister responsible for enacting the changes to MMP ignored the vote and refused to make the changes we had voted for.
        A complete charade and a waste of tax payers money as they were never going to abide by the vote for making MMP fairer, but its a National government after all and they dont do fair.

  2. Keith 2

    Ohariu Belmont MP Peter Dunne is owned by the National Party as is Epsom definitely a National seat, everyone knows it as does Seymour.

    But the dirty deal here gives NZ an overtly right wing schizophrenic Nat alter ego that is enourmously useful for them, one that also allows blame to be apportioned to ACT if opinion goes against a policy they don’t have the balls to front. And ACT only exists again because National says it can. Marvellous democracy in action and not a hint of rorting the system.

    Seymour also knows he would be toast if he ever voted against National when it counted, of course that is when there isn’t one of their contrived differences of opinion where he can agree to disagree, but being a pseudo Nat MP, that’s fine with him I’m sure. Just means remembering his lines at crucial times. Fools me everytime….not!

  3. srylands 3

    Really? Firstly there are no ‘right wing’ MPs in the New Zealand parliament.

    On the main issue… The deal is depriving Green Party supporters from the ability to vote for a green candidate. You are assuming that these voters are happy to vote for a Labour candidate instead.

    You can rationslise all you want. But anyone reading this will just laugh out loud at you..

    There is nothing wrong with this deal. It is just politics. But saying it is different is just plain silly. Still I had a little laugh to start the day.

    • Puckish Rogue 3.1

      Basically if its National doing a deal its “dirty” and an affront to democracy but its “co-operating” when Labour/Greens do it

      Hope that helps 🙂

      • Leftie 3.1.1

        No, Puckish Rogue that doesn’t help because it is wrong.
        The difference is that Labour and Greens have a formal MoU that is public knowledge, unlike National that do it’s deals in underhanded, (often secretive), ways.

        • Puckish Rogue 3.1.1.1

          Labour did it first remember 🙂

          • McFlock 3.1.1.1.1

            bullshit.

            • Puckish Rogue 3.1.1.1.1.1

              How else could the Greens win Coromandel if not without the urging of Helen Clark for Labour voters to vote Green, it worked then and National just took that lesson on board and continued on with it

              • McFlock

                Ah, but you said “Labour did it first”.
                Tell that to Mark Thomas in 1996.

                • Puckish Rogue

                  Well played, I had forgotten about that. So Labour learned from National and continued it on, all good.

                  • McFlock

                    With the exception that the Labour candidate in Coromandel wasn’t going to win in that safe nat seat anyway, whereas national nobble their candidates to stop them winning, so the allied party gets shored up by an electorate MP.

        • Mike Bond 3.1.1.2

          So it was not public knowledge that National had done a deal the previous elections? How come we all knew about the deal? You are just being a typical left hypocrite. It is politics and call it dirty if you want it goes both ways!

          • Chris 3.1.1.2.1

            Leftie’s not a left hypocrite, he’s a shill for the Labour Party. There’s a big difference. That said, shills for the Labour Party are almost always hypocrites of the highest order, as you’ve correctly observed. They’re also the most dangerous predator threatening the effectiveness of democratic politics in New Zealand today.

    • Lanthanide 3.2

      The deal is depriving Green Party supporters from the ability to vote for a green candidate. You are assuming that these voters are happy to vote for a Labour candidate instead.

      If such voters don’t like the MOU that the Green party and Labour party have come up with, then they are free to vote for some other party, or not vote at all.

      The Greens are not saying “You have to vote for Labour”. They are saying “You should vote for Labour”.

      You can rationslise all you want. But anyone reading this will just laugh out loud at you..

      Or rather, people will laugh out loud at you.

      There is nothing wrong with this deal. It is just politics. But saying it is different is just plain silly. Still I had a little laugh to start the day.

      It is different in degree, if not different in kind. If you want to focus on the “kind” and ignore the “degree”, then sure, go ahead.

      • Hanswurst 3.2.1

        It is different in kind. National are foregoing seats they would win in order to augment their presence in the house by means of sock-puppets. The Greens would be attempting to increase (or maintain) the Left presence by reducing the split in the voting for it.

    • Gabby 3.3

      If Seymore Cock is to the right of Ponyboy’s Greasers, then he’s the right wing, innit?

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    Talking about an agreement is promising, now let’s see if that talking about an agreement leads to an actual agreement.

  5. weizguy 5

    The fundamental difference relates to the gaming of the FPP element of MMP. The effect of the Epsom deal is to distort the shape of parliament. The Mount Roskill “deal” doesn’t do that – it recognises that support for the left is split between multiple parties and that standing two left candidates is counter-productive.

    We need better journalists.

    • AB 5.1

      Quite – Epsom is a ploy that effectively distorts the proportionality of parliament. The L-G MOU does not do that – there is a fundamental qualitative difference.

  6. mikesh 6

    The Green Party has always claimed to be interested only in the “party vote”. There ain’t no party vote in a bye-election.

    • Indeed. The only point of Green electorate candidates has been to be present at candidate debates and explain why people should give their party vote to the Greens. Some people give their electorate votes anyway, but it’s not clear how many of those are actually Green or Bust, and how many would consider voting for a Labour candidate under the right circumstances.

      While there isn’t a party vote in a by-election, there is of course a media platform. So the Greens are giving up something if they decide not to stand a candidate, so there does need to be some give and take from Labour in order for such a deal to make sense. But in principle I think it’s reasonable for the Greens to stand aside given they really don’t care about electorate seats.

  7. mikesh 7

    The Green Party has always claimed only to be interested in the “party vote”. There ain’t no party vote in a bye-election.

  8. Mr Righty 8

    Classic White Knight syndrome from the leftards as they scramble to convince each other that their own dirty deal is really just a grubby shade of Gray.
    At least National stood a candidate in the electorates. Nice comment about the journalists because let’s face it, the whole world is out to get you,….yawn.

    [Let this through, but Mr Righty, in future, avoid insults like ‘leftard’. It makes you look like a particularly dull witted troll. TRP]

    • Johan 8.1

      Mr Righty: What a pathetic meaningless little rant, your username explains it all. It is about time that the parties of the left, learned how to play “hard-ball” politics. The fact that we live in an MMP type of political environment, gives the astute certain advantages.
      If you want to use words like “grubby” and “dirty” you need to look at Shonkey’s legacy, a destructive force in a country which use to have opportunities for all its citizens.

      • keith ross 8.1.1

        when Nats do it they raid a news office using the might of the police if someone possibly heard about their agreement ,let alone published it as the Greens and Labour have. Clearly the greens think that this will help to further empower their party having this agreement with Labour ,so the imaginary green voter should be glad that their party is doing all it can to advance.

    • Lanthanide 8.2

      At least National stood a candidate in the electorates.

      So what you’re saying is that National were under-handed and saying one thing while doing another.

      In contrast, Labour and the Greens are up-front and clear about what they’re doing, and why they’re doing it.

      • Add to that that what the Greens are considering doing here doesn’t actually get any extra seats for either party in a general election, all it does is change the makeup of the Labour caucus to include extra electorate MPs if they win, and direct any supporters of their coalition to the Labour candidate in a unity vote.

        Wheras what National does with ACT and UF is designed to net them an extra seat for their coalition, even though neither party has any significant party vote to speak of.

        It’s different in the same way that it would be different for either party to support a New Zealand First candidate back before they routinely polled above 5%- because nobody’s trying to make overhang seats, they’re just talking about whether it makes sense for a candidate that can’t win an electorate to withdraw so as not to split the electorate vote.

    • At least National stood a candidate in the electorates.

      They stood a candidate and then tipped voters the wink to vote for a different party’s candidate. This is admirable how, exactly?

  9. Rodel 9

    To Labour and the Greens. Welcome to the 21sr century..sigh..

  10. Infused 10

    Defend your flour man.

    • Muttonbird 10.1

      The flour man is Goldsmith, not Wood.

    • Lanthanide 10.2

      If National and ACT had made the same deal that Labour and the Greens have, and not stood Goldstein in Epsom, then Michael wouldn’t have had to bring the bag of flour as a stand in.

      Labour and the Greens are very transparent and up-front about exactly what they are doing, to the point that they are not standing a candidate in the electorate, so no-one can mistake their intentions.

      National and ACT did not do that, they played a dirty game, they tried to have their cake and eat it.

      • Nessalt 10.2.1

        So as long as you have a manifesto and an agreeement it makes these kinds of deals for power legitimate.

        Yet the left openly need and desire winston peters to gain power, whose party NZ first will commit to no such outstanding act of openness, and that’s quite all right too as the left can then gain power with help from the extreme party that is NZ first.

        So a grubby deal is ok if the other parties have a nice, clean and open deal. gotcha

        If people only critically analyse what you want to be critically analysed then it’s not really critical analysis is it? it’s neither.

        • Lanthanide 10.2.1.1

          Sorry, I have no idea what you’re trying to say. I’ve read your comment 5 times and it doesn’t make sense.

          • Nessalt 10.2.1.1.1

            On one hand you have an apparently clean deal, yet on the other you need to make back room concessions and deals to achieve power, with NZ first. one good deed doesn’t cancel the a comparable bad one

            • Lanthanide 10.2.1.1.1.1

              But everyone will have to make “back room deals” with NZFirst.

              Since everyone’s on a level playing field when dealing with NZFirst, it doesn’t really have any bearing on anything.

              Labour don’t have to make a deal with the Greens, but they are choosing to, and doing it in a very public and transparent way.

              National didn’t have to make a deal with ACT, but they chose to, and did it in a public and grubby way.

              • Nessalt

                Nationals deal with act wasn’t that grubby though was it? it was no worse than labour colluding with KDC to unseat the national party.

                • Barfly

                  When you speak do you hear an echo?

                • Lanthanide

                  “Nationals deal with act wasn’t that grubby though was it?”

                  On the cup of tea that they explicitly invited the media to come and record, but then claimed was private, Key and Banks talked about how Don Brash was a funny fellow, and how all of Winston Peter’s supporters were dying so they didn’t have to worry about them, and how nasty Labour are.

                  They deliberately made their own candidate lose – who would otherwise have won – purely so they could gain a seat advantage in the house.

                  They pretended like they weren’t making a deal, while also tacitly saying that they were.

                  So yes, grubby.

                  “it was no worse than labour colluding with KDC to unseat the national party.”
                  Except that they didn’t. If you can find any public statement from Labour saying they supported or approved of Kim Dotcom, Laila Harre, Hone or Internet-Mana, then produce it. Otherwise you’re just making shit up. Again.

                • Except Labour openly tried to win Te Tai Tokerau, much to the frustration of people who supported the Mana Party being in parliament, so they kinda did the opposite of that.

                  Labour has been pretty firm since going into opposition that they don’t support campaigning for overhang seats. Hell, they’ve even gone further than I would have gone and taken a stance against the MMP lifeboat provision where an electorate candidate can get a sub-5% party vote party into parliament.

                  Also, when Labour and the Greens make an electoral deal, they make the text of it public, they tell voters clearly what they’re going to do, and leave it to the voters to make a decision on whether they agree it’s clean or not. National tries to wink and nudge its way through the process and spin it to the public so they will buy it. Can you see the distinction there? That’s what we think is what makes National’s deals grubby, not that they’re deals between political parties, because there’s nothing inherently wrong with parties doing deals between themselves, if they’re clear to voters what they’re doing, and if their membership has a say in whether the deal goes ahead.

  11. Enough is Enough 11

    r0b – a more credible response would have been an acknowledgment that National and Act were strategically clever in Epsom, and now it is time to follow that winning strategy.

    It was never dirty. They were open about what they were doing. They weren’t having the cup of tea to discuss the weather. They were there to inform National supporters that it was fine to vote for Banks.

    What is the difference between an MOU and a handshake deal in front of the cameras. They are either both dirty, or both election winning co-operation between teams on the same side. To say they are different is taking partisan blindness to a whole new level.

    For the record I am deeply opposed to the Green Party not putting up candidates in electorates. I gave up my Labour Party membership because they turned their backs on workers in the 80s. They have only half come back to where they were prior to 1984. The Green party is a true left wing party. We need that party to the lead the next government and to do so we need as much exposure in every single electorate.

    Just remember National still ran a candidate in Epsom.

    • It was indeed “strategically clever” of National to keep ACT alive by gifting it a seat, because there was no way ACT was going to get into Parliament otherwise, and by keeping it alive National gets a sock puppet that not only provides it with an additional seat that doesn’t get included in its party vote share, but also provides plausible deniability when introducing right-wing policies like charter schools (“We had to! Our sock puppet had such skilled negotiators!”).

      None of the above “strategic cleverness” applies to the Labour/Green approach to this by-election, which is good because, in the NACT case, the “strategic cleverness” is entirely compatible with “ethical standards that would shame a weasel.”

    • Lanthanide 11.2

      It was never dirty. They were open about what they were doing. They weren’t having the cup of tea to discuss the weather. They were there to inform National supporters that it was fine to vote for Banks.

      Then they shouldn’t have stood Goldsmith in Epsom.

      They did, ergo they were saying one thing, and doing another, and that is not being “open”.

      Just remember National still ran a candidate in Epsom.

      Yes, and that is why this is different than what National did.

      So, you’ve acknowledged that it is different, and are still trying to pretend like it’s no different. Double-think much?

      • Phil 11.2.1

        Then they shouldn’t have stood Goldsmith in Epsom.

        You know people in Epsom get a party vote too, right?
        Goldsmith was completely up front during the election campaign: I want your party vote, do what you want with your electorate vote.

        Up and down the country, in marginal seats, the Greens were giving the same message to left wing voters during the campaign: we want your party vote, do what you want with your electorate vote.

        Additionally, in 1999, the Greens and Labour did a deal in the Coromandel, to guarantee the Greens would make it into parliament. The Greens got over 5% in the end, but it was touch and go for most of the campaign and without the deal in the Coromandel it’s questionable they would have made the threshold.

        • Lanthanide 11.2.1.1

          Goldsmith was completely up front during the election campaign: I want your party vote, do what you want with your electorate vote.

          So up-front, that he was seen taking down Vote For Goldsmith election hoardings, and refused to turn up to candidate debates because he didn’t want to give the impression that he was an acceptable candidate to vote for.

          If you can find evidence of Green candidates refusing to turn up to debates, and taking down hoardings to vote for them, then you might have an accurate analogy.

          I’ve heard about the 1999 Coromandel ‘deal’ but have never seen any concrete proof about what happened then and there.

          Similarly people bring up Jim Anderton in Wigram, but as I’ve lived almost my entire life in the Wigram electorate, and my parents always voted left, I can tell you there was no explicit or implicit public ‘deal’ between Labour and Jim Anderton in Wigram.

          • Puckish Rogue 11.2.1.1.1

            Theres this:

            http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=16899

            Labour leader Helen Clark used the poll on the eve of the Green Party’s election campaign launch to signal to local Labour supporters to give their constituency vote to the Greens’ Jeanette Fitzsimons.

            In the process she ankle-tapped the Labour candidate, Margaret Hawkeswood. It is hoped that Jeanette Fitzsimons will win the seat and deliver Labour an insurance policy against having to rely on New Zealand First to govern.

            Cruel? Yes. But on the latest polls Labour can no longer be confident of forming a two-party coalition with the Alliance.

            • Lanthanide 11.2.1.1.1.1

              Seems like something happened, but there’s no actual quote of what Clark said, or indeed any detail on how she “signalled” anyone to do anything.

              • Puckish Rogue

                Margaret Hawkeswood is taking Helen Clark’s “statement of the obvious” with some difficulty, even though it has been drummed into her by the party hierarchy that tactical voting will come into play. She got just 12 per cent of the vote in 1996, when she stood for a third time in Coromandel.

                “I have deep feelings about honesty and integrity and I’ve made a commitment to my supporters to be out there.

                “But if it becomes a cliff-hanger, to get rid of National they will vote accordingly.”

                You’d have to admit the circumstantial evidence is looking pretty strong at the moment

                • Lanthanide

                  Yes, and that’s what I said. Try reading carefully next time:

                  Seems like something happened, but there’s no actual quote of what Clark said

                  I’m not denying something happened.

                  I actually meant to say “unfortunately” in that comment, but it seems I didn’t type it.

                  It’s unfortunate the detail of what happened wasn’t captured.

          • te reo putake 11.2.1.1.2

            A quirky boundary change put me inside the Coromandel electorate in 99, Lanthanide. My recollection was that there was no formal announcement, nor any direct encouragement from Labour to vote for Jeanette. However, tactical voting was widely discussed in the local paper and in the national media. There can’t have been many left voters in Coromandel who didn’t understand the maths of the matter.

            I wasn’t involved in the local LEC, but I bet there weren’t many candidate hoardings put up. Party Vote Labour only, I suspect.

            • McFlock 11.2.1.1.2.1

              I still think that the main difference, even if Clark winked slyly as opposed to openly stating the obvious, is that National would walk over Epsom and probably Ohariu if they genuinely tried to win the seat. But they choose to sacrifice one seat in the hope of getting a couple of coat-tail MPs.

              Coromandel seems to be pretty safely blue.

      • Enough is Enough 11.2.2

        How can you honestly say they weren’t open. Blind Freddy could see what they were doing and telling their supporters to do.

        It was different in application, but no different in its intention.

        In order to get into government they told their supporters to vote for a potential coalition partner. That sentence will be true for all parties come 2017.

        • Lanthanide 11.2.2.1

          How can you honestly say they weren’t open. Blind Freddy could see what they were doing and telling their supporters to do.

          Neither John Key, Goldsmith, or anyone else involved in the National campaign told voters in Epsom to vote for Banks.

          Contrast to this by-election, where the Greens are telling people to vote for Woods.

          One is open and transparent, the other is not.

          How can you honestly not see a difference?

          In order to get into government they told their supporters to vote for a potential coalition partner.

          They told their supporters to vote for a potential coalition partner *instead* of voting for themselves, in a seat that they would otherwise easily win.

          Compare that to The Conservatives, where they refused to do any deals, and repeatedly said that if people wanted a National-led government they should vote for National, and not the Conservatives.

          That sentence will be true for all parties come 2017.

          No, it won’t. Do you think ACT is going to say vote for National, not us? Do you think Mana is going to say vote for Labour, not us? Do you think Peter Dunne is going to say vote for National, not me?

          It is quite likely that Labour and the Greens may say those statements, in certain circumstances, about each other. I expect that if they do so when talking about electorates, they won’t stand candidates in those electorates. It remains to be seen exactly what they’ll do in the election, as it is a different game than a by-election as others have noted.

          If they say “vote for X candidate” while standing their own, then I will be quite happy to brand them as being as bad as National-ACT, although the circumstances may still be different; eg National would easily win Epsom if they wanted, but they choose to throw it instead. Whereas any agreements between Labour and Greens are more likely to be “if both of us stand, we’ll both loose, but if one of us stands, we might win”.

          • Enough is Enough 11.2.2.1.1

            Winning is everything in politics.

            You can rub yourself raw being pompous about what is “dirty” and what is not.

            Consider this, Epsom voters had a choice whether to follow the direction of National and ACT. They could have refused to play the game but they were still given a choice.

            If you pull a candidate there is no choice for the voter.

            Neither strategy is dirty. Its a means to an end. Winning is everything.

            • Lanthanide 11.2.2.1.1.1

              Winning is everything in politics.

              You can rub yourself raw being pompous about what is “dirty” and what is not.

              So for you, the end justifies the means. Got it.

              If you pull a candidate there is no choice for the voter.

              They can choose to vote for any candidate, or no candidate if they don’t think any of the candidates available best represent their interests. The Greens are not saying “you must vote for Labour under pain of death”.

              • Enough is Enough

                Greens are not saying “you must vote for Labour under pain of death”. And neither was National – In fact they left their candidate in there just to prove the point.

                They simply indicated to their supporters that if they wanted a hard right evil government it might be preferable to give the ACT candidate a tick. But if you don’t want to that’s fine, our guy is still standing.

                National could have taken the choice away by leaving Goldsmith out al together.

                Of course the End justifies the means. Especially when there is nothing at all wrong with the means.

                Its lovely being all righteous in opposition. I would prefer we had a Green lead government, so whatever legal means it takes to get their. I’m in

      • Scott 11.2.3

        I think National were right (strategically) to run a candidate in Epsom and quite a good one at that with a high list place. They were essentially saying that even if you vote as we want you to, you’ll still have this man here (Goldsmith) looking after you, but get ACT in as well. Like a proxy electorate MP in addition to the actual one (not sure which one is the proxy).

        Having said that, the Greens should not stand a candidate in Mt Roskill. Labour and the Greens (particularly Labour) are not flush with money so it would be a complete waste. On top of that, the Greens have a minority vote there anyway – its voters never contemplate actually having a Green electorate MP (unless they are stoned at the time) so don’t need placation. Finally, I suspect some Green voters are easily confused, best not make it hard for them.

        • Lanthanide 11.2.3.1

          They were essentially saying that even if you vote as we want you to, you’ll still have this man here (Goldsmith) looking after you.

          Except Goldsmith never turned up to any debates, and was photographed taking his own electoral hoardings down.

          So actually, it’s almost like he didn’t stand as a candidate at all.

          National wanted to have a bob each way – they wanted to pretend they were running a candidate in the electorate, who did his absolute best to sabotage his own vote, while ensuring that their sock puppet would win the electorate with the hopes of bringing in Don Brash on his coattails.

          National would not have been dirty if they had simply been straight up with the public and said they would not run a candidate in Epsom, and told everyone to vote for ACT instead. But they didn’t do that.

        • …most voters are easily confused Scott, it’s not just Green voters, and it’s usually because they don’t care so much about the outcome that they become confused.

          I think also you’re underestimating that there are a significant part of the Green Party support base that would never vote for a Labour candidate, and regard it as being morally equivalent to voting for National. Some of the Green electorate vote absolutely will convert to no-votes if they don’t stand a candidate, but some will decide to switch over, because although they might prefer to vote for a Green, they may also be willing to vote against a Nat. Those are valid decisions for voters to make, and ultimately all the Greens would be doing by withdrawing their candidate is to send a signal that it’s OK as far as the Party as a whole is concerned to unify the electorate vote under Labour.

  12. swordfish 12

    It’ll certainly help.

    While it’s true that most Greens (64%) were already strategically casting their Candidate-Vote for Goff in 2014 (with not much more than a quarter going for their own Green candidate, Barry Coates) … the dynamics are, of course, entirely different in a By-Election.

    The 2 votes in a General Election, allow Green supporters the luxury of casting their all-important Party-Vote for their primary allegiance, the Green Party, and then being free to use their Candidate-Vote strategically. (which in 2014 boosted Goff’s majority by an extra 2100 votes).

    In a (one-vote) By-Election, it’s likely that a reasonable proportion of that 64% (2014 Goff-voting Greens) would want to vote for the Green candidate if there was one (given that they can’t, in effect, have their cake and eat it – as they can at a GE). So, not standing a Green candidate would certainly be a help for Wood.

    But also crucial: the current inclinations of the 3,500 Nats who Candidate-Voted Goff in 2014 (representing almost a quarter of all National Party-Voters).

    Were they simply voting for Goff himself – as a long-standing, high-profile local MP and former Major Party Leader ? (hence, inclined to swing to the Nat candidate now) Or were they former Labour Party-Voters who had swung to National (2005-2008) but still felt the need to cast one of their votes (albeit the less important one) for their old Party ? (which seemed to be the case in the surprising Christchurch East By-Election result, where Labour’s Poto Williams did rather better than the 2011 Party-Vote would have predicted).

    And how many have had a genuine change of heart and swung back to Labour since the last Election ?

    Of Goff’s 18,637 Candidate-Vote:

    11,186 came from Labour Party-Voters

    3463 from National Party-Voters

    2114 from Green Party-Voters

    964 from NZF Party-Voters

    291 from Cons Party-Voters

    619 from Other Party-Voters

    Goff had an 8091 majority.

    >
    >

    Of National’s Parmar’s 10,546 Candidate-Vote

    9544 came from National Party-Voters

    326 from Cons Party-Voters

    256 from ACT Party-Voters

    420 from Other Party-Voters

    >
    >

    If all 3463 of the 2014 National-Goff split-voters (Party / Candidate) voted for the Nat Candidate at the (almost inevitable) up-coming By-Election (assuming everyone else voted as in 2014 – which, of course, won’t happen given the different dynamics, changing allegiances, slightly different constituency profile and so on – but bear with me), then:

    Lab 15,174

    Nat 14,009

    So, Green and Nat voters are pretty crucial here (taking into account lower By-Election turnout as well).

    >
    >
    >

    2014 Mt Roskill Party Vote

    ACT New Zealand … 610 … 2%

    Conservative ……… 1240 … 4%

    Green ………………… 3279 …. 10%

    Internet MANA ……. 304 ….. 1%

    Labour ……………… 12086 … 36%

    Māori …………………. 132 …… 0%

    National ……………. 14275 … 42%

    NZF ……………………. 1805 …… 5%

    United Future ……….. 69 ……. 0%

    >
    >
    >

    2014 Mt Roskill Candidate Vote

    BINDRA … NZF …………. 717 …….. 2%

    COATES .. Green ……….1682 …… 5%

    DAVIE ,…… Con ……….. 1094 ……. 3%

    GOFF ….. Labour …….. 18637 … 57%

    MINTO ….MANA ………. 300 ……..1%

    PARMAR . National … 10546 …. 32%

    >

    GOFF … – Labour majority …. 8091

  13. Michael 13

    Labour could always gift the seat to the Greens by not standing a candidate in the by-election after Goff vacates it. Or does the MOU only work when the Greens have to abandon the contest?

    • Muttonbird 13.1

      You need to get an MOU with your brain before it abandons you.

    • McFlock 13.2

      The nats and labour are fairly close party-vote-wise, while the greens are a distant third and close to NZ1.

      A percentage of the Green voters might tip the Labour candidate vote over the top of the nat, if the Labour candidate vote dips with the departure of Goff. But the percentage of Labour voters in Mt Roskill doing that with a Green candidate would have to be much larger to help the Green candidate beat the nat.

      Basically, if it’s a close contest of 14,000 votes each for the nat and the lab, then a third of Green voters switching might be a handy 800 votes. 14800 votes to lab, lab gets in. 1/3 of lab voters go green, that’s only say 5,000 lab + 2500 grn to the green candidate, the nat gets in.

      Those are for illustrative purposes only, I think most labour folk would go green and vice versa, but basically if you start looking at it based on vote numbers vs proportions, it’s sensible to assist the candidate with the greater support.

    • The Greens don’t want electorates at the moment and regard them as a distraction from the Party Vote. (that may have to change at some point, as the Greens already own Wellington Central, and when other electorates start putting them in first place in the party vote, it may start making sense in terms of winning the party vote to also attempt to win the electorate vote)

      So it wouldn’t really do anything positive for the relationship for Labour to be like “here, have this seat.” The Greens would potentally even be a little annoyed because now they have to spend precious money and effort on an electorate race that’s not winning them Party Votes in the next election.

      Also, the crossover voters from Labour willing to vote for a Green candidate probably wouldn’t be enough to be competitive with National, wheras the Green crossover voters could help Labour win.

  14. Grantoc 14

    Seems to me that your splitting hairs Anthony – a deal is a deal regardless of where you sit in the political spectrum The Nats and Act had a deal with regards to Epsom. Labour and the Greens are cooking up a deal with regards to Mt Roskil. Both are concerned with maximising a political outcome that benefits the dominant partner – National in Epsom and Labour in Mt Roskil.

    Both, if you like, are ‘dirty deals’. Its dancing on the head of a pin to say one is ‘dirty’ because its National and Act but the other is not because its Labour and the Greens, and they’re somehow purer.

    Wood’s problem is that he was so vociferous in opposing National and Acts deal in Epsom that he looks like a hypocrite should he participate in a similar kind of deal making in Mt Roskil. Some would say that he is a hypocrite.

    Perhaps its ok in Mt Roskill because its Labour and the Greens? But actually if its ok for one side of he political spectrum its ok for the other.

    • Lanthanide 14.1

      Both, if you like, are ‘dirty deals’. Its dancing on the head of a pin to say one is ‘dirty’ because its National and Act but the other is not because its Labour and the Greens, and they’re somehow purer.

      No, it’s not dirty because its National and Act. It’s dirty for many other reasons that have already been outlined by myself and others in these comments.

      NO ONE is saying BECAUSE IT IS NATIONAL AND ACT, IT IS DIRTY.

      No one. Seriously. 0 people.

      Learn to read.

      • Enough is Enough 14.1.1

        Lanth – Neither are dirty deals.

        They are both using the electoral rules to their advantage to get a desired result.

        • It depends on what you think an election system is for.

          Is it to determine a winner? Or is it to represent a country fairly?

          If it’s the former, you’re right, anything goes. But I’d contend it’s the latter, and therefore any deal that doesn’t serve that goal is a bad deal, regardless of how clean it is, because it is essentially aiming to cheat people out of the (supposedly) equal potency of their votes.

          • Colonial Viper 14.1.1.1.1

            Why doesn’t the Left take such a strong principled stance on shit people actually care about instead of using weird interpretations of electoral rules that no one cares about?

            • Enough is Enough 14.1.1.1.1.1

              Comment of the day. Thanks CV

              • Colonial Viper

                Indeed. It pisses me off that the Status Quo Neoliberal Left are so predictable.

                They’ll make a big fucking deal about shit that matters to not even one in twenty people. But on really big important stuff which impacts the whole nation, they just arse around equivocally with a bet each way and occasional vague promises to do some watered down sorta good sounding but really who knows what.

            • Matthew Whitehead 14.1.1.1.1.2

              Oh, I agree with you that there are more important issues to be principled about. I just expect our representatives to be able to walk and chew bubble gum at the same time, and thus make time for things that aren’t completely mission-critical.

          • Enough is Enough 14.1.1.1.2

            How have people been cheated in either arrangement? Every voter knows what they are voting for.

            Except maybe Green voters who won’t get to vote for a candidate that represent their values?

            • Matthew Whitehead 14.1.1.1.2.1

              Green Voters, if they join the Party, can actually vote to determine the list order themselves, so the List absolutely reflects the values of the Green Party’s membership, which is really the best you can do in terms of representing your voters. (As Green voters don’t need to live in a particular place to choose who represents them, unlike people who feel represented by their electorate candidates)

              The people who are cheated, FYI, is everyone who Party Voted for any Party that isn’t UF or ACT in general. UF and ACT get seats they haven’t earned in Parliament at the expense of parties with real, national-level support because of electorate votes and deliberate non-campaigning by National. If we ditched electorates entirely and gave a seat to every party that earned at least 0.83% of the vote, (ie. that won a List seat outright) here is what Parliament should have looked like this term:

              (Counterfactual party list system)
              National: 57
              Labour: 30
              Green: 13
              New Zealand First: 11
              Conservative: 5
              Māori Party: 2
              Internet-Mana: 2

              (Actual)
              National: 60
              Labour: 32
              Green: 14
              New Zealand First: 11
              Māori Party: 2
              ACT: 1
              UF: 1

              Note that National would still have the numbers to govern, but they would need to either rely wholly on the Conservative Party, or flex between engaging NZ1st, the Greens, or the independent Maori MPs and Laila Harre for support. (which to be honest is actually a worse situation as far as I’m personally concerned, but was the right thing for the country IMO. People deserve to see how bad the Conservatives are given so many people are voting for them, just like we deserve to get NZ1st in the numbers we are) Basically, the losers are voters for the Conservatives and Internet-Mana, who between them deserved 7 MPs, the majority of which went to the three largest parties instead.

              If you want to see how the split works out if we leave out IM and the Conservatives, it is:
              National: 61
              Labour: 32
              Greens: 14
              New Zealand First: 11
              Māori Party: 2

              So while National gets stronger numbers with how they did things, they would actually have been able to govern alone if they hadn’t thrown seats at UF and ACT, so even if for some odd reason you believe in our high-threshold system, we still deserved a notably different parliament from what we got.

    • A deal is a deal only when all deals are fundamentially the same.

      But we’ve had several variety of political deals in New Zealand.

      We’ve had the “arrangements” between National and its satellite parties, UF and ACT, where National softballed its electorate campaign in safe seats to let the minor party win. (National can easily win Epsom or Ohariu if it wants to)
      We’ve had the Internet-Mana bloc formation, trying for a lifeboat seat to bring along a joint list, which Labour blocked by winning the electorate vote.
      We had discussions of a deal between the Conservatives and National that never eventuated. (Probably because National didn’t entertain them)
      We’ve had the formation of the Alliance, a meta-party formed out of a bloc of several Left and radical movements in order to contend for the Party vote.
      We may yet have a deal between the Mana and Maori parties to stand aside for each other in certain Maori electorates.

      Voters have judged some of these deals positively, (such as the formation of the Alliance until its eventual implosion) and some negatively. (such as the Internet-Mana bloc/merger) Arguably the only two sets of deals that are similar in this list are United Future and ACT’s current deals with the Nats, and the potential Mana/Maori strategic agreement with the potential for the MOU between the Greens and Labour to include standing aside in key electorates.

      Nobody here is saying that the Mana and Maori parties are doing a dirty deal, you’ll note, so I have to conclude you’re just not a fan of small yet significant distinctions.

      I would class a deal as clean if it’s done visibly to the public and they are given the opportunity to judge the deal as part of the election, even if it aims to do things I think are fundamentally wrong. (like exploit electorate overhang seats) I would more quickly class a deal done entirely behind closed doors as dirty if it involves those things I find fundamentally wrong, sure, hence my opposition to ACT and UF being gifted seats by their benevolent overlords.

      • Mr Righty 14.2.1

        So the voters in Epsom were blind sided by National and didn’t know what they were voting for? Dream on as clearly a National lead government was what they voted for. Problem with the left is it never got to grips with MMP, 2 votes and voters like me split the vote to get the government we want. Best you saddle up your horse of self righteousness and mosey back to the wilderness, along with Little and company.

        • Wendy W 14.2.1.1

          if you like corruption then just carry on voting for them. I stopped.

        • I didn’t say voters were blindsided. I said National tried to spin what they were doing and didn’t communicate openly about the nature of their deal. Epsom voters knew who they were getting in David Seymour, but National didn’t withdraw their own candidate when they were obviously endorsing Seymour, and they did not say to voters that they wanted them to use their electorate vote to gain National’s coalition an extra half seat in Parliament beyond what the Party Vote entitled them to.

          I support voters getting the candidates and parties they want. What I don’t support is people playing games with electorates to create overhang seats, if parties want into parliament they should be campaigning for the Party Vote as well, and anyone that can’t get 1% (well, .83%, but good luck polling around that number accurately) shouldn’t be getting an electorate gifted to them by anyone.

          FYI, if you followed discussions here, you would know I’m a Green (and thus quite familiar with MMP electorate votes, and actually somewhat of an expert on how electoral systems function) and have some pretty negative opinions of Little. 😉

          My “horse of self-righteousness” is just my opinion that the point of having a vote is to represent the populace, so electoral systems should function in a way that does that- without artificial impediments like overhang seats or high Party Vote thresholds. I also in the past have supported NZ First, a party I personally despise, having a right to be in Parliament with 4.5% of the vote, and that the Conservatives should have been in Parliament with their 2-3% results, and I think anyone informed knows they’re nuttier than a group of squirrels. It’s about having a fair and consistent electoral system that isn’t subject to much gaming from political parties, but unfortunately MMP is highly vulnerable to strategic voting.

  15. Sabine 15

    Ahhh
    the opposition parties working together
    its a beauty
    innit?

  16. Wendy W 16

    IT IS FAR WORSE – !!!!
    So to counter this, the new dirty deal is that we have a brand new first New Zealand truly RACIST party, set up by the people we gave a home, trusting they would assimilate into our society.

    http://www.newshub.co.nz/politics/nzs-first-political-party-dedicated-to-immigrants-2016082919

    If there is a by-election then a party who takes votes from Labour will cause them to lose the seat.
    I wonder if this is a deliberate endorsement by another political party????? If so, it really is dirty and the first time we have had our democracy overturned by the immigrants we let in.

    WHY can the indians and chinese not stand in their own right for the existing parties and WIN ON MERIT????? Just like democracy says we should.

    Next we will have a JEWISH party….and why dont we have a Presbyterian party too? and a White Early Settler descendent party??.

    This is not our New Zealand I was brought up in. God help us. (or buddah or allah or whoever it is now)

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