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National just wants to have some friends

Written By: - Date published: 9:55 am, January 6th, 2019 - 63 comments
Categories: act, climate change, conservative party, global warming, greens, labour, making shit up, national, new conservatives, science, twitter - Tags:

In the MMP environment friends are all important. John Key knew this. That is why he put so much effort into supporting ACT and the Maori Party.

ACT gave and gives the right an extra seat in Parliament. It is now that unpopular it seriously distorts proportionality with National getting an extra seat with minimal outlay of party votes.

ACT’s status as a puppet party was confirmed many years ago when then leader Rodney Hide initially sounded off at the threat to his leadership, but then meekly stood aside as Don Brash and John Banks moved in. Thankfully ACT’s polling in 2011 was that bad that Brash was not returned to Parliament.

But Brash was elected as leader of the party even though he was not even a member of. What more proof do you need that ACT is National’s puppet?

ACT is on its last legs. Its only role is to distort proportionality by giving an extra right wing member of parliament for little outlay. The voters of Epsom tend to do what they are told.

And the Maori party is no more. In some respects this is a shame. I actually had a lot of sympathy for what the party stood for and Pita Sharples and Te Ururoa Flavell were decent representatives.

If National wants to gain power again it will need friends. New friends.

The ultra conservative climate change denying the UN is a conspiracy for a socialist takeover of the world sector is one they are clearly looking at.

But the various stands of conservative politics in Aotearoa New Zealand has always struggled. An older version, the Christian Coalition Party nearly made it into parliament in 1996 but then went backwards at successive elections. It did not help when former leader Graham Capill was sent to jail for multiple counts of sexual abuse of children. Such activity is not viewed in a positive light by committed christians.

Then the Conservative Party emerged. Bankrolled by huge amounts of cash from Colin Craig it suffered one fatal flaw, it was led by Colin Craig and he was a bit weird. He has spent the past few years hounding his former press secretary through court just because he can. His judgment seems to me to be somewhat impaired. And the old Conservative Party clearly was trash in the view of the public.

So what are conservatives to do?

The think tank behind the Conservative movement needed to come up with a fresh entity, something that put behind it the weirdness and hypocrisy of its old leadership, something shiny and new. And so they came up with a name that is a contradiction of terms, the New Conservatives.

Here is their site. It is quite polished and professionally put together. And the language is not too scary. Like the party’s position on climate change:

New Conservative believes that our focus should be on the real issues in our own environment, being concerned for, and driven by our own desire for, a clean green New Zealand, knowing that by doing that we are already contributing to a cleaner world. We do not need convoluted international agreements to achieve this.

Or its position on immigration:

The key New Conservative immigration policy is “Net Zero Immigration”. This would be for a period determined by the time taken to ease housing demand, which could be as little as 12 months (student visas and returning New Zealanders excluded). Long term immigration policy must be based on which occupations will be available/necessary in the future.

Prioritising immigrants who can add to our economy and not depend on it.

Working with NZ based non-governmental organisations operating in troubled zones to identify genuine refugees who are more closely aligned with our nation’s values, and fill our refugee quota with these people, rather than accepting the United Nations allotment.

Its current leader, Leighton Baker, has been fairly quiet lately.

But a newcomer, former Rugby Union bigwig David Moffett has become very prominent. And he has taken to twitter:

https://twitter.com/DavidMoffett47/status/1070206213437087744

Although this did not last long …

https://twitter.com/DavidMoffett47/status/1075559638748213249

And there was this:

https://twitter.com/DavidMoffett47/status/1075943344558157824

And such is his intellectual grasp of the issues that he nearly brought down the collective learnings about climate change single handedly:

https://twitter.com/DavidMoffett47/status/1080549387841892352

So it appears the Newcons are getting ready for an energetic year and Moffett may have plans to occupy a leadership role, twitter protestations to the contrary.

What does National do? This could explain their beat up on the UN Global Migration Pact. And all eyes will be on their response to the Government’s desire to build a bipartisan consensus on climate change.

Of course they could let the Newcons be the home for every UN World Government takeover Black Helicopter Pizzagate conspiracy theorist. And hope that they get to the 5% mark.

Throughout the world it seems that the far right is getting organised or gaining power. Yesterday’s events in Melbourne are the latest example and the local Neocons with their more muscular language seem to want to head in a similar direction. It will be interesting to see how National’s relationship with them develops.

63 comments on “National just wants to have some friends”

  1. gsays 1

    While not a tweeterartist, I couldn’t help but contrast this gentleman’s two utterances.
    Firstly there is a request to be treated with respect then that is followed by the use of the word leftard.
    This has to be at least a derogatory term for lefties but it also seems to be denigrating to folk with learning/social difficulties. Not a good look.

    • Pete 1.1

      Not a good look? It is the exact look some want. They’ll flock to Moffat, but whether in enough droves to assist the leader of the National Party is another thing.

      For Moffat the great thing about a true democracy is freedom of speech. When you get people like him though it is well to be very careful what you wish for.

  2. Andre 2

    ” … the home for every UN World Government takeover Black Helicopter Pizzagate conspiracy theorist.”

    They’ll probably pick up a few The Standard regulars, then.

  3. greywarshark 3

    Isn’t New Conservatives an oxymoron?

  4. millsy 4

    To be honest, I had Moffett as a centre-right mangerialist technocrat. More MBA and inflation targeting than bullets and bibles.

    • lprent 4.1

      He keeps raving on twitter about needing more politicians with small to medium business (SMB) experience and suggesting that we need more. That would suggest that he hasn’t done a MBA. They teach you about that kind of mythological crap

      Because one thing that becomes clear when you do those degrees is the very small planning horizons of businesses (typically at best only one to two years for SMB and maybe three to four for corporate) has nothing to do with the economic policy horizons required for politicians who manage society (typically measured in decades).

      If you look in history at the success rate of people who go into politics, people with business backgrounds (especially SMB) have a extremely low success rate in formulating coherent policies. Essentially they have to unlearn their existing skill sets before they can become competent managers of society.

      Some aren’t too bad at getting elected but when you look back on their political legacy – there isn’t one. There is just a pile of meaningless crony capitalism favoring specific groups at the expense of others and no actual progress for the society. As an example – just think of the wasted decade of the John Key government and its contributions towards a lower waged economy, and its complete mess of housing and infrastructure.

      Please give me

  5. Gabby 5

    Dave’s a bit of an anus horribilis.

  6. Ed 6

    Moffatt sounds a real piece of work.

  7. alwyn 7

    “ACT gave and gives the right an extra seat in Parliament. It is now that unpopular it seriously distorts proportionality with National getting an extra seat with minimal outlay of party votes.”

    You are clearly confused about the way that the MMP system we have works.
    ACT got sufficient votes to be entitled to one member of Parliament.
    If they had received no votes, and all their party votes had gone to National then the National Party would have had one extra MP. Thus the ACT MP is an alternative to a National MP not an additional one.
    I suggest that you look at how the system actually works and you will see what would have happened. The “minimal outlay of party votes” really did cost them a seat.

    The system is explained here
    https://www.electionresults.govt.nz/electionresults_2017/statistics/sainte-lague-formula.html
    The quotients are here
    https://www.electionresults.govt.nz/electionresults_2017/statistics/party-quotients.html

    Just add the ACT votes to the National total and calculate the new next quotient for National and you will see that the ACT votes, assuming that they had gone to National would have given them an extra seat.

    The alternative is that you do understand how it works but choose to misinterpret it. I hope that isn’t really the case?

    • ropata 7.1

      Comment from prior to the election:

      All the one-man parties are allied with National: ACT and United Future. If it were not for these two, National would not be able to command a majority in Parliament at all. Epsom and Ohariu are effectively rorting MMP and have been for years. The Greens and Labour have put up candidates….and National hasn’t….and it hasn’t worked out.

      In the report of the recent Royal Commission on the electoral system submitters made it very clear they regard the one-seat rule as cheating and they want it stopped. But it’s the only reason National is the government, so National ignored it.

      The only way to combat National’s cheating of MMP is to attack it head on.

      The only way to do that is vote Green or Labour.
      source: https://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?topicid=208509&page_no=3

      • alwyn 7.1.1

        I am quite unable to find any “Royal Commission” such as the one you are talking about.
        There was an “Electoral Commission” review at about that time but that is certainly not the same thing as a “Royal” Commission..
        They also did NOT recommend anything at all that would have kept either ACT or United Future out of Parliament. They won Electorates and therefore were entitled to be there.
        Neither had any List MPs so the provision for being allowed your full quota of List sets even if you did not get 5% never applied. In fact in 2014 that applied only to the Maori Party.

        Whoever wrote the material you are quoting obviously did not read the Electoral Commission report or if they did read it they didn’t understand it.
        Some “submitters” may have wanted parties winning electorates to not be allowed to take their seats but so what? I am sure that there are anarchists in New Zealand who would want Parliament to be abolished..

        • lprent 7.1.1.1

          From memory the last electoral royal commission was mid-80s…

          Umm Yep – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Commission_on_the_Electoral_System

          In 2012 there was a review after the 2011 referendum on improving the electoral method.

          https://www.elections.org.nz/events/past-events/2012-mmp-review

          And of course parliament (and the Electoral Commission) review each general election.

          • alwyn 7.1.1.1.1

            “royal commission was mid-80s”.
            That is right, and they were the ones who recommended MMP.

            However that wasn’t the thing that ropata described as a “Royal Commission”. He said
            “In the report of the recent Royal Commission on the electoral system “.
            The thing he was talking about, and the comment he linked to, was merely the standard post election review by the Electoral Commission. That has nothing like the weight of a R.C.

            The Electoral Commission also never considered the presence in Parliament of people whose party, if any, didn’t get 5% of the vote was somehow “cheating”.

            • lprent 7.1.1.1.1.1

              However that wasn’t the thing that ropata described as a “Royal Commission”.

              I’d agree. One of the work systems was down and I had idle time, so I dug out some links. That was just the usual review on mechanics of the election and what could be done better.

              But I suspect from the context that he was actually referring to the 2012 review.

              There were a number of possible actions passed to the government of the day. And from memory they were all ignored.

              https://www.elections.org.nz/events/past-events-0/2012-mmp-review/results-mmp-review

              • The one electorate seat threshold should be abolished (and if it is, the provision for overhang seats should also be abolished);
              • The party vote threshold should be lowered from 5% to 4% (with the Commission required by law to review how the 4% threshold is working);
              • Consideration be given to fixing the ratio of electorate seats to list seats at 60:40 to address concerns about declining proportionality and diversity of representation;
              • Political parties should continue to have responsibility for selecting and ranking candidates on their party lists but they must make a statutory declaration that they have done so in accordance with their party rules;
              • MPs should continue to be allowed to be dual candidates and list MPs to stand in by-elections.

              I have absolutely no problems with any of changes (the first 3), they are all sensible. I think that they should have been implemented.

              I’m pretty sure that the only reason that they weren’t implemented was because they weren’t convenient for the National party and it’s portiere of bit parties required to have a facade of a majority in the house.

              Which kind of leads us back to the subject of the post. Since then the National party has run out of friends because it ate their votes

              • alwyn

                “and if it is, the provision for overhang seats should also be abolished);”.

                I am not really clear what they mean by this bit of item 1. After all an overhang seat is simply one where a party wins more electorate seats than their party vote entitles them to. The Maori Party did that in both 2008 and 2011. United Future did it in 2014.

                There are two possible interpretations.
                The first is that a person who wins an electorate seat will not be allowed into Parliament unless they are also registered as part of a party that gets enough votes to be entitled to that seat.
                That would be a disastrous change. It would immediately make it impossible to elect an independent MP. After all they don’t have parties and cannot possibly get any party votes.
                It would also mean that a party that wins too many electorate seats would not be allowed to seat all their MPs. Just disenfranchise the voters in an electorate or two would be the result.
                Either of these would be a dreadful result.

                The second possibility would be that they would take their seats but other parties would not be allowed all the seats they won. In 2008 for example it would have meant that National and the Greens would have each been deprived of an MP, to which they were entitled, because the Maori Party won 2 more electorates than their party vote would have “entitled” them to.
                https://www.electionresults.govt.nz/electionresults_2008/e9/html/e9_part2.html
                The got seats 119 and 120 as you can see here. To keep the Parliament down to 120 would have meant excluding them.
                Any independent candidate elected in the future would cause exactly the same effect.
                Why should this be acceptable? What is the problem of having one or two overhang seats at the expense of disenfranchising some voters?

                I remain in favour of the idea that a party winning an electorate should remain eligible for all the seats that their party vote entitles them to. It was intended to allow for regional parties, with a strong following in only part of the country. It was also intended to cater for Maori based parties who appeal very strongly in only that community. If you aren’t going to allow the electorate coat-tails you should also abolish the Maori electorates.

                • Andre

                  I’ve kinda come to the view the best thing to do with overhang seats is to continue with them, but exclude them from confidence and supply votes.

                  Electorate seats are at least partly about getting that electorate’s specific issues heard in Parliament. That’s a valuable thing. But if someone is so focused on their electorate that they can win there, but can’t get their nationwide vote up to the point of earning their seat by the Sainte Lague (or whatever other process we might change to), then they shouldn’t get a say in matters of general national significance. Mathematically it’s also very probable that there’s a lot of split voting going on in that overhang seat electorate. Why should some voters get to be able to double up their influence in Parliament by getting an overhang seat for their electorate and using their party vote to boost a different party?

                • lprent

                  I’d concede that on the overhang seats, that parliament would be scratching to find a formula that would be understandable and ‘fair’. However that was a consequential effect of the first part – removing the disappointing innovation of having a one electorate seat threshold for the formation of political parties.

                  This is exactly the same kind of conundrum that all electoral systems have. They aren’t there to be ‘fair’. They are actually always designed to be inherently unfair at a individual or even a party level. Or having regional seats or having ethnic seats or having a senatorial system or having a pure proportional system any number of other innovations. Each is designed to make the system fairer for minorities at the expense of the majorities and to prevent the majority from imposing on minorities.

                  For instance the electorate voters who vote for the non-winning candidate effectively have their vote simply discarded. Which is exactly the same kind of situation you are describing when you look about ‘fairness’ for parties or individuals losing their proportionality if the overhang is treated in your second possibility.

                  But each electoral system is designed as a compromise to spread the acceptance of the decisions of the legislative branch across the electorate to make sure that no part of it feels so trodden on that they wind up rebelling.

                  If you wanted to have it so that a mixed system like MMP wasn’t unfair to parties, then we should dump the local electorate seats and go fully proportional.

                  But that makes it nigh well impossible for either regional parties or independents to be elected unless you had no threshold. In which case you’d wind up with the kind of uncooperative extremist pack of narcissistic egotists and micro-special interest candidates – neither of which are that interested in learning to compromise. In other words a political disaster like the Knesset that winds up getting more and more extremist as it tries to placate their self-interested egos.

                  In MMP, the electorate seats are there to make independents and regional parties possible. They just have the hard task of winning electorates. Effectively this has happened albeit it is often hard to see past the ‘party’ to the individual.

                  For instance it is easy after you look at the composition of the Epsom voters to argue that Epsom is ‘regional’ seat because that seat damn near defines a unique geographical seat based on bankers and company directors 🙂 Similarly the Northland seat which has the same kind of regional peculiarities that allowed the electorate to oscillate between the farmers and the iwis. It isn’t hard to find other regional / independent examples if you look.

                  But generally I’m not that interested in independents or even regional parties. They simply aren’t useful in political debate because they tend towards self-limitation and invariably drop down to a party of one. This isn’t hard to see in NZ politics over the last decades.

                  The electoral system however needs to foster the growth or political parties to allow for the required evolutionary morphing of our society. I’d argue that this is where the real issue is. If we ignore the independent in Epsom (clothed in the rag of a extinct party), we haven’t managed to build a surviving political party since the start of MMP. Both the Greens and NZ First were pre-existing.

                  Clearly the party threshold is too high to foster them.

                  And our history shown that having the innovation of the one seat threshold hasn’t worked. In fact I’d argue that it has mainly been effective in preventing political parties from becoming viable.

                  The MP becomes too powerful and forces the party to avoid risks to form the party so the party seldom gets out from their one seat. The exception, Winston Peters, almost proves the rule. In my opinion, NZ First only revived as a party after they finally lost the Tauranga seat. I’d also argue that the party didn’t sink too many of their resources into Northland, which allowed them to increase their party vote across the country. Same with the Greens after the Coromandel seat.

                  I’d argue that Act essentially died mostly because they hung on to the Epsom seat. The New Labour / Progressives, United / United Future, and the Maori party also got too dependent on their electorate seat and it prevented them from building a political party.

                  I’d describe the one seat threshold as both a failed experiment and a political development impediment that needs lopping out of our system.

                  Other than that I think that the MMP experiment has been a raging success for what it was put in to do

                  • alwyn

                    ” In my opinion, NZ First only revived as a party after they finally lost the Tauranga seat”.
                    H’mm
                    They lost Tauranga in the 2005 election and were out of the House entirely after the 2008 election.
                    I’m not sure I would say that they revived when they lost.
                    The came back from the dead in 2011 but that was 6 years after they lost in Tauranga.

                    • lprent

                      You must have a myopic view of the structure of political parties. You need to look over decades rather than a single 3 year cycle. Losing the seat in 2005 was what made them refocus on proportional vote and survive after 2008.

                      NZF spent how many years defending the Tauranga seat with a slowly diminishing proportional vote. More than a decade after 1993. It was their only seat and their lifeline

                      FFS: they were something like 4.5% in the 1999 election after the debacle of the Shipley subversion of NZF after she toppled Bolger. I’m pretty sure that both National and Labour ran a campaigns to dislodge him from Tauranga at various times. Labour because it was divided right vote.

                      For and after the 1999 election something like half of the resources of NZF were sunk into Tauranga seat while they still had it. That was politically unhealthy.

                      Sure NZF scraped in 2005 on 5.72% compared with more than 10% in the 2002 and they lost the seat after focusing on it far too much.

                      But National’s campaign against NZF fucked up. It focused too much on dislodging the seat rather than realizing that there was a wider support that they had to nullify at the same time. If they’d dislodged NZF below 5% then there wouldn’t have been a third Clark government.

                      The failure of that specific targeting in 2005 was (in my opinion) why National trumped up that lying bullshit campaign of stupid accusations against NZF in 2008. Using their puppet Act party to front it, they took some lousy bookkeeping and deliberately spun it as a corruption scandal.

                      That temporarily managed to get NZF down to 4% purely because of the timing despite the refocus on the proportional vote after 2005. I am pretty sure that the 4% that NZF got must have pissed the Nats off. That was way too close and as a direct result of the proportional focus after 2005. Post the 2008 election it was interesting seeing consistent polling showing NZF rapidly rising above 5% as people realized that National had snowed them.

                      As it was, the drop of NZF out of parliament in 2008 was what allowed National to get a fragile coalition in 2008 with a majority of something like 3 seats in 122? seat parliament.

                      But NZF were up to 6.5% in 2011 and back in parliament. They are the only party who’d ever managed to revive after dropping below the threshold. In my opinion that was purely because they’d lost the seat in 2005 but had a term to shift focus towards the proportional vote.

                      Incidentally you can see the same effect with the Greens after they lost the Coromandel seat. In their case, they knew that it was unlikely that they’d be able to hold that seat over the long-term so they never stopped focusing on their proportional vote.

                      However every party that relied just on the seat has crapped out because they haven’t managed to balance seat + proportional.

                      Incidentally that history of National trying to destroy rather than credibly work with NZF ever since Shipley 20 years ago is why I suspect that NZF would prefer to stay in opposition rather than work with National in a coalition.

                      It is also why National has no remaining friends in politics apart from the semi-dependent independent in Epsom.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  That would be a disastrous change. It would immediately make it impossible to elect an independent MP.

                  How many independent politicians to you see standing?
                  In fact, when was the last time an independent politician stood for election without having been in a party first?
                  Do you foresee any independent candidates in the future?

                  It would also mean that a party that wins too many electorate seats would not be allowed to seat all their MPs. Just disenfranchise the voters in an electorate or two would be the result.

                  Have you considered the distortion that electorates are causing now? The fact that some people are having a bigger say than they should be?
                  Why aren’t you complaining about that?

                  What is the problem of having one or two overhang seats at the expense of disenfranchising some voters?

                  Because having over-hang seats disenfranchises the majority of voters by giving a few people more say than everyone else.

                  If you aren’t going to allow the electorate coat-tails you should also abolish the Maori electorates.

                  They should have been abolished in 1893 when we got Universal Suffrage. At that point the reason for them being in existence (the fact that Māori men couldn’t because they didn’t own land) no longer applied.

                  • alwyn

                    I think I have commented on most of the points you make.
                    However on one I will add a comment.

                    “How many independent politicians to you see standing?
                    In fact, when was the last time an independent politician stood for election without having been in a party first?
                    Do you foresee any independent candidates in the future?”.

                    You may be surprised. I was when I looked at the candidates for last election.
                    I didn’t look at all the Electorates. I just picked out some where I thought there might have been some Independents.
                    In Tauranga there were 11 candidates of whom 3 were explicitly Independents.
                    In Ilam 2 out of 7 were Independents. One actually came second.
                    In Wellington Central 2 out of 9 were Independent.
                    God knows why they run.

                    To be fair the last person I can think of, and I haven’t done any research on the matter, where an Independent won was Peters in Tauranga in 1993 (by-election). He had of course been part of National.

                    Most people will set up a party, even if it is a zombie one. Apart from anything else they get more pay if they become an MP and they also get a lot of money for an organisation in the house. There is a great incentive to have a “party” there.

    • Wayne 7.2

      alwyn

      Since 2011 the Act party vote is equal to one seat. So winning Epsom is the equivalent to their vote share. If National had won Epsom, they would have one less list seat. You can’t assume every Act voter would vote National, if Act didn’t exist. In fact many wouldn’t, probably more than half. National is too centrist for them. If Act didn’t exist they would either not vote or would give their vote to some other party, such as Libertarian or something similar, which would go into the wasted vote.

      So in all probability the Epsom result for Act is an additional seat on the right.

      The wasted vote is allocated between the successful parties according to their size. So given that National is the largest party, it is probable/possible, the increase in the wasted vote (due to Act not existing) might have led to a rounding up of one more seat for National. But that depends which party was the next closest to getting an additional member due to rounding up. It could have been Labour.

      ropata,

      National stood candidates in Epsom and Ohariu. In contrast Labour didn’t in Sydenham when Anderton was MP. In any event in 2011, 2014 and 2017 neither United Future or Act had more than one MP, and in both cases they won electorates. In Act’s case, first won off National by Rodney Hide in 2005 and in United Future, Dunne had been the MP since 1984.

      Will Labour try and pass electoral legislation on a partisan basis?

      • alwyn 7.2.1

        “if Act didn’t exist”.
        You are probably old enough to remember that joke of my childhood.
        “If my Aunt had balls she’d be my Uncle”
        Who really knows what would have happened? Nobody, I would suggest.
        However if all the votes had remained the same, including ACTs but they had not won Epsom, the last seat would have gone to Labour. They had the highest quotient that missed out.
        If, on the other hand, ACT had not existed and National had received 9,700 of their votes, with all the other ACT votes being wasted National would have got the final seat. Their quotient would have been higher than the Labour one for the first person missing out.
        I suggest that that could easily have happened.

        “The wasted vote is allocated between the successful parties according to their size”.
        Wrong. The wasted vote is ignored. It has no more relevance than the people who did not vote. There is no allocation to other parties at all.

        There is nothing at all that leads to rounding up such as you suggest. It is the next highest quotient that determines who gets the next seat. On the actual vote it would have been Labour.
        Look simply at the highest party quotient that wasn’t rewarded with a seat in the second link I provided. Nothing else matters.

        “Will Labour try and pass electoral legislation on a partisan basis”
        Toward the end of next year, just before the adjournment I suspect they will if Both New Zealand First and the Green Party are at about 4% in the polls.
        They’ll leave it until it is too late for new parties to form but far enough away from the election to hope that people will forget it.
        I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if it turns out to be in the NZF agreement we aren’t allowed to see.
        Cynical, aren’t I?

    • Draco T Bastard 7.3

      ACT got sufficient votes to be entitled to one member of Parliament.

      No they didn’t. They did not get 0.8% of the party vote.

      I suggest that you look at how the system actually works and you will see what would have happened.

      The system is wrong. ACT being in parliament is proof of that.

      • alwyn 7.3.1

        “No they didn’t”

        You don’t need 0.8% to get your FIRST seat.
        There is a little thing called rounding. You get 1 seat if you get enough votes to be entitled to be between 0.5 and 1.5 of a member. You get 2 seats if you get votes for between 1.5 and 2.5 of a member.
        This is reflected in the divisors in my second link above being 1 then 3 then 5 and so on. ACT were entitled to one member. The got one entitlement at member 95.
        That is also shown in that table.

        More generally of course they got a member because they won an electorate. That has always been part of the system.

        “The system is wrong. ACT being in parliament is proof of that”.
        Just because you don’t like it doesn’t make it “wrong”. It just means that you don’t like the results it give.

        Perhaps you would accept that the system is “wrong” because it allows members into Parliament even though their party is so unpopular that they can’t win an Electorate?
        No? I didn’t think you would although I have seen other people claim that that proves the system is “wrong”

        • Draco T Bastard 7.3.1.1

          Just because you don’t like it doesn’t make it “wrong”. It just means that you don’t like the results it give.

          If the result is not mathematically correct then it is wrong.

          If a parliament has 120 seats then a party should need to get ~0.8% of the vote to be eligible for a seat.

          Our system is wrong for a number of reasons.

          1. There’s going to need to be a number of fudge factors because nothing’s ever precise
          2. The massive 5% threshold puts a huge distortion in it

          Obviously I’m accepting of the former but am against the latter because it’s an artificial distortion.

          Perhaps you would accept that the system is “wrong” because it allows members into Parliament even though their party is so unpopular that they can’t win an Electorate?

          I tend to be against electorates because they’re also a distortion of the proportionality of parliament.

          • alwyn 7.3.1.1.1

            “If a parliament has 120 seats then a party should need to get ~0.8% of the vote to be eligible for a seat.”.

            I’m afraid that you don’t understand the problem. It is that there are millions of votes and they don’t split neatly into exact multiples of anything except a vote.

            If we adopted your method we would need more than 0.8333333333333… %That is 100% of the counting votes divided by 120 seats in the house.
            to get a seat. Suppose a party got 0.83332%. They wouldn’t get a seat. If they got 0.83334% they would get one. The difference might be one vote.

            Even worse suppose there were 125 parties and they all got between 0.78% and 0.82%. Nobody would get a seat! Nobody got the magic 0.83333333333…
            You have to allow for the votes being almost infinitely divisible, even though the seats aren’t.

            Have a look at the second report I linked to. The LHS has a column of divisors that goes 1, 3, 5, 7 etc This will give you one seat if you get half of the average votes for a seat. You will get 2 if you get more than 1.5 times the number, 3 for more than 2.5 times and so on.
            National’s final divisor was 111. That gave them their 56th seat as they had more than 55.5 times the number of votes and less than the 56.5 times that would have given the a 57th seat.
            The other parties are similar.

            • Draco T Bastard 7.3.1.1.1.1

              As I said – there are some fudge factors that need to be accounted for.

              But the big problem is that 5% threshold. That needs to be removed but if it is removed then I don’t think that the Webster/Sainte-Laguë method will work.

              The Webster/Sainte-Laguë method does not ensure that a party receiving more than half the votes will win at least half the seats; nor does its modified form

              That could be a problem don’t you think?

              • alwyn

                The question of whether a party with the majority of the votes getting the majority of the seats has nothing at all to do with the 5% threshold.
                It can always happen, threshold or not.

                For example suppose we have a situation where there are 8 parties who each get 600 votes and 1 that gets 5000. It obviously has the majority of the votes.
                I really don’t want to explain all the arithmetic but the result will be, for a 45 seat house.
                In the Parliament each of the 8 small parties would get 3 seats. Their total would be 24
                The party with 5000 votes would get 21 seats.
                A clear majority of the votes but not a majority of the seats.

                If you want to check this it is quite easy with the explanation in the first of my links.
                That has nothing at all to do with thresholds. It is simply a fact of life.
                Every system has flaws and you can cook up examples that give anomalies. You just have to choose one that you can live with.

    • Ed1 7.4

      This has been discussed before. From memory, if all “conservative” voters in Epsom give the ACT candidate their electorate vote and National their party vote, it is likely that Nat/ACT would gain an additional seat. If a lot give the party vote to ACT as well as the electorate vote, then on average Nat/ACT will gain half a seat – they are unlikely to lose a seat, but will sometimes gain a seat. There are probably past discussions on The Standard, but I don’t know what search would give them.

      My impression is that the Maori party imploded because of some of their policies / personalities, but at least as much because they were not treated well by Key/National; and on too many critical issues they supported National at the expense of the interests of those that had voted for them. Some may have other views, but I suspect many see National as not having been good for any party that has supported them.

      • alwyn 7.4.1

        ” but I suspect many see National as not having been good for any party that has supported them”.
        Just change National to Labour and the same thing applies.
        Every small party that has gone into Government with one of the two elephants, National and Labour, has been destroyed.

        What happened to the Alliance after they went into Government with Labour?
        What happened to Peter Dunne’s mob when they did the same thing?
        Both parties survived for a while but were almost wiped out after their first term.
        What happened to New Zealand First in 2008? Out of the House, at least for one term.
        Sure the parties that went into Government with National were destroyed. At least the Maori Party got something from the partnership.

        Look at what is going to happen to New Zealand First and the Green Party.
        Their polling numbers are crap and they will both be gone in 2020.

        It is going into Government with a large party that wrecks them. Even Tsar Winston won’t overcome that.

    • cathy 7.5

      errrrr…

      i thought Seymour “won” the epsom seat and did not get enought party votes to be entitled to any seats, i think they actually have 0.5% of party votes.

      it may not have made much difference in 2017 but most of the time it made for a hangover seat, meaning 121 mps instead of 120.

      i may be wrong

      • Andre 7.5.1

        Because New Zealand uses the Sainte Lague method of allocating list seats, it actually works out that a small party only needs to get over 1/2 a seat’s worth of votes (0.417%) to get allocated a seat.

        So looking at 2014, there were two minor parties that won less than a full seat’s worth of votes, but did win an electorate and therefore won a seat in Parliament.

        Act’s Seymour won Epsom, and with 0.69% (less than 1/120, 0.83%) was included in the Sainte Lague allocation process and was not an overhang.

        Untidy Future’s Dunne won Ohariu, but with 0.22% of the party vote was not allocated a seat in the Sainte Lague process and was therefore the overhang, pushing that Parliament up to 121 members.

        There’s alternatives that reduce or eliminate this apparent anomaly, such as the modified Sainte Lague or the D’Hondt method. But there’s arguments against those as well, mainly that they favour the largest party. It’s something to consider if we ever look like doing the right thing and completely eliminating that undemocratic 5% threshold.

      • alwyn 7.5.2

        If you look at the second link I provided above you will see that the ACT party were entitled to the 95th seat allocated.
        There was no hangover seat in 2017, although some happened in earlier elections.

        • Andre 7.5.2.1

          “hangover seat”

          Heh. That’s a much more apt name for it.

          • alwyn 7.5.2.1.1

            I think I must have been trying to remember who was the member for Tauranga from 1984 until 2005.
            I suppose it would be considered to be a Freudian slip. Is that the right term?

    • Tricledrown 7.6

      ACT needed a seat other wise they wouldn’t be in Parliament National still got their full contingent but ACT were below the % to get even 1 seat. So National are playing the system as they did with Peter Dunne. The Maori Party copped the Backlash of Maori voters who felt the pain of National’s lack of meaning investment ie tokenism.

  8. Draco T Bastard 8

    He has spent the past few years hounding his former press secretary through court just because he can. His judgment seems to me to be somewhat impaired.

    His judgement seems to be I’m rich and thus can do whatever I like. Unfortunately, we have a society that actually does encourage this type of thinking in the rich – they can afford lawyers while everyone else can’t. And we have a society that says that whomever wins in court is right.

    So, Craig can keep throwing money at it until he wins and is proven right. The people who he’s harassing can’t. Especially now after the last National led government seriously cut legal aid.

    Throughout the world it seems that the far right is getting organised or gaining power.

    The right-wing leaders are always organised for getting power. It is, after all, all they desire. Simply being in power is their end-game.

    The point is that when their plans fail to have them in power their plans change. They actually understand the saying:

    Plans are nothing, planning is everything.

    • Tricledrown 8.1

      Colin Craig has permanently Damaged his reputation as well as any National support party. He doesn’t know when enough is enough bigus dickus.

  9. CHCOff 9

    pay to play New Zealand demand and supply economy lobbying is needed, systemically, to counter the neo-conservative rorting.

    Craig was on the right track.

    NZ1st!

  10. ken 10

    Is this the best ‘friend” Nazional can find?
    Elections are won in the centre – this guy is about as far out on the fringe as you can get without falling off the edge.

    • Rae 10.1

      Not if the Nats gift them a seat.
      Frankly, I think Labour should do the same with both NZF and the Greens, you might not like the rules, but sometimes you need to play them as they are. Or they could change the rules so that MMP better resembles what we said we wanted it to back in 2012. They might be able to still find all the guff in Judith Collins wastepaper bin.

      • Wayne 10.1.1

        National doesn’t “gift” seats.

        In Epsom, in 2005 Rodney Hide won the seat off Richard Worth. Richard fought hard to keep the seat, but failed. Once act had the seat, then National was prepared to deal with Act on that basis. Same with Ohariu. Dunne already held the seat, and had done so against both Labour and National for many, many elections.

        There will be no accommodation with the New Conservatives. Not even a suggestion they would be a useful partner. Just too extreme. National never suggested Colin Craig’s Conservatives would be useful. In 2008 and 2011, both Jonathan Coleman and I had dealings with Colin Craig locally. We knew he would be a real risk and advised our colleagues accordingly.

        • Tricledrown 10.1.1.1

          Wayne your full of it Richard Worthless was highly pissed off at the rig up.

        • Muttonbird 10.1.1.2

          National doesn’t “gift” seats.

          🤣🤣🤣🤣

        • tc 10.1.1.3

          How about Paul Goldsmiths behaviour sprung pulling out his own electoral signs when it looked like he may actually ‘win’ the seat.

          Geez Wayne as the McPhail and Gatsby catchphrase went, national trying to win the seat…….yeah right have a Tui cobbah.

        • ken 10.1.1.4

          Wasn’t Richard Worth one of those guys who wouldn’t come out and tell people to vote for him?

    • Jenny - How to get there? 10.2

      They said that about Trump

  11. Blazer 11

    Your propositon makes sense..albeit only if the AB’s prevail in the WC.

  12. Rae 12

    I think the movers and shakers on the left will do best between now and next election in motivating the younger vote, in this world where these “strong man” dictator types are coming to power.
    Leave National to their no mates status, but after some of the stuff I have read elsewhere, the Conservatives taking a similar homophobic, misogynistic, climate science denying path to the likes of Bolsonaro in Brazil, could mean things could get a whole lot worse before they get better.
    NZ is very vulnerable to the likes of these new Conservatives, because we have, at present, a government that is about as polar opposite as could be from them.

  13. McFlock 13

    Little Dave Moffet
    sat on his tuffet
    sending his tweets of alt-right

    The nats’ current chair-spinner
    NZ’s Arnold Rimmer,
    looked around Epsom in fright.

    • Tricledrown 13.1

      Moffet is trying the LePen Farage strategy and at the same time destroy NZ 1st so it’s more of 2 horse race again. Moffet comes a cross as another Colon Craig. National would have done better cultivating Gareth Morgan a far more reasonable man.

  14. Chris 14

    “If National wants to gain power again it will need friends. New friends.”

    There’s something not quite right with this statement. Somewhat defeatist, perhaps.

  15. UncookedSelachimorpha 15

    Weird how Christians often seem to have huge respect for the wealth of the rich, strongly oppose sharing and care so little for the poor. A common theme for the Christian right everywhere.

    • Gabby 15.1

      He’ll be part of some deranged cult no doubt.

    • Rae 15.2

      Go to http://www.polticalcompass.org , maybe do the test, but have a bit of study of where some people from history sit, last time I looked, Christ hadn’t been included on it, but that’s quite good. Based on what you know about the guy, figure out where he might have sat on the scale, then look where conservatives sit. Should keep you amused for years.

      • patricia bremner 15.2.1

        Notice David Moffett was involved in conservation…..at the money making end.

  16. Tricledrown 16

    Fundamentalist Christians money is their God Colon Craig, Brian Tamaki.

  17. cleangreen 17

    David Mofffett is just another ‘stool pigeon’ to bring” NZ inc'” back into vogue again to setup another round of ‘selloff of our last pieces of our public assets.

  18. Matthew 18

    I think you will find that Che Guevara was not a fan of the UN either, but that is precisely the point of it surely? That there is some bureaucratic balance to the extremist views of this world? This Muphet would do well to read up on Guevara, to understand what true human leadership entails. I doubt he has even heard of him sadly.

  19. R.P Mcmurphy 19

    they need more than new friends. their whole political philosophy is about to become redundant. the planet cannot take incessant attack from ruggid indeevidyoualls. a new age is coming.

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    1 week ago
  • Interesting
    Within quick succession, Countdown maths wizard and twitterer Rachel Riley, alleged comedian David Baddiel and prominent lawyer Andrew Julius have all expressed very similar opinions / ideas:
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    2 weeks ago
  • Damn the Polls
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    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Europe declares an emergency
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
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  • A Bi-Partisan Commitment To X-ing “P”.
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    2 weeks ago
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    2 weeks ago
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    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
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    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • A week of protests in Colombia
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    2 weeks ago
  • Anti-neutrinos–When you are your own opposite
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    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • Exoplanets, life, and the danger of a single study
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    2 weeks ago
  • The Intersex Continuum
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    2 weeks ago
  • Leaving us with the bill
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    2 weeks ago
  • How much does flying contribute to climate change?
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    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The task before us
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    2 weeks ago
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    2 weeks ago
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    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
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  • Colombia: the state murder of Dilan Cruz
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    2 weeks ago
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    2 weeks ago
  • The rise and collapse of classical political economy
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    2 weeks ago
  • Among my favourite asteroids: (2472) Bradman
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    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Some cheap soundbites i thought up while reading about the underwhelming Conservative manifesto
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    2 weeks ago
  • Measles vaccination required to travel to islands and Phillipines
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    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Giving the finger to Beijing
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Colombia’s national strike
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    2 weeks ago

  • Final steps for racing industry reform
    Racing Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Racing Industry Bill in parliament today. This is the second of two Bills that have been introduced this year to revitalise New Zealand’s racing industry. “Our domestic racing industry has been in serious decline.  The Government is committed to ...
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    1 hour ago
  • Funding to promote New Zealand Sign Language initiatives
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    3 hours ago
  • How New Zealand defines and recognises veterans
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    4 hours ago
  • Government to fund lion’s share of Ohakea water scheme
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Prime Minister statement on White Island eruption
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    23 hours ago
  • Govt funds $100k for weather-hit communities
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare have today confirmed initial Government support of $100,000 for communities affected by the severe weather that swept across the South Island and lower North Island over the weekend. The contribution will be made to Mayoral relief funds across the ...
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    1 day ago
  • Death of NZ High Commissioner to Cook Islands
    New Zealand's High Commissioner to the Cook Islands, Tessa Temata, died in Palmerston North over the weekend, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said today. Ms Temata, 52, had recently returned to New Zealand for medical treatment. "On behalf of the Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, we extend ...
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    1 day ago
  • Wellington rail upgrade full steam ahead
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced construction is underway on Wellington commuter rail upgrades which will mean more frequent services and fewer breakdowns. The upgrades include converting the Trentham to Upper Hutt single track section to a double track, with a new signalling system, upgraded stations and level crossings, and ...
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    1 day ago
  • Defence Climate Change Implementation Plan released
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark and Minister for Climate Change James Shaw have announced the release of a Defence Climate Change Implementation Work Plan, titled Responding to the Climate Crisis: An Implementation Plan.  The plan sets out a series of recommendations based on the 2018 New Zealand Defence Assessment, The ...
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    1 day ago
  • Govt releases funding to support South Canterbury
    A medium-scale adverse event has been declared for the South Canterbury district, which will see up to $50,000 in funding made available to support farming communities which have been significantly affected by recent heavy rain and flooding in the area, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Two weeks of solid rain ...
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    2 days ago
  • Speech at launch of Rethinking Plastics Report
    Thank you Professor Juliet Gerrard and your team for the comprehensive and extremely helpful report and recommendations. Thank you too to all the stakeholders and interested parties who have contributed ideas and thinking to it. “Making best practice, standard practice” is a great framework for change and the action plan ...
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    2 days ago
  • International student enrolments grow in universities and the regions
    International education continues to thrive as the Government focuses on quality over quantity, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. The tuition revenue from international education increased to $1.16 billion last year with the average tuition fee per student increasing by $960. The total number of international students enrolled in New Zealand ...
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    3 days ago
  • Speech to Government Economics Network 2019 Conference
    I want to talk about one of the most pressing issues in our national life: the housing crisis and the poor performance of our cities. The argument I want to make to you is that generations of urban land use policy have lacked a decent grounding in economics. The consequences ...
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    3 days ago
  • DHB leadership renewed and strengthened
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    3 days ago
  • Tabuteau to advance New Zealand’s trade and political interests with European partners
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    4 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Kris Faafoi
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    4 days ago
  • Tonga-New Zealand Joint Ministerial Forum
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    4 days ago
  • Shooting in Kurow
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    4 days ago
  • Government delivers funding boost for ethnic communities
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    4 days ago
  • Govt supports Southland farmers in sustainability
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    4 days ago
  • Flood of support for Top of the South catchment
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    4 days ago
  • Eight Queen’s Counsel appointed under new criterion
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    5 days ago
  • Major expansion for Wellington’s Onslow College
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    5 days ago
  • Talented young Kiwis awarded PM’s Scholarships to Asia and Latin America
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    5 days ago
  • Government to improve competitiveness and transparency in the retail fuel market
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    5 days ago
  • More cancer medicines for more people
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  • Government acts to sort out electoral ‘coin toss’ problem
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    5 days ago
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    6 days ago
  • Bill to empower urban development projects
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  • Early Learning Action Plan to kickstart long term change
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    6 days ago
  • Climate change lens on major Government decisions
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    6 days ago
  • New Tertiary Education Commission Board announced
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    6 days ago
  • Next phase of Pike River recovery underway in time for Christmas
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    6 days ago
  • Insurance contracts to become easier to understand and fairer for consumers
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    7 days ago
  • A new opportunity for Ngāpuhi collective and regional negotiations
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    7 days ago
  • Referendums Framework Bill passes third reading
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    1 week ago
  • Referendums website and initial cannabis Bill launched
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    1 week ago
  • Government to ban foreign donations
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  • Governments and tech converge to strengthen joint response to online terror events
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    1 week ago