This morning on Q&A, the right’s anointed spokesperson of the left, Josie Pagani, came out swinging at David Cunliffe over the Internet Mana Party’s use of the MMP coat-tail rule.
“If [David Cunliffe] really means he’s going to stand behind Labour values and a candidate like Kelvin he should go into Parliament on Tuesday and offer to do a deal with the National Party and say ‘let’s get rid of the coat-tailing legislation by lunch time’. And then nobody’s going to play these games… if he really means it he’ll go to Parliament and he’ll do that on Tuesday.”
It won’t surprise you to learn that Josie is talking nonsense. Labour already has a bill to remove the coat-tailing legislation. They’ve written it, put it in the ballot and it’s been drawn. All John Key has to do is say he’ll support it and it can be law any time he chooses.
Josie Pagani has made a small career out of repeating the right’s talking points off the back of a one-time stint as a Labour candidate in an unwinnable electorate. But it’s important that this one is set straight.
The continued existence of the coat-tail rule is entirely National’s doing. The Electoral Commission recommended removing the rule after the 2011 election and National cynically ignored it because it was in their electoral interests to boost ACT, United Future and the Conservatives.
Labour has been consistent in its position that the coat-tail rule should be removed. They can hardly be blamed now for another party making use of it.
These are National’s rules and only National can be held to account for them.