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The trouble with MMP

Written By: - Date published: 10:11 am, March 3rd, 2020 - 93 comments
Categories: nz first, politicans, Shane Jones, uncategorized - Tags:

The trouble with MMP is that some politicians view it as an opportunity to court support amongst people holding decidedly minority views.  Media attention is beneficial no matter what kind when all you want is minority support.  When your goal is just over 5% party support there are a lot of people you can annoy when campaigning.

The system of MMP Government relies on dealings between parties who are part of a coalition to be based on good will. You cannot tear up a coalition just because a member of a partner’s party is being a jerk.  Even if they are confronted about being a jerk and then refer to those upset as belonging to Ngati Woke or claim that their clearly racist comments where they denigrate members of a different ethnicity are somehow not racist.

And claiming that their rights of freedom of speech are being attacked by people saying they should apologise is not an attack on freedom of speech, it is actually an exercise in counter speech.

The problem is that the coalition agreement expressly recognises the respective parties’ independent political identities. And base shtick is part of NZ First’s independent political identity.

If you want to do something about this make sure you do not vote for NZ First this coming election.

93 comments on “The trouble with MMP ”

  1. Jimmy 1

    I just wish Jacinda had a bit more back bone and actually put Shane Jones in his place. Helen Clark or John Key did not suffer fools and at least took swift decisive action when needed. Shane just keeps thumbing his nose at her and doing and saying whatever he likes which unfortunately just makes NZF look more powerful than the Labour party. Labour are by far the largest party in the coalition and should have more say / control.

    • Sacha 1.1

      Where are the calls for Winston to discipline his loudmouth MP. Why is it always mummy's problem?

      • Jimmy 1.1.1

        It's Jacinda's problem because she is the Prime Minister and leader of the coalition.

        That makes Jacinda his boss doesn't it?

        • Sacha 1.1.1.1

          Winston is the leader of Jones' caucus and party.
          That makes him the boss, doesn't it?

          • Jimmy 1.1.1.1.1

            The prime minister is the boss (or should be). That's Jacinda. Winston is the deputy PM (and should answer to her!). Jones is a minister in Jacinda's government.

            You are right though, it is making Winston look like he is in charge and not just of NZF but the coalition govt.

            • Louis 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Sacha didnt say that, you are putting words in his mouth. Not the first time the PM has told Jones off but she is not the leader of NZ First.

              • Jum

                Well Jimmy, you can't have been following the earlier attacks by a nat govt on Ardern when she was still finding her way in parliament. Nasty and vicious and she just weathered them. Like Clark says – iron in the glove.

                My mum always said 'pick your battles'. This is not one of them.

            • Sacha 1.1.1.1.1.2

              More than one 'boss' in MMP coalitions. Get used to it.

              • Jimmy

                There is only one prime minister of NZ and that is Jacinda. She needs to act like she is the one in charge

                • Louis

                  She already does and its no act.

                  • Jimmy

                    Well i guess we will just have to agree to disagree as Shane Jones has "taken it on the chin" and is now continuing to do and say just what he likes and has been endorsed by Winston!

                    • Sacha

                      So Winston is not acting like the one in charge of his caucus? People must be appalled by his lack of leadership.

    • Helen Clark or John Key did not suffer fools and at least took swift decisive action when needed.

      Really? Clark's government's just a faded memory for me now, but Key's one felt like it was full of obnoxious loudmouths that he was quite OK with. He did dismiss a few ministers, but not in any situation that would have put his government's majority at risk. Ardern's been dealt a much tougher hand than Key ever was and is making a real success of it against the odds – that's "backbone" for you.

      • Jimmy 1.2.1

        Maybe I am older or have a better memory than you…..but I don't think Helen (or H2) were to be crossed. John Key was nick named the silent assassin and as you say, a few found out the hard way why.

        I do agree Ardern has been dealt a much tougher hand as the experience of Labour MP's IMO is not as good as Clark had around her, and on top of that, another two parties MP's to keep in line (the greens no problem, but NZF are hard work). I do think Winston and Shane go out of their way to make Ardern look weak on purpose.

    • Louis 1.3

      There's no doubt PM Jacinda has a backbone and she uses it.

      Suggest you watch the PM's post cab presser @ 23:20 where she speaks about Shane Jones.

      https://www.beehive.govt.nz/feature/postcab

    • Unicus 1.4

      What a bunch of nervy precious little finger pointers we’ve become

      How dare this politician cultivate an unorthodox profile for himself or give free reign to a comical somewhat bombastic temperament .

      But those sins of character pale into insignificance when we consider his worst and utterly unforgivable misdeed of parading his elevated intellect and thumbing his nose in the faces of his quivering do nothing critics

      • Psycho Milt 1.4.1

        …parading his elevated intellect…

        You left out the word "alleged" there. Nothing in his public statements suggests he has an elevated intellect – self-importance, lack of empathy, all kinds of things, but not intellect.

        • Unicus 1.4.1.1

          A Masters Degree and admission to Harvard as a Harkness Fellow might indicate SJ. has a reasonable level of intelligence

      • Sacha 1.4.2

        Plenty of people are 'unorthodox' without being dickheads. Jones lacks the talent.

        • Unicus 1.4.2.1

          Unorthodox like ……? Or. Perhaps…..?

          I understand ‘ Dickhead ‘has ended up in the threadbare epithet file along with ‘Cindy’ racist’ and honkey’

  2. Question time..as a Minister is Shane Jones not answerable to the Prime Minister?…and if not, which seems weird, then surely he is answerable to the Governor-General Patsy Reddy. (and yes, I had to Google to find out who our GG is..I simply cannot recal the last time I heard her speak up about anything..).

    Or are Ministers who are not members of the primary political Party in an MMP Government really free agents?

    • New view 2.1

      Of course you are exactly right S but most on this forum would prefer to blame National or talk about what National did three years ago. JA won’t keep her Ministers in line especially NZF and we know why. Is it weak leadership yes.

      • observer 2.1.1

        Whereas Bill English would have sacked numerous Ministers in the 2017-20 Nat-ACT-NZF government, such as …

        – JLR and Simon Bridges for their public war

        – Winston Peters for the NZF foundation saga

        – Shane Jones for being Shane Jones

        – David Seymour for opposing government's gun reforms

        etc

        (But obviously PM English wouldn't have done that at all, he would have played the same "different hat" game as Key and Ardern, which is tiresome but no more tiresome than pretending that wouldn't happen).

      • Muttonbird 2.1.2

        What's new about that view?

        • New view 2.1.2.1

          There’s nothing new about what I’ve said. That’s the point. We have a PM who can’t bring herself to say SJ is racist. It’s nothing to do with National or anyone but JA. If you lot choose not to see that as a problem don’t drag National into it who haven’t been the Government for three years. Just keep ignoring the reality.

          • observer 2.1.2.1.1

            Hardly ignoring the reality. The opposite, in fact.

            Nobody can be surprised by Jones/Peters doing what they do. The question is the same as it was after the votes were counted in 2017. It hasn't changed. Two options, and one had to be chosen.

            Should Ardern/Labour accommodate NZF – with entirely predictable baggage – or not? There was another option, to stay in opposition and subject the country to the most reactionary government in a generation who would still be stuck with Peters and Jones, as I outlined above (and you studiously ignored, as if the alternative somehow doesn't matter).

            She decided the cost to the people was too high, too cruel – the compromise cost of government was predictable but preferable. I'd say she got it right, but you may have been happier with the horrendous alternative, I don't know.

            But soon we can have a Labour-Green majority. All we need to do is vote for it.

    • Hanswurst 2.2

      Question time..as a Minister is Shane Jones not answerable to the Prime Minister?

      Not as an NZ First MP, however, and I don't think he has any ministerial responsibility for ethnic minorities on university campuses.

  3. adam 3

    Come on micky, uninhibited immigration which is effectively what has been happening, just empowers the right, and alienates māori.

    The response is not to go around calling them racist, which for labour is a bit rich anyway – who can forget the Chinese names house list. But to actually talk about immigration.

    Then again, why talk about an issue when you can dog whistle and gaslight individuals.

    • Siobhan 3.1

      You forgot the 'uninhibited exploitation of immigrants'..both in the work place and in the housing market…but no one in power is willing to go there..because the exploitation of labour and the exploitation of people with the temerity to expect a roof over their head, be they immigrants or not, is pretty much the backbone of our economic 'growth'..

  4. bwaghorn 5

    So no indian students are using education as a back door entry to citizenship??

    • Of course some are – and ALL based on a system of false promises and lack of oversight that "we" designed or copied and which we still try to pass off as "best practice".

      It really baffles me how some Ministers still seem to be taken in. They really should be asking themselves a few basics about the advice they're given before they utter "I have complete faith in my officials" another time.

      – Why is it that INZ had/has such a big turnover of staff

      – Why is it that there is a huuuuuuuuuuge backlog of visa applications in various categories that cannot be dealt with given the resources, and who was it that chose to structure their Ministry in the way they did and prioritise its resources.

      – Why is it that a bit of tinkering here, and a bit there doesn't seem to be working.

      – Why is it that we're losing people with various skills that we profess to want and need

      – How is it that a 'SCUM' screaming racist was allowed to exercise his ego for as long as he did before being 'managed' out of the place while colleagues apparently knew nothing.

      – Why is it that "restructuring" didn't seem to go so well

      – Why is it that 'lil 'ole NuZull that punches above its weight is starting to get a very bad name, (and things will get worse), and why is it that it'll be a long row to hoe before Winnie and Parker make any progress, and why is it that some are LOLing after their departure
      – why is it that a technophiles approach (a little like the approach to online voting) hasn’t worked thus far

      – the questions go on but even this morning's NinetoNoon (re shipping) was a testament to INZ's brilliance.

    • Every Western Country does this, cherry picks bright students from 3rd world countries, educates them, and hopes they'll stay and boost their economy.

      I used to work designing chips in Silicon Valley, probably 1/3-1/2 of the people I worked with had come from India, most educated in the US, very smart people. India is 1/6 of the world's population, it contains 1/6 of the world's smart people, far far more than here.

      We'd be mugs to not try and lure as many of those smart people here to become citizens

      • bwaghorn 5.2.1

        So jones was just pointing out the truth of the matter? That the education system is a back door entry to citizenship

        • Sacha 5.2.1.1

          Yet he chose only one nationality to name, didn't he.

          • bwaghorn 5.2.1.1.1

            International students would have been a better phrase although no one would have heard it then .

            • Sacha 5.2.1.1.1.1

              He knows exactly what he was doing. No point trying to defend the indefensible.

          • veutoviper 5.2.1.1.2

            Probably because Winston Peters and David Parker had just returned from a 4 day trade/business mission to India last week where as well as trade between NZ and India, the increases in services between the two countries were high on the agenda, including tourism – and education.

            This provides a bit of an outline of the visit – plenty more via Google etc
            https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO2003/S00021/india-mission-2020.htm

            • Sacha 5.2.1.1.2.1

              Weren't they still there when he burped to the media?

              • veutoviper

                Jones was on TV3's The Nation on Sat morning 29 Feb. The 4 day mission to India ended on Fri 28 Feb. Even if The Nation was pre-recorded (I think it is on the Friday afternoon), I have no doubt WP, DP and the whole team would have been in touch with their colleagues in NZ throughout the visit to India by email, phone etc and even god forbid, the good old NZFAT cable system presuming it still exists. Way back 50+ years ago when I was a DiploBrat (or rather a Trade Brat) the international communications lines ran hot during such missions – and certainly still did when I was on similar overseas govt missions/negotiations 20 years ago in the first half of my career.

  5. observer 6

    What the PM should say:

    "Under the National government immigration and international education were a shameful scam, designed to exploit workers of all ethnicities, including Indians. They do not deserve to be made the scapegoat by Shane Jones or anybody else – they are at the bottom of the pile, unlike the ones who ran the scam, like John Key."

    And it's still going on …

    NZ immigration policy, the blunt truth

    Extract: “Singh’s experience was a far cry from how New Zealand Inc first pitched the experience to him through offshore education agents in 2012.

    “In India in those days there was lots of advertisements that all you’ve got to do is one year’s study, once you’ve finished your one year study you will get your residence,” Singh said.

    Kaloti said the families of students often got into debt on the back of those promises and scraped together the money for the single year of study that would be their gateway to residency here.”

    • Graeme 6.1

      National put in place an immigration policy that allowed a lot of people to make a shed load of money out of bringing 'students' in to study. The reaction to Jones' comment is as much a distraction to avoid any scrutiny of the previous government's policy, I doubt they want to go anywhere near that right now.

      Would be interesting to know how many $14, 999.99 donations National got from persons associated with the immigration / education industry ex the sub-continent. The sea of light blue turbans Bill English walked through entering Sky City Auditorium on election night could be clue.

    • gsays 6.2

      Good read, thanks observer.

      It's important to remember this is happening to people. Not 'others'.

      I don't envy Lee's-Galloway trying to reconcile Greens and NZ1st concerning immigration.

  6. indiana 7

    Shane Jones is the 5th type of Racist (https://youtu.be/KSAFiNzdNDI) and Winston is his enabler, claiming that the Indian people he talks too, that NZ First are only repeating their views (https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12313439)

  7. Enough is Enough 8

    "If you want to do something about this make sure you do not vote for NZ First this coming election.

    And tell all your friends as well.

    • Janet 8.1

      Better still , ask for a referendum on what level of immigration is acceptable to New Zealanders and what criteria should be met before an immigrant can apply to come to NZ. New Zealanders have been tricked by our governments regarding immigration matters in many ways over the last more than 20 years. Contrary to what they indicated just prior to the last elections, Labour has instead shied away from really addressing what has become a huge mess for this country. It is time for the people of New Zealand to have their voices clearly heard and for an immigration policy that is mandated by the people of New Zealand. It is not racist in any way to want immigration numbers significantly reduced and I am tired of "racisr" being used to stultify objections to the current immigration situation.

      • Enough is Enough 8.1.1

        Shane was only referring Indians, not immigrants.

        One is racist – one is not

        See the difference?

  8. Janet 9

    Shane was referring to the number of Indian students in our education system …….

    "I think the number of students that have come from India have ruined many of those [educational] institutions."

    Briefly speaking to media this morning, Peters said the comments couldn't have been racist as they "come from the Indian people themselves".

    So when is a reporter going to go in and investigate what he is going on about…..

    Does he mean "Indian" or does he mean "the large number of Indians " …..

    Why particularly Indian ?

    How are they ruining our educational institutions ?

    I am waiting, I am interested to know.

    Remember there would not be a NZFirst Party had the governments of the days/years past been mindful of New Zealanders wishes instead of tricking and running rough shod over us…. for why …. the mess we have?

    • observer 9.1

      "So when is a reporter going to go in and investigate what he is going on about….. "

      There have been many such investigations, including the one linked to at #6 on this thread.

  9. Adrian 10

    Just because people from one country or another are singled out for behaviours that are a bit of a rort does not make allegations racist. The word is used far too often and will lose its power if used loosely, racism is in essense the denial of a particular persons access to services and the like that others get for granted, as well as abuse for simply being different.

    Jones is alluding to something different, NZ has made a fair arrangement whereby access to qualifications, medical among them, are available to people to meet certain criteria with an expectation that the resulting residency/citizenship attraction implies a quid pro quo deal to stay on and work in our system, something I disagree with, India for instance needs these highly qualified people far more than we do, we are raiding their best and brightest which I think is morally questionable. The fact is they are not staying, most are going to Australia to work where the pay is higher. We are training Australia's workforce and we get Oz bred arseholes in return.

    But then "morally questionable"and immigrants are blank stare territory to Aussies.

  10. David Mac 11

    NZ First need to walk a bit of a tight-rope as they ramp up for this election. They're traditionally obliged to spotlight ethnic minority issues and this time round they need to avoid the black cloud of hypocrisy whilst handing out work visas from the back door.

  11. pat 12

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/mar/01/violence-in-delhi-is-not-a-riot-it-is-targeted-anti-muslim-brutality

    That Jones is a dick is beyond dispute but he has asked a pertinent question….when was anybody asked about our immigration policy?

    • KJT 12.1

      Jones is correct on the results, but not the culprits. He should have directed his anger at the University "managers" running the "education for residency scam, and the New Zealand employers exploiting them. Indian students are victims of exploitative employers and tertiary providers, not the cause.

  12. Sabine 13

    MMP reflects the population.

    So maybe the trouble is with the electorate and not MMP.

    And again, what has Labour done to look at immigration for profit, what have the Greens done to address this issue? Because if they had, Shane Jones wuld have nothing much to say.

    But again, it is easier to complain about the 'others' be they the no mates party, the hologram party, or the winston peters party, rather then actually admit that Labour and the Greens are lacking. And they are.

    • solkta 13.1

      I don't think Jones will have a problem finding other angles for his racist rants. In fact i expect many before the election. You are just being an apologist for him here.

    • roblogic 13.2

      Yes Lab/Greens are lacking. They promised to cut immigration but did not deliver. Exacerbating multiple crises in housing and services and infrastructure. But keeping property values and the education scam afloat. I am deeply offended that foreigners seem to take priority over working Kiwis in our politicians tiny minds. The current deeply corrupt system enables human trafficking and exploitation (e.g. estimates that 40% of liquor store workers are underpaid/exploited).

      https://twitter.com/Biorealism/status/1234689125183156224

      • Sacha 13.2.1

        They promised to cut immigration but did not deliver

        Really? What direction is this official graph heading? https://www.stats.govt.nz/topics/migration

        • Janet 13.2.1.1

          Yep I looked, seems that migrants are chasing NZ citizens out of NZ, and look at who and how many have not gone back to their country's after one year in NZ .

          For migrant arrivals in the December 2019 year, New Zealand citizens were the largest group with 34,200 (± 700) arrivals. The next largest groups were citizens of:

          • China – 13,000 (± 300)
          • India – 12,500 (± 300)
          • South Africa – 11,400 (± 200)
          • Philippines – 8,500 (± 200)
          • Australia – 7,200 (± 500.)

          For migrant departures in the December 2019 year, New Zealand citizens were the largest group with 43,300 (± 900) departures. The next largest groups were citizens of:

          • China – 11,300 (± 500)
          • United Kingdom – 5,500 (± 100)
          • India – 5,300 (± 300)
          • Australia – 3,700 (± 300).
        • roblogic 13.2.1.2

          Not good enough. A bandaid in the middle of a housing crisis.

          • Muttonbird 13.2.1.2.1

            We can't increase supply. We won't regulate Airbnb. We must reduce demand.

            • roblogic 13.2.1.2.1.1

              Agreed, but it's a bit rich for knobhead Jones to be making rude remarks when his party is presumably responsible for govt paralysis to keep the oldies onside

              • Muttonbird

                Sure. There have been some adjustments reducing net incoming numbers which is good. Basically the country can't handle it…

                …or more clearly, the country refuses to put in place a system where those who profit from housing and housing development, and those who enter the country with cash pay their fair share with respect to the wider infrastructure required to support that increased housing.

  13. solkta 14

    There is a typo on his hat. There should be another "first" after the first first.

  14. Climaction 15

    All your saying Mickey is that you just have to put up with racist friends, saying racist things, as long as you are in government. That it’s not worth standing up and calling out the type of language that empowers lower profile racists to indulge in more racists behaviour, in case the coalition agreement is torn up.

    which is fucking weak from a “new, kind, form of government” that is supposedly built on caring

    • Incognito 15.1

      A coalition government under MMP is not a Borg Collective or Hive.

      You obviously do not understand MMP politics nor this Post.

      • Climaction 15.1.1

        Judging by your constant carping that the government is three individual entities, I think it’s you who doesn’t understand MMP. You seem to think that being in government is more important than having standards and standing up for your values.

        i know what the outcome will be if our PM rebukes Shane Jones in a meaningful way.
        But the rest of us can judge the government by the company it keeps.

        • Sacha 15.1.1.1

          rebukes Shane Jones in a meaningful way

          What would that look like, for you?

        • Incognito 15.1.1.2

          You seem to think that being in government is more important than having standards and standing up for your values.

          Au contraire mon frère, you comment applies to that lot that’s currently in Opposition and they, just like you, refuse to accept MMP. It is about time you grow up, don’t you think? MMP has been in place in NZ since 1994.

          But the rest of us can judge the government by the company it keeps.

          Wow! Shane Jones is a Minister in and of this Government; what “company” is he keeping?

          • Climaction 15.1.1.2.1

            Blah blah blah opposition. I was referring to your understanding of MMP.

            I accept MMP. Because I accept that labour greens standing on their own, shorn of the corrupt racist burden that is nz1, will form a better government than has been seen yet under MMP.

            your pale and stale belief that NZ1 is somehow a necessity of government shows a concerning lack of values and belief in upholding them.

            in answer to what your question, the company Shane jones keeps is cabinet. And no one is covering themselves in glory there

            • Incognito 15.1.1.2.1.1

              You accept MMP. That’s a good start. Unfortunately, you seem to have a problem with accepting the reality of MMP and the current coalition Government, which still includes NZF. You eliminate NZF, you eliminate this Government. Capisce?

              If Labour and the Greens will form the new Government after the election, it will be a different coalition Government than the current one. My pale and stale belief in reading the tea leaves is non-existent.

              • Climaction

                Capisce?

                Righto tony soprano

                want to talk gangster and be a tough guy? Tell nz1 they’re not welcome and go to the polls.

                Quisling

                • Incognito

                  Never watched The Sopranos but you obviously did. Why don’t you do your Dirty Harry impersonation and tell Shane Jones yourself, to his face, you tough guy?

                  You have made great leaps in understanding MMP: in order to get rid of NZF you need an (snap) election. As it so happens, the PM has called an election. Comprendo?

                  • Climaction

                    Easy on the italics button mr big stuff

                    So we should sit here for 6 months and let nz1 posture around? That’s a foolish strategy.

                    headlines, media air time, Seats in parliament after the election with no guarantee they’ll work with lab greens?
                    So progressive of you as long as you keep National out right?

                    Quisling

                    • Incognito

                      Oh, I see. You want the PM to go for the nuclear moment and nuke her Coalition Government before 19 September. Riktig?

                    • McFlock

                      As long as NZ1 keep being the difference between a national-led govt and a labgrn-led govt, labour telling NZ1 to piss off is a guaranteed national govt. Either it's nat/nz1 or the tory dream of a "grand coalition" labnat (puke).

                      National tried it last time. It's a major reason they're in opposition at the moment.

  15. Muttonbird 16

    Let's not forget that in modern times it's the people who decide what is or isn't worth a sacking.

    Drawing on reality TV for a moment, we had Hannah Tamaki dumped from DWTS for her views on the Rainbow community.

    And we had Chris Mansfield axed and deleted from MAFS for a history of domestic abuse.

    We also had Robert Jones folding in court and retreating to his high cave after realising he is in fact a racist.

    These outcomes were all due to public pressure, largely on social media, not pressure from journalists looking for a story. And not pressure from opposition politicians and bloggers looking to score political points.

    I think Shane Jones is a complete prick but the public pressure isn't at boiling point yet so he stays for the time being.

  16. Geoff 17

    The trouble with MMP is that it essentially a corrupt system that employs a raft of party partisan list MP's totally unaccountable to the electorate.

    With STV there are no list parasites and each member is directly selected and accountable to those electorate voters, plus it also allows independents a much better chance at getting elected to parliament.

    • KJT 17.1

      The trouble with FPP, MMP, and STV, is that we are stuck with whatever old boys club, time servers political parties want to stick us with.

      Only the Greens even allow members to vote who gets on the list. Which shows in the general high quality of Green MP'S, compared with the many nitwits in the other parties, lineups

      Fixed it for you.

      "Representative democracy" is an oxymoron when politicians consider themselves "managers" not representatives.

      Effectively our system allows the illusion of public democratic control, when, in reality, we just get the opportunity to change the names of the current Dictator's.

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