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New Zealand general election

by eurogreen Fri Nov 25th, 2011 at 04:20:18 PM EST

Here are some personal notes on this weekend's election.

Anyone interested in the mechanics of the thing, and in following results, can check out the Wikipedia entry.
Don't bother with the NZ online press, unless you're extremely enthusiastic, as it is pretty much incomprehensible, even to an expatriate like me, but here it is :
NZ Herald
Stuff
Scoop

Just to kill any suspense :

the polls are unequivocal.


National (Tories, centre-right) are certain to be returned, with an increased majority, and probably with an absolute majority in parliament : this would be a first since the switch to mixed-member proportional voting in 1996 (National currently lead a three-party coalition).

The big news, from my point of view, is the breakthrough in the Green vote : currently with 9 MPs in the parliament of 120, from 6.5 percent of the vote in the 2008 election, seem likely to double the score.

New Zealand seems to have found its daddy in John Key. His appeal, and the man himself, are a complete mystery to me. Former head of foreign exchange at Merril Lynch.

I'll continue adding notes to this diary as they occur to me. Just now, I'm going to fax my vote, having downloaded it before dinner.

[continues]

My own political history began with Labour, in the early 1980s. This was the time of the silly old English first-past-the-post system, there were no other options on the table for me. In 1981, I worked for Labour's first openly gay candidate, in a marginal seat. We lost by a couple of hundred votes, and Labour lost the election despite outpolling National. I presided the Labour youth organisation for a while (though "organisation" is probably an overstatement), and in 1984 I was campaign manager for an electorate, in which ... we ... came ... fourth! No mean achievement, in what was still basically a two-party system, in a year when our party won by a landslide. (The electorate was one of two won by the third party, Social Credit. They had polled as high as 20% nationally in 1981, but never won more than two seats.)

Shortly after this I left the country, for personal reasons, but I was already full of foreboding. A struggle over economic policy had occurred in the Labour party before the election, and we had lost: a bunch of neo-liberals seized power in an internal coup, and proceeded to gut the economy (NZ was briefly a poster child for the Chicago school, but then quickly dropped out of sight when it became obvious that it didn't actually work).

I came back to NZ in 1999, and was somewhat confused as to my political allegiance. Labour was out of the question. Most of my associates from the 80s had left the party to form New Labour, which, with the arrival of proportional representation in 1996, formed an alliance with the Greens (and with Social Credit!). This Alliance Party would seem to be my natural home (during the 90s, I had joined the French Green party), but in 1999 the Greens had split from the Alliance to run in their own right.

I disapproved of the split, because the Greens seemed unlikely to make the 5% threshold. I nevertheless joined the party. I was proved right on election night, when we got stuck on 4.9%... but when overseas votes were counted, a couple of weeks later, we tipped over the threshold, and also won an electorate seat (which, in the NZ system, removes the threshold... this is a controversial feature and may well be scrapped in future).

I left NZ again in 2000, but stayed somewhat active in the Green Party for a while (I managed the membership database, and wrote the first content management system, since replaced, for the web site).

And now, I feel like a foreigner.

The Green breakthrough in this election (if it eventuates) has the potential to be a real game-changer. Labour is at a low ebb, and shows no obvious signs of revitalizing. However, it has come at the cost of a transformation of the party itself, somewhat like the German greens I suppose : seen by some as a betrayal of the activist base, in the outreach to the middle class.

Meanwhile, this has opened up an opportunity on the left. Since the demise of the Alliance in 2002 (they had been in coalition with Labour, but resigned from government over the issue of sending troops to Afghanistan, and didn't make it back into parliament), the Greens had been in the somewhat uncomfortable position of being the only party to the left of Labour. But this may change tomorrow.

This leads me to the complicated proposition of explaining the Maori seats. They are something of a historical oddity; and when combined with MMP, it opens up some interesting possibilities. When New Zealand's parliament was founded in the mid 19th century, white settlers were fewer than the indigenous Maori. In order to preserve a veneer of democracy while avoiding the real thing, reserved seats were instituted for the natives (four out of 80). In the 20th century, these seats were generally the property of the Labour party, but in the MMP era the situation has been quite fluid. Currently there are 7 reserved Maori seats out of 120. In 2008, the Maori Party won 5 seats, but controversially entered coalition with National. One of its MPs, who is sure to ve returned in his Maori electorate, rebelled and formed the Mana Party, which has been joined by historic figures of the left... including one former Green MP. So it's quite possible that, although they won't reach the 5% threshold, they may get 2 or 3 members.

So anyway... I voted. There is a referendum about the voting system; the right have been working hard to get MMP abolished, but the current system seems certain to be retained (I voted to retain it). I voted the Green national list, and hesitated a few minutes over the electorate vote. I am registered in the Auckland Central electorate, a traditional Labour seat which switched to National at the last election. Under MMP, this doesn't change the overall balance of power; and personally I don't have any use for a local MP. Voting for the Green candidate would be of only symbolic use. And it turns out that the Labour candidate is the girlfriend of an old mate from the Labour youth wing.

Display:
show the expected whitewash :

Election 2011: Epsom race close - Election 2011 - NZ Herald News

Over half the vote has now been counted in the 2011 general election.

With 64.3 per cent of polling places counted, National led with 49.23 per cent, Labour had 26.96 per cent, the Greens had 10.46 per cent, and New Zealand First remained above the 5 per cent threshold, with 6.82 per cent.

The Maori Party was on 1.28 per cent, United Future was on 0.67 per cent, the Conservative Party on 2.79 per cent, Act on 1.11 per cent and Mana on 0.93 per cent.

So I'd better present the other players.

The "New Zealand First Party" is a party of the extreme centre. Populist muckraker Winston Peters has been in coalition with both Labour and National, was finally chucked out in 2008, and has risen from the dead. He channels the angry and bewildered, the people who used to vote Social Credit.

The ACT party was founded by the neo-liberal faction of Labour, mentioned above, and represents the hard right of NZ politics. In the last couple of elections, they have been kept alive by the electorate seat that National has conceded them : National ran a candidate with instructions to lose, but this time ACT are so unpopular that the rebellious right-wing electors may well return the National candidate anyway. ACT provides National with a reliable coalition partner, and a safety valve for disaffected voters who might otherwise switch to the centre or the left. I was hoping they would be consigned to the dustbin of history this time, but we'll see...

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Sat Nov 26th, 2011 at 03:44:20 AM EST
The "New Zealand First Party" is a party of the extreme centre.

Huh!? I thought far-right, or at least populist right? Pandering to the Christian Reich (they want to repeal the anti-smacking bill), making noise against Maori seats and social security for Maoris, and against selling to Chinese investors?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Nov 27th, 2011 at 08:50:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They are all over the map, equal to the sum of their leader's contradictions.

They are anti-immigration, but I wouldn't characterise them as a racist party. Peters himself is part Maori, and during one parliamentary term they held all seven Maori electorates. They are against foreign ownership, but so are the Greens. They have functioned as the pivot party, governing with both National and Labour.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Sun Nov 27th, 2011 at 12:00:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ACT seem set to retain Epsom (the richest and rightest of Auckland electorates), but not pick up any additional seats, their list vote being close to zero. That's a shame, I'd have liked to see Don Brash (former head of the National Party, and before that, governer of the Reserve Bank) bumbling around in parliament. The man's a walking political catastrophe. He staged a hostile takeover of ACT this year, and basically fired their sitting MPs. He expected to ride the coat-tails of John Banks, the Epsom candidate former mayor of Auckland and all-round hard-right bastard. With Banks as its sole representative, ACT may live on to pick up support when National goes out of favour.

New far-right party, the Conservatives, backed by some millionaire, scored 2.8, but no electorate, so won't be represented in parliament, and with ACT still around, are probably doomed.

Mana on 0.9% means no coat-tails for the new left-of-labour party; I'm disappointed, that's a historic opportunity missed.

My electorate, Auckland Central, on a knife edge, looking like it will go back to Labour. Goodness me, I voted Labour last night... first time since 1984...

Oh, and Greens around 10.5% nationally. Somewhat underperforming the poll rating, this is traditional. Still, that's a dozen MPs.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Sat Nov 26th, 2011 at 04:20:11 AM EST
Last post in DP's running updates:
12.04am: The final result, with all booths counted, gave National 60 seats, Labour 34, The Green Party 13, NZ First 8, Maori Party 3, while the Mana Party, UnitedFuture and ACT all won a seat each.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sat Nov 26th, 2011 at 07:59:25 PM EST
Hm? That would total 121 seats, with no absolute majority for National.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Nov 27th, 2011 at 08:53:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Just checked the official results page at NZ elections ~ that's what they say too. Bloomberg just says Key can form government with his party's traditional allies, so its going to be a minority government on a minority of 1 with the same coalition agreements in confidence and supply (budget) of the Maori Party (3), ACT (1) and United Future (1) for a majority of 5.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sun Nov 27th, 2011 at 09:18:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yup.  The Maori Party won one more seat than they were entitled to, so we have an overhang.  So National needs a coalition partner.

Final results out in two weeks, which will likely see national lose another seat to NZ First or the Greens.

by IdiotSavant on Sun Nov 27th, 2011 at 09:19:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
... for those of us not used to the Mixed Proportional method, where you get extra "party vote" seats when you, eg, have a party vote share equal to 10 seats, but only win 7 constituencies.

"overhang seats" happen when you are entitled to fewer total seats than the constituency seats you win. You can't take away constituency seats, and the parties that won a larger share than their individual MP's are still entitled to their party list seats, so you end up seating more MP's than the normal total of individual and party list seats.

That happens in New Zealand because of the habit of Maori voters to cast Maori Party constituency votes and Labour Party party votes, leaving MP with fewer total seats than constituency seats won.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sun Nov 27th, 2011 at 12:23:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So anyway... I voted. There is a referendum about the voting system; the right have been working hard to get MMP abolished, but the current system seems certain to be retained (I voted to retain it)

Results aren't out till December 10, but the advance vote (largely from pensioners, who are more likely to be anti-MMP) has us keeping the current system, with informal votes beating out FPP for the most popular alternative.  So, some good news at least.

by IdiotSavant on Sun Nov 27th, 2011 at 09:21:29 AM EST
Can you explain the popularity of the government and its PM?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Nov 27th, 2011 at 09:22:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nope.  I'm just as boggled as everybody else.  And every time I hear someone say they want labour policies but are voting for the government, I want to scream at them.
by IdiotSavant on Sun Nov 27th, 2011 at 09:28:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There will be a postcript in about 10 jours, when "special votes" are tallied.

Votes cast outside the electorate one is registered in -- from overseas, for example -- are transmitted to the appropriate electorate, tallied, and announced when the process is finished.

This may well tip the balance in a couple of electorates -- notably in Christchurch Central, which is a dead heat on election night, and is generally tipped to stay Labour once the votes of those displaced by the earthquake are tallied.  But this will not change the overall tally, as any electorate gained or lost will be compensated by the party's list seats.

BUT... traditionally the Greens do very well on special votes (such as mine). I haven't crunched the numbers myself, but here's a well-regarded blogger who has :

Election '11: the special votes * Legal Beagle * Public Address

Preliminary Estimated
National 47.99% 60 47.46% 59
Labour 27.13% 34 27.29% 34
Green 10.62% 13 11.06% 14
New Zealand First 6.81% 8 6.59% 8
Māori Party 1.35% 3 1.43% 3
Mana 1.00% 1 1.06% 1
ACT 1.07% 1 1.05% 1
United Future 0.61% 1 0.60% 1
Conservative 2.76% 0 2.70% 0


121
121

So as things stand, we are expected to pick up a 14th seat, at the expense of National.

This does not change the confidence and supply equation, as this has already been stitched up, as described above by Bruce. However, the government's ability to pass legislation is impaired. In the previous parliament, they had a stable, if thin, majority with National and ACT alone. In the new parliament, although National has gained, ACT was almost wiped out, and between them (if the Greens steal another seat), they no longer have a majority.

National's major campaign issue was privatization of state assets. It's possible that the sole "United Future" MP will sign up for this-- he's always been for hire in the past-- but he hasn't yet committed.

I would not have expected the Maori Party, who have been punished by their electorate for their support for National, to support the alienation of infrastructure, but...

Turia: Iwi want to be 'major players' in asset sales - National - NZ Herald News

Iwi want to be "major players" if the new National Government goes through with its planned state asset sales, Maori Party leader Tariana Turia says.

So according to her, their votes are for hire, as long as Maori tribes are allowed to be major shareholders. Sounds promising.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Sun Nov 27th, 2011 at 11:39:38 AM EST
... (and none of this is prior knowledge ~ I am googling this myself then passing it on) ...

The 2008 result (party list seats in parentheses) had a parliament of 122 because of 2 MaoriP overhang seats ...

NatP - 58 (17)
LabP - 43 (22)
GrnP - 9 (9)
ACT - 5 (4)
MaoriP - 5 (0)* (overhang of 2)
Prog - 1 (0)
UFtr - 1 (0)
NZ1st - 0 (0)

So the confidence/supply support coalition backing the minority NatP government was 69 (of 122 including the two MaoriP overhang seats).

It has fallen to 65|64 (of 121), seemingly due to ACT and the Maori Party receiving "supporting player punishment" for small parties in support of a major party in government (similar to the collapse in support for the Irish Greens and the coming collapse in the UK Libs).

The MaoriP punishment was split between one defection gaining reelection and one constituency lost to the LabP ~ given splitting of constituency and party list votes, their hit is on the constituency seat level.

The ACT punishment was on the party list, with their vote share falling from 3.65% to an expected 1.05%, enough to justify the single constituency they hold without an overhang, but electing no party list MP's at all.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sun Nov 27th, 2011 at 12:59:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... seemed to play a role in the reduced MaoriP vote. Mixed emotions for Maori Party's Turia:
The Maori Party had made considerable gains for its people by being a support party to National, Mrs Turia said.

"But part of the problem is people listen to ... the rhetoric of people like (New Zealand First leader) Winston (Peters) and the Mana Party, and in the end they gain votes at our expense.



I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sun Nov 27th, 2011 at 02:13:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In the NZ press, I read that this election is "Labour's worst defeat since 1928", based on winning 27.1% of the vote.

This is nonsense. It is Labour's worst defeat, bar none. The 1928 result (26%, 19 seats out of 80) was a victory, with a gain of 7 seats, though it was followed by a strategic error : support for a minority Liberal government, which no doubt delayed  their obtaining a majority : they made minor gains in 1931, then, from opposition, won in a landslide in 1935.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Sun Nov 27th, 2011 at 02:33:39 PM EST
Harawira pledges Mana will battle child poverty:
"That is what will distinguish it from all the other parties in the House. We need to put the brakes on the bus and turn around to pick up the kids living in poverty."

He said the Maori Party was unable to properly speak for the poor while it was in coalition with the National Party.

He said the party would force a focus on child poverty over the next three years and work with any party which would help make a difference.

Under New Zealand's electoral system, with the Maori seats and a Multi-party Mixed Proportional parliament, one could see the ManaP fighting to replace the MaoriP as a party seeking to win Maori constituency majorities in excess of their national party vote ~ the "overhang seat" scenario.

However, under the rule that waives the 5% party list threshold for minor parties that win constituencies, Mana can also pursue a strategy of pursuing a party list vote in excess of its constituencies won ~ as the ACT-NZP had done in 2008. The "wasted vote" problem for a 3rd part on the edge of the threshold is substantially eased if the party holds one or two consituencies without overhang, so each extra roughly 0.84% of the party list vote nationwide can mean an extra party list seat.

Indeed, the ideal from a partisan perspective could entail winning split votes in Maori consitituencies that are presently going MaoriP at the constituency level and LabP at the party list level, and also winning split votes in regular constituencies where the LabP gets the constituency vote and the ManaP gets the party list vote.

For that, a focus on the growth in child poverty that is part and parcel of a neoliberal policy stance is well placed to pressure the MaoriP and the LabP and any "neoliberal conservationist" tendency within the GrnP from the left, which is to say, the anti-corporatist side.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sun Nov 27th, 2011 at 02:39:02 PM EST
It could indeed get interesting in 2014, visibly the time was not yet right, but a Maori seat as a base for a broader, not specifically Maori, party is an idea that appeals to me.

In fact, all the parties represented in parliament, other than the Greens, were formed by defections of sitting MPs of another party. A high-profile incumbent who can defend his constituency seat, can bring in list MPs.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Sun Nov 27th, 2011 at 03:10:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In terms of whether or not the time was right ~ I suspect that's a strategy that takes some effort in terms of party building, in which case a large enough party list vote across the country to elect some party list MP's would be intrinsically less likely in the first general election since forming the party.

Indeed, the success in holding the seat after the defection from the Maori Party is part of the foundation for that party building process, given the need to have confidence that votes below the 5% threshold wouldn't be "wasted" votes. In a setting where the Mana Party will be quite clearly and unambiguously in opposition to most of the government program, its going to be important going into 2014 that people believe Mana party voting will have as much chance of helping elect an anti-NatP MP as a LabP party list vote would do.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Mon Nov 28th, 2011 at 05:01:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Strategy could pay off for Greens | Stuff.co.nz

Former Green MP Sue Bradford hates it and the re-elected Catherine Delahunty has said she'd quit rather than vote for a National Party Budget.

But the slim chance that the Greens could do a deal to support a John Key-led Government might just have been the tactical master-stroke that led them to an historic result in the 2011 election.

I'm somewhat sceptical that there was much right-wing crossover to the Greens this time. I think it's more a matter of soaking up crossover when National's support declines. For that, the strategy, visibly, is to work with the government on environmental issues :

Gordon Campbell » Blog Archive » On the election outcomes

On Saturday night, Prime Minister John Key signalled that the environment would be the only likely area where the two parties could possibly co-operate. Well, in a press release a week before the election, the Greens claimed "water" to be the key environmental issue of this election, and that it had a three part plan to fix the problems.

1) Set standards for clean water and intensive agriculture;

2) Introduce a fair charge for irrigation water and;

3) Support water clean-up initiatives.

"Our standards for clean water will require stock exclusion from rivers and lakes within five years. Planting riverbanks and excluding stock from waterways has been shown to significantly improve water quality within three years," said Dr Norman.

Give that the "fair charge" would cost farmers some $370 $570 million per year, that part of the plan won't be a goer for National. But a watered down version of the plan (sorry) could be worthwhile for the Greens to put on the table for discussion, both as an environmental issue and as a job creation project.

Personally I find this a valid strategy, if it actually allows environmental issues to be addressed. Inviting crossover voting, I also consider legitimate. It worked in the early days of the Green Party, then became impossible due to the high visibility of Green MPs Sue Bradford and Keith Locke, formerly well-known extraparliamentory agitators (and crossovers via the Alliance). They have now both retired, which facilitates a certain re-branding :

Towards a new theory of the Greens: the election campaign | Pundit

This general election campaign was focused. It was tight, as Jolyon White found out. There were three top priority policies: kids, rivers, and jobs.

They were smart choices. There was an instantly recognisable social policy, an environmental one, and an economic one. Each of them was individually also all three: social, environmental and economic.

The billboard slogan was "party vote Green, for a richer new Zealand". They showed some healthy children swimming in a clean river, and wind-powered energy for green jobs. They suggested, perhaps, that a richer New Zealand could be reached by a different route than the fossil-fuelled, dairy-fed path we've been on. [...]
But for all the strengths and wins of the 2011 campaign, it also failed, irrespective of the size of the resulting vote. Because it did not give real profile to the difference in Green values, or confront the need for a change in values. It did not spell out that a party vote Green is not just a vote for a smart-thinking smart-looking more environmentally-friendly party branded under a different colour.

I agree with the above blogger that the ethos gets lost in the wash, but that, I hope, is more an election-campaign issue than a genuine loss of soul.

People who vote Green due to environmental issues can, in many cases, end up adhering to the whole palette of values. I think it's wise to leave the door open.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Sun Nov 27th, 2011 at 05:57:32 PM EST
who executed Don Brash in 2006 when he was National Party leader, with his book The Hollow Men :

I've just been internalising a really complicated situation in my head | Pundit

The news declared that the National Party had had a 'historic' election victory on Saturday but, if that was true, National Party people would be looking happier. The reality is much more complicated

Here's the bullet-point version, to begin:

  • National won about the same number of votes it did three years ago (it got a higher percentage of the total vote owing to falling voter turnout)
  • National has an almost unmanageably thin majority in Parliament; party insiders are not at all happy
  • Winston Peters is back as a fly in the National Party's ointment, in a large part because John Key and Steven Joyce mucked up over the Epsom tea party
  • MMP is here to stay, meaning governments need to win a real majority and not just a high single party vote
  • 50% of voters voted against National, despite its popular leader
  • Many National votes were won because of its apparently easy-going and centrist leader, not because people necessarily support its policies
  • Well over 50% of the public opposes key National Party policies such as privatisation ('asset sales')
  • The ACT Party, National's most important coalition partner, died on election night
  • There are signs that National has passed the high point of its popularity and will now start to decline
  • There are signs that National leader John Key has passed the high point of his popularity and will now start to decline.
  • The coming three years will be the playing out of these things. It is going to be very different to National's first three years in government.

That's the summary. If you'd like the long version, read on.



It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed Nov 30th, 2011 at 03:14:39 AM EST

Many National votes were won because of its apparently easy-going and centrist leader...

Well over 50% of the public opposes key National Party policies such as privatisation ('asset sales')...

Those in the intersection are big idiots, IMHO... and again, how did he leave the easy-going and "centrist" impression?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Nov 30th, 2011 at 09:41:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My guess goes to flattering portrayals in a compliant local corporate media.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Wed Nov 30th, 2011 at 12:31:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Quite a lot hangs on the decisions made by the Maori Party leadership. If they use the power of their three vote buffer to negotiate a deal with the NatP, they need to bring away something that will make their constituents happy in greater measure than their constituents are unhappy with a NatP government in general.

And if they were of an inclination to turn back the best deal they can get, which is likely to be better than the deal they got last time ... they probably wouldn't have been inclined to take the deal they took last time, which cost them two seats, via defection and loss of a seat to the LabP.

But if they pursue a deal, its easy to see them getting completely wiped out in three year's time, with four way races in all Maori Seats between the Maori Party, the Labour Party, the Mana Party, and NZ1st. Maori Seat voters who vote Maori Party so that the Labour Party cannot take them for granted would seem to be especially fertile ground for an appealing Mana Party candidate.

And voters who presently have the habit of splitting their votes between the Maori Party and the Labour Party in a seat where the Mana Party candidate does not look like getting up could perhaps be persuaded to split their ticket, cast their constituency vote to their preference among the leaders, but give their party vote to the Mana Party.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Wed Nov 30th, 2011 at 01:27:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Final election results posted including special votes ~ the Maori Party still with an overhang of 1 seat, so still a 121 seat parliament. Nats down to 59 and Greens up to 14.

Singlet parties of ACT and another small right wing party have signed Accords, giving the government confidence and supply and support for their government program (including controversial privatisations), while the three MP Maori Party has signed up for confidence and supply but freedom otherwise to vote as they wish, and two ministers outside of government.

This seems to be fairly widely understood to be the end of the Maori Party, who will be wiped out electorally by being tarred with the brush of a more right wing reformist Nat government than its first three years. The question of whether the Mana Party will take advantage of this but also continue its ambition to be a combined Maori Seat and Party List party, rather than a pure Maori Seat party like the Maori Party (hence the overhang) ... that will be seen over the three years ahead.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sun Dec 11th, 2011 at 11:02:05 PM EST


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