The Greens gerrymander MMP to their own benefit

Image credit: Boondecker

The quotes below are from The Daily Blog. While we most often do not agree with Martyn Bradbury, I think he is absolutely correct on this one. He may be a socialist, but clearly he believes in democracy and he believes, quite correctly, that the Greens are deliberately abusing it for their own benefit. quote.

Sensing their slip to under 5%, the Greens seem to have decided that gerrymandering MMP for their benefit in time for the 2020 Election is preferable to dumping the Middle Class Woke Identity Politics that is making them so alienating and unelectable.

end quote.

The Greens may simply be facing the curse of small parties in government, where coalition partners inevitably disappoint their support base by facing up to the realities of government and becoming more mainstream. It has happened to many small parties before them, but none have had the temerity to attempt to change the MMP goalposts just to ensure that they stay in government. That would be out-and-out corruption, wouldn’t it? quote.

I expect this kind of ruthless corruption of the electoral system from National or ACT (and MANA on a good day when undermining neoliberalism), but from the Greens it?s inspirational stuff that sings to the anarchistic hate spider of nihilism that slowly envelops my once optimistic heart. end quote.

This is where I disagree with Martyn Bradbury, and for one reason. Helen Clark tried a similar stunt in her final term, with the Electoral Finance Act. She still lost the 2008 election, but the National government then repealed the Act, on the grounds that it was anti-democratic. quote.

Note that it?s not 1%, 2%  or 3% which would be an honest solution to the issue of MMP not allowing enough voices and different ideas getting democratic traction, oh no, it?s 4%, the threshold that would most benefit the Greens while killing off any other proto-political movement. end quote.

Yes, and as NZ First is polling below 4%, it may not save them either. The Greens, however, look to be saving their own necks and, if Winston is no longer around, they might possibly see this as a good thing. quote.

What is most galling is the Greens seem to want to pass this in time for the 2020 election. Now put aside the naked self interest on display here, but such a decision, even if it happened, should require a 75% supermajority of Parliament, not just a basic 51%. end quote.

If it were in the interests of democracy, this would be correct. A public referendum would be even better. This is not in the interests of democracy, however. This is purely and simply in the interests of the Greens. quote.

Why is it the threshold that will only serve the Greens & NZ First and why does it need to be rammed through by 2020?

I also believe the threshold should be lowered to 3% so that new political movements can gain representation, and I think the threshold changes need to be a supermajority or by referendum.

Those changes however are ones that would benefit the entire democratic eco-system, not just the Greens and NZ First.

Watch[ing] the Greens argue for a change that nakedly benefits them while trampling every other value is proof positive our Millennial Greens have come of age and are now as politically venal as everyone else.

This is pretty ugly, and if it were the Right pulling these sorts of tactics we would be eviscerating them.

The daily blog. end quote.

Yes you would, Martyn, but you would be quite right to do so. I am pleased to see that you don’t let parties on the other side of the political divide get away with it either.