More on National’s list issues

Last week we explained why National may have no new List MPs after the election. And why candidates should not expect National to honour any promises about List positions.

It is worth examining this further. National will lose three List MPs to retirement, Parata, Foster-Bell & Naylor. Bishop may win a seat. This will leave 15 current List MPs. ? Read more »

Will National have new List MPs after the election?

It is a good question: Will National have new List MPs after the election?

Probably not.

Unless non-caucus members are ranked ahead of caucus members.

National?s current caucus has 19 List MPs. Three of these are leaving. Parata, Naylor & Foster-Bell. That leaves 16 List MPs. ? Read more »

Not a bad idea doing away with by-elections

Nigel Roberts suggests a way to get rid of expensive and largely pointless by-elections:

More than 40 years ago, when I was a young political scientist teaching at the University of Canterbury, I spent a semester at the University of Aarhus in Denmark. I went there specifically to examine the government and politics of the Scandinavian states. Like New Zealand, they were (and still are) prime examples of small, stable democracies.

Before going to Aarhus, I also thought that an allied research project would be to write an article about by-elections in Denmark. Imagine my surprise when I learned?that it would have been akin to writing an article about snakes in New Zealand!

There are no parliamentary by-elections in Denmark. Nor are there by-elections in Norway or Sweden. Indeed, a significant number of other European democracies also don’t hold by-elections to fill vacancies in their Parliaments. These countries include Austria, Belgium, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Israel, the Netherlands, and Portugal. ? Read more »


Gareth Morgan fails on evidence

Gareth Morgan shows his political naivety in his recent email?to people signed up for his spam.

He keeps going on about evidence:

3. Stick to the Evidence
If you disagree with someone, it might be because you don?t think their idea will work. If that is the case, tell them why. Cite the evidence if you can; that is the great thing about the internet, this stuff is so easy to find.

Yet appears not to have seen the evidence in front of his eyes.

At the end of the day, everyone is equal; one person one vote. The Opportunities Party only needs 100,000 votes to make it into Parliament. We don?t need to convince the whole country.

Well Gareth, good luck at getting into parliament on 100,000 votes. 100,000 votes has never been enough to get into parliament under MMP. ? Read more »

Choosing MMP was our Brexit, and a NZ Trump is not likely, says Brent Edwards

It is not often I agree with someone from Red Radio, but Brent Edwards has got this one right:

The unexpected victory of Donald Trump in last week’s United States presidential election has been compared to Brexit – the vote in the United Kingdom to leave the European Union.

Some commentators are suggesting this political “revolution” in the US and the UK is a signal of change to come in other Western countries, including New Zealand.

Should this country worry about or look forward to a Trump-like figure emerging here to turn politics on its head? Probably not.

Aspects of Mr Trump’s approach have been and are already here, although not in the blatantly misogynist and racist guise that has so upset so many in the US and around the world. But elements of his approach are not unusual in this country.

New Zealand has had its Brexit moment as well. Mr Trump’s success and Brexit could both be said to represent segments of the UK and US electorates saying “a pox on both your houses” to the two major parties. That happened here in 1993 when a majority voted for MMP.

MMP has allowed the opportunity to give voice to the disenchanted – those who President-elect Trump referred to as the “forgotten men and women” of the US.

Many of those responded to Mr Trump’s railings against immigration and globalisation.

They responded to his message that most of their woes, including unemployment or stagnant incomes, were the result of rampant immigration and free trade exporting American jobs to overseas markets.

Sound familiar?

Last week on RNZ’s Morning Report, the New Zealand First leader, Winston Peters, reminded listeners he and his party had been raising worries about immigration and free trade for the past 20 years.

Read more »

Back to Zero Mr Little


By going to a hug fest with Canada’s Trudeau, Andrew Little managed to edge closer to breaking the 21 day “no ballsup” record. ?Earlier this week we reset it to zero as he decided to ignore the advice of one of our most effective and successful Labour Prime ministers ever. ? Read more »

Cunning, cunning Winston

Winston Peters knows that people dislike MMP. He also knows that they generally?dislike MPs….except him of course.

That makes his latest?suggestion to cut costs of parliament a very cunning move.

NZ First leader Winston Peters has come up with a cost-saving solution to Parliament’s looming space problem: cut the number of MPs to 100 instead of spending millions on a new office block.

Parliament’s Speaker David Carter has proposed building a new office block on Parliament’s grounds to house MPs and staff after the lease on Bowen House ends at the end of 2018. ?? Read more »

Labour’s electoral self-interest bill defeated

Labour’s self-interest bill wanting to lower the threshold under MMP from 5% to 4% has been defeated. The same bill wanted to remove the coat-tailing provision as well in a shameless bid to spike National despite one of the MPs targeted under their bill having joined with Labour themselves, and David Cunliffe trying to use the same provision to cut a deal with Internet Mana at the last election.

Parliament has voted down a bid to close the loophole that allows MPs to enter Parliament on the coat tail of someone who wins an electorate seat.

A bill promoted by Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway would have implemented the recommendations of the Electoral Commission following a review which called for the removal of the single electoral seat threshold and a corresponding reduction in the party vote threshold from 5 per cent to 4 per cent. Lowering the party vote threshold would make it easier for smaller parties to win seats in Parliament because they would only need to win 4 per cent of the vote, not 5 per cent, the current threshold.

Imagine if Colin Craig and his cultists had been elected…any government supported by him and his disciples would now be in dreadful trouble.

The coat tailing rule is seen as unfair because it means parties that win only a small number of votes can still get a number of MPs in Parliament so long as they win an electorate seat. ?It also can allow larger parties to do deals that would help smaller parties into Parliament, which happened with ACT and National in the Epsom seat in Auckland. In 2008 ACT won just 3.6 per cent of the vote after then-leader Rodney Hide won Epsom, in contrast with NZ First which got voted out of Parliament with 4.1 per cent of the vote. ? Read more »

Has MMP trapped Labour and the Greens?

Has MMP trapped Labour and the Greens?

Rob Hosking at the NBR seems to think the very system that Labour supporters believes benefits them has in fact cornered them and doomed them to opposition.

MMP, a political system vigorously promoted by New Zealand?s poltical Left, is playing a big part in the Left?s political failings.

It is one of the ironies of the current political scene that National seems to be moving into the kind of long-term government best demonstrated by Japan?s Liberal Democratic Party, which has been in government most terms the past 50 years.

National will, I doubt, match that. But New Zealand?s status quo party has adapted to an electoral system that entrenches the status quo, while the radicals who urged that status quo system on New Zealanders are left grasping emptily at political impotence.

How very perspicacious. Although Jim Bolger was the idiot who proposed a referendum on our voting system it was the left wing who embraced MMP. All the pro-MMP lobby groups have largely been left-wingers…and it was Labour and the Greens who lobbied the hardest to retain the system.

MMP gave the radical Left opponents of the 1984-92 economic reforms a seat in Parliament, but also ensured they couldn?t actually do very much to overturn those reforms.

What MMP did was entrench the policy settings of 1996. That did not mean those cannot be changed, ever, it just made it much harder to do so.

If you strip away the looney left of Labour and the single interest groups you are left with conservative style politicians, with a good dose of pragmatism…they also tend to be sensible blokes, like Stuart Nash and Kelvin Davis. They would be happy in a John Key National government and actually move it to the right a bit.

The problem Labour and the Greens have is that they think the battle they are fighting still need fighting when the reality is they were either won or lost some time ago. Conservatism, which is what Rob Hosking is talking about is in the ascendency…and the loonies of the extremes are slowly being sidelined by MMP that rewards conservatism and the middle and penalises the extreme.




NZ First to decide if they will add a scum list MP to parliament

Of course they will.

It’s expected New Zealand First will today finally make a decision on which new MP to bring into Parliament.

Winston Peters still hasn’t resigned his list seat after winning the Northland by-election, but the is party board meeting today, and is expected to make a move.

Next of the New Zealand First list is Ria Bond, a former hairdresser who’s currently working as a parliamentary staffer.

She’s the obvious choice for New Zealand First to bring in, but could choose to decline, or be pressured to stand aside if the party has someone else in mind.

No one from the party will front to confirm if she’s in the running for the spot.

The alliance some were hoping for between Labour and New Zealand First doesn’t look to have come into fruition, with still no meeting between the party leaders since the Northland by-election.

Winston Peters upset the balance of power in parliament when he claimed the seat.

We find new methods?to test MMP in ways that were never anticipated originally.

In hindsight, I think an MP should not be able to run for parliament while already an MP. ? That means you have to resign before you run again. ?This is what happens before an election for example.

It’s a little moot now, but would Winston have taken the risk of losing his list seat? ? He was in a no-lose situation. ?Either he got an electorate seat or he could go back to his old job.

Can you be an electorate and list MP? ?Logically no. ?But somehow Winston winning Northland hasn’t automatically triggered his resignation as a list MP, and therefore automatically triggered the next on the NZ First list to come into parliament.

Especially with the Internet/Mana party debacle still fresh in our memories, and not this dog and pony show, it may just be time to put MMP through a review.

It would make more sense than changing a flag.

Winston, again, gets to keep?the country on a knife edge on his time table as he decides what to do. ? The rules should say what to do. ?We should not be in a position where we have to make it up as we go along.


– Frances Cook, Newstalk ZB