Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Truth Column Feb 21-27

My Truth column for February 21-27. The political poll referred to in this column has since been superseded by others.

Here's a scary headline: LABOUR, GREENS WITH MINOR PARTIES WOULD WIN ELECTION.  So said the latest Roy Morgan poll. Emboldened Green co-leader Metiria Turei shoved aside her education spokesperson to lead the charge against charter schools and pave the way to becoming Education Minister in 2014. Any charter school would be turned into a state school under her direction, she threatened. In other words she'd remove the "greater flexibility in exchange for greater accountability of educational outcomes" promised to partnership schools. Before the initiative has chance to prove itself, the Greens (and Labour) would trample it dead.
What else could we expect from such a government?


Anonymous said...

What else could we expect from such a government?

Such a government - a coalition excluding the party that actually won the election would be unprecedented in New Zealand's history.

While there are precedents from outside the Westminster system for such an arrangement - it is only leftist civil servants and academics who say that is what should happen in NZ. Because there are not NZ precedents, we literally do not know what could or would happen.

Instead of an unelected "coalition of the losers" without the largest party, and certainly without either a majority or even a plurality of the actually-elected list seats - there are a whole lot of other, better options, conservative options which have much more constitutional support than an unelected minority government.

* National minority government with an opposition speaker and even a couple of "opposition" ministers pledged to abstain (give Greens the DoC)
* Fresh election
* Fresh election where only electorate MPs form parliament
* Grand National/Labour coalition
* National Unity government involving all parties but lead by the largest party (National) who would keep finance portfolio.
* Govenor-General appoints enough supplementary List MPs to give the largest party a working majority
* Rule through the Executive Council and the Govenor-General --- or even rule directly by the Govenor-General under the reserve powers.

Some of these options are quite extreme - but all of them have at least as much constitutional support at Westminster & Washington than the continental socialist "unelected government of the losers". Even with MMP, NZ does not have to go down that failed path that leads directly to Greece, Spain, and Italy!

Key should consider a "reverse Whitlam" and replace Mateparae without someone who is more likely to make the correct decision and not just listen to civil servants - I think Don Brash would make an excellent Govenor-General in such a situation.

Key could introduce an amendment to the electoral act to make confidence and supply depend only on the actually-elected list MPs --- this would also make the problem much less likely to occour.

But most importantly, Key, English, Banks - and everyone else including you Lindsay - needs to say loud and clear that an unelected government that is not lead by the largest party has no precedent in NZ's history and will widely be seen as illegitimate.

thor42 said...

I agree with anonymous.

It truly is an odd electoral system when the most popular of the parties does not make it into government.

I think the Governor-General may well have a bit of work to do after the election.

Lindsay Mitchell said...

Thank you anon. Got me thinking..and asking.

Johnny said...

What a load of nonsense.

Never mind the fact that it is factually nonsense - the Liberal/Country coalition in Oz often beat Labor there with plurality only because by the fact that they coalesce.

That aside, New Zealanders know exactly the way our (stupid) MMP works and if Labour/Greens/etc win, NZers will expect the GG to stay the hell out of it and allow such a coalition to form a government and maintain it for 3 years.

What a load of crap in comments above. Good god.

Johnny said...


Even Julia Gillard is a minority PM. She is PM only because independents picked her to coalesce with.

Short memories peops.

Anonymous said...

I recall that in 1981 Labour attracted slightly more votes than National but due to seat allocations/voters numbers under FPP National became the government.