NZ Green Party
It’s not winner take all

There’s a misconception in some corners of political coverage that this election is ‘winner takes all. For instance yesterday Deborah Coddington writes:

If Key keeps on smiling through personal attacks – and reassuring New Zealanders that, under his watch, this country won’t go belly up – National might win the election.

Which, in these crazy MMP times, is not the same as being the next government.

The election is not about winning and losing.  It’s about ensuring different political views are fairly represented, proportionally in parliament.  And hopefully where those views share commonalities working together to debate issues and develop legislation and policy. That’s not crazy, that’s a strength of MMP.

The Greens have a record working with all parties in parliament where our views coincide with theirs.  If we were to treat parliament as a game of winner takes all  we can head back to the Muldoon-Douglas era where governments could pass policy without building any coalition of consensus around it.

Oh, and while I’m writing about Coddington, what about this bit:

The Nats’ “handmaiden” Act deserves trust because they’re not scared to state unspeakable truths, such as global warming being a hoax. Rodney Hide was uncharacteristically understating when he said we’re overly nanny-bossed – in Taranaki, residents are stockpiling saveloys and condensed milk, fearing the products – like lightbulbs – will be banned.

Pu-lease!  Can anyone name me one person who has had their lightbulbs taken off them, or has been refuse the right to eat the food they want to eat?  Let’s move on from this distortion of the truth.  Expecting schools to stock healthy food is not the same as forcing children not to eat pies.  Phasing out production of inefficient lightbulbs in favour of efficient ones is not a serious breach of the Bill of Rights.  After all it is the Coddington-right who always talk about technology moving on and cars replacing horses and carts because they are more efficient.

And this:

Last week Sir Roger Douglas intimated Act’s bottom line for supporting National is Hide and himself in cabinet, and Key could do worse than give Douglas education. His unfinished business could stare down the strident teacher unions and nasty principals’ federations, and lift standards by giving choice and power to parents and families.

Gotta love Act’s honesty on education policy. It’s like; we’ll have some good schools and some bad schools, and you get to choose which to go to, and it will be first in, first serve.  Sorry, too slow. You missed out on the school you wanted because it’s already full of wealthier, less-melanin rich children, but don’t worry, your voucher is also redeemable at McDonalds.

11 thoughts on “It’s not winner take all

  1. Last week Sir Roger Douglas intimated Act’s bottom line for supporting National is Hide and himself in cabinet,

    That’s hilarious, although ”intimated” is not the same is ‘declared’ – who else is ACT going to support?! National can just go to UF, who should be able to sweep up NZF’s votes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  2. Gotta love Act’s honesty on education policy. It’s like; we’ll have some good schools and some bad schools, and you get to choose which to go to, and it will be first in, first serve. Sorry, too slow. You missed out on the school you wanted because it’s already full of wealthier, less-melanin rich children, but don’t worry, your voucher is also redeemable at McDonalds.

    You’re intimating that the good schools are run by a bunch of racists? I do see there being a problem with high demand for the good schools though.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  3. StephenR- No, I’m intimating that schools that are perceived to be ‘good’ (different from being ‘good’) appeal to parents of wealthier, whiter students who have a better ability to pick and choose where their children/young adults go to school. ‘White flight‘ is a well documented phenomenon in NZ schools.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  4. >
    >>The election is not about winning and losing. It’s about ensuring different political views are fairly represented, proportionally in parliament. And hopefully where those views share commonalities working together to debate issues and develop legislation and policy.

    You are joking aren’t you?

    Some parties HAVE TO WIN a constituency seat to be represented in the House of Representatives. A party HAS TO WIN an overall majority of seats to be able to deliver its manifesto. The Green Party has to WIN MANY PARTY VOTES to have the influence it desires over the future structure of law!

    Your comment reads like the sad unworldliness of the NCEA grading, where no one ‘fails’. Failing is something that happens in real life every day. I heard a Green MP say recently that they had FAILED to get a change to a bill that they wanted. I heard a colleague say this morning that he had FAILED to get the boss to accept his proposal for a change. This afternoon will have to call three people and tell them that they FAILED to get the job I interviewed them for. Failure is a fact of life.

    WINNING is also a fact of life. MPs will talk, on November 9th, about having WON the seat, or WON enough [arty votes to have representation in the House. ON Saturday my son will tell me if his team were the WINNERS in their league. Winning is also a fact of life.

    >
    >>It’s about ensuring different political views are fairly represented, proportionally in parliament.

    What defines fair, and what defines proportionality? If these were the true meaning of MMP, then parties would be granted seats based on the proportion of the vote they receive, with a simple 100 seats in total. That way, if you get 1% of the vote you get 1 seat, with the Swedish Rounding technique applied in the House just as it is in Supermarkets since small coins were removed from circulation “for the common good”. The “one seat gets you two, but four percent gets you nothing is so far from fair that it’s in FAIRy land!!!

    And while we’re on the points of Proportionality and Fairness, the only “proportionately fair’ government would start by taking the party with the largest proportion of the vote and, if they do not have enough seats to govern, forcing them to create a coalition with the party with THE NEXT HIGHEST PROPORTION, and so on until they had a majority to govern with! In today’s world this would lead to a labour/national coalition government after every election, making the majority proportion of votes cast the deciding factor on the Government of the day. We should even insist that Cabinet seats be allocated on the proportion of the vote for each of the two, saving a whole pile of hassle laden negotiations.

    MMP is not about proportional government, it’s still about ideology, with the new twist that the tail wags the dog – always! Not a good system unless you are a party of extremists who want power that is disproportionate to your proportion of votes – like NZ First after the last election. The sooner we replace it with something where at least I know that if the party I vote for’s policies will be implemented if they WIN the most votes, the happier I, for one, will be.

    Finally
    >
    >>Can anyone name me one person who has been refuse the right to eat the food they want to eat?

    Yes, I can. The children in schools that do not allow their students to leave the school grounds at break-times and whose parents are too lazy to prepare food for them so just give them cash instead! They have has their choices limited!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  5. >>we can head back to the Muldoon-Douglas era where governments could pass policy without building any coalition of consensus around it.

    Like the EFA, you mean?

    And as for the “different political views….fairly represented” you lot delivered the nation on s59, I think New Zealand couldn’t have a less representative bunch of politicians if we tried.

    Tail wagging the dog.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  6. Thanks frog. I wasn’t aware ACT’s ‘school choice’ policy depended on the ‘ability’ of parents to choose a school though…more ‘here’s a voucher, now pick a school’ sort of thing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  7. Strings, wouldn’t we end up with a Govt resembling the Zimbabwean one currently? Two antagonistic parties scrapping over evry decision.

    “We should even insist that Cabinet seats be allocated on the proportion of the vote for each of the two, saving a whole pile of hassle laden negotiations.”

    That approach may decide the proportion of cabinet se4ats but what about the allocation? And when it came to policy/legislation how would that be decided? Would it be majority rules in the cabinet?

    And wouldn’t that deliver the same effective result then as an FPP system?

    Doesn’t seem a very workable approach to me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  8. kiwinuke

    lots of ‘stuff’ to work out, but for Cabinet – the policy committee of government – to be proportionally representative that’s the kind of arrangement that would be needed. What we have today is the exact reverse of FPP – LPP, where the last ‘party’ (as opposed to individual like Dunne and Anderton) gets to set the policy agenda. The nuymber of ‘wasted’ votes – wasted because they are not delivering new laws and regulations – has gone up from a two party situation, and not changed much from the situation immediately prior to the change to MMP, except that confidence and supply are not block negotiated in exchange for platform policy change.

    I don’t see that we have achieved any real progress, unless you look from the perspective of a party that can never hope to gain the votes to establish the government under an FPP system.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  9. I suffer from having had children attend the same (near to Parliament) Catholic integrated primary school that Bill English’s children attend.

    On numerous occasions, when parents gather at school functions, I have heard him go on about vouchers (amongst conversation, not as a prepared topic).
    It boils down to being outraged that his tax dollars are being spent on State-funded Education Vote, while his children don’t benefit at all from that, and the integration of Catholic schools is not fully funded by the State; vouchers are an attempt by private fee-paying parents to default on any tax commitment to Education Vote as doled out by the annual Budget.

    It’s about resourcing schools differently, not about cashing in your voucher for a years’ worth of schooling.
    Private fees will still be on top of the shift in funding the voucher creates.

    Now if only there was a way I could forget I knew all of that ….. ;-)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  10. “You missed out on the school you wanted because it’s already full of wealthier, less-melanin rich children, but don’t worry, your voucher is also redeemable at McDonalds.”

    Please, tell me how that is different to the present situation aside from the McDonalds redeemability? To get into the school you want, you have to have parents who are willing to pay between $50,000 and $100,000 more for a house in the right school zone; or willing to pay more rent.

    Do you notice many melanin rich children in Auckland Grammar? Macleans College? Epsom Girls Grammar? Takapuna Grammar?

    Thought not.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  11. and it will be first in, first serve. Sorry, too slow.

    But presumably, that could be adequately fixed with a lottery system for new student applicants. Other than that, if a person has the means to send their kid to a school outside of their zone – perhaps they buy them a pushbike and they cycle to school – what’s the issue?

    Just curious :)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

The ability to post further comments on this blog will return after the election.