Karl du FresneÂ handsÂ out some irony to the left wing:
But let’s back up for a moment. In the general election of 2005, Labour and Jim Anderton’s Progressive Party formed a Centre-Left coalition with a combined share of only 42.26 per cent of the vote. Funny, but I don’t recall the democratic purists of the Left protesting then that the Clark government had no mandate.
The truth is, of course, that it’s mightily difficult for any party to secure an absolute majority under the MMP system. If National can’t even do it with 59 seats to the combined 48 seats won by the two main Centre-Left parties, chances are that no party will ever pull it off. This is the very reason so many anti-MMP campaigners complain that it can lead to political paralysis.
Of course, it suits the Left to argue, now that we have a Centre-Right government, that it has no mandate. It must be a bitter disappointment that MMP, which the Left saw as a way of weakening the National Party’s traditional dominance in New Zealand politics, has let them down. The exquisite irony is that Mr Saxby was one of the original promoters of MMP, but cries “unfair!” when the system delivers a Centre-Right coalition. Well, he asked for it.