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.
Despite the spin from Downing Street that David Cameron is offering a Thatcherite solution for Britain I have my doubts. I don’t think David Cameron has the guts for a scrap. The Tories face the same problem as National does here.
After years of demonisation by the left who wrote the narrative for too long, and locked in expensive welfare programmes to keep the electorate enslaved, their focus groups told them that they had to be nice. So rather than grasp the nettle against unions and special interests and speaking truth to the elecotrate about the dire consequences both John Key and David Cameron took the wet option.
It is time they manned up.
Unfortunately the numbers are against both.
Sometimes in politics, numbers speak more eloquently than any words. Those figures are not a grid reference, yet they point to the central issue in Conservative Party politics after Margaret Thatcher. They also describe the struggle facing the man trying to fill her shoes.
The first three numbers are the share of the vote Baroness Thatcher took in the general elections she fought as Conservative leader, in 1979, 1983 and 1987. The last, smaller, figure is Mr Cameron’s score in 2010. The difference forced him into coalition with the Liberal Democrats.
What were the components of Lady Thatcher’s victories? And can Mr Cameron ever hope to reassemble all the pieces of the puzzle and build something not seen since 1997 – an all-Conservative Government? Read more »
The Tory old guard are flexing their arms over marriage equality…all 20 of them.
Senior local Conservatives have accused Prime Minister David Cameron of “betraying” the grassroots of their party, as they deliver a last-ditch attempt to delay the vote on same-sex marriage.
A group of 20 senior local Conservatives have today written to Mr Cameron imploring him to delay a vote on same-sex marriage until after the next election.
It came as William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, said he became a supporter of gay marriage “over the last couple of years”.
He said he considered whether it was right in principle, if there was enough public support and if there were protections for people who did not agree with it.
“I think as times have changed, civil partnerships came in, within a remarkably short period of time those things become accepted,” he told BBC 1’s Sunday Politics. “I think the same will happen with this.”
The “strongly-worded letter”, delivered personally to Downing Street by a delegation of six members this afternoon, protests against the proposals being made “without adequate debate or consultation”.
According to its content, the passing of the Bill will lead to “long-held religious and personal freedoms and the right to free speech” being “adversely affected”, as well as “significant damage” to the Party in the 2015 election. Read more »
As the debate over marriage equality gets going here, there are some poll results int he UK that suggests that bigots exist in all parties but mostly in the Conservatives where support has bled away as a result of David Cameron’s stance on marriage equality:
Almost six out of 10 people who attend services regularly say they are less likely to vote Conservative at the next election because of the plans to redefine marriage.
More than a third of those polled said it had no effect on whether they would support the Conservatives but most of them would never vote for the party anyway.
Support among churchgoers for Labour and the Liberal Democrats was also damaged by their stance on the marriage question but the biggest impact by far was on the Conservatives.
It suggests that the issue has caused a major breach between the party and religious voters, who have traditionally been viewed as part of its heartland.
Churches are supposed to believe in commitment and sacrifice, and yet they wish to raise barriers, or rather keep barriers in place to prevent others having the same commitment and sacrifice.
So far in New Zealand it is only the labour that is professing a split in support with the introduction of Louisa Wall’s bill. Colin Craig meanwhile continues to dog whistle the bigots.
Could Boris Johnson recuse the Conservative party? There is now talk of him tilting at the leadership. If he did it would be just awesome:
The Government is still scratching around furiously to produce some sort of autumn relaunch that might give the Coalition fresh impetus, while Tory MPs agonise about their future and scheme their schemes.
And among the plotters, it is Boris Johnson who has snatched the spotlight away from the Prime Minister and used the Games as a launch pad for his leadership ambitions. Westminster is divided between those who now believe him to be unstoppable, and those who can’t stop laughing at the idea that he is being taken seriously as an alternative prime minister. The outbreak of speculation about his chances, or even his suitability, should worry Mr Cameron less than the reason for the sudden outbreak of Boris-mania: Conservative donors have had enough, and are lining up behind the London Mayor. In City terms, the money men are shorting the Tory leadership. This has happened before; it’s what helped finish Iain Duncan Smith.
The reason for this City stampede is plain enough. Business has had enough of what it complains is the Government’s equivocating on the economy. Mr Cameron is now routinely derided by business leaders as another Ted Heath, a failure who started on the right track but lost his way. They want robust action on tax, workplace regulation, European bureaucracy and reducing the size of government, all themes that the London Mayor made a central part of his campaign for re-election. It doesn’t seem to matter that Mr Johnson enjoys the luxury of being able to pronounce on issues over which he has no say. He has found a knack for speaking Thatcherite truths about the economy in a modern idiom that does not appear to frighten the voters.
Trust an Australian to say it how it is.
But having been influenced by David Cameron – another Tory wet who has tarnished conservatism in Britain – Turnbull ran to the left of his party, even publicly denouncing his colleagues. Liberal Party members had been upset for months, angered by what they saw as their leader falling over himself to accommodate Labor at every turn. But discontent had also spread into the federal parliamentary party. A rebellion on his front and backbenches presaged his downfall.
Continuing on from my earlier post discussing the hijacking of society by liberal elites in the UK:
So rampant and all-pervasive was the influence of this liberal-Left elite that by the end almost every meaningful action taken by the democratically elected John Major government could be sabotaged or blocked outright by a progressive alliance, which stretched through the Civil Service, the BBC, and the universities.
These progressives believed that the institutions of the British state were corrupt, that state spending was automatically virtuous, that traditions should be destroyed, that the European federal idea was benign, that the British monarchy was outdated and wrong, that mass immigration was an unmitigated boon, and that any criticism of the welfare state should be dismissed.
They had a powerful sense of their own moral virtue. Anyone who challenged them was automatically assumed to be venal. We Conservative supporters were, by definition, vermin: immoral, arrogant, self-interested. Own up to being a Conservative and you were made to feel like a criminal, not fit for polite society, an object of contempt.
We can see this in New Zealand with the rise of the nasty party.
The liberal Left was in charge of the government for 13 years and by the end had come close to destroying Britain. There was only one comfort: the scale of the disaster was so great that even members of its elite now admit the scale of their errors.
It was nine years here, but the saving grace for National is that Labour is yet to realise the scale of their errors. They still think that the electorate just made a horrible mistake and one day soon we will all wake up to it.
Next the economy and other key policy areas and the differing views on that.
Family First should adopt this policy on gay marriage because of exactly the same reasons that David Cameron explains. They won’t though because they like dying in a ditch and losing battles.
“I once stood before a Conservative conference and said it shouldn’t matter whether commitment was between a man and a woman, a woman and a woman, or a man and another man. You applauded me for that. Five years on, we’re consulting on legalising gay marriage. And to anyone who has reservations, I say: Yes, it’s about equality, but it’s also about something else: commitment. Conservatives believe in the ties that bind us; that society is stronger when we make vows to each other and support each other. So I don’t support gay marriage despite being a Conservative. I support gay marriage because I’m a Conservative.” – David Cameron in a speech to the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester.
Not as good as my policy on gay marriage, but a more mature reasoning than anything seen here.