Of Coups and MMP

The importance of good advisors

Two political stories focus the spotlight on the need for good advisors. The first is the successful Brash coup against Rodney Hide.

This was the battle of two sets of advisors. One set a bunch of sycophants and adherents who let even the remotest possibility of the leader being able to be rolled to exist in the forst place, and the other set a small focussed group with a single purpose. The clinical and swift execution of Don Brash’s leadership coup last week did not occur by chance or by accident. It occurred because the people advising Brash were better at war-gaming than the sycophants advising Rodney Hide.  To quote General George S. Patton:

A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.

Don Brash’s strategists had a good plan, and they violently executed it. Meanwhile Rodney Hides strategists were trying to come up with the perfect plan to defeat the assault of Don Brash and by the time they got it ready the battle was over.

Hone Harawira also shows why good advisors are necessary. Hone is dumber than a sack of hammers. He even admits that privately to colleagues. But what Hone has that Rodney Hide didn’t is advisors that individually and collectively are smarter than him. Rodney Hide has a prodigious intellect. He is one of the smartest politicians I have met, however he didn’t surround himself with smarter peoiple. It’s hard when you are smart yourself but the people you surround yourself must provide you with smarts you don’t have.

Don Brash knows that he sometimes says dumb things. His advisors knew that too and so they kept him focussed with simple messages. They were playing to two of my Rules of Politics….the first rule is that if you are explaining you are losing. Don Brash never explained, he just acted and in doing so he kept rule number 10 which meant that the story told was Don’s story. Along the way he also covered off Rule 8 and Rule 9.

I am now going to add another rule of politics. It will be Rule 13, It is the Patton Rule.

MMP debate

An online poll with over 20000 voters has over 80% of people saying we should get rid of MMP. This is good news for all those that do not like politicians because MMP is a system that politicians control.

MMP is a system that protects politicians from the voters.

Thats why it is the favoured system of the political elite, the rest of us cant get rid of MPs we dont want any more. We can give ourselves the chance to get rid of the scum MPs that wouldnt honour the results of the smacking referendum, the referendum about crime and the referendum about cutting the number of MPs.

The referendum at the end of the year is our opportunity to stick it up the politicians. I’ll be voting to reject MMP to send a firm message to politicians the people of New Zealand are sick of them.


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  • heyjude

    A good leader identifies his or her own weaknesses and surrounds themself with people who fill those gaps. A bad Leader surrounds him or herself with sycophants who will suck up to him/her and constantly massage their ego.

    A good Leader has the confidence to listen to criticism and feedback honestly given in good faith, a bad Leader sacks those immediately who disagree with him.

  • mafy

    “Thats why it is the favoured sys­tem of the polit­i­cal elite”
    MMP was overwhelmingly hated by the political elite from the moment it entered New Zealand’s political history. The RC which advocated it was brushed under the rug, and the issue was only raised because David Lange misread his notes and promised a referendum. Labour then when back on its promise, because it hated the idea of MMP so much. The Nats hated MMP, and only promised a referendum to score political points off Labour, and the Nat MPs were vocal opponents of MMP. The major parties were the biggest supporter of FPP, as it protected them from minor parties and accountability.

    I see no reason why that should have changed?

    • IIRC that’s why the referendum succeeded: the main parties disliked it so much and the advocates didn’t publish any of the downside (such as the situation we have now), so the general public gave ‘the establishment’ the middle finger.

    • The political elite then saw that they could use MMP to really screw us over. The warm fuzzy feeling that MMP was supposed to bring in evaporated the moment Winston peters held Labour and National to ransom several times.

      To a man Labour now support MMP. They don’t want to return to FPP, they think because they scored 9 years at the trough that they are the best at it and want to keep it.

      MMP is the politicians permanent weasel clause. They can promise everything and deliver nothing blaming it all on having to do a deal under MMP.

      Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want a return to FPP, but I simply don’t trust politicians to reform MMP. We can’t trust them.

      • Well said Cam, that’s exactly right. The voters have really been royally screwed by MMP and pollies love it.

  • stevew

    Hi Cam

    I guess one’s view of MMP depends on how well the party one supported has kept faith with their promises. I’m happy with the performance of the party I voted for and even happier they are able to win seats in fair proportion to the share of the vote they get. I like having a ‘national’ party vote that elects multiple Mps from all around the country (via the list) *and* my local vote….which still goes to National or Labour, just as in the old days, as a FPP vote for anyone else is a waste of paper…just like the old days.

    As Alan Gibb and Peter Shirtcliffe are major backers of the anti-MMP move at present, I’m wondering who these “political elites” you’re talking about are….if they aren’t the two biggest funders behind the ACT and National parties.

    FWIW, it looks to me like National bought the ACT party so they can play with it between here and the election / referendum…and beyond if an ACT candidate wins Epsom.

    I keep asking myself: What on Earth is Don Brash doing as a leader outside Parliament for 6 months? His grasp of detail in the news conferences I saw was – frankly – terrible. It really doesn’t look like he has thought this through if he is engaged in a good faith exercise to lead ACT. So maybe….that’s not what he’s doing. We’ll find out in due course.

    As for MMP, I like it. FPP meant that for 20 years I only ever elected one person. With MMP, I help elect at least several MPs every time I vote. To me, that’s huge. I want to keep it.