The National party vs. The National caucus

This weekend’s conference is the only chance the party has to see the whole caucus together. This illustrates how little control a party has over their parliamentary wing, and the difference in their roles.

The party is set up to win elections. This is a very simple proposition, and everything it does comes directly from the need to win votes and elections.

The caucus is currently responsible for governing, and when it gets kicked out it will responsible for holding the government to account. Caucus always think the voters love them and their time in government is unlimited, but we all know that this is not true.

Caucus have a short term view about prolonging their power in the short term. The party has a long term responsibility for ensuring National’s is the dominant party of government over decades.

These roles often conflict, and right now is the biggest conflict in two decades. To be the dominant party of government requires an electoral system that National can actually be the government. If MMP is retained, and as this blog pointed out minor parties that would do deals with National leave the house, National will be forced to do a deal with the Greens or Labour to be in Government.

Party members need to be pointing this out to caucus, and that caucus’ cowardly approach not wanting to rock the boat by supporting a vote for change in 2011 and a change in system in 2014 is condemning National to decades in opposition.

 


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  • rimu

    I can’t figure out of WhaleOil really thinks his own side is going to lose, or if he’s just taking a really clumsy swipe at MMP?

  • reid

    If the conference involved gladiatorial combat between the caucus and nominated party members, more people would attend and media interest would be intense.

    Personally I’d go one year if that happened and I think I would select Chris Finalyson as my combatant and we’d battle it out in war chariots.

  • ltchop

    Finally Wha’il you and I agree. It is a very hard road to get politicians to understand that the organisation is what get them the power. Both National and Labour have understood this from time to time – but let their organisational power wain – believing that it was the PR agents and their natural brilliance that won elections…. pleased to know that like many who have ‘toiled in the trenches’ – we know different !

  • excuseme

    Absolutely correct, Whale. MMP is an aberration that is gradually delivering New Zealand into the long-term grip of the left.

  • National, Labour and the Greens are not going to bottle up 85%+ of the vote between them indefinitely.

    ACT may go, NZF may go, UF may go, the Maori Party may go. And for one or even two elections it may only be National and Labour and the Greens in Parliament, but something will happen. People will get annoyed an new party for disaffected National voters would emerge. Even if all the possible coalition/support parties for a National government die off, this will not last indefinitely.

  • National, Labour and the Greens are not going to bottle up 85-90%+ of the vote between them indefinitely.

    ACT may go, NZF may go, UF may go, the Maori Party may go. And for one or even two elections it may only be National and Labour and the Greens in Parliament, but something will happen. People will get annoyed an new party for disaffected National voters would emerge. Even if all the possible coalition/support parties for a National government die off, this will not last indefinitely.

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