National's Strategic Stupidity, Ctd

David Farrar highlighted the enemies of National opposing changing the electoral system yesterday. I asked the question why are National letting their enemies dictate the electoral system?

Right now National are high in the polls and caucus is toeing the line because they all think they are going to make it into cabinet. Labour are so useless under Goff that National are high fiving, patting each other on the arse, calling each other by their names with a “y” on the end and carrying on like a rugby team that has just won the final by a blow out score.

Hubris is normal for political parties in power, and National seem to be perfecting the art of hubris in the first term. They have not worked out that by not saying anything on MMP they are destined to to be the natural party of opposition. They may be safe now, but in 2014 who are going to be their coalition partners?

ACT are doing their best to tear themselves apart through lack of competence. The Maori Party’s raison d’être was the Seabed and Foreshore, which is no longer in play, and their leaders are coming up to retirement age. United Future is more like Independent Past with no chance of winning a seat beyond Ohariu.

National’s high fives, pats on the arse and man hugs are the hollow self congratulations of a semi final win. No one cares. If you don’t win the final you have failed, and National have failed to take into account they will be the Natural Party of Opposition, having to face a Labour/ Green Coaltion from the opposition benches if MMP wins.

Getting New Zealand to vote for change is not hard. John Key and National need to say “Vote for Change”. New Zealand will follow what John Key tells them. Man up John, and start doing the hard yards, other wise high fives could turn into naked man on man wrestling in 2014.


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  • diabolos

    I wonder whether secretly, most voters are now comfortable with MMP – and the advantages it does seem to confer in some areas (give me a month or two and i’ll try to think of some). Lets face it – for the minorities – Asian, Migrant, Muslims – it gives a way to worm their way into representation way beyond their numbers.

    I dont think for a moment that Key is stupid. I think he has worked out that Nationals position is still fundamentally precarious. My belief is that there is a lot more economic shit about to hit the fan during 2012 (and you dont need to be a rocket scientist to see that) – and some of Nationals bold moves under urgency are going to come back and bite them on the bum. A call to change the electoral system – or any change to the electoral system might backfire on them. But i dont have a lot of peoples inside knowledge. A change to MMP may well be like throwing petrol on a bonfire and may set off some very motivated actions from the left.

    My big problem with MMP – all these unelected minority nutjobs and seatwarmers. It gives tokenism – for minorities and the fairer sex free rein. it just becomes like a giant circular ‘bumming’ maneuver.

  • peterwn

    But is not National on a hiding to nowhere with this one even if National does campaign hard to change the system. As I see it FPP is not an option since a party (mostly National) who gets a minority vote may have sufficient MP’s to govern and this is seen as being unfair.

    National’s best strategy in my view is to position itself as a party representing ordinary Kiwis (why Keith Holyoake was called ‘Kiwi Keith’). This is completely in line with the original objectives of the National Party, despite those who claim the party has strayed from its ‘true’ course. This also explains why National is short on similar thnking coalition partners – there is just no need for them.

    Actually MMP is working quite well for National at present – there is very little syphoning off of votes from National to minor parties who cold join forces with Labour, and the syphoning of Labour votes by the Greens will tend to split the ‘left’ vote in marginal electorates thus benefiting National candidates. This is a major peril Labour is currently facing. IMO Andrew Little can already kiss goodbye to New Plymouth.

    • yes “at present” what about when the tide turns and Act and maori party are gone? You comment is short sighted and myopic as is usual from beltway commenters.

  • Chris

    John Key took in the Maori party for a reason; to deliberately split the Maori vote and it has worked. Next stop Greens. He will split the Green vote and fracture the left in the process. Eventually there could be as many as five left leaning parties against National and a couple of right wing (effective) independents. However Whaleoil, you have made a sensible point. Without electoral change, National may run out of option but that could be further away than 2014.