Is Joycification Killing National?

Pedro Gower coins Nationals poll driven pragmatism as “Joycification” int he latest Metro Magazinr. What he does not do is go into how Steven Joyce is quietly killing off National by refusing to engage on the electoral referendum.

Rather than writing hagiographies of Joyce, journalists should be asking the same questions this blog has been asking. Under MMP who will National’s coalition partners be after 2014? Will National become the Natural Party of Opposition? How does Joyce expect to hold power in 2014 if ACT, United Future and the Maori Party all die?

It will be interest to see if Steven Joyce is warmly welcomed to the National Party conference in 2015 if National win 46% of the vote but end up in opposition because they have no coalition partners.


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  • Anonymous

    I consider John and Stephen know exactly what they are doing. One issue that would be weighing heavily on their minds is that a return to FPP (or something similar) is just not an option as far as the electorate is concerned, so why bother campaigning on voting systems.

  • Alex

    That’s rubbish.  People voted for National because (1) they were sick of the arrogance, divisiveness,  and dogmatism of Clark; and (2) because Key assured them he was not going to lurch into hard right reforms (despite what Labour said that they would).   If National start implementing hard right reforms, and go feral, they’ll be turfed out as the centre voters go to Labour.

    Because of the sensitivity of MMP to voting changes, we just have to accept that poll-driven pragmatism is the name of the game.  That’s not to say that National shouldn’t try to convince voters about policies it’s not too sure about, and perhaps implement policies that might be unpopular if in the best interests of the country.It is National’s pragmatism and its avoidance of ideological positions has traditionally allowed it to remain in government for so long and given it an advantage over Labour (with its leftist dogmatism). [The Richardson’s 90s being a bit of an aberration and lead to National splintering into NZFirst and Liberals].

    At the end of it, until National wins trust with the electorate (who remember the 90s with no fondness) and until the hard right monetarist (a la Brash) convince the electorate that their policy changes are good, then we just have to accept that National will need to remain firmly the centre and pragmatic.  MMP is here to stay, and I don’t think the majority of NZ’ders are sufficiently annoyed by it to want to experiment with another electoral system.


  • Anonymous

    Seven weeks out from the election and I don’t believe that there is a chance in hell that National or anyone else can educate the public on voting systems. I would venture to say that we are stuck with MMP like it or not.  Bloody hell, the vast majority of younger voters don’t even know what FPP is never mind the other more soteric proportional systems. Alex is right, Key needs to foster centrism. Labour could well self destruct further should Little take over the reins. The public have had their share of unionism and the growth of Unite & its rent a mob protests along with the Aussie transport unions stuffing up 1000s of Kiwi holidays should make the centre fair game for National.