The Herald had an opinion piece from Philip Temple yesterday about MMP. Yes readers, I know you are saying who’s he?

Well he is the beardy weirdy academic who fronted the pro-MMP campaign. Not that you’d know from the disclosure statement provided by the NZ Herald which just calls him a researcher and a writer. It is always best to know where people are coming from don’t you think?

Anyway he says:

Ignoring vast public support for electoral reform would hurt the Government at the next election, writes Philip Temple.

Which is bullshit of course. The public won’t notice much at all.

Just look about, the evidence is before you of the indifference to politicians of public opinion. Increasing penalties for violent crime, this measure passed by 91.78%….ignored. Reduction of parliament from 120 to 99 seats, with 81.47% voting for this proposal…ignored. The referendum opposing Sue Bradfords reforms, 87.4% of votes answered ‘no’ but the politicians ignored it.

There has been no resulting upending of our democracy as a result, nor has any party been punished for ignoring the public will.


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  • Petal

    I dunno. I think the Labour party got a decent smack down for the anti smackin’ bill. Although that was just one in a pattern of offences that made the country feel like they were under a cold shower coming from a reduced pressure & reduced flow shower head.

    We may not be like the French, but to say any Government of the day going against its people has no effect at all is taking it too far.

    Granted, we could do better.

    Much better.

    • Polish Pride

      Yeah they get voted out and sit on opposition benches for 3 years whislt still collecting a salary and a tonne of perks all at the expense of the tax payer.
      All the while the major problems that plague our society still exist no matter which party is in power as their simply isn’t the political will to do anything about them. Its either that or they just simply don’t know how to fix them.
      If this country was a Democracies left testicle, our referendums would be binding. They are not. and we are not!

  • 2ndAmendment

    So why won’t the government do the responsible thing: bin the commission report, legislate to switch back to FPP with say geographical constituencies, and make damn clear they’ll ignore whatever Hellen’s supreme court says about it?

    • Polish Pride

      Because that is not the responsible thing and takes NZ backward to even more of an elected dictatorship than what we have already..

  • nasska

    At least NZ Governments of all hues are consistent once they have been elected…..under FPP they totally ignored public will too.

  • Mr_Blobby

    Yes Voter apathy. Could it be, because it is too easy for our so called elected representatives to simply ignore public opinion?

    The Government has too much power and to few checks and balances. Our current system allows minority groups such as Maori and Gays and Unions to have a dispropornate say in how the Country is run.

    When the majority does have a say on a single issue, they are ignored. Elections are about a myriad of policies and it is a case of picking the lesser of the evils.

    Yes the list of ignored referenda is a sad indictment on our political system.

    So why is that well 1. No point having a binding Referendum because the Majority can’t be trusted to come up with the right answer and 2. When you are at the trough the last thing you want is accountability and transparency.

    Every one of those referendums was valid concerns from the general population and simply just ignored.

    What we probably need is a referendum on whether to make referendum binding and when the result is ignored have another referendum until our Politicians get with the program. Yearly if need be. The question would be our long could they ignore it.

    • Polish Pride

      The Entire current system gives a Minority group complete say on who the country is run. 61 MPs out of 4 million people, with no requirement to have to answer to the people in any way shape or form except once in every 3 years when you get to put a tick in a box so that you can continue to delude yourself that you live in a democracy for another three years.

      • Tony

        Polish – I am back to agreeing with you!

  • JimboBug

    Easiest solution to government ignoring you is to ignore them. I accept laws that I can see reason behind due to stopping behaviors affecting others; but everything else has nothing to do with them. Just ignore them and, sooner or later, they’ll realize their irrelevance.

    • Polish Pride

      I agree except for the last part – they are too stupid/arrogant/full of their own self importance to realise their own irrelevance even when it would be staring them in the face.

  • parorchestia

    Our system sucks. MMP sucks. It was voted in because voters thought it fairer, though what is fair about minor parties dictating the country’s direction (tail wagging the dog) and having the leader making up the party list of sycophants and party apparatchiks.
    With no constitution and no means of restraining governments we are in a very dangerous situation.