Why wait? Cunliffe says ending coat-tailing a priority for his first 100 days

David Cunliffe is grandstanding over coat-tailing and brilliantly painting himself into a corner.

Instead he is now saying that ending coat-tailing is a priority for his first 100 days in office…but in order to get into office he may have to rely on coat-tailing parties.

Labour leader David Cunliffe has committed to legislation that will remove the “coat-tailing” provisions that allow small parties to get more MPs into Parliament.

The party already has a member’s bill before the House, but Cunliffe said legislation would be introduced within the first 100 days of a government he led.

Coat-tailing allows for smaller parties that have not reached the 5 per cent threshold, to bring more MPs into Parliament on the back of one MP who may have won an electorate seat.

It also can allow larger parties to do deals that would help smaller parties into Parliament, which happened with ACT and National in the Epsom seat in Auckland.

The Internet Party and Mana have also merged their list, in the hopes of bringing more MPs into Parliament on the coat-tails of Mana leader Hone Harawira, if he retains his Te Tai Tokerau seat.

Cunliffe said he challenged prime minister John Key to sign up to Labour’s bill, but the party would move to change the Electoral Act within its first 100 days in government, regardless.

“We’re saying a very principled and consistent thing,” he told Firstline this morning.

“We think it’s wrong, no matter who does it.

“That’s why we oppose it, that’s why we have a bill before Parliament – Iain Lees-Galloway’s member’s bill – which would remove it.

“And I challenge the prime minister to sign up to that bill, do the right thing by New Zealand people and get rid of this coat-tailing provision.

“And I’ll go further. In the first 100 days of a government that I lead, we will introduce government legislation to remove coat-tailing by changing the Electoral Act.”

John Key should accept the challenge. It will be Labour that gets any push back…it is their bill.

National doesn’t need coat-tailing…Act and United Future aren’t going to get enough votes for it to matter anyway. The only way it would matter is if Peter Dunne cut a deal with the Conservatives, but Dunne is too chicken to do that and prefers to be a lone voice rather than part of a team.

Meanwhile David Cunliffe is refusing to rule out dealing with coat-tailers…which means his grandstanding is as hollow as his CV.

If he was serious he would quietly ahve a meeting with John Key and stitch up a deal…instead he is shilling his position on the radio.

Still it sends a message that though labour benefitted greatly themselves from coat-tailing int eh past they now think it is evil…even though they will be prepared to do a deal with coat-tailers to get into power…then chop them off at the knees.

If you believe that David Cunliffe is serious about ending coat-tailing then I can sell you a bridge. The only way to prove his commitment is for John Key to call his bluff.


– Fairfax

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.