Thursday, May 31, 2018

ON COALITION PARTNERS

I hold strongly to the view that under the bastard system of government we have inflicted on ourselves (MMP) the two major parties need coalition partners.   While it is theoretically possible for a major party polling in the mid 40s to form a government in its own right depending on the quantum of the 'wasted vote' it would be courageous (as in Sir Humphrey) indeed for a party to base its election strategy on that proposition.

National right now has no coalition partners.   ACT is reduced to a rump of Seymour groupies.   It has no gravitas, no future.   The Maori Party has done its dash.   The losers who make up the voting demographic in the Maori electorates have reverted to type much akin to the battered female who 'enjoys' a love/hate relationship with her partner.    Simon Bridges has indicated 'they' are talking to alternatives but, no matter how that plays out, National is starting from well behind the eight ball.  It does however hold an ace card ... Epsom.

So far few have questioned the outlook for Labour.   The last two TV1 and TV3 polls indicate rough waters ahead for them and more so for 'their' erstwhile coalition partners.   The budget failed to produce the expected bounce for the CoL.   Their combined numbers have dropped and, while Labour's vote has held up, National has has done better however increasing its lead over Labour.    You factor in the 'winter of our discontent' shortly upon us with petrol prices increasing by the day and set soon to skyrocket; power prices going up; angst in the tertiary sector over a budget that failed to deliver; the proposed easing of bail laws which will see more criminals free to roam the streets; the developing Kiwibuild fiasco and 6 months from now the polls are going to make interesting reading indeed.  

So where does that leave the Greens and NZ First? ..... well already you are starting to see signs of what has become the norm with minor parties in a coalition government.   The major party (this time Labour) has started to cannibalise them.     What can Labour do to ensure the Greens and NZ First have a future?

Lets start with the Greens.   The halcyon days when then they were polling around the 15% mark are long gone and won't be coming back.   The self inflicted wounds resulting from the Greens embracing Me Too's benefit and electoral fraud turned off many supporters.   The election of Marama Davidson as co-leader appears to have gone down like a cup of warm sick while their walking away from the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary proposal and their craven caving in to the NZ First demand to remove surveillance cameras from the commercial fishing fleet has alienated many other environmentalists.

I have previously opined that bedrock Green support was around 7-8%.   No more ... it's in the 5-6% range and that puts them on the cusp of being booted out of parliament.   If those sort of numbers bed in then Labour might well have to consider flicking 'them' a seat.   Wellington Central is a possibility but I'm not sure how 'Robbo' would react to that.   Also remember that WC is not necessarily a 'safe seat for Labour.   While Robinson enjoyed a margin of close to 10,000 votes over Willis (now also a MP) in the Electorate vote the Party vote result was much closer (just 3,300).   In both the Electorate and Party vote Shaw trailed a distant third.    Risk and reward for Labour.

NZ First is unlikely to make 5% even with WRP standing.   If he doesn't stand they won't.   8 months out from the election and their Deputy Leader has been dumped and another MP embroiled in the attempted blackmail of a National MP.    If NZ First is to be returned then Labour will have to attempt to engineer a win for them in an electorate seat.   Northland will be that seat.   Winston won't stand again here and when he lost the seat he walked away from it and shut down all the electorate 'shell' offices he established in Kerikeri, Kaitaia, Dargaville and Wellsford.

Shane Jones, who has anointed himself to stand in Northland, didn't have the whit to attempt to maintain a presence here piggybacking on WRP despite him (Jones) living in the electorate and having the resources to do so.   Fits the profile.   Jones is an arrogant and lazy sod who has been rejected decisively in every electorate he has ever stood in (4).    He is up against Matt King who is already making a name for himself as a quiet achiever. Matt's electorate 'Battle Bus' is about to roll which will see Matt working the electorate on a regular basis.   Shane Jones doesn't 'do' electorate work.   Labour is on a hiding to nothing in backing him.   Problem is that there is no other option.

The scenario that has both the Greens and NZ First out of parliament come 2000 is, perhaps, not too far fetched.   If that happened and were the TV1 and TV3 vote to be reflected in the result then Labour would indeed be a one term government.

Lotsa water I know but food for thought.


12 comments:

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

This is a very dangerous line of thought for the Gnats.

If you are not careful, Vet, you'll have them thinking all they have to do is sit on their derrieres and they'll fall back onto the treasury Benches.

Andrei said...

I don't think opinion polls mean much at this point in the election cycle

I also think Cindy mania will quickly pall. The baby photos on the cover of Women's Weekly will help her for a while and the Prime Ministerial offspring will be toddling in 2020 (not 2000 as written in your post) and that will be worth a cover or three

But Simon Bridges has a photogenic family as well the youngest of whom will be toddling in 2020 so the toddler card will have limited value.

Despite what the opinion polls say I think National under Simon Bridges is in good shape - the current lot are harum scarum and doing dumb things like raising petrol taxes when petrol is expensive anyway due to high crude prices, banning future oil exploration and moving to liberalize abortion a move driven by hate filled harridans

I love to see Simon Bridges, the New Zealand Maori family man, debate that North American baby hating crone on TV

Steady as she goes Mr Bridges versus the looney tunes, soap opera left should see National through

David said...

I didn't see any "baby hating crone" on your video link; I saw a woman concerned with women's health issues.

Add your "hate filled harridans" and what we see is a fucked up religious male thinking he knows what is best for women's health. that is a decision I am happy to leave to women and their doctors. There are no votes to be had for National by trying to turns itself into an imitation of the US Rethuglicans. NZ women are used to safe, legal abortions and would like to keep it that way.

For any party to attain a majority of seats without a partner is hard work, but it can be done. Probably easier for Gnats than Labour as there is less fragmentation on the right. It can be done, I believe, by having a clearly articulated vision for the next 3 generations, not just the next electoral cycle. Can National articulate such a vision? But Nationals future is not with an ACT style party. That brand has proven to turn voters away from National, much like WRP is probably doing to Labour this time.


The Veteran said...

Adolf ... that's not my line of thought neither, I suspect, is it National's. Indeed, the comment by Bridges suggests otherwise.

What I am suggesting is that Labour's coalition partner, so called, are looking very fragile right now ... nothing more and certainly nothing less.

Hurts me to say but David has it about right (in his third para).

pdm said...

This may be a first but I agree with David that National should not instigate any Abortion debate.

There are already two much easier targets with the 3 strikes and Waka jumping bills coming up. On the face of it both Winston and the greens have bitten the bullet to get their preferences over the line. There should be plenty of cannon fodder on offer for National with both of these bills.

Add to that the vulnerability of Twyford and Curran and there is enough targets to keep National ahead of the game without straying into contentious terri.

Andrei said...

"This may be a first but I agree with David that National should not instigate any Abortion debate."

They are not about to PDM - that would be dumb

Labour is or more accurately has - they want further liberalization of our already liberal laws

National can do their usual thing and hide from contentious social issues or they can show New Zealand that they have developed a spine and show how ugly abortion is (it is also wicked but that is beside the point, for now)

Nobody in their right mind likes abortion or wants more abortions performed in our hospitals

Some people, David appears to be one, are not in their right minds

Let the left agitate on this and use it to hang them is what I say

The Veteran said...

Heh guys ... this post is about Labour's coalition partners and their problems.

David said...

Heh guys ... this post is about Labour's coalition partners and their problems.

True dat, but when you talk partners you need to talk the type of policies that can make a partnership work. You also remarked that Gnats need a partner.

I see Labour's problem is that they have pitched such a big tent that almost anyone can fit it, whereas National's tent is too smalkl even to accommodate all their diverging views. Andrei wants to make it smaller by appealing to misogynist religious males, rather than widening the tent by bringing in a greater hope for the future.

Vet, as for my third para, this is a point I have pushed for over 20 years. Whitlam had it, Menzies had it, even to a point, Keating had it. I despise the poll driven politics that have been inflicted upon us.

Andrei said...

You are over thinking it Veteran

At this point in the election cycle the polls mean zip for 2020

The average joe probably could not even tell you the name of his or her (to keep Davod happy) own electorate MP. Could not tell you the name of the leader(s) of the Greens and a large number wouldn't have a clue who Simon Bridges is or care less. Nor do they understand the coalition agreements or care less

That's a fact

Come 2020 then politics will be back on their radar but right now it isn't and when they get polled they try to answer intelligently - Jacinda gets more TV time than Simon and that is reflected in the polls. That is all!

Right now Simon Power needs to raise his profile and that means getting TV Time. Right now if you add it up he probably gets less than Winston

That will change as the election come closer but most people are not politics junkies

Andrei said...

"National's tent is too smalkl even to accommodate all their diverging views. Andrei wants to make it smaller by appealing to misogynist religious males, rather than widening the tent by bringing in a greater hope for the future."

Wrong as usual David

I don't know why it is axiomatic that a coalition party is needed to Govern under our horrible MMP system

What is actually needed to Govern is 51%+ of the seats and there is no real reason why a single party cannot attain this

And obviously National got more votes than any other party last time, and the time before and the time before that...

44% last time to Labour's 36% in fact

So Labour made Winston Peters deputy PM to get NZ First on board - a high price no?

Anonymous said...

"...you need to talk the type of policies that can make a partnership work."

In a world where people really believe in the things they espoused this makes sense but in politics this doesn't really apply. NZF will ignore everything they said yesterday for a bauble for Winston today. The Greens will ignore National's environmental approach to anything because they hate a centre left party like National more than they love the environment. It seems ideology trumps policy nowadays. They are all appalling and a pox on all their houses. Its grieves me that NZr's are so dumb that they will keep voting for this charade.

3:16

Anonymous said...

Vet Do not discard the rise of a/the Maori Party Labour sucked up to Maori and won all the Maori seats This recent budget has seen a decline in spending on Maori and Maori are not happy including the Maori MP's who are putting on a brave face
Hoani