MMP, Aaron Gilmore, and bollicks

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Want a good reason for voting for MMP

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Something I’ve noticed in the last few days, as the Aaron Gilmore saga drags on, is the number of snide references being made to our electoral system, MMP (Mixed Member Proportional).

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"...what he's reflecting actually is the reality of MMP. Which whether we like it or not every party leader is powerless."
what he’s reflecting actually is the reality of MMP. Which whether we like it or not, every party leader is powerless.”John Key, 9 May 2013 [video]
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 As with the sacking from NZ First's caucus of list MP Brendan Horan, who continues to sit in the House and draw his generous salary and perks, that has underlined a key flaw in the rules for MMP. List MPs are in Parliament solely because of the positions allocated to them by their parties. If they are no longer acceptable to their parties at large, they should likewise be kicked out of Parliament.
As with the sacking from NZ First’s caucus of list MP Brendan Horan, who continues to sit in the House and draw his generous salary and perks, that has underlined a key flaw in the rules for MMP.
List MPs are in Parliament solely because of the positions allocated to them by their parties. If they are no longer acceptable to their parties at large, they should likewise be kicked out of Parliament.”Un-named author, 11 May 2013

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“It is absolutely the curse of MMP that you can’t get rid of an MP that doesn’t deserve to be there.”
“It is absolutely the curse of MMP that you can’t get rid of an MP that doesn’t deserve to be there.”Michelle Boag, May 2013

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The new meme is that the MMP system is somehow permitting Aaron Gilmore to remain in Parliament, and is vexing his Leader’s desire to remove him. The subtext is that MMP is severely ‘flawed’,  allowing errant members of Parliament to flout the ‘system’ and disregard the wishes of the public – and their Party leaders.

The corollary is that the previous system, First Past the Post (FPP) was somehow ‘superior’; tougher on wayward politicians, and allowed Party leaders to ditch them.

Both views are patently false.

As usual, watch out for politicians and their hangers-on – they speak with a forked tongue.

The reality is that pre-MMP, during our First Past the Post era, there were several members of Parliament who split away from their Parties (either National or Labour).

The Roll Call of Honour/Dis-Honour – depending on your point of view:

Jim Anderton – resigned from Labour, April 1989

Gilbert Myles – resigned from National, late 1991

Hamish MacIntyre – resigned from National, late 1991

Cam Campion – resigned from National, March 1993

Winston Peters – resigned from National, early 1993*

Of the five MPs listed above, only Peters resigned from Parliament (as well as his Party), prompting a by-election on 17 April 1993.

Peters’ resignation was made of his own volition, as he sought a mandate from his Electorate after a public and very acrimonious split from the Bolger-led National Government of the day. (Indeed, Peters’ by-election was  dismissed  as a “stunt” by his opponants. I guess you can’t win either way.)

The remaining for MPs, Anderton; Myles; MacIntyre; and  Campion all remained as sitting Independent MPs until the following general election. Only Anderton and Peters were re-elected in subsequent elections.

All five MPs were electorate-based, and elected under FPP. In this respect, both MMP and FPP share a common feature; at no time could either Labour or National force their five ‘rogue’ MPs from Parliament.

This is a fact that Key, Boag, and the un-named author of the Dominion Post editorial should be fully aquainted with.

It appears to me is that by ‘dissing’ MMP, the conservative elements in politics (Key, Boag, and an obviously right-leaning anonymous  editorialist) are attempting to shift blame from their own short-comings  onto our electoral system. “Scape goating” is the appropriate term, I believe.

But worse than that – by smearing our electoral system, the Conservative Establishment is further undermining the public perception of democracy in New Zealand.  The apalling low voter turn-out in 2011 –  74.2% , the lowest turnout since 1887 – can only be exacerbated when those with a loud public voice ridicule and deride our electoral system.

The subtext here is; “our electoral system is crap; don’t bother using it; don’t vote; disengage”.

This, of course, suits the purposes of the Conservative Establishment. The less people who vote, the better for them. Their hope is that their own voter base will ignore the subliminal messaging and continue to cast their ballots on Election Day.

It is a sad day in our country when those with a strong public voice (political leaders, public figures, anonymous editorial writers, etc) use their positions to undermine democracy and further erode public participation, when instead they have a duty to promote a sense of  civic duty in our nation.

What’s the bet that come the next election, John Key, Michelle Boag, and the anonymous Dominion Post editorialist will all be voting?

Of course they will. They understand the power of the ballot.

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When you stop voting

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References

TVNZ:   Gilmore refuses to resign amid fresh allegations (9 May 2013)

Dominion Post: Editorial: Gilmore should accept it’s time to go  (11 May 2013)

National Business Review: Boag: how best to deal with Gilmore

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= fs =

11 COMMENTS

  1. The common theme highlighted by your role call above – even National politicians come to despise the National party.

  2. They’ll never let it go Frank, not willingly – the slipping grip of unencumbered power and complete control. It suits their interests to keep pushing their bullshit narratives and is such an instinctive response no opportunity will go wanting – even if it means publicly impaling one of their own to do so. Such is the nature of the selfish sociopath beast – cold and calculating to the point of devouring its own spawn.

    On a side note – thanks for your feedback the other day in one of the feed the kids blogs. I appreciate the support.

  3. I think you are misrepresenting their argument Frank. The point is a dimwit like Gilmore would have never have won a seat under a first past the post system.

  4. Parliament is a big trough which has lots of snouts in it. The pigs jockey for position to get more for themselves and less for everyone else.

    FPP was a brilliant system for psychotic sociopaths because it allowed a party with 35% support on a 55% turnout, i.e. fewer than 1 in 5 actual support, to call itself democratically elected and set to raiding the commons.

    MMP just delivers a more diverse blend of financially illiterate and scientifically illiterate psychotic sociopaths, of course.

    We are headed for economic collapse, environmental collapse (CO2 400ppm and rising at an ever faster rate), social collapse, mass starvation, death of the oceans (CO2 acidification), death of the planet ….. and what are the criminals in parliament doing about ANY of it? Zilch, of course.

  5. Our prime minister’s grasp of the benefits of the MMP system are as poor as his grasp of the English language. And that is humiliating for us all, e.g. “Which whether we like it or not, every party leader is powerless.”

    Right up there with ”I am sure I may well have done so” and ”What I should have done, and what I will be doing in the future, is saying, well, the member needs to put that down to me in writing, and I’ll be doing that to the journalists as well. Cos if you want perfection of everything I have done, two, three, four, five years ago, I will get you all that information for you, but I’ll get you the whole lot and give it to you.”

    John Key, you are a muddling mess and you bring shame on our country.

    • Why? Is ir because you think his spoken language is not up to scratch?

      This is possibly why a lot of people think leftists are out of touch if it is te case.

      I’m curious about your view on how Parekura Horomia used English. Care to express it or would you be a little more circumspect when it comes to doing so?

      • And I think a climate denier and rape denier like you Gosman is possibly why a lot of people think Right wingers like you are out of touch.

        • Nice to see you making stuff up about me again even though you haven’t git a shred if evidence supporting those two positions. Remember Gareth from Hot Topic agreed with me that I have never denied any Science behind AGW. Interesting you would derail a thread to spread these falsehoods though.

          • LMAO – that’s not what he said at all you lying little Troll – you disagreed with what he said remember Gosman? You try and minimize man made climate change and you tried to minimize rape – that’s why so many people think the right are out of touch.

          • Which post here did I disagree with Gareth? Care to point it out?

            The trouble with your position is you seem to believe that if someone doesn’t agree with your position against something that must mean that person is a supporter of what you are against. I’d suggest this is a very infantile position to take and is probably why your views carry less weight in the mainstream.

            Somone who doesn’t support the notion that we live in a rape culture for example is not automatically a supporter of rape. The fact you don’t seem to understand this is rather disturbing in my view.

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