Many are saying that NZ does not understand MMP yet, and that is true, but we also do not understand the difference between parliament and the executive (Government) either.
In the last Parliament National was able to pass almost all of its legislation as it relied on ACT and United Future. The Maori Party, although in Government voted with Labour and the Greens on many pieces of legislation. Although National and NZF may have enough numbers to form a Government and for confidence and supply, if NZF vote on their policy platform in Parliament then National will be able to get very little legislation through. We could end up more like the US situation where the executive will have to scramble around to get the numbers for every Congress vote.
It seems to me that given there is more policy alighnment between NZF and Labour / Greens a centre left government would have more chance of getting its legislation through than a centre right one.
So which potential government would be the most stable, if it is stability you are looking for?
So called convention has moved a great deal since MMP was established. In the first couple of Governments established after an MMP election the concept of Cabinet collective responsibility reigned supreme and was responsible for the break up of both the Nat NZF and Labour Alliance coalition governments. The latter over the issue of NZ intervention in Afghanistan.
However especially in the last 3 National led coalition governments and in order to bring the Maori Party into the government National ditched the collective responsibility conventions in favour of a party only having to agree to confidence and supply to become part of the executive.
Thus last term National was able to rely on 2 of its 3 coalition partners to vote with it to get its legislation through. The Maori Party voted against much National legislation.
If National and NZF form a coalition NZF will effectively be able to veto every single piece of non supply legislation .
Yes the same would also apply to Labour Greens except that in the last parliament Labour / Greens / NZF voted the same way on most pieces of legislation.
Robert Ried is the General Secretary of First Union