Why are the Greens attempting to gerrymander MMP legislation to benefit them?

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Gimmie change for ME and MY mates!

Sensing their slip to under 5%, the Greens seem to have decided that gerrymandering MMP for their benefit in time for the 2020 Election is preferable to dumping the Middle Class Woke Identity Politics that is making them so alienating and unelectable in the first place.

Great strategy, refuse to compromise on fringe ideology that makes the People’s Front of Judea look popular…

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…and then just change the voting system to only benefit them.

I expect this kind of ruthless corruption of the electoral system from National or ACT (and MANA on a good day when undermining neoliberalism), but from the Greens it’s inspirational stuff that sings to the anarchistic hate spider of nihilism that slowly envelops my once optimistic heart.

Note that it’s not 1%, 2%  or 3% which would be an honest solution to the issue of MMP not allowing enough voices and different ideas getting democratic traction, oh no, it’s 4%, the threshold that would most benefit the Greens while killing off any other proto-political movement.

What is most galling is the Greens seem to want to pass this in time for the 2020 election. Now put aside the naked self interest on display here, but such a decision, even if it happened, should require a 75% supermajority of Parliament, not just a basic 51%.

Why should the threshold be set at 4%? I don’t give two shits what the Royal Commission had to say in 1986 and I give even less weight to the Electoral Commission’s worthless nothings mouthed in 2012, if the argument is about giving proto political movements more chance of representation and a more democratic environment, why not 3% or 2%?

Why is it the threshold that will only serve the Greens & NZ First and why does it need to be rammed through by 2020?

Now, for the record, I completely agree Prisoners should be able to vote and foreign donations stopped.

I also believe the threshold should be lowered to 3% so that new political movements can gain representation, and I think the threshold changes need to be a supermajority or by referendum.

Those changes however are ones that would benefit the entire democratic eco-system, not just the Greens and NZ First.

Watch the Greens argue for a change that nakedly benefits them while trampling every other value is proof positive our Millennial Greens have come of age and are now as politically venal as everyone else.

My blackened heart swells with pride.

This is pretty ugly, and if it were the Right pulling these sorts of tactics we would be eviscerating them.

60 COMMENTS

  1. The same reason Chris Trotter is opposed to a CGT, and Jane Kelsey won’t criticise the Chinese dictatorship, i.e. self-interest?

    • Sigh. Elections are a very small part of what should be done. The lazy propaganda machines of commercial media try’s to get everyone to vote vfor too very similar candidates for business interest. That’s not the important part of political activism, we want to stop being a failed state and become a democratic society. Things are going to have to happen in between a 3 year period. You’ll want to take some lessons from the Māori seats. Te Ururoa thought he could sail through by bodying up to corporate interests and Māori elected a candidate of there own, that’s democratic control and it’s not showing up every three years saying vote for me, that’s not what democracy is. Democracy is all the things to build up a democratic culture so you can run your own candidate.

    • You’re pretty quick with the slurs, Castro. Less speedy with the evidence.

      As I have noted repeatedly, I have nothing personal to gain or lose from this fight. Our family owns just one house and no rental properties. I’m not in Kiwisaver and possess no shares that pay dividends. The tiny, one-director business I own would not be eligible for the proposed CGT (having a turnover of less that $5 million).

      So the slur that I have personal interests to defend is completely untrue.

      Why do you attribute the worst motives to those who disagree with you? What sort of world would your bloody revolution bring into being if the penalty for dissenting from your extremist ideas is to be – as you so often insist – death?

      In the words of George Orwell: “Socialism is about justice and common decency.”

      In that regard, Castro, you still have many miles to travel.

      • Agree 100% Chris.

        Castro, piss off back to whaleoil. Your agent provovacateur bullshit is past its useby date.

        As for the Greens and the threshold, it wouldve been a better look if they put it to referendum in 2020. Thats how things like that are normally done.

  2. The Greens were effectively finished the day they chose that fat crook Metiria over Kennedy Graham and David Clendon.

    Are there any real environmentalists left in the Greens?

    • I always find it interesting – in a bad way – when people choose to use people’s size as an insult.

    • What appalling degrading comments about Metiria Turei – someone said to me she was disgraceful and then I pointed out that the person saying this well her husband had done cash jobs at weekend. Metiria has more credibility than Kennedy Graham has ever had. He was a diplomat and didn’t know any more. I went to a debate about Palestine, he wanted a bob each way he cannot see that one is being tramped by the other.

    • And what of Bennett, should she go unpunished for illegal activities she has admitted too? You see Andrew, are we any the wiser because one admits claiming extra benefits and someone else doesn’t? You can’t have it both ways.

    • Only a person of limited intellect and one devoid of a real argument would use someone’s physical appearance as a criticism. You should be ashamed of yourself.

    • It is looking like the Greens were more popular with all of them… aka Metiria and Kennedy.

      The Greens have too many new people who did not do the hard yards and worked their way up the Green Party… when people get too much too soon, they are less grounded and not used to the work load and politics that comes with being a politician or what they think is popular is not popular… Their policy and focus seems very much about what is easy for themselves or some minor issue, they have lost the big picture.

      Got an email about public meeting lunch or something on the lawns of parliament… seriously how many people live in Wellington, have a spare time in the middle of the day and can get there… so only the usual lobbyists and people with a lot of time on their hands can attend that type of invitation…. the people who attend are not generally representative aka people who have time on their hands, influencers whose job it is to go and influence. Middle NZ are working, some maybe too poor to pay for the transport, have work and child commitments and of course most people don’t live in central Wellington… so the Greens good intentions lack practicality behind their thinking….

      Greens also don’t seem to be gelling as a group of people, Davidson and Sage have done some ridiculous things, you don’t really hear much about any of the rest of them….or they are in the news for something very minor or introducing another talkfest they are going too.. or in strange interviews about who they admire (normally a Natz for some strange reason.)

      Saying that after Labour refused John Tamihere Labour membership… Labour seem like they are petty, stupid bullies. Maybe a lift for the Greens, who knows?

      I voted for Greens last time to get a left government through even though I was not happy with what went on prior to the election, but after finally getting into power Greens need to grow a brain and also go back to more environmental and big picture view point. People want more for their kids than life on a benefit and getting legally high!

      Labour also need to grow a policy brain and also stop supporting neoliberals like Phil Goff and screwing over Maori leaders like Tamihere and Harawira, which is kinda hypocritical when they make such a big deal about Maori issues but apparently not that keen to help more popular and practical Maori leaders stay in politics… Jacinda can’t carry them forever… even Clark was ousted by a energy efficient light bulb, there is a point where policy of micromanaging the small stuff, while enabling neoliberals and making people poorer, goes too far…

      Key lasted as long as he did, because people got poorer but could live off their house… you know your house earns more than you do. Now come off the boil…

      The left are better than the right, but it’s a waste they are not a lot better than the right and a bit more clued up with what is really going on in NZ.

      • +100 SAVENZ…and I am still getting over the fact that Labour did not accommodate Harawira and Mana/Internet Party the way that National accommodates Act

        ….it was so stupid of them and it gave us more years of the jonkey Nact government

  3. Could backfire on them BIG Time. The MMP threshold should probably be decided at a general election?

    National are likely deluded enough to believe they can magically bring in a support partner with a 4% threshold, and therefore be supportive of such legislation pre-election.

    I’m neither for nor against this so called ‘gerrymandering’ but I would laugh if the Greens fail to get back in – then again, Chlöe Swarbrick seems to be working out well.

    This is a tough one.

    • Yes as someone who voted MANA/Internet Party not so long ago and had my vote completely discounted because this Party did not reach the threshold ( in fact much to my complete rage I think it went to the jonkey Nacts somehow )…I am inclined to think the threshold should be lowered

      On the other hand if it were to help the Nacts in for another nine years of self- interested devastation…then absolutely NO !

  4. In that case you could similarly argue that transNational were doing their own gerrymander by not taking up the recommendations of the Electoral Commission 2012 MMP Review as it was in their best interests to retain coat-tailing and a 5% threshold.
    Not quite sure why that Electoral Commission review is characterised as “worthless nothings mouthed in 2012”. They had over 5,000 submissions and, I thought, made a fair summary of those submissions despite my own preference being for a 3% threshold.
    In my view, the real distortion (gerrymander?) in MMP that needs to be dealt with is wasted votes. Where a voter votes for a party that fails to reach the threshold and gets their vote allocated to parties according to how other people voted. This is akin to pulling a voting papers out of the ballot box and changing the votes to other (more mainstream) parties. If that happened in a third-world country we’d call it vote rigging but we blithely accept it here as normal process.
    If you want voters to vote for smaller, newer parties without fear of those votes being allocated elsewhere then the wasted vote matter needs urgent attention.
    The solution: you vote for parties by preference nominating your preferential order. If your first preference party doesn’t meet the threshold then your second is counted, if that also fails look at the next preference and so on and stops as soon as your preference is for a party that meets the threshold.

    And, why do we still have FPP for electorate seats?

    • Yes I agree the best reform would be to have preferential voting in the electorates (thus the winner gets to 50% first) and those who vote on the party list for parties below the threshold have their second preference counted instead.

  5. We do not require any threshold at all, it’s only there to protect the main parties who are scared of the fringe. It would still require 20,000 votes to get a party into parliament and that is enough people to form a small city – hardly.

    Any other argument is a sign that the person involved doesn’t truly believe in representation

    I’ve always wondered what people think will happen if a party of one person got into parliament anyway – it’s not like they actually have a lot of effective power.

  6. They could just go out and win an electorate seat! Problem solved! If the Act Party can do it with 0.83% of the vote ….

    • Well said … I agree with all of your points.
      Mr Bradbury is getting a tad carried away….some rather counterproductive emotional language there. I suspect that the reason the greens suggest 4% is that they fear that a figure any lower would be unpalatable to the the large chunk of the population who dont get it.

    • The Act party were given that seat by National. Gaining a seat or seats by garnering say 3% of the total vote would have true legitimacy.

  7. Martyn, 3% would probably scare the voters too much. Anyway, because of the Green party, any other remotely credible left-wing party simply isn’t viable.

    I wish more left wing people would stop bleating from the sidelines and get involved in creating Green policy, there are definitely a few areas where we should be more progressive.

    • It’s pretty obvious some want the Green Party removed because they imagine they can get a party in their own image policy and personality profile to replace it.

      Then there are those of Labour who resent the left having another party platform in parliament, and those on the right who fear the votes of liberals and environmentalists having a vehuicle for being permanentlky added to that of Labour.

      And the media is a vessel of corporate fear of social justice, support for workers and environment regulation.

      So they are a bit like the Kurds in our political landscape.

  8. The Greens are the Kurds of New Zealand politics. Attacked from all sides and their only friend are the mountains

    • Ha, ha, at least the Greens have ended the high country sells offs and are banning the bag, apart from all the exceptions. Their hearts in the right place but maybe not up to the calibre of past Green leaders and MPs.

  9. The party of principles who gave their questions to National to beat them with, protecting our water by giving it to the Chinese now bravely championing MMP changes to solely benefit themselves.
    You have to question their leadership.
    Mad mad mad

  10. Just what did Mana do that was corrupt…. ?

    I expect this kind of ruthless corruption of the electoral system from National, ACT and MANA on

  11. In our current political climate the most likely beneficiary of lowering the threshold would be a socially conservative/Christian based party. Even though it would not be in the interests of those of us on the left in this specific climate, I nevertheless support abolishing the threshold altogether. I am prepared to tolerate 1 or 2 Destiny Church members or even joke parties.

  12. If the voting public number one and a half million?? Then 3% of that is 75,000. Shouldnt that kind of support be entitled to representation in parliament and isn’t it plainly unreasonable for it to be disallowed.

  13. Used to vote for the Greens all the time. To me they now they simply look embarrassing. This is unacceptable and not only stands to benefit the Greens but its alliance partners too.

  14. Sadly, the Greens have been sliding into political irrelevance for well over a decade because the party abandoned the core policies necessary to be genuinely green, instead promoting slight tweaking of business-as-usual as the way forward when slight tweaking of business-as-usual actually kept us on the path to collective ruination.

    We know it has been all about not scaring the voters by mentioning unpleasant facts, but decades of not scaring voters has put us in the collective situation of there now being a lot to be thoroughly scared about. And the bulk of the population remains unaware.

    In recent weeks record temperatures in NZ and elsewhere indicate we are on the cusp of dramatic changes to the environment (and therefore changes to the way we live) that nobody is prepared for, as the oceans heat up like never before in human history.

    Where are the Greens on this?

    ‘Heatwaves sweeping oceans ‘like wildfires’, scientists reveal
    Extreme temperatures destroy kelp, seagrass and corals – with alarming impacts for humanity’

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/mar/04/heatwaves-sweeping-oceans-like-wildfires-scientists-reveal

  15. And by the way the word, gerrrymander, has nothing to do with threshhold levels, and where this is set has nothing to do with unfair electoral rules and practice.

  16. Have to disagree Martyn. A 4% threshold WITH the removal of the “coat-tail” provision is about the right balance, in my mind. At least that is what the Electoral Commission has thought for some time.
    if you go much lower you risk getting joke parties and one-issue parties into parliament. And can you honestly believe that parties like the McGillicuddy’s, Outdoor Recreation, Ban 1080 and South Island Republicans are going to add anything constructive to parliament? Look at what similar parties have done to the Australian senate – they have made it a laughing stock.
    You might question the Green’s timing on this, but in essence they are generally right.

    • Single issue parties would probably pledge C&S support for one or other of the major parties except where their particular issue is concerned. And why should they not ha e a point of view on other issues as well.

      I would prefer to do away with the threshold altogether, though I can understand the cpmmission’s desire to move incrementally.

  17. Sensible changes to the electoral system can only be made if the parties vote in a disinterested manner. Since the parliamentary parties seem to vote venally where electoral issues are concerned, I’m inclined to think the GG, in consultation with a committee of experts, should make these decisions without being bound by Parliament.

  18. Great to see that my recent comments have been censored & I’ve finally breached the tolerance threshold level of TDB.

    I’m glad to announce that I’ll finally be leaving this infantile echo chamber of self righteous indignation for good.

    It’s been fun doing a little shit stirring among closed minds, frustrated keyboard warriors & those with an over inflated opinion of themselves, but Johnnybg has some real bad stuff to do in the real world where genuine activists live & inspired action takes place.

    Good riddance to all those with verbal diarrhea & anger, guilt, envy & identity issues, won’t miss the vicious little troll gangs & pathetic venting at all.

    Of course my epitaph will not be published as TDB is not really the B & end all of liberality or truth in this God forsaken wasteland of ours.

  19. Lower the threshold to 4%.

    Simple.

    Recommended.

    Political biases to one side.

    Representation will be increased in quality.

Comments are closed.