Sunday, November 27, 2011

Election this and that

One of my biggest sources of laughter—and some anger—has been the rightwing spin on the election results. I think that they actually do know what the truth is, but they’re in perpetual campaign mode and maybe can’t help themselves.

National Party pundits have claimed that the Conservative Party denied John Key an outright majority, but that’s old-fashioned First Past the Post thinking (maybe that’s all their pundits, being old timers, are capable of). National got less than 50% of the vote, so under MMP they should have less than 50% of the seats in Parliament. Colin Craig being there or not doesn’t change that in the least—particularly because there’s no reason to think all those votes would have gone to National. Not every conservative is a Tory, after all.

And, if you want to be technical about it—Tories love facts and figures, right?—roughly one third of eligible voters supported National. So, if only one third of eligible voters backed National, why is it again they should be able to govern alone? LOL, as they say.

Tories hate MMP—they can’t help it, it’s in their DNA. They can’t accept that people unlike themselves should have a voice, or that the majority should rule if it disagrees with them. They believe we’d all be better off if we just shut up and did as they say. So the fact that MMP did exactly as it was supposed to do makes me as happy as it makes Tories grumpy (which makes me happier still). MMP governments are always coalitions, so far, and the power of the largest party is checked by smaller parties. But, then, having read my posts on the electoral system, you already know the inherent superiority of MMP, right?

The bottom line is that I was ecstatic to see the New Zealand public support MMP, even as it handed power to its most strident enemies. There’s a justice in that.

However, since they won, the Nats weren’t my source of happiness this year. Instead, it was the teacup caper. Months ago, when the hapless has-been, Don Brash, took over the Act Party in a coup, he declared that the party would win 15 MPs. Never has schadenfreude been filled with more freude (joy) than this, seeing Don Brash crash in flames. He deserves it. One of the most reviled men in New Zealand politics is now gone—surely one of the best results of the night. Sadly, though, it could be three years until we’re rid of loopy John Banks, but by then not even a cup of tea will save him.

For 2014, I think that Green and Labour voters have to get over themselves and not be so friggin’ prissy about strategic voting. Together they could have rid New Zealand of both the useless “Act Party” (which is, honestly, dead) or the insufferably pompous Peter Dunne. But they were far too pure to be sullied in that way. Whatever, tossers: It’s you’re fault those has-beens are in Parliament.

Okay, those are my random thoughts for this year. We’ve had enough of this campaign—or, I have, anyway. Now it’s time to look forward.

No comments: