Saturday, November 26, 2011

Not surprised

I’m not surprised by the election results—not really, anyway. The result was tighter than the polls indicated, as I said it would be. I hadn’t counted on such a low voter turnout, which will be maybe 68% at most, when all is said and done. Apparently it’s the lowest since the 1880s. That’s disgusting in its own right, but it’s probable that most of the voters who stayed home were Labour’s. Just like 2008.

In fact, the results overall are very similar to 2008: The split between the centre-left and the centre-right was pretty much the same, but the resurrection of Winston Peters and his New Zealand First Party, along with the surge of the Green Party, rearranged things.

The important thing is that National did not get enough seats to govern alone, and there’s a huge part of Parliament that opposes National’s plans to sell state-owned assets to foreigners. Whether the opposing parties can collectively stop National or not can’t be known right now, but it’s at least possible; if National had won enough seats to govern alone, there would have been no chance of stopping them.

Tomorrow, after a good night’s sleep, I’ll offer my full take on the results, along with a more in-depth discussion of what the results mean. I’ll also talk about what the centre-left, Labour in particular, needs to do over the next three years.

But tonight there are some sad people, some happy people and—apparently—a huge number of people who just don’t give a shit. That’s the nature of democracy.


Benk said...

Hardly a surprise, but bugger!

And we now have three years of entertainment from Winston Peters to look forward to. Oy vey.

At least MMP seems secure, even if our assets are not.


Arthur (AmeriNZ) said...

Yep, I agree. But so much can happen in the next three years that I have a sense of optimism amid the gloom. More on that later.