Post mortem #5: Election results, coalition deals, and other matters…
Electoral Commission official results;
At 61 seats out of 121, the National+Dunne+Banks Government has a bare one seat majority. My money is on this majority disappearing when the first by-election takes place. (Last term, there were four by-elections.)
The Maori Party, more than ever, finds itself in a position of considerable strength – and precarious vulnerability.
Odds are that this National Government will be far more right wing than the previous Administration, if policies announced thus far are any indication. Does the Maori Party wish to be tarred with the same right-wing brush?
If so, it will suffer total electoral annihilation in 2014.
Because with a one seat majority, National can still push through asset sales; welfare “reforms”; semi-privatisation of schools; etc. The Maori Party will not be able to stop these policies from being implemented, even if they vote against it.
So being a part of said National government, as a coalition partner will put them on a path for a hiding to nowhere.
Electoral annihilation. 2014. Guaranteed.
But by sitting on the cross-benches, a-la Greens and NZ First, the Maori Party will still be able to vote for policies they support and against policies they oppose – for precisely the same gain – but none of the side-effect of tarred-with-the-same-brush.
Then, when National loses it’s first seat in a by-election (or defection of an MP) – thereby reducing it’s numbers from 61 to 60 – the Maori Party will be well-placed to support a Labour-led Coalition. It may then regain some of the electoral support it lost in November.
If the Maori Party is getting anything resembling decent political advice, it should arrive at precisely the same conclusions I have.
If not… Hāere ra, Maori Party, 2014.
+++ Updates +++
Prime Minister John Key says that “National does not need the Maori Party’s support but its three votes will be a big help“.
Oh, I’m sure it will be, Dear Leader.
As for the Maori Party, I guess they will be consigned to History’s rubbish bin, following Mauri Pacific and Mana Motuhake.
It beggers belief, that the Maori Party’s constituency is happy with this unholy alliance.
“Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples says the party only agreed to the deal after consulting its members.
He says it conducted over 40 meetings which were attended by more than 1000 people.
“It was unanimous that we should continue to be at the table in the capacity that we were last time and that’s not just confidence and supply, it’s really a relationship accord with confidence and supply.” “
“Unanimous“?! More than 1,000 people were “unanimous” in supporting a coalition arrangement with National???
I find that somewhat hard to believe.
“The Maori Party has agreed to support the National Party on confidence and supply votes but is free to oppose it on all other matters, including partial asset sales.”
If Sharples and Turia think that they will not be tainted with the same brush of scorn that with be liberally applied to National (as well as Peter Dunne), then they are truly more naive than I thought possible. Just because Sharples and Pita are ” free to oppose it on all other matters, including partial asset sales ” will not absolve the Maori Party from the same oppobrium that will grow over the following three years, as it becomes apparent that this government implements right wing policies.
When John Key says that the Maori Party “will not make any difference to the passage of the legislation because the 61 votes it has without the party’s support is still a majority” – he is showing his usual optimistic facade . He knows full well that his “majority” is one by-election or defection away from being utterly dependent to the Maori Party.
A “Committee on Poverty” will be led by Deputy PM, Bill English, “and will issue progress reports on poverty twice a year”.
Well, excuse my scepticism, by I can really see a committee achieving a lot.
At the very least, I guess a committee will give jobs to those sitting on said committee.
This is a sop. Like committees and reports before it, this committee will achieve very little – if anything.
There have been countless reports, committees, Commissions, etc, in the past. Here is a list of some of them.
They have all come and gone and been forgotten. Meanwhile, joblessness; lack of good, affordable housing; the growing gap between poor and rich; etc, remain as indictments of a society that has gone seriously off the rails since the rogernomic-”reforms” of the late 1980s.
The “trickle down” theory not only has not worked, but the “trickle” has been a tsunami upwards.
If the Maori Party think that National has policies that will address growing poverty in this country, then then are more gullible than I thought.
National is a right wing party, and as such right wing governments are not concerned with poverty. Their focus is purely on implementing “free market” policies; minimal government; reducing social policies; selling state assets into private ownership; “business-friendly”; and lower taxes – especially for higher income earners.
This government will be a re-run of the last three years of the Bolger/Shipley administration in the late 1990s. That National government cut taxes; reduced social services; and csaw a widening disparity in incomes.
We are witnessing a reliving of recent history, which most folk seem to have forgotten.
The next three years will not be happy ones.
The flow of New Zealanders to Australia will become a flood.
And 1,058,638 voters may be sorry for voting for John Key.