Reposted from Politicheck.
National, Conservatives and democracy
In There Will Be No Deal in Rodney Cameron Slater details at Whale Oil what he knows about or wishes will happen with an arrangement between National and Colin Craig and the Conservative Party.
For Colin Craig though he can forget Upper Harbour, there is no way that Paula Bennett will give up that for Colin Craig. Likewise in Rodney. Mark Mitchell has stared down terrorists, thugs, drug dealers and general scum so a knock out fight is something he would relish.
He rules out any chance of helping Craig in the North Harbour or Botany electorates.
That leaves McCully, frankly he is in his last election, and if he doesn’t bail before hand with the promise of Washington then he should go list only and East Coast Bays can be gifted to the Conservatives.
While East Coast Bays could be “gifted” to Craig that would be dependent on the voters of the electorate.
And as far as democracy goes it would stink.
One comment at Whale Oil:
But if leading up to the elections and the Nats and Conservatives keep telling us how to vote, I will dig my heels and might go off in a tangent or not even vote.
If National offer a deal to Craig, I am unlikely to vote for either.
Gifting a seat is not giving democracy a chance, its a cynical manipulation of a flawed MMP system. Being told to vote for a party I don’t support in order to play the system is not democracy
Despite debate and expert recommendations National have chosen to not change the way our MMP works. This leaves in place a 5% threshold that favours large established parties and makes it extremely difficult for small and new parties to get representation. The initial recommendation in 1986 was to have a 4% threshold. That was increased by politicians. Last year’s recommendation was to put it at 4% and that has been ignored by National.
(I believe for fair representation the threshold should be much lower or removed altogether.)
National also chose to leave the coat-tailing provision in place.
The Conservative Party failed to make the 5% threshold last election so failed to get representation for those who voted for them.
A gifted seat would (if voters allow) give them representation that in itself would seem fair to voters – but only Conservative voters. Other small parties who fail to win an electorate and fail to make the 5% threshold would be unfairly excluded.
It would be reprehensible if through self interest National gifted an electorate seat to a selected party to avoid the threshold and enable coat tailing when they have left in place a very high hurdle for other parties.
It would be an outrageous abuse of democracy.
I hope John Key and the National Party will rule out giving themselves a blatantly unfair advantage in the upcoming election.