The satisfaction of throwing out a despised Government

March 27th, 2012 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

I have said many times that overall is significantly superior to . But the recent slaughter in reminds us of something that you don’t get under MMP – the satisfaction of seeing a despised Government crushed at an election.

Australian Labor won only 7 out of 89 seats, despite winning 27% of the vote. Now this is certainly unfair in terms of proportinality. But in terms of teaching a Government a lesson (being don’t lie and don’t run dirty smear campaigns), MMP reduces the impact of losing the public favour. You can’t actually throw out the top Ministers, as they did in Queensland, as they would all remain safe on the party list.

In fact under MMP it is possible Labor could have retained power in Queensland if they did a deal with Bob Katter.

Again don’t get me wrong, MMP is better than FPP overall. But I do miss losing the ability to really punish a Government as they have just done in Queensland.

Tags: , ,

28 Responses to “The satisfaction of throwing out a despised Government”

  1. RightNow (7,014 comments) says:

    Sharing the opposition benches with Winston is it’s own special punishment.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. david (2,194 comments) says:

    “Again don’t get me wrong, MMP is better than FPP overall.” There you go again DPF, forcing your personal value judgements on us as if they were fact.

    The statement is only true if you consider proportionality in and of itself to be a good thing and there are many of us who do not subscribe to that thesis. Proportionality as evidenced by a collection of individuals who have professed to belonging to a particular party or another, but who are not bound to cast their parliamentary vote in any particular way is meaningless and sloganistic and brings nothing to our system of Government that FPP did except to mire the system in sludge and make it unresponsive and subject to behind-the-scenes manipulation in the pursuit of oft-hidden agendas.

    [DPF: I think it is pretty obvious when I said that, it is an opinion not a fact – esp as it is impossible to be a fact. And you know blogging is about opinions]

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. smttc (767 comments) says:

    Which is why the nasty party has no real incentive to mend its ways.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. dime (10,209 comments) says:

    correct. MMP doesnt satisfy my bloodlust at all!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. Positan (396 comments) says:

    re David: You’ve stated everything that needed to be said.

    MMP is an abortion.

    It is not a system that’ll ever render effective administration of the country because too many other self-protecting, position-holding considerations of the politicos have first to be taken into account.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. Patrick Leyland (1 comment) says:

    That’s not at all correct David.

    I’ve modelled how many seats the LNP government would have had under an MMP environment similar to New Zealand’s – and their victory was so decisive that they would have managed to achieve a majorty in parliament despite this being nearly unknown in elections using proportional voting.

    You can see the full numbers here: http://theprogressreport.co.nz/2012/03/25/queensland-and-proportional-elections/

    Under an MMP-like system, Labor and Bob Katter’s party would have only had about 36 seats – well fewer than the 45 they’d need to form a government (and the LNP would have 46 – able to govern in their own right).

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. lastmanstanding (1,310 comments) says:

    I have too disagree with you. As you say under MMP Labor with 27% plus Katter Labor could still be the Government. That is wrong wrong wrong. The citizens would have been denied the opportunity they had under FPP to send the message.

    Whilst the Nats just got there NZ faces a future where a grouping on the minority can force their will on the majority. IMHO that is NOT a democracy.

    We will as we have in the past get self seeking self interested groups acting against the will of the majority and that majority being disenfranchised by not having the power to toss out those acting against them.

    The List system also means people who were not chosen by the citizens get power. Until we return to a consistency only system where every member of the Parliament has had to put themselves up for a vote in an electorate we will get people who the citizens wouldnever ever have voted for.

    Ask yourself.

    If the lot that Peters bought into Parliament had stood in an electorate how many of them would have been chosen.

    Fact is most NZ1 voters only realised after the event that voting for Peters also got the rag tag bunch of coat hangers as well.

    I bet a poll of NZ1 voters would bear that out.

    MMP is and will prove to be a disaster for NZ. We will lurch on with no clear decisive leadership No clear vision for the future and no hope of success other than to slip even further down the order towards 3rd world status.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. cows4me (248 comments) says:

    Yes the wasters in our political system will be thanking their lucky stars they are not living over the ditch. MMP is a pox, a disease and it will in the end sink us all. Governance with it’s balls in the vice.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. tvb (4,553 comments) says:

    It will take the Queensland Labour Party years and years to understand why they lost. The New Zealand Labour Party has not understood their loss because they think voters are mad not to back them.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. swan (665 comments) says:

    This only makes sense if you think the median voter is someone who embodies the electorates view.

    To say a government is despised – well they are only despised by some proportion of the number of people who choose not to vote for them.

    I think the median voter has quite enough influence as it is.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. Mark (1,502 comments) says:

    I am not sure I entirely agree with the thrust of the argument that DPF has put up here. Whilst MMP has not completely routed a sitting party it has dealt some fairly harsh lessons to opposition parties who have not got the message. National in 2002 and to a lesser extent labour in 2011 were both given the message quite nicely.

    The routing in Queensland is not a good outcome. An effective opposition is necessary for the checks and balances of democracy and that result has effectively delivered a government without an opposition which will lead to problems through the term.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. berend (1,689 comments) says:

    The only reason to vote is to be able to throw the bastards out.

    You really can’t vote in the people you like, as the people who are liked are like John Key, idealess waving while the country slowly is being crushed under more and more government debt.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. philu (12,989 comments) says:

    bligh sold state assets…in the face of overwhelming public/polled-opposition to that idea..

    the punters really didn’t like that…

    ..so they threw them out..

    ..oh well..!..you have 2014 to test that thesis..

    ..eh..?

    ..are marginal-seat backbenchers acting up yet..?

    ..facing one-term-certainty as they are..?

    ..or are they still in denial/key-awe…?

    phillip ure@whoar.co.nz

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. JeffW (327 comments) says:

    I am with the majority of commentators here; I can understand why left wing commentators are in favour of MMP, but I fail to see why someone who is supposedly centre-right (by NZ definition, maybe centre by most definitions) could be in favour of a system which is highly unlikely to deliver the reform of government the country needs if it is to avoid bankruptcy.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,703 comments) says:

    I thhink on Katter and Labor you are wrong. Lib/Nats have 78 seats in a notional MMP parliament of 131 seats.

    http://nominister.blogspot.com.au/2012/03/and-what-of-mmp.html?showComment=1332730231577#c2878816364307917742

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. Put it away (2,872 comments) says:

    Jeez phool, you still wittering on about “one term” while the govt you swore endlessly would be “one term” is enjoying their second? Thought you might have learned by now that prophecy is not your strong point. How’d that mana landslide you were picking work out? If you ever get a day job, don’t give it up…

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. Positan (396 comments) says:

    Surely, by definition, one cannot be “centre right” and espouse MMP as an administratively advantageous political system?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. Zapper (1,047 comments) says:

    philu – She sold assets after promising she wouldn’t. Slight difference.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. RRM (10,099 comments) says:

    I’ve enjoyed the satisfaction of throwing out a despised Government. Voted Helen Clark in 1999… 8-)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,703 comments) says:

    BTW, the earlier comment is not to imply that I favour the current version of MMP. I’d like to see some major changes such as increasing the threshold to ten percent party vote and disallowing failed electorate candidates to sneak in though the list back door.

    Katter would have survived a 10% threshold but, alas, the Greens would not. Sob sob.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  21. philu (12,989 comments) says:

    zapper..but the levels of public opposition are similar in both places..

    ..and the backlash will likely be similar..

    phillip ure@whoar.co.nz

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  22. dime (10,209 comments) says:

    my god. are you still preaching that phil?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  23. kiwi in america (2,314 comments) says:

    phil
    Let me see – National campaigned on the mixed ownership model in 2011. Labour made opposition to the partial sell off not only an important part of its campaign it essentially made it practically the ONLY part of its campaign. NZers voted in an actual election (different from opinion polls that can be worded to get the result you want) and …well Labour got its worst result since the 1920s and John Key formed his second ministry despite the dire predictions of failure by one Philip Ure.

    The QLD Labor Party sold off its target assets lock stock and barrel – akin to Labour’s trade sell offs of SOEs in the 80s – National seemed to have learned from Labour’s 1990 wipeout to promote a model that retains government control. There was plenty more Labor incompetence outside of its asset sales that contributed to their near total annihilation – telling lies and running a 100% negative campaign being prime amongst them.

    Keeping lefty hopes alive eh phil – for that you get the Kevin Bacon “All is Well” award http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDAmPIq29ro

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  24. philu (12,989 comments) says:

    get a grip..k.i.a…

    key/nact have a one-seat majority..

    ..and that from relying on craven fools like dunne and brash..

    ..and the sell-outs in the maori party..

    ..hardly a mandate…

    ..in anyones’ language…

    phillip ure@whoar.co.nz

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  25. kiwi in america (2,314 comments) says:

    Had the 2011 election been fought under the Australian voting system, NZ Labour would’ve been almost similarly routed. Lets compare apples with apples eh. Oh and Brash never made it into Parliament – John Banks did – minor FYI.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  26. cows4me (248 comments) says:

    Still grasping ay straws Phil, how’s the progressive movement going these days?. Ha ha what a joke.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  27. wiseowl (974 comments) says:

    Lastmanstanding sums up the situation very well.
    What we have is minority rule now and a party like National who will do anything to maintain power. Principles are out the window.
    MMP is a total disaster for this country.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  28. mikenmild (12,321 comments) says:

    Except Lastmanstanding tried to claim there was something undemocratic about MMP.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote