This is David Cameron endorsing a vote against AV in the Uk referendum. Whale wants John Key to do the same here, but in terms of our referendum.
I was staggered to hear on television Prime Minister John Key say that although he was “not entirely unhappy” with MMP, he intended to vote for change. The PM said while he likes proportionality, he “slightly prefers the characteristics of Supplementary Member (SM)”.
I think Jon’s post is a massive over-reaction. The PM was asked a question and he answered it. He said over a year ago his preference was SM, so this is no revelation or surprise.
We have a Prime Minister who wishes to vote to turn back progress for women participating in parliamentary politics, and a Prime Minister who in defiance of our dramatically changing demographics prefers not to facilitate Asian New Zealanders, Pacifika New Zealanders, or other ethnic Kiwis participating in their own democracy.
Jon is absolutely entitled to his view of John Key, but he is being rather hysterical in his tone, and is overlooking the fact that with 30 List MPs, one can still have plenty of female, Asian, and Pacific representation. It is not minorities that get disadvantaged by SM, rather it is minor parties (or parties that do not win electorate seats).
Jon’s rant is a perfect example of what I have said many times with this debate. Supporters of MMP hysterically denounce anyone who disagrees with them as anti-democratic, when in fact all five electoral systems on offer are perfectly democratic. I do not include Sandra Grey from the Campaign fro MMP in my criticism – I have found her to be very upfront about acknowledging that all systems have strengths and weaknesses, and it depends on what you value most.
If I was a woman I’d be very unhappy that my Prime Minister, one who has seemed to make MMP work rather effortlessly, has decided to favour an electoral system that will make it harder for me or my daughters or grand-daughters to pursue a political career. If I was an Asian or Pacifika Kiwi I’d be concerned that the Prime Minister wants to limit my and my children’s ambitions in the expansion of his own.
I am also, apart from being a political scientist, an ordinary citizen and I am appalled my Prime Minister supports a system that will make my vote less equal than it is now under MMP.
I think Jon makes it very clear how he will be voting. Further Jon is all but advocating people not to vote National. He is in danger of being more of a political activist than a political scientist.
I should point out here that I will not be voting for SM in Part B of the referendum. I’ll blog in a few days on how I am voting on both parts and why. What I object to is the extremists who condemn people for daring to say they support SM or FPP or any of the five systems. My advice to Jon is to take in a few deep breaths and relax.
I don’t seem to recall Jon objecting so strongly when Phil Goff and Metiria Turei stated their preferences. In fact they have both been far far more vocal than Key on their preference.