READER REPORT:

A National moral mandate indeed

SIMON PATERSON
Last updated 12:00 03/07/2013
ntm-john
JONATHAN CAMERON/Fairfax NZ
JOHN KEY

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OPINION: To say there would be an outrage in New Zealand if National polled at 46 per cent next election and didn't form a government highlights both a lack of understanding of MMP and an admission that National has alienated any potential partner at the next election.

To hope to govern alone is the only course of action left for a party who has effectively destroyed any party they partnered with during their last two terms as minority leader of government. Not one of National's MMP partners remains strong after being ignored, divided and bullied over the last two terms in government. They've all been plagued with division and leadership issues (or membership in case of Peter Dunne's one man band) as they've folded to the relentless "partnership" style of National.

ACT won five seats in the 2008 election and 3.6 per cent of the vote. After being a partner in the National-led government for a term support dropped to one seat and 1.07 per cent of the vote. Current polling has them at 0.4 per cent of the vote. In the two terms ACT has partnered with National in government they have been all but obliterated from the political landscape. Their own doing you might say, but wait, there's a trend here.

The other two partners, UnitedFuture and the Maori Party have also fallen victim to the oppressive partnership style of the National party. Peter Dunne's UnitedFuture, despite not being a party anymore, is polling at about a third of the support they enjoyed in the 2008 election.

The Maori Party has also dropped from 2.39 per cent to 1.43 per cent and their leadership has just succumbed to the loss of identity resulting from being in bed with National.

Those of us with an understanding of basic math can see that if National gets 46 per cent, a further 54 per cent of the vote goes elsewhere. Under MMP we are not voting for a first past the post scenario, we're voting for the party we most want represented in a coalition government. If National were to achieve 46 per cent of the vote and was all out of partners as John Key surmises, rest assured the resulting coalition government would still represent the majority of voters.

If I remember rightly, when the bully's precarious top dog position in the school playground was undermined by a loss of burnt friends and a united opposition, his appeals to be treated fairly (read "moral mandate") fell on deaf ears. Rather the other playground factions all agreed he had it coming.


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