Sunday, 27 November 2011


Still recovering from a very boring election night. Blogosphere seems very ho-hum about the reslts... all the expected comments.

We got the expected big National majority, and the usual suspects crying out for an overhaul of MMP on the grounds of these results. They do that each time ... this time it seems that National should be able to govern by themselves since their majority is so large but are forced to toady to the ultra-right for a measly seat. Yeah right.

People, MMP allows for a nuanced view of election results. The message to National is, surely, "Keep doing what you are doing, with a few small tweaks."

The biggest message of this years elections seems to be underreported though: voter turnout os very low (for NZ). Not-voting is, itself, a vote. The message that lots of uncast votes sends is that it wasn't worth voting. Its not hard to vote - it takes less than a minute on a weekend and you can't move for polling stations. Some countries you have to slip through gunmen and risk reprisals to cast a vote. These places have an excuse for a low turnout. But here? "Whence the apathy?" - the party strategists have to ask themselves (or, better, other people).  Surely this can only mean that none of the choices were attractive?

I'd like to see National grow a pair and form a  government with the Greens. Sure they'll have to lose some policies, but they'll also lose the tail-wagging-the-god look of dealing with Act, scupper any possibility of effective opposition, and look like they are listening to voters.

The economy will start to look up over the next three years provided nobody fiddles with it much. All they have to do then is not stuff up (which is the best anyone is saying about their performance so far) and they'll get a third term in 2014. That's got to be worth acceding to Green's actually quite modest core policies which can be spun as "what the public wants" anyway.

Still, I doubt it will happen.

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