NRT blogs on Rodney Hide's concerns that the Maori Party may potentially hold the balance of power in the next Parliament. Anyone can vote for the Maori Party with their party vote, therefore I'm not at all sure how they're any different from any other minor party? As NRT notes, there might be issues about overhangs and how they occur, but that's not what Rodney focused on.
Our MMP system of government has so far allowed minor parties a fairly significant role in the make up of government. Some parties have managed this better than others. National's faired poorly given that barely managed to see out its first and only term under MMP and NZFirst have shown, shall we say, flexibility. Labour's clearly done well having now managed three full terms - terms during which they've largely implemented their own manifesto while adequately providing space for their partners. I'm sure there'd be a diversity of views about the adequacy of this space however... particularly from the Greens.
Assuming NZFirst are a spent force, there's space for new centre party and the Maori Party may be just the ticket. Both Labour and National have their enmities with some within the Maori Party but both should be able to develop workable coalitions if required. However, can National do what Labour has which is to manage multiple coalition partners? Could you imagine a Cabinet that included both Roger Douglas and Tariana Turia?
2 days ago