Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Scarey brown folk might run the show?

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?


Anonymous said...

If the Nats can manage to pull it off, it will be paradign-shifting. The end of the lazy Labour attitude towards Maori that has been in place since the Ratana deal. Frankly, I'm surprised that that the Nats haven't played this smarter - if you talk to senior leaders within the major iwi, the sorts of things they say (e.g. "welfare is sapping our initiative", "we want to control our own affairs and get the State out of our business") line up very closely with Nat views. The key thing is getting over the residual racism that lurks in the corners of the National Party....

backin15 said...

I don't think the charge of "lazy" is justified. It might have been earlier, but it hardly seems reasonable given historic settlements.