Search This Blog

Friday, 17 February 2017

Elections 2017: Hows this for a crazy idea, Labour builds AND leads a grand coalition!

Perhaps its all the liberal love-in feel-goodery going on around the Mt Albert by-election playing havoc with my better judgement but the idea has struck me that a potential outcome of the coming election could be Labour building AND leading a broad coalition composed of itself and most (if not all) the other parties.

Now I know the facts regarding the lack of love between the Greens and NZ First and the already stated intent that the twain shall never work together, or the fact that Gareth Morgan and Winston Peters are also unlikely to be sharing a beer any time soon but after looking at the photos of Labour, TOP and the Greens candidates smiling away that makes me have some hope for Labour getting its act together and for National not being in power come Sept 24th.

And the glue that will hold this unwieldy beast together? Mutual opposition to National and its agenda rather than any particular common view point (although given how these three got along you could be forgiven for thinking they do).

Also given the recent mood in the Maori political space we could even see The Maori party come to its senses and join the fun (with the implicit understanding that they can get a better deal by going with a needy Labour than an arrogant National).

The result, National vrs all the rest, or almost all the rest with possibly only NZ First not joining (mostly due to Winston's ego not getting massaged enough).

Its all crazy, pie-in-the-sky, speculation I know but it strikes me as a natural and possible option if Labour and the others can somehow see that they have more common cause opposing National than fighting each other.

Yes there will be egos and yes there will be issues but we have seen similar things before with parties like the Alliance (led by Jim Anderton) and Social Credit in the 70s and 80s but now we have glorious MMP to provide both the mechanic and impetus for smaller actors (and yes I am lumping Labour into the space at this time) to band together to defeat a common cause.

Also I get that once the common foe is dispatched the bickering may begin but still it might work.

I have no further analysis at this time but I am going to think about it some more over the weekend and see if this thing still has legs by Monday.


  1. I'm gonna predict it here. Gareth Morgan will fail to cross the 5% threshhold and his party will get no seats.

  2. Your idea doesn't have legs.E.A, and you know why, well. People do vote against parties as you have outlined. But you are out of the ball park. We vote against Maori privilege, against Green, against mad mouth, against Hone, against Meturia, and so on. There is nothing to vote against NAT they have no policy and are empty. Hence the success of smiling slack jaw.

  3. Hi Toby:

    I have to admit I am not so sure on that, maybe close but you are probably right.

    I wonder what the stats are for first run parties breaching the 5%, cant be good.

  4. Paul: Like I said its a crazy idea but if I was to articulate the idea a bit more it would be that the vote is not for Labour but for anyone but National.

    I admit that the reality is probably not what I am imagining but I do think it might be easier to construct a "Anyone but National" vote block than to weld the various parties together under the banner of common ground, ideas or values.

  5. Only twice in New Zealand MMP history has a party gone from having none of its members with seats in Parliament to having seats in Parliament purely on the basis of getting over the 5% electoral threshhold.

    In 1996 ACT did so, and in 2011 NZ First did so. NZ First had obviously had a prior presence in Parliament, and while the ACT Party was new, many of its members had extensive political experience as members of Labour and National.

    The Greens broke the threshhold in 1999 but most of the Green MPs elected had previously been sitting as Alliance MPs (the Greens had decided to leave much earlier, but they remained serving Alliance MPs right up until they were re-elected, thanks to a "divorce agreement" with the Alliance).

    So, to restate - no party has ever gone from zero to over-the-threshhold without its members having prior Parliamentary experience.

    I doubt Morgan has what it takes to change this. I think political commentators such as yourself can safely ignore the Opportunities Party when it comes to substantive analysis - it will contribute nothing but a bit of cosmetic flavour to the election, and will have been either virtually dissolved or actually dissolved as Gareth Morgan loses interest and decides he's going to Save The Country (TM) some other way, probably by funding a New Zealand space program or painting the Beehive turquoise or something.

  6. Yes Toby gives a good analysis. I still see that the 'slack jaw' technique of being nothing to anyone and nice to everyone worked well. For E.A. and others here the lack of knowledge and interest most of us have in politics is awesome. Same everywhere. A tiny proportion of Americans knew about the vile Clinton foundation and the cocaine background oi the Clinton Empire, written filmed and available though it was. Here in New Zealand people are unconcerned that we have a co-Governance arragnement with some unlected part Maori tribal leaders sucking us. The combination E.A. thinks may be a crazy idea, is a crazy idea. .

  7. Guys, your probably right.

    But if thats true then we likely face another three years of National as government.

    So, I am going to put down a beer bet that TOP will make between 4% and 6% in the polls on election day (I have to have a partial hedge). If I loose you guys are welcome to come down to Christchurch and collect from me.

    That's how crazy I am.