John Boy has launched a counter-strike to assuage resentment at his refusing to listen to last month’s referendum on smacking by announcing a binding referendum on MMP.
Some years overdue and not an election promise [oops, yes it was], but a welcome promise nonetheless. MMP has delivered Winston Peters, the Greens and Alamein Kopu, and along with them the abandonment of principle, the rise of propagrandstanding, and (since they always slither back in on the list) the inability to vote any particular bastard out.
Not a lot to cheer about there then – although MMP did slow some of the bastards down for some of the time. And, mind you, what we had before did deliver Muldoon: so don’t go thinking a change in the voting system is a panacea for the few checks and balances NZ’s politicians have as a restraint.
So as someone once said, or should have, “The idea that a change in the system by which your dictators are elected will change you from slave to subject is like hoping that a change in your swimwear will alter the tides.”
What’s more important than changing the voting system would be putting our most fundamental rights and freedoms beyond the vote altogether. That would be something to really get excited about.
UPDATE: By the way, if you’d like to understand the vehement knee-jerk opposition to electoral change of the more collectivist political commentators around the traps, then you need to understand why they were so vehemently in support of MMP in the first place – and why Rod Donald was the prime mover in its introduction. Simply put, it’s because the left has a history of using the ‘leverage of democracy’ to make the tail wag a dog who doesn’t realise what’s going on.
Observe for instance how (with the help of compulsory student unionism) a small group of vocal collectivists on a student body can so easily take over the wallets of a larger group, and then claim to speak on their behalf?
Observe for another instance how a small group of militant Liverpudlians who called themselves the Militant Tendency began the take-over by vote-packing of local Labour Party electoral committees and then the Labour Party in Liverpool – and eventually, in 1983, with the Militant tail of each committee wagging the dog’s bodies to which they were delegates, The Tendency under Derek Hatton took over the the city and led it down a hole blacker and deeper than Arthur Scargill’s members’ mines. (It was to expel the Militant Tendency and their allies from UK Labour that Tony Blair courageously took on the Clause 4 battle – and it’s for this principled stand more than even his alliance with George W. that he’s still reviled by the Trotsky lovers.)
That same process – of leveraging the votes of a few into becoming the voice of many – was used as well by Sue Bradford and her Maoist and Marxist colleagues to effect a reverse take-over of the Green Party after it left the Alliance, long before the genuine sandal-wearers even realised what was going on. (And you thought it was just coincidence there were so many former NLP, SWL and Socialist Action types in positions of power in the Green Party, and wondered why so few of their MPs have a genuine environmental background. Head over and read Phil U.’s account here at Update 3 of Bradford and Catherine Delahunty, fresh from McCarten’s NLP, rejoining the Greens and declaring “the party is ripe for taking over.”)
And having achieved that, when Rod Donald et al kicked off the campaign for MMP in New Zealand, the collectivists were ready, willing and hoping for precisely the same effect on New Zealand’s body politic as they’re just had on the Greens and Derek Hatton had on Liverpool – for a small group of politically committed collectivists to use the leverage of MMP to wag the whole body politic.
Didn’t they do well.
Now do you understand their vehement opposition to any attempt to overthrow that system now?
Do you think John Key is ready for a battle on a scale that Tony Blair faced when he faced down Militant Tendency and their allies to overturn Clause 4? Are you? Because that’s what you’re going to get.