Monday, 13 April 2009

MMP gets closer to maturity?

Mike Moreu points out that with the Greens' deal with National over home insulation this Government is now working on stuff with almost every party in the House.

In some ways this could be seen as another step towards a properly MMP system; instead of two power blocs a la FPP we can now have legislation put up, initiatives suggested, by a range of parties, whether they are in power or not. Yes, politicians have been able to do this for some time via the Private Members' Bill process, and the Greens have been particularly good at that. Often though it has been a slow arduous process, with many deals necessary over an extended period of time, and for quite small changes to law.

Whether Key can do any substantial deals with Labour or Jim Anderton in this term is yet to be seen. I doubt Phil Goff can really afford to do that, in terms of his own leadership and support within Labour; he's already seen by many as on the right of the party. And Labour will have noted the disgust of many Green supporters at the deal between Fitzsimmons-Norman and National. I wonder whether considerations of future support for National will be a prominent question in the coming leadership contest within the Greens? Would Turei or Bradford have signed up to this? And what would Rod Donald do?

For my money we will know that our system has fully matured when a Government bill can fail for lack of support without it being The End. Given that our political reporting still tends to accentuate the oppositional nature of the House and surrounds, that'll be a while coming yet.


scarlettraces said...

there are constitutional problems with government bills failing - technically only an appropriation bill being voted down would have to trigger an election, but it would put any government on very shaky ground, and if they survived one bill failing they probably wouldn't survive the next. i totally agree with your sentiment, though.

[new here. fine blog!]

Principessa said...

You know- what confuses and angers me about this whole thing between the Nats and the Greens, (no matter how major/minor this deal seems to be) is that:

while "Community" is being taken out of 'Community Consultation' in the RMA

while the protections on Native Trees are being taken away

while the N-act Government is in Climate Change Denial

and tax cuts for the rich are being implemented

The Greens (presumably the current leadership) just helped National look like the "Natural" party of government.

Sorry for having a bit of a spaz, but I'm still annoyed about this.

Paul said...

I would imagine Phil Goff is grinning from ear to ear. The Greens have just discredited themselves, leaving Labour the only party which has not fed from National's trough. Labour will probably pick up a fair number of Green votes, next time round.

Anonymous said...

I campaigned and voted for the Greens because I wanted the party to have more power to promote Green Party policies.

It gets quite tedious that there are these expectations that the NZ Greens Party should sit on the sidelines as some holier-than-thou moral conscience, rather than actually doing anything!


Alison said...

I'm pretty pleased with the Greens-Nats deal to be honest. As one of those so disparagingly referred to in some quarters as a "watermelon voter" I would have been absolutely devastated if they'd formed a confidence and supply relationship or similar with National, but I'm glad to see them getting some influence in the limited range of areas where there is crossover.

I would have hated to see them forced to abstain on issues that really matter to Green voters, but that's not the case with this deal; they get the opportunity to influence environmental policy in a few areas, while maintaining the right to fight National policies generally. I'd hate to see the Greens move away from their social justice approach, but I want the Greens in parliament doing something, not simply existing as an ideological alternative.

StephenR said...

Labour will probably pick up a fair number of Green votes, next time round.Unless the Greens get policy implemented. If they're reasonably successful with a nominally 'hostile' government, i'd expect their vote to pick up next time around. Perhaps at the cost of National as well as Labour - Key said after the MOU that their internal polling showed that the Greens was the party that most Nat voters wanted National to go with, which is both surprising ('
crazy hippies') and not surprising (the 'green'/environmental brand) at the same time.

Anonymous said...

Having worked with Rod Donald I know he would be tgrilled that the Greens looked past the arrogant Labour Party and was able to work alongside any party that gave them an opportunity to deliver a policy that might not have been implemented before. Labour were terrible to the Greens for many years, and the arrogance in this thread by Labour people assuming that Greens will flock to Goff (how odd!) because of this is proof.