Thursday, October 1, 2020

Mike Hosking: MMP hasn't done what it was meant to do


The ones out there doing the hardest yards are the small players, the ones that won’t just not make it this election, but will not even come close.

It’s another failing or sadness of MMP.

Colin Craig, Graham Capill, Gareth Morgan: periodically a collection of slightly earnest, at times bewildered, but always passionate groups come along for an electoral crack, and every now and again some make enough noise to one, draw attention; two, make progress; and three, sometimes even look like they might be serious.

But this time round, no one is going anywhere or anywhere close.

Not only are we talking about most of the established small players being in trouble or heading for oblivion, the really small players aren’t even seeing the light of day

Is it Covid? Probably, but reality is reality, and with three weeks to go, no one has made any cut through, got any coverage, shown any form of relevance.

Is it time we looked at MMP? What’s the point of a system that works against what it was supposed to provide?

The other part of the equation is what happens when the parties that do get in and form a government. This has been our first true MMP coalition and you hardly call it a success, would you?

Forget whether you supported the parties or not, look at the workings of it.

You can credit the three parties for clearly having a large series of differences behind the scenes and keeping them relatively under control. Winston got through three years - almost - without ending up in a Shipley-Bolger type falling out.

But as soon as the vote was called and time was up, out came the bitching, back stabbing and finger pointing.

The stuff that wasn’t done, the stuff that was done that most didn’t agree on, the wastage, the expense, the endless compromise that leads to stagnation. And if not stagnation, a glacial pace of progress.

MMP was designed to see small parties flourish, it hasn’t done that.

It was designed to see checks and balances on bulldozer policy approach. Has it done that, or just stalled everything, watered it down to a relic of what it could or should have been?

NZ First gone, the Greens on the cusp. Conservatives, Advance, TOP, the Māori party all invisible, with ACT the only survivor for sure. If this was a report card on a system, it doesn’t read well, and is worth a C at best.

Mike Hosking is a New Zealand television and radio broadcaster. He currently hosts The Mike Hosking Breakfast show on NewstalkZB on weekday mornings.

1 comment:

Ray S said...

You are too generous with a "C". A "D" minus would seem more appropriate.