Labour likes to claim it is better at MMP than National because it can work with other parties. No matter that it has not been able to work with any party for more more than one term in a row. (Jim Anderton, if you can call him a party, excluded.)
Every policy, every issue was illustrated purely in terms of Labour versus National. Kiwisaver = Labour for, National against, Working for Families = Labour for, National against etc. No mention at all of the other parties that have helped shape those pieces of legislation and government policy, sometimes pushing the Labour Party to go further than it would otherwise, sometimes moderating it.
For the record the Greens also support Kiwisaver, Working for Families (although we would extend it to end the discrimination against non-working parents), free early childhood education, (although again we would extend it to other young children who are currently not entitled to free hours) and raising the trainee minimum wage (and the minimum wage for all workers should come up to at least $15 an hour). Suddenly the range of choices is not so black and white (or red and blue) is it?
The one that got me most riled was:
Policy comparison – climate change
Labour = Fair and balanced plan, National = no plan
I’ll leave National to dispute the fact that it does have a plan of sorts (which will probably end up looking very similar to Labour’s). But I can’t let Labour off the hook with ‘fair and balanced’. Does it mean ‘fair and balanced’ in the Fox News sense? How can it possibly offer up a policy comparison that shallow without referring to the huge debate about the ETS and it’s negotiations with all parties across the political spectra? Does it think the ETS is all there is to climate change policy and it can tuck that one away safely in the ticked box along with Kiwisaver and the rest?
If Labour were drawing honest comparions about it’s climate change policy then the Greens would be on one side of that chart. And then we’d see who was acting sustainably and who was engaging in shallow greenwash. But it won’t face that challenge because at heart it still thinks in the dichotomies of first past the post rather than the choices and diversity of MMP.