Whaling for a big Gerry Mander

Ever heard of a gerrymander? Yep, that’s what happened for many years in Queensland, when Joh Bjelke-Petersen’s National Party held power there with as little as 20% of the popular vote.

Anyway, here’s Cameron Slater – and again, and again, and again – advocating that New Zealand’s National Party should be advocating a vote against MMP:

News flash National, all your political enemies are conspiring to retain MMP and pouring lots of time, effort and money into it and some in National are even helping them. Silence is no longer an option, silence in 1993 on the issue is what got you 9 long years in opposition and silence is what will see your coalition partners disappear, and with it your chances of governing again for a very long time.

Slater’s argument is about as unprincipled as it gets. He is advocating gerrymandering the electoral system to make it less fair and less proportional because that would advantage the political right by giving the National Party a share of seats in Parliament well in excess of their share of the popular vote.

I somehow suspect he wouldn’t be running that argument if ACT were polling 12%, rather than being terminally ill at 1.2%.

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2 thoughts on “Whaling for a big Gerry Mander

  1. I agree that Slater’s position is unprincipled—I’d even say morally bankrupt. It is not, however, gerrymandering. That refers to drawing boundaries of electorates to ensure a certain party wins it. That’s critical in a non-proportional system like First Past the Post, in which the party with the most electorate seats governs, but irrelevant under our system (and doesn’t really happen in NZ right now).

    I know this may seem like mere hair-splitting, but the rightwing is highly adept at exploiting every error of their opponents in the centre and left, so we must be scrupulously accurate in our language and facts. By all means, attack Slater for his unscrupulous advocacy of FPP, but don’t call it what it isn’t.

  2. I’m not advocating FPP, so you could at least get that right.

    And yes I loathe MMP, so what…we live in a democracy not some forelock tugging group-think nirvana.

    Somehow you think it is unprincipled to state an opinion, you should think about that for a minute.

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