Weak membership endangers parties

Quote of the day:

If you are unkind, you will say, “How did you fail to predict that Don Brash would make a hostile takeover of the Act Party, replacing Hide with non-Act member John Banks and advocating legalising cannabis, that all five Act MPs would retire and that the conversation between Banks and John Key over a cup of tea would dominate the election campaign?”

In my defence if I had predicted that, I think the editor would have thought I had taken leave of my senses. Richard Prebble looks back at his 2011 predictions in The Listener (not yet on-line).

Anyone who’d predicted that would not have been taken seriously but the party’s low membership did put it at risk of a hostile takeover.

This is something of which all parties need to beware.

The requirement to have only 500 members to become, or remain, a registered party is a pitifully low hurdle.

It is especially dangerous under MMP when these wee parties with few members can not only get into parliament but into government.



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