H is for hurry and that is what David Cunliffe appears to be in.
He wants to scarp the coat tail rule that enables parties which win seats to bring other MPs in even if they don’t get 5% of the vote, and he wants to do it within 100 days of getting into government.
Why the rush?
There will be nearly three years until the next election when the law change would apply. That’s plenty of time to draw up legislation, open it to public submission, let it go through the select committee process, report back to parliament and gain the cross-party support which any change to electoral law should have.
H is also for hypocrisy and that what Cunliffe is exhibiting.
He was part of successive governments which were supported by Jim Anderton against whom Labour didn’t try to compete to win the electorate and who, at least in the early days, brought other MPs in on his coat tails.
He was part of successive governments which benefited from Peter Dunne’s support and those of the MPs who came in on his coat tails – even though he won the seat through the votes of National Party supporters.
He was a senior member of the party which didn’t try too hard to win the Coromandel seat which enabled Jeanette Fitzsimons to win as insurance should the Green Party not reach the 5% threshold.
He didn’t worry about the coat-tailers then and is only making a fuss now because of the Internet Mana deal.
Yet he’s not sufficiently worried to take a stand and say he won’t enter a coalition with them which is an equally blatant example of hypocrisy.
While I agree the IMP deal is a perversion of MMP, democracies don’t change electoral law to get rid of potential rivals for power.
They leave it for the voters to exercise their discretion at the election.
I hope there will be more than enough who do that wisely and foil the IMP plan to gain power by manipulating MMP.
If they don’t, so be it.
Cunliffe can cobble together a coalition of GIMPs and try to introduce changes to the electoral law which would sabotage at least one of the parties on whose votes he’ll depend for a majority.
H is also for help and that’s what we’ll all need should that be the sort of government we get.