Thursday, February 24, 2005

Matt McCarten and new parties

The papers yesterday morning had the news of the Matt McCarten - Maori Party divorce, but One News seems to have the inside story: it was over McCarten's desire to broaden the Maori Party into a general party for the poor (and engineer an overhang into the bargain, from the sound of it). And now that he's failed, he's looking at establishing a new party... again. Which I'm sure will endear him to his former friends in the Alliance no end...

As for the idea of a party of the left beyond Labour, I'd definitely like to see one succeed, but I'm dubious about its chances. What gets new parties established is dissatisfaction, with both present policies and the present alternatives. The Maori Party has been established as a sign of deep Maori dissatisfaction over the Foreshore and Seabed Act, but there's no similar groundswell of support for a new party to the left of Labour. And those who think that Labour hasn't been left enough have several credible alternatives to choose from. So you really have to ask "where will the support come from?"


Um, could you clarify 'engineer an overhang"? My expectation is that the Maori party will win 2 or 3 seats on a fairly small party vote, and thus will probably create an overhang anyway.

If they broadened their support to non-Maori (or indeed Maori on the general roll) then wouldn't this reduce the likelihood of an overhang.

BTW, if the Maori party get say 3 seats on 1% of the vote, will Labour/National get any extra "overhang" seats?

Posted by Rich : 2/24/2005 09:51:00 AM

Trying to convince the Maori Party only to contest the electorate vote, and endorse his new party for the party vote. This would make the MP's overhang that much worse.

No, other parties don't get any extra seats if there is an overhang.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 2/24/2005 11:32:00 AM

Oh I see.

If the Maori party had an overhang of 3 seats and there were no other overhangs, then there would be 123 MPs rather than 120, correct?

Posted by Rich : 2/25/2005 11:30:00 AM

Correct. It's a flaw due to having a mix of electorate and list seats, and there's not really any way of getting rid of it.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 2/25/2005 12:43:00 PM