Sunday, April 17, 2005

An earthquake for the government

Despite their rubbishing it as flawed and not statistically significant, there's no question that yesterday's Marae-Digipoll, which showed that the Maori Party was ahead in five of the seven Maori seats and tied for the party vote among those on the Maori roll was an earthquake for the government. DPF has an analysis of the margins of error, and concludes that the Maori Party is significantly ahead in most seats - and even where Labour is leading, their lead may be illusory (though less so in the case of Nanaia Mahuta). Labour is going to have to fight hard for Maori votes, which given their past history as safe seats whose support could be taken for granted can only be a Good Thing.

But lest anyone think its all bad news for the government, there's one cheerful detail: John Tamihere may not be a problem anymore after the election. Even with the limited sample size, the poll shows that he will lose by between 19 and 53 percent of the vote. I guess refusing a list spot wasn't such a good idea after all...

DPF also notes that, based on current speculation about party lists, there could be as many as 25 Maori MPs after the election - giving them 21% of seats for only 12% of the population. But this is an artefact of list-selection policies and the strong competition for the Maori vote more than anything else. When there are three parties all competing for a limited number of Maori votes, and giving Maori candidates strong places on their lists, then there are likely to be a disproportionate number elected. But I guess we should all be thanking national for fighting this insidious threat of over-representation, by shoving maori firmly to the back of their electoral bus. On current polling, they're likely to have around 40 MPs after the next election - but according to David, only one to three of them will be Maori. I think that shows very clearly that they simply are not interested in Maori's votes...


If you re going to support race based choices regarding candidates (I dont generally speaking) then it is appropraite for national to have less maori candidates because it has less maori supporters just like the maori party would not be expected to have somalians as their representatives.
You cant demand that national have maori representation proportional to the population and not also demand that of the maori party - if oyu want to demand they have it proportional to their suport base then national probably has that covered.

the most significant reason that maori dont vote for them is the same sort of reasons hard core religious people probably dont vote for labour, and it would make as much sense demanding that labour put a few destiny church members in its parliment as to demand another party put in any other random member of another random group.

Posted by Genius : 4/18/2005 07:54:00 PM