Monday, June 27, 2005

On voting for Jim

Thinking more about not voting for Jim, I'd just like to say that I dislike Jim Anderton and will never really forgive him for what he did to the Alliance. That said, I can think of two reasons for voting for him:

  1. To give Matt Robson a chance. Sure, he's trying to stop 18 year olds from drinking, but other than that he's a decent guy, and he has been a consistent voice for human rights. I'd much rather have him in the House than out of it.
  2. In an election this close, we can't afford to lose even 1% of the left vote to the stupid and undemocratic threshold. Jim winning Wigram would stop that from happening - and depending on how well the Progressives campaign, could result in 1 or possibly even 2 other MPs who will vote for a Labour- rather than National-led government.

Obviously whether or not to vote for Jim will depend on how highly you value those outcomes, compared to how intensely you dislike him. Speaking for myself, I think that working for a left-wing government and more liberal MPs who respect human rights is more important than my hatred. I don't live in Wigram anymore, but if I did, I'd hold my nose and vote for Jim - and then give my party vote to someone who actually deserved it.


Matt could be an effective and valuable MP, if it were not for his blind loyalty to Jim. Jim is now damaged electoral goods. If he gets back in he is most likely to be an overhang MP.

Consistent? On the eave of the war against Afghanistan Matt Robson made an excellent speech to Otago University questioning the decision to send troops under the US umbrella. Jim told Matt if he didn't recant the position then he would have to step down as a Minister. Matt fell into line.

Once Jim goes I hope that some of the 'progressives' without a home will come back to a left wing party like the Alliance - this will allow the left in chch to rebuild further.

Posted by Joe Hendren : 6/27/2005 01:35:00 AM

You say that if you were in Wigram, you'd "vote for Jim - and then give my party vote to someone who actually deserved it". You also say that one of your reasons for voting for Anderton would be to give Matt Robson a chance. However, Robson is dependent on the party vote as well as Anderton's seat - wouldn't voting for Anderton but not his party run the risk of giving you Anderton without Robson, thereby defeating part of the purpose? Not meaning to be critical or anything - just wondering if you'd thought of it. (I've often wondered what would happen to Robson if Anderton disappeared. Would he try to keep the Progressives going, or would be join someone else? I don't really know enough about him.)

Posted by Maramatanga : 6/27/2005 10:24:00 AM

Yes, I've thought about that. But while I generlaly like what Matt has done in Parliament, I think I can get more bang per buck on the human rights front by voting Green (and also do my bit to help them over the threshold as well).

More generally, those are two reasons on why people might want to support Jim. Obviously, the strength of those reasons and their relative weighting will vary greatly from person to person.

I am wondering what will happen to Matt when Jim retires. It seems he's been doing a lot of the organisational work for the Progressives (he's certainly the one touring the country and doing candidate meetings), but it remains to be seen whether he's done enough to keep the party alive without its leader.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 6/27/2005 11:14:00 AM

Hey, gimme back my thunder.

That's it, exactly. While I don't like the b... guy, I DO like Matt Robson. He and Keith Locke are people I end up nodding along with when they speak. We already lost so much talent with the fiery death of the Alliance. Matt I'd like to keep.

And the other thing being, of course, that Jim in parliament is one seat at least you know for sure won't sell its soul to the Right. What worries me right now is the unpredictability of those Maori party seats.

Posted by Ghet : 6/27/2005 11:24:00 AM

Matt Robson doesn't have a chance. And I'd recommend taking the long term view on the 1% issue; these days Anderton isn't particularly great even by Labour party standards, and I'd rather see him gone now to ensure he doesn't cause vote wastage in 2008.

Posted by Commie Mutant Traitor : 6/27/2005 11:36:00 AM

Did you read Chris Trotter in the Dominion on Friday?

Voting to keep that 1% around now is taking the long-term view.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 6/27/2005 11:50:00 AM

No, I don't see much that isn't online. What did he have to say?

I think a conservative government taking power in 2008 would be worse than a National victory this year, and whatever else he may be, Anderton is pretty conservative in a lot of ways.

Posted by Commie Mutant Traitor : 6/28/2005 03:31:00 PM