Friday, November 18, 2011

No mandate for asset sales

National's big push for asset sales this election is based on a simple idea: if they win, they'll have a mandate to do it. But as a survey released by Massey University today shows, that's simply wrong:

Two major policy planks of the election campaign are a turnoff to voters, new Massey University research shows.

Asset sales are proving far less popular than the party promoting them – National – but people are also unenthusiastic about Labour's plan to raise the retirement age.

While two new polls last night had National polling above 50 per cent, preliminary results from a Massey survey showed three-quarters of Kiwis were against asset sales.

The New Zealand Study of Values Survey 2011 showed 75.9 per cent of respondents were against "the Government selling off major assets".


Full results were: 47.4 per cent of respondents were strongly against asset sales, 28.5 per cent were more or less against, 14.6 per cent were neutral, 8.1 per cent were more or less in favour and 1.4 per cent were strongly in favour.

The people may be willing to give National a mandate to hold power. But its also pretty clear that that mandate does not extend to selling our stuff. The problem is that if National gains an outright majority, they won't have to listen to us any longer. The threat of de-election in three years time just isn't enough to force them to behave themselves. Which is why we need to ensure that any government is saddled with a non-compliant coalition partner and has to constantly seek support for its policies: so they don't go beyond the power we are willing to give them.

(The same obviously applies to Labour on the retirement age)