Wednesday, May 27, 2015

A political obituary

The Alliance (1991 - 2015). Born of Rogernomics, Ruthanasia, and everyone who was unhappy with them, it gained 18% of the vote in the 1993 election, but (thanks to FPP) only two MPs. After that it was all downhill, as their supporters either gave up voting due to being unable to produce change, while Labour moved away from NeoLiberalism and regained some respectability. MMP finally saw them gain proper representation, and they entered government in 1999 in coalition with Labour, but disintegrated under the pressure of Labour's backing for America's war in Afghanistan (and how's that gone, guys). Died after a decade-long case of irrelevance 26 May 2015. Survived by the Greens.

The Alliance gave us paid parental leave, and helped drive Labour back to the left. But after 2005, when they got just 1,641 votes, it was apparent that they were done. What's surprising is that it has taken them so long to admit that.

Meanwhile, we now have only 15 registered political parties, two of which (Ban 1080 and the Independent Coalition) are likely to disappear just by natural attrition, while one - the Democrats - has been on long-term life-support since it departed from the Alliance in 2005 and will probably die a natural death soon. If the health of a democracy can be measured by the number of options competing for office, we're not very healthy.