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Through the Portal

Where is New Zealand Governance going in the forseeable future?

Apolitical poll came out shortly after the budget that showed nothing had changed much in the political popularity game. Both the conservative and socialist sides were scoring roughly what they were scoring at the time of the election, the government mix we got was still the one we preferred now. The real interest was in the flavour of the conservative and socialist sides.
 |  Trevor Ammundsen  | 

In the past, the government of the day has tended to increase its popularity initially and its supporting parties have generally been pushed down, found it hard to get attention and progress their policies and desires. This has not been quite as obvious on the opposition side as being in opposition provides you with more room to stamp your foot and push whatever it is you wish to push.

The change we are seeing is that the minor parties are becoming more stable in terms of support and as such their policies and views are becoming more effectual.

This is especially relevant on the government side where the major party, being National, still cannot break the 40% support barrier whereas from 2008 until 2018 they were permanently at that level.

A major reason they cannot break this barrier is because their coalition partners are maintaining their support basis meaning any gains National has to make really have to be from the small numbers of Labour voters that could be persuaded to shift. That will be a hard shift for National as they and Labour are fighting for the same pool of centrist voters. Some prefer National’s self-proclaimed economic expertise while others prefer Labour’s self-proclaimed ideological vision. Any swing between these two pools will not be large.

With this stagnation of our two major parties, the minor parties gain in importance and relevance. What this will see is a gradual push to the right in economic direction as both NZ First and Act agree on this. We will see a push to put our county on a path towards increasing wealth and productivity, back to being a first world economy.

All of the major areas such as Education, Health, Infrastructure and Law and Order will see improvements, many of them driven by the two support parties. If we didn’t have this stability of support parties we would once again be relying on a lazy populist government such as those of Jacinda Ardern, John Key and Helen Clerk. We would be in an increasing depth of manure.

On the opposition side a similar trend is emerging. Labour is struggling to pull itself back up, its current political performance just confirming to most the perception of incompetence which leads to them being turfed out at the last election. The minor parties in opposition are however consolidating their positions, they are becoming confident, so much so that the Greens new co-leader has stated that they expect to be the major party on the left at some stage in the future. If the trend we are seeing continues it appears that the next socialist government in this country will be strongly influenced by Maori and Green interests.

The problem for the socialist group is that our bunch of politicians have virtually killed off MMP in this country as they have now solidified into two blocks. NZ First was the last party that was prepared to dance with left or right but now they appear to be firmly on the right side. In years gone by, we had parties such as United Future and The Maori Party that were also prepared to partner with either side but United Future has since died and The Maori Party has cemented itself to the left. The Greens, who should logically be supportive of any government if they wish to promote environmental causes, continue to stay to the left, rendering themselves ineffectual as defenders of our environment.

So we are left with two sides; on one side we have the conservative and pragmatic, sprinkled with common sense. If a voter wants this type of government they will vote for whichever of the three parties they feel “flavours” a government more to their taste. On the other side we have those that want to benefit but do not want to create; a diverse bunch promoting everything from Maori Parliaments to massive reduction in our countries income. Pick your flavour and vote accordingly.

So I can see our governance not changing too much. The diverse bunch of socialist activists to the left will find it difficult to beat a well organised pragmatic incumbent government. The challenge for our present government is that they need a few significant wins for the people so that they are widely seen as being well organised and effective. Easy to say.