We sat down at our function, which was the dentist’s girlfriend's place...well, his ex-girlfriend's place. Talk about awkward! Well, we waited and I didn’t see our results come up on screen. What’s the deal? So I asked the dentist what the hell was going on. He made a few calls and apparently the electorate we were running in didn’t really exist. So we had an argument and then his ex-girlfriend’s boyfriend came over and then things really got weird, so we left...well, I left. The dentist stayed to get freaky with his ex and her boyfriend. Suffice to say, that business relationship is no more.
Alright, enough of the nonsense. I hope you’ve enjoyed the dribble for the past few weeks. I try to keep things more loose and humorous in this context that Duckman does as he takes politics very seriously these days.
The New Zealand general election happens every three years and everyone over the age of eighteen that’s not in prison or in hospital has the legal right to choose who will represent their views for the following three years from an administrative and legislative viewpoint. What I intend to do here is to provide some statistics and bring my perspective upon it. Duckman will probably make his more of an overview that will closely follow his own observations. As always, the opinions of the blogger do not represent the policy of the website. We are not a political entitity and don’t intend to sway people’s opinions to the right or left of the political divide.
In New Zealand you get two votes. One is for the local politician you wish to represent you in parliament, and the other is for the party you believe best supports your views and beliefs as to where we as a country should be heading. Regardless of how many electorate seats a party gets, it’s the party vote that determines everything. I wanted to make that clear before I start rattling numbers off to you. I won’t bore you with exact numbers of people voting. I don’t think you need to hear that, but I will give you percentage and the seats that each party won. Some of you may not be interested in hearing this, so I’ll bid you a fair day and open the door for you if that’s the case because the rest of the blog is going to be pretty much a report and overview of my countries election.
National Party - 48.6% = 61 seats
Labour Party - 24.7% = 32 seats
Green Party -10.1% =13 seats
New Zealand First - 8.85% = 11 seats
The other parties were very minor. The only one I’ll mention is the Maori Party, which got 1.29% and managed to bring in 2 members. National won 41 electorate seats and Labour won 27, with United Future winning 1 and Act winning 1 as well.
It bears noting that if a party wins 5% of the general population voting for them, then they trigger an entry into parliament, which I think is about 6 seats. If you win an electorate seat, then if you win about 1.2% then you trigger a list MP. Each party has a list of people that it wishes to enter parliament if they have triggered a high enough result on the party vote.
Hope I have explained this well enough! Right, I’ve given you the numbers so lets see what the result is shall we? There are 121 seats in this parliament. In New Zealand, a political party may serve the executive at the pleasure of the queen, as she is the head of state. Her representative, the governor general ratifies the government. To form a government you must show the governor general that you have the numbers to do two things:
1. The pass supply in the house. That means supply of money. Without this a government would fail to operate.
2. Pass confidence measures in the house. A party can ask for a vote of no confidence. If this vote is passed, then a new election must be called.
National has 61 seats in a parliament of 121, which means they have a majority . They need to help, no support whatsoever. They can go and get permission to form a government. Now because I know them from the history of their previous two terms that they will seek support from the Act Party, the United Future Party and the Maori Party, even though they really don’t need it.
With their support, this brings their alliance for the conservative right to 65. The opposition consists of Labour, the Greens and New Zealand First. Their opposition alliance is 56 seats.
This is a great result for the conservative right. They have no need to fear the left and their opposition which is nowhere near close to causing a problem for their government. In fact, even if the other right leaning parties supported the opposition it still wouldn’t be enough.
My personal view is rather complex. On one hand I am pained because I am a Labour supporter and have supported the left side of politics for all of my adult life. I’m a believer in the working man and helping the less fortunate, to a point. I don’t believe in ‘babysitting’ people and shelling out money for the sake of looking after those that are too lazy to raise themselves out of their poverty. I also think many of Labour’s policies this time round were too radical for the economic climate that we live in. But this didn’t stop me from voting for them. But I can understand why so many people didn’t vote for them. They have lost their vision. They seem very disorganised and lack anyone with true strength of character and charisma. I am one who believes the economy is in need of conservatism at the moment and if that means sacrificing social welfare reform then so be it.
Man, I’m done being so serious! Next blog is going to be very funny, I promise!