Here Come The New Plans.
Kind of like the old plans, but not the same.
It sounds like sometime in the next few days a press conference will be announced to put us all out of our misery.
By which I mean we’ll actually find out what sort of government we voted for. I’m not referring to the implementation of a hardline cost cutting agenda from ACT. Don’t hold your breath, I doubt that made the cut.
So that’ll be nice, won’t it? Seeing which policies have been agreed over the last month. Not of course by the voters, but by the three “wise” men.
Doesn’t that sound a bit backwards to you? Going to all the effort of having an election based on parties presenting their policies, and then afterwards a few politicians and their staff go into a room and decide what the programme of work will actually be? The result of these negotiations may, or may not, resemble what people voted for, or what they thought they were going to get.
It makes me wonder whether we ought to have some sort of referendum. To see whether the deal they agree has the support of the majority, or not. If not then back to the polls.
I’m not serious of course. But it does make you wonder. Just how democratic is it for a few people, voted for by roughly half of the population, to horse-trade policies and priorities until they’ve reached an agreement?
It doesn’t sound flash does it? Some of National’s policies, that received reasonably broad support, will be cast aside as agreement can’t be reached. Meanwhile ACT and NZF will undoubtedly get concessions on policies which fewer than 10% of the population actually voted for. Ah. Sweet, sweet democracy.
This situation is not ideal for voters, but it’s absolutely brilliant for the politicians.
Have you got a policy that you really couldn’t afford? Did you promise something that sounded good to the people whose votes you wanted, but was actually a really stupid idea? Well, ditch it, and blame it on negotiations.
Just slap on a sincere face for the cameras. Look the nation in the eye and tell them just how much you really wanted to deliver on that promise, but alas, MMP has made it impossible. It was not you, it was the other two. If you’re feeling a bit mischievous you could throw in a cheeky - “if you buggers had voted two ticks blue like I told you to, we wouldn’t be having to deal with this crap now, would we?”
It should be noted that the last sentence, about the blue ticks, should be thought and not actually spoken out loud. Don’t worry, you won’t be able to speak anyway, you’ll have been gritting your teeth so hard.
But even better than ditching an unwanted commitment is being able to take on a policy that you wouldn’t have dared to take to the voters. You know, the sort of thing that made even Nicola Willis look a bit queasy, due to it’s unnecessary cruelty, but has left the ACT mob salivating, and snarling with excitement.
All you have to do is look that camera in the eye again, fix the nation’s soul with your gaze, and say “look guys if it was up to me I wouldn’t do it, to be quite honest it’s pretty messed up.”
Then shrug your shoulders, pull a face that say “yeah, but whatcha going to do?”, and tell the people that you had to make some concessions, because MMP. “Don’t forget next time guys - two ticks blue.”
Again, you don’t say that last bit out loud. Or this bit. For goodness sake stop talking man and just smile. Maybe Nicola will take pity on you and intervene, even though you’ve had her making cups of tea for the last few weeks.
It does make you wonder what Luxon has been willing to give away. Both NZF and ACT will be very conscious of being seen to have gained substantial concessions from their manifestos, which they can hold up to the electorate in three years time. They’re there to make themselves look good, not Luxon. That’s his problem, they need wins.
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