Nope. The Greens existed before the Alliance. The Alliance was, in effect, a mini-coalition of different parties, hence the name. Parties have to grow themselves.
This is sort of what I'm complaining about, though. The Green Party most likely wouldn't have been able to enter parliament if it didn't already have incumbents and support from elsewhere in parliament.
The Alliance was in parliament before MMP started so came with incumbent MPs. When the Greens went independent in '99, it had 3 incumbent MPs (Fitzsimons, Donald, Bunkle). Even then, it probably still only got elected because Helen Clark signalled to Labour's Coromandel supporters that they should vote strategically for Jeanette Fitzsimons, which both just-barely gave the Greens an electorate seat and encouraged people elsewhere to give the Greens their party vote with less fear of it being wasted. ACT might be a better example because it didn't have any incumbents when elected in '96, but much of its support likely came from National pulling its candidate from Wellington Central to let in Richard Prebble, so giving others the confidence to also Party Vote ACT..
Whichever way it's framed, MMP has so far ensured that new parties have always needed some kind of permission or help from someone already in parliament before they've been allowed to enter. Maybe the only exception is NZF being re-elected in 2011 after being booted in 2008, but it wasn't exactly a new party.
Of the small parties, though:
ACT started in MMP with National abandoning Wellington Central and telling its supporters to vote for Prebble.
NZF started in MMP with incumbent MPs.
The Alliance started in MMP with incumbent MPs.
United NZ, and later United Future, started in MMP with an incumbent MP.
The Greens started in MMP with incumbent MPs, and support from Labour in Coromandel.
The Maori Party started in MMP with Tariana Turia, as an incumbent, defecting from Labour.
Progressive started in MMP with an incumbent (Anderton).
Mana started in MMP with Hone Harawira, as an incumbent, defecting from the Maori Party.
The Independent Coalition started in MMP with Brendan Horan being expelled from NZ First (and didn't last long).
Defections and transitions and occasional strategic manipulations by major parties are all there is. After 21 years, new parties still can't get elected under MMP by themselves, even when masses more people vote for them than ever voted for some of the tiniest parties that the big parties have on life support. Meanwhile, the smaller parties have been dying out. ACT and UF should have died long ago except for National's games. The Green Party came close to death in 2017, and NZ First's days might be numbered once Winston's gone. Who's replacing them? Anyone?
Why should an MP be allowed to do that?
Again, a valid question but not really the concern I'm presenting right now. I get that there might be a problem, but my concern is that attempts to "fix" that problem might create a much bigger and more serious problem, unless the faults with MMP are fixed. Otherwise we risk descending back into a largely two party system, and everyone who wants to vote for different ideas is screwed.
All worthy points. I don't mind discussing what should happen when MPs, especially list MPs, choose to leave their party. (In my view it needs to be seriously taken into account that voters might have voted for that party because of the MP who's choosing to leave, or because of the particular views which that MP is leaving for.)
It's sort of a tangent, though. My concern is that MMP is presently broken, and without fixing MMP this change could make MMP much much worse.
After 21 years and 8 elections, it's demonstrably impossible for new parties with new ideas to get elected into parliament, UNLESS someone who's already inside chooses to unlock the door and let them in. Most recently the Conservatives and TOP have thrown considerable resources at their attempts. They've received considerable support, but even with those resources even they could not break into parliament, so all the people who were either brave enough or stupid enough to give their support to those parties ended up not getting the representation they most wanted. By comparison, the only reason it's even seemed like there's been diversity of parties for the last few elections is that National's chosen to keep zombie parties like ACT and United Future on life support for its own strategic reasons, despite nobody actually wanting to vote for those parties.
MMP is only hanging on at all because of this possibility for MPs to leave their existing parties. Without that, and especially if the Greens and/or NZ First were to die off, National and Labour effectively get to decide who else is allowed into parliament with them. It's not in the political interests of either National nor Labour to let in any other parties unless those parties can be kept on a very strict leash, because doing so just allows that party to become a threat to them.
The proposal from NZF is apparently to remove that possibility, and it seems to be making zero consideration of the likely implications that could have on the rest of our electoral system if it's not properly fixed at the same time.
Re yesterday's media, does anyone know much about what's in the works for the NZ First legislation to prevent MPs jumping parties?
I'm very concerned about this and surprised the Greens are considering supporting it. Not so much because I have a well developed opinion on whether MPs should stick with their parties as because since 1996, the only new parties we've ever seen enter parliament under MMP have been ones that started with a defecting MP. Even the Green Party itself had Jeanette Fitzsimons and others in parliament for the Alliance when it entered parliament independently in '99, and arguably it still needed Helen Clark's support for Labour voters in Coromandel to support it.
Under the current MMP system, if MPs can't defect from parties then it's effectively a death sentence for the future of having any small parties at all, because when the existing ones die off it's impossible for new small parties to replace them.
Not to criticise the merit of having Parihaka Day, but if the Green Party were going to demand something in exchange for supporting MPs defecting, why not demand something to properly compensate for its effects, like serious reconsideration of and implementation of the 2012 MMP Review results? At least make it more realistic for new parties, with interesting and inspiring ideas, to get independently elected without requiring so much help from incumbent MPs and Parties.
I'm unclear on how official it is or if it's already common knowledge, but on Nine to Noon this morning, Gavin Ellis seemed to have information from somewhere suggesting that Ben Mack won't be writing for the NZ Herald again. http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/2018621572/media-commentator-gavin-ellis About 11m45s in.
Also from the weird mind of Ben Mack, courtesy of the NZ Herald: 18 reasons why New Zealand is like North Korea.
Tim Watkin has a response in the Washington Post.
Just on Simon Bridges, what's with all the sudden media referring to him as Shadow Leader of the House, and other National MPs as shadow Ministers? Eg https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/98721388/question-time-confusion-chaos-and-comedy-as-mps-faceoff-for-first-time
I know it's common in Australia, but I don't recall the terminology ever being repeatedly used here by media until National is suddenly in opposition. I bet National loves it, too, because of the impression it creates of who's running stuff.
Probably old news for those following things today, but news just now is that Select Committee positions have now been raised from 96 to 108... seemingly because Labour didn't have enough MPs present to elect Trevor Mallard as Speaker.
National was unable to build a “rule alone” majority despite...
After the 2014 election National had 60/121 seats. It had an effective majority after including its two finger puppet parties (ACT and UF), which it had retained on life support for that very reason.
That state was weakened with the Northland by-election, but I can appreciate why some of National's elite would continue to be convinced that going for a complete majority remains a viable strategy.
It's annoying, because parties are just dying out without replacement. That's only been less obvious until now because of National's strategic games in keeping its friends alive on a leash, despite nobody voting for them. In 2017 there were very few realistic options for government, short of everyone having to deal with a party that nobody wanted to deal with. Meanwhile people have demonstrably been wanting to elect other new parties which, despite being far more inspiring to voters than the ACT and UF zombies, cannot break an impossible threshold. If National had let go of its obsession with being such a dominating party that hides contradictory interests behind a brick wall, instead of letting those voters have some influence in which of those interests should be better represented, it might have been more open to letting MMP be adjusted to a form that makes it vaguely possible for new parties to actually get started.
Let’s hope the ministers get together form good relationships, and have quite walks on the beach. Or drinks at the Koru club at least.
I hope so. The Conservation portfolio's not the only thing I care about, but I care about it a lot. I have some respect for Eugenie Sage in that space, but right now being shunted outside of Cabinet, for what seems like political reasons, is the last thing that portfolio needs.
Hopefully they have enough structure there to ensure that the Minister can get some genuine attention from Cabinet, beyond it simply throwing some extra cash from a tourism levy (as per Labour policy) and expecting the whole thing to run on cruise control.