“How about the Sports Minister? Does the Sports Minister have a sack?
The Sports Minister should be sacked! ”
As with certain other male members of the MSM, I find myself asking: is the sexism inbuilt, or is it just what they believe will appeal to their target audience?
ozone levels dropping
levels of ozone-depleting chemicals dropping; not quite the same thing! But yes, a welcome long-term development.
Maori party candidates tended to outpoll the Maori party vote, for the very practical reason that winning an electorate was the only chance the Maori party ever had of getting any representation at all. In their case the party vote would determine how many extra list candidates could come in as well (if any) if, and only if, at least one electorate was won, so the electorate-vote stakes were a lot higher.
Nobody should have to explain their own vote (secret ballot and all, innit); but this is not a surprising result at all, surely. The Greens were transparent about campaigning for the party vote, not the electorate vote; and they didn't expect to win any one electorate, so it would be natural even for Green supporters to choose another local representative to support out of the remaining options.
Yes indeed. National of course has even been marketing itself explicitly on its "stability" as opposed to any option relying on negotiations between different parties. This is of course a big fucking lie, on several levels: (i) the last few National governments have actually relied on such negotiations; and (ii) National had internal disagreements and scandals, but managed to keep them mostly hidden from and soon-forgotten by the media because they continued to be in power.
It is amazing how having power enhances a party's stability (perceived, and actual, as a ministerial salary is quite an incentive not to show disagreements with other members).
So would the Conservatives have fragmented if they'd been in government? Maybe not; but we don't know, because the threshold prevented it.
How about other possible minor parties?
Getting 1-2% of the vote, with no threshold, would make for 1 or 2 representatives. It is just about impossible for a 1-representative party to split or show internal disagreement, so it is hard to see how allowing those in would increase party-internal instability.
By contrast, for a party to get over 5%, it almost always has, firstly, to gather a critical mass of support from a number of smaller groups that don't necessarily agree with each other; and secondly, if they are successful, to bring in a long tail of less experienced and less competent members. This is not a recipe for stability; quite the reverse. (See Alliance; UF; ACT.)
That leaves bloc stability (e.g. for the purpose of forming a coalition government). That must depend on integrity and flexibility of negotiators ... just as it does at present.
As for "Labour [...] holding out hope for [...] govern[ing] alone with New Zealand First" —WTF Claire, were you paying no attention whatsoever during the election campaign?
I don’t agree that a low threshold necessarily increases instability, nor that a high threshold prevents instability, nor that stability itself should be allowed to trump all other considerations.
(i) We will never know whether the Conservatives would have imploded that fast if they’d got into Parliament. We only know that, freed of all responsibility, they were free to do so without any consequences.
(ii) You’re assuming that all parties getting into Parliament over the 5% threshold are inherently more stable. On the evidence to date, this seems unlikely. It was not true of the Alliance (10% in 1996), nor United Future (6.7% in 2002), nor ACT. It is unlikely to be true of NZF post-Peters. Even the Greens have recently demonstrated the potential for personal disagreement to disrupt a party, though I believe they will prove more durable than the others.
Hence the high threshold is not a protection against instability; rather, the high threshold demonstrably acts to shrink small parties under the threat of votes being wasted, and thus increases instability of personnel, at least from one term to the next, if not in the middle of term when such parties split. In the long run, your argument prioritising “stability” is an argument for only a two-party state, at best.
Um. NZF went from 162,988 total votes before specials to 186,706 after specials. If they'd really failed to get any more votes over the 15% of specials, they'd have lost a seat or two. I think you accidentally compared the NZF preliminary total with the Greens’ final total.
Moral of story: observation-based persistence forecasting can work out pretty well. Certainly more reliable than fantasy scenarios.
Footnote: as expected, not enough nett swing to change the result in the Māori electorates. The specials instead further favoured Labour candidates, except in Te Tai Hauāuru, where Adrian Paki Rurawhe's majority over Howie Tamati decreased slightly (to just 1,039). That's how agonisingly close they came to getting in; and if they had, they were only just under the party vote level required for two seats.