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Harawira pledges Mana will battle child poverty:
"That is what will distinguish it from all the other parties in the House. We need to put the brakes on the bus and turn around to pick up the kids living in poverty."

He said the Maori Party was unable to properly speak for the poor while it was in coalition with the National Party.

He said the party would force a focus on child poverty over the next three years and work with any party which would help make a difference.

Under New Zealand's electoral system, with the Maori seats and a Multi-party Mixed Proportional parliament, one could see the ManaP fighting to replace the MaoriP as a party seeking to win Maori constituency majorities in excess of their national party vote ~ the "overhang seat" scenario.

However, under the rule that waives the 5% party list threshold for minor parties that win constituencies, Mana can also pursue a strategy of pursuing a party list vote in excess of its constituencies won ~ as the ACT-NZP had done in 2008. The "wasted vote" problem for a 3rd part on the edge of the threshold is substantially eased if the party holds one or two consituencies without overhang, so each extra roughly 0.84% of the party list vote nationwide can mean an extra party list seat.

Indeed, the ideal from a partisan perspective could entail winning split votes in Maori consitituencies that are presently going MaoriP at the constituency level and LabP at the party list level, and also winning split votes in regular constituencies where the LabP gets the constituency vote and the ManaP gets the party list vote.

For that, a focus on the growth in child poverty that is part and parcel of a neoliberal policy stance is well placed to pressure the MaoriP and the LabP and any "neoliberal conservationist" tendency within the GrnP from the left, which is to say, the anti-corporatist side.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sun Nov 27th, 2011 at 02:39:02 PM EST
It could indeed get interesting in 2014, visibly the time was not yet right, but a Maori seat as a base for a broader, not specifically Maori, party is an idea that appeals to me.

In fact, all the parties represented in parliament, other than the Greens, were formed by defections of sitting MPs of another party. A high-profile incumbent who can defend his constituency seat, can bring in list MPs.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Sun Nov 27th, 2011 at 03:10:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In terms of whether or not the time was right ~ I suspect that's a strategy that takes some effort in terms of party building, in which case a large enough party list vote across the country to elect some party list MP's would be intrinsically less likely in the first general election since forming the party.

Indeed, the success in holding the seat after the defection from the Maori Party is part of the foundation for that party building process, given the need to have confidence that votes below the 5% threshold wouldn't be "wasted" votes. In a setting where the Mana Party will be quite clearly and unambiguously in opposition to most of the government program, its going to be important going into 2014 that people believe Mana party voting will have as much chance of helping elect an anti-NatP MP as a LabP party list vote would do.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Mon Nov 28th, 2011 at 05:01:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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