Thursday, June 02, 2005

The N-List

National's party list comprised of electorate candidates and quota filling meat puppets has been released. I'm glad to see Georgina Te Heuheu has been moved up from her provisional postion of below 25 to 19th on the list, still, she was ranked 6th in 2002. Oddly though, National has ranked Tau Henare formerly of NZ First, Mauri Pacific and the 'tight five' at #29 above new golden boy Alan Peachey at #30 (down from #18 in '02) and former Wellington Mayor Mark Blumsky at #36. Granted, Blumsky should win Wellington Central and Peachey will win Tamaki easily, but isn't this the type of 'preferential treatment for Maori' Don Brash was complaining so bitterly about in 2004? It will be interesting to see whether Henare is ranked above those two in 2008, that's if he's still a member of the National Party by then.
The odd thing about the party list system is the indirect consequences if can have on the consitituency electorate races. In the trophy seat of Wellington Central Labour's Marion Hobbs resides comfortably at number 9 on the Labour list, so no matter what, she is safe (and virtually unaccountable to the voters) , whereas Mark Blumsky the National candidate is buried at 36 on the Nats list, so winning Wellington Central is his only realistic hope. To the undecided "centre" voter, the question about the Wellington Central race has now become "Do you like Mark Blumsky?"
Another interesting foilble is that a vote for Marion Hobbs in Wellington Central could, somewhat perversly become a vote for Tau Henare. Henare is ranked at #29 on National's list. Given that National will pick up at least 4-5 seats to add to their current 21 electorate seats, that leaves around 10 or 11 list seats to fill their likely allocation of 36-37 MPs with Henare being the probable tenth MP coming off that list. But if Blumsky were to win Wellington Central that would take away one list MP from National, possibly Mr Henare.
Constituency races in the MMP-era are close to meaningless in affecting the national result of the election, but they do give voters a choice in the person they want to represent them in parliament, rather than strictly voting along party lines. So, surely for most Wellington voters, having two MPs on both sides of the house representing the electorate would be better than one?

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was about to disagree with you when I read further and saw you had already disagreed with yourself:

"Mark Blumsky the National candidate is buried at 36 on the Nats list, so winning Wellington Central is his only realistic hope."

followed by:

"leaves around 10 or 11 list seats to fill their likely allocation of 36-37 MPs"

So which is it? 

Posted by Nigel Kearney

Anonymous said...

Just because you are ranked 36th on the list does not mean you will get into parliament if 36 National MPs are elected. Peachy was ranked #18 last time, National gained 27 MPs and he didn't make it. Such is the illogic that MMP creates. 

Posted by Manu