Dimpost sort of likes the National Government
1. We didn’t get ’shock doctrined’. Our last two right-wing governments (National in ‘91, Labour in ‘84) used economic crisis as pretexts to introduce radical reforms that they didn’t campaign on and had no mandate for. It wouldn’t have been that difficult for Key and his party to repeat history and restart the revolution, given the apprehension over the global financial crisis and the general mood of the nation this time last year – but they didn’t. Obviously I don’t agree with everything the Nats have done but they have shown a degree of prudence and responsibility that we haven’t seen from previous right-wing governments.
Actually, some people would say that the cuts National implemented in 1991 were a very prudent and responsible reaction to the massive budget crisis we had back then. This is especially so given Labour’s refusal to reverse the cuts that were made at that time, though they did eventually reverse things via back doors once the economy really started to hum.
Even then, pissing off large chunks of the electorate like National did back then is hardly a strategy any government wants to repeat – it was an act of sheer necessity.
We have MMP to thank for this. Under a fair electoral system, any repeat of the strategy of deceit seen in 1984 and 1991 would result in a one-term government, and a lengthy spell in opposition. They’d be out on their arses quicker than you could say “unmodified Sainte-Laguë formula”. Which is perhaps one of the reasons why National’s right are so keen to ditch it…
I doubt it. I think it has a lot more to do with the underlying strength of the economy, the fact that Labour was actually quite fiscally responsible up to Cullen’s last “I’ve strangled their fox” budget, and the fact that Labour managed to slip in snark about the 1990s into pretty much every comment for over 7 years.
Then there’s the fact that the 1993 election came within a whisker of being a Labour victory. Oh, and wasn’t the 1999 election a MMP election anyway? The one that bought Winston into power for the first time?
So MMP would get rid of governments – except it didn’t, while FPP wouldn’t – except it almost did.
And we got Winston.
MMP didn’t stop the Revolution, because the Revolution was always and only in the collective imaginations of the left.