Sunday, September 28, 2008

ZenTiger Trotter Vetoes the Maori Party

After Trotter attacking the Maori Party for their traitorous action of censuring Winston Peters [Tawdry Spectacle], he continues his attack on the Maori Party with a new article in today's Sunday Star Times.

The point of this article is to inform voters that the Maori Party cannot be trusted as a coalition partner, and will try to act undemocratically.

The post is devoid of his usual inflammatory rhetoric and he makes his points reasonably well. I wondered for a moment what his purpose was, and it didn't take long to put 2 and 2 together.

Trotter is coming to the realisation National can win the election if it finds a coalition partner. The nature of MMP means that they may struggle to govern alone. On reflection, the only potential partners of any strength will be ACT and the Maori Party. ACT is not worth worrying about right now, so it makes sense to him to start poisoning the Maori Party's mana. If he can swing public opinion around to push for a National/Maori Party negotiation before the election, he hopes they will come to blows and damage both parties, perhaps even strengthen Labour's position from the "risk proposition".

You can bet if the Maori Party come out supporting Labour as a coalition party, these last few articles of his will be forgotten and a stirring "clarification" story will paint them and their demands as being entirely reasonable and in line with Labour policy any way.

Until that moment crystallizes, the Maori Party move to public enemy number one, if only to weaken National's position:
Perhaps the voters of New Zealand should put aside their concerns about a National Party "secret agenda", and ask whether the real hidden agenda is the one the Maori Party has been developing. We do not want to wake up the day after the election to discover the future of our country has fallen into the hands of people seeking to form a government-within-a-government, and where the decisions of the state are no longer to be determined by anything so "tikanga Pakeha" as a democratic headcount."

Nice try Chris.

REF: Sunday Star Times A13, 28 September 2008 and link on Stuff (thanks Sean).

Dave at Big News with further comment shows no stomach for Trotter's Tripe

9 comment(s):

Swimming said...

I wrote something very similar this morning and have recently posted it. He has misinterpreted pretty much everything that the Maori party stands for.

Seán said...

Here's the Stuff link:

Zen - I would say your interpretation is not that far off the mark.

ZenTiger said...

Thanks guys, post updated with those extra links.

ZenTiger said...

Keeping Stock reports that National have released their Electoral Reform policy, and may be granting Chris Trotter's wish anyway: National will initiate a constitutional process to abolish the Maori seats once historic Treaty claims have been resolved

Why go into coalition with a party that wants to wipe out guaranteed representation in parliament? With MMP under review in 2011 (another National policy), this could be a double whammy for Maori.

I'm not in favour of the Maori seats from a theoretical/purist perspective, but I think the Maori seats should only be disbanded when Maori say they want them disbanded.

ZenTiger said...

Sorry, here's the link to the post at Keeping Stock: National's Electoral Policy

nyokodo said...

Yes ZenTiger, I envisage the Referendum Question:
"Do you want to end your priveledged apartheid position getting preferential treatment over other minorities and over those in the same socio-economic strata?"

No, they're unjust and racist and should be abolished no matter what people think.

ZenTiger said...

I think the situation is far more complicated than that Universal, and as I said, I agree from a purist perspective that the seats should go.

On the other hand, until Maori can be guaranteed that they have some legal protection behind their desire to protect their culture and identity, they have every reason to believe that their 15% population will become a voice lost in the revised electoral landscape: No more MMP and no extra Maori seats.

Rather than National talking about ending reverse racism by ending the Maori seats, they first need to be saying they will be working with the Maori party to end the need for the seats.

Aiming to resolve all treaty claims in "full and final" settlement is an important first step, and I believe the treaty "you owe me" mentality is probably doing more damage than the Maori seats.

Or non-Maori New Zealand could use it's majority to crush the issue, leaving deep seated resentment.

In any event, this conversation is rapidly heading exactly the way Chris Trotter wants it to.

There's enough heat in a discussion on Maori seats, that Labour and the left could use to fan the flames of a fiery debate between Maori, National and Pakeha NZ to convince the Maori Party that working with National will be signing their death warrant.

And that could potentially leave National without the numbers to govern.

nyokodo said...

Why should the Maori voice be out of proportion to it's size? They're not the only relatively disadvantaged group nor the only minority. The Treaty of Waitangi is not sufficient justification for this situation because if it's unjust, and it is, then we can abolish it. We're already only giving it lip service.

nyokodo said...

Having said this, I wouldn't actually mind following the words of the Treaty of Waitangi. The Treaty merely regulates first choice of land sales and a common defense, and guarantees Maori self government. I would have no problem with Maori self government in a more federal like system. Have common basic laws, freedom of movement, free trade but they can run their own institutions, health and welfare etc.

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