Monday, November 28, 2011

Lucia National - Selling NZ down the river - do they have the mandate?

Mighty River Power or Genesis Energy are likely to be the first State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) to be floated in the National-led government's mixed ownership share sell-down, Prime Minister John Key says.

Many people vote not so much for particular parties, but against others. For instance, I would absolutely hate having Labour in power again, but I really don't like National either even though I did vote for them in 2008 and again on Saturday for my electorate vote.  But in voting for them, I did not vote for all of their policies - for instance, I really opposed National Standards.

I also think many voted National because they wanted them in charge of the country - but not because they agreed with all their policies. The only way to know for sure would be to add a survey of the major polices to the voting system. I bet if that was done the politicians might get a bit of a shock.

So now we have John Key saying that he has a mandate for asset sales because his party is the largest party able to form a Government, even though the number of people who voted for him are less than 50% of those who voted. And apparently this election saw the lowest turn-out since the 1800's - more than a quarter of eligible voters stayed at home. I'm not sure how that translates into an explicit mandate.

John Key will have the power to force through asset sales, but he can only say he has a mandate with a referendum. Something I doubt he will risk, considering that when polled most New Zealanders oppose the sale of Government assets and his reaction to the last one initiated by the citizens.

Or even better, give us a voter veto as the Swiss have. If you really have a mandate, John, give us the ability to veto any asset sales and let's see just how much of a mandate you really have.

Mighty River, Genesis first off the block, Key ~ NZ Herald
Asset sales: we have a mandate - Key ~ NZ Herald
One million didn't bother to vote ~ NZ Herald

10 comment(s):

Ciaron said...

I don't think you can generalise the "mandate" like that, as you said yourself; you voted for them but oppose national standards. I voted against National but I'm not against selling assests in the manner put forward by them.

In short, I agree with mandate through referndum, but I am skeptical about the average voter being inclined or informed enough to produce a meaningful result.

Betty Blue said...

Sheer arrogance for Key to state that he has such a mandate, but nothing new from this man. If you don't agree with him and his views on asset sales, why did you endorse him with your vote?

Lucia Maria said...


My electorate is Mana - it's a Labour seat. I had very little choice in candidates, so I just voted National knowing that my vote would basically be wasted. I preferred voting to not voting.

Now my Party/protest vote was going to be Conservative, but I changed my mind in the couple of days beforehand to NZ First, mainly inspired by David Farrar's last ditch effort to knock Winston out and my reading of Daylight Robbery.

Lucia Maria said...


I wasn't particularly against asset sales until I found out it was going to be the power companies first and reading the history of asset sales in NZ and who benefits via the book Daylight Robbery.

Ciaron said...

Not sure how you could vote for Winston, but thats your business :)

Lucia Maria said...

LOL! I certainly cheered up an old lady in church when I told her I'd voted for him.

Seriously, he's an effective politician and I used my vote like a weapon. He will seriously annoy National by being there in Parliament and it's worth it just for that alone.

I also looked up their policies and found I agreed with most of and Winston is very family friendly.

Ciaron said...

What Winston says and what Winston means are all too often planets apart. I just hope you don't end up disappointed :)

Lucia Maria said...

He's doing well so far, he's first off the blocks for a post-election press release. He's reminding the Maori Party that they were against asset sales and that a special deal for Maori only help corporate Maori, not the bulk of their voter base.


Don't worry about me - eyes wide open and all that. Been blogging a while now ... :)

John Stroup said...

I'm in agreement, the asset sales are a short term fix for a long
term problem.
Once the asset is gone, no getting it back, unless it\'s worthless
This is losing future dividend earnings, and an overall devaluation
of sovereignty.
This is what the UN, World Bank, and IMF make the most heavily
indebted countries do. So why is NZ chomping at the bit to do this.
The only way that I think this would be acceptable would be if this
eliminated the debt, not just reduce it. This is the 10% crap that
often needs to be swallowed in order to get a better party. The Greens
are about 90% crap, but they\'ve got this one right. That\'s the
dialectic, thesis + anti-thesis = synthesis, so you can\'t ever get
what you want, keeps you grumpy and thinking that you will never have
it all.

Muerk said...

I remember the last time we sold our family silver - we got a short term financial gain but we lost the chance for long term dividends. I hope and pray that the Government doesn't sell more of our assets.

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