Thursday, February 28, 2013

Now; about that mandate...

The John Key-led Government is about to put a minority stake in Mighty River Power up for sale. It was a policy foreshadowed well before the 2011 General Election after John Key had honoured a pledge that there would be no asset sales in National's first term.

The parties of the Left campaigned long and hard against asset sales. Labour's opposition was tempered by the fact that the 1984-1990 Lange/Palmer/Moore government in which Phil Goff was a well-ranked Minister sold more assets than any government in New Zealand's history or since. To their credit, the Greens have at least been consistent in their opposition to asset sales.

New Zealand went to the polls in November 2011 knowing the different parties' stance on asset sales or partial privatisation. There were no secrets. John Key was able to form a government, and that gave him a mandate to implement policies that he had campaigned on. That's how MMP works, and of course the parties who oppose asset sales are the ones who were most enthusiastic to see MMP retained. Labour's flip-flop saw the party score its worst electoral result in over 60 years, barely registering more than 25% of the party vote.

The parties of the Left of course did not accept defeat. Using provisions for Citizen Initiated Referenda, Labour and the Greens hi-jacked this procedure in an attempt to force a referendum and re-litigate the lost 2011 General Election. For almost a year, Labour and Green MP's have proudly boasted how well petition collection is going, and yet still they have failed to reach their threshhold.

And this morning on Firstline, Tony Ryall explained why:

The Green Party has been accused of collecting signatures from foreigners and children to make up numbers in an attempt to force a referendum on asset sales.
The Maori Council yesterday failed in its bid to halt the partial sale of Mighty River Power, the Supreme Court ruling that selling shares in the power company wouldn't impair Maori interests in water.
The Opposition has backed an attempt to collect the 310,000 signatures required to force a nationwide referendum on the issue. Earlier this month they said they had nearly 400,000, collecting well beyond the target as it was likely a significant number would be ruled invalid.
Speaking on Firstline this morning, State-Owned Enterprises Minister Tony Ryall said it's not truly a citizens-initiated referendum, and the result wouldn't matter anyway.
"Let's be clear about this referendum – it's not a citizens-initiated referendum, it's a Parliamentary-initiated referendum," says Mr Ryall.
"It has citizens, it has overseas visitors, it has children. This was a Green Party-funded, taxpayer-funded signature collection process. The Green Party paid staff members to go out there and collect signatures.

It does not surprise us one iota that there are anomalies in the Left's signature collection process. But it matters little, as any referendum will be non-binding, and in any event before the referendum is held, Mighty River Power share parcels will already have been sold. We will most certainly be applying for a shareholding, and will quite likely gift shares to our children as well if demand permits.

You see, Tony Ryall nails it with this comment (our emphasis added):

"They've got to prove they've got the right number of signatures, there's up to a year before the referendum happens. The real referendum on this was the 2011 general election. We campaigned on it, we made it clear and we've got a mandate."

Mr Ryall is 100% correct. The issue has already been decided when the Government was given a mandate in 2011. Those on the Left cannot accept this, but they are just behaving like spoilt children.

Even this morning, Chris Hipkins was trotting out Labour and the Greens' line that polls before the 2011 General Election showed 80% of New Zealanders opposed asset sales. If that is the case, why has it been such a struggle for Labour and the Greens to get even 10% of the voting population to sign a petition at which they have thrown huge resources?

So much time, effort and taxpayer money wasted on an exercise in futility...


Biff said...

How about the anti-smacking referendum?? Labour and the fruitloops took no notice of it so why should National pay any heed to this one especially when it was specifically campained on.

Comfort Socks said...

"The Green Party has been accused.."

Who by, Keeping Stock? Accused by whom?

Kermit said...

"It does not surprise us one iota that there are anomalies in the Left's signature collection process."


Keeping Stock said...

The number of times that I've signed the petition would be one Kermit ;)

Keeping Stock said...

@ Comfort Socks - read the 3News transcript and you'll find out.

Kermit said...

"The John Key-led Government"

Reverted back to the old lable, now that finally, something other than disasterous has happened with this NACT Government, eh, Keeping Stock!

Kermit said...

You admit, obliquely, to lying by signing the petition multiple times, keeping Stock?
No wonder the Right are characterised as liars and cheats by the left.

Keeping Stock said...

The same person asked me to sign three times in the space of 20 minutes Kermit; I'm not that nondescript...

lovinthatchangefeeling said...

Ahh so today "Kermit" [snigger] is our watermelon apologist. What happened to the usual gween attack dogs KS? Where ARE bspit and bubbagayton?

They claim to be green because they are too yellow to admit that they are red!

Kent Brockman said...

I signed the petition, along with my friends snowball1, sideshow Bob, Dr Marvin Monroe (deceased), Robert Terwilleger and Kelsey Grammer.