Paul Marks has been keeping his eye on the antipodes
The recent election in New Zealand was widely predicted to be another triumph for the left. Certainly I predicted that this is what would happen (and my predictions have to be treated with some care – I tend to assume that things will go badly), but I was not alone – the BBC and the rest of the international media were all expecting the victory of their comrades (with the only dispute being between those media people who supported Labour and those that supported the Greens).
Sure enough the Labour party has got the most votes (about 40%) but even with the Greens (and fringe leftists “the progressive list”) it would not have a secure majority (even assuming these various factions of collectivists did not tear each others eyes out over things like G.M. crops).
So Labour is looking to the “United” party. I had a look at this parties web site (just go to “New Zealand” on your searcher – then go to the elections and then on from there). And it does not seem to be in favour of greater statism.
That is the thing about New Zealand – it has a lot of political groups (perhaps thanks to P.R.). I looked into all of the political groups and “ACT”, the National Party and New Zealand First can not be described as supporting greater statism (if anything the reverse – even judged by a negative minded old swine like me).
Now here is the rub. If one adds up the votes of United and the National Party and “ACT” and New Zealand First one gets very near to a majority of the voters. Now I am not saying that there is any chance of all these factions getting together – but I am saying there are a lot of “right of centre” (for want of a better term) voters out there (far more than there are in Britain). So the next election (three years time) may well see Labour kicked out and some real reform in New Zealand.
This is certainly not what I thought I would be reporting when I decided to look into this.
Final points – yes there are Christian and Rural parties in New Zealand (I have not dealt with them for reasons of time and space – they do not change the overall picture). And yes there is a Libertarian Party in New Zealand (and they seem like fine people), but as hardly anyone votes for them (they do not seem to have got one per cent of the vote) I decided not to examine them here.