Act claiming credit

Rodney Hide, leader of the right-wing Act party in New Zealand, gave the adjournment speech in parliament. It is interesting as an example of a small party, which serves as a support partner for a minority government, claiming credit for policy achievements.

From the party’s Facebook feed:

That’s it – another Parliamentary year over. Rodney’s adjournment speech talks about ACT’s achievements – including Three Strikes, changes to the employment laws, and fixing Auckland’s local government structure.

The video is also interesting for all the verbal sniping going on from the opposition benches, and Hide’s occasional references to it.

8 thoughts on “Act claiming credit

  1. Isn’t PR supposed to be praised/ blamed in equal measure with replacing adversarial politics with fuzzy consensus?

    Maybe Churchill was right that the real determinant of adversarial politics is the layout of the legislative chamber.

  2. NZ probably retains far more adversarial politics than PR advocates hoped for. But it also has the same old top two parties being far stronger than one finds in most PR systems. So the legacies of the majoritarian era are strong. And, yes, that includes the layout of the chamber.

  3. The Labour Party especially doesn’t appear to understand that they will require the Maori Party to govern, and say/do things to annoy their supporters.

  4. Many countries with PR systems, for instance Germany, have two larger parties, though the tendency is even stronger in FPTP systems. The share of the votes the two large parties are getting has declined in many countries over the past few decades, as the post-war party systems have been breaking up. But this has been the case in the UK as well.

  5. Interesting idea about the layout of the chamber: hemicycles seems to be the norm (exaple set by France and the US?), except countries following the Westminster model. And as a compromise(?): Australia and Ireland have a U-shaped seating plan.

  6. IIRC, in Norway and/or Sweden deputies are seated alphabetically by district, rather than by party?

  7. Yes, the deputies are seated by district in Norway and Sweden, and at least in Norway the districts are ordered alphabetically, though I don’t know if that is the case in Sweden as well.

  8. Re #4: Right, but how many of those PR countries had been until recently majoritarian systems?

    If the 1996 and 1999 elections had proved typical, that legacy might have given way to a more fully consensual pattern. But since 2002, elections have been close between the top two and/or have seen the largest party form post-electoral agreements with a few very small parties. And throughout this time, one leading party has at best grudgingly accepted the new electoral system as a permanent constraint.

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