Seasoned Press Gallery journo’ Audrey Young made an interesting observation recently.
Writing about ACT’s dramatic rise in the polls (I predicted this early this year on this blog) she wrote, “if Seymour ends up with nine MPs, history suggests at least one will spectacularly demonstrate an unsuitability to politics”.
I pondered that and realised how right she was.
Start with NZ First which has had a lot of MPs this century, nearly all of whom have subsequently fallen by the wayside.
Jim Anderton’s Alliance imploded, not the least because of some utterly hopeless people he brought into Parliament.
So too in 2002 in a low turn-out election when unexpectedly Peter Dunne’s United Future creation ended up with 8 MPs. Very quickly most proved disastrous.
Critics are fond of talking up MMP as a more representative system but that’s only on face value.
What is clear is representation-wise its major effect has been to bring into Parliament an awful lot of screaming no-hopers who in short time return to their well deserved previous obscurity.
Still, no-hopers make up a sizeable sector of the population so I suppose they’re entitled to Parliamentary representation which MMP has certainly delivered.