Damian Light: How does last weeks UK election influence us?

It was very interesting to watch, even if it doesn’t have a direct impact on NZ. The parallels that can be drawn between the UK election and the NZ election last year are really interesting. The left failed to make its argument relevant enough to motivate the voters, the right increased their lead and the centre was squeezed out. I was hoping for a good result for the Liberal Democrats but was disappointed. I don’t agree with all their decisions (especially the disastrous tertiary fees back down) but I believe in their ideals.

It was a timely reminder of why we ditched first past the post, with millions of votes discarded making a mockery of democracy. While I didn’t want UKIP to get into a position of power, they were robbed because the system is setup to support incumbents and discourage smaller parties. While MMP isn’t perfect, at least we have better representation.

What will be interesting is how the Conservative party uses its new found majority power. While some people complain about MMP being ruled by small parties, majority parties are notorious for letting the power go to their head. Without someone to keep them in check, there are prone to making ideological decisions that are extremely divisive.

We’re starting to see this happen in NZ with National making noises about the RMA and completely failing to follow through on their promise to create recreational fishing reserves.

– Damian Light, United Future

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