Mike's Minute: Do people vote on policy?

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Tue, 11 Aug 2020, 9:38AM

Mike's Minute: Do people vote on policy?

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Tue, 11 Aug 2020, 9:38AM

Have you considered the fact that the so-called lack of policy around the election so far may not, in fact, be an issue?

Do people actually vote on policy?

Guns, for example. ACT have been smart on guns. They got a bunch of players on their list who are lined up and publicised as gun owners. This is to nab a few votes of New Zealand First who once held that spot in the minds of rural and semi-rural New Zealand, but let themselves down badly by hanging out with Labour who, in the end, could not have been more misguided on guns if they tried.

The gun buyback was about as ineffectual as you can be in looking to solve the problem they were, which is what to do about mad men and mass killings. The answer wasn't go to all the law abiding citizens who like to shoot targets and rabbits, and give them money to take their guns and destroy them.

But, if you vote for ACT because of guns, does a gun policy get enacted? I tried this with James Shaw yesterday, he didn't like it. In theory you make your policy designed to appeal to people so they will vote for you.

But that's it, isn't it? It's theory. The Greens will never be government, any more than ACT will be.

So then, I would have thought, you look to bottom lines. What's negotiable, and what isn't. In other words as a voter, if you did back a party what can you realistically expect to be top of the pile of stuff that will actually see the light of day?

As it turns out the Greens have none. Not a single bottom line. Not just that, of course, they're wedded to Labour, they have no other choices. So even if it all broke down, you know full well the Greens would let Labour govern, deal or no deal.

So in essence, what's the point of voting for the Greens? They have no bottom lines, they wont be the government, so you literally have no idea whether your vote will ever count for anything.

This is what made New Zealand First way more valuable. They, at least, could go either way in government, and they said they had bottom lines. But that brings us to the other problem, even when they said they did, like immigration, it never got enacted.

For Labour it was the Kiwibuild broken promise, and the light rail plug pulled by New Zealand First.

Anything can be explained away. It's MMP, it didn’t survive the talks, or they ran out of time.

So policy counts for what? If you're voting on it, it's a crap shoot.