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HomeOpinionAn Open Letter to Matt King

An Open Letter to Matt King

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Kudos to you Matt. You resigned from the National party to stand up for what you believe in and promote democracy and freedom of choice for New Zealanders. That you have the courage of your convictions to do so goes hugely in your favour.

Your fledgling political party now stands alongside a plethora of other established parties all of whom strongly support freedom-of-choice: New Conservatives, NZ First, ONE, Outdoors & Freedom, Social Credit and Vision.

An open letter to Matt King

Now with your party on that list too, voters have even more choice and will also have their votes diluted even more – as each of these small parties vie for the freedom-of-choice vote. Consequently none are likely to break the 5% barrier. As such your announcement created virtual screams that were heard metaphorically reverberating around social media groups.

Meanwhile the two wings of the existing political bird will be quietly smug, as the entrenchment of its power is ensured.

Who knows, you may be lucky, Matt. But only through waka jumping has the entry into parliament been achieved in the past by new political blood. Waka jumping, however, has always been done by taking a seat, rather than gaining 5%, at least initially. So you’ll probably need to take the Northland back. That means pulling enough votes off National and you’ve seen the effort they’ve put into retaining the seat previously. As a former MP standing against them that effort will be even greater.

Parties which formed while having a sitting MP and which achieved parliamentary representation include Act, Maori, Mana, NZ First, New Labour and UnitedFuture. Those who didn’t make the waka jump include Jami-Lee Ross’ Advance Party. If mainstream media is kind to you the result may be better but that was not the case for Jami-Lee nor Graeme Lee (Christian Coalition), or Brendan Horan (NZ Independent Coalition), or Ross Meurant (Conservative Party).

Successful waka jumping takes some serious political muscle, experience, determination, support and funding not to mention charisma and stamina.

Without waka jumping, not a single new party has ever managed to enter parliament by scaling the 5% threshold since the beginning of MMP. Big money hasn’t helped the situation either, as Gareth Morgan’s TOP, Kim Dotcom’s Internet-Mana and Colin Craig’s New Conservatives found out.

Only on polling day will we all know whether your solo strategy was the best use of your time and resources in the current political circumstances.

It would be gutting if only in hindsight it becomes obvious it would have been better to work with those who could have helped catapult a whole team of like-minded people and parties into parliament with a collaborative, co-ordinated, strategic plan.

For example, did you talk with movements such as Voices for Freedom? They have done the hard yards over a long period of time to provide New Zealanders with legal help, platforms for local groups and unity, important information, up-to-date science and event information. They bring valuable insight and foresight to the freedom movement.

Existing small parties have also done the hard yards for many years. Many have very detailed policy manifestos backing them. They have years of political experience campaigning, organizing, petitioning, questioning, engaging, publishing, and speaking out, and the combined knowledge and intellect of the leaders should never be underestimated, nor that of their wider circle of executive members, candidates and advisors. They already have party organisations providing support and building infrastructure.

Some small parties are talking to each other now as they realise that doing what they’ve always done will get them what they’ve always got – which was not representation in the House.

Small parties have a fire in their belly for their values, principles and what they can bring. With careful collaboration, they are looking at having their cake and eating it – or at least a fair chunk of it. What is important is that these parties, including yours, could agree on a basic set of values and principles which they undertake to support once in the House. From there they can agree to disagree and work their own parties from within the House rather than from outside.

These small parties are all fiercely protective of their brand, identity and sovereignty and will preserve their parties at all costs. For a collaboration strategy to be agreed on, it would always involve keeping each party intact, with their own membership lists, independence and confidence in the exit strategy.

If successful, their collaboration would be the first new elected political blood since MMP. The reward would be to give NZers their freedom-of-choice voice and allow their other policies to be heard.

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Collaboration has worked in practice – it is not a theory. Initially, getting parties to work together may seem like herding cats, however it was done successfully in the past. Chris Leitch, currently leader of Social Credit was one of the initiators of the Alliance and helped navigate the ensuing multi-party collaboration which allowed it to enter parliament, even before MMP was a twinkle in our political eye. Even they, though, had Jim Anderton as a sitting MP with resources to draw on.

What has not worked in practice Matt, time and time again, is new parties trying to scale 5% on their own. That has never been done.

Here are some other factors you may wish to consider:

A single-issue party can only go so far and will only attract a finite number of votes. Your policy development needs some serious work (at present you have none). While Freedom and Democracy is one critical voter point of contention, taking the middle ground will require a diverse array of detailed, robust policies to ensure political depth and credibility.

Voters in the middle ground can be fickle. They do want to vote for their favourite party and are often members too, but at the last minute often vote for a large political party just to keep their worst-case-scenario out or get the incumbent party out when the media created “close race” is a telling factor. Thus in an MMP environment, outliers must demonstrate poll ratings close to 5% to instill confidence in voters that their vote will not be “wasted”. In general, the voting public does not respond well to the idea that their vote may count for nothing.

You will also be competing alone against other experienced politicians with household names such as Winston Peters and David Seymour. David Seymour, being already in parliament, has a head start and is working to secure the “freedom-of-choice” vote too.

Matt, I’m writing to implore you to work collaboratively with other groups whose sum of their parts is greater than the whole. This is the best chance to have representation of “freedom of choice”. Whether you do this before or after your new party is fully formed I’m sure you will be welcome either way. There has never been a more important time to ensure the “freedom-of-choice” vote gets representation.

Image credit: Amanda Vickers

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11 COMMENTS

  1. Amanda this is an excellent article and on the money.
    Could not agree more with you regarding VFF and the freedom movement in general. They need to coalesce and the only group with the gravitas to organise that would be vFF. VFF have today an email membership in excess of 100k. Not only that this membership ore active,(popups marches Parliament protest etc.) No other political party i believe would have these numbers who are prepared to get stuck in and do the work.
    VFF need to come up with a political strategy and now. Then need to take the lead and bring this movement together. They do not need at this moment the final model whether a new party or an agreement with an existing one. They do need to keep the freedom movement politically together or all the good work of the last year or so will be for naught. Over to you the magnificent ladies of VFF – we need you now!

  2. I agree. There is no point splitting the vote. Get together and have a diverse group of people all underpinned by the belief in true democracy and working for the people you claim to represent.

    This 2 party BS hasn’t got us anywhere. National and labour are literally the same beast working for the same evil forces.

    The media don’t give small parties any air time. So get them together and really give our country some viable alternative if we must continue with this clearly broken system. Otherwise we need to break the whole thing down and get rid of the party system altogether.

  3. Let us suppose a coalition of sorts, and call it “The New Alliance”, for present convenience. It would pay, in doing so, to remember what happened to the original Alliance, which was comprised (if memory holds) of as many as seven identifiable parties. I was there. I stood as a Green in the Ilam seat and was for a time high in the counsels of the great and the good. All that is now left is the Greens, if they can be called that. I watched the shenanigans very closely, before arguing in a very close vote that the Greens should leave the Alliance. Subsequently, I left the Greens, and all for the same basic reason. Bluntly, you can’t trust any of them, which is what I learned. Those who go in with principle are sidelined by those whose principles are malleable enough to survive the in-fighting. Honestly, you won’t know who they are until you see them up close. Now, I don’t have an answer, but let’s get real (as Anderton was wont to say). Party politics is not the solution. It is the problem. Whatever it turns out to be that is the solution, it will not, in my opinion, arise from membership of any political party or combination thereof. That’s my experience, and I see nothing current to suggest I was then or am now in error in that regard. Our revolution must be rather more thoroughgoing than the exchange of one set of rascals for another. Sorry about that.

  4. Unless these different groups come together and provide a cohesive alternative, I may as well vote for the Tiddly Winks party. Matt King, Chris Leitch and VFF have a real opportunity, otherwise we face another 3 years of hell and dictatorship!
    It was suggested to me the other day that the Govt is preparing legislation that will determine what I can grow in my garden!

    • Nothing would surprise me. What will they do next? Garden raids? Will apples be the new marijuana? I mean after all an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Not good for big pharma.

      They already have our seeds controlled with GMO and ole Billy gates has come out and said that we need to eat 100% synthetic beef. Yeah that’s right Bill everyone but you eh mate.

      Yep our govt is right in bed with these fellows and they are hell bent on ruining the kiwi way of life, our economy and our culture. Those who can’t see it yet are blind.

    • Monsanto’s Food Bill was passed quietly in 2011 while the Rugby World Cup was on in Auckland. There’s a lot in that Bill that cancels out our choices. Our Prime Minister will assist anything the Davos cult decrees. That cult and big corporations are waging the war against us and they now control legislation.

  5. It is a pity Amanda Vickers did not undertake a little more research before writing her opinion piece. There are 3 main errors or oversights in her letter.

    1. Her history lesson on new parties lacks a little in accuracy. History does show a new party without MP’s can gain a strong percentage of the vote. Social Credit was formed in 1953, gained support quickly, and in the 1954 elections, the party won 11.13% of the vote. It was a new one year old party. Today under MMP, Social Credit would have obtained around 12-14 MPs. Now that would make a difference to what parties would govern and to decision making.

    2. Amanda Vickers also makes no reference to the political/social/economic issues of the times when past new parties were formed. This current environment in New Zealand is critical for a number of reasons. It is also unique in that the five parliamentary parties are basically singing from the same song sheet on several important policy issues. New Zealand does not have an effective opposition voice and needs one urgently.

    3. She fails to realise that many of the non-parliamentary parties and different groups have been meeting to discuss a way forward for the next election. Some effort from Amanda Vickers, to ask questions of these key people, would have alluded her to this fact.

  6. The threshold must be changed to 1% instead of 5% we have under MMP.

    We dont have a true democracy until the threshold becomes the percentage based on the votes required for one Member of Parliament (which is below 1%).

    All the mainstream parties wont let this happen because this change will threaten their very existence and power.

    I am not optimistic about this hermit kingdom which is already enslaved by the globalists via their mainstream agents/puppets. I am going to boycott the elections.

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