The leftward and other blatherings of Span (now with Snaps!)

Sunday, October 02, 2005

spiting the face

Over at Public Address Keith and Che have been having a right ol' barney about the Maori Seats, and DPF has given summarised, interspersed with his own views.

Given National's well known intention to abolish the Maori seats if it is ever in a position to do so, what would actually happen to all those voters? Where would they go?

Assuming that instead of creating several new electorate seats, we had 60 list and 60 electorate (as opposed to 53 and 67 now), all of those lovely left-leaning voters would go into the current general electorates. They'd slosh around in them, potentially turning slightly safe National seats like Northland and Whangarei and those notorious swingers the Hamiltons a redder shade on a semi-permanent basis.

I'm no maths whizz, but the impact would be significant in the electorates, even if it didn't have much dent in the overall party percentages.

9 comments:

Bren said...

I'm no maths whiz either. But how much infulence would the maori voters really have?

If we take Te Tai Tonga with its 20,027 voters and dispersed them equally among the 16 South Island electorates thats an extra 1252 voters, approx 84% are left leaning. Or 1052 voters.

Obviously some areas will end up with more than others. But 1052 voters won't be overturning any majorities. (Maybe East Coast?)

stef said...

big question would be whether maori would turn out in the same numbers if the maori seats weren't there.

David Farrar said...

I did scenarios on this once and the likely result would be National losing 2 or 3 seats. However Labour (or now Lab and Maori Party) would have lost 7 and only gained 2 or 3.

span said...

There's arguments either way on whether less or more Maori would vote - less because they would feel less engaged, but more because it becomes easier for them to vote. I tend to think if the seats were abolished without Maori consent then large numbers might be turned off voting.

span said...

i think the difference would really be felt in areas like Whangarei and Northland, where there are relatively high numbers of Maori who are on the Maori roll. I'm not sure that the South Island is a good example Bren as it's geographically the biggest Maori seat.

Bren said...

You're probably right... I chose Te Tai Tonga because it was the easiest to work figures as it clearly covers a certain area.

But of course, the Maori population in the South Island is very low compared to the Non-Maori population. I mean if every Maori electorate covered 16 general electorates...

maps said...

'what would actually happen to all those voters? Where would they go?'

Onto the streets, that's where. Changes in electoral arithmetic are insignificant compared to the sort of civil disorder that would result from a significant chunk of the population believing they no longer had basic democratic rights.

Craig Ranapia said...

Maps:

You're lucky I've just had my coffee-and-cigarette combo (aka breakfast), because anyone pushing the race war meme on my empty stomach is going to piss me off. I don't like that class of dog-whistle racist "the natives are revolting" crap from either the loony left or the rabid right.

Bren:

I don't know either, because I've not seen much reliable data on where people on the Maori roll actually live. I'd throw this observation into the mix though: I don't think MSM commentators really understand how much camapigning in the Maori seats depends on candidates working tribal affiliations, iwi networks etc. that wouldn't play as strongly in a general seat. I just think the dynamics would change so radically it's hard to draw meaningful comparisons.

span said...

i agree about the political violence maps. it would transform our entire political map, not just in terms of electorates, if the Maori seats went. the repurcussions of abolishing them without Maori buy in would be huge.