Have Crikey noticed how poor the
mainstream media coverage of the NZ election has been? Maybe we just aren’t
very interested in what happens over there. I’m no pundit but I noted a number
of fairly glaring errors and oversights on the
- The Saturday Age
editorial claimed that Helen Clark was NZ’s first female PM. She wasn’t. She
took over from Jenny Shipley who ran the last National Party led NZ government.
- Both The Age and The
Australian consistently refer to PM Helen as ‘Miss Clark’. I know that Kiwis,
and no doubt others, joke about her lack of overt femininity but I know that she
is actually a married woman (since 1981 to a Professor Davis – according to Sky
News on Saturday). Maybe the papers are part of a conservative whispering
- Negotiating a minority
government after an election has failed to produce a clear majority is not an
unusual event in NZ. In fact it has been the norm since the introduction of the
MMP electoral system, the exception being the last election when the National
Party vote crashed.
Get Crikey FREE to your inbox every weekday morning with the Crikey Worm.
- The NZ MMP system,
which is based on the German model, effectively combines the equivalent of
Australia’s Reps and Senate into one house (the NZ parliament is unicameral) by
giving voters two votes – one for an electorate candidate and one for the party
of choice (listed candidates who are elected according to the percentage of
votes cast nationally). I know that Helen Clark has previously led 2 or 3
minority governments and I seem to recall that the last couple of National led
governments were also minority based (which are not necessarily
- Speaking of the German
election – how come no-one connected the similarly inconclusive outcomes with
the commonality of the systems?
Looks like a contagious case of lazy
reporting to me…