In a piece pushing for constitutional change, Pundit's Jon Johansson points out some interesting poll results:
Research NZ published a poll back in August which showed, by a 46-41 percent margin, support for a return to First Past the Post. A bog standard result for these confused times one might think.Why indeed. While the older generation may long for the "good old days" when they didn't have to think too hard on election day, and didn't have all those untidy dreadlocked MMP parties cluttering up the debating chamber with their ideas of consensus and democratic legitimacy and parties actually needing majority support to form a government, they need to accept that it is no longer really their decision to make. One day, quite soon, they will all be dead, and we will inherit this country. And I for one would appreciate it if they didn't fuck it up and screw us over any more than they already have.
Yet the interesting point about the poll breakdown was that voters who had only ever voted under MMP overwhelmingly supported its retention (by a whopping 30 points). It is we voters who have voted under both systems who are more dissatisfied with the politics MMP produces. And the older we are the grumpier we feel about it. One strong argument in favour of MMP’s retention therefore is that our young, our nation’s future in other words, don’t favour a change. Why should we stand in their way?
Unfortunately, they're not willing to go quietly (is anyone?). Most of the defining political debates of the past five years - immigration, the Treaty, child beating and now MMP - have been generational ones, in which the dying generation have tried to restore things to their imagined perfect past age, or at least maintain the status quo in the face of demographic inevitability. The dead hand of the past is reaching out in a last desperate effort to strangle the future. But its only a matter of time before demographics and natural attrition mean it is too weak to do so.