However, it’s the last line of his post which I find the most interesting:
But while its clear that TOP has died a natural death, it means we’ll be down to only 12 registered political parties (and only 5 in Parliament). Which isn’t a lot of options for voters to choose from. One way of measuring the health of a democracy is by the number of registered political parties. And on that metric, ours seems to be in slow decline.
Not including the five parties in parliament, the seven remaining ones are:
- Legalise Cannabis
- People’s Party
- Democrats for Social Credit
Of those seven, the only party which holds a reasonable chance of actually getting into parliament come 2020 is the Maori party. What’s more, all three of our current minor parties are in danger of failing to be re-elected in 2020: NZ First and the Greens are hovering around the 5% mark, and National have refused to guarantee ACT that they will endorse them in Epsom.
This does leave me concerned that we will just have two parties in parliament in 2020, and if that happens, given there will be no coalitions with minor parties, the ruling party will have no power checks. That ain’t good. And even if they’re not in power, as NRT said, having minor parties is good for democracy.