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Shipley's MMP Squib: A Sign Of Desperation

National leader Jenny Shipley's call for a referendum on MMP suggests she is floundering about in search of an issue on which to try to assert her leadership, says Pete Hodgson.

"It seems to have escaped Mrs Shipley's notice that public concern about MMP receded sharply after the motley government she led was removed from office," Mr Hodgson said.

"The present government, by setting out a moderate and achievable programme and keeping its word, has done much to dispel doubts about the electoral system.

"A parliamentary select committee is well into a comprehensive review of MMP, which makes a nonsense of Mrs Shipley's decision to lodge a private bill on the shape of the electoral system.

"It says a lot about how out-of-touch the National Party has become with the issues that its leader has decided to go down this road.

"Her approach seems to be, 'never mind our failed and discredited policies, let's blame the voting system'

"It is a classic case of scratching an itch that isn't there."

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