1945: Government Sing-off Battle
October 28, 2018
Epic Sing-off Battle in the Parliament House
– Late October 1945
Certain defeat, only a few short weeks away, faced the First Labour Government. Sydney Holland was ready to win the coming election and arise as the first National Party Prime Minister.
Abolishing the ‘Country Quota’
Something drastic and dastardly had to be done to save Labour’s political skin. How about some last minute surprise up-heaving of the electoral system? Introducing and passing the Electoral
Amendment Act, 1945, did just that. Labour abolished the old balance mechanism that kept concentrated urban populations (who vote
Labour) from dwarfing the franchise of their pioneering provincial country cousins (who vote National). They abolished what had been called ‘the country quota’.
Having passed the new law, the Government seem to feel the need for a bit of sin-clearing trance music so they sing!
Labour sings the old Communist chant ‘The Red Flag’
National MPs blast back with ‘God Save the King’
Labour ( who have nowhere else to go if they want a musical come-back anyway) sing in retaliation ‘God Defend New Zealand’
The singers now go out to face the polls. Labour scrapes into victory by the skin of their teeth (brown skin, if I may mix the metaphore, since it’s only by the 4 Maori/Ratana seats that they hold on at all).
Image: ‘Pitch Perfect’ sing-off battle scene
Image: ‘Captain America’ airport battle scene
Image: National Party advert