Labour’s self-interest bill wanting to lower the threshold under MMP from 5% to 4% has been defeated. The same bill wanted to remove the coat-tailing provision as well in a shameless bid to spike National despite one of the MPs targeted under their bill having joined with Labour themselves, and David Cunliffe trying to use the same provision to cut a deal with Internet Mana at the last election.
Parliament has voted down a bid to close the loophole that allows MPs to enter Parliament on the coat tail of someone who wins an electorate seat.
A bill promoted by Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway would have implemented the recommendations of the Electoral Commission following a review which called for the removal of the single electoral seat threshold and a corresponding reduction in the party vote threshold from 5 per cent to 4 per cent. Lowering the party vote threshold would make it easier for smaller parties to win seats in Parliament because they would only need to win 4 per cent of the vote, not 5 per cent, the current threshold.
Imagine if Colin Craig and his cultists had been elected…any government supported by him and his disciples would now be in dreadful trouble.
The coat tailing rule is seen as unfair because it means parties that win only a small number of votes can still get a number of MPs in Parliament so long as they win an electorate seat. It also can allow larger parties to do deals that would help smaller parties into Parliament, which happened with ACT and National in the Epsom seat in Auckland. In 2008 ACT won just 3.6 per cent of the vote after then-leader Rodney Hide won Epsom, in contrast with NZ First which got voted out of Parliament with 4.1 per cent of the vote. Read more »