voting systems

Left demanding changes to MMP they want, how about the other changes?

John Armstrong goes full noise against the coat-tailing provision of MMP…labelling what is actually law ‘gerrymandering’.

Predictably Labour is also pushing hard to try to get the provision of the Electoral Act reversed showing their naked partisanship.

They all point to the recommendations of the Electoral Commission to remove the coat-tailing provision.

But National’s refusal last year to implement the recommendation of the Electoral Commission to rid MMP of the unnecessary, unfair and deeply unpopular one-seat threshold provision should forever be a large blot on John Key’s Government.

Of course, eradicating this legal loophole, which exempts a party from having to meet the 5 per cent threshold if it wins an electorate seat, would have been to National’s major disadvantage in making it much more difficult for its minor party allies to bring extra MPs into Parliament.

The one-seat threshold survives simply because it could yet be the difference between National staying in power and going into Opposition.

But that does not make it right.

The media and the opposition are trying to paint coat-tailing as anti-democratic, yet it has been part of the law since the day MMP was implemented. Now they are suggesting the law and MMP is anti-democratic.  Read more »

What should the threshold to get into Parliament Be?

The MMP Review has a reasonable chance of being successful now Crusher is in charge rather that the extremely pink Simon Power.

One of the questions is what should the threshold for parties to get into parliament be?

Farrar blogs about it at Stuff.

There are arguments on both sides, with reducing the threshold allowing small parties to enter parliament and MMP to be truly proportional. Dropping the threshold to 2.5% would have let Colin Craig into parliament to represent a group of people who are considered lepers by the liberal secular elite, the Christians.

On the other hand, increasing the threshold would lower proportionality, and would increase the likelihood that looney parties couldn’t influence parliamentary outcomes. Increasing the threshold to 8% would mean getting rid of the Greens for long periods, which would mean we wouldn’t have to put up with their hypocritical holier than thou whinging and whining and they wouldn’t be always telling us to drive hybrid cars and take public transport.

So do we go for a system that gets rid of the Greens by increasing the threshold? Or do we decrease the threshold to let people like Colin Craig get into parliament?

Or do we just get Lockie to change around the parliamentary funding, increase funding for electorate MPs by taking it off List MPs, and only fund parties who have more than 14 MPs. Canada has a similar scheme to stop minor parties taking resources that just get wasted by the Canadian equivalent of Andrew Williams.

How National should respond to Goff

Phil Goff has said he would deliberately rig the electoral system in Labour’s favour. I’m not seriously advocating that National do this but you can see where it goes if Labour’s plans to politicise the Electoral Act are allowed to stand or go unanswered.

Now that Simon Power is no longer working for Labour in Parliament National could take a tough position on this and gerrymander the system in its favour. Labour couldn’t really complain because as the old sandpit argument goes “they did it first”.

Therefore National could make the following changes:

  1. Only allow parties in parliament if they hold an electorate seat.
  2. Increase the threshold for entry to parliament to 10%.
  3. Only allow parties to receive funding for a leaders budget if they have more than 10 MPs.
They could easily pitch this as solving a number of the problems with MMP as Phil Goff has suggested.

Vote for Change launched

Finally, someone has got off their arse and decided to challenge the hegemony of MMP.

The shouters and vested interests didn’t want a debate, they wanted this referendum to be uncontested, well that isn’t going to happen now.

A campaign against MMP was launched today, aiming to persuade voters to opt for change in the referendum that is going to be held at the same time as the November 26 general election.

The referendum will ask voters whether they want to change to another electoral system, and to tick a preferred alternative from a list of options including the old first-past-the-post system.

If a majority want a change, a second referendum will be held alongside the 2014 general election which will run off MMP against the alternative that gets the most ticks.

“Vote for Change wants a system that restores more certainty, that allows voters to easily hold governments to account and kick rascals out of Parliament”, said the organisation’s spokesman Jordan Williams, a Wellington lawyer.

“The current system lets party bosses sneak MPs who have been dismissed by their local electorates back into Parliament on party lists.”

Mr Williams said many people had high hopes that MMP would create a new era of consensus politics but instead “small groups and party bosses can now hold the rest to ransom”.

Some people are already suggesting that MMP should be reformed but that is not the question in this referendum. What we are being asked to do is choose MMP warts and all as it currently stands, or vote for change. If we vote for change then we can choose one of four other systems.

If you like MMP just as it is then vote for that option, if you like anything else, including a changed MMP system then Vote for Change.

I’m glad we will now be having a debate, something that the supporters of MMP didn’t want and have gone out of their to avoid by abusing those who would speak differently.