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MMP In Its Death Throes


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ballasted moth
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« on: September 17, 2010, 10:21:33 am »

 ACT NZ First Alliance United and The Greens have collectively put people off MMP by bringing in such a low standard of MP riding on the back of a populist leader 
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« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2010, 04:05:18 pm »

MMP In Its Death Throes


In your dreams!

My prediction....

In the upcoming election on the MMP topic, one of two things will happen....

1. Electors will vote to keep MMP and that will supposedly be the end of the matter, except that the Nats (the righties) will attempt to change MMP to suit themselves.

           ....or....

2. Electors will vote to change the voting system, forcing another election between MMP and another system, except that in the second election on our voting system, electors will once again vote for MMP as their prefered system.


Wanna have a wager on that, BallastedMoth?

I becha I would win with my predictions and you would lose the wager! 
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Crusader
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« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2010, 04:34:32 pm »

Given the utter retards that populate the beehive, democracy in general seems to be a lame duck in this country. Go the dictatorship!
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« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2010, 04:44:37 pm »

ACT NZ First Alliance United and The Greens have collectively put people off MMP by bringing in such a low standard of MP riding on the back of a populist leader 


Another three predicitions....


In next year's general election:

1. Winston and New Zealand First will return to Parliament.

2. The GREENs will yet again increase the number of MPs in Parliament.

3. Those “rightie greedies”, ACT, will disappear from our parliamentary scene without trace! 
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Bruno Bastardo
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« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2010, 05:15:46 pm »

MMP needs a bit of tweaking, not much.

On the other hand Ballasted Moth needs a complete overhaul.
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ballasted moth
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« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2010, 01:41:32 pm »

 Some MMP stars Roll Of Shame

Alamein Kopu Alliance stole furniture

Pam Corkery Alliance alcoholic who introduced a new level of vulgarity

Phillida Bunkle Alliance rorted parliamentary allowances when already living in Wellington

Donna Awatere Huata ACT  convicted fraudster

Owen Jennings  ACT pyramid scheme scammer

David Garrett ACT fraudster

Winston Peters NZ First fraudster and liar

Sue Bradford Greens  introduced widely unpopular law against public wishes

Greens scammed living allowances to set up own retirement fund
United Party a collection of right wing religious nutters
Hone Harawira Maori Party  AWOL on overseas junket
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« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2010, 02:18:35 pm »


Jeeze....you're a bitter & twisted person, BallastedMoth.

Do you lie awake at night seething with rage, bitterness & hatred?

Get help....I'm sure you could find a good therapist somewhere who could help you.
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ballasted moth
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« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2010, 03:21:39 pm »

 What a strange reaction to the truth
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« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2010, 04:27:39 pm »


I'd suggest you read the following two articles published in today's New Zealand Herald.

In particular take note of the piece written by columnest Paul Thomas' and note how it hits the nail right on the head about rightie politicians having a tendency to be bent & corrupt as well as arrogant & hypocrites.

The piece written by columnist John Armstrong likewise hits the nail right on the head.

Open your mind, BallastedMoth, and learn something truthful about righties!


John Armstrong: No way back for Act after run of disasters

Paul Thomas: Act's self-immolation par for the course
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« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2010, 07:42:51 pm »

DEMOCRACY IS DEAD, A DICATATORSHIP IS THE ONLY WAY TO RUN A COUNTRY.
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ballasted moth
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« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2010, 07:56:48 pm »

Dont disagree but the left wing pollies are no better
Lets not forget Labours theft of public money to fund their campaign
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Ares Abani
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« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2010, 07:14:02 am »

crusader is clearly crazy! Pump life back into democracy!
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Bruno Bastardo
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« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2010, 04:59:52 pm »

Dont disagree but the left wing pollies are no better
Lets not forget Labours theft of public money to fund their campaign

Or the National Party's illegal blind trust.
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« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2010, 12:19:54 am »

Dont disagree but the left wing pollies are no better
Lets not forget Labours theft of public money to fund their campaign

Or the National Party's illegal blind trust.


Ah yes....the secretive Waitemata Trust slush fund where the Nats politicians pretend they don't know who is purchasing favourable legislation and regulations via that secretive fund.

It's where “smoke & mirrors” trickery is used to try and pretend that political corruption isn't occuring.
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ballasted moth
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« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2010, 08:51:11 am »

 There is a solution SMALLER MORE LIMITED GOVT Remove the temptation
Wonder what party offers that
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« Reply #15 on: September 20, 2010, 09:05:27 am »

There is a solution SMALLER MORE LIMITED GOVT Remove the temptation
Wonder what party offers that
Is is the best party of them all Libertarians? Smiley
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« Reply #16 on: January 14, 2011, 11:29:33 am »

MMP In Its Death Throes



Poll: Most voters want to retain MMP

NZPA | 7:02PM - Monday, December 20, 2010

File Photo: Martin Sykes.

MMP IS SAFE, according to a poll which tested opinion on the electoral system ahead of next year's referendum.

TV One's Colmar Brunton poll, released tonight, showed 50 per cent in favour of keeping it with 41 per cent opposed and 9 per cent who haven't made up their minds.

It was the third Colmar Brunton poll in the last five years showing a majority want to retain MMP.

The referendum will be held at the same time as the general election.

It will ask voters whether they want to retain MMP and to choose an alternative from a list of options which will include the old first-past-the-post system.

If a majority want to change, MMP will be run off against the preferred alternative in another referendum in 2014.

If a majority want to retain it, the Electoral Commission will review it and give the Government a report on any changes it thinks should be made to it.

The poll showed support for MMP was strong among young voters, with 70 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds supporting it.

That dropped to around 40 per cent for older voters.

The poll questioned 1000 voters and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 per cent.


http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10695617
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« Reply #17 on: January 14, 2011, 11:30:00 am »

MMP In Its Death Throes



MMP's support has shot up in a year

By DEREK CHENG - The New Zealand Herald | 5:30AM - Thursday, January 13, 2010

MORE THAN HALF of all voters support keeping MMP, a new poll shows.

The results of the Herald-DigiPoll survey, just before Christmas, show far greater support for the current electoral system than the last such poll on MMP in November 2009, when only 36 per cent of respondents supported it and 49 per cent opposed it.

At this year's general election voters will be asked if they want to keep MMP. They will also be asked to nominate one of four alternatives: First Past the Post, Supplementary Member, Single Transferable Vote and Preferential Voting.

If more than 50 per cent support MMP, the system will be kept and reviewed.

If more than 50 per cent want change, another referendum will be held in conjunction with the general election in 2014 asking voters to choose between the current system and the most popular of the alternatives.

The referendum is part of a pre-election promise by the National Party.

MMP has been the subject of some debate, particularly after Prime Minister John Key said that last year's issues with the Act Party — which is in coalition with the National Party — might turn more people off MMP.

In the current poll, nearly 51 per cent of respondents said they wanted to keep MMP, while 40 per cent wanted a different system. Ten per cent either did not know or refused to answer.

The mood for change was slightly higher among male voters (42 per cent) than female voters (37 per cent).

The details of the referendum and possible review of MMP are set out in the Electoral Referendum Bill, which passed into law just before Christmas.

The bill also put a $300,000 limit on advertising spending, bringing it into line with the proposed third-party advertising limit for general elections. The original bill had no limit.

Aspects of MMP that would be considered in a review include the thresholds for a party to get into Parliament.

The system has been criticised because a vote for a party that falls short of 5 per cent — such as New Zealand First last election — is effectively a wasted vote.

Another criticism has been that a party can bring more MPs into Parliament if a candidate wins an electorate, even if the party falls short of the 5 per cent threshold. Act leader Rodney Hide's hold on Epsom, for example, means the party has five MPs, even though it won fewer party votes than New Zealand First.

A review would also look at the party list, under which a person can be elected to Parliament even if rejected in an electorate, such as Cabinet minister Chris Finlayson or Labour Party frontbenchers Charles Chauvel and Maryan Street.

Excluded from the review would be the Maori seats or the number of MPs.

Five Governments have been elected under MMP since it replaced First Past the Post following a referendum in 1993 that saw 54 per cent support the electoral system.

The Herald-DigiPoll survey had 750 respondents. The margin of error is 3.6 per cent.


http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10699350
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« Reply #18 on: January 14, 2011, 11:30:56 am »

MMP In Its Death Throes



Hahaha.....SUCK EGGS, BallastedMoth

You LOSE!!!! 
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« Reply #19 on: January 14, 2011, 12:03:13 pm »

Crikey... such depths of maturity. Is it a game then?
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« Reply #20 on: December 15, 2011, 01:46:39 pm »

MMP In Its Death Throes


So....has MMP died yet? 

Have the people voted to get rid of it? 




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« Reply #21 on: December 15, 2011, 01:46:59 pm »


Brian Rudman

Don't sweat over waka-jumping or party lists

Brian Rudman on National Issues

The New Zealand Herald | 5:30AM - Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Campaigners for MMP in Hawke's Bay. — Photo: APN.
Campaigners for MMP in Hawke's Bay. — Photo: APN.

HOPEFULLY that's the last we'll hear of dumping MMP for another generation or two at least. A vote of 57.77 per cent in favour of retention in the recent referendum was not as resounding as supporters might have liked, but it's still a solid endorsement of the existing voting system.

What the voting highlighted is the distinct lack of support for any of the alternatives proposed, underlined by the fact that 748,086 voters ignored the second part which asked what alternative they supported. This was a higher "vote" than that received for the top ranking alternative, the First Past the Post we dumped back in 1996.

If my voting was anything to go by, the 707,117 FPP received was not necessarily an endorsement. I voted for FPP on the grounds it was the worst and most undemocratic system on offer, and if MMP had to go through a run-off in three years, FPP would be the easiest to defeat.

All that remains is the review of MMP to iron out any perceived wrinkles. Surprisingly, Prime Minister John Key has highlighted waka-jumping as his main dislike. He says list MPs who change parties should leave Parliament.

"I don't believe you have a right to claim that you're an independent ..." List MPs were there by virtue of those who gave their party vote to their original party.

The philosophical battle about the rights of list MPs compared with electorate MPs, and the controls party organisations have over MPs engendered much political angst in the early days while the MMP system was bedding in, but since Mr Key entered Parliament in 2002, things have been remarkably settled.

Since he became an MP, only two list MPs have done a bunk from their parties to join another: Donna Awatere Huata (2003-2004), who was booted out of ACT to become an Independent, and Gordon Copeland (2007-2008), from United Future to the Kiwi Party.

In the same period, four electorate MPs changed parties. Two, Taito Phillip Field and Chris Carter, were forced out of Labour, and two, Tariana Turia and Hone Harawira, formed new parties, both forcing by-elections.

It was in the decade or so before Mr Key entered Parliament that party-hopping was an epidemic. Political scientist Jack Vowles, in a recent paper to the NZ Political Studies Association conference in Dunedin, lists 11 cases of party-hopping in the first Parliament after the initial MMP election in 1996. Nine were MPs fleeing New Zealand First, two from the Alliance. Seven were list MPs and four were electorate MPs.

The paper highlights that party-hopping was more a disease of the last years of First Past the Post than one of MMP. In the four years up to 1996 under FPP, 17 MPs defected, most from National to New Zealand First or United New Zealand. Make it 18 if you throw in Jim Anderton's move in 1989 from Labour to New Labour.

In 2001, in response to public disquiet, Labour and its Alliance ally passed the Electoral (Integrity) Amendment Act, forcing "unethical" MPs who deserted ship, or who fell out of favour with the party leadership, to give up their seats. The bill had a five-year sunset clause and after the 2005 election, Labour, as part of its confidence and supply agreement with NZ First, tried to revive it. National, the Greens, Maori, ACT and United Future outnumbered the Government in opposition and the bill was dropped.

National's then deputy leader, Gerry Brownlee, attacked it as a "draconian" bill which "effectively destroys the integrity of members of Parliament" and asked, "why do we have a democratic process to put members in Parliament if, immediately, the franchise of that MP is constrained — and even removed ... and handed to a political party leader?"

Mr Key's present Minister of Finance, Bill English joined in, calling it "an abomination on the Parliament". How far Mr Key plans to push his support for this "abomination" in next year's Electoral Commission-led review into MMP will be interesting.

With Social Development Minister Paula Bennett being rewarded with a front bench seat, despite narrowly losing her electorate seat, and relying on her list position to remain in Parliament, the question of whether electorate MPs should be able to have a second chance via the list is another dilemma for the politicians.

My preference is for the status quo, ensuring as it does that a party's best and brightest get a chance to interface with the public in seats which aren't safe for that party, but still get into Parliament according to their ranking on the party list. Others differ, but as with waka-jumping, let's be pragmatic. Why be at each other's throats on an issue that isn't exactly pressing or prevalent.

Professor Vowles notes that "the survival of electorate-defeated MPs through dual candidacy is relatively rare". In 2002, 0.8 per cent of defeated electorate MPs snuck back via the list. In 2005 that jumped to 10.8 per cent, but in 2008 fell to 4.3 per cent. For those who see it as offensive, the "most important finding" was that of these second-lifers, about 60 per cent left Parliament at the next election.


http://www.nzherald.co.nz/brian-rudman-on-auckland/news/article.cfm?c_id=1502866&objectid=10773013
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« Reply #22 on: December 15, 2011, 07:11:19 pm »


Too many cooks spoil the broth...

Or should it be ?

Too many crooks rob us sheeple sell off our assets and make us all bankrupt slaves.

Soon we will have a dictatorship run by that bankrupt banking firm Goldman sacs
the vampire squid that's sucking the life's breath out of all humanity. 
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Go to
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« Reply #23 on: August 13, 2012, 11:09:57 pm »


Commission calls for MMP shakeup

By CLAIRE TREVETT and KATE SHUTTLEWORTH - The New Zealand Herald | 11:00AM - Monday, August 13, 2012

The Beehive in Wellington. — Photo: Mark Mitchell.
The Beehive in Wellington. — Photo: Mark Mitchell.

THE ELECTORAL COMMISSION has proposed abolishing the rule which allows MPs who win an electorate seat to bring others into Parliament on their coat-tails even if they fall short of the party vote threshold, saying it was the most unpopular feature of MMP and should go.

As part of the MMP Review, the Commission has also recommended lowering the party vote threshold needed to get into Parliament from five per cent to four per cent — a move which would mean parties would need about 23,000 fewer votes to get into Parliament than at five per cent.

The two rules had created some apparent discrepancies in the past — including 2008 when former ACT leader Rodney Hide won Epsom and brought four other MPs to Parliament with 3.65 per cent of the vote while NZ First fell just short of the five per cent threshold but could not return to Parliament.

ACT's reliance on the Epsom electorate to ensure its place in Parliament also prompted the infamous cup of tea between ACT leader John Banks and Prime Minister John Key in a bid to shore up Banks' chances in Epsom so National would keep a coalition partner.

Chief Electoral Officer Robert Peden said that the electorate seat threshold was the source of most dissatisfaction with the MMP system that was raised in public submissions on the MMP Review, and abolishing it would help ensure public confidence in MMP.

Removing that provision would be partly compensated for by lowering the party vote threshold needed to get into Parliament from five per cent to four per cent.

Mr Peden said lowering the party vote threshold from five per cent to four per cent would be a 20 per cent reduction in the number of votes needed to get into Parliament.

However, it was still high enough to prevent a glut of very small parties making it into Parliament. He said it was a significant change, which would mean parties could get into Parliament with about 92,000 votes rather than 115,000 votes.

Mr Peden said he could not say whether changing the rules would stop such events happening, but said it was impossible to take politics out of the electoral system.

The Commission also recommended scrapping the provision for overhang seats. It proposed keeping dual candidacy, under which candidates can stand in both an electorate and on the party's list, and leaving the formation of the party lists in the hands of parties themselves.

Mr Peden said parties should be able to protect good candidates who were standing in marginal electorates or in unwinnable electorates. There was a perrception list MPs were unelected and therefore not accountabe to voters.

"This is not true. List MPs are accountable to voters just as much as electorate MPs are."

He said overall the commission had concluded relatively few changes were needed, but those opted for would increase public confidence in MMP. He did not believe a referendum was required to implement the changes, which should be able to be in place by 2014.

If the proposed changes had been in place for the 2011 elections, National would have 58 seats instead of 59, because it would lose a seat to prevent the current overhang of one seat. That would mean it would require the Maori Party to get a majority of 61. It can currently secure a majority with only ACT's John Banks and United Future's Peter Dunne.

There would have been a much more dramatic effect on the 2008 Parliament. Under the changes, NZ First would have had five MPs rather than none and Act would only have had one, instead of five. National would have had two fewer seats, but could still have secured Government — but the Maori Party would have been the ‘kingmakers’ and it would have had to rely on the Maori Party votes to get a majority.

The proposals would go out for a further round of public submissions until September 07.

The Government had promised MMP would be reviewed if a majority of voters voted to stay with MMP in the referendum on the voting system last election.

The Commission began the review in February by seeking public submissions, and about 4700 submissions were received.


______________________________________

The proposals being suggested by the Electoral Commission:

  • The one electorate seat threshold for the allocation of list seats should be abolished.

  • The party vote threshold for the allocation of list seats should be lowered to 4 per cent.

  • Candidates should continue to be able to stand both in an electorate and on a party list at general elections.

  • List MPs should continue to be able to contest by-elections.

  • Political parties should continue to have responsibility for the composition and ranking of candidates on their party lists.

  • The provision for overhang seats should be abolished for parties that do not cross the party vote threshold.

It recommended identifying 76 electorate seats (in a 120-seat Parliament) as the point at which the risk of proportionality from insufficient seats becomes unacceptable. New Zealand is likely to reach that point before 2026.

The gradual erosion of lists seats relative to electorate seats risks undermining the diversity of representation in Parliament — recommended Parliament should review.


http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10826595



John Armstrong

MMP changes bad news for National

John Armstrong on Politics

The New Zealand Herald | 12:55PM - Monday, August 13, 2012

Prime Minister John Key addresses National Party annual conference. — Photo: Michael Craig.
Prime Minister John Key addresses National Party annual conference.
 — Photo: Michael Craig.


THE ELECTORAL COMMISSION's proposals for revamping MMP are bad news for National.

The major changes advocated by the commission — the abolition of the one-seat threshold plus the reduction of the party vote threshold from 5 to 4 per cent — were all opposed by National in its submission to the commission's MMP review.

National can probably live with a smaller party vote threshold, however. Indeed, a lower bar for entering Parliament would be of considerable help to a potential National ally — Colin Craig's Conservative Party.

As witnessed by the infamous Epsom tea-party in last year's election campaign, National has exploited to the maximum the rule which negates the party vote threshold if a party wins an electorate. National — unlike Labour — has used this exemption to do deals to avoid votes on the centre-right going to waste where an ally has failed to top 5 per cent.

Abolition of the exemption would thus be to National's considerable disadvantage.

What will really disturb National is the commission's proposal to absorb so-called "overhang "seats into a fixed 120-seat Parliament.

Had such a rule been in place at last year's election, the net effect of that proposal would have been to reduce National's total seats by one, making it dependent for a majority on getting the Maori Party on board to govern, along with ACT and United Future. National currently has a one-seat majority with with ACT and United Future's support.

The proposals leave the ruling party with a headache. Does National enact them holus bolus to its own potential cost? Or does it ignore the commission's work and risk looking hugely self-serving?

As the commission states in its proposals paper, it has concluded that relatively few changes to MMP are required. But it stresses the proposals it is making are important in "greatly enhancing public confidence in the fairness and operation of MMP".

That is the closest the commission comes to saying that Government knows what it ought to do. Whether the commission's mana and authority will outweigh National's self-interest is now the question.


http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10826626



Commission paper ‘woeful’ — John Banks

By KATE SHUTTLEWORTH - APNZ | 2:30PM - Monday, August 13, 2012

ACT leader John Banks said the proposed changes do not offer any additional benefits to New Zealand. — Photo: Natalie Slade.
ACT leader John Banks said the proposed changes do not offer any
additional benefits to New Zealand. — Photo: Natalie Slade.


THE ACT PARTY will not be supporting any changes to MMP.

The Electoral Commission has proposed abolishing the rule which allows MPs who win an electorate seat to bring others into Parliament on their coat-tails even if they fall short of the party vote threshold, saying it was the most unpopular feature of MMP and should go.

As part of the MMP Review, the Commission has also recommended lowering the party vote threshold needed to get into Parliament from five per cent to four per cent — a move which would mean parties would need about 23,000 fewer votes to get into Parliament than at five per cent.

ACT leader John Banks said the proposed changes do not offer any additional benefits to New Zealand and he called the Electoral Commission paper "woeful".

"We do not support the abolishment of the one seat threshold - the purpose of the one seat threshold was to ensure that political parties with concentrated support got representation in Parliament," he said.

"It was a judgement made by the Royal Commission on the electoral system in 1986."

"It uses the weight of partisan submissions to justify removing the one seat threshold, which has been working exactly how the Royal Commission intended since it was introduced," said Mr Banks.

He said the five per cent party vote threshold should remain. It is well understood by voters and political parties.

"The proposed reduction to a four per cent threshold is arbitrary and the Commission's own proposal paper says there is no consensus, which is all the more reason to maintain the status quo."

"Overall, none of the problems our country faces today has much to do with the electoral system."

MMP opponent and former spokesman of Vote for Change Jordan Williams said he was in favour of the one electorate seat threshold for the allocation of list seats being abolished and an overhang provision being removed.

"The overhang provision should never have really been in there — it just makes the system more confusing," he said.

He said reducing the party vote threshold for the allocation of list seats to four per cent was a mistake.

"We submitted to the review that one of the real problems with MMP is the instability of Government or tails wagging the dog — you shouldn't be making changes that increase the likelihood of a smaller tail wagging the dog, or making it even more susceptible to instability," he said.

He said a lot of New Zealanders believed Winston Peters represented instability in Government.

"Even Winston is arguing that the 5 per cent threshold should stay the same."

Although his own party would have benefited from the proposed change of the threshold to four per cent, NZ First leader Winston Peters said it should stay at five per cent — the level which had originally been agreed to ensure stability of Government.

"We've argued for five per cent because we believe that is a safe threshold, it's stable."

Dropping that would let too many parties into Parliament. However, he did support the proposal to abolish the electorate seat threshold, saying the "coat-tails provision" had been "appallingly abused" in the past.

He said that provision had resulted in deals over electorate seats such as Ohariu Belmont, held by United Future leader Peter Dunne, and Epsom, held by ACT leader John Banks. "That was a total jack up."

He believed the Electoral Commission should also have considered the Maori electorates and the size of Parliament.

SUPPORT FROM GREEN PARTY

Green Party electoral reform spokesperson Holly Walker said abolishing the one electorate seat threshold and lowering the party vote threshold will help to reduce the number of ‘wasted’ votes, and ensure that everyone's votes count.

"I'm really pleased that the underlying principles of fairness, proportionality and diversity are reflected in these recommendations from the Electoral Commission," said Ms Walker.

"Removing the one electorate seat threshold will make a big difference for fairness by making sure that the votes of people in some electorates are not given more weight than others," she said.

The Electoral Commission have also highlighted the need to address the future ratio of list to electorate seats if current demographic trends continue.

"It's good that they have identified that the gradual erosion of list seats poses an unacceptable risk to proportionality and diversity. It's important that we think about what is an appropriate balance between increasing electorate seats as the population grows, and the total number of seats in our parliament."

Another recommendation from the Electoral Commission is that political parties should continue to have responsibility for the composition and ranking of candidates on their party lists.

"It is interesting that the Electoral Commission have chosen not to recommend greater public involvement in party lists. Our preference has always been for greater internal democracy and the Green Party will continue to empower our members to rank our candidates."

The proposals being suggested by the Electoral Commission:


  • The one electorate seat threshold for the allocation of list seats should be abolished.

  • The party vote threshold for the allocation of list seats should be lowered to 4 per cent.

  • Candidates should continue to be able to stand both in an electorate and on a party list at general elections.

  • List MPs should continue to be able to contest by-elections.

  • Political parties should continue to have responsibility for the composition and ranking of candidates on their party lists.

  • The provision for overhang seats should be abolished for parties that do not cross the party vote threshold.

It recommended identifying 76 electorate seats (in a 120-seat Parliament) as the point at which the risk of proportionality from insufficient seats becomes unacceptable. New Zealand is likely to reach that point before 2026.

The gradual erosion of lists seats relative to electorate seats risks undermining the diversity of representation in Parliament — recommended Parliament should review.


http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10826628
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« Reply #24 on: October 05, 2016, 05:57:51 pm »

MMP In Its Death Throes


REALLY ??   



from the New Zealand Listener....

Editorial: Three cheers for MMP

With Donald Trump in striking distance of the US presidency,
this is no time for New Zealand to be smug, although his rise
is reason at least for us to give thanks for our voting system.


Thursday, 29 September 2016



THE TRUMP PHENOMENON is what comes of a large number of citizens feeling frozen out of the political system. Trumpians are not the fashionably mourned “missing millions” — those who perennially don't vote. These are mostly people who do vote, and have probably always wanted to vote, but whose views have been marginalised by the inflexible monolithic nature of the US political system. Its two-tribes-only model was not what the founding fathers envisaged, but their noble creation has calcified into a Republican-Democrat binary option that sidelines all views but the currently mainstream.

Presidential candidates such as Trump and Bernie Sanders, with their unimplementable and often mendacious policy prescriptions, may seem horribly blunt instruments with which to fight the system's inflexibility. But clearly, the way a lot of US voters have come to feel, this vote is as much about a punishment of the system as a cure.

Britain is experiencing similar political perversities for the same reasons. Unease about immigration and European fiat mounted for years, but could never find expression within the major political parties. The UK Independence Party finally provided a viable outlet for that disquiet, yet despite garnering 12.6% of the vote last election, could win only one of the 650 electorate seats under Britain's first-past-the-post system. This blatant injustice fed antipathy and distrust of the system, leading to the Brexit vote.

Now a different but intersecting group has effected a reverse takeover of the British Labour Party. The party members who have again defied the caucus in electing Jeremy Corbyn leader are not traditional Labour members, but newcomers. Exit polls have established that Corbyn's challenger, Owen Smith, was the clear winner among those who were party members before 2015 and among members aged 18-24. This YouGov data tells us that those who have actually done some campaigning for Labour, along with the natural crop of new, young Labour supporters, do not identify with the party's new direction. Labour has been repurposed by more militant forces — again, people who feel hard done by and unrepresented.

At least the Trumpians have a fair chance of success. The Corbynistas have little, there being no sign that their zeal is proving infectious to the mainstream citizenry. They seem not to care that Labour won't win doing it their way. They despise the mainstream for, as they see it, having locked them out. Their end is punishment — even if that proscribes their ability to reform the system to make it more responsive.

We're fortunate to have seen only a pale iteration of this in our Labour Party's perorations, and that's because voters here have a wider menu of options. Under MMP, every voter knows their vote will count — unless the party they give their tick fails to either get more than 5% or win an electoral seat. They will get a voice in Parliament. Our politics can be maddening and gladiatorial, but at least it is not the two-sizes-fit-all straitjacket facing British and US voters. We can get much more nuanced policy-making because our Parliament can resolve into floating blocs of opinion, constantly challenging time-hardened vested interests.

As popular as National has been, it has always had to count. It has never been able to make decisions without first persuading its allies, and then at least attempting to persuade its foes, to support it. We may dislike the ensuing ructions, such as NZ First throwing a spanner in the works of some Treaty settlement legislation last week. But the party's issues with the bills were legitimate and sincere. It had every right to decline to co-operate — a right democratically conferred by proportional voting. Other countries' systems would have shut the party out, causing its supporters' grievances to fester and magnify to unhealthy dimensions.

Populist political gargoyles such as Trump and Ukip's Nigel Farage have their place, but our inclusive system denies them the false glamour of underdoggery. We have a precious safety valve in proportionality. Divisive and fringe policies can be represented in our Parliament, but demagoguery will always struggle.


__________________________________________________________________________

Related story:

 • The fable of Winston, Gerry and the Treaty legislation derailment, by political columnist Jane Clifton


http://www.listener.co.nz/commentary/features/editorial-three-cheers-mmp
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