The Electoral Commission’s report is out. Now we need to make sure that the Government follow through on what an independent board have decided having listened to ordinary New Zealanders’ submissions.
Personally I would have liked the threshold suggested to be lower, and indeed the Commission says it could be 3% and recommends legislating for a threshold review after a further 3 elections. But the main thing is that we have a consensus, and the right thing is that that should be followed up on.
The report recommends a 4% threshold with no coat-tail clause. John Banks and ACT of course cannot support that…
The other recommendations include:
- no overhang, so we always have 120 seats.
- 60:40 ratio of electorate to list. i.e. 72 electorate seats (2 more than current) and 48 list seats. So the number of list seats doesn’t end up depending on the number of people in the South Island.
- List MPs to continue to be allowed to contest by-elections.
- Political parties to continue to set their own rules for and select their own party list. But they must make a statutory declaration that they have complied with their rules.
These changes are in line with the New Zealand public’s desires; and it is they, not the politicians, who should have the say in how our political system works.
National has not as yet commented on their intentions, but I hope they follow the opposition parties in accepting this independent report and implement it quickly.