web analytics

Quick thoughts on MMP changes

Written By: - Date published: 8:08 am, August 14th, 2012 - 19 comments
Categories: MMP - Tags:

Lowering the threshold to 4% is a step in the right direction but why not go further? Getting rid of coattailing is negative in theory but in practice could stop anti-democratic gaming by major parties protecting tiny client parties. Abolishing overhangs is bad – it just increases disproportionality for parties with strong electorate support vs party support – ie the Maori Party.

19 comments on “Quick thoughts on MMP changes”

  1. KJT 1

    Why not go the whole hog and have a Swiss style Government by the people.

    Democracy. Not a rotating Dictatorship.

    Tinkering with MMP is just taking baby steps towards what the public want, if they had any say. Democracy.

    Any steps towards limiting our politicians dictatorial power, such as MMP, is obviously greeted favourably by an overwhelming majority.

    Or do you think only the politically favoured few should continue to dictate the future of all of us.

    Worked well so far, has it?

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      Direct democracy, just expect that the Tory voters will still be the most consistent in turn out, and their politics have the strongest media backing, so be careful what you wish for.

      • KJT 1.1.1

        As research shows that the population as a whole, in Western countries, are far more socialist than their Governments. I am not too worried.

        I’ve seen a research paper done in NZ which asked for opinions on various policies without specifying the parties they came from. Over 80% favoured Green policies.

        It has not been published. Surprise!

        That is why the RW, and political timeservers of all stripes, are so scared of democracy.

        • Sanctuary 1.1.1.1

          I am not sure I understand what you mean by “Swiss style” democracy. The oft-put right wing fantasy that Swiss direct democracy is simply the ability of a majority of radicialised and angry voters who bother to vote in a binding referendum to impose their views on the entire nation couldn’t be further from the truth. Is that what you are suggesting? Or do you suggest we divide New Zealand into, say, eight self governing “super” provinces each with its own constitution, parliament, government and courts? As in Switzerland, each province would be responsible for its own healthcare, welfare, law enforcement, education and taxation.

          We would also have an upper house of, say, 24 people (three elected from each province plus, say, three from a Maori roll) and a Federal parliament of 100 MPs elected under MMP with no Maori seats. That is a whole lot of politicians. Much more than we have now, imagine what Peter Shirtcliffe would make of that – the stupid old codger would probably have a heart attack – and much more granular. Imagine Len Brown as PM of the province of Auckland, able to raise taxes for his rail link, or Celia Wade-Brown imposing a carbon tax on industry in Wellington, or Sideshow Bob actually being in charge of the rebuild in Christchurch, or a referendum amongst the voters of Otago-Southland stopping/allowing both the Dunedin roofed stadium and the monorail through Fiordland National Park, or the Maori Party government in Waikato-BOP province setting up their own little Whanau Ora program..

          “Direct democracy” at a federal level would then require, say, a triple majority (i.e. the vote to be carried in the majority of provinces, the majority of Maori voters, and by a majority of all voters) to be carried. “Direct democracy” at the provincial level would then consist of a simple majority, of having to convince around 200-250,000 citizens to vote for (or against) a proposal. At that level, you couldn’t astro-turf a campaign. The community level is simply to intimate. So yeah, “direct democracy” by simple majority might work at that low a level.

          • KJT 1.1.1.1.1

            That is what I am trying to say.

            Swiss democracy has many things we would do well to emulate.

            Discussions are made at a local level. Their Government is more of an analogue to our local Government/councils than our present centralised dictatorship.

            If you include our present local Government as politicians we are not really adding to the number.

            The fact that decisions which are not in the best interests of voters may cause a referendum puts a brake on the type of hasty ill thought out legislation our Governments are prone to.

            In fact referendums do not occur often because politicians know they have to justify legislation with evidence, to convince voters to allow it.

            Because political decisions start at community level you are much more likely to have changes that are supported by those most affected.

            We know from business that the closer you keep decision making to the coal face, the more people involved and the more alternatives explored, the better the decision. Almost the opposite of what we do now.

            You may argue with some decisions made by the Swiss, but it is hard to argue with how successful their society is.

            Another advantage is if the RWNJ’s want a State with no social insurance, no taxes and no rules they can try it in one province without destroying the whole country. If they can get enough voters to support them.

            If the Maori party in Northland want to try their own Whanau-ora program, why not, if the Northland voters decide they want it.

  2. prism 2

    Another thing is to keep the number of pollies to reasonable size. Instead of going from 60 to a probable 76 why don’t we allow for more people per electorate as NZ grows. There may have to be a limit put on size of large electorates. We could have one MP covering most of the South Island which is unfair to the individual MP/MPs being very stretched and people who want face to face consultation having to go kms or resort to skype-type service.

    But just getting more pollies won’t give us better government or policies, and just be more out of our pockets. Even in private enterprise leaders don’t get noticeably pinged when they fail, and pollies will soak up all the money they are due and more with no betterment for their presence, rather the opposite.

    • mike e 2.1

      Democracy is democracy and what ever price we pay its better than the alternatives.
      We have the lowest representation per head per any small democracy.
      Peters is washed up idiot who is signing his own death warrant because its unlikely that he will get back in next time as their was a labour dissertion last time to NZfirst.

    • McFlock 2.2

      I reckon:
      1 MP per 30000 voters (or less) calculated by ElectionsNZ.
      1 list mp for every electorate MP. 
      Multiple parallel sessions of the House (needs tweaking), and every MP has to vote themselves, although they can lodge votes in advance or remotely.
      No proxy votes. Not even for members of the same party.
      Maybe stagger the elections – everyone gets a 3 year term, but in two or three overlapping cycles. 
      No opinion polls during the election campaign. 
         
      All crudely thought out, but I think in the right direction. 

      • Lanthanide 2.2.1

        “Maybe stagger the elections – everyone gets a 3 year term, but in two or three overlapping cycles.”

        Expensive, and in extreme cases could lead to governments changing every year, or the PM changing every year, with very schizophrenic results.

        The US has senators that have terms of 6 years, but there’s an election for some class of senators every 2 years, as we recently saw this went from a Democrat controlled senate to a Republican one, greatly reducing the effectiveness of Obama’s government. Another aspect of always having someone up for re-election each year is that there’ll always be some level of campaign going on.

        • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1.1

          but there’s an election for some class of senators every 2 years, as we recently saw this went from a Democrat controlled senate to a Republican one, greatly reducing the effectiveness of Obama’s government.

          That’s actually the problem of dual house governments. If one set of politicians controls one house and another set the other then nothing much gets passed.

          • McFlock 2.2.1.1.1

            Or the objective – stability in democracy, not revolution.
                       
            Part of the issue in the states is their funding control, or lack thereof. Breeds panic. 
               
            Anyway, I’m not so sure how expensive it would be if juggled right – maybe do the electorate mps alongside the local body elections?
                 
            I wasn’t actually thinking bicameral, just that the house has more than one debate in each step of legislation, and members can’t just proxy their vote to the party – they need to vote specifically on each and every item.  

    • Oscar 2.3

      Lets just have 120 electorate seats and do away with the party vote.

      Now that’s true representation.

      Then the next step once people are used to only selecting the MP for their electorate… educating people on how to use STV.

      Then we will end up with a Parliament that is elected solely by the people. It certainly doesn’t stop parties from forming to try and take a bloc of seats.

      This then means that each electorate would be comprised of around 37500 people.

      Who has a credible argument against it?

  3. tracey 3

    No pete george defending his leader who despute reassuring us his objective in opposing wasnt self interest, smacked of self interest. Contrast with peters comments.

  4. Mikesh 4

    I don’t really see what “abolishing overhangs” entails. How would such an arrangement work?

  5. The Electoral Committee has well and truly stuffed the Nacts.
    There is no way that they can ever hold Government again, without say Winston, who with the Mana are the greatest recipients of this recommendation.
    Well done Peden – you deserve a medal.

    • tracey 5.1

      it hasnt been accepted yet.

    • chris73 5.2

      I dunno, the conservative religious nutter might get a few votes (maybe even in south auckland ;)) and maybe (its a big maybe) if act dump banks and bring up some of their younger challenge…

  6. Uh, I’m going to call princess bride on this post.

    Disproportionality refers specifically to the proportion of the party vote received to the number of seats in an MMP system. An electorate-only party is a cause of disproportionality, not a victim of it, and while abolishing the overhang may be bad for the Maori Party, that has nothing to do with disproportionality hurting them.

    I hope that this change will lead to the Maori Party better representing its constituency and growing its party vote to a level of support where it achieves a similar amount of seats in parliament to how many it has now.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • National’s cuts shave $100K off KiwiSaver by retirement
    New analysis shows National’s constant cuts to KiwiSaver will reduce the average worker’s retirement savings by $100,000 over their working life, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “The former Labour Government launched KiwiSaver nine years ago today to boost ...
    1 day ago
  • TPK struggles to measure Whānau Ora outcomes
    The Government needs to explain why so many vulnerable whanau are falling through the cracks, Labour’s Whānau Ora spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. The Minister of Māori Development Te Ururoa Flavell attended the Māori Affairs Select Committee to highlight “gains” – ...
    1 day ago
  • EY: TPP stamp duties on foreigners may have to apply to Kiwis
    The Government’s claim that a TPP-enabled tax on foreign buyers would amount to a ban has been exposed as folly by tax experts, who say that in most cases a tax would apply to Kiwi buyers too, says Labour’s Trade ...
    2 days ago
  • Project 300 short on facts
    A Minister’s pet scheme to employ 300 disabled people in Christchurch seems to be short on facts, says Labour’s Disability Issues spokesperson Poto Williams.  “Nicky Wagner cannot provide solid evidence to show that her much vaunted Project 300 has actually ...
    2 days ago
  • Who are they going to call?
    A cry for help from New Zealand’s longest-running crisis line highlights chronic underfunding of the sector by the Government, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Lifeline is THE go-to helpline for people in crisis, taking up to 180,000 calls each ...
    2 days ago
  • Five months too long for homeless to wait
    New figures revealing homeless people registered with Work and Income are waiting an average of 155 days to be housed shows the Government is totally overwhelmed by the housing crisis, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says. “What’s worse is ...
    3 days ago
  • Minister in cloud cuckoo land
    Hekia Parata needs a very big reality check if she truly believes every parent has the choice of sending their child to a private school, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. Questioned in the House today about plans to pump ...
    3 days ago
  • Convention centre failure means years of uncertainty for CBD
    The failure of Gerry Brownlee’s planned convention centre deal leaves Christchurch facing uncertainty about when activity will be restored to the CBD, says Labour’s Canterbury spokesperson Megan Woods. “As one of the CBD’s major anchor projects, the convention centre complex ...
    3 days ago
  • PCE proves water quality still deteriorating
    The PCE State of the Environment Report shows that river water quality is continuing to get worse across large parts of New Zealand, says Labour’s Environment and Water spokesperson David Parker. “Water quality has deteriorated in Canterbury, Central Otago, Auckland, ...
    3 days ago
  • Families with new babies victims of today’s veto
    Families with new babies are the victims of an historical “first” for the New Zealand Parliament today. “For the first time ever, a Bill will have a third reading debate and no vote will be taken at the end because ...
    3 days ago
  • Crime on the rise…again!
    The Police Minister’s contention that Police have enough resources to meet the expectations of New Zealand communities is not reflected in the Police’s own statistics, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “Yet again, reported burglaries have increased in every region ...
    3 days ago
  • Private schools beneficiaries of extra cash
    Plans to give more taxpayer money to private schools at a time when state schools are struggling to make ends meet says everything about the National Government’s twisted priorities, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Not only did this year’s ...
    4 days ago
  • Inequality getting worse under National
    Inequality is getting worse under National with almost 60 per cent of the wealth in this country concentrated in the hands of the top 10 per cent according to Statistics NZ figures released today, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. ...
    4 days ago
  • Government freezes elderly out of insulation subsidy
    Government cuts to the Warm Up New Zealand insulation subsidy means it will now only be available for rental properties and could leave many elderly homeowners cold this winter, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “In this year’s Budget the Government ...
    5 days ago
  • Shewan report delivers rebuke to National
    John Shewan’s report into foreign trusts is a rebuke to John Key and the National Party who have protected an industry that has damaged New Zealand’s reputation, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Three years ago the Inland Revenue Department ...
    5 days ago
  • Auckland Airport rail analysis must be made public
    The Government should publicly release its detailed analysis of rail to Auckland Airport before it closes off options, so the public can have an informed debate, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford. The Transport Agency today said it is ...
    5 days ago
  • Minister approved OIO consent despite death and investigations
    Louise Upston must say if she knew Intueri was being prosecuted for the death of a student and under a funding investigation when she approved its overseas investment consent to buy another education provider, says Labour’s Land Information and Associate ...
    6 days ago
  • Brexit vote costs NZ effective EU voice
    Despite being extremely close the result of the referendum in Britain reflects the majority voice, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “While we respect the decision to leave the EU, it goes without saying the move will usher in ...
    1 week ago
  • Pasifika Education Centre doomed
    The Pasifika Education Centre appears doomed to close down this December, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio  “In a written question I asked the Minister whether he would put a bid in for more money. His answer ...
    1 week ago
  • Onetai Station review a shameful whitewash
    A report released today on the Overseas Investment Office’s (OIO) good character test is a whitewash that does nothing to improve New Zealand’s overseas investment regime, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson David Cunliffe. “The review of the good character test ...
    1 week ago
  • We need a national strategy to end homelessness now
    Long before I entered Parliament, housing and homelessness were issues dear to my heart. I know from personal experience just how hard it is to find an affordable home in Auckland. In my maiden speech, I talked about how when ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 week ago
  • Capital feels a chill economic wind
      Wellington is on the cusp of recession with a sharp fall in economic confidence in the latest Westpac McDermott Miller confidence survey, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Clark.  “Economic confidence amongst Wellingtonians has dropped 12% in the past ...
    1 week ago
  • Dive school rort took six years to dredge up
    News that yet another private training establishment (PTE) has rorted the Government’s tertiary funding system since 2009 shows that Steven Joyce has no control of the sector, says Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe. “Like Agribusiness Training and Taratahi, ...
    1 week ago
  • National’s housing crisis hitting renters hard
    National’s ongoing housing crisis is causing massive rental increases, with Auckland renters being hit the hardest, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    1 week ago
  • A Day with the PSA
    This week, along with Labour MP Kris Faafoi, I accepted an invitation to spend a day working alongside the good folk at the Public Service Association in Wellington. As the Workplace Relations and Safety spokesperson for the Greens, I was ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    1 week ago
  • A Day with the PSA
    This week, along with Labour MP Kris Faafoi, I accepted an invitation to spend a day working alongside the good folk at the Public Service Association in Wellington. As the Workplace Relations and Safety spokesperson for the Greens, I was ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    1 week ago
  • Government holds Northland back
    New information shows Northland remains the most economically depressed region in New Zealand, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Clark. “The latest Westpac McDermott Miller regional survey found that more Northlanders believe their local economy will deteriorate this year than ...
    1 week ago
  • Rebstock report into MFAT leaks a disgrace
    An Ombudsman’s report on the Paul Rebstock investigation into MFAT leaks shows the two diplomats at the centre of the case were treated disgracefully, says Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi.  “The Ombudsman says one of the diplomats Derek Leask ...
    1 week ago
  • More families forced to turn to food banks for meals
    Increasing numbers of families are having to go to food banks just to put a meal on the table, according to a new report that should shame the Government into action, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. ...
    1 week ago
  • We have a housing emergency in New Zealand
    Auckland, New Zealand, where house prices have risen 20 percent in the last year alone We have a housing emergency in New Zealand.  Like many people we are ashamed and angry that in a wealthy country like ours, we have ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • We have a housing emergency in New Zealand
    Auckland, New Zealand, where house prices have risen 20 percent in the last year alone We have a housing emergency in New Zealand.  Like many people we are ashamed and angry that in a wealthy country like ours, we have ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Aussie reforms signal trouble ahead for school funding plan
    Plans by the Government to return to bulk funding are likely to see increased class sizes and schools most in need missing out on much-needed resources, Labour’s Acting Education spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The signaled return to bulk funding is ...
    1 week ago
  • Toxic Sites – the down low on the go slow
    In  2011, I negotiated an agreement with the National Government to advance work on cleaning up contaminated sites across the country. This included establishing a National Register of the ten worst sites where the creators of the problem could not ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 week ago
  • Aucklanders face new motorway tax of up to $2500 a year
    The Government wants to tax Aucklanders thousands of dollars a year just to use the motorway network, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Officials estimate the average city commute is 11.8km. This means for the average Aucklander commuting five ...
    1 week ago
  • 15 corrupt bank managers identified in student fraud
    New information show 15 bank managers in India have been identified by Immigration New Zealand as presenting fraudulent documents on behalf of foreign students studying here, Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Documents obtained by Labour under the Official Information ...
    1 week ago
  • National leaves Kiwi savers the most vulnerable in OECD
    News last week that Israel’s Finance Minister will insure savers’ bank deposits means New Zealand will be left as the only country in the OECD that has no deposit insurance to protect savers’ funds should a bank fail. Most Kiwis ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    2 weeks ago
  • Comprehensive plan for future of work needed
    A Massey University study showing many New Zealanders are unaware of the increasing role of automation in their workplace, highlights the need for a comprehensive plan for the future of work, says Grant Robertson, Chair of Labour’s Future of Work ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another National Government failure: 90 day work trials
    On Friday last week, the Treasury released a report by MOTU economic consultants into the effectiveness of the controversial 90-day work trial legislation. The report found that there was “no evidence that the policy affected the number of hires by ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    2 weeks ago
  • Iraq mission extension case not made
    The Prime Minister has not made the case for extending the Iraq deployment another 18 months nor the expansion of their mission, says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “Labour originally opposed the deployment because the Iraqi Army’s track record was poor, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Denial is a long river
    William Rolleston from Federated Farmers made the absurd claim on RNZ on Saturday that “we actually have very clean rivers”. This statement doesn’t represent the many farmers who know water quality is in big trouble and are working to clean ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Denial is a long river
    William Rolleston from Federated Farmers made the absurd claim on RNZ on Saturday that “we actually have very clean rivers”. This statement doesn’t represent the many farmers who know water quality is in big trouble and are working to clean ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Melanoma deaths could be avoided by an early access scheme
      The tragic death of Dunedin’s Graeme Dore from advanced Melanoma underlines the cruelty of this Government in promising a treatment but delaying for months, says Labour’s Health Spokesperson Annette King.  “Graeme was diagnosed with Melanoma last year. He used ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Assessing the Defence White Paper
    The Government’s recently released Defence White Paper has raised questions again about New Zealand’s defence priorities, and in particular the level and nature of public funding on defensive capabilities. The Green Party has a longstanding belief that priority must be ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwis’ confidence drops again: Economy needs a boost
    Westpac’s consumer confidence survey has fallen for the seventh time in nine quarters, with middle income households ‘increasingly worried about where the economy is heading over the next few years’, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “This survey is a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Relocation grant simply kicks can down the road
    The response by state house tenants and social agencies to the Government’s rushed plan to shift families out of Auckland tells us what we already knew – this is no answer to the chronic housing shortage, Opposition Leader Andrew Little ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Peace hīkoi to Parihaka
    On Friday a Green crew walked with the peace hīkoi from Ōkato to Parihaka. Some of us were from Parliament and some were party members from Taranaki and further afield. It was a cloudy but gentle day and at one ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Children’s Commissioner right to worry about CYF transition
    The Government must listen to the Children’s Commissioner’s concerns that young people under CYF care could be ‘negatively impacted’ as the new agency’s reforms become reality, says Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern. “Dr Russell Wills has used the second annual ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bill English exaggerates PPL costs to justify veto
    The Finance Minister has used trumped-up costings to justify a financial veto against parents having 26 weeks paid parental leave, says Labour MP Sue Moroney. “Bill English’s assertion on RNZ yesterday that the measure would cost an extra $280 million ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government must refund overcharged motorists
    Labour is calling on the Government to refund motor registration fees to three-quarters of a million Kiwi motorists whose vehicles were wrongly classified under National’s shambolic ACC motor vehicle risk rating system, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says.“Minister Kaye’s ridiculous ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 90-day work trials an unfair failure which must change
    A new Treasury report shows the Government’s 90-day trials haven’t helped businesses and are inherently unfair, Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “The Motu report found that 90-day trial periods had no impact on overall employment and did not ...
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere