web analytics
The Standard

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

1 2 3 8

  • Plenty left to do on human rights
    Labour is backing calls to have a Parliamentary Select Committee take responsibility for overseeing and monitoring human rights issues. “A just released three-year study into New Zealand’s track record on human rights, funded by the Law Society, makes uneasy reading,”… ...
    2 hours ago
  • Many regions need by-election levels of support
    Northland is not the only region struggling under the National Government, but unfortunately places like Gisborne, Whanganui and Tasman do not have by-elections on the horizon, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says. “A desperate National Party has thrown money… ...
    19 hours ago
  • Real changes must come from CYF review
    A well-overdue revamp of Child, Youth and Family cannot be just another cost cutting exercise, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Labour has been pushing for a review for some time. It was part of our policy at the election. ...
    20 hours ago
  • Latest Air NZ plan carries on regional snub
    Christchurch Labour Members of Parliament have secured a meeting with Air New Zealand boss Christopher Luxon following the airline’s decision to cut its Christchurch to Tokyo summer flights.  They are also calling on the Minister of Transport Simon Bridges to… ...
    2 days ago
  • Carmel Sepuloni back in Social Development role
    Andrew Little has reinstated Carmel Sepuloni as Labour’s Social Development spokesperson following the sentencing of her mother in the New Plymouth District Court today. “It has been a tough time for Carmel, but we both agreed it was appropriate she… ...
    2 days ago
  • Government taking Kiwis for April Fools
    Many Kiwis will be wondering if the joke is on them when a raft of Government changes come into effect tomorrow, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “First is ACC and National’s unwillingness to end its rort of Kiwi businesses which… ...
    2 days ago
  • Time to show RMA housing affordability plans
    Labour is challenging the Government to reveal its plans to make housing more affordable through amending the Resource Management Act, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Labour remains willing to consider the proposals on housing affordability on their merits and… ...
    2 days ago
  • John Key now admits no broad support for RMA changes
    John Key has now been forced to admit that he never had the broad political support to gut the Resource Management Act, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods. “Cornerstone legislation such as the RMA should never be changed without genuine… ...
    3 days ago
  • National’s changes leave student bodies in chaos
    The chaos created by National’s scrapping of compulsory student association membership may force the 86-year old Union of Students Association to fold, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “National’s 2011 Voluntary Student Membership Act has left student associations with… ...
    3 days ago
  • Tragedy must be impetus for better training
    The Police Minister needs to explain why unsworn and inadequately trained custody officers were put in a situation of caring for a medically unwell prisoner on a busy Saturday night, Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Commenting on an IPCA… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government must be more transparent on investor state clauses
    The Government must be more transparent around the draft investor state dispute settlements in the TPPA, says David Parker, Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson. “Labour is pro trade, and is proud of the FTA we negotiated with China, which… ...
    6 days ago
  • Protect university staff and student voices
    The Green Party believes ensuring student and staff representation on university councils is important. National recently passed a law reducing the size of university governance councils while increasing the proportion of the members nominated by, guess who… Steven Joyce. The… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    7 days ago
  • C’mon Nick what’s the truth on the RMA
     “Nick Smith has got to fess up and tell us what is happening to his much vaunted RMA reform, Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods says.  “With just a day and a half to go before the polls open in Northland,… ...
    7 days ago
  • SSC salaries sink National’s spending spin
    Massive pay rises at the State Services Commission prove National’s claims of clamping down on spending in the public sector are simply fantasy, Labour’s State Services spokesman Kris Faafoi says. “Salaries in this one department are almost $70,000 more than… ...
    7 days ago
  • We can fix Christchurch and keep our assets
    The Christchurch City Council is seeking public feedback on its proposed 10 year plan for Council revenue and spending. This is probably one of the most significant 10 year plans ever to be written by a local council because of… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    7 days ago
  • Epidemic of serious assaults in our prisons
    Labour wants stab proof vests and pepper spray for all corrections officers to keep them safe from the epidemic of serious prison assaults that are occurring around the country’s jails, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “There have been five… ...
    7 days ago
  • Listen to the locals Hekia!
    Minister Hekia Parata needs to understand what consultation is, Port Hills MP Ruth Dyson says. “It means you have to listen to what people say in their submissions and then be able to demonstrate you have considered their views when… ...
    1 week ago
  • Thanking our caregivers
    Let’s celebrate and thank our caregivers. This week is caregivers’ week. It’s a chance to acknowledge the thousands of women, and occasional other person, who are caring for the elderly and disabled in our country. They hold people’s lives in… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Roundup: UN finds it “probably” causes cancer
    At last the UN has spoken out against the widely-used weedkiller Roundup. The UN’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has identified glyphosate, the principle ingredient in Roundup, as a probable carcinogen. They also include as probable carcinogens the insecticides… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • World water day: eight rivers in one day
    Our photo journey started by the Waioweka (also known as Waioeka) River which flows from Te Urewera to Opotiki, and is surrounded by beautiful forest. The water looked great! Kopeopeo Canal It contrasted greatly with the Kopeopeo Canal near Whakatane,… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • We all benefit when education meets everyone’s needs
    As Dyslexia week comes to a close,  Dyslexia NZ have reminded us that around 10% of our citizens are dyslexic and are entitled to better support. One of their strongest arguments is that failure to provide identification and support for… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • Big change starts small
    Today marks Race Relations Day in New Zealand. Race Relations Day coincides with the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.  The United Nations General Assembly chose this day as it marks the day in 1960 when 69 peaceful… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Israel, Palestine and the question of statehood
    The knife-edge election in Israel complicates the Middle East situation, even more than usual. The Prime Minister-elect, Binyamin Netanyahu, is moving to form a government. Netanyahu has indicated that, during his term, a Palestinian state would not be established. That… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Christchurch transport goes backwards
    The Green Party has a vision of a liveable, accessible Christchurch with a sense of identity and strong connected communities. Instead, 2013 census figures released by Statistics New Zealand reveal a fractured community, and tell a story of frustrated Christchurch commuters… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Super Fund should divest $140 million in high risk coal
    The Green Party is calling on the New Zealand Super Fund to divest their $140 million investment in coal companies that are vulnerable to becoming financially stranded according to a damning new report from Oxford University. The Smith School of… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Learn to count with Mark Osborne: 0 + 1 = ?
    The adage about the first casualty of war being truth is one that might often be applied to the political battle for hearts and minds, and of course votes. A rather unfortunate example of this has been arriving in the… ...
    GreensBy David Clendon MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Is it still a safety net when the holes are this big?
    Over the last few weeks I’ve been wondering how safe our income support system is for people, especially those with cognitive or learning disabilities. I’ve been trying to support a young man who was severely injured in a workplace accident… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Pasifika – protecting the Pacific needed now more than ever.
    Over the weekend thousands of Aucklanders flocked to celebrate our city’s diverse Pacific communities and cultures at the annual Pasifika festival and the Greens were there to join them. The Pasifika festival has been held every year for 23… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Sounds Stakeholders Seek a Sustainable Future
    It was heartening to see a large number of people who care about the Marlborough Sounds come together at the Marlborough Marine Futures’ forum in Picton on March 8. Fellow Green MP Steffan Browning, who lives in Marlborough, and I… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    3 weeks ago

Removed at the request of The Daily Blog.
Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere