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electoral systems

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Slightly smug about MMP

Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, March 4th, 2017 - 22 comments

2017 will be New Zealand’s eighth election under MMP, over 22 years. With very strong democratically elected governments appearing right across the world digging in for the long term, it’s useful to take a moment for MMP.

He Kawenata ki Waenga i Te Roopu MANA me Te Paati Māori

Written By: - Date published: 5:51 pm, February 20th, 2017 - 53 comments

The agreement between the Mana Movement and the Māori Party.

New Lynn should grab Greg Presland (damnit)

Written By: - Date published: 7:49 am, January 26th, 2017 - 103 comments

Greg Presland has been daft enough put his hand up for Labour candidate in New Lynn. That would be unfortunate for this site. But my advice for Labour and New Lynn is to grab him.  Media say that the leading candidates are him and Deborah Russell. Regardless of a her competence, a non-Auckland resident is a big ask in the era of MMP seats.

Online voting – the only choice for idiots

Written By: - Date published: 3:45 pm, October 9th, 2016 - 139 comments

As a  computer programmer and someone who has been involved in politics for decades, I’m always amazed at idiots like Malcolm Alexander of the LGNZ talking about something that they clearly don’t understand the technicalities of. Online voting is way too fragile to roll out. And anyway young voters are still going to not have their voting details at hand.

He isn’t a racist because his ex wife is from Singapore

Written By: - Date published: 9:08 am, September 30th, 2016 - 139 comments

Don Brash and a group of other predominately privileged white males are complaining that Maori may also be receiving some privilege.

Welsh Assembly.

Written By: - Date published: 11:12 am, May 12th, 2016 - 20 comments

A post to illustrate how fixed term parliaments work…off the back of some really woeful reportage.

Can We Trust Winston Peters?

Written By: - Date published: 11:03 am, March 20th, 2016 - 139 comments

Recent polling makes it clear that neither National or Labour can win power without the support of NZ First. So should the left be worried that Winston Peters will take his party back over to the blue team?

Labour on fire at will

Written By: - Date published: 7:37 am, July 18th, 2015 - 195 comments

It was reported yesterday that “Labour would retain 90-day trial periods, but make them fairer”. Despite last minute claims to the contrary on Twitter, I think that this is probably correct.

Fixed Term Parliaments

Written By: - Date published: 4:50 pm, May 26th, 2015 - 25 comments

An argument in favour of New Zealand adopting Fixed Term Parliaments Act legislation.

Replacing Russel

Written By: - Date published: 3:47 pm, April 19th, 2015 - 48 comments

The Greens have closed their nominations for male co-leader, and are running a number of provincial meetings. I went to the second one in Auckland. The biggest issue for the Greens now after cracking the 10% electoral support in 2011 is that they didn’t grow their vote in 2014, and remain well below polling.  Part of that is getting their public face right.

Have your say on our electoral system

Written By: - Date published: 3:22 pm, March 30th, 2015 - 25 comments

Make a submission about how our voting system should be improved.

By-elections are FPP

Written By: - Date published: 10:38 pm, March 28th, 2015 - 24 comments

Paddy Gower and Duncan Garner don’t understand our electoral system: “that’s MMP”. By-elections are pure First Past the Post – and that’s why Andrew Little didn’t need to do a deal, and Northland doesn’t stink like Epsom.

Northland is not a “dirty deal”

Written By: - Date published: 11:10 am, March 9th, 2015 - 125 comments

Despite Mr Gower’s excitable tendencies, Andrew Little’s comments that Northland voters may wish to vote to send a signal to the government is not a “dirty deal”.

NRT: MMP, electorates, and misaligned incentives

Written By: - Date published: 3:18 pm, September 22nd, 2014 - 165 comments

No Right Turn points out the underlying truth of voting in an MMP environment. For the party electorate seats don’t matter much. Running electorate only campaigns are not productive. He is wrong in ascribing them no value. They provide a base for campaigning.

What kind of government would National lead?

Written By: - Date published: 12:45 pm, September 8th, 2014 - 112 comments

The choice for NZ voters is becoming clearer in the last days of the 2014 election. The irony is that after John Key’s scaremongering, our options are a three-headed coalition of natural allies versus a five-or-six headed hydra of extremists and sworn enemies.

The bottomless Labour-Green divide

Written By: - Date published: 12:00 pm, August 11th, 2014 - 82 comments

It seems like every time Labour (or the Greens) announce a policy the first question (after “what does John Key think about this?”) is “But the Greens (or Labour) have a different policy to the one you just announced! How can you possibly work together in government?

What deal do we get?

Written By: - Date published: 9:38 am, July 30th, 2014 - 94 comments

Key’s promised to do his best to bring in ACT and UnitedHairdo. Last election this brought us the likes of Charter Schools – unmentioned by any party during the campaign. What policies will National foist upon us through this outsourcing deal this time?

Voters Dunne over in Ohariu

Written By: - Date published: 4:32 pm, July 29th, 2014 - 31 comments

Peter Dunne has been thrown the lifeline he has been begging for – National voters have been given the nod by Key to keep him on. One has to ask why would they bother – I can’t see him going back as a Minister after so many stuff ups and a resignation that leaves too many questions unanswered. Ohariu has  a much better option in Labour’s Ginny Andersen – if she’d been there a truly independent Parliament would have delivered mothers 26 weeks parental leave for example. Dunne supported it initially but backed down when it came to the crunch.

Male, Pale and Stale

Written By: - Date published: 4:14 pm, July 28th, 2014 - 121 comments

It’s the National Party list!

Polity: Bye bye, Colin

Written By: - Date published: 10:43 am, July 28th, 2014 - 18 comments

National has all-but confirmed today that there no deal for Colin Craig in East Coast Bays, or for any other Conservative. This was the right thing for them to do, for one simple reason. This decision came down to simple maths. If Key thought the Conservatives could muster double the votes that a decision to back the Conservatives would cost National in the centre-ground, then he should do the deal. If not, he should not. All the stuff about Winston running was a bit of a late sideshow, as the decision had likely already been made.

NZ First conference – the kingmakers?

Written By: - Date published: 4:48 pm, July 15th, 2014 - 50 comments

It looks like I’ll be able to head to the NZ First conference at Alexandra Park racecourse on the weekend as media. This election the position of NZ First party members is probably going to be crucial for any coalition that forms. In this rather long post I explain my (and other peoples) thinking on possible coalition results for National after the election. They aren’t good because they really depend on a political group that National has been denigrating for quite a while.

Polity: Armstrong on Labour, turnout, MMP

Written By: - Date published: 11:36 am, July 15th, 2014 - 28 comments

Over the weekend John Armstrong had a column about youth voter turnout in the upcoming election. Much of the material was familiar – young people don’t vote so much – nobody talks their language, yo! – parties are Trying Very Hard, but they are also old fuddy-duddies – and so on. He then blamed much of it on a perceived trend toward centrist politics under MPP. But runs directly-if-casually contrary to at least two large research programmes in political science.

Polity: Nats’ sanctimony on tactical voting

Written By: - Date published: 5:56 pm, June 16th, 2014 - 34 comments

Poor David Farrar, he can’t write a post without getting accused of hypocrisy these days. It must have to do with that rancid stench he emanates whenever he gets on his high horse to lecture others. There’s only one political leader out there saying: “Tactical voting is a good idea for my supporters, and long may it continue, but it is a dreadful crime by others.” That leader is John Key.

Polity: Internet Party: “Ban coat-tailing.”

Written By: - Date published: 1:00 pm, June 16th, 2014 - 26 comments

New Zealand’s democracy would better if we had a lower threshold and no coat-tailing shenanigans. Even without coat-tailing there remains the potential for blocs to make tiny gains by way of electorate deals, but it would ensure the end of manifest unfairnesses like the relative ACT / NZ First results in 2008. The reality is that National had the opportunity to do the right thing, and  chose not to for venal self-interested reasons, and are now crying like spoiled brats because their opponents are using it too.

Polity: Even non-coattail electorate deals can create unfair advantage

Written By: - Date published: 10:15 am, June 12th, 2014 - 21 comments

What of the deals with true minnow parties, like United Future or ACT? If a party is only polling enough to get one seat anyway, does it matter to Parliament overall whether the small party wins an electorate or its client big party wins it instead? The answer is “possibly, yes,” because we can never be sure which party ultimately loses a seat to accommodate the new minnow party in a 120 seat parliament. Say a Epsom deal as a test case

David Farrar badly needs night school

Written By: - Date published: 3:08 pm, June 6th, 2014 - 45 comments

In Kiwiblog this morning, David Farrar appeared to be running a 9th floor pre-pump for John Banks to resign. But I was rather incredulous when I read this “I don’t think the Judge has actually helped the Government by delaying the decision on entering a conviction. Now that it is the Judge’s role to care about the impact on the Government.”. Huh? DPF badly needs to go back to do some adult education. Perhaps to night school?

Pagani should read up on Labour policy

Written By: - Date published: 5:26 pm, June 1st, 2014 - 100 comments

On Q&A this morning Josie Pagani criticised Labour for not trying to get the MMP coat tail rule removed. The only  problem is that Labour already has a bill ready to do just this. Before criticising the Party for inaction she should learn what the party is actually doing.

The coat-tail rule and democracy

Written By: - Date published: 5:00 pm, May 30th, 2014 - 136 comments

Allow me to fly in the face of an accepted truth in NZ politics by saying this: there is absolutely nothing undemocratic about the MMP “coat-tail” rules.

Russel & Metiria – or Winston?

Written By: - Date published: 9:30 am, April 23rd, 2014 - 133 comments

Yesterday Rob Salmond commented on Labour’s two likeliest options for coalition partners after the 2014 election, and had some interesting things to say about New Zealand First and the Greens. But I must beg to differ on the suggested advantages of offering a plum deal to Winston and expecting Russel and Metiria to play along […]

Polity: Boundary changes

Written By: - Date published: 5:16 pm, April 18th, 2014 - 20 comments

Rob Salmond’s take on the boundary changes announced last week. In a MMP election system the actual electoral boundaries usually only really matter to a few MPs. It isn’t likely to make much of a difference unless National manages to have a cup of tea with a party with enough electoral muscle to get more than a single MP into the house and an electorate’s voters think this matters. After the John Banks/Act debacle who’d be moronic enough to think that electorate seats in a list do matter? Apart from our silly first-past-the-post stand-in-man for David Farrar of course…

Labour and the Greens

Written By: - Date published: 1:42 pm, April 11th, 2014 - 162 comments

It’s not that complicated.

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