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Have your say on our electoral system

Written By: - Date published: 3:22 pm, March 30th, 2015 - 25 comments
Categories: democratic participation, election 2014, MMP - Tags:

You have until 5pm tomorrow (Tuesday 31 March) to make a submission to the Justice and Electoral Select Committee on their post-election review of our voting system.

ActionStation have provided an online submission form and compiled some ideas:

  • Civics education
  • Compulsory voting (with a “no confidence” option?)
  • Clarity about social media rules, third-party promoter rules and ballot rules
  • Lowering the voting age to 16
  • Making Election Day a national holiday
  • Online voting
  • Tax incentives for voting

What do you reckon?

25 comments on “Have your say on our electoral system”

  1. Ovid 1

    I’d be keen for STV for electorate MPs, but that’s probably too dramatic a change for this kind of review.

  2. aerobubble 2

    Coverage of the bielection include a clip of the election count, yet the clip was of electionworkers with a pad of voters. Sure i could have been mistaken but i heard votees were sometimes machine counted. Should tv then do a story on following the votes so civilians get a picture of what takes places.

    I think any party gets extra seats before the five percent cutoff, should mean all parties with a larger vote get into parliament. The joke is Key got 61 by crimping off the Conservatives.

  3. Jeeves 3

    Do away with List MPs, and replace them with proxy votes held by the chief whip.

    Nobody votes for a list MP- but for the party- and the idea that they can cross the floor with our party votes is surely an oversight by the constutional lawyers who wrote up MMP.

    For votes where the whip wants the party line- confidence/supply etc- nothing would change- s/he could just deposit the proxy slips in the ballot box-

    For votes of conscience- well I’m not really interested in the conscience of a list MP.

    • weka 3.1

      The Green Party members vote for the list. I’m happy with that, both conscience votes and crossing the floor or not.

      Also, Marilyn Waring (as either a list or electorate MP)

    • DoublePlusGood 3.2

      I voted against a party on the basis of the quality of people they had on the borderline of getting in or not on the list, so it’s a consideration for someone, at least.

    • Lanthanide 3.3

      “Nobody votes for a list MP- but for the party”

      This is obviously not true.

      The only people who get to vote for John Key are those who are in the Helensville electorate. Everyone else has to vote for National if they want John Key to be Prime Minister.

      Or are you suggesting that the National Party would have achieved exactly the same electoral outcome in 2014 if Steven Joyce was the leader? Or if Winston Peters was the leader?

      I doubt that is what you are suggesting; therefore, people most assuredly *do* vote for a party based on who is on the party list.

      • Jeeves 3.3.1

        Not sure that you are correct there- which list MP did you vote for?
        As far as I recall that wasn’t an option- it may have been a consequence of voting for a party if you knew who was on the list.

        “The only people who get to vote for John Key are those who are in the Helensville electorate. Everyone else has to vote for National if they want John Key to be Prime Minister.”

        That’s right- but which bit did I get wrong?

    • ghostwhowalksnz 3.4

      Mps still do a lot of electorate work, list or otherwise.

      Then there is the backroom work in parliament. Its seen as the best training ground for more important work.

  4. Jeeves 4

    Also- anyone who votes gets $30.

    Electronic voting using IRD number as unique identifier.

    • Sanctuary 4.1

      I agree – paying people to vote would directly impact the biggest group that currently doesn’t vote – the poor and the young. At say $20 per voter a couple will get $40 – which is a lot of money for some people, and most 18 year old teens still value $20.

      And for people who think they don’t need the money, give them the option of making their $20 a donation to a political party instead.

      • felix 4.1.1

        That would go some way toward the medicinal post-tactical voting drinks.

      • Ron 4.1.2

        Why not run a lotto with a major payout as first prize. Tickets would be your voting papers.
        In face considering how lotto seems available in every little town in NZ what about using the Lotto network as a voting network. You could vote on a card like the lotto card and it could then be scanned and the vote recorded. You would be able to vote at any Lotto outlet.
        Considering the security attached to the lotto system it would probably be suitable to run an election. Only downside would be that on election day the Lotto system would have to be dedicated to election.

        blockquote>I agree – paying people to vote would directly impact the biggest group that currently doesn’t vote – the poor and the young. At say $20 per voter a couple will get $40 – which is a lot of money for some people, and most 18 year old teens still value $20.

  5. Tarquin 5

    I like the idea of STV. Less chance of wasting your vote, but like Ovid says it’s probably a bit too much for now.

    • DoublePlusGood 5.1

      STV is pretty complex, but you can stick with single-MP seats and have a simple preferential vote, as for the Wellington mayor, for instance. That’s fairly easy to prepare material to explain to voters, and it’s not altogether that much slower to count.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 5.2

      Thats not true.

      I dont get where you get the idea you are wasting your vote ? It only serves to give the leading candidate ( usually) at least 50% +1 of votes cast.

      Your vote is still wasted if you didnt vote for them. And if they recieved 45% 1st vote, only say 10% of other votes would be distributed to get a majority. The other votes are still ‘wasted’.
      Say if there were only 3 candidates, but none got 50% then anybody who voted for the last candidate would get a second choice. This is the example you are thinking of
      Mostly there are more candidates

      What happens in reality is like Australia with preference whispers, they run complicated deals so that candidates with tiny 1st votes ( 1%) end up getting elected.

    • Steve Withers 5.3

      STV would limit the scope of your vote. MMP lets you cast a nation-wide party vote. STV puts you back into a defined local electorate with no influence outside it. I’ve also voted in STV elections for the DHB…and found that ranking a bunch of people I don’t know much about isn’t a pleasant experience. The rest of my family spared themselves the hassle by just copying my vote (postal ballot).

      It provided an important insight into why – for practical reasons – STV hasn’t got a patch on MMP.

  6. Atiawa 6

    I favor compulsion along with a “steamy” referendum question.
    It’s not difficult to invalidate your voting paper if you dislike them all, and why shouldn’t the electorate have a greater voice on the sale of liquor or decriminalisation of a quantity of pot for personal use for example?
    Election day should be a festive occasion, where the only solemn place is the polling booth. Everything else goes as they have in Aussie. Just no sledging.

  7. les 7

    preference voting…1st pick,2nd pick,3rd pick.just to confuse matters.

  8. Michael 8

    How about a Labour Party? I know we used to have one but it went away some time after 1984 and hasn’t been seen since.

  9. miravox 9

    Civics education based on an understanding of how political decision-making is done and engaged citizenship.

    Compulsory voting (if only to make spoiling a ballot paper an obvious protest)

    Please no STV – although a ‘fair’ system it can get far too complex for people with minimal interest in the political system.

  10. Kakawahanui 10

    Thank you for this post – I have been lurking at this site for a while now enjoying different posts and views but this one is so important that I have made a submission at the site provided in the post and thought I would share with you the bullet points that I put in my submission.

    * Compulsory Voting for everyone
    * Reduce the number of Politicians by half
    * All referendum are to be done at a general election only and are binding
    * Drastically LOWER the number of list MPs
    * Keep 18 as the minimum age to vote
    * Do away with the Maori seats (I am on the Maori Roll and always have been)

    The Maori seats were initially introduced in the 1800s to stop the political impact of the white settler government being voted out by the eligible Maori voters who outnumbered the eligible settler voters. Fastforward to now, I doubt very much if the Maori Seats will ever be done away with because again of the political impact to the parties – National would probably loose alot of its seats in the rural areas where there are many Maori voters who are not on the general roll and Labour would not want to pass this either as they could see that there could be the potential for a political backlash from Maori coming onto the general roll.

    • Steve Withers 10.1

      Good lord. What a horrendous submission.

      You want to gut your own representation.

      Nuts in a can.

  11. Sable 11

    The real problem here is the same one seen everywhere. A dominance of right wing parties backed by the dishonest MSM and so called left parties who are really right wing parties masquerading as something they are not.

    Its little wonder people can’t see the point in the whole charade of a process. I’m politically motivated and even I feel its a waste of time to some degree.

    The real question is what happens when enough people no longer see these clowns as legitimate governing entities.

  12. Steve Withers 12

    The government ignored the last review…..including things like lowering the threshold and removing the coat tail rule.

    Consultation is clearly a sham with this government.

  13. Steve Withers 13

    I just made a submission asking for:

    – a larger parliament. At least 140 MPs.
    – restore the 50:50 ratio of list to local MPs (I’d prefer local seats to be abolished – full of party hacks – but didn’t include this).
    – Keep the term at 3 years.
    – make voting compulsory.
    – get rid of the coat tail rule.
    – lower the threshold to 3%.

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