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MMP review

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 am, August 13th, 2012 - 87 comments
Categories: electoral systems, MMP - Tags: , ,

As has been widely reported the Electoral Commission’s proposal paper on its review of MMP is expected to be released this morning. The proposals are non-binding, but will carry a lot of weight. There will be a further round of public consultation before a final report in October.

The review website is here. We’ll update with links as the proposals (and reaction) are released.

Updates: Here’s the Commission’s press release.

Coverage from The Herald:

The proposals being suggested by the Electoral Commission:

The one electorate seat threshold for the allocation of list seats should be abolished

The party vote threshold for the allocation of list seats should be lowered to 4 per cent

Candidates should continue to be able to stand both in an electorate and on a party list at general elections

List MPs should continue to be able to contest by-elections

Political parties should continue to have responsibility for the composition and ranking of candidates on their party lists

The provision for overhang seats should be abolished for parties that do not cross the party vote threshold

It recommended identifying 76 electorate seats (in a 120-seat Parliament) as the point at which the risk of proportionality from insufficient seats becomes unacceptable. New Zealand is like to reach that point before 2006.

The gradual erosion of lists seats relative to electorate seats risks undermining the diversity of representation in Parliament – recommended Parliament should review.

Andrew Geddis points out in comments that 2006 in the second to last paragraphs should read 2026.

And Stuff:

Political parties would have a lower threshold to enter Parliament under proposed changes.

The Electoral Commission was conducting a review of the MMP electoral system following the referendum last year.

Chief Electoral Officer Robert Peden today announced the proposals for change.

They included lowering the threshold from 5 to 3 – 4 per cent of the party vote, with 4 per cent being preferable.

The commission also “strongly recommended” the one seat threshold, a “coat-tails” rule which allowed parties that won one electorate seat to bring other MPs into Parliament, be abolished.

That would mean parties would have to get above the 4 per cent threshold to get more MPs into Parliament.

The ACT Party had five MPs following the 2008 election on the back of then leader Rodney Hide’s Epsom seat.

That was the “single biggest concern” people had about the MMP system, Peden said.

87 comments on “MMP review”

  1. Tracey 1

    I thought we had more important issues than reviewing a system that’s working ok????

    • lprent 1.1

      There are a few tweaks that’d be worth looking at. IMO the threshold needs a lowering to the Royal Commission’s preferred level of 4% (or even 3%) because 5% is just too high. I think having a straight proportional system is daft based on what has shown up to date – single person parties are not effective. Similarly having a single electorate seat dragging in list candidates needs to be removed for the same reason.

      • Lanthanide 1.1.1

        “I think having a straight proportional system is daft based on what has shown up to date – single person parties are not effective.”

        Which is true and I agree, but it also has a chilling effect.

        It means if you can’t reach the threshold, you might as well not even bother starting a political party. We currently have an escape clause in the form of electorate seats, but as we’ve seen that basically requires special circumstances for a minor party previously not in parliament to win one (Greens in 1999) and even Colin Craig couldn’t tip the seat his way despite getting some 3% of the party vote.

        Really it’s interesting that Aoeteroa Legalise Cannabis has stuck around this long fighting such an uphill battle. A 4% threshold will barely make a difference for them, although a 3% one could start to be interesting.

        • RJL

          Really it’s interesting that Aoeteroa Legalise Cannabis has stuck around this long fighting such an uphill battle.

          Ah…they’re all stoned, so might not have thought it through properly.

        • Draco T Bastard

          There’s actually a few parties that have been around for a long time and not had any electoral success.

      • Daniel 1.1.2

        Sorry lprent, I’m a bit slow on the uptake. Could you walk me through this again?

        The threshold shouldn’t be too low, because single member parties aren’t effective – and parties with a single member should be prevented from becoming multi-member parties – “for the same reason”?

        • Pete George

          Well spotted.

          The larger parties see small parties as pesky nuisances so will do what they can to minimise the chance of them succeeding. One person having any power is terrible – unless it’s their own party leader, with greatly magnified power…

        • lprent

          Easy Daniel… MMP is a system designed to foster country or at least regional parties with a broad based support and a long lived party structure. This requires something beyond a guru effect.

          A MP winning in a single electorate can do so by local connections – there are innumerable examples of such personal fiefdoms both in the past and currently. It doesn’t particularly require a widespread constituency and invariably doesn’t acquire one – usually they lose them through lack of a widespread appeal.

          A party that is widespread but is unable to garner enough support to get enough MP’s who will work together will usually fail as well. Such fragile coalition parties all apart far too easily.

          In NZ we have had three parties outside of the two existing main parties form on a countrywide basis overthe last couple of decades. Greens with their wide and slowly growing constituency. NZF with theirs on issue fed support. And Act with their wealthy base.

          Sure the greens and NZF had electorate seats – but their constituency was wider than a seat and always larger than 1.2% or even 2.4%. The same cannot be said of mostof the parties that came and went.

          The Maori party had a intensely regional basis that made it a purely electoral party. The alliance was a fragile beast that did what was expected and disintegrated with competing gurus. UF dropped pretty well immediately to guru, as did the JA party, and so I expect will the Mana party. In each case they detract from building long lived more vibrant political participants.

          But the threshold of 5% has proved to nearly kill nascent political parties. To ensure their voters get an effective representation once we need to lower it. To reduce guru parties trying to pretend to be be widespread it has to be made that winning an electoral seat just means you won an electoral seat without all of this presence of having a viale party.

          • Daniel

            Ah, your “same reason” was ineffectiveness, not the ineffectiveness of single member parties per se.

            • lprent

              Whatever they achieve politically will last less than a decade. That is damn near definition of being completely politically ineffective.

              It may titillate the participant ego’s, provide a few media sales, provide the odd job or unemployment, and may even make a few people a fortune or bankruptcy. However it doesn’t change anything in society a decade later. That makes them just a waste of political effort. Generally they’d have been better off learning to work with others to achieve common goals and to ensure a political structure stays in place after the founders depart to pursue those common goals.

              It is pretty clear that this is what has successfully happened inside the Greens. It is hell of an achievement. It will be interesting to see if NZF can survive the departure of Peters…

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.3

        I think having a straight proportional system is daft based on what has shown up to date – single person parties are not effective.

        Ah, yes, because people having the representation that they desire rather than the representation that others desire for them is just so terrible.


        • lprent

          Because people having freely available heroin that they desire rather than the restrictions that others desire for them is just so terrible.

          Because people having freely available weapons that they desire rather than the jail that others desire for them is just so terrible.

          That I crave fish and chips doesn’t mean that it is a particularly good choice for either myself or the country.


          Daft ‘argument’. Politics is a balancing act between individuals and society, between generations, between everything else. What you haven’t shown is why such a highly proportional system (aka instant gratification system) would be of any use to society over time and to those unable to vote. All you are arguing is that it would satisfy people now…

          There is a hell of a lot of history to show that particular ethos seldom works for a society. It usually winds up with a bread and circus system of distraction. Which is how we eventually would up with a representational system.

      • Single person parties are largely a result of electorate seats coupled with a high threshold. In a strictly proportional system without electorates, new parties that succeed are more likely to do so well above 1 seat and into 3 or 4, presuming there is a threshold higher than the default .4%. The Maori Party would likely have debuted with 2 or 3 seats under a proportional system.

        Really most of the problems with MMP come from having electorate seats at all, (and the rest come from having a high threshold) and we should just switch to some flavour of open list. All of the most despised or infamous MPs have been in safe electorate seats, whichever system we were under at the time. While people like the illusion of choice that occasional close electorate races provide, there’s no guarantee that you’ll actually be in a close seat- and if you are, there’s no guarantee you’ll even like either of the candidates, so the choice is precisely that- an illusion.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Yep, if we were being rational about this, we’d dump the electorate seats altogether. Concerned about local representation? Well, that’s what local government is for.

          • Matthew Whitehead

            We could even have councils allowed to appoint the chair on select committees from their own members on local issues if we wanted better local representation in Parliament.

    • jaymam 1.2

      “reviewing a system that’s working ok”
      But Banks got in only because National supporters thought he would drag in some more partners that would support National. Few people voted for ACT anywhere let alone in Epsom. We need to get rid of rorts like that.

      • OneTrack 1.2.1

        Not to forget Wigram

        • Colonial Viper

          Nice irrelevant example buddy, given that hundreds of thousands of people voted Labour outside Wigram and many in Wigram

          • OneTrack

            But somehow you still know what I mean. And who was the Labour candidate for Wigram, I can’t quite remember…

            But, I know, it’s only wrong when the other guys do it.

            • Draco T Bastard

              Got proof that Labour made a deal with Jim Anderton for Wigram?

              • There were a lot of people inside labour who were upset they DIDN’T do that, so I doubt they’d have been concerned if it was a stitch-up.

                Also, Labour deliberately ran a candidate that spoiled the vote when Laila Harre tried to get an electorate for the Alliance post-implosion.

              • lprent

                I think we just got tired of trying to take the damn seat fom the old bugger. It started getting treated like a National seat held by an experienced and well liked politician. A good place to send a prospective politician in to get defeated so they took care of a winnable seat.

    • 1) People wanted a review. They deserved to get it and to have their say, even if the system WERE working okay, which it manifestly is not. *cough peter dunne, cough overhang seats, cough winston peters, cough new zealand first not getting in while Act did, cough John Banks getting into parliament ever*

      2) Even if the system were working okay, that’s no excuse not to try to improve it further.

  2. Tracey 2

    I agree it’s a worthy debate (I was being facetious in relation to the gay marriage focus)and I would rather the MPs focused on this (except it will be smoke and mirrors in an attempt to force a pseudo FPP system back on us). They could save time by voting for the gay marriage bill, and move onto more important issues.

  3. prism 3

    Thanks for good post it’s so helpful when trying to keep up with one’s duties on the political front eg taking part in referenda and trying to make sensible suggestions.

    I wonder if keeping to 4% would be better than 3%. I don;t want parties with negative purposes getting in to parliament and holding our democracy to ransom and fear that 3% might make that too easy. It’s bad enough with what we have suffered from ACT helping us to step change backwards, and the man for all seasons who doesn’t add anything of value going forward. Yet a new party that has value could easier get established and get enough votes for a place at 4% instead of 5%.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      A party getting over 3% will likely have 4 MPs in Parliament. That alone will provide some internal moderation. And at 3% more than one in 30 people in your town will have voted for them so its fair that they get their voice in Parliament.

      Having said that I wouldn’t want the threshold to go much lower than that.

      • Depends on the amount of below-threshold party votes. It could get up to five MPs. Honestly though, any party that wins at least 1/120th of the total national vote has earned its list seats, regardless of whether they are extremists.

        Hell, actually having some extremists would be valuable to our system anyway. It would prevent the survivalists from becoming more dangerous and shooting someone, (while encouraging genuine discussion of some of the more threatening characteristics of right-wing extremism) and it would make people realise that being “extreme” on the left-wing side just means you want to ask people not to eat meat and build a good and fair society. OH NOES.

        The only potential downside of outright abolishing the threshold is that at any amount below about .6-7%, (abolishing the threshold effectively lowers it to .4% or so given the way seats are allocated in NZ) it becomes in the range of possibility for joke parties to enter parliament. While I imagine in the long-run this would be self-correcting, it might shock confidence in the system to some degree and distract from real political debate, so I’d rather not risk it.

        Prism: Historically only parties with an existing electorate have ever beaten 4%. The only significantly successful new party in MMP has been the Maori Party, who got about 2%, and even then we knew they would win multiple electorates. That would suggest that even a threshold of 3% is a very significant barrier to entry to new parties in the absence of electorates negating the party threshold, and that lowering the threshold won’t start to get generous until you hit at least 1.5%.

        • Andrew Geddis

          “Historically only parties with an existing electorate have ever beaten 4%.”

          Not quite true – the Greens in 1999 won an electorate at the same election as they got 5% of the vote (in 1999, the first they contested as a stand-alone entity). But you could say they are the exception that proves the rule, given that they had existing MPs (albeit elected from the Alliance list).

        • prism

          Matthew Whitehead 3.1.1
          Your opinion about not having at least a 3% barrier for small wild-eyed parties sounds too similar to what I’m noticing, particularly now, about NZ attitudes. A desire not to confront reality and plan for possible problems, a lack of careful and precautionary attitudes, a shying away from taking responsibility for bad actions, a let it happen – she’ll be right approach and a lack of adult and thoughtful understanding of human behaviour and systems.

          A ‘concrete’ but possibly not reinforcing example comes to mind immediately, because it is currently being examined with sober consideration of its failure, is the enquiry into the CCTV building in Christchurch. A lack of probity occurred throughout its life, resulting in human deaths.

          We cannot afford to let the destroyers rampage round parliament. Already it creaks and groans from the incumbent lot, we don’t want to weaken it further with the far-outs who will come given half a chance. I always liked the McGillicuddy Serious Party but the others who would appear wouldn’t be at all funny for those of us who want a thoughtful, humane, practical and reasonably liberal society with MPs to match.

          Sorry about being so ‘definite’.

    • Daniel 3.2

      I don’t want parties with “negative purposes” in parliament either, but (in my opinion) there are already a couple of these parties in parliament, and one of them happens to be the largest party, so what does size have to do with it?

      • felix 3.2.1

        I agree.

        Anyone who says lowering the threshold will let lunatics into parliament obviously hasn’t looked very closely at who’s in parliament now.

        • prism

          We have to make a last stand against the barbarians. Don’t drop the threshhold too low – next they’ll be coming in and drinking blood out of their helmets and messing up the nice sheepskin covered seats. They still have their seats covered in sheepskim don’t they? I haven’t looked lately.

          Actually to digress further, or is it regression, I was reading an old Listener and Dr Sprott pointed out that many NZ sheepskins used (and he was worrying of course about babies) are treated with arsenic. This produces a toxic gas called trimethylarsine that is one of the most toxic compounds known. Now the odd way that the pollies behave in parliament might relate to a whiff of eau de… in the air, just enough to send a grown man or woman crazy.

          • felix

            A very astute observation, prism 😀

            Do you know if that arsenic treatment still occurs today? The Dog sleeps on a sheepie around here and she’s barking mad.

            • prism

              I’ll have a look-see about the sheepskins. The Dog I’m sure is delightful. Unlike pollies when they start yapping and go off their heads.

              I don’t know if you ever read the list of things that you can learn from a dog. Very instructional and amusing. I got it from a Hubbards cereal packet. I’ll try and remember to put it in the Friday social thread sometime soon.

  4. gobsmacked 4

    This is not only an improvement to our democracy (though 4% is too high IMO), it is also another opportunity for the opposition.

    Statement by David Shearer:

    “Democracy is the voice of the people, and the people have chosen MMP. At the referendum last year, MMP got far more votes than any political party, far more votes than the government.

    Now we must listen to the people again. It is clear that the one-seat rule has fallen into disrepute, and it must go. So yet again, John Key must choose between doing what is right, and saving John Banks. I support the independent Electoral Commission recommendation, to put an end to cynical manipulation and cups of tea. I have made it clear where I stand – now the Prime Minister must do the same. ”

    (OK, that’s not really a statement by Shearer, that’s one by me, and if he comes up with a better one I’ll be delighted. Surprise me, David).

  5. Ed 5

    I would be interested in what effect the following proposal would have had at the last few elections:
    “The provision for overhang seats should be abolished for parties that do not cross the party vote threshold.”

  6. It recommended identifying 76 electorate seats (in a 120-seat Parliament) as the point at which the risk of proportionality from insufficient seats becomes unacceptable. New Zealand is like to reach that point before 2006.

    We likely reached that point 6 years ago?

    Should read “2026”.

  7. gobsmacked 7

    Banks wins “chutzpah of the day” award …

    Stuff reports …

    ACT leader John Banks says he does not support the changes, particularly the one seat threshold which has been a lifeline for his party.

    “The purpose of the one seat threshold was to ensure that political parties with concentrated support got representation in Parliament,” he said. …

    “Those who want to gerrymander with the electoral system, do so because they lost the last election.”

    War is peace, freedom is slavery, etc.

    Still, good on him for fighting his corner. Is Key still in it? If not, there’s trouble brewing.

    • felix 7.1

      Does Hooten know what’s going on in National? Cos he strongly indicated this morning that National has one of their own lined up for Ohariu and implied that Epsom might be reclaimed to.

      • Te Reo Putake 7.1.1

        Just listening to it now. Hooten even names the Nat who’ll be standing in Ohariu (and helping Labour win the seat, hopefully). Yesterday, on Q plus A he was emphatic that UF and ACT were goneburgers. He’s either flying a kite or he knows, and is allowed to say publicly, that the Nat strategy has switched to getting a Nat/NZF/Conservative Government elected.

    • Lanthanide 7.2

      “ACT leader John Banks says he does not support the changes, particularly the one seat threshold which has been a lifeline for his party.”

      Which is funny, because in the election debates when they asked Brash about this, he said the provision should be removed. He acknowledged that this meant ACT would likely end up with fewer MPs than otherwise; especially as polling at that point showed it wasn’t anywhere near the 10-15% Brash had promised it would be.

    • To those who ACTUALLY understand the use of the word gerrymander, it’s rather ironic to see it being used by a beneficiary of our useless and harmful electorate seats.

  8. John Banks reaction was predictable as he realises that the shirt tail may well fall off,
    what on earth will he grab onto,the wink,wink,nod,nod,cuppa tea will have
    all gone cold,he knows full well he has gotten away with quite a bit while he remains
    in the halls of power,but that will change if his mate key allows the changes.
    Ride on the changes can’t come soon enough.

  9. chris73 9

    I like the changes but one idea I’d like to see is MPs or those wanting to become one choose to stand or go on the list but not both

    Admittedly I’m not sure how it would work in real life but to me theres something wrong when an MP gets turfed out of an electorate only to return on the list.

    • gobsmacked 9.1

      A lot of people feel like that Chris, but it simply can’t work.

      Suppose you’re a National candidate, in a Labour seat, and National do well overall, and you pick up the seat (like Christchurch Central).

      Let’s say the tide turns and you’re in danger of losing the seat. But you’ve become a Minister, a good one (according to your team, obviously). And the party really wants you back in Parliament.

      You would have every incentive to resign your seat before the election.

      Alternatively, you wouldn’t stand in Christchurch Central in the first place, because you know it isn’t “safe”. You’d look for a safe seat. So the voters of Chch-Cent would only have a National no-hoper to vote for. Who else would risk it?

      The “unintended consequence” would be the best Labour and National candidates staying out of marginals altogether, and a strange kind of first/second class divide between MPs.

      Plus of course minor parties would avoid electorates completely!

    • Pascal's bookie 9.2

      Hi Chris,

      As well as the example GS talks about, I think about my elecorate, Rongotai in the eastern suburbs of Wellington.

      It’s pretty diverse, there’s areas being gentrified, and areas with some serious money with good views out over the harbour. But it’s a safe Labour seat with a lot of ‘working’ people.

      Chris Finlayson stands here for the National Party, and Russ Norman for the Greens. Neither of them won the seat last time around, so does that mean my electorate has ‘thrown them out of parliament’?

      Nope. All that happened is that they lost to King in a FPP race. King won the race with just under 50% of the vote. So there are a lot of people, a slim majority in fact, who didn’t vote for her; 7000 voted for norman, and 9000 voted for Finlayson. They didn’t vote for those guys to be out of parliament.

      And then there’s the list vote. About 9000 voted for the Greens and about 12000 voted for the Nats. Were those numbers swelled by the candidates on offer here? Could well have been.

    • Also consider that this would mean that most seats would be a straight-up race between Labour and National, possibly with occasional no-name Green candidates in high-profile electorates for them, and the odd micro-party candidate in a safe seat. Everywhere else small parties would not want to risk their most talented MPs in races that are likely to be won by Labour or National, so in the name of “being able to chuck an MP out”, you’d actually reduce your choice to being stuck with whoever your least-hated option of the labour MP and national MP would be.

      A far better way to handle things would be to allow the public some level of control over party lists. That way, electorates could always choose to vote in somebody they like, but if they’re not actually popular with the locals, party members could kick them so far down the list that they won’t see a seat in parliament unless there’s an outright one-party government.

    • OneTrack 9.4

      Chris, I don’t get it. Who do you want to “turf out” and why? How would you feel, if in,say, 2005, the good people of Mt Roskill had voted Helen Clark out. The rest of the country would have been voting for a government with her in charge and, suddenly, because enough voters in a single electorate had had a brain fade, she would have been out ie not in parliament at all. Would you think the rest of the Labour voters across NZ would agree that that was a good result?

      • felix 9.4.1

        “How would you feel, if in,say, 2005, the good people of Mt Roskill had voted Helen Clark out.”

        I imagine the electoral authorities would have something to say about that as they’d have been voting in the wrong electorate.

      • chris73 9.4.2

        A reply to all the above comments:

        Yeah thats probably why it wouldn’t work in real life but it just doesn’t seem “right” (for lack of a better word) that someone the electorate doesn’t want in parliament is voted out but gets back in on the list.

        For example an MP that neglects the electorate but sucks up to the list makers (this is not a comment directed at any particular party) can be voted out yet because of the greasing goes in on the list.

        Still you can’t have a perfect system I suppose

        • felix

          “someone the electorate doesn’t want in parliament is voted out but gets back in on the list.”

          I understand the sentiment, but I’m not sure it’s just an MMP or a list thing. We’ve always had the worst kinds of wallies from both of the big parties installed in safe seats around the country, and there’s bugger all the electorate can do to get rid of them if the party wants them there.

          Same kind of thing I reckon.

  10. bad12 10

    I see less democracy in the proposed changes, and, while the ‘Epsom chimps tea-party’ is being waved about by the Electoral Commission as a reason it is not the results of one previous election that should judge how elections into the future will be fought,

    Removing the 1 seat rule, simply makes the Parliament even less representative, my view is that 1% of the Party vote should give 1 seat in the party,

    Anything else is simply serving the Party’s that are now in the Parliament at the expense of any new Party that could be formed in the future,

    My view is sure, remove the 1 electoral seat brings in the party % priveledge,but, at the same time begin a sinking lid policy on the Party vote where next election the requirement for seats in the Parliament is 4% of the party vote and the election following 3% and so on down to 1%=1 seat,

    Would i like to see the Lizard Loony Party of Planet Lazarus gain a % and a seat, well not really, BUT, should there be a chance say of the Legalize Marijuana Party to gain a seat with 1% of the Party vote i would have to say yeah and i would consider voting for such a party,

    The proposal by the Electoral Commission is for less Democracy not more, even at 4% there can be no NEW Party entering the Parliament except highly organized and well monied religious organizations or breakaway Party’s coming from existing Parliamentary Partys…

  11. Sukie damson 11

    “[The electorate] eject electoral stunts”. —– Peter Dunne tv3 tonight.

    Here’s hoping, you stunt.

  12. bad12 12

    Larffffs, my view above looks a little garbled, and heres me doesn’t do drink nor drugs’

    The view is sure remove the electoral seat priveledge, but once you allow the % of vote to be stalled at 4% befor seats can be won then that is LESS democracy not more,

    My view 1% = 1 seat in the Parliament, anything else is simply LESS democracy protecting the priveledge of the Party’s already present in the Parliament,

    I see reference made to Joke Party’s being able to enter the Parliament should the % required be lowered, my my, there’s plenty out in the world who think the whole process is a joke so why not,

    The Anarchist, the Anti-christ, the Bad Joke, the Beneficiary, why should such political party’s be disbarred from the Parliament, because we don’t like the way they dress perhaps???

    1% = 1 seat, that’s TRUE Democracy, anything else is just the usual rip-off…

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      3% is pretty good.

      1% is too low. If you can’t figure out a coherant political message to convince more than 1 in 100 of your fellow citizens to vote for you then go away, sort it out and come back another day when you know what you are on about.

      • bad12 12.1.1

        Why should the ‘you’s’ have to??? 5% of the vote for anyone else gets them 5% of the Parliaments seats,

        So what’s so frightening to the likes of Labour and National that 1% isn’t 1 seat in the Parliament, it’s the only TRUE democracy, anything else is simply gerrymandering on behalf of the status quo…

        • Colonial Viper

          Fuck the academic theory of “real democracy”

          If you can’t convince more than 1/100 people of your political ideals, go away, refine what you stand for, and try again.

          If one in thirty or one in forty vote for you, you might finally be on to something. Otherwise don’t waste our time.

          • bad12

            Yes of course, one can well imagine those sitting in the highest echelons of power sniffing into the tumblers on a particularly boozy evening and intoning ‘Fuck Democracy’ which is what you give every appearance of supporting with your little outburst,

            Ah, democracy in it’s most elegant form which would equate to 1% = 1 seat in the Parliament, a neat expression of REAL MMP, is described by you as a waste of time,

            You don’t actually put forward any logical argument against 1% = 1 seat, your only ‘tactic’ of debate is to erect artificial barriers from the depths of your mind which would simply serve in the provision of less democracy and entrench the status quo…

            • Colonial Viper

              Why 1% = 1 seat? That’s a 100 seat Parliament, which is less representative than we have now.

              If a political party can’t convince more than 1/100 citizens that it has the right to be in Parliament it needs to sort out its messaging and ideology and come back when its ready for the big time.

              Even Legalise Cannabis Aoeteroa can do better than 1% FFS

              • Draco T Bastard

                If a political party can’t convince more than 1/100 citizens that it has the right to be in Parliament it needs to sort out its messaging and ideology and come back when its ready for the big time.

                That’s not a reason but an excuse. If a party can get enough votes for a seat then they should have that seat simply because that’s what having enough votes for one seat means. The people who voted for that party wished for that representation and by having a high threshold you’re denying them their choice.

  13. AmaKiwi 13

    The people must have the right to decide each of these proposal by referendums.

    These are NOT questions which Parliament should have any say about.

    Democracy, NOT more parliamentary dictatorship.

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      We’re in a representative parliamentary system, and doing away with that is not one of the things on the table is it?

      • bad12 13.1.1

        You will have to expand on that one a bit, it’s our democracy and WE as in all the people should first be POLLED befor ANY change can be implemented to it just as we were polled to ask if we wanted to keep MMP…

        • Colonial Viper

          Do you think that these citizens referendums are binding on Parliament or something?

          • bad12

            Nope, but lets expand a little upon your ‘representative Parliamentary system’ shall we,

            Who is it really representative of, the current political party’s perhaps, and with the 1 seat priveledge that allows a Party’s % of the Party Vote to count chucked out that simply leaves the current Party’s IN the parliament and everyone else except of course the Millionaire Colin Craig Conservative Christian Fundy Party totally SHUT OUT,

            That aint representative democracy thats closed shop political organization on behalf of ,for, and by the middle class,

            Who then represents the ‘registered but did not vote bloc’ a large section of the overall democracy that could in effect claim that they are unrepresented because the restrictions placed upon democracy make damn sure that a Party they may well support into the Parliament, ‘The Smelly Unwashed Party”, is shut out of the competition by the artificial imposition of barriers to democracy IMPOSED upon that democracy against it’s wishes by those already ensconced in priveledged positions within that democracy,

            Hence why i postulate that the current proposal released today is in fact LESS democratic than what is now in place,

            My view is true democracy can only be found in 1% = 1 seat in the Parliament…

            • Colonial Viper

              So you want a referendum before any change to MMP is made

              You will have to expand on that one a bit, it’s our democracy and WE as in all the people should first be POLLED befor ANY change can be implemented

              But you know (as I know) that none of it is going to be binding. And any such move will delay any decisions being made by Parliament, possibly by an entire term.

              Nope, but lets expand a little upon your ‘representative Parliamentary system’ shall we

              Its not my system mate.


              My view is true democracy can only be found in 1% = 1 seat in the Parliament…

              And as I said, if a political party can barely convince 1/100 New Zealanders with what it has to say, it needs to go away and sort its ideological and messaging shit out before hitting the big time.

              btw, your idea of 1% = 1 seat in Parliament…are we talking about a 100 seat Parliament here?

              Why not 0.5% = 1 seat in Parliament; Parliament could go from 120 seats to 200 seats. One MP per 22000 people in other words.

              • bad12

                WHY, the Parliament can handle a system of 1% = 1 seat and by that i mean that there is no real physical constraint,

                So, in effect you advocate that there should be an artificial constraint imposed upon democracy coz you thunk it should be that way,

                In actual fact that simply makes you part of the present ‘closed shop’ democracy attempting to protect the priveledged position of the present Party’s in the Parliament from any that might spring up and enhance the representative democracy should the equation of that democracy be to make it more democratic,

                No different than Paula Benefit and various other ladder kickers really, it simply sez ‘we’ have got ‘there’ nobody else is getting here…

                • Colonial Viper

                  Our system of Government, and our electoral system is full of “artificial constraints”. Its too late to be precious about “artificial constraints” as they form a long constructed system of checks and balances yeah?

                  In actual fact that simply makes you part of the present ‘closed shop’ democracy attempting to protect the priveledged position of the present Party’s in the Parliament from any that might spring up

                  If a new political party which might “spring up” can’t convince well more than 1/100 NZ citizens that they are worth voting for, they need to fuck off, get their ideology and messaging in order, and try again later.

                  If a new political party can convince 1/40 or 1/30 citizens to vote for them, maybe they are on to something and deserve significant tax payer funding at that stage.

                  • bad12

                    Checks and balances, now your blowing hot air, the system of elections is in no way reliant upon checks and balances as you propose,

                    What you seem tho to be proposing is that our electoral system be forever frozen in time,as in now, with of course the addition of the Colin Craig Christian Fundy’s included at some point,

                    There you go again, your main point of debate is to create an artificial barrier to democracy and use abuse to inform people that they should fuck off if they cannot climb higher than the artificial barrier,

                    A true ladder kicker, you and Paula both, your reasoning is nothing to do with democracy and everything to do with making democracy a ‘closed shop’

                    Easy to see why Labour can gain no traction ae…

              • bad12

                PS, My view of 1% = 1 seat in the Parliament is more representative of an average electoral seat…

                • Colonial Viper

                  The average is 1.2 seats per 1% of party vote

                  • bad12

                    You dance upon the head of a pin quite well, i put that little clarification into the conversation as a pointer as to why i did not see a need to have MMP as 0.5% of the party vote as 1 seat…

              • bad12

                PS, the political party that would take 1 seat in the parliament based upon 1% of the party vote has in fact far exceeded the number of votes the average party hack sitting in an electoral seat, safe or otherwise, gains to be the representative for that electoral seat…

      • AmaKiwi 13.1.2

        Isn’t it?

        We are in the early days of a global credit meltdown. There is a story that the night before his inauguration, Franklin D. Roosevelt’s mother said, “Franklin, if you don’t get us out of this you may be the last Democrat to get elected President.” FDR replied, “If I don’t get us out of this I may be the last ELECTED president.”

        During great depressions countries go through enormous social and political upheavals. If we cannot bring accountability and public participation to our form of government, we could end up with another Muldoon, or worse, a Hitler.

        We do NOT have a “representative” parliamentary system because our MP’s do NOT represent us. Opposition MP’s are powerless, castrated. Government MP’s are controlled by their PM. Eunuchs.

  14. tracey 14

    Winston rejected a change which wld probably benefit him, dunne rejected a change that wld hurt him. Luckily he clarified that his objection was not made from self interest.

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