web analytics

Participate: MMP Review

Written By: - Date published: 1:40 pm, February 14th, 2012 - 18 comments
Categories: MMP - Tags: ,

You may have noticed the ads about The Standard for the MMP Review that the Electoral Commission announced yesterday.

MMP won last year’s referendum with 57% of the vote, so now’s your chance to have your say on what MMP will look like in the future.

The Electoral Commission have set up a great website to make it as easy to put your input in as possible. You can do a 5 minute submission, that covers all the main areas:

  • the thresholds for the allocation of list seats,
  • list members contesting by-elections,
  • the rules allowing candidates to both contest an electorate and be on a party list,
  • the rules for ordering candidates on party lists,
  • the effect of a party winning more electorate seats than its party vote share entitles it to,
  • the effects of the ratio of electorate seats to list seats on proportionality in certain circumstances, and
  • other matters referred to the Commission by the Minister of Justice or Parliament.

“Other Matters” specifically do not include the number of MPs or Maori seats. Fuller submissions are easy too.

To give my quick take to get you something to disagree with / agree with in your submission:

  • I’d have the threshold being 2-2.5%: enough for 3 MPs to get any. It cuts out one person parties who would be a law unto themselves (herding cats springs to mind), while maximising democracy otherwise. I’d certainly ditch the Epsom threshold that allows you list MPs if you get an electorate seat, but with a 2-2.5% threshold it wouldn’t gain you much anyway.
  • I have no problem with list members contesting by-elections – I’m not looking for any further restrictions on who can stand in general.
  • I think it’s best we don’t restrict people from being both electorate and party list candidates. New Zealand has a struggle getting enough high quality candidates standing as it is, placing further restrictions won’t help! Also it will specifically lower the quality of candidates in marginal seats – who wants to take a punt there if you have certainty on the list?
    We probably need a *culture* change with respect to the list – where the top candidates aren’t standing in electorates, just the list. Helensville and Clutha-Southland could have MPs who actually have some concern in their constituency, there’d be no local-national conflict of interest for senior ministers and we’d have the top of the executive always focussed on national interests. There’s probably no specific law change that would be useful around that though.
  • I like the theory of open-lists, and generally making democracy as inclusive as possible, but their practice in the likes of Sweden shows few take up the opportunity. And most people aren’t well enough informed about everybody on the list to make a good decision anyway. As a party member I certainly didn’t feel well enough informed about people outside my region to really get a feel for what were correct list placings, and a CV only goes so far. I haven’t worked out my best list-compiling technique yet, so I wouldn’t mind others’ thoughts on what could work practically…
  • We’ve not had a real problem with the overhang – the Maori Party have caused a small one throughout their existence but nobody seems concerned that we have 1 or 2 extra MPs. On the other hand we’re almost unique in allowing an overhang, and the loss of proportionality from not allowing it would be minor. We might as well keep the overhang I think (proportionality is good, and it stops other parties being penalised), but my opinion is not strong on this one.
  • I’d be happy with more electorate seats than we currently have, to have smaller constituencies and more local in our democracy. We could easily have 80 constituency seats, with no great overhang. I don’t see the need to keep the number of South Island seats constant (currently 16), so I’d scrap that requirement, and just permanently have 80 seats.
  • In the other basket – in an ideal world I’d like Preferential Voting for the Electorate Vote. And I’m sure there might be other issues that could be improved… Any ideas?

Submissions need to be in by April 5 if you wish to speak in person, and presumably shortly after that otherwise.  In August they’ll release their proposals for another short round of submissions. Get yours in to Have Your Say!

On a personal note my brother makes his Maiden Speech at 5pm today (live here). Good luck bro!

18 comments on “Participate: MMP Review ”

  1. Kotahi Tane Huna 1

    One thing I know for sure: equal speaking rights for all. Including the deaf.

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    and a CV only goes so far.

    Well if you fire up the afterburners a CV goes very far very fast 😀

  3. Tanz 3

    No more of MPs having a double shot at parliament via both a high list ranking and an electorate seat, this is the most undemocratic aspect of our MMP system.

    • Ben Clark 3.1

      How is that undemocratic? If people vote for the party and they’re high on the list, they deserve to be in to represent that party, whether they win an electorate seat or not.

      They are 2 separate elections, and if they lose one it doesn’t invalidate the other.

  4. Tanz 4

    It is not democratic when the voters vote out an MP, only to find that that MP gets back into Parliament anyway, via the party list. There is no democracy in this, it is a slap in the face to the majority vote. Dual candidacy needs to go. People vote for not just the party, but the person they most want to represent them in Parliament. Party lists are not democratic as the voters have not chosen them, the party machines do that.

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 4.1

      Yes, it is, yes, there is. No, there isn’t, no it doesn’t, no they don’t. Yes they are.

    • Anne 4.2

      All you have done is show your ignorance and complete lack of understanding of MMP and how it worksTanz. Are you a RWNJ? Because if you are that explains it. There’s lots of reasons why an electorate MP may lose their seat and it frequently has nothing to do with whether they were good MPs or not. Take Brendon Burns, former electorate MP for ChCh East as a recent example:

      As one of the electorate areas worst hit by the earthquakes, it was not surprising that thousands of it’s residents left ChCh permanently. Most came from the poorer parts of the electorate and it had a direct bearing on Brendon losing the seat. He was recognised as one of the hardest working of the ChCh MPs following the earthquakes too, but I guess them’s the breaks- or lack of them in his case.

    • QoT 4.3

      You do know we vote for people rather than against people, right, Tanz?

      • Tanz 4.3.1

        Bunch of lefters, ganging up. So, you didn’t vote against Key last election? Really?

        • QoT 4.3.1.1

          There was an “Against John Key” box on the ballot paper? Hey, fellow “lefters”, Tanz just helped me figure out what went wrong last election!

    • Bunnykinz 4.4

      I agree with Tanz, the current situation is “undemocratic”, that is why I am going to suggest that every NZer gets to vote in every single electorate.

      Epsom, kiss my vote!

  5. Arandar 5

    How would you get anyone to stand for another Party in any of the so-called Safe Seats if they were not allowed to stand as a List Candidate also? Denying them this opportunity to benefit from doing a good job encouraging Party Votes for their Party in that Safe Seat seems very unfair. Such candidates, with almost no chance of being elected would incur considerable expense without return, weeks of hard work and, given most candidates give up their day jobs to campaign, a loss of income for the period of the election campaign.

    None of that is Democratic in the least.

    • Uturn 5.1

      It would depend on your world view and the values of your party. If the candidate was of the type of Collective minded party where the individual wasn’t so much as important as getting Party power, it would be both democratic and “fair” – or at least, understood from the start.

      If the candidate were of a Conservative/Traditional minded Party (e.g. working hard equals a gauranteed payoff) it would seem “unfair”. Such a person would want to be awarded “the accolades they deserve” and not in it for just forwarding the good of the people. They’d be a career politician, if you like.

      Democracy can support “fairness”, though that fairness needs first to be defined. It is not inherently Fair.

  6. Tanz 6

    Safe seats have proven to be unsafe, especially in the last election, and in the Canterbury region.
    Paula Bennett almost became unseated in Waitakere, and a whole host of Labour MPs lost their supposedly safe seats in Christchurch, so the idea of a safe seat is a fallacy. The electorate system is very democratic; candidates have to go and prove themselves to the electorate, whereas list candidates do not. What can be fairer than that?

    • PJ 6.1

      Using Paula Bennett’s Waitakere seat as an example of a safe seat in the last election significantly undermines your argument

    • Draco T Bastard 6.2

      List candidates still have to prove themselves to the electorate else the voters won’t vote for the party. Also, list seats are more democratic than electorate seats in that the electorate can get rid of them mid-term by putting pressure on the party (I’d like to see this more formalised so that it’s not abused). Electorate seats are there until the next election due to the lack of recall.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Celebrating the Entry Into Force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
    [Opening comments, welcome and thank you to Auckland University etc] It is a great pleasure to be here this afternoon to celebrate such an historic occasion - the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This is a moment many feared would never come, but ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Supporting disabled people to stay connected
    The Government is providing $3 million in one-off seed funding to help disabled people around New Zealand stay connected and access support in their communities, Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni announced today. The funding will allow disability service providers to develop digital and community-based solutions over the next two ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Voluntary saliva testing offered to quarantine workers from Monday
    Border workers in quarantine facilities will be offered voluntary daily COVID-19 saliva tests in addition to their regular weekly testing, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. This additional option will be rolled out at the Jet Park Quarantine facility in Auckland starting on Monday 25 January, and then to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Next steps in firearms buy-back
    The next steps in the Government’s ambitious firearms reform programme to include a three-month buy-back have been announced by Police Minister Poto Williams today.  “The last buy-back and amnesty was unprecedented for New Zealand and was successful in collecting 60,297 firearms, modifying a further 5,630 firearms, and collecting 299,837 prohibited ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature projects target iconic ecosystems
    Upscaling work already underway to restore two iconic ecosystems will deliver jobs and a lasting legacy, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says.  “The Jobs for Nature programme provides $1.25 billion over four years to offer employment opportunities for people whose livelihoods have been impacted by the COVID-19 recession. “Two new projects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Public Housing Plan announced
    The Government has released its Public Housing Plan 2021-2024 which outlines the intention of where 8,000 additional public and transitional housing places announced in Budget 2020, will go. “The Government is committed to continuing its public house build programme at pace and scale. The extra 8,000 homes – 6000 public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister congratulates President Joe Biden on his inauguration
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated President Joe Biden on his inauguration as the 46th President of the United States of America. “I look forward to building a close relationship with President Biden and working with him on issues that matter to both our countries,” Jacinda Ardern said. “New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature funding will create training and employment opportunities
    A major investment to tackle wilding pines in Mt Richmond will create jobs and help protect the area’s unique ecosystems, Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor says. The Mt Richmond Forest Park has unique ecosystems developed on mineral-rich geology, including taonga plant species found nowhere else in the country. “These special plant ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Pre-departure testing extended to all passengers to New Zealand
    To further protect New Zealand from COVID-19, the Government is extending pre-departure testing to all passengers to New Zealand except from Australia, Antarctica and most Pacific Islands, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The change will come into force for all flights arriving in New Zealand after 11:59pm (NZT) on Monday ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Bay Cadets learn skills to protect environment
    Bay Conservation Cadets launched with first intake Supported with $3.5 million grant Part of $1.245b Jobs for Nature programme to accelerate recover from Covid Cadets will learn skills to protect and enhance environment Environment Minister David Parker today welcomed the first intake of cadets at the launch of the Bay ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Cook Islanders to resume travel to New Zealand
    The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Mark Brown have announced passengers from the Cook Islands can resume quarantine-free travel into New Zealand from 21 January, enabling access to essential services such as health. “Following confirmation of the Cook Islands’ COVID ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supporting communities and landowners to grow employment opportunities
    Jobs for Nature funding is being made available to conservation groups and landowners to employ staff and contractors in a move aimed at boosting local biodiversity-focused projects, Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan has announced. It is estimated some 400-plus jobs will be created with employment opportunities in ecology, restoration, trapping, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Border exception for some returning international tertiary students
    The Government has approved an exception class for 1000 international tertiary students, degree level and above, who began their study in New Zealand but were caught offshore when border restrictions began. The exception will allow students to return to New Zealand in stages from April 2021. “Our top priority continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tiwai deal gives time for managed transition
    Today’s deal between Meridian and Rio Tinto for the Tiwai smelter to remain open another four years provides time for a managed transition for Southland. “The deal provides welcome certainty to the Southland community by protecting jobs and incomes as the region plans for the future. The Government is committed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New member for APEC Business Advisory Council
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has appointed Anna Curzon to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). The leader of each APEC economy appoints three private sector representatives to ABAC. ABAC provides advice to leaders annually on business priorities. “ABAC helps ensure that APEC’s work programme is informed by business community perspectives ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt’s careful economic management recognised
    The Government’s prudent fiscal management and strong policy programme in the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic have been acknowledged by the credit rating agency Fitch. Fitch has today affirmed New Zealand’s local currency rating at AA+ with a stable outlook and foreign currency rating at AA with a positive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Additional actions to keep COVID-19 out of NZ
    The Government is putting in place a suite of additional actions to protect New Zealand from COVID-19, including new emerging variants, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Given the high rates of infection in many countries and evidence of the global spread of more transmissible variants, it’s clear that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 19 projects will clean up and protect waterways
    $36 million of Government funding alongside councils and others for 19 projects Investment will clean up and protect waterways and create local jobs Boots on the ground expected in Q2 of 2021 Funding part of the Jobs for Nature policy package A package of 19 projects will help clean up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand Government acknowledges 175th anniversary of Battle of Ruapekapeka
    The commemoration of the 175th anniversary of the Battle of Ruapekapeka represents an opportunity for all New Zealanders to reflect on the role these conflicts have had in creating our modern nation, says Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Kiri Allan. “The Battle at Te Ruapekapeka Pā, which took ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago