web analytics

Shirtcliffe can’t tell his electoral systems apart

Written By: - Date published: 2:00 pm, May 14th, 2010 - 13 comments
Categories: democratic participation, MMP, Parliament, referendum, Supplementary Member - Tags: ,

A republished post from No Right Turn on the ignorance of the main campaigner wanting a change to our electoral system. You’d think that if you’re campaigning for something that you’d at least know what you are campaigning for. But apparently not. Published with permission.

In a press release last month, anti-MMP campaigner Peter Shirtcliffe called for New Zealand to adopt the non-proportional, undemocratic Supplementary Member system. In its support, he said this:

Shirtcliffe said SM, which operated successfully in the Scottish Parliament and the National Assembly for Wales, offered electoral stability by bringing to an end the power of small parties to frustrate the will of the people, such as over the anti-smacking debate.

(Emphasis added).

But Shirtcliffe needs to pay more attention to his electoral systems, because Scotland and Wales don’t use SM – they use MMP. It’s not the same form of MMP that we use – they proportionalise over regions, whereas we do it nationally, and in the case of Wales, the small size of the regions produces disproportionate results. But in both cases, the party vote within a region is used to calculate a party’s overall entitlement, and list seats are allocated to meet it and correct for the electorate result (in SM, the list seats are simply allocated according to the party vote, and there is no effort made to proportionalise the results).

This is a pretty basic mistake, and it shows that Shirtcliffe can’t distinguish between the system he is arguing for, and the system he is arguing against. Maybe he needs glasses?

13 comments on “Shirtcliffe can’t tell his electoral systems apart ”

  1. ghostwhowalksnz 1

    The British FPP results have shown Shirtcliffe to have no rational arguments left.
    And as you quoted he mentioned the ‘anti smacking’ when of course it passed by a huge majority of parliament, unless of course hes referring to the Swiss System who having binding referendums , as well as MPP.
    Actually his campaign is an example of how big dollars can corrupt the political system, since he wouldnt get his views forward without all his big money backers

    • felix 1.1

      I think his anti-smacking reference is intended to convey the idea that if we hadn’t let those fucking Greens into OUR parliament in the first place we never would have had the issue raised at all.

      Which rather shows up his true motivations, dunnit?

      • Herodotus 1.1.1

        What that about 110 politicians can do what the vast majority of people are against? It also proves if the politicians all stand together like a herd it is difficult to pick out the individuals one by one for the carnivores to devour !!
        Vast is based on polling results from various media sources and the % makeup of the referendum, which the results display consistenancy of % makeup of roughly 80:20.

        • Pascal's bookie 1.1.1.1

          There were plenty of options for people to vote for people to reinstate ‘smacking’. On balance the overwhelming majority of people decided that it wasn’t the deciding factor.

          • Rich 1.1.1.1.1

            Quite. I believe there were at least three pro-child-abuse parties in the last election, none of which got more than a handful of votes. (Not even near enough for a seat if there wasn’t a threshold).

  2. Herodotus 2

    I am led to believe though that in GB the MP’s are like thos in the US in that they do not all follow absolute party lines. they hav the ability to have a greater indepenancy in their voting. Individual MP’s from both sides of the spectrum can follow their and their constituent desires. I feel sorry for MP’s who are forced to follow party lines when wipped when this is against personnel and local oponion.
    Also with the speed that laws can pass. For me if no other reason why we are required to have an upper house, it would also counter URGENCY.
    All systems have their evils yet we should find a system that has “managable evils”. A system maynot be perfect but lets get one that is less imperfect than the others. So MMP in its current form may or may not work (For me NOT). I think it is better to examine then act, this is already for me becomming a polarised arguement of FPP or MMP and extremely vested interest by the political parties and their associated not what the public deem.

    • Pascal's bookie 2.1

      I suspect that any greater frequency of mp’s crossing the floor in GB is a function of a much larger parliament. With so many mp’s and essentially only two parties, gov’ts will tend to have majorities of >10. This means that small numbers of individual mps will be allowed to cross the floor for any given vote, as it won’t cause the bill to fail, which is all the whips really care about.

      Do you think it fair that if an mp votes against party policy, that the party be able to deny them party resources/selection for re-election? Because when it comes down to it, that’s all the parties have the power to do.

      If denial of this support is such a threat electorally (ie that the candidate won’t be able to compete as an independent against a party backed candidate) then a case can be easily made that they are not really representing their electorate with their crossing of the floor.

      It’s impossible to know why voters vote for whom they do. What we do know is that electorates are often safe for a given party, and that party plays a large role in how people choose to vote. One of the things I like about MMP and PR systems in general, is that they explicitly bring the parties into the system, whereas under fpp or electorate based systems the parties are somehow outside of the framework of the system, while still being the primary way that things, in fact, operate.

      • Herodotus 2.1.1

        I thought that under Lab rules that a MP had to follow coy rules as per the internal rule book I cannot think what the para was as I think when the Foreshore was being debated that one Lab Maori Mp was given a unique one off exemption to cross the floor. The other time I can recall was the Lab MP for Pamure in Piggys reign when M.Warning voted against Nat I think that was the LAb MP’s last term!!
        I agree it is diffficult and the US system both levels have an issue with “purchasing” votes to entice crossing the floor. Yet even with conscience votes there is sometimes a whip used. Unfortunately I think that we need a group of personnality devoid Political scientists to prepare a list with pros and cons of each system and pray that us the voters can and are able to make the least wrong decision. No adertising by any group, just here is the info now go to it and vote so we donot get a fair go best and worst campaign.

        • Pascal's bookie 2.1.1.1

          I’m not disputing that parties don’t like mps crossing the floor, but even when it’s in their rules, the only sanction they have is to kick them out of the party. I’m suggesting that that is fair enough.

          Mps get elected, in large measure, because of support from a political party. Voters, in large measure, vote for candidates based on what political party they are standing for. Given those facts, I think mps owe parties some measure of allegiance.

          Part of the deal they make when accepting selection by a party to be that party’s candidate, is that they will, in fact, be that party’s candidate. In return, the party helps to elect them, and more importantly, voters that support that party, and it’s platform vote for them.

          Now, having said that, I’m not saying that mps should never cross the floor. They are elected mps and should do what they want with their vote. But I am saying they shouldn’t expect to continue to receive support from a political party should they choose to do so.

        • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.2

          Unfortunately I think that we need a group of personnality devoid Political scientists to prepare a list with pros and cons of each system and pray that us the voters can and are able to make the least wrong decision.

          They did. The recommendation was for MMP. This doesn’t mean that what we have couldn’t be made better but it does indicate that changing electoral systems on a whim (which is essentially what NACTs referendum is) isn’t a good idea as we haven’t fully explored what this one is capable of.

  3. Bored 3

    There will be similar tosspots making the same noise about democracy well after Shirtcliffe gets the message from his maker. Hes just plain wrong, its not about the democratic principle with him, its about non majority power. He talks about the minority parties having too much say….so does anybody who cant must 50% plus of the votes. When there are people like Shirtcliffe around remember the old maxim about democracy being something we have to fight to defend, and be eternally vigilent over.

  4. nzfp 4

    It is unimportant whether or not Shirtcliffe knows what he’s talking about or not. What is important is the headline and the first paragraph of print media. As long as an undemocratic corporate media is willing to perpetuate the lie by not examining the content of Shirtcliffes comments the general public who consume, only, the faux media will be none the wiser. Shirtcliffe and his lacky’s in the media would have achieved their objective – the shaping of the general publics opinion and the manufacture of our consent to revert to FPP.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      That is the biggest problem. People, not knowing any better (for whatever reasons) are believing what they read in the MSM and what is reported in the MSM is a load of bollix. We really need to do something about that.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Twenty highlights of 2020
    As we welcome in the new year, our focus is on continuing to keep New Zealanders safe and moving forward with our economic recovery. There’s a lot to get on with, but before we say a final goodbye to 2020, here’s a quick look back at some of the milestones ...
    3 weeks 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
    6 hours 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
    12 hours 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
    1 day 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
    4 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    1 week 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
  • Better care for babies with tongue-tie
    Babies born with tongue-tie will be assessed and treated consistently under new guidelines released by the Ministry of Health, Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall announced today. Around 5% to 10% of babies are born with a tongue-tie, or ankyloglossia, in New Zealand each year. At least half can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Prisoner disorder event at Waikeria Prison over
    The prisoner disorder event at Waikeria Prison is over, with all remaining prisoners now safely and securely detained, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says. The majority of those involved in the event are members of the Mongols and Comancheros. Five of the men are deportees from Australia, with three subject to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Pre-departure COVID-19 test for travellers from the UK and the US from 15 January
    Travellers from the United Kingdom or the United States bound for New Zealand will be required to get a negative test result for COVID-19 before departing, and work is underway to extend the requirement to other long haul flights to New Zealand, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. “The new PCR test requirement, foreshadowed last ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • PM congratulates New Year Honour recipients
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has added her warm congratulations to the New Zealanders recognised for their contributions to their communities and the country in the New Year 2021 Honours List. “The past year has been one that few of us could have imagined. In spite of all the things that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • David Parker congratulates New Year 2021 Honours recipients
    Attorney-General and Minister for the Environment David Parker has congratulated two retired judges who have had their contributions to the country and their communities recognised in the New Year 2021 Honours list. The Hon Tony Randerson QC has been appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • New Year’s Honours highlights outstanding Pacific leadership through challenging year
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says the New Year’s Honours List 2021 highlights again the outstanding contribution made by Pacific people across Aotearoa. “We are acknowledging the work of 13 Pacific leaders in the New Year’s Honours, representing a number of sectors including health, education, community, sports, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Supporting seniors to embrace technology
    The Government’s investment in digital literacy training for seniors has led to more than 250 people participating so far, helping them stay connected. “COVID-19 has meant older New Zealanders are showing more interest in learning how to use technology like Zoom and Skype so they can to keep in touch ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago