The Right’s MMP conundrum

Written By: - Date published: 9:04 am, May 31st, 2011 - 12 comments
Categories: electoral systems, MMP, political education, referendum - Tags:

If there is one silver lining to the cloud of a National government, it is that the MMP referendum has come up on their watch. It rather cripples their attack lines.

• They can’t claim that MMP creates weak government — without condemning their own government as weak.

• They can’t claim that MMP lets minor parties “wag the dog” — without being asked if ACT is running the show.

• They can’t claim that MMP creates unstable governments — without being asked why they can’t manage a coalition for three years when Labour managed nine.

• They can’t claim that MMP lets in useless list MPs — without being asked (*cough*MelissaLee*cough*) some rather awkward questions.

Yup, the Nats’ grubby little Anti-MMP cabal has got quite a difficult problem on their hands! My heart goes out to them…

12 comments on “The Right’s MMP conundrum”

  1. Tigger 1

    Which is why they’ll use the whole ‘we can do better than MMP and FPP’ and lookee here what system we should use…

  2. Jono 2

    I think the main things which screw the anti-MMP crowd is that nobody likes FPP, and nobody knows what SM is, so they’re basically shit out of luck on both counts.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      Well then we have to ensure that everybody knows exactly what SM is and why NAct want it which certainly isn’t to improve our democracy but to increase their own control over us.

  3. I am interested in others’ comments but I do not think the design of the referendum and the phrasing of the questions are too bad.  It could have been worse, for instance they could have made it a multi choice question from the start.

    • PeteG 3.1

      Did you mean “the phrasing of the questions aren’t too bad”?

      I think it’s more than reasonable, MMP supporters get two shots at retaining it, if MMP can’t outlast that sort of distance then it probably doesn’t deserve to remain.

      I’m hoping MMP will be retained but possibly tweaked a bit to sort out some of it’s weaknesses around the list, and maybe nudge the threshhold down a bit.

      • wtl 3.1.1

        One issue with the proposed referendum is it seems that MMP will only be reviewed or tweaked if it wins this first round. If it loses the first round but wins the second round, will there be any changes to it?

    • Dan 3.2

      Referendums have to be either a yes or no question, from memory. You either accept or reject a statement.

  4. Rich 4

    I get the impression that what they’re after is for a plurality of voters to think “oh yeah, time for a change” and tick no to MMP on the first question, and the Nats to be organised enough to get whatever their preferred system is (FPP? SM?) into the lead on the second.

    Or, more deviously, there’ll be no clear contender on the second so they’ll take that as a mandate to bring back FPP and the country quota.

    • ianmac 4.1

      That was how the infamous Queensland electorate worked wasn’t it Rich?

      • Rich 4.1.1

        Pretty much, though I don’t know if it was legally entrenched. The joke is, the *Labor* party invented it, in the days when more working people lived in rural Australia.

  5. Mbossa 5

    I’m quietly hoping that backing SM is going to backfire on NAct. There seem to be quite a few people out there who subscribe to the simplistic “one vote per person” mantra, and those people aren’t going to back anything but FPP. So the anti-proportionality vote could be split between FPP and SM, putting STV in the lead for the second question.

  6. Craig 6

    Wonder why the silly buggers didn’t pick the Alternative Vote..?

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