Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler

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Legal Beagle: Voting Referendum: Jus' Sayin'

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  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to bmk,

    So I disagree with people who say that a zero threshold will mean that stable governments cannot be formed.

    The concern that many people have with it is the supposed likely proliferation of really small parties.

    If 4/5 parties can get enough party votes to earn a single seat when there is a threshold, how many single MP parties would there be when people knew that their votes wouldn't be wasted by voting for them? etc.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3009 posts Report Reply

  • uroskin,

    If there were no electorate seats (i.e. a parliament of 120 list MPs) we would need no Maori seats (Maori would be proportionally represented when getting multiples of 0.8%, like everybody else). Simple system, simple maths. Lists could still have preferences by voters built in.
    FPP does not guarantee stable or majority government. Was NBR asleep during last year's British election??

    Waiheke Island • Since Feb 2007 • 178 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to uroskin,

    Maori would be proportionally represented when getting multiples of 0.8%, like everybody else

    Ah, the illusory level playing field..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16754 posts Report Reply

  • uroskin,

    The playing field isn't level when any party obtains overhang.

    Waiheke Island • Since Feb 2007 • 178 posts Report Reply

  • Christopher Nimmo, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    If 4/5 parties can get enough party votes to earn a single seat when there is a threshold, how many single MP parties would there be when people knew that their votes wouldn’t be wasted by voting for them? etc

    There are other ways of dealing with that though - you could raise the membership requirement for one.

    My preference would be to keep the threshold but allow people to rank parties a la STV to reduce wastage.

    Wellington • Since May 2009 • 97 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to uroskin,

    The playing field isn’t level when any party obtains overhang.

    The Māori Party didn't obtain overhang. National and the Greens are the beneficiaries of an overhang caused by the Māori Party.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3009 posts Report Reply

  • bmk, in reply to Christopher Nimmo,

    Yeah I thought this would be the way to make it work if you were to maintain the threshold. Make the preferential listing purely optional so that someone voting for national or labour could just tick the box whereas someone else may choose to go 1.ALCP 2.Greens 3.Labour or whatever. This way would ensure that everyone at least has the chance to make their vote count for something.

    Since Jun 2010 • 323 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Ultimate democracy. One Man one Seat.
    Work backwards from there...
    They are supposed to represent Us
    Sorry, my mistake.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4869 posts Report Reply

  • JLM,

    Good article here about the people who will spread disinformation to try and defeat MMP at the referendum.

    Judy Martin's southern sl… • Since Apr 2007 • 228 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin, in reply to JLM,

    I would have thought the main lesson of the UK referendum was that framing it as a referendum on the government / or its junior partner, rather than the actual issue was the way to get a result. How that helps the NZ right’s anti position I can’t quite tell, given the different way the question is framed in NZ and the two step process. Unless they eat their own and run with saying if you have MMP you get parties like ACT wagging the dog….which seems unlikely

    Most pro AV campaigners I knew of here would have preferred the NZ referendum process and question wording too, not that they had any choice. IT certainly would have been harder to make it an anti Lib Dem/Coalition vote anyway

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 894 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to JLM,

    Good article here about the people who will spread disinformation to try and defeat MMP at the referendum.

    Seems even more untenable that The Herald employs "National's pollster" as a columnist without declaring his role.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16754 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to JLM,

    the people who will spread disinformation to try and defeat MMP

    The best quote has to be:

    Brash says he "has heard rumblings" about an anti-MMP campaign, "but I'm not aware of who's involved currently".

    Does he really think no one has read The Hollow Men?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16754 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to JLM,

    History has shown MMP is very stable.
    But Lusk is a gifted operator. Besides the Brash coup,....

    That's telling as well. Cant leave well enough alone....some people.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1228 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    I would have thought the main lesson of the UK referendum was that framing it as a referendum on the government / or its junior partner, rather than the actual issue was the way to get a result.

    To be bitchy, a referendum on the Lib Dems was the actual issue. AV was a blatant power grab by the Lib Dems, and they knew it, the Tories knew it, Labour knew it, and the voters knew it.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1376 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to JLM,

    Good article here about the people who will spread disinformation to try and defeat MMP at the referendum.

    A who's who of the Hollow Men.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4351 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    MMP is the only system that is actually *designed* to deliver a fair result where the number of MPs reflects the vote for each party. With all the others, that only happens by coincidence.

    I plan to vote for MMP and on the second question to vote tactically for the least popular/attractive option (possibly STV or PV) with the hope that the contender system is less popular and has been chosen by a small margin.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4463 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    +1

    (It is the strategy the family had already worked out.)

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    FPP was also a factor in Gore's loss to Bush in 2000 - and blaming Nader for spoiling Gore's vote was a copout. And that's not counting the distorting factor of the Electoral College.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4351 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    The Māori Party didn't obtain overhang. National and the Greens are the beneficiaries of an overhang caused by the Māori Party.

    That's a wierd way of putting it. Surely the major beneficary is the party which has more seats than they would be entitled to by the party vote?

    Now, we can't take those electorate seats off them. But your implied solution - penalising other parties - actually produces a [i]less[/i] proportional, and therefore less fair, result. And for what? A round number of MPs?

    Screw that. While I hate overhangs, that solution seems worse than the disease.

    (As for the disease itself, its the price we pay for clinging to geographic electorates. If you like electorates, you have to accept overhangs...)

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1646 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    I don't think it was so much a "blatant power grab" as the fulfilment of a general desire to effect voting reform, a programme that had been widely discussed and desired for several decades before the referendum.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 894 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Idiot Savant,

    Now, we can’t take those electorate seats off them. But your implied solution – penalising other parties – actually produces a less proportional, and therefore less fair, result. And for what? A round number of MPs?

    1. National got 44.93% of the party vote. And its 58 seats are 47.54% of the House.
    The Green Party got 6.72% of the party vote. Its 9 seats are 7.38% of the House.

    57/120 seats would be 47.5% of the House. 8/120 seats would be 6.67% of the House.

    With a smaller 120 MP House, no overhang, and National and the Greens each dropping a seat, their seat share would be closer to its proper proportion.

    2. It’s not my solution. I’m fine with overhang, but I do note that others (e.g. Scotland, Wales, London(?)) don’t have overhang and are fine. Getting rid of overhang wouldn’t break MMP, and if the majority of people want the feature gone, I’m happy to go along with the flow.

    3. Mostly, my comment was about how we look at things. There are 70 electorates, and there are (ignoring Te Tai Tokerau) 70 electorate MPs. In this Parliament, there are 52 list MPs, although the system is set up that there should ideally be 50. I do not think you can accurately say that the Maori Party benefits from an overhang. They'd probably prefer to be 5 (ignore Hone) out of 120. The overhang has caused there to be 52 list MPs in this Parliament, who got those extra two? National and the Greens.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3009 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Raymond A Francis,

    voted for MMP last time (apparently the only person in NZ to admit that) and I feel I will vote for it again. The alternatives seem to range from sexually transmitted disease to an accountant’s wet dream with the people in charge not able to grasp the finer points

    I didn't vote for it, and feel ashamed to admit that. But I will vote for it this time because it seems like the best system for delivering a range of representatives. The others boil down to clever ways to exclude minority interests.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8587 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to BenWilson,

    The others boil down to clever ways to exclude minority interests.

    Single Transferable Vote (STV) is generally accepted to be a proportional system, in which minority views are properly represented.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3009 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie, in reply to Ben Austin,

    I don’t think it was so much a “blatant power grab” as the fulfilment of a general desire to effect voting reform, a programme that had been widely discussed and desired for several decades before the referendum.

    The form of voting reform Clegg extracted in a back room deal from the Tories worked out to be the voting reform likeliest to elect more Lib Dems with the least actual reform , and then they campaigned using words like the `progressive majority', viz, electing more Lib Dems.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1376 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    Single Transferable Vote (STV) is generally accepted to be a proportional system, in which minority views are properly represented.

    I'm still yet to be convinced it works well. The complete wipeout of the Green Party in Ireland isn't a good look. The problem I see is that its proportionality is non-guaranteed side effect, and it seems sensitive to a whole lot of balances being right, the main one being the number of candidates that will be selected in any discrete election. It does seem to serve the bigger parties well, though, but what system doesn't do that?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8587 posts Report Reply

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