I wouldn’t call giving a majority party a majority of seats “gaming the system”.
I would if the majority given is far in excess of the majority polled.
ETA: And that’s also on the proviso that you even accept a party getting much less that 50% of the cast votes a “majority” just because it’s bigger than the nearest competitor. In 1981 Social Credit got over 20% of the votes cast, and won 2 (out of 92) seats. I think that may have been the high water mark of how fucked FPP was, that Labour got more seats, and Social Credit a further 20%, between them they had 60% of all votes cast, and still Muldoon got another 3 years.
I guess that is the solitary advantage of FPP, it’s hard to see how that could be gamed.
It's super easy to game. You only have to beat the opposition by a little bit everywhere and you can have a massive overwhelming landslide. Which is not theory, it's what happened, over and over.
TBH, I think the idea that any large party could split into an electorate party and a list party, and come through an election successfully preposterous. I
Obviously they would do it in a much more subtle way to start with, until people got used to the idea, as they have with ACT and UF, both parties whose leaders have been formers National MPs. They do need to pretend to be different. Probably more extreme in some way (Dunne is that lovely paradox, the extreme centrist). Best is for them not to be an actual party of more than one person apiece.
In a way, it's actually what electorate representatives are meant to do. This business of them being party hacks was not how elected representatives were meant to act, it's just how they did act. The fact that they did act that way is what necessitated MMP in the first place - it basically acknowledged that parties were the shadow that had formed over representative government, and if we had to have the buggers then they could at least be closer in proportional size to their actual support.
Personally, I think they're a fucked idea all around, but that's how power works - it concentrates into huddles of privilege.
I'm not advocating that the parties do this more, btw. I'm just surprised that only National seems to have figured it out. I fully agree that it would be bad for democracy. It already is bad for democracy, the way it's already being done.
As Wolverine said to Captain America: "Terrorists! That's what the big army calls the little army".
Meanwhile, the Police raid Nicky Hager’s home…
Although I temper that by saying that it's far less broken than what we had before.
I see quite a strong parallel between calling "conspiracy theory" on a debate and calling "Godwin" on it. Neither is a strong argument of any kind but they put a very powerful spin on the ridiculousness of what they're calling out. Sometimes it's warranted, but one has to remember that being unable to actually argue conspiracy theories lends aid to genuine conspiracies, and being unable to even mention Nazi parallels lends aid to actual fascists. Both of which are actually real things.
if the major parties were to majorly game it in the manner Ben proposes then MMP ends up fundamentally broken.
Yes, and I suggest that because a major party is already gaming it, it is already quite broken.
In the long run could be 20-30 years at the pace that electoral reform moves. And typically it only actually reforms at all in response to it clearly not working. What I'm reading in that reasoning is that National will only do it so long as it's just barely enough to stay ahead of Labour. Why they get to hold the pole position on that, I don't know. I guess it's some basic form of self-defeating self-righteousness on the part of the "Left". Or perhaps it's part of their anti nuclear policy :-)
MMP should be fixed. But it won't be. It was deliberately fucked up in the first place. What they will do to "fix" it will be to get rid of coat-tailing, thereby securing the solid power of the top 2 parties, and keeping the Greens and NZF forever marginalized, and electorate reps will still be supported in tactical seats. It is actually much more advantageous to the top parties that very small parties can't form at all, but individuals can hold on. Because individuals are essentially completely powerless, like Peter Dunne, putty in their hands.
Labour could easily do this. In fact, it might not even be hard to find people willing, since a secure electorate seat conditional on unwavering support is quite a sweet deal for someone who gets to have their own whole party all to themselves. Every election they get to negotiate what sweet job they have or they can withdraw support. They don't even have to formally endorse it. They can never be kicked out by an internal coup. Like National's coded dogwhistles in their sweetheart electorates, people will soon get what installing their guy for the overhang means.
Just in case it's not clear what a cock punch is:
"The blow that strikes to the core of a warrior's strength, against which there is no defence".