Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler

Read Post

Legal Beagle: Referendum Fact Check #2: Think Tank

42 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 2 Newer→ Last

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    And again, I have now opened this for discussion. You'd think that might be the default :-)

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

  • artig,

    Thank you for the analysis. rest deleted , my misunderstanding.

    BoP • Since Oct 2010 • 23 posts Report Reply

  • artig,

    Sorry, I get it now. It was not about the Nazi party, but it was about the Nazis, forming other parties.

    BoP • Since Oct 2010 • 23 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    The pre-World War II electoral system in Germany was a pure proportional system (i.e. list vote only) with no threshold. It led to an incredibly fractured Parliament.

    It's a big call to blame the incredibly chaotic times in that country at that time on the electoral system. I expect it was incredibly fractured because their entire society was incredibly fractured, there was constant revolt, numerous uprisings, political assassinations, large angry violent factions clashing in the streets, popular racist conspiracies, Great Nations maneuvering outside the borders with vast armies, an intense anger at the outcome of WW1, hyperinflation, sanctions, and an enormous stockmarket collapse. I doubt any system would have done much better.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8584 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    After WWII, the Nazi Party was banned in Germany, so the threshold cannot have been introduced to keep them out

    Can we have some links to (in English translation coz I didn't pay attention in German lessons at school) the minutes of the Herrenchiemsee Convention that discuss this?

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

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to BenWilson,

    It's a big call to blame the incredibly chaotic times in that country at that time on the electoral system. I expect it was incredibly fractured because their entire society was incredibly fractured

    I suspect so too. I make the same point about other Parliaments with low thresholds. However, the point remains that a 5% threshold could have stopped some of the fractiousness from getting representation in the legislature.

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

  • BenWilson,

    While there are arguments against the single seat exception, that it makes Parliament more disproportionate is not one of them.

    It certainly does not make it more disproportionate for the party that attains a single seat, unless that party gets considerably less of the party vote than required for one electorate. As you say, for them, it makes it more proportionate.

    But there is an argument that allowing parties to become proportionate on the strength of a single seat, while others with potentially higher support fail out because they don't get a seat, is disproportionate. The question is really where to lay that blame - is it the threshold, or the exception to the threshold? I personally think it's the threshold. Removing the exception would certainly eliminate more parties from parliament.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8584 posts Report Reply

  • Raymond A Francis,

    It seems obvious that a low threshold would lead to more parties, possibly single issue parties but is that a bad thing for democracy
    I can see how it could be bad for stability but surely dis-enfranchising citizens is worse?

    45' South • Since Nov 2006 • 543 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    However, the point remains that a 5% threshold could have stopped some of the fractiousness from getting representation in the legislature.

    Not could. Would certainly have. But the important question seems to me "would that have been better or worse?". I doubt it would have made a lick of difference, Hitler was brought in by huge majorities, and if he hadn't been, it's quite likely he might have seized power anyway, as he eventually did, even though democracy actually installed him.

    I guess fractiousness doesn't seem to me to be such a bad thing to represent. If society is fractured, then you can't unfracture it by eliminating the smaller influences from the political process. All you've done is set up a situation where leadership can act decisively because they can safely ignore a reasonable percentage of interests. I used to be a much bigger fan of decisive leadership than I am now.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8584 posts Report Reply

  • Tim Hannah,

    It seems a little unfair at Point 2 to ding Matt McCarten for talking about the very close to the threshold Green result in 99 by stating they didn't didn't stand in 96.

    I mean, you're right, but so is he.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 224 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to BenWilson,

    I doubt it would have made a lick of difference, Hitler was brought in by huge majorities, and if he hadn’t been, it’s quite likely he might have seized power anyway, as he eventually did, even though democracy actually installed him.

    The Nazi Party never received a majority.

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

  • Adam Maynard, in reply to Raymond A Francis,

    I always found the dis-enfranchising of voters a concern as well; but I also like that the Threshold exists. Otherwise there is a high chance we would have a plethora of smaller parties causing chaos.

    Personally I would like to see a pseudo STV/MMP type of system where voters could rank their preferred parties and if their party doesn't make the threshold their next choice is utilised. STV could also be used for the electoral vote as well, but the important part for me would be that STV was used for the party vote.

    Unfortunately if people are still confused about how MMP works, I doubt such a system would have much luck either.

    Palmerston North • Since Jul 2011 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Tim Hannah,

    It seems a little unfair at Point 2 to ding Matt McCarten for talking about the very close to the threshold Green result in 99 by stating they didn't didn't stand in 96.

    Yeah, I figured he was just confusing his dates, and transplanting what happened in 1999 to 1996, but I included it for two reasons:

    1. the assertion that the accommodation (such as it was) in Coromandel was a result of what happened three years earlier takes it beyond mere date confusion.

    2. I got to point out that Nandor stood at the 1996 election :-)

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

  • Tim Hannah, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    But, but... you quote him saying "The Greens almost also in 99".

    Unless you're misquoting him, and he actually said "The Greens almost also in 96", I think you're holding him to an unreasonable standard.

    Though kudos for the Nandor trivia, it does need to be said.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 224 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    The Nazi Party never received a majority.

    Yes, I shouldn't say Hitler received majorities. It was in a coalition arrangement that he became the Chancellor. But the Nazi party wasn't some tiny party hovering around the threshold. They got over 33% in 1932, that's in the same ballpark as both National and Labour have both endured within the last 10 years. A threshold would not have stopped them, and in the end, nothing could stop them except violence.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8584 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Tim Hannah,

    I'm not misquoting Matt.

    He was saying that in 1999 Labour did a deal over Coromandel because at the previous election (i.e. '96), the Greens were close to the threshold.

    This didn't happen.

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

  • Tim Hannah, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    Ah, yes, I see your reading. Which, you're right, is a reasonable take on the quote. Apologies. I'm reading as I expect to see it, maybe his meaning was clearer in the audio.

    (Though, suspect the transcript isn't as kind to him as it could be. If he did a Hansard on it there'd probably be an ellipsis or fullstop in there - looks to me like the "previous election" is an unfinished thought, not a lead in to the rest).

    But should know not to get into into a details argument with you. Sorry.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 224 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to artig,

    Sorry, I get it now. It was not about the Nazi party, but it was about the Nazis, forming other parties.

    My mistake. I've added the previously missing "not".

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

  • Rich of Observationz,

    One reason I don't watch TV (or play many video files) is that talking heads are always going to be full of error and tendentiousness. I'd much rather read texts that have had some considered thought behind them.

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

  • uroskin,

    It's a pity the "Pure Proportional" system isn't an option in the MMP referendum. All the alternatives on offer are less proporttional than MMP. I would prefer an 1/120 threshold with lists only (plus voting for a candidate on a list allowed to rank successful list places). No need for pakeha or Maori seats with the attendant gerrymandering, backroom deals and coat tail MPs. Simple to understand too. And you can base your vote on party policy rather than local personality.

    Waiheke Island • Since Feb 2007 • 178 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to uroskin,

    It's a pity the "Pure Proportional" system isn't an option in the MMP referendum.

    It isn't, but if MMP gets the big thumbs up, I understand that tweaking it is next on the agenda.

    I'd much rather read texts that have had some considered thought behind them.

    Mind you, there's no guarantee of that, just because it's text. But you can get through it a hell of a lot faster than TV can. I find (not by choice, it's just panned out this way) that I go to text for non-fiction and TV for fiction, where the exact opposite seems to hold - in movies you get to the mood/point a hundred times faster than with a book.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8584 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    TV for fiction

    Close Up, 60 Minutes, Sunday? That sort of thing?

    in movies you get to the mood/point a hundred times faster than with a book

    Yes, but it's almost always boy meets girl. In the dim, distant past I had about a weeks downtime on a ship and watched pretty much their entire (and substantial) movie stockpile. They were all BMG (there are also movies that are BMB, GMG and WTABMG, if you tend towards hentai - but still basically the same plot).

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

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to uroskin,

    It’s a pity the “Pure Proportional” system isn’t an option

    Yes. Is it actually used anywhere? I'd favour it (but would tend to keep the Maori seats unless and until Maori decide to dump them). The obvious argument against is that it doesn't permit people to have a local MP they can take their problems to, but in practice parties designate their list MPs to a geographical area anyway.

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

  • BenWilson, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Yes, but it's almost always boy meets girl.

    Yes, the dynamic between Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins just oozed an urgent horizontal desire.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8584 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    The obvious argument against is that it doesn't permit people to have a local MP they can take their problems to, but in practice parties designate their list MPs to a geographical area anyway.

    I think that side of things is massively overrated. I can't imagine going to my local MP as first port of call for any issue except, maybe, a local issue. And here's the thing - I don't really have local issues much. If I do, I change location.

    It seems to me a real hangover from times when relocating was hard, and travel was limited. Any day I travel, I'm crossing dozens of electoral boundaries, and just because I don't happen to live in Auckland Central doesn't mean it doesn't affect me, and my opinion is valueless.

    There are many more dimensions upon which direct choice of representation could be of value than simple location. Why we have to have half of our political representation officially dedicated to it, I don't know. To be brutally honest, the concerns of Avondale and it's surrounds are probably closer to around 5% of my interest in my political representation.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8584 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 2 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.