Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler

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Legal Beagle: Up to 11

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  • Raymond A Francis,

    The other bug bear with MMP; is the lists or rather the non democratic way some of them are picked/ranked
    Maybe a way to help would be to encourage (by law) more voters to be registered to the parties who could then do the ranking in primaries before an election
    This would whip up more interest in the parties and the election
    The other plus would be a chance for parties to solve their financial problems by having a registration fee, hopefully low enough for some of us to pick the list in more than one party!
    Win, win all round

    45' South • Since Nov 2006 • 529 posts Report Reply

  • tussock, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    Rather than 1/120th, use half of what it takes to get 2 seats. Not d'Hondt where you make all the small parties smaller (because the little parties work better in our parliamentary system if they're a bit bigger), just keep the micro-parties from further splitting to gain representation.

    Anyhoo, that's 14,654 last election, which is roughly what electorate MPs get in on anyway (30-35% of ~50k). 0.625%, 1/160th. Gets the odd wonk and pervert a seat over the years, but I doubt Bill and Ben would've run if they could've won a seat, and it would've kept the Christian groups out of United Future.

    Anyway, the nutter angle for the threshold is bogus, as when the big parties have more ways to make a majority, the little parties have less power, and the Nats and Labs totally work together to keep them out already (like the opposition speaker we had for some years there).

    Since Nov 2006 • 345 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Raymond A Francis,

    The other bug bear with MMP; is the lists or rather the non democratic way some of them are picked/ranked

    All parties are required by law to have democratic candidate selection, and that includes list ranking.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2988 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to tussock,

    Rather than 1/120th, use half of what it takes to get 2 seats. Not d’Hondt where you make all the small parties smaller (because the little parties work better in our parliamentary system if they’re a bit bigger), just keep the micro-parties from further splitting to gain representation.

    Anyhoo, that’s 14,654 last election, which is roughly what electorate MPs get in on anyway (30-35% of ~50k). 0.625%, 1/160th.

    I imagine we'd just used modified Sainte-Laguë. Perhaps having the first divisor as 1.4 or 1.5 instead of 1. It's not too far off what you suggest.

    Also, at the last election, well over half of our electorate MPs were elected with absolute majorities.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2988 posts Report Reply

  • Hans Versluys,

    I suppose the MMP camp in the referendum could attract the redneck vote by highlighting that all MMP alternatives on offer include more Maori seats than under MMP.

    Auckland • Since Jul 2011 • 29 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    I think it should be a threshold of the quota needed to win two list seats, so that in order to get MPs, a party would need enough support to be an actual movement (albeit small) rather than a personal vanity party.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4356 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    What is wrong with personal vanity parties? I mean, why shouldn't the `Jim's a good bloke' faction get their man in?

    Since Jul 2008 • 1262 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Raymond A Francis,

    That is an interesting idea…as someone who is (and whose family are) long time
    Labour supporters, it might even encourage some of us to participate in the democratic process at a local level.

    I tried this, nearly 40 years ago, on the Coast. The rampant anti-feminism & and screechy homophobia (I wasnt but had to be after refusing breast-grabbing opportunities…) put me off for– well life, until now-

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

  • Andrew Geddis, in reply to peteremcc,

    Peter,

    Yes - the "single seat exemption" was lifted from (the then West) German model ... which has a two-seat rule in place precisely to allow regionally popular parties representation.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2007 • 113 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Geddis, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    Graeme.

    I am that "someone". And you're welcome.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2007 • 113 posts Report Reply

  • Rowan McCaffery,

    I like to think of it as the 'Trojan Horse" rule - where you send an innocent looking electorate MP to parliament, and then a bunch of list MPs sneak out of them when you're not looking!

    Anyway, under MMP there are many other of situations where some voters are given more power than others. For example;
    - Maori party voters got to send some extra labour MPs to parliament as overhangers. ;)
    - 121 voters get to decide amongst themselves who forms the government, and those same voters (sans the speaker and the opposition) get to decide what all of our laws should be.
    - And that's assuming that the 1 voter with an overriding vote doesn't veto any of them!


    PS: Had you genuinely never heard people complaining that voters in Epsom (or Tauranga, or Coromandel) were given too much power because of this rule? I'd thought that was the main objection to it!

    New Zealand • Since Oct 2011 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • dave crampton,

    New Zealand First earned five seats because it got 95,000 votes, and the voters of Tauranga got to tell them they couldn't

    Not just Tauranga, all voters in every electorate go to tell them - Including the said 95,000.

    welli • Since Jan 2007 • 143 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Andrew Geddis,

    Graeme. I am that “someone”. And you’re welcome.

    It was Therese Arseneau. You were more of a hanger-on once I'd pretty much made up my mind to change my mind.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2988 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to dave crampton,

    Not just Tauranga, all voters in every electorate go to tell them – Including the said 95,000.

    I did consider putting it like that, but I decided my way was pithier.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2988 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Rowan McCaffery,

    PS: Had you genuinely never heard people complaining that voters in Epsom (or Tauranga, or Coromandel) were given too much power because of this rule? I’d thought that was the main objection to it!

    Yes. Whenever I heard the complaint it was never about the voters. People complained that ACT was only in Parliament because Rodney won Epsom, and people complained that ACT was only in Parliament because National l made a deal with Rodney in Epsom (which isn't true, at least for the first time). But no-one complained that it meant voters in Epsom had more power than other voters.

    p.s. since changes to Standing Orders following the introduction of MMP, the Speaker now gets a vote in Parliament.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2988 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    But no-one complained that it meant voters in Epsom had more power than other voters.

    Au contraire!

    It's unfair, IMO, against those parties (and suppo[r]ters thereof) that have broad, rather than concentrated, support and it encourages gaming of the system because it rewards with greater power the voters in electorates that vote in a Hide, Dunne, or Anderton.
    - 3410, 13th April 2010

    .
    .
    .
    [I can't believe I found it!]

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to 3410,

    Au contraire!

    Quite. However, if you look a little further down, you will note that by that time, I had already changed my mind, so your observation came after the same observation from someone else that changed my mind. If only you'd been earlier, this post could have been dedicated to you!

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2988 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    by that time, I had already changed my mind

    So it seems. Strange then that all references in your post of two days ago to your conversion are in the present tense.

    When circumstances change, the calculations can too. Not this time. Someone just presented an argument that was there all along in a slightly different way, and I couldn’t answer it.

    Though it has long been unpopular, I have been a strong supporter of the single seat exemption...

    I thought these were strong arguments. And I still do. But they’re no longer strong enough.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to 3410,

    So it seems. Strange then that all references in your post of two days ago to your conversion are in the present tense.

    I was so confused by that also, but just didn't have the inclination to go fisking through the threads. I was just glad the Beagle had finally come round, um, officially I guess.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8305 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    What is wrong with personal vanity parties?

    If a politician is a member of a real political party, then if they want their ideas enacted, they need to persuade caucus (and support parties) of their validity. If they want to be a minister, they need to convince the leader/caucus of their personal merit.

    If they're a one-man-band, they can often get these things just by turning up and agreeing to confidence and supply.

    So a vanity candidate gets super-representation in return for a small number of votes concentrated in one place - this contrasts with the influence a real party gets with hundreds of thousands of votes from all over the nation.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4356 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    If they’re a one-man-band, they can often get these things just by turning up and agreeing to confidence and supply.

    I don't know how true this actually is, and even if it is, it is just the tail-wagging dog, and is equally applicable to the Greens, say,

    Since Jul 2008 • 1262 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to 3410,

    So it seems. Strange then that all references in your post of two days ago to your conversion are in the present tense.

    It really doesn't seem that long ago. Your pointing to that thread just showed me how long it was.

    That said, and while I'm not big on all those fancy forms of tenses, they all seem at least some form of past tense to me:

    Someone presented an argument.
    I have been a supporter (i.e. in the past).
    I thought X (i.e. in the past) and now my view is Y. etc

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2988 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    I've sometimes changed my views and taken years to realize it. Also, time just flies these days.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8305 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to BenWilson,

    time just flies these days.

    Time flies like an arrow, Fruit flies like a Banana.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4613 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    Time flies like an arrow, Fruit flies like a Banana.

    The giant panda eats, shoots and leaves.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4057 posts Report Reply

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