Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler

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Legal Beagle: Election '11 - Counter-Factual #1

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  • Tinshed,

    But not necessarily a better one?

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Jul 2008 • 12 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Tinshed,

    not necessarily a better one?

    Cartainly a more proportional one...

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2990 posts Report Reply

  • James Green,

    Nice analysis Graeme. I'd never really thought of ALC as getting enough votes for a seat before. Also, just to slightly continue a conversation we were engaged in elsewhere last week, you know Daniel Kahneman is pretty instrumental in the modern understanding of counterfactual?

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 683 posts Report Reply

  • Lew Stoddart,

    Not fond of this sort of analysis, since a threshold (or lack) changes voter behaviour. But what strikes me is how little difference there is from the actual result this time, compared to 2008. That's about NZF.

    L

    Wellington, NZ • Since Aug 2010 • 105 posts Report Reply

  • tussock,

    Changes things though, dunnit. Winston doesn't get the "save that wasted 4% this time" vote off Labour/Green. ALCP maybe gets more than it's 60% of a seat when it's not a wasted vote (they've had 2% in the past). More anti-sale (christian-)conservatives flee National to Colin's party knowing it's a safe anti-Labour vote.

    That could change things to ...

    ACT 1

    National 55
    United 1

    Conservative 5
    Māori 3
    NZF 6

    Labour 34
    Greens 14

    Māna 1
    ALCP 1

    Then if Labour and National hadn't rorted all the funding for themselves, we might even hear from the little guys occasionally. Certainly leaves a lot of ways to build the 61 vote majority on any particular policy.

    Since Nov 2006 • 351 posts Report Reply

  • mic weevil,

    I think it would be great to remove the threshold. the very term "wasted votes" is anathema to a proper proportional system.

    auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 51 posts Report Reply

  • John Norman,

    newbie here..

    such a result might rend indicatives ex mmp revision post-Election.?

    I go with commenters' sentiment re "wasted votes". Presently unable determine use as so-called elites or simply the hubris of politicos needing dominance. Mebbe both—their relationship somewhat closer than they would hope shall be noticed.

    Methinks waste = support loss. We might test this with comparison 08/11 final results and various percentages of whole votes.

    To the blogger, GE: in the banner illustration to this blog would that be a makeover of Judge Jeffreys—yes that one

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2011 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Hans Versluys,

    Certainly a much better result! And easier to understand: 0.8% of the party vote would get you a seat. We could do away with all that timewasting in electorate campaigning if NZ was one 120 seat electorate. (No separate Maori seats either, as a bonus!)

    Auckland • Since Jul 2011 • 29 posts Report Reply

  • mic weevil, in reply to John Norman,

    Methinks waste = support loss.

    Waste refers to votes for parties that failed to gain an electorate seat or pass the 5% threshold. ie. the 2.8% of the country who chose to vote for the conservative party can be said to have wasted votes - their votes do not win representation in the house.

    This effect is the biggest factor preventing proportional representation with MMP and is also the reason why Ohariu and Epsom have such ridiculous chicanery in their electorate votes...

    auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 51 posts Report Reply

  • Tinshed, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    Personally I don't see a fixed relationship between proportionality and effectiveness of a voting system, i.e. the greater the proportionality, the better the outcome, ad infinitum. Put another way, a threshold is A Good Thing.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Jul 2008 • 12 posts Report Reply

  • mic weevil,

    "Put another way, a threshold is A Good Thing."

    Not if you voted Conservative this election. If you did, then despite the party having won enough votes to earn 3 seats in the house, you instead get no representation.

    I guess if you don't "see a fixed relationship between proportionality and effectiveness of a voting system" then maybe you're right, but I wonder how you define "effectiveness".

    For me, an effective voting system is one where as many votes as possible are represented within parliament. I don't support the conservative party at all but I think that given they have the support of more than 2.5% of the population, they should have a voice in parliament. ACT have a much lower degree of public support and they get to have a voice.

    auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 51 posts Report Reply

  • Hans Versluys,

    "Put another way, a threshold is A Good Thing."
    Not if you voted Conservative this election. If you did, then despite the party having won enough votes to earn 3 seats in the house, you instead get no representation.

    Put another way, it means that not all votes are of equal value: the Conservative vote is worthless now, while Key and Banks were hoping that Epsom votes would be worth more than anyone else's in the country (i.e. get more MPs than their share indicated). The lower the threshold, the more democracy.

    Auckland • Since Jul 2011 • 29 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    You are arguing the level at which the threshold should be set. It's not restricted to either zero or 5%, but the level will be considered anyway in the upcoming review and was by the Royal Commission when NZ adopted the system.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16418 posts Report Reply

  • tussock,

    I wonder if we could allow post-vote coalitions to form to get people over the threshold. So ALCP could go Green to get them an extra MP, and maybe Mana too if it rounded them up to another one in total. Conservatives could go with National to drag in 3-2 = 1 more total MP on the right and one less Labour or Green. Labour could always save a more radical left-wing party like Mana that tries to energise the youth vote, as National would with ACT.

    Winston could've gone with Labour in 2008 for another couple of "opposition" MPs and a tied parliament, but only if Labour agreed.

    That should mitigate the issue of small parties, ACT wouldn't need it's free electorate when it's supporting National anyway, same with Dunne, and there's no wasted vote if someone in parliament can hold their nose long enough to pick up the seats; but truly obnoxious parties still miss out.

    Since Nov 2006 • 351 posts Report Reply

  • John Norman,

    Mic,

    Yes, I get this "wasted" definition. Understanding the waste to be the party's. That said, the fact of actual votes being made & counted suggests to me also that to some extent they are swinging votes. Meaning thus another entity's loss of support.
    As to - is it termed theshold? - I think this exists to try ensure serious voting. Tho, as you say, it subtracts a little from strictly proportional..

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2011 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • kiwicafe,

    1.000.000 did not vote, 1/3rd . . . now put that into all your equations. who didn't and why? all those who have moved to OZ, anyone with a brain or a passion would go further aka the US, where real talent is embraced big time. So why not put our thoughts toward a compulsory vote. At birth, in Aotearoa, we get given a # this remains with us all our life. It's our registration plate so to speak. I remember in OZ before I discovered I was actually born with a brain :) I was fined 10 or 25 pounds for not voting. Think about it, 25.000.000 that would get our Constitution finally finished, create aFlag and create a republic. Now we are talking. All these maybe, could be, shoulda be, hypotheticals don't produce creative anything.

    South Wairarapa • Since Nov 2011 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Everyone has been talking about requiring 61 to form a government. 62 surely, given the overhang and the need for a speaker?

    Since Nov 2006 • 6157 posts Report Reply

  • Brent Jackson,

    Speaker is not allowed a casting vote, so they no longer cost the government a vote.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 399 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Here is a question. If we abolish the threshold and I set up the Vote For Me (VFM) party and somehow get .085% of the vote and end up in Parliament, will I be fully funded as a party leader or just get the dosh of a single MP?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1768 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    If we abolish the threshold and I set up the Vote For Me (VFM) party and somehow get .085% of the vote and end up in Parliament, will I be fully funded as a party leader or just get the dosh of a single MP?

    Fully funded, unless they change the law.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2990 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    A *WTF* party could secure significant votes from the empathetically apathetic.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16418 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    A *WTF* party…

    Want The Funding?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1768 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    a good honest party :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16418 posts Report Reply

  • tussock,

    NB all: people keep saying you need 1/120th to get a seat with no threshold, but that's not true.

    The first seat is at roughly 1/240th the total, the rest at 1/120th each. First seat, ~9000 votes, second seat total ~27000, third seat ~45000, and so on (to bring the average as close to 18k per seat as possible).

    Various countries use a 1.4 first divisor to chase away micro-parties without distorting proportionality, which would make it ~12600 for the first seat here, but still just 0.58%. ALCP out (though I'd give them one if it would matter, freeing up 10% of the justice system FTW), everyone else in.

    Since Nov 2006 • 351 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to tussock,

    Various countries use a 1.4 first divisor to chase away micro-parties without distorting proportionality, which would make it ~12600 for the first seat here, but still just 0.58%.

    The Royal Commission recommended a modified Sainte-Laguë method with 3, 4, 5, 7, 9 ... etc. as the divisors.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2990 posts Report Reply

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