Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler

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Legal Beagle: Paula's Peril; or The (un)certain Scenario

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  • Graeme Edgeler,

    p.s. I should add, that in the unlikely event that this happened, I don't believe Paula would be able to return to Parliament as a list MP at all this term (if, for example, a National list MP resigned, or died). That could probably be fudged, however, as the alternative is at least somewhat arguable.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2968 posts Report Reply

  • Grant McDougall,

    But whether the balance has been struck correctly is something I think I'll be asking the MMP review to address.

    Graeme, can you also ask them to review the anamoly we saw in the 2008 election where:

    - ACT got a measly 2% of the vote, yet thanks to Hide winning Epsom, they got five MPs, while in contrast...

    - NZ First got twice as many votes, 4.07%, yet because Peters failed to hold Tauranga, they got no MPs.

    One suggestion I've heard to counter this anamoly is that if a party wins an electorate seat, they only get that seat and must crack 5% to get any more MPs.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 548 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Grant McDougall,

    Graeme, can you also ask them to review the anamoly we saw in the 2008 election where:

    - ACT got a measly 2% of the vote, yet thanks to Hide winning Epsom, they got five MPs, while in contrast...

    - NZ First got twice as many votes, 4.07%, yet because Peters failed to hold Tauranga, they got no MPs.

    Please tell me that you're having a laugh.

    The Electoral Commission will certainly be looking at both thresholds. I expect they will recommend removing the "one seat rule" and may well also recommend lowering the 5% threshold. The best way to be rid of the anomaly may be to get rid of both thresholds altogether.

    But onto the bit where I hope you're having a laugh (this is a pretty good way to get a reaction from me, I have to admit!).

    1. At the 2008 election, ACT got 85,496 votes, and New Zealand First got 95,356 votes. This is not "twice as many votes". 85,496 votes was also not "a measly 2%", but 3.65%.

    2. Peters couldn't hold Tauranga, as he'd lost it in 2005, he needed to take it :-)

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2968 posts Report Reply

  • Grant McDougall,

    I wasn't having a laugh; however I only said 2% and 4.07% because that was how I remembered it (obviously wrongly) and because I was unaware of the actual number of votes they got.

    Also, I'd forgotten Peters had lost Tauranga in 2005.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 548 posts Report Reply

  • stephen walker, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    recommend removing the "one seat rule" and may well also recommend lowering the 5% threshold.

    yes, that would be good. getting rid of the "one-electorate-seat exemption" and halving the 5% threshold to 2.5% is the way to make things fairer and encourage more people to vote, imho.

    tokyo • Since Nov 2006 • 628 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Grant McDougall,

    I wasn’t having a laugh

    I assumed not, I've just complained here before about how the 2008 election is mis-remembered. A lot :-)

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2968 posts Report Reply

  • Raymond A Francis,

    Judging with what has happened in the past in New Zealand with MMP I feel dropping the threshold is a goer but do other countries who use similar systems feel it is necessary?

    45' South • Since Nov 2006 • 521 posts Report Reply

  • Greg Dawson, in reply to Raymond A Francis,

    I feel dropping the threshold is a goer

    I for one welcome our new ALCP coalition-building overlords (that's right, meme'ing like it's y2k biznitches)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 196 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Interested scenario, Graeme. I would be surprised, though, if an election petition didn't actually strengthen the National vote - the voters most at risk of being challenged out are the ones who move around (ie renting) and students who may be living away from home as they study. Both of these demographics seem more likely not to vote National, to me.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8015 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    Is there any MMP scenario in which the voters of Waitakere get to pelt her leopard-skin ministerial car with rotten fruit as it drives humiliatedly out of town? Because that's what I would really, really like.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3582 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Danielle,

    Word, sister.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8015 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Raymond A Francis,

    Judging with what has happened in the past in New Zealand with MMP I feel dropping the threshold is a goer but do other countries who use similar systems feel it is necessary?

    It's pretty variable.

    Germany's MMP system has 5% or three electorates (but ~600 members of their lower House).

    Poland has 5%, or 8% for coalitions.

    Israel has 2%.

    Portugal, Finland, Macedonia, South Africa and the Netherlands don't have a threshold at all (although the Netherlands won't allow a party's first seat to be a remainder seat, so it would be kinda like us having a threshold of 1/120 of the vote). Same with Scotland and Wales, although these systems (and I think Macedonia as well, and I don't rule out some of the others) have regional lists, which can mean that the effective threshold is slightly higher than you might think it would be.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2968 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    the hilarity

    Plus Bennett lining up for the dole. The poetic justice.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3298 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    although the Netherlands won't allow a party's first seat to be a remainder seat, so it would be kinda like us having a threshold of 1/120 of the vote.

    This is my favourite alternative - the threshold should be exactly that required to earn a seat.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 1958 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Geddis,

    Of course, you can flip this (Carmel Sepuloni is confirmed as electorate MP after the judicial recount, Paula Bennett then launches an electoral petition which is successful). In that case, Carmel is out and while National doesn't gain a seat, Labour loses one ... reducing Parliament to 120 seats and making absolutely no difference to the NACTUF coalition's 1 vote majority.

    So ... not really as hilarious. Not hilarious at all.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2007 • 107 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Andrew Geddis,

    In that case, Carmel is out and while National doesn’t gain a seat

    As with a by-election, there might be a window in which Bennett could resign as a list MP before being formally elected as the local member.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2968 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Aston,

    Wow Graeme - this scenario has big implications.
    Quite aside from the party polices Paula Bennett has been a very competent minister, I cannot see her party allowing her to be biffed out on the street over an electoral petition.
    I can see the attraction for Labour in going for this option if they thought Carmel could regain the seat and the Nats majority could be reduced by one.
    So working with your scenario, ie Judicial recount = Bennet In then Labour goes for a Electoral Petition , what are the chances Bennet would lose?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 421 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Richard Aston,

    So working with your scenario, ie Judicial recount = Bennet In then Labour goes for a Electoral Petition , what are the chances Bennet would lose?

    I think rather unlikely, but mostly because I don’t think the judicial recount will go Bennett's way. If it doesn’t, and she still tries an election petition, she wouldn’t then be out if she lost the petition.

    An election petition based on vote counting.eligibility would be a crap-shoot. No way of knowing for anyone without a great deal more information than I have.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2968 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    but mostly because I don’t think the judicial recount will go Bennett's way

    Why not?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8015 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to BenWilson,

    Why not?

    I thought I already said, but ... because the returning officer will have been really really careful the first time around.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2968 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I thought I already said

    I thought you must have too, but you didn't. It does make sense, though. Counting isn't exactly rocket science.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8015 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to BenWilson,

    I thought you must have too, but you didn't.

    Turns out I did. Only it was in the other thread!

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2968 posts Report Reply

  • Raymond A Francis, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    Yes, I like the look of that 1/120 the total vote required
    Sorry to lazy to work that out but how would the present Parliment look if we had used that rule?
    Please

    45' South • Since Nov 2006 • 521 posts Report Reply

  • Thomas Lucien, in reply to Raymond A Francis,

    National lose 2, Labour & Greens less 1 each.

    Conservatives and ALCP in with 3 & 1 respectively.

    e: actually ALCP may not get in depending on whether you need 1/120 to get in and what remainder method method you use. In that case, the Greens do not lose a seat.

    Since Dec 2011 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Cocytus,

    All this just shows Kiwi's don't understand the system we use to elect members to parliament. It's called MMP but the system is the Sainte-Laguë method. This is not a percentage of the vote = number of seats system. If it was then National's 47.31% of the vote translates to only 56 seats not 59.

    The Sainte-Laguë method uses a mathematical calculation to rank votes in order of 1 to 120 for all parties and then allocates 120 seats in order of highest vote quotient downwards. eg on 26 November - National got seat 1, Labour seat two, National seat 3, Greens seat 4, National seat 5, Labout seat 6 and so on.

    The Sainte-Laguë calculation is Quotient = V / 2s + 1 ... where V is the total votes each party got and s is the number of seats in a parliament sequentially increased from 0 to 120.

    So National got 1,058,638 votes ... 1,058,638 / 2x0+1 = 1,058,638 this is first vote quotient. 1,058,638 / 2x1+1 = 352.879 this is second vote quotient and so on ...

    The final result is a table that allocates all 120 seats and is why when special votes came in National lost a seat and the Greens gained it.

    Any review of MMP's proportionality would need to review the method we use for MMP

    Wellington • Since Dec 2011 • 1 posts Report Reply

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