Not even 7000 words. I have failed :-)
Hard to see why the reference to the Nazi party was necessary.The Weimar Republic introduced proportional representation in Germany , not the Allied occupation.
The National Socialist Freedom Party, on its first attempt in the first election of 1924, won 6.5% and 32 MPs. And while they didnt get over 5% again till 1930 elections, by then they were the second largest party.
Hard to see why the reference to the Nazi party was necessary.
Because that's a common example used by those who favour high thresholds.
Currently the Bundestag has its largest parties as the CDU at 27% and the SPD at 23%. All smaller than the NSDAP in all of the elections of 1932-3. I cant see how a threshold would have changed anything in 1933 or as I have shown give a more stable two party system today.
I think you have covered everything that I feel is important very well
Especially like points 55 and 87
Now it will be interesting to see if the Turkeys will vote for Christmas or at least if self interest compared with true democracy will prevail
Impressive content aside, some proofreading of language is still needed, e.g.:
3. “[…] a minimum that its is substantially lowered” –> “a minimum that is substantially lowered”;
5. “This significantly strengthens makes the imperative […]” –> “This significantly strengthens the imperative”;
19. “Iam” –> “I am”;
26. “we’ve had 5% threshold” –> “we’ve had a 5% threshold”;
29. “will not an easy task” –> “will not be an easy task”;
43. “and that this is” – is interpretable as “I find […] that this is…” but is that what you intended rather than “and this [statement] is …”? ;
50. “qppear” –> “appear”;
59. “is that it an open list” –> “is that an open list”;
61. needs a final full stop;
64. “does it removes” –> “does it remove”;
64. “it open to” –> “it is open to”.
(This comment can be removed once the editing is done.)
Impressive content aside, some proofreading of language is still needed
I very much imagined that would be the case, but I was very very tired by the time I finished :-)
This is convincing.
I think you could also connect the open list issue with the threshold issue i.e. voters who don't like the way lists are constructed by a party will be better able to vote for other parties if the threshold is lowered or removed. As it stands that opportunity is reduced. It's a clear example of how the different parts of the system might interact.
Re: 42 "Lots of people stand in an electorate knowing that they won’t win, but putting one’s name forward for election when you don’t even want to win seems almost dishonest, and I’m not sure we should be writing our electoral laws to benefit those who wish to run in order not to be elected."
Tosh. All of those candidates who go into an election without hope of winning would still happily win the electorate. Whether they're high up a party list or single cause battlers they would dream of winning the popularity contest that is each election. I honestly can't think who you might be referring to who wouldn't want to win their electorate given half a chance. John Key cares sweet fa for Helensville but he still probably wants to win it.
I also disagree with your assumption tht voters vote for candidate they prefer at bi-elections or when looking at party lists. I believe that the vast majority of voters care little for the personality of their electorate candidate, or study party lists for names they like or dislike. Sadly I believe most voters follow their preference of leader. Second comes their preference of policy. Nothing else comes into it for most voters so arguing that open party lists in some shape or form are important is irrelevant.
Still it'll make voting far more interesting for the politically engaged minority. And that would be a good thing. Every election I exit the polling station underwhelmed so a bit of mental challenge would be great.
Otherwise agreeing with most of what you suggest.
A note on my "tosh". Perhaps you're bemoaning the few candidates who openly discourage electorate votes for themselves such as Gareth Hughes and Paul Goldsmith. Yet this incongruity is easily fixed by changing the One seat threshold rather than distortions created by disallowing dual candidacy (which you point out elsewhere).
Perhaps you’re bemoaning the few candidates who openly discourage electorate votes for themselves such as Gareth Hughes and Paul Goldsmith.
I mostly was. I don't think Metiria Turei really wants to be an electorate MP in Dunedin either, but I acknowledge I could be wrong.
I think she (and the other Green electorate candidates) would like to be electorate MPs, but would prefer that if they don't get elected, Labour rather than National take the seat.
It's a bit of a FPP hangover though. It shouldn't actually matter if National win electorates - if the Labour party vote holds up, they'll get list MPs.
This significantly strengthens the imperative to ensure that the voices of as many voters as possible are represented in the House of Representatives.
Members of Parliament represent all New Zealanders, not just those of voting age
Which is it? Do MPs represent all New Zealanders, or only the ones who voted for them?
Different uses of the word "represent".
Active "Represent" all NZers, in the sense of working for them all. But they are representative of those who voted for them.
I meant to include a mention of the two populations (the NZ population which is used to apportion electorate seats (people repressented of all ages) and the voting population that is allocate seats) in my submission. However I missed it out. Really no idea why as I do rant on a fair bit on regional lists which the difference between the two population is very important
I think you have expressed the situation more articulately than I could have. I'm glad someone mentioned it.
Graeme, I very much appreciate the work you have done here. I'm not sure I would've bothered to submit to the review without the benefit of your research and opinions. Thank you for helping me take my democratic rights and responsibilities more seriously!
Quoting from my "5 minute submission" (took a little while to get it down to 750 characters):
I agree with most of Graeme Edgeler's submission (6 April), except point 96 - I don't think it's appropriate to ask voters to consider voting for a deceased/incapacitated person.
- either removing the party vote threshold, or reducing it to 2.5% or less
- removing the one seat threshold
- retaining dual candidacy for electorate and list seats
- allowing list MPs to stand as electorate candidates in a by-election
- filling the vacated list seat with the next available candidate from the party's list, when a list member wins an electorate seat in a by-election
- closed party lists (but I have no objection to party members being more involved in ranking their party's list)
- allowing an overhang, with or without balance seats
If you're reading this thread, and thinking 'mm. Graeme has some good points, and has expressed them more eloquently than I could, so I don't need to submit.' please please reconsider, and add your voice.
I had not intended to submit until I heard, with one ear, David Farrar on Jim Mora this afternoon talking about what the political parties had included in their submissions (could you guess that they want to keep the status quo?). I duly submitted, noting the vested interest established parties have in keeping the threshold high.
I then spent a bit of time reading through some of the other submissions - they are all publicly available on the website - and some of them are pretty disappointing. From the several who want MMP changed so it becomes supplementary member (including one fellow who argued that, like him, everyone who originally voted for MMP thought they were getting supplementary member and were surprised after the 1996 election), to the numerous references to the 'tail wagging the dog', and my favourite (?!) the chap who proposed increasing the threshold to 10% so we wouldn't get the 'anomaly' of the Greens getting into parliament even though they only got 6.7% of the party vote. I take some comfort from the fact that most 'keep or raise' submissions don't include any reasons for their recommendation, while 'drop or abolish' submissions do.
While I'm sure the electoral commission will consider the chaff appropriately, and will consider the issues rather more carefully than some submitters have, numbers are still important. Even if you only take 5 minutes (there is a quick submission option) to opine on the threshold (which is IMHO the most important issue), it will increase the chances of a better outcome.
And of course, if you disagree - please submit also. Your supporting reasoning will help better make the case for a position that may not be well argued at present.
Just saw the MMP review site has the lists of submitters for the Wellington hearings - Graeme's been given a half hour timeslot (almost all the others only have 15 minutes). Hope it's enough :)
I would've quite liked to observe the process but will be on an aircraft at the time.