Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The Day After Tomorrow

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  • stephen walker, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    Since 2005 I have advocated for the threshold to be halved to 2.5% (one-fortieth of the party vote instead of one-twentieth). With a five percent threshold that means a party has to win the nominal equivalent of six seats, whereas the nominal equivalent of three seats seems much more realistic, fair and democratic. I think there are valid arguments for retaining a threshold in excess of one seat. Anyway, the convenience of 2.5% is that if it is reached the party is guaranteed at least three seats, which has practical advantages within the way parliament works.

    And the coat-tails provision should definitely be scrapped if the threshold were to be halved.

    In this election, TOP wouldn't have made it on the face of the result, but I think that if the threshold were 2.5% they would have attracted a lot more votes from people who did not want to waste their party vote on a party unlikely to make the threshold. So there is a strong chance that they would have made it.

    The current version of MMP is not functioning as well as it could if it was fine-tuned to make it fairer and more transparent.

    nagano • Since Nov 2006 • 642 posts Report Reply

  • Trevor Nicholls,

    The parties really have no case for objecting to a version of MMP which returns one MP for a party based on a no-threshold party vote, because right up until the 2017 election they have shown themselves perfectly happy to make accommodations that produce one electorate MP for a party that fails the party vote test.

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 290 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Trevor Nicholls,

    True that: and makes a mockery of the Commission's highly-prioritised concern that parties would need >5 MPs in order to function effectively in Parliament. (That concern was arguably misplaced by many miles: (i) it's not true if a larger party has agreed to provide logistic support; and (ii) it would not be true of any genuinely single-issue and therefore single-portfolio party, were such a thing to be made practical by removing the threshold.)

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1735 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to stephen walker,

    And the coat-tails provision should definitely be scrapped if the threshold were to be halved.

    Nah, that would still maintain the possibility of inequality in value of votes between electorates and/or between electoral and party votes in some electorates. As it stands the coat-tail provision acts to increase the possible proportionality in the face of limits imposed by the threshold; much of the criticism it has received seems based on who has benefited most from it to date. If the threshold is removed, then coat-tailing becomes unnecessary; similarly, if the threshold is lowered to anything under 1.2%, coat-tailing has no practical effect and so becomes moot; but if the threshold remains above the level where a party would get 2 seats (minimum % of non-excluded party vote = 1.5/120=1.25%), then coat-tailing can increase proportionality and should remain.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1735 posts Report Reply

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