Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler

Read Post

Legal Beagle: At least we have MMP

101 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 Newer→ Last

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    400 words!

    I knew I could do it :-)

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3202 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    Oh, the irony of turning the MMP-revanchist's argument on themselves...

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1711 posts Report Reply

  • caycos,

    You know, I was visiting some family last week, and was at a gathering of my sister's in-laws. National voters I think.

    They thought that everything should go back to FPP because of all the terrible minority parties (those awful greens! and ACT!) that MMP let in... So I wouldn't be so sure.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2009 • 29 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    They thought that everything should go back to FPP because of all the terrible minority parties (those awful greens! and ACT!) that MMP let in... So I wouldn't be so sure.

    I have never felt MMP was a shoo-in. Probably the inside running, but far from a sure thing.

    Although I would note that ACT basically spent a number years in Government under First-Past-the-Post. The major difference is that this time, we get to see them try to do it. The factions fight in public, rather than presenting a fait accompli to the public as the united party position like they did in the 80s. ACT's MPs had much more sway under first-past-the-post than they have ever had under MMP.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3202 posts Report Reply

  • Joshua Drummond,

    What caycos said. Graham's analysis, despite the fact that it's astute and, well, right, won't wash with people who simply see MMP as a vehicle for weirdos, largely because (especially in the early days) the media couldn't resist the urge to portray it that way. Remember the news items that couldn't contain their glee about Nandor Tanczos wearing a hemp suit, or skateboarding, or smoking the weeds, or anything? Because that's how an alarmingly large swathe of Average Voting New Zealanders see it, I'd say.

    Since Nov 2006 • 119 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    400 words!

    I knew I could do it :-)

    Perhaps economy becomes you! Either way, this is a great post.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22753 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    That MMP – a system where the cast-offs of our political system can move aside to ensure real representation can continue – has shown its strengths in recent weeks is difficult to dispute.

    Absolutely, Graeme. And it's also made our parliament a much more interesting place, IMHO. I can't imagine that some of our most colourful and young MPs, who are list only, would have been around if not for MMP. For me, it means that we have representation of all sorts, and I love it.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    What caycos said. Graham's analysis, despite the fact that it's astute and, well, right, won't wash with people who simply see MMP as a vehicle for weirdos

    I think he knows that might be the case. I enjoyed the dry humour in his statement of the self-evident case to the contrary.

    Remember the news items that couldn't contain their glee about Nandor Tanczos wearing a hemp suit, or skateboarding, or smoking the weeds, or anything?

    Which is sad, because I know for a fact Nandor was precisely the kind of person anyone should want on a select committee. I didn't agree with him on everything, but he took policy seriously, and sought to educate himself on the issues.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22753 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Bookmarked this, Graham, as ammo for what I think may be a quite nasty fight over the next 4 years (I have, sob, family members who are not all leftwing, and who think the sky fell on the natural system when FPTP was abolished.)

    Thank you!

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

  • Simon Lyall,

    Personally I hate the perception that Electorate MPs are a better class than list MPs. In reality in most seats people vote for the candidate representing their party.

    If people hanker for a return to FPP then ask them:

    "So you'd be happy if there was a boundary change and you ended up in Rodney Hide's / Chris Carter's / Anne Tolley's [pick the ones you think they would like least] electorate and they had a 10,000 vote majority"

    Both main parties have half a dozen electorate MPs who they each they would prefer to replace with younger and more dynamic. Just look for anyone on the 3rd (or more term) that isn't in the front bench and has a list position below 40th.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 57 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    Logic? That's for high-falutin' lawyers and the like.

    MMP is to blame for everything. Especially Hone Harawira. Well, I've heard it said often enough, it must be true.

    I think it was Graeme who pointed out that without MMP there would actually be many more Maori seats, but that just proves you can't trust them high-falutin' ...

    Australia does it better, apparently. Let's put Outback Bob in charge.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1321 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    On list MPs:

    Ever noticed that they are only ever called "list MPs" when they're in trouble?

    Otherwise, they're just called Chris Finlayson, Michael Cullen, Steven Joyce, Jeanette Fitzsimons, etc ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1321 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    (Gah! Sorry, Graeme-)

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

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    I think it was Graeme who pointed out that without MMP there would actually be many more Maori seats

    It was, and I'm wondering what impact it might have on the debate. I noted - only half-jokingly - on the Dim-Post recently:

    Those pushing for an alternative have a problem – the average person who wants rid of MMP is pining for the good old days, but the status quo ante isn’t an option.

    The 1993 election – our last under FPP – had 99 MPs, and a fixed 4 Maori electorates. We’re not going back to this. A prospective FPP system will have 120 MPs, including 12 (probably 13) Maori electorates. All we need is Sandra Grey to dog-whistle.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3202 posts Report Reply

  • Samuel Scott,

    I'm a bit confused by the referendum. I have heard that, behind closed doors and off the record at least, National are quite happy to stick with MMP and keep the fringe conservatives in ACT. Basically it means the fringe loonies can't taint their current middle off the road More FM farmer mums status. So is the referendum just for show?

    Is everything I just said nonsense? Probably.

    South Wellington • Since Feb 2008 • 315 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    Samuel - I imagine National are quite happy with MMP. I've long-suspected that the promise of a referendum on MMP was something they came up with to assuage party members, many of whom will bail up MPs at every committee meeting and party function, asking why we haven't had that referendum. It's a big deal for some of them, and not a big deal either way for the MPs, so why not, if it keeps the party machine contented?

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3202 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Appleton,

    Lovely post, Mr Edgeler.

    I am not sure I agree w/you that National would be "quite happy" with MMP being retained.

    If you think (as I do) that the four current Parliamentary parties likely to survive long-term are Labour, National, the Greens and the Maori Party, then it follows that the Left has much more to lose from a dilution of proportionality and a move to a majoritarian voting system.

    The recent Australian election showed this quite well: the three parties to get over 3% of the primary vote were Labor, the Coalition and the Greens. Held under AV, they had a hung Parliament. The same voting patterns under FPP would have given the Coalition something like a 15-seat majority, and under MMP would have given Labor/Greens something like a 10-seat majority. In a situation where National does not have serious competition for voters on the Right (and Labour does on the Left), majoritarian voting systems serve its interests very well indeed.

    What you say about the Maori seats under FPP is very interesting. Effectively, only in landslide results (such as 1975, 1984 and 1990) would the Maori Party be robbed of the balance of power...

    Wellington • Since Sep 2010 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • JLM,

    I imagine National are quite happy with MMP. I've long-suspected that the promise of a referendum on MMP was something they came up with to assuage party members, many of whom will bail up MPs at every committee meeting and party function, asking why we haven't had that referendum. It's a big deal for some of them, and not a big deal either way for the MPs, so why not, if it keeps the party machine contented?

    This link suggests otherwise.

    The Prime Minister's chief of staff told anti-MMP campaigner Peter Shirtcliffe last year that John Key supported moving to a Supplementary Member system, and that there were no "impediments to progress" in caucus, leaked minutes show.

    I'm sure Ive heard several times, including from one direct source, that Rodney Hide has been speaking out against MMP also.

    Judy Martin's southern sl… • Since Apr 2007 • 239 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    I'm sure Ive heard several times, including from one direct source, that Rodney Hide has been speaking out against MMP also.

    Rodney Hide has been pretty upfront about it. It think he mentioned in on Q+A (maybe The Nation) a while back. I don't believe that's the only place he's said it (speeches and the like as well). The good thing is, of course, that he only gets one vote, the same as Peter Shirtcliffe and John Key and you and me.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3202 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Interesting, given that probably the only future for his party is under MMP.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    If people hanker for a return to FPP then ask them:

    "So you'd be happy if there was a boundary change and you ended up in Rodney Hide's / Chris Carter's / Anne Tolley's [pick the ones you think they would like least] electorate and they had a 10,000 vote majority"

    Not quite sure I've got the point of that -- I live just inside the boundaries of an electorate National's held since 1949.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    I'm sure Ive heard several times, including from one direct source, that Rodney Hide has been speaking out against MMP also.

    I thought turkeys didn't vote for their own Thanksgiving?

    Regarding boundary changes, Tricky Dick was up in arms about old-money Khandallah being redrawn out of Wellington Central - which he held at the time - into Peter Dunne's electorate, and colourful Newtown being redrawn into his. Far from gerrymandering as he accused the Electoral Commission of, it was but a reflection of increased inner city living.

    Ultimately, his remarks that Welly Central was the country's smartest electorate proved prophetic. ;D

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5416 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    hearing voices... have your say!

    Australia does it better, apparently...

    and they have compulsory voting...
    I'm surprised it hasn't been introduced here, especially when you consider the potential revenue stream from fining everyone who doesn't vote...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7889 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Not quite sure I've got the point of that -- I live just inside the boundaries of an electorate National's held since 1949.

    I think the point was, if the boundaries were redrawn under FPP, you might end up living in a labour stronghold, and then your vote for anyone else would be about as influential as toilet paper.

    Though I don't seem any great momentum for FPP these days. Even the anti-MMP campaigners seem to have largely retreated to Supplmentary Member as a fallback compromise they'd happily take.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    I think the point was, if the boundaries were redrawn under FPP, you might end up living in a labour stronghold, and then your vote for anyone else would be about as influential as toilet paper.

    With results like the recent British elections. I don't think it would be hard, if it came to it, to mount a very effective anti-FPP campaign. It's the sneaky half-measures we have to look out for.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.