Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler

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Legal Beagle: Election '11 - Counterfactual #2

42 Responses

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  • Tim Michie,

    The complaint of list members entering is often made against electorate candidates voted out and are now 'sneaking' back in. Placing best losers won't please those complainers. Whether they should be pleased is another question.

    Auckward • Since Nov 2006 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • Dave Guerin,

    The example you put up is pointless, as the runners-up were running in a first past the post competition in the weekend's election, so someone like Gareth Hughes (a quality candidate) told people he only wanted the party vote (as did Katrina Shanks) so Ohariu became a Labour-United Future competition. Under the system you are examining, the campaign would be different as would be the demand by candidates for seats with a high Green vote.

    Welington • Since Nov 2011 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Clark,

    You have Denise Roche and Gareth Hughes doing badly because they were in an electorate with a tight two-way tussle - the 3rd (/4th!) place inevitably gets squeezed. Under MMP there's been a distinct shift to voting Lab / Nat in electorate seats from when we had FPP. More sensible would be how well those candidates did on Party votes. But you'd still end up with the tyranny of geography - able candidates unable to get in because they live in seats with opposing philosophies to them, and people unwilling to contest tough seats because it will hurt their personal chances.

    I like the idea of an open list, like in Sweden, but in reality party members don't know who's good in their party at the other end of the country, those who merely vote for a party will have even less chance. And that's presuming an engaged public who actually care...

    Perhaps open lists would work better if we had regions to our MMP like most other countries who have versions of it?

    Devonport • Since Nov 2011 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Dave Guerin,

    Exactly. The number of votes a candidate gets is largely determined by the demographics of the seat (as well as any tendency to vote tactically). A candidate for National in South Auckland or Labour on the North Shore is guaranteed a poor showing, even if they're the smartest and most diligent politician out there.

    There's also the fact that parties would simply ensure that their favoured list candidates were also running in winnable seats.

    We haven't been given any choices of truly proportional systems with a single class of MP. One option is a list-only system (as in Iceland). Another would be to have multi-member constituencies elected by STV, but with the results adjusted to achieve countrywide proportionality. E.g: if the Greens were underrepresented versus National, the highest polling unelected Green would go in and the lowest polling Nat would drop out.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Curtis,

    I have only ever noticed complaints about 'losers' getting back in when its a labour MP who was an electorate MP and then "Nekk Minnit"

    No blips on the radar over Chris Auchinvole who lost the West Coast Tasman seat seems to suggest which side is complaining the most

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 314 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    Or about a certain Mr Goldsmith ....

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2605 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Dave Guerin,

    someone like Gareth Hughes (a quality candidate) told people he only wanted the party vote

    I did think of that, but then realised that that's what absolutely every Green candidate was saying, so decided it could be held against him. The capriciousness of it all (you'd have parties doing better at the polls, but MPs losing their jobs, not because they didn't do better, but because others did better-er) is the reason I'm currently against.

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

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    A candidate for National in South Auckland or Labour on the North Shore is guaranteed a poor showing, even if they're the smartest and most diligent politician out there.

    I think that's a generalisation that needs to be made with some care - current North Shore ward councillor Ann Hartley didn't do too badly. And if it was that clear cut, I don't think Nikki Wagner and Brendan Burns would be facing another week and a half of nail-biting. :)

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

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Dave Guerin,

    The example you put up is pointless, as the runners-up were running in a first past the post competition in the weekend’s election, so someone like Gareth Hughes (a quality candidate) told people he only wanted the party vote (as did Katrina Shanks) so Ohariu became a Labour-United Future competition.

    Problem is, you're on the sodding ballot so what you want doesn't really signify. What those silly electors decide to do does.

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

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    There’s also the fact that parties would simply ensure that their favoured list candidates were also running in winnable seats.

    Another reason to oppose it. Which, I'll note, I currently do :-)

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

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Steve Curtis,

    No blips on the radar over Chris Auchinvole who lost the West Coast Tasman seat seems to suggest which side is complaining the most

    Well, it's not like his opponent can complain, having been a back-door MP himself!

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

  • Sanya Baker,

    To my mind, one of the benefits of the current system of lists is that candidates with non-geographical constituencies, in other words representing communities of interest that are scattered geographically, can also attract support. If we were to move to a system based on electorate support even for list candidates we would be elevating communities of geography above communities of other interests in selecting both categories of MP. Personally, I think this would mean that Parliament became less representative.

    Tamaki Makaurau • Since Dec 2011 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Steve Curtis,

    no strings attached...

    ....seems to suggest which side is complaining the most

    Tariana Turia caught quite a bit of flak in The Press letters page yesterday for her ill-considered comments:

    Yesterday, after the party lost its southern MP, Mrs Turia accused voters in Christchurch of being ungrateful for help during the earthquakes.
    "What do you need to do, eh? You work your butt off. You go round Aranui during the two earthquakes, you make sure that they get everything that they're entitled to and they vote for somebody else."

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7886 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Tariana Turia caught quite a bit of flak in The Press letters page yesterday for her ill-considered comments:

    “Ill-considered” is putting it mildly. I can understand why Turia would be more than a little pissed off at condescending finger-waggling from Winston Peters and Shane Jones and listening to the usual line up of white, middle-class media folks sharing their profound knowledge of what Maori really think. Losing Te Tai Tonga was a blow, of course. But damn, Tari, if Rahui Katene could accept her defeat with considerable grace and dignity (as well as due respect for the will of the electorate) you should be able to follow suit.

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

  • Geoff Pritchard,

    Political parties know very well which electorates (and sub-areas within electorates) are likely to yield them the most votes; they put a lot of effort into finding this information out, so as to plan their advertising spend efficiently. Under a best-runners-up system, they would simply place their candidates accordingly. The only real difference from the current system would be that the voters (but not the politicians) would have a much hazier idea of what was going on.

    Auckland • Since Jun 2009 • 9 posts Report Reply

  • Brent Jackson,

    I like the idea of, instead of putting a tick into a party box, you can write a number. The number is that of the candidate on that party's list that you would most like to see in parliament. List seats are then allocated in order of most votes received. So the party decides the list, but the voters determine who on the list gets in.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • Hans Versluys,

    I'd go with Brent Jackson's suggestion. It will do away with the need of an electorate vote as your list nominee gets to be your MP. MMP would then need only one vote. Vote splitting would be a thing of the past as would coat-tail/tea pot MPs. Total list votes determine the MP numbers with the highest tolling on the list getting in. Simple, easy, democratic, local (you choose your MP instead of a party choosing one for you) and proportional.
    How do I add this to the MMP review process?

    Auckland • Since Jul 2011 • 32 posts Report Reply

  • Heather Gaye,

    I'd feel pretty weird saying I should be able to vote for a specific individual to represent my party preference – after all, that’s partly what the National campaign was based on – that people would ignore politics in favour of a personality. I want to pick a party because I like their policies, and know that all the members are working together to implement those policies – and that’s not contingent on, say, whether or not list MP x gets on my wick. I vote Green after all – if I wanted to exclude everyone that said or did things that got on my wick, I’d probably have pre-retired most of their front bench years ago.

    …and as a Green supporter / member, even if there are particular people that I want (or not) to represent me, they’ve done some good work toward solving that problem anyway. All Green members get to vote for the list, so essentially, everyone on the party list has already been elected. It doesn’t take much to be a member (about $15/year, I think?), and even if I wasn’t a member I’d be fine with trusting the views of the people who *have* gone to the trouble to sign up because they believe in the same things I do.

    Morningside • Since Nov 2006 • 532 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Hans Versluys,

    How do I add this to the MMP review process?

    You don't. If there aren't electorates, it's not really MMP. You'd also possibly find that John Key was the MP for about 80% of the electorates in the country :-)

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

  • Sacha, in reply to Sanya Baker,

    we would be elevating communities of geography above communities of other interests

    +1

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19680 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Hans Versluys,

    It will do away with the need of an electorate vote as your list nominee gets to be your MP. MMP would then need only one vote.

    Not a necessary conclusion at all - though I like Brent's idea for ranking the list MPs. Others have pointed out not many voters are likely to be arsed doing that. but I guess we don't exactly clamour to join parties either.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19680 posts Report Reply

  • Tuo Lei,

    I feel pretty strongly about this. Say I want to vote for say, NZ First, and I don't want vote electors in other electorates having a say in my party vote choice. If I feel strongly as a voter in Christchurch that an MP that fertilises lemon trees effectively is important to me then I don't want reactionary right wing saddos in Takapuna denying my right to representation by a clear and publicly availalble list.

    More importantly, I took a look at the relative party lists and made a decision to vote for the Greens in the hope that Mojo Mathers would be elected ahead of my second choice. Yep, I might miss out - I hope not, but I don't see why my party vote choice should be dependent on the voting choices of electoral voters with nothing in common with me. A profoundly deaf MP would make a substantial step forward in the political representation of my family and I think that's a good thing. I am deeply skeptical that this would be possible in a system where she would have to run and do well in a general electorate.

    Sorry, I'm a long time lurker never commenter, but this idea makes me cross! I think this is what Sanya Baker was saying more cogently than me.

    Thanks.

    jiducheng • Since Dec 2011 • 4 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew R2,

    Why cater to people who can't grasp that MMP is not the same as FPP. In MMP voting you are asked two different questions:
    1. Who do you want to represent your geographic area (aka electorate); and
    2. Which party do you support.

    No way should the result of the electorate vote (I don't want person X to represent my geographic area) should override or change the vote on which party I support. If you don't like how a party develops its party list or who is on the party list then don't vote for that party.

    Russell • Since May 2011 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew R2,

    Although maybe there is merit in limiting the number of terms any MP can serve (to one less than the number of terms John Banks has served :-))?

    Russell • Since May 2011 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    Tuo: that's why you join a party and get involved in the process of choosing their list - AFAIK the parties keep their memberships pretty close, you could probably join them all

    Having the general public chose party lists is getting dangerously close to an American style primary system - personally I think that it should be up to the parties to decide how to choose their lists - a party with a system (or a country with a system) that elects 3 potential ministers of Education but no one who can be minister of Finance is probably doing it wrong.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2605 posts Report Reply

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