Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler

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Legal Beagle: Election 2017: the Special Votes

100 Responses

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  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    My friend who lives in an area with a National MP says you can see the MP's secretary if you make an appointment but it is impossible to see the MP himself.

    Can we just be gracious enough to say there are a lot of constituency MPs on all sides who take their jobs very seriously (and have the constituency clinic hours to prove it) and others... not so much.

    And if you're a halfway competent consistency MP, you should have OOP staff who can handle a lot of routine but still important inquiries on their own behalf. It's not really my story to tell here, but I've seen what bloody legends they can be - and IMSHO opinion, they never get the credit they deserve, even if they never ask for it.

    That said, I think you're right there's a certain incumbency factor in play. My acquaintance in Christchurch is hardly a statistically credible sample, but I know people who party voted National but their local (Labour) MP has been around forever and isn't a totally useless oxygen thief. Makes sense to me.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12363 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Glen Koorey,

    Yup. I split my vote in Ohariu this year, but it wasn’t with intended strategy of helping TOP. It was a genuine belief that Jessica Hammond Doube was simply a much better candidate than a disgruntled Labour candidate whose main strategy had been to cruise through on a culture of change as people voted to get rid of Peter Dunne, and an empty National candidate who’d been selected for his ability to care about not much other than existing National supporters and making sure they understood not to vote for him but to party vote National. Those sentiments of mine hadn't stopped the disgruntled Labour candidate from trying to convince both TOP and Green candidates to stay out of the race, and for me it reinforced them.

    It irritates me when I see candidates and supporters expect other candidates to stand down through some belief that they’re entitled to the votes that people would rather cast for someone else. The real problem is that electorates don’t provide any preferential mechanism to let voters reassign their votes when there are similar candidates.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1107 posts Report Reply

  • Jason Kemp, in reply to dave stewart,

    We lament people not voting, yet we effectively flush 5 MP’s worth of votes!

    But then we add that back into the calculation. I'm not clear whether this is before or after the special votes have been counted though?

    "the parties not reaching the threshold have been disregarded the percentage share for each of the remaining parties has increased."

    SAINTE-LAGUË ALLOCATION FORMULA

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 349 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Jason Kemp,

    we add that back into the calculation

    Again, a misleading phrase. The information in those votes is irretrievably lost, it does nothing to change the proportions of members in Parliament. The proportions for the non-excluded parties merely get re-scaled to a total of 100% (and the SLAF essentially determines where the rounding error is allocated). The calculation is performed on all votes, including valid specials.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1765 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    I wonder if there is an appetite for changing the MMP distribution to make Electorate seats one total, and then the balance of the seats are allocated along Party Vote percentages - that would seem to better reflect the will of the people ?

    Or am I missing something?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7565 posts Report Reply

  • John Farrell, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Something like that was offered in the first MMP referendum - Supplementary Member.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 442 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    The votes for small party’s that didn’t reach the threshold are not waisted. They are counted. Even under FPP, the Values Party influenced parliament to adopt environmental issues as part of its ordinary business.

    Small party’s like Tops, take votes from specific party’s. It apairs to be Greens and the legalise dope party, on early analysis. They, those party’s that missed those votes will be influenced by that pain. Or mabe not so much in the legalise party. Anyway, there is no such thing as a waisted vote unless you don’t actually vote. Bla, bla….

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3870 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Jason Kemp,

    But then we add that back into the calculation.

    No, we add it back to the big parties. The actual opinions of those voters has been discarded.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4374 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    No, we add it back to the big parties.

    I don’t understand how that works. Dont the smaller party's get any?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3870 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Though admittedly even the votes that do go towards determining parliamentary seats express little detail about actual voter opinion! (E.g. right now it'd be nice to know how many wanted NZF as part of government, and with which partner(s)...)

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1765 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to steven crawford,

    More accurately, the non-excluded parties. Even ACT is in the calculations, though at 0.5% it won't get any extra seat out of it.

    But suppose instead they'd got 1.22%. They'd still (initially) get no list seats; but they'd be just below the cutoff, and rescaling by 100/96 would be just enough to push them over the minimum required to get one list seat.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1765 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to steven crawford,

    I don’t understand how that works. Dont the smaller party's get any?

    What linger said.

    yes the smaller parties theoretically get some of the benefit but say for this election 46% of those votes go to National 36% go to Labour and the others get the scraps.

    More specifically the seats are handed out according to the vote proportion - it is possible for only the two biggest parties to get any of those seats.

    The greatest benefit of excluding those votes accrues to the biggest parties - which of course is why the rule will never change.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4374 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Do you mean the Supplementary Member system, which was rejected as one of the alternative options in Part B of the 2011 MMP referendum?

    National was promoting Supplementary Member, probably because it has a big advantage right now in winning local electorates (lots of vote-splitting happening on the other side), and SM tends to put lots of weight on who can win lots of electorates. It's basically FPP with a token gesture towards fake proportional representation.

    Referendum result: http://www.elections.org.nz/events/past-events-0/2011-referendum-voting-system/results-referendum

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1107 posts Report Reply

  • Jason Kemp,

    So back in 2012 there was a referendum on MMP. Dropping the target % from 5% down to 4% was one of the recommendations. Getting rid of the overhang etc. was also in there.

    From memory none of the recommendations were adopted. Is that the case and if the proposed rule changes diminish the two big parties share then none of the MMP rules will change just like the reallocation.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 349 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Jason Kemp,

    The third main recommendation of the review was that consideration be given to indexing the number of list seats to electorate seats, which would mean the number of MMPs grew over time (unless population dropped).

    That recommendation very rarely seems to be discussed as far as I can tell, but without it the proportionality of MMP outcomes gradually disappears as more electorates get created whilst total MPs remain at 120. http://www.elections.org.nz/events/past-events-0/2012-mmp-review/results-mmp-review

    Judith Collins binned the whole review after it was presented, claiming "no political consensus". Status quo suits the presiding government.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1107 posts Report Reply

  • dave stewart,

    Another take on it is that the equivalent of 102 seats have already been allocated by votes already counted, and there are effectively another 18 seats still up for grabs - to be decided by specials (at 21k votes per seat). Seems more promising for the left when viewed from this perspective?!

    Since Aug 2014 • 36 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to dave stewart,

    Another take on it is that the equivalent of 102 seats have already been allocated by votes already counted, and there are effectively another 18 seats still up for grabs – to be decided by specials (at 21k votes per seat). Seems more promising for the left when viewed from this perspective?!

    I'll take great delight if this final count throws up something that none of our media predicted.

    Palmerston North • Since Sep 2014 • 765 posts Report Reply

  • Gregor Ronald,

    "This meant they closed the gap with National a little, but that wasn’t enough for them to take a seat off another seat off them." - can you please persuade your writers to read over their material before they hit Send?

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 101 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Gregor Ronald,

    can you please persuade your writers to read over their material before they hit Send?

    First world problems ...
    Most writers are not the best proofreaders of their own copy at the best of times - I doubt that Public Address can afford on-call proofreaders,and its contributors are usually doing this for free amidst myriad other tasks - but it does have a crowd resource to help with this ... Us! (quality control is a team effort).

    Typos or errors can be helpfully and discreetly brought to the writer's attention by hitting the email button at the end of the blog post (and before the responses start) - then tweaks can be made to ensure a flawless piece for posterity.

    The major papers and media have people it seems who are paid to publish mistake after mistake daily.

    For responses - Preview is your friend...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7565 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    For responses – Preview is your friend…

    I normally post, then desperately use the edit feature to get it all in order before the fifteen minute deadline.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3870 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    Well done, Graeme.

    My thoroughly unscientific sampling of media coverage over the last fortnight has found an abundance of "Are we there yet?" opinion pieces, and a dearth of "Here's where there might be" informed calculations. I'd like to have heard less from the bored kids in the back seat of the car, and more from an adult in the front with a map.

    I know the unspellable SL formula doesn't lend itself to TV sound bites, but a decent analysis of the most vulnerable seats (and relevant percentages needed) would have been a lot more informative than Nat-Green fairy tales. Talking to you, 6 pm news shows ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1218 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    Moral of story: observation-based persistence forecasting can work out pretty well. Certainly more reliable than fantasy scenarios.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1765 posts Report Reply

  • tussock,

    So, uh, NZ First lost 675 votes after specials were counted. Difference of opinion in what counts as a clear intention to vote for a party? I guess a lot got excluded in the official count for everyone and they just didn't get many specials to top it back up.

    Since Nov 2006 • 587 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to tussock,

    Um. NZF went from 162,988 total votes before specials to 186,706 after specials. If they'd really failed to get any more votes over the 15% of specials, they'd have lost a seat or two. I think you accidentally compared the NZF preliminary total with the Greens’ final total.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1765 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    More uninformed expertise:

    Claire Robinson decides that Labour must have been hoping for a mathematical miracle, from 17% of the total votes.

    They didn’t pick up the number of special votes they hoped for. They can’t govern alone with the Greens. More importantly, they can’t govern alone with New Zealand First, which Labour would have been holding out hope for.

    Er, Claire, they might realistically have picked up one more seat (= two more in total). The disappointment came on election night, I doubt that anyone in Labour was expecting to make up for that by getting approx 100% of the specials.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1218 posts Report Reply

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